Planning Your Safari

With such a wide variety of safari tours available, these key considerations will help you to choose the best options for your ideal safari holiday

Key Points to Consider:
1.    Accommodation - choosing where to stay
2.    Parks & Reserves - how to have the best wildlife viewing
3.    Choosing the Safari Transport - making the right choice
4.    Safari Itineraries - finding the tour that suits you best
5.    FAQs and Recommendations - useful advice from our safari experts

Accommodation

Making the right choice is an essential part of your safari experience.
Options include mobile tented camping, large commercial lodges (similar to hotels), intimate eco-camps and upmarket camps / lodges with luxurious tents, some with plunge pools and spas. In general, these are in the following price levels, with Boutique Lodges at the top end and Adventure Camps the cheapest option.

•    Boutique Lodges and Small Luxury Camps

These are more exclusive, usually catering for less than 30 guests and offer impressive accommodation with higher standards of décor, service and cuisine. Prices are also higher and most guests arrive by air, flying in on light aircraft to avoid long journeys over bumpy roads. Guests are taken on game drives in 4×4 safari vehicles by driver-guides who know the area well.

•    Eco-camps

These camps are small and exclusive and designed to have minimal impact on the environment through eco-friendly design and operating systems while still offering comfortable accommodation and high standards of hospitality. The guest tents have proper beds and ensuite bathrooms with safari showers and flush toilets. They are ideal for guests who wish to get close to nature and to enjoy an authentic safari experience with excellent guides. Our own award-winning Porini Camps located in exclusive wildlife conservancies are a good example. The advantage of staying in a conservancy is that you have all the wildlife but few other tourist vehicles.

•    Large Tourist Safari Lodges and Larger Permanent Tented Lodges

These are popular with the mass-market tour companies operating minibus tours by road and have the type of facilities expected of hotels, with bars, dining rooms, swimming pools. They usually accommodate over 100 guests and can be a little impersonal but offer a lower-priced option for those on a limited budget.

•    Adventure Camps and Mobile Camping

These camps accommodate up to 18 guests and feature accommodation in small 2-man dome tents. Each tent has its own adjoining bathroom cubicle with safari shower and flush toilet. It is “real camping” with sleeping bags on a mattress on the floor. The camps are designed to offer the same high quality wildlife viewing experience provided by the top-end safari camps, with 4×4 game viewing escorted by top class guides and in exclusive wildlife conservancies away from the tourist minibuses, but at a hugely reduced price. For those for whom the wildlife safari experience is more important than the accommodation, and who are prepared to sleep in small tents in sleeping bags with an element of “roughing it”, this gives an opportunity for an exceptional wildlife experience which is more exclusive, and with high quality guiding, but at a fraction of the price.

Parks, Reserves and Conservancies

Kenya is famous as the original safari country and has over 40 national parks, game reserves and wildlife conservancies where visitors can see a huge variety of wild animals roaming free in their natural habitat. Some of the best-known wildlife areas offering opportunities to see the biggest variety of animal species are Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Samburu and Masai Mara, while others include Tsavo, Meru, Laikipia, the Aberdares and Mt Kenya.


Transport during your Safari

The type of transport which you choose for your travel between the parks and when you go out from the camps on “game drives” to see the wildlife has an important effect on your overall safari experience.
You can choose between driving from Nairobi to the parks which you are visiting on a road safari or flying in for an air safari or a mix of both.

•    Road safaris

Most of the mainstream tour companies with tours to Kenya feature road safaris with transport in minivans which drive overland between the parks. A minibus tour can involve lengthy drives of over 5 hours in duration to get to the park and then you will normally go on your game drives in the same vehicle and with the same driver. These are the type of safaris offered by the mass-market tour companies and are what the majority of visitors to Kenya do. These itineraries usually include stays at the bigger tourist lodges and are an option for people looking for the cheapest tours available. Often such itineraries try to cram in too many places and involve a lot of driving from place to place with not enough time available for viewing wildlife and we recommend against trying to do this. While minibuses are fine for city transfers and for driving on the main highways they are not ideal for game-viewing on bush tracks in the parks and as an alternative on our road safaris we recommend up-grading to a 4×4 safari vehicle instead of a minivan.

•    Fly-in Safaris

Safari Itineraries

We offer a selection of safari itineraries from 2 days to 2 weeks and most of these can be tailored to your own requirements by adding additional nights. Our helpful Safari Consultants will be pleased to assist you in planning your ideal safari.

•    Fly-in Safaris
•    Road Safaris
•    Specialist Safaris

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