By Anwynn Louw – Digital Marketing Assistant
Thousands of visitors flock to Kenya every year, attracted by big game and the strikingly beautiful landscapes. From the postcard-perfect tropical beaches and crystal waters of the Indian Ocean to the rugged slopes of Mount Kenya and the rolling plains of the Masai Mara. Located in the heart of Africa, Kenya shares borders with five countries: Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania. To the east, it is bound by the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and The Great Rift Valley runs north to south through the country, which was named after Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak.
Throughout Kenya, old cultures mesh with new and ancient traditions. The predominant religion in Kenya is Christianity, however other faiths practised include Baha’i, Hinduism, Islam and traditional African religions. Swahili and English are the official languages of this multicultural country, although many indigenous languages are still spoken widely.
Below are 5 of our favorite reasons to visit Kenya – maybe one or two will inspire you to visit us in this beautiful and diverse country?
The parks and conservancies of Kenya place a strong emphasis on conservation, making the country a fascinating destination for experienced safari-goers who want to expand their understanding of these groundbreaking projects. Two of such projects in Nairobi are the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is located on the outskirts of Nairobi, approximately 45 minutes drive. The sanctuary cares for orphaned baby elephants. The Giraffe Centre enables you to come into very close contact with the world’s tallest yet endangered animal, the giraffe. they aim to inspire children, youth and communities to interact with nature and conserve the environment for posterity.
The Great Migration
The earth vibrates with the thundering of millions of hooves as heaving herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelles fill the plains to chase the rains in the epic annual struggle for survival known as the Great Migration. It is the greatest show on earth, a natural spectacle like no other and a life-changing experience. With a presence all along the Great Wildebeest Migration route, Asilia will transport you to the best seat in the house.
Strictly speaking, there is no ‘migration season’ as the Great Migration is, in fact, an eternal annual cycle from place to place, year in and year out. Check out our month by month migration breakdown here.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara National Reserve is arguably the most famous wildlife reserve in the world. It lies on the southern border of Kenya and forms part of the Greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem that spreads down into Tanzania to the south. It covers approximately 1 500km² and plays host to spectacular, dense wildlife viewing throughout the year including the Great Wildebeest Migration from July to November.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Underneath the watchful eye of Mount Kenya, you can discover the unspoilt wilderness of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, famous for pioneering conservation projects and refuge for the last two northern white rhino remaining on the planet.
Not only is Ol Pejeta the largest black rhino sanctuary in the whole of East Africa, but it is also the only place in the region where you can see chimpanzee. It is also home to the Big Five, a mind-blowingly rich array of African game and over 200 migrant and resident bird species. The conservancy boasts one of the greatest game-to-area ratios of any reserve in Kenya in a pioneering and mutually beneficial land-management system.
Marine Parks and Reserves
There are five marine reserves and national parks spread along the Kenyan coastline, protecting precious marine and coastal ecosystems. The Kenyan Barrier Reef lies just off the coast. At just over 220km long, it is second in length only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and offers spectacular diving. Protected habitats include mangrove wetlands, coastal forests, estuaries, sand beaches and dunes, coral reefs and sea-grass beds.
These spectacular tropical reserves contain the special habitats of a wide range of endemic marine animals and breeding migratory birds. Species include dolphins, dugongs, whales, four species of sea turtle, eels, octopus, gastropods, crabs, starfish, anemones, corals, stonefish, sea cucumbers and much more. As well as supporting marine and coastal species, these habitats are important to local communities who depend on resources from these systems for their livelihood.
This might also come as a surprise to many, but Kenya’s tropical beaches make the East African country as suitable for a coastal holiday as it is for Big 5 game viewing, from a range of activities to unspoiled beach resorts. Check out 10 of the best beaches in Kenya.