Kenya and Zanzibar
Combining wonderful wildlife viewing in Kenya with a few nights on the idyllic island of Zanzibar is a classic safari and beach holiday combination.
There are many great safari areas in Kenya but if you had to choose just a couple to visit then you won’t go far wrong dividing your time between the world famous Masai Mara and the Laikipia area in northern Kenya.
The Masai Mara
The Masai Mara shares the Serengeti’s seasonal great migration of zebra and wildebeest, but at any time of year this is where Africa’s iconic wildlife is found in the highest density. Cut through by three life-giving rivers, habitats range from riverine forest to open grasslands – perfectly suiting the wide range of species you’ll find here.
Accommodation options are endless and range from sophisticated lodges like Angama Mara and Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp to lovely classic bush camps along the lines of Kicheche Bush Camp Sala’s Camp and Rekero Camp.
Laikipia’s vast plains and hills contain some of the most diverse populations of large mammals in the country. More than half of Kenya’s black rhino live here along with the endangered Grevy’s zebra and even wild dog – perhaps the most endangered of all carnivores. It’s a place where you can experience a traditional safari and more, with camel safaris, riding safaris, walking excursions and traditional game drives.
There is a good range of small, intimate bush lodges providing atmospheric retreats in this splendid wilderness. Among just a few, Borana Lodge is a wonderful option, Karisia Walking Safaris lead fabulous expeditions into the bush, and Loisaba Tented Camp is a gloriously appointed with the option of a night at its romantic Star Bed camp. Solio Lodge is a magical place where you are likely to see black and white rhino, as well as riding, walking and cycling.
Recreation on Zanzibar is leisurely and tranquil, but for those after activity, snorkelling and diving are excellent and the capital, Stone Town, is an interesting excursion. Accommodation here ranges from a couple of larger all-inclusive resorts to small and sophisticated beach lodges.
Among current Aardvark Safaris’ favourites are: Matemwe Lodge, Zuri Zanzibar, Baraza and Zanzibar White Sands. Perhaps the ultimate in Zanzibar’s beach luxury is not on the main island but on a smaller island just offshore where Mnemba hosts a private island resort of just 12 beachside bandas amid a spectacular beach and magnificent coral reef.
There are regular light aircraft flights to and from the Masai Mara from Nairobi and direct flights link the Mara to Lewa. From Kenya it’s just a short hop across the Indian Ocean to the glorious white sands of Zanzibar. You can very easily leave your safari camp after breakfast and be enjoying a late lunch on the beach.
When to travel to Kenya and Zanzibar
It’s possible to visit Kenya year round, although there are fewer visitors during April and May when the ‘long rains’ tend to arrive. January to March is dry and warm as is the period between June to October. November is another rainy month, though showers are often sporadic and scattered. The climate in Zanzibar follows roughly the same pattern, with some rain in April, May and November, but warm temperatures throughout the year.
Start your planning for your Kenya and Zanzibar holiday
You’re welcome to call me (Alice) to talk about this safari and beach combination but our experts travel regularly, so anyone can chat to you and recommend the best properties for you. Call or email and let us know something about your likes, dislikes, your preferred travel dates, and any budget you have, and let one of our team do the rest.