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The endless golden savannah that spreads under a vast and dramatic sky along with the majestic wildlife that resides in the deeper forests and national parks of Africa is what makes Kenya one of the best safari destination across the world. Plan a trip to the landscapes and forests of Kenya and get mesmerized by the quintessential and the singular allure of Africa’s ultimate safari destination. Witness a massive herd of wildebeest trying to dodge the jaws of a giant crocodile and big cats while crossing the Mara River.Readmore
As the birthplace of the modern African safari, Kenya offers a vast array of destinations and experiences for intrepid visitors to go beyond the usual ‘safari fare’, and explore the wilderness with intimacy, exclusivity, and creativity. In a growing number of private and community-run conservancies, guests are able to get out of their vehicles and traverse the bush on foot, on horseback, by camel or by helicopter. And at the end of the day, you can fall asleep to the ringing of cicadas and the trilling of night-birds – and perhaps even the roar of a distant lion – as you doze in the surprising luxury of a mobile safari camp.
Here are some of the unique experiences that Kenya arguably does better than anywhere, and that will deliver on that oft-made promise of memories to last a lifetime:
Drift Over the Mara in a Hot Air Balloon
The epitome of glamor and luxury is to be found drifting over the vast plains and riverine forests of the Maasai Mara in a hot air balloon at sunrise. Rising up over the acacia trees in the early morning, the balloon drifts over herds of wildebeest and zebra as the sun bathes the savanna in surreal hues of lilac and gold. Uninterrupted views, surprising stillness, and total silence make this a captivating and unforgettable highlight of an African safari. The extravagance culminates in a champagne breakfast in the heart of the bush.
Wake before sunrise and head out with your erudite guide to catch the wilderness while it is at its most active. As birds sing while light sweeps across the savanna, the large game animals flock to rivers and watering holes for a final drink before seeking refuge in the shade. Trail the wildlife during these quiet morning hours, before meandering to a shaded vantage point. With a checked blanket and wicker picnic-basket, your guide will prepare a breakfast of fresh fruit, homemade pastries, tea, coffee, and perhaps even an omelet. As the sky transforms from pink to blue, indulge in one of the most magical picnics anywhere on Earth.
Mobile Safari Tents: Amid the refined luxury of the boutique safari lodges, a few gems are tucked away on riverbanks and kopjes deep in the Kenyan bush. The authenticity of canvas tents, charcoal-cooked dinners, open-air heated bucket showers, and the convivial company carries you back to a bygone era of African adventure. As you return to a private camp after a day of exploration to indulge in a sundowner cocktail and appetizers against a dramatic sunset, a pang of nostalgia inevitably sets in. Falling asleep to the sounds of the African night further deepens this poignancy, and generates unique feelings of freedom, contentment, and wonder.
There are few means of getting closer to the African wilderness, and the creatures that inhabit it, than setting out on foot with a trained guide. Outside of your safari vehicle, there are unique opportunities for discovering the intricacies of the bush and engaging with this new world through heightened senses. Learn the basics of tracking, looking for lion prints and elephant markings as you traverse the plains and woodlands. Uncover the myriad insects, birds, reptiles, and plants that sustain these fragile ecosystems. Learn how to find water and edible plants, and other skills essential for survival in this wild terrain.
Private conservancies often have roots in ranching, and the owners actively encourage guests to explore the land as their ancestors did. Setting out on horseback or by camel enables you to get right into the midst of herds of gazelle, wildebeest, and zebras while traveling to the most secluded and romantic corners of these remote ranchlands. Approaching a giraffe or an elephant in this manner is a truly unparalleled – and seldom offered – experience.
Ecotourism on Private Conservancies: Kenyan lodges are emerging leaders in responsible ecotourism, and have had considerable successes in fusing tourism with environmental sustainability and community development. On private and community conservancies north of the Maasai Mara and on the Laikipia Plateau, guests contribute to conservation programs, school projects and community empowerment initiatives through their stay. Several ecolodges and community-run camps offer opportunities to witness these programs in action – adding a greater level of depth and meaning to your particular tour.
No matter your preference, Zicasso’s expertise, and Kenya’s huge accommodation range mean that we can certainly build a tour with accommodation perfectly customized to you. A tour to the African bush would, for many, be incomplete without a night or two in a canvas tent, complete with a heated bucket shower under the stars. Bush breakfasts, sundowners and fireside aperitifs establish a familiar rhythm in the bush, while the wildlife adventures are always close at hand!
Luxury, however, knows no bounds in Kenya, even in the farthest-flung wilderness. Soak in an infinity pool while an elephant dips its trunk in, or indulge in a soothing massage in your private cottage. With beyond-beautiful suites and stunning lounges, many of Kenya’s boutique lodges have brought total extravagance deep into the heart of the bush.
A number of Kenyan lodges are also leaders in the field of responsible tourism, investing profits into environmental conservation and community development. Green initiatives – including solar power and community gardens – often sustain these ecolodges, building a new and critical precedent in the safari industry.
With posh boutique hotels, private bush camps and luxurious lodges in most wilderness destinations, Kenya offers a wide range of inventive, intriguing and often truly extravagant accommodations. Catering to families, romantics, thrill-seekers, and relaxation-enthusiasts, the assortment in style and the overall value is sure to suit any style of traveler.
Visa and Passport Requirements:
If you are a resident of western countries, you will require a visa to enter Kenya. However, if you are only visiting Kenya, a three-month single entry tourist visa will be sufficient. We would like to recommend you to have your visa work done by the local Kenyan High Commission or Embassy between two months and two weeks prior to your trip. This will result in a trip which is hassle-free. Just enquire the about the entrance, meet them and submit the documents on time and you are good to go.
- Passport valid for a minimum of six months after travel and with at least two blank pages
- Application form
- Flight itinerary
- Passport-sized photograph
- Certified bank check for listed visa price.
When travel to a remote area like that of Kenya, it is very important to have yourself checked prior to the trip. Visit a travel health specialist 2–3 months before departure to review vaccination options and possible prophylaxes. Remember, most of the areas in Kenya are not malaria free, and a prescribed prophylaxis (Malarone or Doxycycline) is strongly recommended. Also, if you are traveling from a yellow fever country, you will be required to show proof of vaccination.
In case of medical emergency, Kenya has some of the best medical facilities offer and most of them located in East Africa. You may rush to Nairobi for a medical emergency. Apart from this, you will always have an option to call an emergency evacuation plans if necessary.
Language: While Kenya has two official languages, English and Kiswahili, there are approximately 62 languages spoken in the country. Within the tourism industry, English is widely spoken – albeit with a Kenyan flare.
Currency: The official currency is the Kenyan shilling, which has an exchange rate of approximately 1 USD to 85 KES. In major cities, ATMs are widely available and permit withdrawals with international credit cards. Banks and foreign exchange offices will gladly exchange US dollars as well – through all bills should be in good condition and issued no earlier than 2006. Traveler’s checks are generally more hassle than they are worth.
Major lodges are usually equipped with credit card machines, though it is always wise to travel with additional USD and KES in the event of a machine malfunction. Most lodges will accept both currencies, though smaller vendors generally prefer Kenyan shillings.
Social Customs: Kenyans are, by and large, an extremely friendly and welcoming people. It is customary to greet people as you pass them in the street or at the lodge, with a simple ‘hello’ or ‘jambo’ (‘how are you’ in Swahili). Greetings, in general, are an important social practice. Learning key phrases in Kiswahili is always appreciated, and local lodge staff will happily assist you.
When photographing individual people, it is always advisable that you ask permission first. While many people are willing subjects, a few would prefer not to be photographed. The country is predominantly Christian, with segments of the population following Islam or indigenous belief systems.
Tipping: Tipping is highly encouraged in reward for good service, and is widely practiced in the tourism industry. While on safari, it is generally expected that you will tip your guide, driver, housekeeping and bar staff at the end of your stay. Most lodges will include a guide to tipping in either your room or in the main lounge. At restaurants, a tip of between 10–15% is generally appropriate.
Dress code: Kenyan dress is generally quite liberal. As with most African nations, an overt display of thighs is generally frowned upon and women and men should avoid short shorts in urban centers and rural villages. If visiting the beach, bathing suits and short shorts are not a problem.
It is worth noting whether any of the lodges or hotels you are visiting enforce a specific dress code. Zicasso will alert you if this is the case.
Planning a trip to a place which is not known to you can be a nightmare but with Leisure, it’s actually a piece of cake. Sit back and relax for a while because you are going to experience a unique safari under the guidance of Leisure. Let us help you plan your trip and we will make sure to make it better and fun-filled. From frequent updates to round-the-clock availability, we at leisure, make sure to make every trip of our users hassle-free.
Just drop your ideal trip factors to us and we will help you out in planning the same. We will thoroughly understand your needs and will assign 2-3 travel specialists to you. These travel specialists will be the one who has mastered trip planning in the area you are looking for. On the basis of your budget and trip requirements, travel specialists will customize a trip that fits you perfectly. You can take as much time as you want. We won’t annoy you by constantly asking for the update. You can book the trip only when fully satisfied.
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