Some offer truly gourmet cuisine and cookery lessons should you be interested. We can also offer lessons in wildlife photography too.
For those who would like complete privacy and the ability to walk, then we can place you in a private mobile tented camp in a private conservancy such as Naboisho, Olderkesi or Mara North, which is only for a handful of people! This is the finest way of having a totally private, yet active mobile safari.
Being in a private concession affords you the freedom to do as little or as much walking as you like, too. In the Maasai Mara walking is not permitted, and safaris focus on game drives. Each day is still spectacular and different, and your guide will help you to see what interests you the most.
Tsavo East is the oldest and largest national park in Kenya, established originally in 1948. It consists of flat, dry plains, with red sandy soil, bisected by the Galana River. The Yatta Plateau and the Lugard Falls form part of this park. The area is renowned for its concentration of elephant, especially the tuskers (those with the largest tusks). Here one can have a private mobile safari and either game view by vehicle or on foot, or simply undertake a pure walking safari. It is a truly beautiful park.
Laikipia boasts a region of high biodiversity, the topography consisting of natural rolling hills and escarpments, granitic inselbergs and flat ground with semi-desert grassland and shrubs and woodland thickets. This area used to be farmland, until such time the farmers tore down the fences in an effort to support the natural migration of wildlife.
This wildlife has really increased and in some regions of Laikipia, such as the Lewa conservancy, the Big 5 can be seen and this area certainly rivals the Maasai Mara. The advantage of course, is that this is a private concession, and therefore one only sees tourists from the handful of lodges or camps in this area. The landscape is dominated by the snow-capped prominence of Mount Kenya.
Mobile safaris here are varied and excellently guided. One can walk through the region assisted by camels, walking with your Maasai warrior guides and learning about their culture and history as you travel. You could walk for several days, camping in different locations each night with your luggage transferred by camels. Or you could stay in a more static camp, taking walks each day in the surrounding wilderness and returning to the comfort of your luxury camp each evening.
Laikipia is an extraordinary area. Located north of the equator, this is a semi-arid region which boasts many of its own species which are unique to the area (which includes Meru and Shaba/Buffalo Springs). These species include the rare and endangered Grévy’s zebra, with its long, mule-like ears and unique stripes, the beisa oryx, the gerenuk (the only antelope which consistently stands on its own back legs and browses the foliage from trees rather than grazing from grass), vulturine guinea fowl, reticulated giraffe and Somali ostrich with its grey-blue neck and thighs.
Meru National Park is a stunningly beautiful park, situated north of the equator and shares topography and endemic species with Laikipia and Shaba/Buffalo Springs. It was home to George Adamson (whose grave is still marked here), famed for his raising of Elsa, the lioness in Born Free.
Little-visited and utterly unspoilt, this park is well worth visiting. Its vegetation comprises of wooded and open grassland and the riverine areas are simply beautiful, dominated by the Doum and Raffia palms. The wildlife here is excellent, with fabulous elephant and lion populations. Game drives are conducted in the national park.
Shaba National Reserve and the Buffalo Springs region. Shaba is a lovely national reserve in northern Kenya (again, with the same species endemic to northern Kenya as found in Laikipia and Meru). It has dramatic scenery and is dominated by the Shaba Hill Volcano. It also has dry grasslands and scattered woodlands although without doubt the most striking features of the park are its doum palms and riverine vegetation. Its sheer diversity of vegetation ensures good wildlife viewing.
It was also the site for two iconic films about Africa: Born Free and Out of Africa. Game drives and walks are conducted within these two protected regions.
Amboseli National Park. Private mobile safaris can also be taken in Amboseli National Park, which is renowned for its large concentration of elephant herds. Located in southern Kenya, its views are dominated by snow-capped Mount Kenya.
It has five different habitats from savannah grassland, to woodland, the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli and wetlands with sulphur springs. This variety results in excellent overall wildlife populations including cheetah, wild dog, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, leopard, lion and lesser Kudu antelope. Amboseli is also famous for its flamingos and fabulous birdlife. Here one can game view both on foot and by private vehicle.
What is the accommodation like?
In the Maasai Mara, the tents are large and airy, with very comfortable beds and luxury bed linen. The more luxurious camps (which we usually recommend) include en suite bathrooms behind your tent, with flushing toilet and open air bucket shower. It is so romantic to shower beneath the stars and there is always hot water available.
Tents usually have an area outside with comfortable chairs in which you can sit and watch the wildlife go by, depending on where you are camped you may see wildebeest grazing around your tent on the plains, or you may be able to watch wildlife come down to a river.
There is a separate central area where one finds the dining and sitting areas, though when weather permits you will often eat outside under the shade of a tree or under a bejewelled sky. The food is freshly prepared by the chefs in camp, it is simply delicious!
Our private mobile camps in Laikipia are wide-ranging. From a beautiful, luxury mobile camp, to smaller, rustic adventure camps which accompany a camel assisted walking safari, or a horse riding safari, we choose the camp based on the frequency of movement. We offer total luxury if one is static for several days to a week, or if moving nightly, we need to choose something small and lightweight. However, the quality of guiding is the finest in Kenya, and the food is simply fabulous – light and fresh and simply delicious!
What activities are available?
- Walking safaris
- Game drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles
- Night drives
- Camel safaris
- Cultural interaction
- Conservation education and experiences
- Hot air ballooning across the plains of the Maasai Mara
- Private, experiential helicopter flights
Are Kenya tented camps suitable for family safaris?
Most definitely. In the main, we would recommend with very young children that one has no more than around 3 nights on a private mobile safari, interspersed with a villa with swimming pool. There are rivers that are safe to swim in, too. We can always provide camp nannies.
When is the best time to take a safari to Kenya?
The Maasai Mara and its contiguous conservancies are fabulous all year round with the exception of May which is the rainy month. The best time depends on your interests and what you would like to see. The Maasai Mara camps that we use are taken down after each safari and reset in the regions where either the migration or the best wildlife is likely to occur. So, this might be in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve itself between July through to October, the Mara North and Olderkesi region during August and September and Naboisho for the balance of the year.
Laikipia, Tsavo East, Meru and Shaba/Buffalo Springs are all wonderful year-round with the exception of the rainy months, April and May.
Amboseli is best from November through to June.
How can I make a difference to conservation on my safari to Kenya?
With sufficient notice and an agreed donation, we can arrange for a visit to conservation and community support charities in the region of your safari, including:
In the Maasai Mara: The Mara Elephant Project, where you can see the fabulous work this organisation undertakes in providing a secure existence for the elephant population and local communities.
In Laikipia: There are several conservation and community projects worthy of support, including Lewa Wildlife Conservancy where you can spend with the rhino patrol, the anti-poaching dogs, the Grévy's zebra and lion scientists, to visiting schools and clinics, we have a wide variety of projects which we can arrange for you to visit.
In Tsavo East: One can spend time at the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust with orphaned elephant calves and possibly see them return back to the wild with their new herds. There is also Excellent Development and its sand dams, where one can sponsor a sand dam in one of these arid areas which benefits both humans and wildlife during the drought.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a mobile safari safe?
All of our private mobile safaris have 24-hour askaris (guards) and you have all your tent crew, too. There is a fire made at night which keeps animals at bay, so you are completely safe.
What about battery charging?
These days, there is no problem with recharging all your batteries for you.
Can my laundry be done on a mobile safari?
Laundry is undertaken on all these mobile camps. It is subject to the vagaries of weather, of course. Regular laundering also means you don’t have to take much luggage with you!
What will the food and drink be like?
Given sufficient notice, we can cater to all dietary requirements, as well as preferences for your favourite drink! The food is always delicious, freshly prepared by the chefs to very high standards.