Kenya Adventure Holidays
A country full of activities, adventure and excitement!
Over the years, Kenya has become one of the favourite destinations when it comes to activities on safari. With options of horse riding, camel riding, mountain biking, hiking, tubing, cultural visits, wildlife tracking and many more, the modern safaris has come a long way from a standard game drive. These activities are offered in a few destinations across Kenya and have proven particular popular for families and active travellers!
The Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most famous nature reserve. If you are dreaming about a safari, what you are seeing in your minds-eye is the Maasai Mara. It is classic savannah – grasslands where animals are plentiful and the vistas are spectacular. The area is the site of one of the most spectacular animal migrations in the world and home to tremendous concentrations of resident game including lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino, hippo and over 500 species of birds.
For travel to the Mara, we advocate staying in one of several private concessions which border the park. Not only do these concessions increase the area where animals can move safely and form a buffer around the national park, they offer a more exclusive and flexible wildlife experience. While you will still likely spend a full day inside the main reserve, especially during the migration, adding game-drives inside the private concession means that you do not need to spend your whole time jockeying for views of lions or elephants with other vehicles. In addition, private concessions are able to offer bush walks, night drives, and off-road driving, activities not allowed in the main Mara Reserve.
Finally, these private concessions are often tribal land leased to the properties, meaning that some of the revenue generated goes back into the local communities in addition to providing employment and projects funded by the properties.
Our favourite camps for adventure holidays in the Masai Mara Conservancies
Saruni Mara, Kicheche Camp, Bateleur Camp, Mara Rianta Luxury Camp, Elewana Sand River Camp, Angama Mara & Serian Original.
Laikipia is a massive region consisting of private ranches, communal gazing areas and game reserves forming an area larger than any national park in the country. In general, a stay in Laikipia is more about the stunning scenery, cultural experiences and activities, but areas such as the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Ol Pejeta and Solio still offer excellent game-viewing. In fact, these areas are some of the most reliable in all of Africa to see not only see rhino, but also to get an in-depth look at conservation work in action.
Activities include camelback safaris and horse riding, quad biking, tubing, bi-planes, walking safaris, fly camping, mountain biking, fishing and participating in conservation projects such as Grevy’s zebra or rhino research in Lewa or the Laikpia Predator Project. Cultural experiences are extremely special, and you can visit villages and schools, special community projects or simply chat with the camp owners and learn from them directly. All these activities make the area great for families and a perfect addition to days of game viewing in the Mara.
The area is known for its family-run properties, owned by former ranching families (some of whom actively participate in the daily guest experience) with generations of history in Kenya who have now put their energy into conservation and combating poaching. You get the sense you are staying in someone’s home and the experience feels hosted and extra special.
Finally, because these are privately-owned properties, you are not subject to the restrictions of the national parks, so can enjoy a more flexible safari; stay out late on a night drive, drive off-road to get the perfect picture, or take a hike up to a camp’s ‘Star Beds’ for a night under the African Sky.
Our favourite lodges for adventure holidays in the Laikipia Plateau
Ola Malo, Sosian Lodge, and Borana Lodge
Amboseli and Chyulu Hills
Sitting at the Kenyan border with Tanzania, the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro rises above a saucer of clouds and dominates every aspect of Amboseli National Park. This park covers only 150 square miles but, despite its small size and fragile ecosystem, it supports a wide range of mammals and birds. Chyulu Hills National Park is a mountain range that sits tucked away between Tsavo West National Park and Amboseli National Park, preserving an essential migration corridor. Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills sit in the heart of Maasailand, and it’s not unusual to see Maasai warriors or small children tending their cattle as you traverse the area. This area is the setting for works by writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark, who spun stories of big-game hunting in the wilds of Africa.
Amboseli is only a 4 hour drive from Nairobi, making the area very popular on the mass market tourism routes. For this reason it can be crowded but this also makes it a great option for a driving (versus flying) itinerary. The park also boasts incredible concentrations of elephants and is home to the Amboseli Elephant Research project, the longest running elephant study in the world.
Our favourite camps for adventure holidays in Amboseli & Chyulu Hills
Tortilis Camp, Ol Donyo Lodge, Umani Spring and Ol Tukai Lodge
Samburu National Reserve
Located in central Kenya, Samburu National Reserve is very popular for its reliable and dense game viewing but more recently, has become a destination attracting those a little more active and adventurous. The camps inside the reserve are limited to game drives and guided bush walks, but those sat outside of the gates, either close by or further away in the greater conservancies, can offer an array of activities. Our favourite activity-filled lodges are Sasaab and Saruni Samburu. Sasaab is a very luxurious lodge that sits outside of the western gate of the reserve. Here, the emphasis is on relaxing, taking in the jaw-dropping views of the Ewaso Nyiro River from your private plunge pool, appreciating every second of silence. Our other favourite is Saruni Samburu, who have a strong focus on the cultural interactions with the local Samburu people. They offer trekking excursions, local cave visits full of historical rock art and warrior academy for the kids!
Our favourite camps for adventure holidays in Samburu National Reserve
Elephant Bedroom Camp, Sasaab, and Saruni Samburu.
The best regions for Kenya Adventure Holidays:
Masai Mara Game Reserve A Spanning approximately 3,000 sq kms, the Masai Mara National Reserve and Greater Mara Concession Areas form the northern section of one of the most astounding animal migrations on the planet. While the region has become busier and busier over the last decade or so, a visit to this stunning area is… More…
Samburu National Reserve is certainly in amongst the more well-known of Kenya’s parks and accordingly has become relatively busy over the years. The main areas for game viewing are along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro that runs east to west through the park. A great location as the surface waters dry… More…
Amboseli National Park, Probably the most photographed park in East Africa, Amboseli National Park lies on the border between Kenya and Tanzania, in the lee of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Comparatively quite small for a National Park, at 392sq km, it is also the second most visited of them all. This is to its benefit… More…
The Laikipia Plateau in Kenya is characterized by a patchwork of interlocking ranches and rolling red plains. Featuring a wide variation of stunning lodges, all unique in their own way, the region offers good game viewing alongside a whole host of family friendly activities. Often featured in… More…
Our Top 10 Kenya Adventure Holidays Lodges:
Ol Malo Lodge
Sand River Camp
Ol donyo Lodge
Saruni Mara Camp