The Republic of Kenya (named after Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak) is bordered by the Indian Ocean (southeast), Somalia (east), Ethiopia (north), South Sudan (northwest), Uganda (west) and Tanzania (south). The country is conveniently divided into five major geographical regions: the Highlands, the Great Rift Valley, the Western Plateau, the Coastal Region, and the Northern Plains.
Kenya has a population of 48 million, and its capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya gained independence from the British in 1963 and is a member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, International Criminal Court, and various other important international organisations. The country is blessed with a rich cultural heritage and boasts an impressive seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Due to its varied geography, no other African country boasts the fauna and flora diversity of Kenya. Wildlife is prolific here at any time, but nothing tops the Great Migration (listed among the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa), when nearly two million wildebeest and zebra follow the rains to new grass. Additionally, Kenya also boasts the Big Five (Lion, Leopard, African Buffalo, African Elephant and both rhinoceros species), as well as many other large herbivores (Common Eland, Giraffe, Hippopotamus), several antelope species (Impala, Waterbuck, Lesser Kudu, Common Duiker, etc), smaller predators (Cheetah, African Wild Dog, Spotted Hyaena, Serval and jackals), and many other smaller mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
Over 1100 species of birds have been recorded in Kenya, and the country boasts 10 endemic and a further 37 near-endemic species. Special species include Jackson’s Francolin, Sokoke Scops Owl, Grant’s Wood Hoopoe, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Taita Apalis, Williams’s Lark, Tana River and Aberdare Cisticola, Kikuyu and Taita White-eye, Hinde’s Babbler, Abbott’s Starling, Taita Thrush, Clarke’s Weaver, Turner’s Eremomela and Sharpe’s Longclaw.
Kenya is naturally blessed with some of the continent’s top parks and wildlife reserves. These include:
• Amboseli National Park, watered by melting snows from iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, supports abundant wildlife, including great numbers of African Elephant.
• In the north lies arid Samburu Reserve, with unique species such as the reticulata subspecies of Giraffe, the endangered Grevy’s Zebra and the localised Somali Ostrich, along with a more relaxed Big Five experience.
• Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for its huge flocks of flamingoes that gather in the shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley, a sight to behold indeed!
• The fabled Maasai Mara is the Kenyan mirror of Tanzania’s Serengeti. The Mara River, home to hippos and monstrously big crocodiles, runs through the entire reserve, and is the main stage of the annual Great Migration production. Local Maasai tribesman also offer cultural tours, a unique addition to the wildlife experience.
• Home of the famous maneless Lions, Tsavo National Park is situated on the Kenyan coast, offering the best location for a combination of a wildlife safari and beach holiday.
Furthermore, the country has an excellent, well-established tourism infrastructure, decent roads and friendly and hospitable people. Kenya enjoys a wonderful tropical climate. It is generally warm all year round, with plenty of sunshine and cooler nights and mornings, making it easy to enjoy most activities on the beaches and in the national parks all year round.
Whether you choose to laze in the tropical sun, go on safari to spot the Big Five and marvel at the Great Migration, swim in the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean or climb Mount Kenya, you will experience an unparalleled variety of beauty everywhere you travel. You could also simply enjoy the history, culture and lifestyle of this fantastic country. Kenya has something for everyone. As you can see, it’s all here in Kenya, Africa’s original safari destination.
Visit our Kenya safari and tours page for more info on trips to this magical destination. Customized tours to Kenya is available to suit your requirements and travel dates.