Safari means journey in Kiswahili, the language of East Africa, and Kenya is the home of safari. Its varied ecosystems and landscapes mean that the biodiversity here is higher than any other country in Africa. It has been the natural home of celebrity safaris, big game hunters and royalty since the 18th century and remains the most spectacular safari destination with unparalleled wildlife viewing.
A complete safari includes at least three of the main ecosystems: the semiarid dramatic landscapes of the north, the tropical woodlands of the Rift Valley and the lush savannahs of the Masai Mara. We recommend booking three nights in each area in order to give your guests the best possible safari.
Kenya has a culture borne of countless sources. From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts, and diversity. The country has at least 40 different ethnic African groups (including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin tribes, Luo, Kamba, Kisii, Meru and Embu, Mijikenda, Swahili, Turkana and Masai) who speak a variety of indigenous languages. 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.
Kenya has a well-established system of guide training and certification. It is important that a safari is guided by competent and experienced guides as it is through their eyes that guests will interpret the wilderness around them! Many of the properties, have in house guides, usually from the local area, that know their part of the wilderness and its inhabitants.
Kenya offers many superb private conservancies and unique boutique safari camps and lodges. Some areas suit low-key tented camps and others large open airy rooms with stunning views.
Days 1 - 2
Founded in 1899 as a rail depot for the Uganda Railway, Nairobi has grown to become one of the most prominent, thriving capital cities on the continent.
The world’s only capital city with a national park, Nairobi is a vibrant combination of modern life, African culture and nature. Skyscrapers, banks, malls, international hotels and businesses are prominent throughout Nairobi. Close to Nairobi National Park, the suburbs of Langata and Karen have maintained the traditional Nairobi charm with tall mature trees and vast gardens.
The original safari capital of Africa, Nairobi offers world class accommodation from intimate boutique hotels in tranquil gardens to 5 star luxury international hotel chains. Whether you are looking to explore the original home of Karen Blixen, feed giraffe by hand, adopt an orphaned baby elephant, taste ‘Nyama Choma’ or pick up artisan pieces at a local market, Nairobi never sleeps and there’s an adventure opportunity around every corner.
Days 2 - 5
Supporting the second highest density of wildlife in Kenya, the vast 9,500 square kilometres Laikipia plateau stretches from the slopes of Mount Kenya in the south east to the edge of the Great Rift Valley in the west.
Ranging from dry savannah and open woodlands to dramatic canyons and low forested valleys, the Laikipia plateau is made up of a collection of extensive community owned ranches, private farms and wildlife conservancies working in unison on some of Kenya’s most effective conservation projects.
One of Kenya’s most exciting wilderness areas, Laikipia showcases the positive impact of community engagement on tourism and conservation as well as the benefit to local communities. From the ground-breaking partnership between Maasai and Samburu communities, private investors and conservation organisations on the 40,000 acre Ol Lentille Conservancy balancing tourism and economic development with ambitious conservation and community development programs to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy wildlife protection units at the forefront of protecting numerous species from extinction throughout Laikipia and the Grevy’s Zebra conservation work on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
We are strong believers that each visitor to Kenya should experience the remarkable work being carried out in the Laikipia region, not only to enjoy the beauty and wildlife but to ensure that each visitor knows that everyone can make a difference and ensure the conservation of the wilderness, wildlife and communities that call it home.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Days 5 - 8
The vast open grasslands of the Masai Mara are famous throughout the world as the host of the annual migration, when 1.3 million wildebeest and zebra cross from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in search of greener pastures from June to October.
With high densities of both resident and transient populations of game including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, rhino, giraffe, hyena and over 450 species of bird, the Masai Mara provides unrivaled game viewing throughout the year.
The 1510 square kilometres Masai Mara National Reserve bordering Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is surrounded by approximately a dozen conservation areas. These conservancies have been established as partnerships between the private sector and local Maasai pastoralist landowners to ensure the conservation of the Great Mara-Serengeti ecosystem and the protection of the wildlife within it.
Cheli & Peacock Safaris were fundamental in founding the 70,000 acre Mara North Conservancy (MNC), one of the largest community and private sector owned conservancies in the world. Regarded as one of Kenya’s most successful conservation models, MNC is an exclusive safari destination in a prime wildlife area, open only to the guests of the 12 member camps within it.