The Maasai Mara National Reserve (Masai Mara) is Kenya's finest and most outstanding wildlife sanctuary where gentle rolling grassland ensures animals are never out of sight. The climate is gentle, rarely too hot and well spread rainfall year round. The sensation of the great wildebeest migration between July and October is unparalleled. The wildlife is far from being confined within the Reserve boundaries and an even larger area extends beyond the game Reserve. Centuries of close association with the wildllife has resulted in an almost symbiotic relationship where wildlife and Masai people live in peace with one another. The first sight of this park is breathtaking. There is nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel. The combination of a gentle climate, scenic splendour and untold numbers of wildlife makes the Maasai Mara National Reserve Kenya's most popular inland destination.
Just before Nanyuki, approaching from the south, the road crosses the Equator and arrival in the northern hemisphere is marked by a large sign and scattering of curio shops. Founded in 1907, Nanyuki still has something of a frontier feel. This is enhanced by shops like Settler's Stores which have been in operation since the 1930’s. Today there is still a British army base here, and Kenyan Air Force base. There are also banks, a post office and well stocked shops, but Nanyuki's biggest claim to fame is the Mount Kenya Safari Club. The club once boasted a member list that included Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Now a hotel, it is on the British Airways list of the world's top hotels.
Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The snow capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above a saucer of clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli. Despite its small size and fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals and birds. The snows of Kilimanjaro, white and crystalline, form a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya's most spectacular displays of wildlife - lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains' game, creating Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise. The Park's best game runs are around swamps and there is a fine lookout on Observation Hill which offers views over the whole of the Park and beyond.
Lake Manyara National Park
Approaching Lake Manyara National Park the view is spectacular. From the east the Rift Valley escarpment looms on the horizon forming an impressive backdrop to the lake. From the west, the Park lies in a green strip below and the lake glistens in the sunlight. The Park's different habitats are clear. In the tall trees of the ground water forest monkeys leap from branch to branch, on the slope of the escarpment elephants stand in the shade of a baobab. In the acacia woodland lions lie draped along the branches of umbrella trees, in the pools along the lake shore the hippos wallow, and in the lake itself wade colorful flamingos. The large variety of mammals, reptiles and birds in the Park and the different types of vegetation, all within a small area make Lake Manyara a diverse and particularly memorable place to visit.
An ancient hole in northern Tanzania, Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa's best wildlife-viewing spots since it acts like a natural cage; the crater's depth makes for a difficult escape for some animals, but most have no need to leave, finding plenty of resources inside. For the traveler, it means not only awesome wildlife viewing, but incredible views from accommodations on the crater's rim. Descend to the crater floor in a four-wheel drive; and once there just cruise around slowly and take in the scene — on any given day see lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle, zebra, and reedbuck. The small soda lake inside the crater is also the seasonal home of thousands of flamingos.
Today, the Serengeti National Park helps protect the greatest and most varied collection of terrestrial wildlife on earth, and one of the last great migratory systems still intact. The Serengeti is the jewel in the crown of Tanzania's protected areas and has come to symbolize paradise. The region encompasses Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Maswa Game Reserve, the Loliondo, Grumeti and Ikorongo Controlled Areas and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the region. It's unique ecosystem has inspired writers and filmakers as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
Arusha is the safari capital of East Africa, a bustling, vibrant town with the streets filled with 4X4 game viewing vehicles criss-crossing the potholed roads. Maasai warriors in full regalia stroll the streets, mingling with tourists in crisp khaki, fresh off the plane from Europe or the United States.