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Kenya is the home of the safari, and while several other countries challenge its reputation as Africa's premier wildlife destination, it still offers an exceptionally satisfying combination of game viewing and beachfront fun. Safari highlights include the Masai Mara, with its dense population of big cats and seasonal influx of wildebeest/zebra from the Serengeti; Amboseli, with its heavy-tusked elephants and views of snow-capped Kilimanjaro; and Samburu-Buffalo Springs complex, home to localized oddities such as Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk. The hide-like 'tree hotels' on Mt Kenya and the Aberdares (The Ark, Mountain Lodge ...

Kenya is the home of the safari, and while several other countries challenge its reputation as Africa's premier wildlife destination, it still offers an exceptionally satisfying combination of game viewing and beachfront fun. Safari highlights include the Masai Mara, with its dense population of big cats and seasonal influx of wildebeest/zebra from the Serengeti; Amboseli, with its heavy-tusked elephants and views of snow-capped Kilimanjaro; and Samburu-Buffalo Springs complex, home to localized oddities such as Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and gerenuk. The hide-like 'tree hotels' on Mt Kenya and the Aberdares (The Ark, Mountain Lodge and Treetops) offer the chance to see nocturnal and forest species over a three-course dinner. Another popular upcountry attraction is the exquisite string of bird-rich lakes that lines the Rift Valley floor, while more remote goals include Kakamega Forest in the far west, and the stark Ethiopian borderlands around Lake Turkana. Round off a safari with a few days at the coast. Diani Beach near Mombasa is ideal for lounging on the beach, while Watamu and Malindi appeal to active travelers for their diving, snorkeling, birding and fishing opportunities, and for providing access to the jungle-bound 'lost city' of Gedi. The jewel of the Swahili coast is the remote and traditional Lamu Archipelago in the north.

Philip Briggs
About the Expert

Philip Briggs has written or contributed to 50-plus editions of Bradt, Insight, AA and Berlitz guidebooks to African destinations.

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Philip Briggs for Triporati

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