Travelling can be a bit tricky when you aren’t familiar with the region. Here are a number of wonderful safari lodges within Kenya that you would definitely enjoy.

Best Safari Lodges In Kenya

  1. Enasoit Lodge – This luxurious private safari camp in Kenya’s Laikipia plateau can only be hired on an exclusive basis, so gather up your friends ASAP. Rooms include classic tents as well as cottages that overlook a watering hole. The camp offers bespoke ‘Thinking Man’s Safaris’ – guests provide topics that interest them and the camp will source speakers, often leaders in their field, who can develop those interests over fireside chats.
  2. Naibor Camp – Naibor, a Masai word for ‘space’, is a luxury camp deep in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Canvas tents with en-suite bathrooms are spread throughout the forest. The Mess tent and sociable fireplace area overlook the Talek River with its resident pod of hippos, with comfortable floor-cushions, rugs, and sofas to sink into after a day in the bush.
  3. Giraffe Manor – Could this be the most famous lodge in all of Africa? We’re guessing it’s a firm yes. Giraffe Manor is a boutique hotel in one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, with classic safari-style rooms. But the most fascinating thing about Giraffe Manor is its herd of resident Rothschild’s giraffe who visit morning and evening in the hope of treats. The hotel doubles up as a giraffe sanctuary with a breeding program that aims to reintroduce pairs of the giraffes back into the wild.
  4. Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge – Il Ngwesi is a fantastic community-run camp set on the Il Ngwesi Group Ranch. Built into the side of a hill from locally sourced materials – wood, rock, and thatching – it’s managed and hosted by a team of Maasai moran (warriors). It’s an incredible chance to experience African wildlife, as it’s also a rhino sanctuary. You’ll even get to dine in the village of some of Il Ngwesi’s warrior staff – expect lots of dancing!
  5. andBeyond Bateleur Camp – With breathtaking views over the Masai Mara, this camp is set just below the spot where Out of Africa’s famous final scene was filmed. Luxurious rooms have antiques and hand-crafted artifacts that add a vintage safari vibe. After all your game viewing, chill out with dinner beneath the stars, followed by fireside port and cigars.

KNOW THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO GO ON A SAFARI

This really depends on what you want to see. Traditionally, the peak of the dry season is considered the very best time to take a safari (although naturally, when exactly this falls varies from country to country). The simple reason? Visibility. In most parks, the number of animals doesn’t change dramatically throughout the year. What does change, however, is how easy it is to see them.

When the ground has been given a good soaking, things grow. Grass shoots up a few feet into the sky and bushes become thick with foliage. Great for the plants, not so great to see the animals who, when not hunting, tend to hide amongst the greenery. Additionally, when the rain has not fallen for a few months, watering holes tend to dry up, leaving only a handful of places for animals to drink. Not so great for the animals, but great for wildlife spotters and guides who know just where to go to spot predators and prey side-by-side.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit any other time of the years. In fact, visiting out of season has a number of advantages.

Large numbers of tourists around wildlife is often a bad idea, and on safari, this is no exception. We heard horror stories of forty jeeps surrounding a pack of lions and their kill, all vying for the perfect photo during the Masai Mara’s peak season and of paved roads in Kruger meaning that weekends are now not too dissimilar to a theme park. By visiting in low season, you’ll avoid the worst of this, and many of your wildlife encounters may be experienced in isolation.

Secondly, a lack of tourists means more competition amongst tour companies – and cheaper prices for you!

BE PREPARED TO WAKE UP EARLY

As a general rule, animals are active in the morning and the evening; the midday sun is simply too hot for them to do very much else other than lay in the shade. This is why you’ll quickly discover that most safari days are broken into two – an early morning game drive setting off just before the sun has come up, and another beginning around 4.30 p.m.
Travel in Africa and early mornings are going to become just another part of your day, so embrace them (and remember to bring the suncream and plenty water for when it heats up later in the morning).

YOU MAY NEED TO BE PATIENT… (BUT IT’S WORTH IT IN THE END)

As much as a trip to the Serengeti may feel like The Lion King come to life, during a visit here it very quickly becomes apparent that animals do their own damn thing. The jeeps only have access to a relatively small area of the park, and specific tracks that they must drive along – if no animal chooses to follow the same route, you can’t go off in search of them.

On one particular game drive, a night safari in South Luangwa National we spent several hours watching the dusk turn into night with only a single elephant sighting. For two hours our spotter swung his torch back and forth between the long grass searching for eyes that were not there, until quite out of the blue, we found the most prized of night time spottings – a leopard. Twenty minutes later, it was a lioness. And those few hours of waiting, well, they were totally worth it.

Every single safari is going to be different because, well, all the animals are wild and (relatively) unpredictable. This is part of the charm and allure of safaris, but it does also inevitably mean that you may go for large swathes of time without seeing anything of note, or that the people you meet back at the camp may have seen something incredible that you didn’t. Don’t be disappointed or disheartened – every safari is special in its own way, and you will be guaranteed to have an interesting experience on yours.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS

Your guide is there to do much more than simply ferry you around the national parks; they’re a wealth of information.

Many have grown up in the region surrounded by these animals, and have honed their craft on specialist courses and intensive training – what they don’t know about a bird, a buffalo or ‘that brown thing over there’ probably isn’t worth knowing. We were seriously in awe at the knowledge of each of our safari guides, and it added a whole extra dimension to your experiences. Their spotting ability is also second-to-none!

So don’t be afraid to ask questions and to ask them about their own experiences in the park (after all if you’re wondering something, chances are others in your group are wanting to know too!). Your guide will also let you know when it’s possible to sneak a toilet break and will arrange the snack & tea stop (if your safari has one).

BE CONSIDERATE OF THE ANIMALS

There is nothing like witnessing a pack of lions hunt to realize quite how inadequate you, a little old human would be in a stand-off. It’s for this reason that it’s so important to respect that you are in their home. These animals and their ancestors have been a part of this land for longer than we can imagine – they have significantly more right to be there than you.

And whilst the safari trucks are perfectly safe, your ongoing safety is dependent upon you not acting like a dick. Don’t yell or try to cajole an animal (no matter how tempting or how excited you get) and respect what your guide says. Especially when it comes to elephants. They may look or sweet, but if a male elephant gets angry and makes a run for you, you’ll be very thankful for having a guide that one, noted it was about to happen, and two, got you out of there in time!

Stay in your vehicles. Don’t encourage your driver to go off-road or get in an animal’s personal space. If you feel that you or other vehicles are crowding around an animal, then raise your concerns. Never litter.

A breathtaking sight to behold. Watching millions of birds take flight and land right before your very eyes. From their pops of pink to the varying levels of red and white coating their feathers. As the massive blanket of life covers the vast expanse of the lake, you are truly taken aback.

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