Kenya Safari Holidays

Beyond the tourist hotspots Kenya is a country of breath-taking wilderness, home to some of Africa’s most dramatic locations and wildlife

A Kenya safari is an intoxicating blend for those after a real adventure

Expect sensational wildlife and wilderness in Kenya as well as wildly stylish camps and bush homes, a huge range of activities and a high degree of flexibility and freedom.

The Kenyans practically invented the concept of safari; today’s best guides were yesterday’s barefoot bush-kids, so their knowledge is rooted in a muddy-kneed, dirt-on-hands level of personal experience. Consequently, the best safaris offer a relaxed authenticity that other countries struggle to match.

The country is blessed with some of Africa’s best wildlife as well as some of its most photogenic scenery, however in the past it’s struggled to shake of its reputation for nose-to-tail traffic jams of tour buses. So our focus is all about showing you the other side of this sensational country. Places like the Laikipia Plateau, the conservancies on the fringes of the Maasai Mara or the Matthews Range where tourists are a rarity.

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Kenya's top Experiences

Kenya for active families

Wildlife, wilderness & unrivalled freedom for children

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Kenya's top Experiences

Camel Safari in Laikipia

Unspoilt wilderness, private foot safari supported by camels

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Kenya's top Experiences

Walking safaris in Kenya

The best places to walk in Kenya

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Kenya's top Experiences

Laikipia and the Mara

Fantastic Game viewing combined with true freedom and wilderness

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Kenya's top Experiences

Kenya Private Houses

Combine the Mara and Laikipia in superb private houses

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The Masai Mara is still one of the best game experiences you could hope to have. However, the Mara has seen a lot of development over the past 15 years and so you need to choose carefully where to go.

Aside from the undeniably spectacular prospect of seeing tens of thousands of wildebeest brave the crocodiles as they cross the Mara River en masse, the Mara has a huge variety of general wildlife and among the best chances to get great views of lion, cheetah and even leopard.

The rolling plains and treed thickets are reminiscent of the days of early explorers and many of the small camps retain the same authentic, low-key feel that we like so much.  A fairly concentrated wildlife experience, days start early to take advantage of predators on the move, but afternoons are spent lazily in camp before heading out once again in the cool of the evening.  Although the migration (July – October) is a highlight, good wildlife can be found out of season, with the added benefit of fewer people.

Community conservancies now provide an important buffer to the reserve itself and these are often the best places to find small, authentic camps in beautiful areas, far from the busier game routes.  Here, you can enjoy fantastic game drives and walks amongst the undulating plains and treed thickets that are so typical of the Mara.

Natural High shines rays of adventurous light into some of the least explored, most exciting corners of the wider world”

- Financial Times - How To Spend It

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HEAD TO LAIKIPIA IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR REAL FREEDOM, PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES AND WONDERFUL BUSH HOMES

Stretching from the slopes of Mount Kenya, to the rim of the Great Rift Valley, the Laikipa Plateau harbours an abundance of wildlife and a fine collection of eccentric lodgings.

Days spent on safari on the Laikipia Plateau are a strikingly different experience to the rest of east or southern Africa. First and foremost it is made up of a patchwork of independent working ranches, rather than being a conventional National Park, and therefore the rules or, more likely, the lack of them, are down to your hosts.

So while in a National Park it may not be possible walk, or travel in an open vehicle, or use a spotlight at night, or ride a horse, bike or camel - all of this and more is possible here and the sense of liberation is palpable. It often leaves the impression that you have visited friends - the family hounds might join you on game-drives and a swim in the river might replace the more common-or-garden siesta.

The wildlife on Laikipia is superb - in addition to the big five (there are eight separate rhino sanctuaries) the area boasts a large and diverse array of mammals, and is arguably currently the best place on the continent to track Wild Dog.

From a safari point of view, particularly for someone perhaps familiar with Botswana, Zambia or southern Tanzania, the fact that it is not a National Park can take a little getting used to. From a southern African perspective, the very idea that you'd continue to run cattle in an area so infested with indigenous wildlife, and particularly lion, is a completely anomalous concept. In most of Africa ranching and conservation are two completely separate endeavours and never the twain shall meet. Refreshingly, here in northern Kenya, man and wildlife do merge - and while there are undoubtedly challenges if there is a model whereby traditional pastoralists, commercial farmers and wildlife can all co-exist this is it.  What this means practically when on safari is that, along with the outrageous spectrum of mammals and birdlife, you will see people - herdsmen (typically garbed in colourful traditional robes) and cattle, roads and stockades. This is not the pristine wilderness of the Luangwa - but in some ways it is all the richer for it.

You'll often be in the company of people who have enjoyed an unorthodox upbringing as offspring of pioneers to these parts, so the whole experience is genuinely unpolished, uncontrived, warm and relaxed”

See a Laikipia itinerary
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Sample trips in Kenya

Expedition to Lake Turkana

Highlights:

A wild journey away from the crowds and back to nature

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Sample trips in Kenya

Camel safari with Samburu guides

Highlights:

Mobile camps on the back of camels in the most remote parts of Kenya

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To visit Laikipia is a privilege, a chance to see an intertwining of natural and human endeavours. A journey to Turkana is something else altogether, a glimpse of where we came from and where we may be going, no longer overlords but subjects of creation, careful with water and other species, knit closer to each other under the burning sky.”

- Financial Times on a recent trip with Natural High to Northern Kenya

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Best time to visit Kenya

Like much of the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa the conventional wisdom applies to Kenya; to see most, travel in the dry season between June and October when wildlife concentrates around remaining water sources becoming more plentiful and easier to see. This is the time the wildebeest migration arrives in the Maasai Mara from the Serengeti and the Loita Hills, bringing drama on an unprecedented scale as hundreds of thousands of wildebeest cross the Mara and Talek rivers, braving vast crodociles.

However, don’t ignore the green season in Kenya between December and May – wildlife remains outstanding in most areas, there are few tourists  and the bush turns a lush green, alive with the extravagant plumage and sounds of breeding birdlife. Some areas like the Chyulu Hills are arguably at their best once the rains have come. Canny travellers can pick up a combination of low season rates and few other tourists by travelling in low and shoulder seasons.

And when to head to the coast...

The Kenyan coast offers white sandy beaches and turquoise waters to rival anywhere in Africa, so makes a great ddition to any safari. It's is at its best between late November and March or again between late July and early October. March and April tend to be the hottest times and the rains come between late April and early July with short rains in late October to November. 

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Kenya's top wildlife areas

The Maasai Mara

The Mara and its Conservancies

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Kenya's top wildlife areas

Laikipia

Freedom and space in Kenya's highlands

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Kenya's top wildlife areas

The Chyulu Hills

Wide open plains and Kilimanjaro views

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Kenya's top wildlife areas

Meru National Park

Little visited, varied and wild

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Kenya's top wildlife areas

Samburu & The Matthews

Wilderness in Kenya's north

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When’s the best time to visit Kenya

The best time to visit Kenya depends on the kind of holiday you are looking for.  In brief though, here's a guide to the best times for the best...
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+44 (0) 1747 830950

Our experienced travellers include:

Rod Tether
Rod Tether
Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Olly Williams
Olly Williams

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.

Reviews

First class. Experts in the holiday adventure field. Great to deal with

"First class! Natural High are experts in their field. All the boxes are ticked which leaves you to travel without any worries. Excellent destinations, superb accommodation and all the logistics are taken care of. Natural High tailor holidays exactly to your needs. Would highly recommend and we will be using Natural High again."

Anonymous

Perfect family Safari!!

"Our family Kenyan safari trip to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary was perfectly planned by Catherine from the moment we landed in Nairobi, to our last day. We traveled to Ol Malo in Laikipia, Lewa House in Lewa Downs, and Tangulia Mara in the Maasai Mara. Each place offered incredibly talented and informative guides, and gracious, loving staff. The variety of animals we saw was breathtaking. Our grand daughter celebrated her 14th birthday with special pancakes and singing in Ol Malo, and then a beautiful candlelit dinner under the starry night in Lewa. Our 50th wedding anniversary was celebrated at Tangulia Mara with an amazing day watching the migration of the wildebeest in the Maasai Mara, and beautiful intimate dinner party and dancing with the entire staff during the evening.
Thank you, Natural High, for the best trip of our lifetime!"

Anonymous

Fantastic Zambia holiday - South Luangwa and Lower Zambezi

"We cannot thank Natural High and Catherine enough for such a fantastic holiday. During the planning, Catherine answered endless questions from our family and supported us every step of the way in coordinating our separate itineraries (which can't have been easy when we were a party of 11 and all travelling from different locations!). The South Luangwa has become our favourite Africa destination - and Flatdogs our favourite camp! Catherine was very thoughtful in arranging extra surprises for our group as we were celebrating a special birthday. The staff at Flatdogs treated us so well, and they were very open to letting us have large family dinners at various locations around camp. The guides were so enthusiastic the entire week!
We had our own separate holiday afterwards for just the two of us at Chongwe River Camp in the Lower Zambezi. Catherine was so supportive and flexible in helping us identify a suitable camp within an easy distance of Flatdogs, which also provided a different range of activities (boat safaris, tiger fishing and canoeing in addition to game drives!).
All in all a brilliant holiday (Flatdogs and Chongwe were the perfect combination), and everything went so smoothly. We are very much missing enjoying our G&Ts whilst watching elephants in the sunset...!"

Edgar & Alexandra Bailey CR

Absolutely amazing Family Celebration at Flatdogs!

"Outstanding service from Catherine who really understands what we want from our holiday. Catherine always goes the extra mile to choose the very best camps for us; to make sure all arrangements are in place; and to make sure we are treated as special guests when we arrive. This trip was an extra challenge given the size of our group - 11 with age range from 4 to 64 and wide range of "Africa experience" and in choosing Flatdogs, she made the best call possible - it was an amazing trip and could not have been better! Jess, Adrian and all the staff made sure our stay was fabulous; the guides were superb; the accommodation wonderful; and the "treats" -sundowners; brai; pimms; picnic; evening meals together (with hippos, bushbabies and elephants in attendance) and drinks at the fire were all that we could have hoped for - all in all, a really special family holiday."

Anonymous

outstanding organisation and service

"really know the regions they deal with well, excellent organisation of our trip, great understanding of our needs, flexibility and quick follow up, outstanding local representatives, very good pricing. we used them before and will for sure do again."

VCA

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