Kenya has endless savannah plains and scorched deserts interrupted by snow-capped mountains, cool highlands and equatorial forests. The scenic coastline possesses the atmosphere of a paradise island and is sprinkled with colourful coral reefs.
The highland areas of Central Kenya – including the Laikipia Plateau – provide rich soil for farming, making Kenya one of the most agriculturally productive countries in Africa; this area is considered the fertile breadbasket of the Kenyan people. Four rivers, of which one is perennial, flow through the area making for an even more compelling locale for animals and people alike.
Things to look forward to in Kenya:
- Witnessing the remarkable phenomenon of the wildebeest migration
- Game drives in open savannah grasslands teeming with wildlife
- Meeting the Maasai people in their homes
- Searching for rare and endangered species like beisa oryx, Grevy’s zebra and patas monkey
- Gazing over the uninterrupted African landscapes, capped by iconic Mount Kenya
Kenya is always in the spotlight. Nairobi is one of Africa’s business and media hubs and a favourite posting for expatriates and journalists – but the news isn’t always good.
Know before you go:
As you plan your trip, and before you travel, we recommend that you check the latest Foreign and Commonwelath Office Advice on the places that you’re going to – regardless of where you are travelling to or how you are travelling. See FCO’s Kenya advice here (https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kenya). We urge you to do this, as we recommend that all our travellers keep themselves up to date with the current foreign office advice on their destination countries.
So what are the issues Kenya currently faces and do any of them have an impact on your visit?
In Kenya’s neighbour to the north-east, Somalia, there had been until recently no functioning government for most of the last two decades. An extremist group, Al-Shabaab, emerged there and took over large parts of the country. When, in 2011, two tourists were kidnapped and one killed in separate incidents (one at a private home on Manda island, the other at a remote beachfront lodge near Kiwaiyu island at the extreme northern end of the coast), the Kenyan army crossed the porous Somalian border. By the end of 2012 Kenya had occupied the whole of southern Somalia, while a new government was established in Mogadishu.
The two ransom kidnaps of 2011 had no connection with Al-Shabaab but brought about a security boost on Kenya’s north-east coast.
Al-Shabaab have been pushed into central Somalia’s rural areas, far away from the Kenyan border. In 2013 and 2014, there were a number of grenade and gun attacks in low-income districts of several Kenyan towns, and in September 2013, Al-Shabaab carried out a terrorist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, killing more than 60 people. Despite the atrocity, official travel advisories, including that of the UK FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office or foreign ministry), continued to stress that most visits to Kenya are trouble-free and the vast majority of the country safe for travel, reflecting the widespread realisation that such outrages could be, and have been perpetrated in many big cities around the world. Hotel and shopping-centre security is high, with airport-style security checks in use.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office currently advise against all but essential travel along the north Kenya coastal mainland between the Somalian border and the Galana/Sabaki river. There is no travel advisory for any other part of the country, including Lamu and Manda islands, where Cross to Africa offers a range of delightful beach hotels.
We believe Kenya’s present troubles should be put in perspective: terrorism is an international phenomenon that claims a tiny number of lives in comparison with disease and traffic accidents; and on the political scene, with Kenya’s newly adopted constitution, we believe the country is unlikely to suffer a repeat of the full-scale ethnic violence that erupted in 2008.
Visiting Kenya in 2018:
There are currently plenty of good offers to be had on camps and lodges. Moreover, with relatively low visitor numbers because of the security fears that persist among mass-market tour operators, you can look forward to quieter parks and camps and even more attentive service. Finally, enhanced security – invariably carried out with an apologetic smile – means the streets are safer than they have been for years, so your ordinary security is likely to be enhanced. You should of course always be very careful about not displaying your valuables, as petty crime is widespread. Meanwhile, the welcome you’ll receive from Kenyans is as warm as you’ll experience anywhere in the world
Kenya’s diverse geography means that temperatures, rainfall and humidity vary, with more humid conditions in the low-lying areas and cooler, more moderate climes on the Laikipia Plateau. Being on the equator, Laikipia’s temperatures do not vary much, making for a very pleasant experience all year round. The important element here is the rain, with two rainy seasons in Kenya: the ‘long rains’ that take place between March and May, and the ‘short rains’ that happen in November.
It is important to remember that while game viewing can never be guaranteed, there are some trends that can be seen when we combine our knowledge of seasons, habitats and water availability with animal distribution, their numbers, and thus where they can be found. The table below gives some insight into these trends. For more details, it is best to speak to your East Africa Safari Expert from Cross to Africa Safaris
Green Season – April To May; July To August; November
When the rains begin, many small plant species burst into flower, covering the area in a multihued carpet, from white ‘tissue paper’ flowers to yellow daisy species, all followed by butterflies. During this time, herds of grazers like plains zebra, gazelles and their predators move onto Segera’s lush plains.
The haze over the land means that long-range views of Mount Kenya are not as good as in the green season. However, September and October being warm and dry, means it is most comfortable for wildlife viewing.
As diversified as the different safari styles in Rwanda just so are the accommodation styles we offer:
Lodge safaris offers accommodation in lodges and permanent tented camps with solid flooring. Luxury safaris include specially selected four to five-star lodgings where you will have a bedroom, good beds with linen and an en-suite bathroom. Lodge safaris are available as group tours with scheduled departure dates or as private trips.
Our Mobile Explorer safaris offer camping in secluded and private campsi tes away from the crowds. The tents we use are larger than camping tents and guests sleep on single beds fitted with a proper mattress and linen. The food on our Mobile Explorer safaris is specially prepared by well- trained safari chefs and will be served in the mess tent or under the open African sky.Mobile toilets and bush showers are provided.
The Mobile Explorer safari style is ideal for nature lovers who enjoys peace and quietness in the middle of the African bush but who prefer a little comfort.
Adventure Camping safaris are perfect for adventurers and are more rustic in style. You will overnight in public campsites within the national parks or on campsites outside the parks but close to the entrance. Guests sleep in 2-man tents on comfortable sleeping mats. Ablution facilities on camp sites are very basic and shared with other campers. A safari cook will prepare delicious home-cooked food, served in a lapa on the camp site.
Adventure Camping safaris are great for nature lovers with a limited budget, families and the young-at-heart. These safaris are available as group tours with scheduled departure dates or as private trips departing on guests’ selected dates.
- Park fees (For non-residents)
- Games Drives –
- All activities (Unless labelled as optional)
- All accommodation (Unless listed as upgrade)
- A professional driver/guide
- All transportation (Unless labelled as optional)
- All Taxes/VAT
- Roundtrip airport transfer
- Meals (As specified in the day-by-day section)
- Drinking water (On all days)
- International flights (From/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Personal items (Souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees, Masai village entry fee
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