Kenya

Safari means “journey” in Swahili, the language of East Africa, and Kenya is the home of safari. Its varied ecosystems and landscapes mean that there are more diverse species in Kenya than any other country in Africa. It has been the natural home of celebrity safaris, big game hunters and royalty since the 19th century and remains the most spectacular safari destination with unparalleled wildlife viewing.

A complete safari includes at least three of the main eco-systems – the semi-arid, dramatic landscapes with rare species, the mountain forests and the lush savannahs of the Masai Mara.  We recommend 3 nights in each area to be able to get the most out of your safari.

The country has at least 40 different ethnic African groups (including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin tribes, Luo, Kamba, Kisii, Meru & Embu, Mijikenda, Swahili, Turkana and Masai) who speak a variety of mother tongues.  Waves of migration over the centuries from the north and south of the continent have led to Kenya becoming one of the most diverse African countries culturally and linguistically.

Highlights:

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SEASONS

Kenya lies on the Equator, therefore our dry and wet seasons have stable and pleasant temperatures, and allow for year round Safaris and game viewing. The perfect climate!

Many parts of the country are at altitudes of 2000m / 6000ft; these highlands e.g. Laikipia, Mathews Range, Masai Mara, experience a cool and temperate climate, with warm, dry sunny days, and chilly evenings.

Lower regions at 1200m / 3800ft, which include the semi-desert areas of Samburu/Shaba, Meru and the coastal strip, can reach a dry and comfortable 35°C (95°F) during the day, with cool and pleasant evenings.

The hottest months of the year in Kenya are from December through to March, with the coldest months being in July and August. Kenya’s long rains are during the months of April and May, however, we still experience sunny days. The short rains are in November. Some of the smaller bush camps close during the wet seasons of April, May and November.

Click here for more information on month to month climate in Kenya.

SAFARI EXPERIENCE

Classic Safari is more than game drives and ticking-off the “Big Five”. It is an understanding of all elements of the wilderness around you from the big cats to the busy dung beetle. It means getting out of the car and walking on foot. Tracking with your Masai guide, swimming in forest rivers, and imbibing the sounds and smells of the African bush.

Cheli & Peacock is about the complete safari experience and we work with small boutique camps and lodges that will give you this level of sophistication. Safari is one of the great family holidays.

Kenya has a well established system of guide training and certification. It is important that your safari is guided by competent and experienced guides as it is through their eyes that you will interpret the wilderness around you!  Most of the properties that Cheli & Peacock work with, have in house guides, usually from the local area, that know their part of the wilderness and its inhabitants.

AMBOSELI & KILIMANJARO

All the classic pictures and paintings of dramatic Mount Kilimanjaro are from Amboseli. The world’s highest free-standing mountain rises vertically straight out of the Amboseli plains, an impressive sight.

Amboseli is also famous for its elephant herds, including some of the biggest individuals on the Continent.  They have been studied for over 20 years by Cynthia Moss, and the Tortilis Camp guides know the families and individuals.

SEMI-ARID ECOSYSTEMS

The ecosystems of Meru and Samburu offer dramatically different landscapes of palm fringed rivers and springs, rock formations and unusual plants.

The area is home to some of the rarest and most interesting mammals, the beautiful Grevy Zebra, striking Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx, lesser kudu and the extremely rare striped hyena, share the plains with elephant and big cats.

FOREST ECOSYSTEMS

Home to forest elephant, leopard, bushbuck, giant forest hog, as well as wild orchids and beautiful forest birds. The forests offer unique walking safari and the possibility to swim in crystal clear mountain streams.

THE GREAT SAVANNAHS OF MASAI MARA & LAIKIPIA

The iconic and vast Masai Mara with its lush fertile plains support an enormous amount of plains game and their predators and is host to millions of wildebeests and zebras. The Masai Mara needs no introduction and is a must for safari goers.  Chose to visit a private conservancy (there are no fences), for outstanding gameviewing.

The lesser known over 2 million acres of highland savannah in Laikipia offers private conservancies and world-class conservation areas.

THE SWAHILI COAST

The 1420 km of tropical, soft white coral sand, palm fringed beaches, are lapped by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The Kenya coast is a tropical beach idyll.

The East African coast has an ancient history having traded with the Arab and Indian civilizations for centuries.

Some romantic hide-aways, family boutique hotels, deep-sea fishing, kite surfing, scuba diving are just a few of the highlights of the Kenya Coast.

ACCOMMODATION

Kenya offers many superb private conservancies and unique boutique safari camps and lodges. Spectacular views, variety of activities, excellent cuisine, are an integral part of a Cheli & Peacock Safari. Some areas suit low-key tented camp and others large open airy rooms with stunning views.

Kenya has a very well organized system of Eco verification and it is important to choose a property that cares for its environment.