Top 13 Kenyan Tour Highlights

Kenya has so much to offer holiday lovers, from the rich different cultures, the beautiful long stretches of white sandy beaches, the snow capped mountain, various wildlife national parks full of wildlife, among many other attractions. Below are some of our top Kenyan tour highlights.

    1. The Great Migration:- The Great Migration is one of the great wonders of Africa; where thousands of wildebeest, zebras, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson gazelle, eland and impalas migrate from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya, in search of fresh grazing land and water.
      It is said to be the largest land mammal migration on earth with over two million mammals traveling approximately 1,800 miles round the migration cycle in east Africa.

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    2. Big Five Safari Tour:-When you read about an African safari, the word ‘Big Five’ will often come up. Tour operators use the word to refer to some of the most popular wildlife in Africa. The ‘Big Five’ includes the Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. The word was originally used by hunters, to refer to the five most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt in Africa, after abolishing hunting in most countries in Africa, tour operators took the word ‘Big Five’ coined it to refer to the five most popular wildlife to watch in Africa, Of course there are other animals like Cheetah, hippo, gorilla, giraffe, wildebeest and crocodiles that are also popular but not to the level of the Big five.Major national parks and reserves to spot all the Big Five in Kenya includes Masai Mara national park , Samburu national reserve and Amboseli national park ; there are other private reserves and wildlife conservancies that you can visit and watch all the big five us well.
    3. Bird Watching tour :- Kenya is one of the top birding destinations in the world; with over 1089 different bird species recorded (around 11 percent of the world total bird species), is no doubt a heaven for bird lovers. Major bird watching is done along the Great Rift Valley alkaline lakes, the rain-forests, rivers and the semi arid desert that provide great conditions for bird foraging and breeding.
      Major birding destinations in Kenya includes visiting Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita, lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria ; here you will see large numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos, herons, egrets, Kingfishers, geese, storks, eagles, cranes among many others. At Lake Victoria you will sport birds such as Papyrus Gonolek, Hammerkops, Herons, and Jacanas. While at Lake Naivasha you can spot the African fish Eagle, Cranes, kingfisher, Bustard among many others. and in national parks you easily spot Eagles, Vultures and Scavengers that hugely depend on the predator making a kill, so they can feed on the leftovers and the dead animals.

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    4. Hiking and Mountain Climbing:- is among the main attractions in Kenya, there are a couple of mountains and hills in Kenya; this includes Mt Kenya, Mt Elgon, Mount Longonot, Mt Suswa, Ngong Hills, Loroghi Hills, Western Highland, Shimba Hills and Taita Chyulu Hills among others. Mount Kenya is the most popular for mountain climbing, its the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, its located across the equator with a height of 5,199 m and a snow-capped peak.
    5. Hot Air Balloon Safari:- flight safari is a unique way of viewing wildlife beneath you while flying quietly above the beautiful open plains, full of wildlife. The pilot usually narrates about the history of the beautiful views, animals and birds beneath you. The flight is usually in the morning and takes about one hour, then it is followed with a nice well set bush breakfast.
    6. Horse Riding Safari:- Horse riding safari is another special way of exploring and enjoying Africa, imagine riding across the open plains of Masai mara or Samburu with giraffe, antelopes, wildebeest and zebras; watching elephants, buffaloes and other animals from a distance.
    7. Snorkeling and Diving:- The Kenyan coast has some of the best coral gardens and clear waters that makes it a heaven for divers and snorkelers, diving activities ranges from wreck diving, drift reef diving, scuba diving, deep see diving to night diving. Watamu, Mombasa, Malindi and Diani are the best areas for diving and snorkeling in Kenya.
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    8. Water rafting, kayaking and Canoeing:- Water spot combines the sport adrenaline adventure, sightseeing and game viewing; the perfect place for water rafting, kayaking and Canoeing is along the Tana River, Sagana River, Malewa River, Mathioya River, Athi River and Ewaso Ng’iro River, Lamu along the coastline (sea kayaking), Lake Baringo, and Lake Naivasha among other places in Kenya.
    9. Dhow sailing:- is one of the oldest and most traditional Arabian way of sailing along the Indian Ocean, its an adventurous way to explore the islands and can be combined with other activities like Kayaking, surfing, fishing and diving. It’s Ideal for families or group of friends.
    10. Bungee jumping:- This is an extreme adventure only for the brave ones; Bungee jumping at Sagana is done along River Tana on steel structure 60 meter (200 feet) high, regardless of it being very safe, you can be sure of an adrenaline adventure.
    11. Play Golf:- Golfing in Kenya is so diverse and exciting; it could be in Diani along the seafront or along the stunning view of the Great Rift Valley or close to a city center. A golf vacation can be combined with other beach or Safari activities to maximize your holiday in Kenya.
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    12. High Altitude Training:- For Athletes who want to enhance their athletics skill as well tour the Great Rift Valley, Kenya hosts some of the best high altitude training venues and camps in Africa, with altitude over 2500m above the sea level, you can be sure to reap the benefit of the high altitude training camps.
    13. Cultural Visits:- with over 42 tribes and cultures, Kenya is not a homogeneous country; each ethic group have their own cultural and traditional history to tell, through their music and dance, art and artifacts, traditional houses, staple foods, clothing and decorations, culture values and believes. One of the outstanding cultures are the famous Masaai people, Samburu, Turkana and Pokot people who are pastoralist and peacefully inhabit with wild animals.

Overland Safari Tour

African Overland Safari Tour

African Overland safari tour, is a unique way and the most affordable way to see the best of Africa; the mixture of the different cultures, wildlife parks full of wildlife and the beautiful landscapes is un-equaled to any other in the world. An overland tour varies from various entities you choose, these could range from a one week safari in a single country to a 60 days cross Africa tour, covering major attractions in countries within north eastern, eastern and southern Africa.

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Major Overland Safari Tour Tips

Destinations

It is extremely difficult to explore or cover all major attractions along this north eastern, eastern to southern Africa corridor; it requires a lot of energy, time and resources. Travelers should do their research and identify major attractions they wish to watch and select an Overland tour package that covers their route of attractions.

Major Overland safari tour routes includes:-

  • Kenya – Tanzania – Malawi – Zambia – Botswana – Namibia – South Africa.
  • Kenya – Uganda – Tanzania – Malawi – Zambia – Botswana – Namibia – South Africa.
  • Tanzania – Zanzibar – Malawi – Mozambique – Zimbabwe – Botswana – South Africa.
  • Kenya – Tanzania – Malawi -Zambia – Zimbabwe – Botswana – South Africa.
  • Egypt – Ethiopia – Sudan – Uganda – Tanzania – Malawi – Mozambique – Zimbabwe – Botswana – Namibia – South Africa.

In order to enjoy an Overland tour, it is advised to move at a moderate speed, spending at least a day or two exploring major attractions before moving to the next. Also allow adequate rest and stop overs between long distance drives; this can be achieved by inserting a few city tour, culture and village tours, golfing and deep sea diving activities or just taking a day off to just rest in a hotel. The above routes would take between 22 and 60 days, depending with the attractions chosen.

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Attractions

Major attractions on an Overland Safari tour would include visiting major national parks to watch wildlife; lakes, mountains and forests to watch birds and the outstanding landscapes; cultural tour in various regions, city tour, museum and zoo tours, sporting tour (hot air balloon flights, white water rafting, golfing, diving, bungee jumping etc) and many other attractions in Africa.  Below is a list of some of the popular places to guide you choose your Overland route:-

Transport

Usually most parts of an Overland safari is covered by road, this means driving hundreds of kilometers for a couple of days on good roads and sometimes rough and bumpy roads; it is advised to shorten the long drives by inserting activities in between to allow a rest and sometimes travelers can skip a certain section by taking a flight and rejoin the group at a later stage e.g. after touring Egypt traveler can take a flight to Kenya skipping a tour of Sudan and Ethiopia, joining the group in Kenya.

After heavy rains, some of the roads and bridges might be swept away, forcing the Overland team to slightly re-route your journey to a different route; it is advised to be flexible and take the adventure positively.

Accommodation

Accommodation while in an Overland safari tour can vary from bush campsites in the middle of a wilderness to fully luxurious hotels and lodges; it usually depends with the choice of the group and what is available. On a normal Overland route accommodation is usually in campsite with optional lodges on the way, a tent is usually shared by two people; they are large enough for two, with a mosquito net over the door and window areas, a sewn in ground sheet and a separate flysheet; You will have to provide your own sleeping bag, sleeping mat and a pillow if you need one. Most of the campsites are secure and have the basic facilities (hot shower, toilet and a washing area).

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Food

In an Overland Safari, there is a full time chef who plans and prepares the meals; Meals consist of a breakfast (bread, spreads and cereals with a hot breakfast after every few days); an en-route self-prepared sandwich lunch with all the ingredients provided; a cooked dinner in the evening, the dinner menus would vary from curries, stews, pastas, BBQ’s, down to African cuisines or any special request from the group (vegetarian, vegan or people with certain food allergies). Where fresh product is required, the menu may change due to the availability of the product in the area.

Vaccinations and Health

There are no compulsory vaccinations required for Overland Safari in Africa unless you are arriving from an area known to have Yellow Fever or other outbreaks, then you will be required to have a vaccination, however it is advised to check with each country you intend to visit as the rules might have changed. For general health check up, it’s advisable to visit your personal doctor for proper information on which vaccine to take, we highly advice our clients to have an anti-malaria vaccine or tablets and only drink bottled or boiled water throughout your stay in Africa.

Insurance

It’s not compulsory to have an insurance cover for Overland Safari, but it’s highly advised to have comprehensive travel and health insurance to cover emergency medical evacuation, insurance to loss of baggage or valuables, personal accident and medical expenses (especially for families and the elderly).

What to carry

In general it’s good to pack light casual wear , with a couple of shorts, T-shirts, light shoes/sandals to wear during the day and long sleeve T-shirts / shirts, trousers, a light jacket for the evenings. For more information on what to pack for a Overland safari, refer to our Safari holiday section or Beach holiday section.

Security

Most places along the Overland route are generally safe, however its good not to invite crime; by keeping an eye on your belongings, avoid walking alone on areas you are not sure off especially at night and leave valuable jewelry at home.

Shopping

Most top destinations and hotels along the Overland route have souvenirs and gift shops; selling wide range of African jewelry, artifacts and trinkets. Don’t be afraid to bargain as is the norm and part of doing business in most countries in Africa, just assess the item and be reasonable with the offer you give.

Traveling with Children

Most Africans love children and are very helpful especially to mothers; however Overland Safari is not suitable for kids under 12 years.

Language

Most countries in Africa either use English or French as their first or second national language together with other local languages, it is good to learn a few local words to interact and connect with the locals.

Climate

Africa is huge and the climate may vary with regions, generally it’s dry and hot with cool nights/mornings. The long rains are usually in March – May, short rains in November to December and cold in June – July. The coastal regions are usually hot and humid all year around.

Visa Requirements

For all foreigners traveling to Africa require a visa (except from countries with exceptions), in order to acquire a visa, you need at least 6 months valid passport with at least one unused page for endorsement for each country you plan to visit , two application forms, application fee (varies from $ 50), two passport size photograph and a safari itinerary.

Visa application can be done in embassy or high Commission offices in your country and in some countries the application can be done at the entry points, Check out with the country you intend to visit for exact details or Contact us to assist you with the exact information.

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Etiquette

Africa is made up of mixed societies with majority being conservative; courtesy and good manners are highly advised especially in the rural areas and Islamic strong holds. For photographers, always ask permission before taking a picture of the local people.

Tipping

Tipping for good service in major places in Africa is customary although not a must; it’s a good gesture of appreciation. In some hotels they add a service charge onto your bill that serve as tip to service given, so it’s good to check on the bill or ask before giving a tip.

Giving Gifts

To our own view, we recommend not to hand out gifts to locals without a proper reason as it encourages locals to be dependent on tourists instead of independently financing their livelihood; gifts should be given as a true expression of friendship, appreciation or thanks.

Electricity and Time Difference

Most countries along the Overland routes use electricity supply of 220V or 240V with two or three pin plugs; carry an adapter if you have a different type of plug. The time difference varies with countries from -3 GMT to +3 GMT.

Currency & Currency exchange

All countries along the Overland routes use different currency and accept major curries like the USD, Euros and pounds in major hotels and destinations. Please note that due to the number of fake notes in circulation, US Dollar note printed before 2003 are not accepted in most countries (try carry notes printed after 2006).

There are several Banks and ATMs services in all major traveling destinations where Visa/master/American express cards are accepted. Currency exchange can be done at any local bank, bureau de change and in some authorized hotels.