Kenya is a great safari destination for bi-leisure travellers. The country has a beautiful topography made of vast savannah grasslands, mountains, beautiful beaches, and lakes. It is home to some of the best game parks and reserves in Africa. These include the Amboseli National Park, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and more.
Inside these parks, you will get up close with a wide range of African animals including the Big Five while staying in world-class hotels and lodges that are built with bi-leisure travellers in mind. Kenyan game reserves and national parks are well-connected with airstrips, good roads, and trains. Commuting to the various destinations is butter smooth.
In a single day, you can book a safari trip to Masai Mara to see all members of the big 5 and be back for a business conference in Nairobi by 5 pm. The trick is to work with local tour operators such as AjKenyasafaris.com or Masaimarasafari.in to help you put together a thrilling safari.
So, which are the best Kenya safari destinations?
Masai Mara Game Reserve
Masai Mara is located 295 km northwest of Nairobi city, roughly 6 hours to the Sekani Gate via the Nairobi-Naivasha-Narok road.
The drive to the Mara is memorable, and it takes you through the Great-Rift Valley, past the Suswa ranges and other natural wonders.
Usually, you will stop at Narok town for lunch and to stretch those legs.
You can also opt for a domestic flight from the Wilson Airport to Masai Mara. The flight takes 45 minutes.
This game reserve is popular for the spectacular wildebeest migration.
During the annual event, over 2 million wildebeest, zebras, elands, and different species of antelopes migrate from the Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania, across the Mara River into the Kenyan Masai Mara game reserve. It is a phenomenon you would not want to miss!
That is not all though. In Mara, we guarantee you sightings of all the Big Five games.
The park’s black rhino is a little elusive, but it can be spotted. Elephants, giraffes, hippos, African buffalos, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and zebras are common here.
Besides seeing the wild animals, Masai cultural villages will top up your safari experience in the Mara.
Because of its rich biodiversity, the Masai Mara National Reserve attracts international wildlife documentary producers. The famous BBC’s Big CAT Diary that records the life of lions, cheetahs and leopards was filmed in the heart of the Mara.
What can you do at the Mara? As an all-year-round safari destination, the Masai Mara offers several fun things to do. These include:
- Game viewing
- Night game drives
- Cultural tours to Masai villages
- Hot air ballooning
- Bush breakfast, lunch, and dinner
The best time to visit is July through to October. This is the time you can witness millions of wildebeest crossing the swollen Mara River as giant crocodiles feast on them!
Masaimarasafari.in will always plan for a memorable Masai Mara tour for you. Early November up to February is another good time for fascinating game viewing in the Mara too.
For a business trip in the Mara, we recommend staying in Angama Mara, Mara Serena Safari Lodge, Ashnil Mara Camp, and the Governors Camp.
Nairobi National Park
Located just 7 km south of Nairobi’s CBD, the Nairobi National Park is a must-visit destination for many business travellers who visit Kenya.
It is a wide-open grassland plain that is home to Big Cats, hyenas, the rare black rhino, giraffes, and buffaloes.
The park is also home to a wide variety of bird species including ostrich, black-headed heron, and blacksmith lapwing, among others.
Nairobi National Park is the only game park in the world that lies at the backyard of a capital city! It is visible from some of the tallest buildings in the CBD such as the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.
Similarly, Nairobi’s skyline can be seen from the park.
The park captured global attention in 1989 when President Moi set ablaze over 11 tonnes of ivory tusks in the park.
They had been seized from poachers in a bid to save the elephant from extinction. In 2016, President Uhuru burned another 100 tonnes of ivory at the same site. It is a historical place to visit.
The park’s animal orphanage gives you a chance to see lions, cheetahs, and leopards at an awfully close range and take memorable photos with them.
Its Safari Walk will give you a breath-taking and uninterrupted glimpse of what to expect in the park.
The Safari Walk is made of wooden boardwalk raised several meters above the ground to enable visitors to see animals in their natural setting.
You will be able to sample animals such as the rare bongo, albino zebras, antelopes, the big cats, birds, and many local tree species.
When Moreno Ocampo, former UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, and the legendary Usain Bolt visited Nairobi, they fell in love with the park!
The Jamaican sprinter went ahead to adopt a cheetah cub at the park’s animal orphanage naming it “Lightning Bolt.”
At this park, you can indulge in any of the following activities:
- Very close-up game viewing
- Refreshing nature walk
- Bird watching
- Team building
The best thing about Nairobi National Park is that you can visit it at any time and see a variety of wild animals.
The best hotels to stay during a business trip in Nairobi include Prideinn hotel, Hilton Hotel, Villa Rosa Kempinski, Ole Sereni, and more.
If you are a beach holiday and safari enthusiast, Diani is the best destination for you. It is located approximately 531 km from Nairobi along Kenya’s south coast in Kwale County.
In less than two hours, you can fly from Nairobi to Ukunda airport that is close to Diani Beach.
You can also fly directly to Mombasa International Airport then take a short flight or ferry ride to Diani Beach.
The Beach has beautiful, soft white sand and a breath-taking surrounding by the Indian Ocean. It is one of the best relaxing retreats in Kenya. For 5 consecutive years, Diani Beach has been rated as Africa’s best beach destination.
Diani is home to a variety of hotels, resorts, sea lodges, and budget stays where you can enjoy luxurious coastal seafood.
There are plenty of fun activities you can indulge in. Some of them include:
- Dolphin and sea turtle watching
- Glass bottom boat rides
- Kite and windsurfing
- Sacred forest walk-throughs
Although you can visit Diani Beach at any time of the year, many tourists prefer a little cooler month.
These run from July to September. Hotter and dry months of January, February and part of March are also preferred visiting times.
The weather is simply perfect, and the price-performance ratio is best during these months.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Located roughly 160 km northwest of Nairobi, Lake Nakuru National Park seats right on the Great Rift Valley’s floor.
It is surrounded by bushy and wooded grassland. This surrounding, coupled with picturesque ridges and the surrounding escarpment, make it beautiful.
It is famous for the sanctuary it provides to millions of flamingos and pelicans. Lake National Park is also home to Kenya’s largest population of black and white rhinos. In addition, there are also hippos, lions, endangered Rothschild’s giraffes, and leopards.
It will take you about 3 hours to get to Lake Nakuru National Park using the Nairobi – Nakuru highway. However, the park is served by the Naishi airstrip for quick access with very well maintained motorable park roads. If you want to bring along your family, AjKenyasafaris.com can help you get the best family safari packages to the park.
There is no boredom at this park. Here is what you can engage in:
- Game viewing
- Bird watching
For the best wildlife viewing, visit Lake Nakuru National Park from June through to March. This is the time with the best weather conditions since there will be little rainfall. It’s also the time when the park gets very busy.
Hell’s Gate National Park
Hell’s Gate National Park lies about 104 km northwest of Nairobi. It takes roughly 2 hours to drive to the Park using the Nairobi – Naivasha Highway from which you branch and drive 14 km before arriving.
Like the Lake Nakuru National Park, Hell’s gate is also located within the rift valley. Indeed, it takes about a quarter of the Great Rift Valley.
It has spectacular scenery that includes breath-taking water-gouged gorges, imposing cliffs, and stark rock towers.
The park is also home to Kenya’s Olkaria Geothermal Station whose plumes of steam make it very atmospheric.
While at the park, you can enjoy:
- Bird watching
- Rock climbing
The best months to visit Hell’s Gate National Park run from June to early March when there is little rainfall.
This is the best time for rock climbing and hiking since the deep gorges are prone to flash floods. It’s also the best season for game watching.