Kenya straddles the equator. The Great Rift Valley passes through its middle, resulting in high mountains on either side, and volcanoes and pristine lakes in the valley. Overall Kenya has an amazing variety of scenery and climate. Here we can choose to stay in one of the exclusive permanent camps or lodges available, or stay in our own private mobile tented camp.
The central highlands, such as the Aberdare Range and the rugged snow-capped Mount Kenya, are covered in thick montane forest, while other areas are dominated by wide open grasslands.
On these plateaux we find well-established high country ranches, some of which have stayed in the same family since early colonial days. They can be delightful places to stay for a few days between camps. It is possible to go fishing, do horseback rides, go on a camel safari, game drive, bird shoot and hike in many of these.
The Arid north
Much of the north is arid semi-desert. There in reserves such as Meru, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba, and in private reserves and ranches, different species of fauna to lands further south are encountered such as Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, vulturine guinea-fowl, Somali ostrich and Beisa oryx to name a few.
The Rift Valley
In the rift valley temperature increases, as rainfall decreases. Here extinct volcanos and soda lakes are common, and the scenery is stunning. One of these lakes, Lake Nakuru, is renowned for its dense populations of flamingos.
Further west is the Masai Mara game reserve, a lush area teeming with wildlife and bordering the Serengeti national park.
This is probably the most game rich part of Kenya. The Mara is literally teeming with wildlife, and is a wildlife enthusiast’s heaven. Bordering the Serengeti in Tanzania, a migration of about 2 million animals arrive from the south in July or August, and move in search of forage and water until sometime in November when they return.
Between the central highlands and the steamy tropical coast is a dry scrub-covered plateau, much of it protected as in Kenya’s largest national park – Tsavo. On this plateau there are also the Chuyulu Hills – a ridge of volcanic ash, and the Amboseli swamps and lakes, where some of the waters from Mount Kilimanjaro bubble to the surface.
The Kenya Coast is a wonderful mix of Asian and African cultures. The cuisine here reflects this mélange. The beaches are sandy white, and some of the places to stay are idyllic, remote and luxurious. Here warm breezes from the Indian Ocean cool the coastal shores…. islands such as Lamu and Kiwaiyu. Here it is possible to stay in quiet secluded camps on white sandy beaches, relax, go snorkelling, diving, deep sea fishing (Fishing for billfish here can be outstanding.), or sailing in a dhow.