Kenya general information and map
Getting there: Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta international airport is the hub of East African air transport, and it has connections to most European cities. The flying time to Nairobi is approximately 9 hours from London.
Time: GMT plus three hours
Try not to miss: The Masai Mara for breath-taking vistas and unrivalled game viewing opportunities that reach a peak during the migration of plains game and attendant predators between late July and mid September. Wild and Exotic have a selection of camps and lodges chosen for location and style of management that will ensure you are up close and personal with the action. A short distance away lies Lake Victoria, where the attractions include fishing for huge Nile perch and searching for the rare roan antelope in Ruma National Park. The beautiful Chyulu Hills also stand within the Mara ecosystem, close to Amboseli National park where large herds of elephant roam the plains against the backdrop Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, just across the border in Tanzania.
The northern plateau of Laikipia sits beneath Africa’s second highest mountain, Mt Kenya, and is home to vast private and exclusive wildlife reserves where the visitor can enjoy fly camping, walking and camel safaris. Meru National Park is another far from the beaten track destination in Northern Kenya where we work with two fabulous lodges in pristine wilderness settings. For the adventurous we recommend a visit to the Northern Frontier District and Lake Turkana – otherwise known as the Jade Sea – and the Chalbi Desert, remote and wonderful destinations for the intrepid traveller.
After the excitement of the bush we recommend a stay beside the Indian Ocean, where deep sea fishing, diving, snorkelling, and other water sports await the energetic. In our opinion the best Indian Ocean destinations in Kenya are to be found on the less populated and beautiful northern coastline close to Lamu, where we represent a handful of stunning and exotic hotels. Sunbathe, relax, swim – but the highlight, is definitely to swim with wild dolphins.
Visas: All UK visitors require a visa. Visas can be purchased at the Visa counter on arrival at the aiport, or they can be applied for online http://kenyahighcom.org.uk/wp-content/themes/kenyahighcom/forms/Form-22-Application-for-Visas.pdf. Visa processing time after application and payment is seven days, and is US$50.
Weather: July, August and September are considered the best times to visit Kenya. June, November, December, January, February and March are also good times to visit. There are short rains in November, and long rains in April and May.
Why Kenya: It is often said that Kenya has been spoilt by mass tourism, and it is true that certain areas have suffered from exploitation. However Wild and Exotic have identified scores of remote and exclusive lodges in many different regions of Kenya, where the timeless beauty of this country remains as captivating and wild as ever. Few countries in Africa can match her extraordinarily diverse landscape that includes the fertile plains of the Masai Mara and the Rift Valley, arid deserts in the North, Lakes Turkana and Victoria, the snow capped peak of Mt Kenya, and the azure blue Indian Ocean. The standards of service and guiding are consistently high throughout Kenya’s national parks and there is no better country in the world in which to view Africa’s wildlife at its magnificent best.
Wild and Exotic Best of Kenya Summary
Wild and Exotic have identified many remote and exclusive lodges in different regions of Kenya, where the timeless beauty of this country remains as captivating and wild as ever. Few countries in Africa can match an extraordinarily diverse landscape that includes the fertile plains of the Masai Mara and the Rift Valley, arid deserts in the North, Lakes Turkana and Victoria, the snow capped peak of Mt Kenya, and the azure blue Indian Ocean. The standards of service and guiding are consistently high throughout Kenya’s national parks and there is no better country in the world in which to view Africa’s wildlife. We recommend a 10 night split between three very different regions of Kenya followed by a few days relaxing beside the Indian Ocean, where deep sea fishing, diving, snorkelling, and other water sports are also available.
Sosian is a 24,000 acre private ranch in Laikipia, a vast expanse of wilderness in the heart of Kenya’s northern highlands that is home to a large and diverse bird and mammal population. The ranch house was built in the 1940’s by Italian artisans, and has been beautifully restored to accommodate up to 14 people in the atmosphere of a private house. 7 cottages with private verandas and ensuite bathrooms are surrounded by tropical gardens overlooking Mt Kenya and miles of unspoilt Africa. The lodge at Sosian has a swimming pool, tennis court, and organic vegetable garden. There are a range of activities available including walking, riding, camel safaris, game-drives, night-drives, fishing, bird-shooting, archery, tennis and swimming in the waterfalls behind the lodge. The guiding is of the highest standard and Sosian is well known for its delicious home cooking using fresh ingredients from the garden, and its warm and friendly hospitality.
Offbeat Meru Camp is a small and traditional camp located on the edge of Meru National Park in the Bisanadi National Reserve, a part of northern Kenya made famous by George and Joy Adamson and the lioness, Elsa. Meru is home to the big five, as well as many other species. The camp consists of 6 double or twin tents and each one is furnished with a large iron bed, its own en-suite bathroom, traditional bucket shower and flushing loo. In addition, there is 24 hour solar lighting in the tents, while the rest of the camp is lit by traditional ’tilly’ lamps. There is also a spacious ‘mess’ tent with comfortable sofas, a writing table and bar and informal dining is hosted in the mess tent or around the campfire. Activities include day and evening game drives; bush breakfasts, picnics and sundowners and fly fishing in the local rivers. After a morning in the bush there’s no better feeling than coming back to camp and cooling off in the infinity swimming pool whilst watching wildlife come down to drink. For a further insight to what Offbeat Meru camp has to offer please click on the play button below:
Offbeat Mara camp is a seasonal camp located on the Olare Orok river on Koyiaki Group Ranch. This small tented camp offers a truly private, traditional safari experience with access to the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. Tucked away in a prime wildlife area, Offbeat Mara Camp provides guests with superb game viewing – lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo are all seen regularly. Most importantly, the camp enjoys a private location far from other lodges and camps in this exclusive Mara concession where the normal restrictions imposed inside the Game Reserve (such as prohibiting walking safaris and night drives) do not apply . Guests can enjoy day and night game drives in custom-built Land Cruisers; bush breakfasts, picnics and sundowners. Guests also have full access to the Game Reserve, the Mara River and early morning balloon trips. The camp sleeps 12 guests in 6 large twin or double tents, each of which has an en-suite bathroom with hot bucket showers, wash basins and flush loos. The spacious tents are furnished with large, hand made cedar beds, 24hour solar lighting and the finest linen. Informal dining is hosted in the mess tent or around the campfire. Delicious English breakfasts, light lunches and three course dinners are served each evening. Guests can relax in the bar and ‘mess’ tent, furnished with comfortable sofas, a writing desk and library with wildlife guide books. For a further insight to what Offbeat Mara camp has to offer please click the play button below:
Wild and Exotic Best of Kenya sample itinerary
We have outlined our recommended “Best of Kenya” itinerary below, which incorporates stays at all three lodges and camps described above. Guests normally fly between camp by private charter in a light aircraft but overland transfers by road or on scheduled flights can also be arranged at your request. This itinerary is a sample only, and can be varied to suit your requirements.
Day 1: On arrival into Nairobi you will be met and transferred to your private charter flight to Sosian, alternatively you may fly on a scheduled flight to Nanyuki or Loisaba, from where you will be transferred by road to Sosian. You will spend the next 3 nights at Sosian enjoying day and night game drives, guided bush walks, riding and camel safaris and relaxing by the swimming pool.
Day 4: Today you fly by private charter from Sosian to Meru camp, alternatively you may be transferred to Loisaba for the short scheduled flight to Meru with Tropic Air. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Meru camp for a stay of 3 nights. Offbeat Meru Camp is a luxury semi-permanent camp situated in a remote corner of Meru National Park. Meru is a magical and far from the beaten track National Park, with a diverse landscape dominated by savannah but including riverine forest and swamps. The park is bisected by 13 rivers flowing southwards into the Tana River, which is born in the Nyambene Hills. Wildlife living within the park includes lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, black and white Rhino’s, eland, gerenuk, Beisa oryx, Grant’s gazelle, Grevy’s zebra, lesser kudu and reticulated giraffe as well as over 280 species of birds.
Day 7: Today you will fly by private charter direct to Offbeat Mara Camp alternatively you may be transferred to Meru for your scheduled flight with Air Kenya to Wilson airport in Nairobi. On arrival at Wilson airport, you will connect with your second scheduled Air Kenya flight for the Mara. On arrival you will be met and transferred to Offbeat Mara Camp for a 4 night stay at this small luxury semi-permanent camp situated on the Olare Orok water system, north of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. This unspoilt region of Masailand is an area rich in wildlife but with low density tourism. Visitors during the months of July, August and September have a good chance of witnessing the annual migration of plains game and attendant predators, said to be the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth.
Day 11: Today you will fly by private charter back to Nairobi, alternatively you may be transferred to the airstrip for your scheduled flight with Air Kenya to Wilson airport in Nairobi. On arrival you will either connect with your onward flight to the coast or you will be met and transferred to dinner en route to JKIA international airport, in time to check in for your international flight back to the UK.
After your inland bush safari we strongly recommend a 4 night stay at one of our preferred destinations close to Lamu, (Kizingo and Manda Bay) a stunning and beautiful Indian Ocean archipelago off the north coast of Kenya.
The quoted price will be inclusive of all activities described, together with full board and lodging, and all alchol except champagne based on two people sharing. The price does not include international or domestic airfares items of a personal nature, gratuities, and visa fees.
Please note that it is the responsibility of the client to ensure they obtain the correct visa prior to travel. Wild and Exotic will assist with visa applications if instructed but cannot be held responsible for a client’s failure to obtain a visa for whatever reason. A valid visa is required for this holiday, and information regarding visa applications to Kenya can be obtained by visiting the following website http://www.kenyanembassy.co.uk/
Neither Wild and Exotic nor the operators or suppliers can accept any responsibility for changes to itineraries or dates that may arise due to weather or unforeseen circumstances such as changes, disruptions or delays to airline flights for whatever reason. This holiday is subject to Wild and Exotic’s terms and conditions, a copy of which is available on this website under the general info tab.
Adrian, we had a truly incredible time. Offbeat Mara exceeded anything we could reasonably have hoped for. Day after day – drive after drive it just got better and better, I doubt they can ever have had a team who got luckier than us to see so much. Back to the grind stone and flat out this week but will be in touch for a debrief next week. Thanks for everything. Christopher
“We all fell in love with Sosian, Steve and Annabelle were amazing and we enjoyed meeting Tristan & his charming wife. Riding horses & camels, mud fishing, rod fishing, rock pool diving, tracking (wild dogs), foot tracking (lions), and camping out on the plains with a small half boma of two cars and a fire….just a big boys playground! Fundu was great too with Water Skiing and Scuba Diving high on the agenda after the first day completely chilling out. Adrian, thank you for organising everything so professionally for us, it was a holiday of a life time.”
“Our trip was a great success, and we had a wonderful time at both Sosian and Rusinga. I am sure we will go back to both places again. Everything worked as planned. Many thanks for all your help in planning the trip”
“Our room at Elsa’s Kopje was spectacular, with amazing views across Meru. The swimming pool was gorgeous and a lovely place to relax after game drives. The fly camping at Sabuk was just the best thing ever, we adored every minute and it utterly surpassed our expectations.”
“At Kizingo, we loved the bandas, the swinging beds, the delicious food. The balloon safari in the Mara was absolutely wonderful.”
Sosian was great and offered a variety of activities. The kitchen and stable staff were amazing and we met some lovely co-guests during our stay. It was a last minute decision to visit, so thank you for arranging at such short notice. It was a lovely holiday and we felt well rested when we left, albeit with sore legs from riding!
We knew we were in the right place the moment we walked out of the plane and ventured off into the bush. We saw lions after twenty minutes! The children loved the experience. Fergus wrote in his notebook every species that he saw which numbered over 250. The camp was perfect and the staff simply brilliant until the football match when they turned competitive! We had a wonderful, wonderful time and will recommend to all friends should they be heading in that direction.
“We had the most incredible time. A perfect mixture of action and ‘nothing’: swimming, fishing, snorkelling, walking up 8 miles of deserted white beach, lazing in hammocks, feasting on delicious food. The high light was definitely going in a small private group to swim with the dolphins in the Indian Ocean. It was absolutely breath-taking. Mary Jo and Louis are the most relaxed and warmest of hosts. A perfect holiday!”
“Kizingo was an idyllic and private retreat beside the Indian Ocean; Sosian a wildlife haven in the north.”
“We had a wonderful time and all your arrangement worked very well. The Offbeat Mara was brilliant. We really liked the naturalness of the Camp, while having everything that was needed. The staff were really friendly and good. The Guides were really excellent. We did see one incident that they had never seen before, so that was thrilling. The wild life in the Conservancy was terrific, every day we saw something spectacular”