Reasons to Visit
If you are looking for superb game viewing, Kenya is a serious contender. You are likely to see leopard, lion and cheetah in the Masai Mara, home of BBC’s Big Cat Diaries, in addition to fantastic and varied game viewing both here and in Kenya’s other parks and reserves.
In the Great Migration two million ungulates including wildebeest, zebra and antelope species, undertake a journey of roughly 1,600 kilometres. The herds reach the Masai Mara in July and remain there until October when, following the rain, they start the slow march southwards back to the Serengeti Plains.
If you want to enjoy the game reserves to yourself and don't mind the odd rain shower, June it is an excellent time to visit Kenya. During this time the animals take advantage of the abundant food and give birth to their young. They can be a little harder to spot because of the increased vegetation but you should not have to wait too long before seeing something new and you should still see all the animals that you would during the dryer months. It is also worth mentioning that travel at this time can be less expensive than travel later in the year.
Dawn over the Mara from a hot air balloon is a very special sight. You float up high, guided along the course of the Mara river by the prevailing winds, above delicate networks of animal tracks across the landscape. Champagne breakfast in the bush awaits you on landing.
Kenya is home to the iconic Masai and Samburu. For centuries they have lived a traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle herding their cattle to areas of water and grazing. A stay at a community lodge means you can support local people, help preserve wilderness areas and enjoy a great safari.
The Masai Mara is one of the most famous reserves in Africa. Home to the extraordinary Great Migration, which sees hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River each year, it has always been a favourite location for countless wildlife documentaries.
Meru achieved world recognition with Joy Adamson's 'Born Free' and the story of Elsa the lioness. Meru is well of the beaten safari trail and is located to the North East of Nairobi. On clear mornings you can see the snowy peaks of Mount Kenya to the southeast, and when the sun is directly behind, the Nyambeni Mountain range the backdrop is amazing! The game here was depleted in the 1940s as it was a popular area with hunters. However, animal life is now plentiful as the land has been protected sine 1959. The variegation is mainly Bushland so binoculars and a keen eye will be essential to find the game.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Elsa's Kopje is perched on the top of Mughwango Hill, the site of George Adamson's first camp in Meru. From almost everywhere in the lodge you have the most superb views, it feels like a window over Africa.
The main living and dining room is perched on the rocks with open sides allowing for a fresh breeze. It is not unusual to see dassies gingerly peering in. Inside there are comfortable armchairs and plentiful books. Food is freshly prepared and excellent. Across the small lawn outside is a pool built into the rocks, again with superb views.
Elsa's Kopje has 10 rooms, each named after a river that runs through the park. Each is built up on the rocks, and whilst slightly different in location they all have two things in common - style and comfort. Large bedrooms have polished wooden floors, big comfortable beds and large mesh windows. The bathrooms are built out of cool stone and have flush wc, hot shower and basins. Everything is spacious, everything stylish.
There are many activities possible from Elsa's. Morning and evening game drives explore the park and walks and night drives are also possible. Alternatively, you might like to try your hand at fishing, or perhaps visit a local village. After a hard day on safari a cold drink is always at hand and a soothing massage can be arranged.
The Meru National Park covers an area of 1,813 square kilometres to the north east of Kenya. Meru is not a reserve to come and tick off the big five, but rather it's a wilderness experience. It is perhaps best known for Elsa the lioness, who was released here and made famous by Joy Adamson's books.
Our rating: First Class
Meru National Park
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Further reading:Tours in KenyaWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout KenyaCountry Guides
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaMadagascarMalawiMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZanzibar ArchipelagoZimbabwe
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