Wildlife locations

9 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

Amboseli National Park

The snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro dominates the backdrop of Amboseli National Park and creates a highly scenic setting which, for many, is the classic image of East Africa. A full host of plains game, more than 50 mammals and 400 bird species make this one of Kenya’s most sought-after destinations.

  • Where: Rift Valley Province
  • Ideal for viewing: African elephant, Gerenuk, Leopard, Lesser kudu, Lion
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Laikipia Plateau

Though the wildlife of the Laikipia Plateau is abundant (one of the last refuges for the black rhino), its tranquillity and remoteness is the major attraction. On walking and riding safaris, accompanied by Masai, a total immersion in the African bush is experienced; a feeling of solitude rarely found elsewhere.

  • Where: Central Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Black rhino, Greater kudu, Leopard, Lion, Reticulated giraffe
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is the highest and purest of the Great Rift Valley’s lakes and offers outstanding bird watching with more than 400 species recorded. Its lush vegetation creates a fine setting for Joy Adamson’s house and also supports a variety of other wildlife, as does nearby Hell’s Gate National Park.

  • Where: Rift Valley Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Cape clawless otter, Grant’s gazelle, Impala, Red and blue sunbird, Osprey
  • Excellent for: Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Lake Nakuru National Park

Though Lake Nakuru is relatively small, the lake is known for one of the greatest bird spectacles on earth – thousands of fuschia-coloured flamingos. Over 400 species of birds are found here, and the surrounding park is famous for its sizeable population of rhinos and the rare Rothschild’s giraffe.

  • Where: Rift Valley Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Black rhino, Defassa waterbuck, Lion, Rothschild’s giraffe, White rhino
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy covers 251 sq km and has been in existence since 1995. This private reserve is particularly well known for its successful wildlife conservation, especially in connection with endangered black rhino. The conservancy also plays host to Grevy’s zebra, sitatunga, leopard, lion, elephant and wild dog.

  • Where: Laikipia Plateau
  • Ideal for viewing: Black rhino, Grévy’s zebra, Lion, Wild dog, African elephant
  • Excellent for: Wildlife for families

Mara North Conservancy

In 2009 Mara North Conservancy was formed as a not-for-profit company as a partnership between eleven member camps and over 800 Masai landowners to manage the north-western border of the Masai Mara ecosystem, which represents the heart of possibly the most important wildlife habitat in the world.

  • Where: Adjacent to Masai Mara
  • Ideal for viewing: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, White-bearded wildebeest, Burchell’s zebra
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Walking with wildlife, Vehicle safaris, Wildlife for families

Masai Mara National Reserve

Kenya’s finest wildlife sanctuary, the Masai Mara is a paradise of gently rolling grasslands studded with acacia trees. Remaining as the ancestral homelands of the Masai, a curious harmony between man and wildlife exists that allows a route for the large migrations and home for predators and plains wildlife.

  • Where: Rift Valley Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, Leopard, Lion, Thompson’s gazelle
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Meru National Park

The vast, remote, lowland area of Meru National Park was the setting for Joy Adamson’s book ‘Born Free’. Lined with doum plams, its border with Shaba Reserve is the Ewaso Ng’iro River, and boasts greater diversity of species than some other Kenyan parks, in particular its birdlife.

  • Where: Eastern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Beisa oryx, Gerenuk, Grévy’s zebra, Lesser kudu, Somali ostrich
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu is a remote, arid wilderness of scrub desert and scorched savannah coloured with sandy creams, muted greens and earthen ochre; perfect camouflage for its wildlife and bird species rarely found elsewhere. Large herds of elephant are attracted by the waters of the Ewaso Ng’iro river, bisecting the reserve.

  • Where: Northern Province
  • Ideal for viewing: Beisa oryx, Gerenuk, Grévy’s zebra, Reticulated giraffe, Vulterine guineafowl
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Places to extend your wildlife trip

4 recommended locations for extending your wildlife trip.

Diani Beach

Diani Beach is one of the most exclusive locations for Kenya beach holidays. Situated on Mombasa's south coast, the white sands and turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean create a perfect end to an African holiday.


The coastal city of Mombasa is one of Africa’s major tourist destinations, where you will encounter friendly people, some of the best beaches in the world, world-class hotels and diverse marine life.


Kenya’s bustling capital is more than just a starting point for your wildlife safari. Places to visit in the city include the Karen Blixen Museum, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre.


Located about 20 kilometres south of Malindi, Watamu is a small coastal town that boasts the spectacular Watamu Marine National Park which is home to a thriving population of marine life.

Wildlife trips

Kenya is renowned as one of Africa’s best locations for wildlife, it diversity, endless beauty and world-class facilities guarantee its enduring popularity. As well as the legendary Masai Mara and the Great Rift Valley, it is blessed with rich marine life, the little-known northern desert and temperate highlands around Mount Kenya.

8 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Big Cat Weekend

This ideal whistle-stop wildlife getaway to the Masai Mara is an opportunity to see some of the finest wildlife on earth. Lion, leopard and cheetah hunt topi, eland and gazelle in this pristine wilderness, herds of elephant roam the grasslands, and hippos and crocodiles cruise the riverbanks.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 4 days

Wings over Kenya

The itinerary travels from Amboseli National Park in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, to the highlands of Laikipia Plateau, and on to the savannahs of the Masai Mara. Flying between locations and staying in top quality camps is one of the most exciting ways to experience Kenya’s excellent wildlife areas.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

Marsh Lions Revisited

Meet the Marsh Lions of the Masai Mara – stars of BBC’s Big Cat Diary – during the famed wildebeest migration. Travel in the company of Jonathan Scott, author of the 1980s best seller that documented the story of the pride, and acclaimed wildlife guide Paul Kiprono Kirui who worked alongside him.

  • Trip type: Group tour
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Migration Special

After the Serengeti rains have ended and the grassland has turned to dust, witness the astonishing natural phenomenon of the Great Migration. Huge herds of zebra and wildebeest make the long trip to the Masai Mara in search of fresh pasture. An unforgettable experience and a photographer’s dream.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 8 days

Kenya Adventure Camping

An outstanding value safari, staying in private camps in Amboseli National Park and the Masai Mara. All the big cats can be found here, and large numbers of elephants and giraffes. If you value the opportunities for wildlife and adventure above the need for luxury accommodation, then this is the trip for you!

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 7 days

Masai Warriors & Wildlife Galore

Ideal for young explorers, this awe-inspiring journey visits the land of the Masai warriors on a fun family educational programme in some of Kenya’s finest wildlife reserves. Staying in small camps and lodges, learn about wildlife, identify tracks and listen to the mysterious sounds of the savannah at night.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 9 days

Elephant Watch

Observe elephants at close quarters on this specialist safari providing an opportunity to learn about their social structure in the company of expert Samburu naturalists. Spending four nights at the Elephant Watch Camp, you will participate in game drives and walks, bird walks and bush picnics.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 5 days

Ultimate Kenya Safari

A rich blend of outstanding scenery and memorable wildlife can be found on this trip to three of Kenya’s top wildlife locations - Lake Naivasha, Laikipia Plateau and the Masai Mara. Enjoy game drives, walking safaris and boat trips, before relaxing on Mafangano Island at Lake Victoria.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

When to go

Kenya is a year round destination, but the best season is July to February. The wildebeest migration from the Serengeti into the Masai Mara takes place from July to September.


  • Dry season

    Jan to Feb: A brief dry lull between the short and long rains
  • Long rains

    Mar to May: This is the wettest time of the year
  • Cool and dry

    Jun to Oct: Cool and dry.The best time of year to travel, but peak season
  • Short rains

    Nov to Dec: A couple of months of intermittent rain to freshen things up

Wildlife events

  • Jul to Aug: The Migration – wildebeest & zebra head north to Masai Mara
  • Jul to Sep: Flamingoes in the Rift Valley Lakes
  • Aug to Sep: Time for butterflies!
  • Oct: Migrating humpback whales off the coast
  • Oct to Nov: The migration – herds head south, birds arrive from Eurasia



Sign up for our e-news

We send news and offers 2 to 3 times per month. View a recent e-news.