...Just back from


Ben returns to Kenya to find an infusion of vivid landscapes, colourful tribes and documentary-quality wildlife which make this African country a charming favourite. With so many contrasting regions to explore it is well worth a visit.

Having explored Kenya extensively many times since his first visit in the mid-1990s, Ben recently returned to unearth yet more magical locations and extraordinary experiences. On the Tanzanian border, he found otherworldly soda lakes teeming with flamingos, revisited the Mara Conservancies to see thousands of zebra across the plains and found himself falling in love with a horse called Gypsy on the Laikipia Plateau.

“I found being back in Kenya like visiting a dear old friend, immediately welcoming and familiar but with plenty of new stories to share and endless adventures to embark upon. The wildlife is arguably better than ever, the landscapes are dazzling and new camps have opened up previously unexplored regions. Even if you’ve been before – I recommend a revisit - there is so much more to Kenya than first meets the eye.”

Ben Oxley-Brown

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Ben’s profile
Ben Oxley-Brown


  • Exploring the otherworldly Lake Magadi from the air, extraordinary swirling colours below the Great Rift Valley escarpment.
  • Genuine tribal cultural exchanges with the Maasai.
  • Getting up close to wildlife from horseback
  • Seeing the vast herds of zebra arrive onto the plains of the Masai Mara.
  • Experience dedicated photographic hides
  • Off grid activities; floating on tubes down crocodile-free rivers, riding camels to breakfast and horses to sundowners.

When to Go:

June is the true start of the visiting season that carries on till October - during this time the temperature will continue to rise. The rains then briefly fall in November, teeing up a few months of calm for December, January and February before the long rains arrive in March, April and May, though recent years have seen droughts during this time.

Who For:

Everyone from completely novice safari-goers to the most experienced Africa explorers, for every age group. We can tailor some extraordinary journeys in Kenya for all.

Getting There:

Kenya is served by British Airways and Kenya Airways with direct flights taking just over 8 hours. Travel within the country is best done by light aircraft which can connect to even the remotest locations.


“Kenya proves once again that there is so much more to safari than the usual Big Five. The dramatic landscapes, shaped by the Rift Valley have created a tapestry of biomes each with different incredible wildlife”

Kenya is famed for its wildlife and was one of the first countries in Africa to promote safaris. The Great Migration is an annual draw to the Masai Mara, describable as the World Cup of wildlife with seemingly never-ending herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle being pursued by the predators.

Yet away from this moveable feast, I discovered other extraordinary wildlife encounters. With over 1100 different bird species it is an ornithological paradise, with different biomes supporting wildly different species from flocks of flamingo on soda lakes to great blue turacos in the Kakamega forest reserve.

On land there are endemic species dotted across the whole country as well as true rarities such as the black leopard which is currently prowling the Laikipia Plateau. Packs of painted dogs, hard to find in many countries, hunt and den across many conservancies in the northern rangelands. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, up to 70% of Kenya’s wildlife lives outside of the protection of the national parks and reserves. So many people believe that the future of conservation in Kenya lies in this new breed of private reserves — there are at least 15 such conservancies in north Kenya alone. This also creates a unique situation where ancient tribes cohabit the land with all manner of wildlife.


Kenya has ripped up the rule book on what a safari should look like. The era of two fixed game drives per day has been eschewed in favour of immersive experiences. Parts of the country are a natural playground with waterfalls to jump off and rivers to kayak, swim and fish. Exploring on horseback or by camel opens up whole new terrain at a different pace. Walking safaris enable you to get far from other humans and to find vistas that the box tickers will never find.


Standing on the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley with views across soda lakes to the Ngorongoro Highlands in neighbouring Tanzania, I was gazing at a land that has been forged by millennia of tectonic movement and volcanic upheaval. Ancient burial sites reveal the earliest of human ancestors and yet nearby are the lush green open plains of the Serengeti. To the north against the backdrop of Mount Kenya are the Loldaiga Hills, rocky orange outcrops above the Laikipia Plateau, this is a more arid land where the Ewaso River nourishes the wildlife and the nomadic tribes which pass through.

With Kenya effectively being divided in half by the equator, the country has an embarrassment of biomes. Every type of vegetation can be found explaining the diversity of wildlife – from glacial meltwaters and high mountains to the arid deserts in the far north and then the open plains to a tropical coastline, Kenya packs a hefty punch within a fairly concise area.


The vivid checked red cloth of the Maasai shuka cloth is a talismanic sight in Kenya. Standing proud against a background of grassland or savannah, the shukas can help you spot the men out herding their cattle under the fierce sun. Their colourful beaded necklaces denote the origins of various factions within the tribe – the region around Shompole in the south use more white beads in their patterns which really make them stand out. In the north, the sharp prongs of a vertical feather headdress denote the Samburu, again complimented by beadwork and flowing wraps of plaid cloth – an arresting sight at the airstrip!


A highlight of this recent trip to Kenya was spending a fascinating evening with a Maasai family as the herders returned to the homestead with hundreds of goats and then later on as the sun was setting, the cattle.

During the day the boma is quiet, a few goat kids and some of the women go about their daily lives whilst the men are out with the animals, walking them daily to find good grazing and then onto the river to drink.

To be in the homestead as all arrived home was an assault on the senses, the cattle kicked up dust and the bleating of the goats and the bells of the cattle drown out the previous silence.

“Time spent with these ancient tribes gives an insight into the connection between the land, wildlife and their daily lives and customs.”
Ol Malo, Laikipia, Kenya, Africa


Choose from an authentic tented camp, hidden in a river valley deep in Maasai land or perhaps an all singing and dancing ultra luxe lodge might suit your needs best. Between the two are original ranch owners’ houses – now transformed into boutique safari lodges where you will be instilled with the history of these beautiful places and people.

Below are a few places I visited in this recent trip as well as Sosian Lodge in Laikipia which was an absolute favourite.




One of the original luxury tented camps in the Mara North Conservancy set amongst a small grove of trees and seconds from some of the finest wildlife viewing in the world. So engrained into the landscape, the local pride of lions is known as the Offbeat pride and the guides here know every inch of the terrain. The camp is stylish with all the comfort you couple possibly want, a team headed by the vivacious Jennifer look after you incredibly well and with only a handful of tents, the attention to detail for guests is superb.

Must do

Sundowner drinks, overlooking the Mara North conservancy is the most wonderful way to round off a day of safari, perhaps listening to the eponymous Offbeat lions calling across the savannah with an ice cold drink in hand. The sunsets are mesmerising.



An enclave of calm overlooking a beautiful river flowing through the heart of Maasailand in the south of Kenya, Shompole Wilderness is an exclusive-use lodge.

Instantly welcoming and offering a highly personalised service, a day at Shompole could include anything from tubing the river, walking with the Masaii, flying over pink lakes and flamingos plus of course day and night drives. The camp itself also has a pool and animal-spotting hide, and evenings are for enjoying chef-prepared meals from the camp kitchen.

Must do

Make time to spend an early morning or evening in Shompole’s hide, which overlooks a watering hole. With a remotely operated lighting rig and sound insulation, the ground level hide is an incredible place to spot bird and game coming for a drink at the water’s edge.



Located on the side of a hill in the Olkirimatian Conservancy in Kenya’s South Rift Valley, Lentorre Lodge is owned by the local Masai community. Bringing rustic-luxe to the wilderness, Lentorre has six beautifully crafted villas, each with their own plunge pool and epic, uninterrupted views over to the Shompole mountain.  Here it’s easy to immerse yourself in the environment from dawn until dusk – walk with baboons, visit a Masai village, float down the river, take a safari as the sun sets, then gaze in wonder at the stars overhead, using the camp’s telescope the bring the night sky into focus.

Must do

Nearby to Lentorre are two of the largest soda lakes in the Rift Valley. Either by road or helicopter, admire the extraordinary, swirled colours of the alkaline lakes and their resident flamingos.


Offbeat Ndoto

Just four tents share this hidden valley in the heart of the Mara North Conservancy. The area has such prolific wildlife that the local lion pride is named the Offbeat pride and as the migration rolls into the area, the predators do extremely well. Offbeat has been honing its safari hospitality skills for years and the latest addition to their small portfolio is testament to that. Expect exceptional game viewing, a wonderful small camp atmosphere and the feeling of being in the middle of the action.

Must do

The early morning starts on safari are incredibly rewarding, the big cats prefer hunting in the cool of the day and this is when the most action takes place. On the plains close to camp, cheetah often wait to ambush their prey at high speed so it is well worth keeping an eye on them first thing.

camel, samburu, kenya, laikipia

Have questions? Our knowledgeable team of experts are on-hand to take your call or if you prefer by Zoom. Talk to us about your holiday dreams or challenge us with your travel conundrums.

Get in touch

Keep Browsing

Enjoy reading our colourful collection of travel blogs, insider journeys and first-person insights. Our articles are designed to fuel your wanderlust. Feeling inspired? Give us a call and our experts can start planning your next travel experience.

The review
Arijiju Retreat

A sensational private-hire house hewn into a hillside of Laikipia’s Borana Conservancy, Arijiju is an architectural hideaway with views to Mount Kenya.

Booking with Bailey Robinson means access to the finest travel experiences. When planning your holiday we do all the hard work – in-depth research and meticulous organisation. You can be confident in the individual care for your holiday from your dedicated and experienced Personal Travel Designer and Concierge.
The review
Serian Ngare – Kenya
The Great Migration – When & Where
Tanzania, Kenya
Travel Ideas