With its diversity of natural habitats, it is small wonder that Kenya boasts a bountiful array of wildlife and more than a thousand species of birds. The Great Migration is, of course, the main act of this spectacular show, when the migrating wildebeest and zebra thunder across the Masai Mara National Reserve in their millions, attended closely by predators including lions, cheetahs, hyenas and leopards. For a unique perspective on the migration – one of the Seven New Wonders of the World – go up in a hot air balloon, departing in the early morning and followed by a Champagne breakfast in the savannah with crystal glassware, crisp linen and a chef on hand. Dining in the bush is also a special treat, be it a simple picnic by a hippo-strewn river, ‘Out of Africa’ sundowners on a kopje high above the plains or a romantic candlelit feast to the accompaniment of fine wines and the sound of lions roaring in the distance.
Spend a night or two in Nairobi and take time to adopt an orphaned elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Foster parents receive regular news of their adopted orphan. Further exciting wildlife encounters await at Nairobi’s Giraffe Manor where guests can have close encounters with these majestic mammals as they visit the Manor throughout the day or take a stroll across the lawns to the AFEW Giraffe Centre just next door.
Mombasa and Watamu
Barefoot luxury is the order of the day on the unspoilt beaches that line the coast, with miles of coral reef that can be reached across the sand when the tide is low. In the Mombasa National Marine Park the reefs teem with iridescent fish. Snorkel, dive or try your hand at windsurfing, kite surfing, water-skiing or wakeboarding. Anglers will enjoy the challenges of the excellent deep sea fishing or fly fishing in Watamu, one of the best areas in the world for catching black marlin and sailfish. Saddle up for a refreshing gallop along the beach, take a picnic to a remote sandbank, go mountain biking through the coastal forest or join a sunset dhow cruise to spot local dolphins.