Kenya is one of the world’s most popular destinations for safari tours. This country is home to some of the most diverse wildlife and stunning natural landscapes that offer visitors an exhilarating experience. It is also home to a wide range of lodges and tented camps that offer various activities such as hot air balloon rides, bush walks, and cultural experiences with the Maasai people.
If you’re looking to visit Kenya for the first time, there are some important things you need to be aware of from choosing the right tour company to deciding on the type of safari experience you intend to have.
Here are some of our top five things to help you plan a perfect safari experience in Kenya:
1. Choose a Reputable Tour Operator.
Before planning your first trip to Kenya, it’s important to do your own research and compare different tour operators by reading their customer reviews to get a sense of their reputation and the quality of their tours. It is also important to check out tour operators that have a strong track record of responsible tourism practices and ethical guidelines that protect our environment, respect local cultures and traditions, as well as advocate for wildlife conservation. Additionally, we recommend choosing tour operators that have adequate insurance coverage and safety guidelines to protect your well-being.
Basically, a good tour operator should be able to give you confidence and guarantee that your safari experience will be authentic and rewarding at the same time play a role in community development and environmental protection.
2. Decide on the Type of Safari Experience You Want.
As one of the most popular destinations in Africa, Kenya offers a wide range of safari experiences that include:
Luxury safaris: a type of safari experience that typically incorporates high-end accommodations into your itineraries.
Mid-range safaris: a type of safari experience that offers a good balance of comfort and value, and may include a mix of tented camps and lodges.
Budget safaris: a type of safari experience that is more affordable and may include accommodations in tented camps or basic lodges.
Cultural safaris: a type of safari experience that focuses on cultural activities, such as visits to Maasai villages or interactions with local communities.
Wildlife-focused safaris: a type of safari experience that focuses on seeing and observing the wildlife, and may include a range of game drives and other activities to get close to the animals.
Adventure safaris: a type of safari that offers a more active experience and may include activities such as hiking, biking, or rafting in addition to game drives and cultural experiences.
3. Know the Best Time to Visit.
Kenya is an all-year-round destination, however, the best time to visit this country depends on where you want to visit and the type of wildlife you want to see. The dry season which runs from January to March, as well as from July to October is usually the perfect time of the year to visit Masai Mara, as the weather is generally dry and sunny. The grasses are also shorter during this time, making it easier to spot wild animals including the Great wildebeests that flock to the Masai Mara from July to October.
The wet season on the other hand which runs from April to June as well as Late October to November is generally considered the low season for safari tours in Kenya. This is due to the fact that the weather can be very unpredictable, with some areas even experiencing heavy rainfalls. Nonetheless, the wet season can also be a good time to spot newborn wild animals.
4. Get vaccinated.
Once you’ve chosen your tour operator and decided on the type of safari experience you want to have as well as scheduled your traveling dates, it’s also important to visit your healthcare provider for advice on the type of vaccines you are required to have before traveling to Kenya. Such vaccines may include covid 19, yellow fever, malaria, and typhoid vaccines, and they should be taken at least four to six weeks earlier to allow enough time for the vaccines to take effect before traveling. You should also be aware of all the essential traveling items that you need to pack for your trip. Such items may include sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
5. Have a Backup Plan.
While most safari tours may go smoothly as planned, it’s always a good idea to have a backup plan in case of any unexpected delays or changes to your itinerary. Having travel insurance to cover yourself from any unexpected costs or disruptions, such as flight cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage is very important. We advise you to always be very careful when reading the policy to understand what is and is not covered. It is also important to keep duplicate copies of your passport, visa, and other important documents in a safe place where they can be retrieved in case the originals get lost or end up being stolen during your trip. Finally, it is always important to keep the contact information of your tour operator and the embassy of your home country in case you need any assistance during your trip.
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