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Safaris in Kenya

The chances are that as soon as you arrive in Kenya, you will be looking to join a safari. And even if you are not, touts from the safari companies will certainly come looking for you! It is possible to arrange everything for yourself if you hire a vehicle, but there are lots of things to sort out and it is easier and cheaper to go with an organised group. There is an incredible number of companies out there offering an incredible variety of itineraries so it is a good idea to shop around and find a company that best fits your requirements. Depending on your tastes, you can travel by minibus, 4WD, truck, camel, cycle, aeroplane or even on foot in some places. More than a few travellers book the first safari that fits their budget and ends up feeling that they should have chosen something else. A  bit of legwork visiting the various companies may save you a lot of time trying to get a refund if the safari is not what you thought you had booked.

Which kind of Safari? There are essentially two broad types of organised safaris – those were your camp and those were you stay in lodges or luxury tented camps at night. Some budget companies also have their own lodges on the outskirts of parks, which tend to be cheaper, although you will often lose quite a bit of time shuttling between the lodges and the parks. Whatever type of accommodation you choose, safaris typically start and end in either Nairobi or Mombasa, although there are a handful of exceptions to this. We usually use either large Toyota Land Cruiser jeeps or Nissan Urvan minibus which have hatches in the roof for wildlife viewing, often with some kind of shade over the top. This safe vantage point from which to take photos is something you will miss out on if you are hiring your own car.

Tranquil Safaris offers you the opportunity to take walking or cycling safaris. As well as transfers to and from Nairobi or Mombasa and also between the parks, safari companies offer two wildlife drives per day. Each drive typically lasts 2-3 hours and the best in terms of sighting animals are those that start at 6.30 am or 4 pm, when animals are at their most active. Bear in mind that if you arrange a half-day visit to any part of your safari, the chances are will not be visiting at prime viewing time. As a general rule, on all safaris, you will be left to your own devices between late morning and mid-afternoon(except for lunch), although if you are on a camping safari you may be taken to a lodge to relax over a cold beer or have a swim in the pool. You may also be taken to a lodge after the late afternoon wildlife drive for the same thing before returning to camp for dinner. Either way, you have got lots of time to kill between wildlife drives so a good book to read will be a lifesaver. A bit of patience and the ability to go with the flow is the key to having a good time on safari. There is so much wildlife here that almost everyone finishes the day elated at having spotted some animal or other.