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Return to Lamu

Return to Lamu

With the Lamu archipelago once again considered safe to visit, Simon Marsh took his family to find out what it has to offer For several years the coastal area of Kenya, from Malindi up to the border with Somalia, was considered off limits to international tourists. Various embassies and high commissions had designated it too dangerous to travel to, due to a terrorism threat. This had included the Lamu archipelago, a favourite vacation spot for European sunseekers, where a...

A wildlife lover’s guide to Kenya

A wildlife lover’s guide to Kenya

The safari was born in Kenya, a land of diverse habitats and abundant wildlife. Richard Trillo explores the rich appeal of its parks and conservancies. Illustrations by Karen Laurence-Rowe August 1981: We hitched a ride to the Masai Mara in the back of a pickup, and camped in our homemade tent by the Mara River. Above us, a billion stars cast an eerie light across a landscape of scurrying shadows, slow-moving megafauna and countless unseen dramas. Nervously cocooned in...

Kenya unwrapped

Kenya unwrapped

An insider’s overview, from the experts at Steppes Travel Why visit? 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. Highlights: There’s so much to do in Kenya,...

Case study: buying holiday property in Kenya

Case study: buying holiday property in Kenya

Buying a home abroad has long been considered a sound long-term investment, but would you invest in land in Kenya? To assess the options, Phil Clisby looks at Malu Ranch near Naivasha With ongoing uncertainties over Brexit and the economy as a whole, it may be prudent to look further afield than the usual suspects when investing in property overseas. Although Spain continues to be at the forefront for Britons looking to own a second home abroad, for those...

Revealing Nairobi

Revealing Nairobi

Jackson Biko relishes any opportunity to invite visitors to spend time getting to know Kenya’s capital. Here are his pointers. ‘Nairobi’, in Maa, the language of the Maasai, means ’cool water’. The water referred to is the Nairobi River, which meanders through the city like a pre-colonial train. The ‘cool’? Well, that comes from many things: the culture, the history, the National Park that is a stone’s throw from the CBD, the eclectic cuisine, the happy people, the warm...

Borana Lodge, Laikipia, Kenya

Borana Lodge, Laikipia, Kenya

Successful eco-tourism enterprises across Africa harness the power of tourism to provide economic development for local communities while protecting our wilderness areas and the wildlife they sustain. There are numerous inspiring examples of this right across the continent; for us, one of the most intriguing is Borana, in Kenya's Laikipia district, where the urgent challenges of rhino conservation in particular and extensive community engagement enterprises are financed by the provision of world-class tourism and game-viewing activities. This gallery of images,...

How to be a guide

How to be a guide

Sue Watt spends a week with the team at Alex Walker’s Serian in Mara North Conservancy as part of their annual Pyramids of Life refresher course. She learns about animal behaviour and what it takes to be a guide. Image copyright Will Whitford. An army of hundreds march through the mud in a solid black line, dutifully following their leader. We follow too, mesmerised from the moment they leave their home territory until the massacre comes to its gruesome...

Kenya with teens

Kenya with teens

Watamu is a great place to take your children on an educational family holiday. Linda Markovina recounts her time there, as well as recommending some other key spots along the coast. Photographs by the writer The mangroves begin to close in on us as our guide, Kahindi Chagawa, leads us towards a small inlet between the gnarled arches of Mida Creek’s network of village pathways. This elaborate and intricate ecosystem, made up of tangled forest roots, is our family’s...

Top tips for family holidays in Kenya

Top tips for family holidays in Kenya

Safari expert Rose Cobb gives her top tips and destinations for the perfect family adventure in Kenya Kenya is an ideal destination for holidays. The array of walking safaris available means your family can truly immerse themselves in the wild, rather than sit and watch from afar in a vehicle with children shrilling continuously: “Are we there yet?” The country is always one step ahead when it comes to activities and there is a plethora of private conservancies where...

Serengeti vs Kruger

Serengeti vs Kruger

Africa’s most iconic safari destination? It’s a tough call, but the Serengeti and Kruger National Parks can both stake a strong claim to the title. Here, Philip Briggs pits the two safari heavyweights against each other. The Serengeti, dominating the wild northwest of Tanzania, lies at the core of a vast migratory ecosystem that incorporates the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area and cross-border Masai Mara Reserve to cover an area comparable to Belgium or Switzerland. South Africa’s similarly extensive Kruger,...

In among the Samburu

In among the Samburu

The thrill of walking with camels in the stark lands of northern Kenya will linger forever in your heart and memory, says Lucia van der Post Of all the journeys I have been lucky enough to make to Africa, four particularly touched me. Of those four, three of them are now either impossible to do or have changed so much that the experience is much diminished. The first of my most memorable adventures was a five-day canoeing trip down...

Pastures new

Pastures new

Jonathan and Angela Scott discuss the ever-increasing importance of tourism in supporting the future of Kenya’s iconic Masai Mara Friends of Kenya have been shocked by the recent poisoning of eight lions from the Marsh Pride, prompting us to redouble our efforts to support the extraordinary Masai Mara. Without tourism to help pay for sanctuaries such as this, they will always be vulnerable. Tourism is a mainstay of Kenya’s economy, earning millions of dollars each year for the country...

The bigger picture

Rhino on Borana Conservancy

Protection of the wilderness and wildlife we cherish is increasingly falling to private conservancies. To find out what they are like to visit, we sent Craig Rix to Laikipia Dry earth crunched under foot. The ankle-high grass glistened yellow as first light stretched out across the hill. The sky shimmered in anticipation of the heat to come. For now, however, a cold, breathless tension hung in the air. We pulled our hoodies over our ears and strode silently on,...

Walking with the Maasai

Walking with the Maasai

Author and travel writer Stuart Butler, along with his Maasai friend Josphat Mako, recently concluded a trek across traditional lands belonging to Kenya's Maasai in a quest to gain an in-depth understanding of how the Maasai live today, how they interact with the environment and how that is changing. Stuart spoke to Phil Clisby about his adventure. What route did you take? We started in the Loita Hills. Well, that’s not strictly true. There are two Loita...

The allure of Laikipia

Rhinos in Laikipia, Kenya

Covering 8000sq km northwest of Mount Kenya, this upland region of golden savannah and rocky bush offers an enticing blend of remote escapes and high adventure. Richard Trillo uncovers the 22 best experiences in this often-overlooked Kenyan jewel Trek with camels For the Samburu people (ethnic cousins of the Maasai, who have grazed their livestock across much of Laikipia for the past 300 years), camels offer better insurance against drought than cattle. Pack your bags on your beast and...

25 Reasons to visit Kenya

25 Reasons to visit Kenya

Kenya is a microcosm of Africa. It has more than fifty of the world’s most breathtaking national parks, harbours some of Earth’s most threatened wildlife and promises an experience that’s both spiritually moving and visually luminous. So, in case Kenya doesn’t already feature on your list of dream destinations, Jane Barsby tells you why it should 01 Marvel at the Mara Home to the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth’ — the annual migration of one-and-a-half million wildebeest and their...

Kenya – The magic of the Mara

Kenya – The magic of the Mara

The Masai Mara is unquestionably one of the great wildlife destinations on Earth. So how do you make it even better? Like so many of our wilderness areas, the Mara is under pressure, in part due to its enormous appeal to lovers of the natural world. Efforts are being made to seek ways to protect it and retain the extraordinary spectacle it provides for future generations of safari-goers. And your visit can make a huge difference. By Jessica Hatcher...

Kenya by design

Kenya by design

Kenya expert and author Richard Trillo draws on his extensive experience to create a list of ideal destinations for you. Categories include: Kenya for first timers, Kenya for adventurers, Kenya for animal lovers, Kenya for families, Kenya for safari cognoscenti, Kenya for honeymooners, Kenya for those with a disability, and Kenya for those on a budget.  Kenya for first-timers Kenya’s infrastructure and its mix of welcoming and diverse cultures and relatively habituated wildlife (hunting has been banned since 1977)...

Kenya’s Masai Mara: Stepping into the light

Kenya’s Masai Mara: Stepping into the light

Few visitors to Kenya have more experience in the Masai Mara than the writer Brian Jackman. As his first book on the reserve, The Marsh Lions, written with Jonathan Scott, is about to be re-released on the 30th anniversary of the original, we thought it was a good time for him to write an extensive two-part feature on the Masai Mara of today, tomorrow and yesterday. Out in the acacia woodlands of Naboisho the old order is changing. Here,...

Kenya: My Kenya

Kenya: My Kenya

We asked Jackson Biko, one of Kenya’s rising writing talents, to show us around a few of his favourite haunts. His five stories take us from the beaches of Lake Victoria to the shores of the Indian Ocean, and to a few places in between. Rusinga Island The locals call it a boat, but it’s not really a boat. It’s a canoe. It’s a faded blue contraption that points to the sky at both ends. It can hold about...

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