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Holidays in Kenya

When you think of Africa, you’ll likely conjure up visions of a silhouetted acacia tree shimmering under a buttery sunset, or great herds of wildlife charging through the dusty savannah. This is Kenya, a microcosm of classic Africa.

But when you think Kenya, you also think safari. The Great Migration is one of the planet’s finest wildlife spectacles but the country’s diverse landscapes overflow with other unforgettable encounters, too. Spy the ‘Big Five’ in the foothills of Mount Kenya and glimpse lions slaking their thirst in the country’s desolate north. Kenya’s gorgeous vistas are deserving of their own attention, whether it’s sipping freshly brewed coffee under snow-dusted Mount Kilimanjaro’s watchful gaze or soaking up the ancient lands of the frontier north.

Wildlife-filled landscapes are just half of Kenya’s story. The creamy beaches and luxury hideaways of Kenya’s eastern coast are perfect for a relaxing holiday after safari thrills while the country’s people charm everyone who visits. Over 40 tribal groups are deeply rooted in Kenya’s landscapes and your key to getting under the country’s skin, assisting as attendants in private reserves or knowledgeable guides. But that’s the real lure of Kenya, it peels back the continent to reveal it at its most beautiful. Kenya is pure Africa.

Kenya Highlights

1) Masai Mara

An endless expanse of sun-scorched grassland, the Masai Mara National Reserve is a must on any visit to Kenya. Between July and October, the iconic Great Migration reaches its conclusion here, where upwards of two million wildebeests, zebras, topis and more stampede from the Serengeti. Beyond its headlining phenomenon, the Masai Mara also boasts the planet’s highest density of lions, who roam the grasses alongside giraffes, impala, elephants and countless others in this spectacular wildlife-filled land.

2) Lewa

Nestled in the foothills of Mount Kenya, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is one of Kenya’s true success stories. Due to poaching, Lewa’s rhino population stood at a critical 15 in 1983. Now, over 160 white and black rhinos thrive in the safe savannah the conservancy has created. It ranks alongside the Masai Mara for wildlife, with its rangers taking you nose-to-horn with its famous residents on safari drives. It’s not only rhinos who’ve benefitted from the great work at Lewa – Grevy’s zebras, cheetahs, hyenas and the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard and rhino) all call this haven home.

3) Laikipia

For a flavour of Africa, look no further than Laikipia. While it boasts wildlife to rival anywhere else in the country – including rhinos and Grevy’s zebras – here it’s all about the experience. Stays in colonial bush homes give you prime access to this ancient patchworked landscape of semi-arid plains and acacia-blanketed hills, a place for you to soak up a classic African picture. But perhaps the star of the show here is the fascinating Samburu people and these lodges act as gateways to experience their culture and traditions, where you can witness warrior dances and skilled bead makers at work.

4) Chyulu Hills

Everywhere you turn in this tucked-away national park is a unique vista: riverine forests, lakes, cloud forests and vast savannahs. The volcanic emerald contours after which Chyulu Hills is named are framed by ancient lava flows long since cooled but still brimming with legend. Safari game drives are a real adventure in these shifting landscapes as you search for leopards, elephants and buffaloes in the wilderness, all under surveillance from the epic, rugged slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro.

5) Kenya’s coast

Mixing the perfect blend of nature and history, Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline is the ideal way to end a holiday filled with sensational safari experiences. Its flour-white curves are fringed with kaleidoscopic coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, perfect for snorkelling straight off the beach. While its sands draw travellers today, they once lured the Arab spice traders of yesteryear and their presence can still be felt. Forts pock the shoreline and you can take traditional dhow trips around the bay – still an important part of Swahili culture today.

Island of the month: Mauritius

Mauritius isn’t just an island to enjoy a luxury hotel with soft, white sandy shores and delicious locally grown food with tip-top service. It’s also an island to explore and find exhilarating activities such as hiking, zip-lining and horse riding, as well as helicopter tours and swimming to a waterfall.

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Island of the month: Mauritius

Mauritius isn’t just an island to enjoy a luxury hotel with soft, white sandy shores and delicious locally grown food with tip-top service. It’s also an island to explore and find exhilarating activities such as hiking, zip-lining and horse riding, as well as helicopter tours and swimming to a waterfall.