Tailor-made safaris in Kenya
For many people Kenya is the home of the safari, with a wide range of options and itineraries to suit all types of budgets and interests. For this reason a tailor-made or customised itinerary tends to suit most people and our staff can help plan your perfect safari.
A safari to Kenya is not just about the wildlife, it's the journey through this diverse country with 42 different tribes giving you an exceptional cultural experience and varied landscapes which will leave you with cherished memories of a country that is both beautiful and truly unique.
Our staff in both the UK and Kenya have decades of experience in planning and running safaris. In Kenya we have our own company, office, stores, equipment and vehicles and many of the staff are former beneficiaries of our charity, Moving Mountains Trust. They've been supported through their Primary, Secondary and College education within our Moving Mountains family and are now qualified safari guides, drivers and cooks, as well as fulfilling many other roles in the company and charity in Kenya.
Safari map of Kenya
How does it work?
Initially just drop us an email or call us with an idea of what it is you'd like to do, or to get some ideas of what's possible to do. You can speak directly with Chris or Andy in the UK office who both have over two decades hands on experience putting together and managing trips to and in Kenya. Together they'll chat with you about your plans, aspirations, dates and budget and then put together a proposed itinerary for your time in Kenya. We'll work together with you until you're happy with the itinerary and costs.
Some people may be on a Mount Kenya climb and want to add a few days R&R after the climb or maybe you're in Kenya on a volunteering or international development trip or you could just be out in Kenya for a safari, whatever it is we'll be able to ensure that you don't leave Kenya without enjoying a bit more of what Kenya offers.
Safari accommodation in Kenya
Accommodation varies across Kenya but generally you have a choice of camping, mid range permanent tented camps and rooms or luxury 4* and 5* permanent tented camps and lodges. The type of accommodation can make a big difference to the cost of a safari with wild camping being the cheapest option and luxury permanent tented camps and lodges being the most expensive so depending on your budget or preference you will probably prefer one to the other or even a mix of both to give you that varied experience of luxury and sleeping under the stars with the sounds of the wildlife around you.
The costs for budget and mid-range accommodation tends to remain pretty consistent all year round, possibly with a small rise during peak season. Luxury accommodation however tends to have a three tier system. Low season is the cheapest time to get luxury accommodation (dates vary with different accommodation but you can estimate that low season runs from mid-March to mid-June and November to mid-December). High season is any other time during the year (mid-June to October and mid-December through to mid-March). Peak season tends to be the festive dates (over Christmas and the New Year and Easter weekend), however some lodges will also class late June to early October as Peak season, particularly in the Masai Mara where people flock for the Great Migration during these dates.
The following are some of the more popular options in and around the National Parks and Game Reserves and Conservation areas that we visit more regularly, there are literally hundred of option across Kenya and sites like Trip Advisor will give you more information and options in all locations;
- Nairobi - we currently use Wildebeest Eco-Camp on the outskirts of Nairobi near Nairobi National Park where you can camp on the grounds of this secure camp or upgrade to their basic private or dorm permanent tents (shared bathrooms). There are other options in and around Nairobi, particularly for backpacker style accommodation but the security at Wildebeest makes it ideal.
- Masai Mara - there are a few basic camping options around the edges of the Masai Mara with basic facilities or and a couple of other camping sites on the grounds of permanent tented camps where you have access to better facilities and bars, restaurants, hot showers, etc
- Lake Naivasha - camping at Fish Eagle Inn on the shores of Lake Naivasha gives you great access to everything that the area has to offer, including Elsamere, Hells Gate National Park and Mount Longonot.
- Suswa Conservancy - there is only one option at Suswa and that is budget! There is wild camping on the slopes of Mount Suswa or in the Masai villages within the Great Rift Valley or if you want to experience life in the 'Manyattas' then we can arrange for a home stay with a Masai family.
- Lake Nakuru - Camping is available at Lion Hill Camp just outside Lake Nakuru National Park where there are also basic ensuite rooms, the camp is secure and there is a great Curio shop just next to the camp, as well as a bar selling drinks at local prices. We do not recommend camping inside Lake Nakuru National Park, the baboons will destroy tents and rob all your kit!
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy - our preferred option in this part of the world is the Blueline Hotel, just outside Naro Moru town, which is our base for most of our Mt Kenya climbs and provides secure room and camping options with a friendly atmosphere. However, there are plenty of wild camping options within Ol Pejeta Conservancy too.
- Aberdare National Park - like Ol Pejeta Conservancy our preferred option in this part of the world is the Blueline Hotel but there are also plenty of wild camping options within the Aberdare National Park, some with toilet, bathroom, kitchen and running water facilities and some with no facilities! Most will accommodate up to about 40 pax.
- Samburu National Reserve - Samburu best budget option is to camp on the banks of the crocodile-infested Ewaso Ng'iro River, where armed Rangers track the location of dangerous visitors but we've also been known to arrange cultural camping experiences at the semi-nomadic villages of the Samburu people living just outside the National Reserve.
- Meru National Park - There are a number of options for wild camping in Meru National Park and most sites have no facilities however there is one site with bathrooms, toilets, running water and even a swimming pool, although there is no guarantee it will have water in it!
- Kakamega Forest Reserve - There are 2 x options for camping in Kakamega Forest Reserve, they are called Biota Campsite (about 1km from the Park headquarters) and Udo Campsite (very close to the Park headquarters) and both have kitchen shelters, water access and toilet / washing facilities.
- Lake Baringo and Bogoria - We would recommend Bogoria for a day trip rather than as a location to stay overnight, there are some basic camping facilities but nothing like Roberts Camp on the shores of Lake Baringo which has a campsite, banda's, a permanent tented camp and cottages to stay in.
- Amboseli National Park - There is one public campsite next to the Park headquarters which has washing and toilet facilities and can accommodate up to 60 pax.
- Tsavo West & Tsavo East National Parks - There are a number of options for wild camping in both Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks and although most sites have no facilities some do have bathrooms, toilets and running water. There are also a few budget permanent tented camps and lodges in Tsavo, including Sagala Lodge and Ngulia Bandas in Tsavo West and Man-Eaters Safari Camp and Ngutuni Lodge in Tsavo East
- Nairobi - Wildebeest Eco-Camp also offers a number of mid-range options in their deluxe en-suite permanent garden tents with single, twin and family options available. The facilities are excellent and it has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere set in beautiful gardens, a real oasis on the outskirts of the city which avoids the infamous Nairobi traffic as much as possible! If you're looking for something a little more central to town then you're spoilt for choice, a favourite for us is the Fairview Hotel.
- Masai Mara - depending on the approach road used on the way to the Mara a couple of the popular options for basic permanent tented camps (usually en-suite) include the Mwangaza Mara Camp, Mara Sidai Camp or Enchoro Wildlife Camp (towards the southern edge of the Mara, on the west side of Loita Hills) or the more expensive Mara Eden Bush Camp (towards the north of the Mara, closer to the Mara triangle on the banks of Talek River).
- Lake Naivasha - basic en-suite rooms are available at Fish Eagle Inn in this secure camp with a great bar and restaurant, swimming pool and if you are lucky you'll get to see the Hippo graze on the shores of Naivasha in the evening. There are also a couple of 2 bedroom cottages that can be hired for small groups or families.
- Lake Nakuru - lots of mid-range hotels around Nakuru National Park and Lake Elmenteita, including Hotel Waterbuck, Tumaini Cottages and Ziwa Bush Lodge. All the mid-range options will be situated outside Lake Nakuru National Park.
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Mid-range accommodation inside Ol Pejeta Conservancy is limited but, if available, Pelican House is a great option, particularly for families or small groups (can accommodate up to 12 pax). The veranda overlooks Pelican Dam, which is frequently visited by a variety of wildlife, particularly during the dry season. There are however lots of mid-range options outside Ol Pejeta, including Naro Moru River Lodge.
- Aberdare National Park - like Ol Pejeta Conservancy, mid-range accommodation is limited inside the Aberdares but Sapper Huts (each hut accommodates 2 pax) or the Aberdare Fishing Lodge (accommodates up to 7 pax), located deep in the moorlands provide a secluded haven for trout fishing, walking safaris, hiking and a chance to see spectacular waterfalls, moorland scenery and diverse wildlife.
- Samburu National Reserve - There are a couple of mid-range options in Samburu including the recommended Ashnil Samburu Camp in Buffalo Springs National Reserve (on the southern banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River) and Samburu Sopa Lodge in Samburu National Reserve (on the northern banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River).
- Meru National Park - If available there are a couple of options run by the Kenya Wildlife Service, including Kinna Guesthouse (accommodates 10 pax), Meru Guest House (accommodates 5 pax), Murera Cottages (each cottage accommodates 3 pax) and Kinna Cottages (each cottage accommodates 2 pax).
- Kakamega Forest Reserve - If available there are a couple of options run by the Kenya Wildlife Service, including Isukuti Guest House (accommodates 2 pax), Udo Guest House (accommodates 2 pax) and Udo Traditional Huts (accommodate either 2 or 4 pax).
- Lake Baringo and Bogoria - We would recommend Bogoria for a day trip rather than as a location to stay overnight, there are much better mid-range options around Lake Baringo, including Tumbili Cliff Lodge and Soi Safari Lodge on the shores of the lake.
- Amboseli National Park - If available there are a couple of options run by the Kenya Wildlife Service, including Kilimanjaro Guest House (accommodates 7 pax), Simba Cottages (each cottage accommodates 2 pax) and Chui Cottages (each cottage accommodates 2 pax).
- Tsavo West & Tsavo East National Parks - Mid-range accommodation includes Kilaguni Serena Lodge and Voyager Ziwani Tented Camp in Tsavo West and Voi Wildlife Lodge, Loyk Tsavo Camp and Satao Tented Camp in Tsavo East
- Nairobi - Excellent choice within Nairobi for hotels, including more modern options like Villa Rosa Kempinski and Nairobi Serena Hotel or the traditional favourites like Sarova Stanley or Fairmont The Norfolk.
- Masai Mara - There is no so many options in the Mara for luxury accommodation from exclusive and intimate luxury+ camps on the banks of the rivers to larger lodges which are a bit more competitive on their price. Popular locations include the Masai Mara Sopa Lodge (a little bit more luxury without breaking the bank), located on the slopes of the Oloolaimutia Hills or Keekorok Lodge located within the Reserve near the banks of the Talek River.
- Lake Naivasha - There are a number of luxury lodges on the shores of Lake Naivasha, including Lake Naivasha Country Club and Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge where it would not be unusual to see a variety of different monkey, warthog, giraffe and zebra roam substantial gardens / grounds.
- Lake Nakuru - Not as much choice for a smaller Park like Nakuru but you can't go far wrong with Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge or Lake Nakuru Lodge. Both are located inside Lake Nakuru National Park and Sarova in particular offers great views of the lake.
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy - The accommodation of choice in Ol Pejeta would have to be Sweetwaters Serena Tented Camp, which boasts 50 luxurious permanent tents with Mount Kenya as a backdrop. All tents have an en-suite bathroom and veranda with views of a watering hole but there are other unique and more intimate options, including Ol Pejeta House, Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Kicheche Laikipia Camp, Porini Rhino Camp and Mantis Mutara Camp.
- Aberdare National Park - The Aberdares are famous for two truly unique wilderness lodges; Treetops and The Ark Hotel. Treetops is built on stilts and is where Queen Elizabeth II visited as a princess and left as queen. The Ark resembles and is indeed named after 'Noah's Ark' and both locations offer excellent game viewing with natural waterholes and salt licks next to the lodges which are floodlit at night. One of the few places to really experience diverse wildlife from the comfort of your room, it's not unknown to wake up with a giraffe looking in through your window!
- Samburu National Reserve - You are spoilt for choice in Samburu but two particular favourites include the Elephant Bedroom Camp and Samburu Intrepids Tented Camp in Samburu National Reserve (on the northern banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River).
- Meru National Park - Meru is home to one of Kenya's iconic lodges; Elsa's Kopje, which is widely renowned as one of the most elegant lodges in Africa thanks to the award-winning design of individual cottages built in to rocky outcrops on a hillside overlooking the vast plains of Meru National Park.
- Lake Baringo and Bogoria - We would recommend Bogoria for a day trip rather than as a location to stay overnight, there are much better accommodation options around Lake Baringo, including Samatian Island Lodge and Ol Kokwe Island Camp, both located on different islands on the lake.
- Amboseli National Park - You are spoilt for choice in Amboseli but two particular favourites that don't completely break the bank include Kilima Safari Camp and Ol Tukai Lodge, both of which are located in the heart of the Park offering stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Tsavo West & Tsavo East National Parks - Luxury accommodation includes Finch Hatton's Camp and Severin Safari Camp in Tsavo West and Kilalinda Safari Camp in Tsavo East.
The above are just examples of camping area's, budget accommodation, mid-range accommodation and luxury accommodation, we can of course accommodate preferences not listed above.
National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation Areas
Kenya has a variety of National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation areas dotted across the country, from the ever-popular Masai Mara to the vast Tsavo East and West National Parks but there are also some less known hidden gems which can take you off the traditional tourist trail and in to the wilderness in the likes of Suswa Conservancy or Kakamega Forest Reserve. All are famous for different reasons and the following gives a short summary of some of our favourite locations;
- Nairobi National Park - On the outskirts of the city is Nairobi National Park, offering open grass plains with the backdrop of the sky scrapers of the central business district. Despite the close proximity of the city it still hosts a remarkable variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffalo, giraffe and a diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. There are also a number of other excellent attractions nearby, including the Giraffe Centre, David Sheldricks Wildlife Trust and much more!
- Masai Mara National Reserve - Easily the most famous of all the Parks and Reserves in Kenya, if not Africa. The Masai Mara (or Maasai Mara) is where you can witness the Great Migration of Wildebeest as they make their way across the Mara River from the Serengeti in search of greener pastures, usually in July, August and September. It's also one of only two locations in Kenya where you stand a good chance of seeing the 'Big 5' (leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo) in one game drive. Rolling savannah dotted with clusters of acacia trees make for easy game viewing
- Hells Gate National Park - Located near Lake Naivasha, it is very easy to get to (only 2 hours from Nairobi) and as there are no resident predators inside Hells Gate it makes it the perfect location for all sorts of adventure activities, including rock climbing, mountain biking alongside the resident wildlife, trekking on the surrounding cliffs and trails or in to the deep gorges and wild camping. If you're not staying overnight in the Park then there are lots of options outside on the shores of Lake Naivasha where you can take a boat trip out on to the lake to see the wallowing Hippo and swooping Fish Eagles and visit Elsamere, the home of the late Joy Adamson (Born Free). The nearby Mount Longonot is also a great days hike to the summit and / or around the crater rim.
- Suswa Conservancy - Despite it's relatively easy access from Nairobi (about 3 hours), Suswa is one of the lesser known locations but well worth a visit to get a feel for the Kenyan wilderness and true Masai culture away from the crowds on the traditional tourist trail. Limited in facilities, you have a choice of wild camping or staying in traditional 'Masai manyattas' but the views of a sunrise over the Great Rift Valley from the summit of Mount Suswa (Ol Doinyo Nyokie or the red mountain - 2,356m), make it well worth the effort. Suswa is perfect for trekking but other attractions include the hot springs, a variety of wildlife on the slopes of Suswa and in the 'lost island' in the centre of the crater, the Masai cultural experience and the baboon parliament at nearby caves, which were featured on the BBC documentary 'The Great Rift: Africa's Wild Heart'.
- Lake Nakuru National Park - Well known as a 'Bird-watchers paradise', Lake Nakuru is a relatively small Park just north of Naivasha, so again easy access for a day trip or overnight from Nairobi. Great place to spot the tree-climbing lion and rhino but there are a total of 56 different mammal species inside the Park, including waterbuck, warthog, impala, buffalo, giraffe, eland, black rhino and white rhino, hippo and occasionally leopard. Nakuru used to be most famous for the sea of pink flamingo that would wade around the edges of the lake, unfortunately due to recent flooding many have migrated to different lakes around East Africa however, you'll still find some at Nakuru just not in the numbers that there used to be.
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Perfect for overnights and day trips, particularly if you are in and around the western slopes of Mount Kenya. Masai Mara aside, Ol Pejeta is probably the only place in Kenya where you have a chance of seeing the 'Big 5' in one day. It is also the only place in East Africa where you can see chimpanzee and the only place to see the remaining 'northern white rhino', there are only 3 left on the planet... all in Ol Pejeta.
- Aberdare National Park - The Aberdare National Park covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Range of central Kenya and the open moorland to the east of the steep forested ravines. It's not just a natural habitat for a diverse selection of game and birdlife but an incredible location for trekking, wild camping, horse riding and fishing. Well worth considering if you're looking for wilderness and a bit of adventure.
- Samburu National Reserve - Samburu National Reserve is north of Mount Kenya on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River, which provides the life for the wildlife in this otherwise semi-arid region. On the southern side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. To reach Samburu is about 2-3 hours drive from Naro Moru, our base for Mount Kenya climbs and about 5-6 hours drive from Nairobi but it's worth the effort, both for the wildlife (many animals rarely found in other regions are easily spotted in Samburu) and the Samburu culture.
- Meru National Park - In comparison to some of the better known Parks and Reserves in Kenya, Meru is rarely visited and completely unspoilt. Animals can be more difficult to spot due to the landscape (mix of jungle, winding rivers, swamp and grasslands) but that shouldn't put anyone off visiting, the remoteness and atmospheric environment only add to the experience. There are views of Mt Kenya from Meru but the Park is probably most famous as the former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness.
- Kakamega Forest Reserve - Well off the traditional tourist trail in Western Kenya is Kakamega Forest Reserve, part of the rain forest that stretched all across Central Africa. It's the perfect location for bird watching and forest treks but despite the dense forest you can still catch a glimpse of a bush pig, giant forest hedgehog, colobus or debrazzar monkey or even a potto but one of the highlights must surely by an early morning trek to a highpoint within the Park to watch the sun and mist rise over the forest canopy below.
- Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria - These two Rift Valley lakes couldn't be more different. Baringo is one of the two freshwater lakes of the Rift Valley which nourishes healthy fish, bird, hippo and crocodile populations, whereas Bogoria is an alkaline lake with geysers and mineral spas to enjoy. Like Hells Gate, Bogoria is one of the few places that you can safely walk or cycle around as although there are plenty of flamingo, greater kudu, zebra, buffalo and other game, there are no resident predators.
- Amboseli National Park - Famous for its large elephant herds and views of the immense Mount Kilimanjaro across the border in Tanzania it has varied wildlife all year round, including giraffe, zebra, cheetah and hundreds of bird species. The western section is dominated by Lake Amboseli, which is dry outside the rainy season.
- Tsavo West & Tsavo East National Parks - Tsavo West & East make up the largest protected area in Kenya (Tsavo East is the larger of the two Parks). The sheer vastness of Tsavo can make it a little more difficult to spot everything but it is home to most of the larger mammals, including vast herds of elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion (the Tsavo man-eating lions caused the deaths of a number of construction workers on the Kenya-Uganda Railway from March to December 1898), leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbuck, lesser Kudu, gerenuk and abundant birdlife (over 500 recorded species). It is most popular with visitors to Mombasa and Malindi or people making their way down to the coastline from Nairobi.
The above is just a selection of our favourite National Parks, Game Reserves and Conservation Areas, there are many more Sanctuaries and areas of natural beauty across Kenya that are not listed including the Marine Parks in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya at Mombasa, Malindi, Watamu, Kisite Mpunguti and Kiunga.
Adventure Alternative Kenya overland safari truck in Hells Gate National Park
Kenya safari costs
Most of the safaris that we arrange are private itineraries for individuals, couples, families, small groups of friends and add-on options after Mount Kenya climbs, medical electives and volunteer placements. We also run a lot of safari trips for large groups in our converted overland trucks but we're more than happy to quote prices for a variety of options and we can tailor-make itineraries to suit all budgets.
It is worth noting that the more people on a safari the cheaper the 'per person' cost tends to be as group costs get shared out among more people. For example the average price per person for a standard 3 day / 2 night safari to the Masai Mara, with accommodation provided in mid-range permanent tented camps would be around £645 per person if there is 2 pax. A group of 3 pax reduces the per person cost from £645 to £615.
Safari prices quoted tend to include and exclude the following;
- Private safari vehicle (with pop up roof for game viewing) including fuel
- Driver & Guide / Chef (includes allowances, salaries, accommodation, park fees, food and insurance)
- All National Park and Game Reserve / Conservancy fees - as per itinerary
- All accommodation and / or camping fees - as per itinerary
- Activities on safari - as per itinerary
- All meals (either provided by your Guide / Chef or at your accommodation) and bottled water throughout the itinerary
- Group camping equipment that may be needed (cooking facilities, tents, etc)
- International travel, Kenyan visa and personal travel insurance
- Travel vaccinations and anti-malarials required for your itinerary
- Additional hard / soft drinks
- Personal camping equipment that may be required (sleeping bags, mats, etc)
- Safari staff tips
It is possible to hire camping equipment needed in Kenya, including sleeping bags and mattresses and head torches. Contact us for the latest prices.
With our low deposit service, you can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or private itinerary.
- Kenya safari Customised