In this film Wild Frontiers, Jonny Bealby, explains about tourism in Kenya. Here is the text…
Jonny here, right now I am at Borana Ranch, high on the Laikipia Plateau, in the lee of Mount Kenya. And in this short film I am going to talk about tourism in Kenya.
If I asked what’s the first thing you think about when turning your mind to travel in this colourful East African country, you’d almost certainly say wildlife. And of course you’d be right as over 80 percent of holidays here will have a wildlife element.
From the Marsabit National Park in the north, to the Masai Mara and Amboseli National Parks in the south, the planes of Kenya are teeming with wildlife or all shapes and sizes offering, along with its neighbour Tanzania, the best place in the world to view game. And if you throw in Mount Kenya and the Aberdares, the Laikipia Plateau and the Matthews Range, the Lamu Archipelago and the rest of the Kenyan coast, and some of the most spectacular and evocative accommodation anywhere on earth, then here in Kenya you have a true world class travel experience.
The Masai Mara is probably the most famous national park. Covering more than 500sqm, the Mara is universally renowned for its exceptional populations of lion, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffalo and giraffe and for the famous migration of wildebeest that takes place every year from July to October.
But the Masai Mara is by no means the only show in town. Further to the east you have Amboseli National Park with its epic views of Kilimanjaro, to the north you have Samburu, Marsabit and Meru National Parks, and here on Laikipia, in the Lewa conservancy, where the savannah is awash with elephants, giraffe, the quirky Grevy zebra and a new and burgeoning population of black rhino.
And as for the accommodation, well that is quite simply out of this world. Yes, to get the best you’re going to pay, but in our opinion the experience you’ll enjoy and quality of service you’ll receive — plus of course the game you’ll see — does make this value for money. There is simply nothing else like it on earth. Among many amazing places to stay, my personal favourites are Else’s Kopje in Meru, Saruni in Samburu, Richard’s Camp or Serian in the Mara, and either Sabuk or Borana here on the Laikipia Plateau.
But tourism in Kenya is not only about wild animals. The Kenyan Coast, stretching all the way from Diani Beach in the south the Lamu archipelago in the north, with its white sand beaches and gentle turquoise seas — particularly when the trade winds are blowing in the right direction from November through to March — again coupled with some fabulous accommodation, combine to make this a truly world class beach experience.
And if you like to meet the people — an important factor in most Wild Frontiers adventures — there are plenty of opportunities, particularly at Sarara, in the Matthews Range, at Il Ngwesi north or Mount Kenya and here at Borana.
To get around there is are great quality land cruisers, a brilliant air service, either in scheduled flights or on private charters, a classic bi-plane, or if you really want to push the boat out and get to places few others can reach, a truly amazing helicopter service, run by our friends at Tropic Air.
A classic African safari is a travel experience like no other, and one that all travellers should do at least once in their lives. And for that, in my opinion, there’s nowhere better than Kenya.