Lion at dawn, Masai Mara, Kenya

Kenya Safari Holidays

Home to some of Africa’s best wildlife, dramatic landscapes, a rich and colourful culture and beautiful Indian-Ocean beaches, Kenya is the ideal destination for first timers, honeymooners, families and seasoned safari hands alike. The big game-rich Masai Mara attracts all the attention, but the country is dotted with pioneering wildlife conservancies, as well as a host of beautiful national parks.

Explore the Highlights of Kenya

  • Drive off road and explore on foot in one of the adjoining conservancies
  • Wake up to spectacular Out-of-Africa views at Angama Mara
  • Get close to the action of the Great Migration with a spotter and guide
  • Relax by the warm Indian Ocean after an action-packed safari
  • Spend time in a beautiful villa, with space for the whole family
  • Try kite-surfing, fishing and snorkelling off the white beaches

Our Kenya Specialists Recommend

  • Watch the battle for life and death played out in the Mara on a classic migration safari
  • Head out during the green season - no tourists, dramatic skies and endless photo opportunities
  • Head to the central highlands of Laikipia and join a rhino patrol or track wild dogs on foot.
  • Take a riding safari in one of the many privately owned, family ranches for experts and novices alike
  • Focus on wildlife photography, staying at camps with highly trained photographic guides

Beyond the Ordinary

  • Arriving by helicopter, fly-camp on a volcanic island, surrounded by the jade waters of Lake Turkana
  • Meet rehabilitated orphaned elephants in the Tsavo East National Park, staying at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust's camp
  • Take part in tracking, darting and collaring a lion on the Borana Conservancy in Laikipia

Kenya On Social Media

Our Kenya experts

Chris has explored much of Africa over the years, yet holds firm the belief that Kenya offers the best big game experience in the world. He has walked, driven, mountain-biked, ridden and paddled past some of Africa’s most exciting wildlife whilst on safari in Kenya. And such is the style and comfort of the country’s lodges, all this was whilst within easy reach of an ice-cold G&T.

Illona has visited Kenya numerous times, as well as spending time in the Masai Mara as a safari guide at one of the camps. Having explored much of the country and stayed at a variety of camps and lodges, she always enjoys the diversity of activities on offer, including her personal favourite, horse riding.

Advice from Our Kenya Experts

“Kenya is a deceptively big place, so I recommend slowing down and not trying to see the whole country in one go. To really explore Kenya in depth will take several trips. It is far better to focus on finding the right lodge or camp for you and really making the most of your time there.”

Illona Cross | Steppes Travel Kenya Expert

Kenya FAQs

Collapse all
Why should I travel to Kenya with Steppes Travel?

In the end, it all boils down to service and expertise. Since Steppes began selling Kenya in 1989, we have worked on rhino projects with TUSK Trust, focused on elephant conservation with the Douglas-Hamiltons and supported numerous rural community projects. All this has been in addition to our own travels through this fascinating East African country.

In short, we know the country backwards. Having taken countless clients, families and friends to Kenya, we are able to arrange a bespoke and personal safari. There are so many different properties to choose from that it is easy to get it wrong. A lodge or park that is great at one time of the year, can be devoid of game at another.

Therefore, it is important to speak to us. We can answer your questions and offer suggestions - we won’t be impartial, but we will be honest. It’s all about speaking to someone who knows the area; and no one knows it better than us. 

When is the best time to go to Kenya?

What you are looking for will dictate when you travel. Kenya is equatorial and as such it is the altitude, rather than the latitude, that determines local climates. The coast remains warm and humid, with rain peaking from April to June (the same time as the rest of the country), with shorter rains in October and November.

The Mara and the central highlands have a cooler, temperate climate, due to their elevation. Whilst warm and pleasant during the day, they can become quite cold at night. The outline below should give you an idea as to what each month offers:

January to March

One of the hottest and driest times of the year. Little water around and, in theory, a great time for game viewing. However, temperatures can be sweltering.

April to June

South-eastern monsoon winds bring the long rains, so much of the wildlife is giving birth in preparation for the lush vegetation that will follow. It is also a great time for birders, as the birds are in their mating plumage and wild flowers are in abundance. It can be very wet, however, and a number of the coastal properties close. This is also known as ‘the green season’.

July to September

The best time to witness the wildebeest migration and the coolest time of the year. It can get very busy in the Mara National Reserve, so you need to pick your spot carefully. All of the other parks are easily accessible, but free from the Mara’s crowds.

October to November

One of our clients’ favourite times to go on safari and one of ours as well. The tail end of the migration may still be around, whilst the arrival of the short rains brings the countryside to life. Flora looks lush and green, rivers flow and the animal are well fed. The air is clear, bringing spectacular sunrises and sunsets; it is no surprise that many photographers prefer this time of year. This is also known as ‘mid’ or ‘shoulder’ season.

Is it safe?

Yes. With recent high-profile visits from the Clintons, Barack Obama and the Pope, along with the recent lifting of the British Government’s travel ban along the southern coast, the biggest threats facing Kenya today are bad PR and false assumptions. We take the safety and security of our clients in all destinations very seriously and Kenya is no different. Put simply, if it were not safe, we would not go there.

How can I avoid the crowds?

Very easily. Those who think Kenya too busy or too commercial have either never been, or have been poorly advised when planning their trip. Around 90% of people who come to Kenya go to the Masai Mara and, even then, nearly all of these people travel between July and September.

It is also important to remember that the Mara is only one of more than 40 national parks and wildlife reserves in Kenya, and is one of the smallest. Therefore, there are more off-the-beaten-track destinations that still offer big game.

However, the Mara is undoubtedly worth a visit. But picking the right place and time of year can make a huge difference. The Mara is effectively split into two types of areas:

Masai Mara National Reserve

The main park, gazetted in its present form in 1968 by the Kenyan Government. The busiest area, with the highest number of lodges, which are usually much bigger and where game drives are confined to defined roads and tracks. The Mara and Talek Rivers dissect the park and these are where the majority of the migration crossings take place. Vehicle numbers are not restricted and the reserve is open to self-drive tourists. There are, however, a handful of very good lodges in this area.

Masai Mara Private Concessions

These are privately managed reserves, run in conjunction with Masai communities that border the National Reserve. Far better managed, they offer the same excellent wildlife opportunities, but far fewer vehicles and have much more flexibility in terms of activities and driving off-road. Numbers of tourists are heavily restricted, with access limited to those who are staying in one of the camps.

Staying here also allows you access to the National Reserve if you would like, but those staying in the National Reserve cannot visit the private concessions. You have the best of both worlds. Lodges are generally smaller, the wildlife experience better and more exclusive and the guiding of a higher quality - reflected in a higher price.

What is the accommodation like in Kenya?

There is a huge choice of accommodation in Kenya. Each property is different and, with so much choice, it is easy to get it wrong. Here is a rough guide to the options on offer:

Mobile Bush Camps

As the name suggests, these are small mobile camps that are set up for a finite number of nights. Usually an overnight bush experience offered by permanent lodges, they can also be part of a longer walking safari. These fully serviced camps are set up for you and have simple dome tents, a small camp bed and a mattress, with bedding provided. Simple, but delicious meals are prepared for you and hot water is brought on demand to wash. There is a long-drop toilet (hole in the ground) in a separate small tent, although some of the larger tents have their own bucket showers at the back.

Permanent Tented Camps

These are classic, East African camps, with only a handful of spacious, stylish, tented rooms. They feature comfortable beds and fine linen, small dressers, soft furnishings and private en-suite facilities. Usually, there is a patio or decking area outside the tent. These camps are typified by great service levels, shared safari vehicles and communal dining in the evening, with drinks (including alcohol) often included in the cost. They are great fun and very flexible.

Luxury Camps

Fine dining, silver service and spa treatments feature heavily, whilst some properties offer private vehicles for game drives. Properties can be a mixture of canvas and permanent structure, but always with elegant and eclectic designs. There are exceptional levels of service, with an emphasis on personal touches and attention to detail.

Private Ranches

These are usually family homesteads or working ranches that have been converted into luxury accommodation. They offer some of the warmest welcomes in Africa, given the families themselves usually manage the properties and live on site. Again, only a handful of rooms, with a warmth and hospitality you would only find in someone’s home.

There is usually a wide range of activities on offer, given the surrounding land is owned by the lodge. Therefore, they are very flexible for large groups or families, although individuals and couples are also welcome.

Private Houses and Villas

Perfect for families and large groups who want the privacy and flexibility of enjoying their holiday exactly as they like it. Fully staffed, with private guides and vehicles, these properties can manage wildlife activities and meal times around the group, to ensure everyone is happy. They can be found in both the wildlife areas and along the coast.

Coastal Properties

The best places to stay are the small, boutique-style retreats. Often featuring cool Swahili designs, they provide shade from the sun, overlooking palm fringed beaches. Many have pools, which helps when the tide is out. Again, some are better suited for families with a range of activities on offer, whilst others are perfect for a quiet retreat or honeymoon.

What is travel like in Kenya?

There is a very good network of scheduled and reliable domestic flights, connecting all of the parks and the coast. These usually use a 12-seater Cessna Caravan light aircraft. Part of the fun when arriving into these parks is flying in over the wildlife and getting a wonderful sense of place before landing.

Driving between parks is usually impractical, given the distances, and often wastes time. If travelling in a large group or family, it can be more cost effective to hire a private plane to fly between destinations, as many properties have their own airstrip.

What is a typical day on safari?

Safaris are all about being flexible, so your guide will usually discuss what you would like to do each day and plan accordingly. As a rule of thumb, you are woken just before sunrise with a cup of tea or coffee, so you can freshen up before the day begins. You then leave camp for your morning game drive or walk around 6:30 am.

Breakfast is usually taken as a picnic in a shady spot in between drives or walks, returning to camp for lunch around midday. During the hottest part of the day, relax by the pool, take a siesta or watch wildlife from the camp itself. Around 4 pm, there are hot drinks and biscuits, before you head out again.

Around 6 pm, you then enjoy a traditional sundowner drink to toast the setting sun, before returning to camp before nightfall. After a shower and pre-dinner drinks around the fire, you settle down to a delicious dinner. This is followed by a quick nightcap, then bed.

The early starts can be tiring. When planning a honeymoon, for example, it might be worth considering some time at the beach first. You can then so the safari element afterwards, when you are refreshed and will enjoy it more.

What are the differences between the parks?

The best way to enjoy a safari is to spend time in different parks, as this will offer you a choice of different wildlife, different scenery and different activities. Most people combine two different parks with some time on the coast, allowing for greater variety.

The Mara is undoubtedly the place for a classic safari – open savannah, rolling plains dotted with game and giraffes towering in the distance next to flat-top acacia trees. In contrast to this, Laikipia is home to wildlife reserves that offer more dramatic and rugged scenery, with a particular focus on rhinos and wild dogs. It is also here that you can do some of the more adventurous activities, such as horse-riding, walking or mountain biking.

Further north, you have the fiery landscapes of the Samburu region, with a dramatic volcanic landscape, softened by rivers and palm trees. The lakes (Nakuru and Naivasha) are great for birding, with vast flocks of flamingos appearing almost overnight. Alternatively, the vast plains of Tsavo offer a chance to explore one of Kenya’s wildest and largest parks. And the coast has its own marine parks, which are perfect for any number of activities.

What are the best options for a family safari in Kenya?

The key to a successful family safari is flexibility and fun. Each family has their own wish list and each member of the family will enjoy slightly different things. Therefore, for small families with young children (up to 5 years old), we only recommend small camps that cater for children this young. They feature flexible mealtimes and the option of a private vehicle. All guides are fantastic with children.

If travelling as a larger family group, then bush houses tend to offer the best value options. They can be booked on an exclusive basis, and include a pool and staff. You can be completely flexible on what you do and when you do it.

For children up to around 12 years of age, lodge managers and guides will happily fill their day with fun activities. These include line-fishing, identifying dung and insects, making bows and arrows and looking for animal tracks (as well as the animals themselves).

For older children and teenagers, they start to fully appreciate the animals and outdoors. They will not only engage with the guides more and learn about the cultural diversity found here, but will want to burn off some energy with mountain biking, rafting and walking safaris. The coast also offers more grown-up activities, such as kite surfing, snorkelling and sea kayaking.

Do mobile phones work in Kenya?

This depends on your service provider, as charges and conditions may apply. But Kenya has excellent network coverage. If you cannot get coverage, then it is very easy to buy a local phone and sim card for around U$30.

How much cash should I take?

Nearly all camps include all meals, activities and alcohol. So whilst the initial cost might be higher, once there, you don’t have to constantly worry about what you are spending. The only extras are really tips and souvenirs. We suggest around $15-20 per person per day for tips.

What advice would you give on photography in Kenya?

Kenya is a photographer’s dream, with an ever-changing landscape, spectacular wildlife and a rich and colourful cultural heritage. However, always ask permission when photographing people. When on safari, to get decent shots you need to consider a camera with at least a 300mm zoom lens.

Some camps are better suited to photographers, with many of the guides being amateur photographers themselves. But all guides have a knack of getting people in the right place at the right time. The shoulder season in October and November is particularly good for photography, as the light rains clear the air, keep the scenery lush and the animals healthy. There are usually spectacular skies at this time of year and far fewer tourists.

All camps have facilities to charge camera batteries and some even have specialist lenses that you can borrow.

What should I take on safari in Kenya?

You don’t need much. Clothes should be muted safari colours for walks and safaris during the day. A fleece is useful for the cold early morning starts and nights around the campfire. Good walking boots or shoes should be worn during the day.

Dinner is usually a very relaxed affair, so no need to dress up, but some of the smarter lodges can prefer a smart-casual dress code. All of the camps offer a laundry service. We offer a full packing list as part of our confirmation documents. All camps and vehicles have their own medical kits.

Can I charge iPads, phones and laptops at the lodge?

Yes. Many of the smarter camps have charging points in the room, but all camps have somewhere to charge electrical items. Please note, hairdryers are not always allowed in smaller camps, as they may rely on a generator, with power only available at certain times of the day.


Kenya - Masai Mara Safari with Brian Jackman

wildlife group tour

Kenya - Masai Mara Safari with Brian Jackman

Experience a Masai Mara safari in the company of Brian Jackman, who has spent his life bringing t...

View More
Kenya - Loisaba Conservancy and Masai Mara Safari

Kenya - Loisaba Conservancy and Masai Mara Safari

Explore a private conservancy in the wilds of Laikipia, before heading to the vast Masai Mara Nat...

View More
Kenya - Flying Safari to the Mara

Kenya - Flying Safari to the Mara

Fly in comfort, on a chartered plane, across Kenya’s wild landscape. Begin with the elephant-domi...

View More
Uganda & Kenya - Mountain Gorillas & Masai Mara

Uganda & Kenya - Mountain Gorillas & Masai Mara

Trek in search of gorillas in the forests of Uganda; encounter these iconic primates, whose very ...

View More
Kenya - Exclusive Family Escape

Kenya - Exclusive Family Escape

Enasoit offers exclusive game viewing and safari indulgence in one of Kenya’s most visually tanta...

View More
Kenya - Lake Turkana by Private Helicopter

Kenya - Lake Turkana by Private Helicopter

Fly north by private helicopter, exploring one of Africa’s most dramatic and least explored lands...

View More
Kenya - Lion Collaring in Laikipia

Kenya - Lion Collaring in Laikipia

Take part in tracking, darting and collaring a pair of lionesses at Borana Lodge, in Laikipia. Sp...

View More
Kenya - Rhino Conservation and Elephants of Chyulu

Kenya - Rhino Conservation and Elephants of Chyulu

This journey focuses on two of Africa’s most iconic species. In the renowned Borana Conservancy, ...

View More
Kenya - Laikipia and Mara Photographic Safari

Laikipia and Mara Photographic Safari

Set out on a photographic safari through the heart of wild Kenya. Capture the best of Africa’s wi...

View More
Kenya - Luxury Kenya at Segera Retreat & Angama Mara

Luxury Kenya at Segera Retreat & Angama Mara

Combine two of Kenya’s most pioneering luxury lodges, the artistic Segera Retreat, where contempo...

View More
Kenya - A Week in the Masai Mara: Kicheche Special

Kenya - A Week in the Masai Mara: Kicheche Special

Spend a week on holiday in the Masai Mara, staying at luxury bush camps located in the Mara's fin...

View More
Kenya - Masai Mara Short Break

Masai Mara Short Break

Say goodbye to work in the evening; arrive in the world-famous Masai Mara in time for coffee the ...

View More
Kenya - Highlights including Masai Mara and Beach

Highlights of Kenya including Masai Mara and Coast

Set out on a classic exploration of Kenya’s varied landscapes. Combine the quintessential safari ...

View More
Africa - Ultimate African Elephant Conservation Journey

Ultimate African Elephant Conservation Journey

It is becoming increasingly clear that The War on Elephants is in full swing; if we fail to act, ...

View More


Blog: Lake Turkana

"There are times when the world stands still, when everything but the here and now melts away. Experiences so vivid, so captivating that they drown out the humdrum, the mundane, the banal. Sights so intense that they seem to pull at the very fabric of your soul."

Read Blog

Blog: Conservation on the Front Line

"Found on Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, Borana has become well known for its determined efforts to protect its rhinos. The high price placed on rhino horn has caused a surge in poaching, placing the lives of Borana’s rangers in ever greater danger."

Read More

Client Reviews

Sunset, Kenya
"Excellent as always. 
Choice of camps was ideal for the purpose of the trip."

Gilmour Stubbs

Secretary Bird, Kenya
"Both Deborah and Chris have been fantastic. 
Our driver and guide, was amazing. He was knowledgable and helpful and incredibly patient as we photographers sat for hours (literally!) waiting for the right light etc. Yes, this was a luxury safari option with a trained specialist but in my view worth every penny."

Sarah Hales

Wild dogs crossing river, Laikipia, Kenya, Albie Venter
"Although we had a change of consultant between booking and taking the holiday the service level remained high. 
The local representatives were very good and the guides were amazing."

Kevin Tappenden

Massai huts with a woman in red in back view, Kenya
"Jackie was very conscientious, knowledgable and went out of her way to do an excellent job. 
She was easy to deal with and proactive at every stage. I enjoyed talking to her and she arranged an excellent holiday for us."

Miranda Acland

Send us an enquiry:




8.5 hours from UK

Holiday Ideas in Kenya

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom