“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.
WHERE TO STAY
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.
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.