An Introduction to Kenya

Sunset game drive at Elephant Pepper CampSunset game drive at Elephant Pepper Camp

The perfect habitat for wildlife and man was created millions of years ago, when cataclysmic subterranean forces wrenched a Great Rift Valley from Ethiopia's Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique.

In some places it left a string of very large deep lakes such as Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi. In others there is a necklace of small shallow ones such as Kenya's Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria. The alkaline waters of these lakes attract thousands of vivid pink Flamingoes, who feed on the small crustaceans. Kenya is the best place to view the Great Rift Valley as the escarpments are easily accessible and the valley is at its narrowest - a mere 45km (31 miles) wide at Nakuru.

East Africa was so suited to all forms of life that Early hominids lived here even 1.7 million years ago. A skull was found by Drs Louis and Mary Leaky and as a result of this and other significant anthropological discoveries, the 'Out of Africa' theory of evolution was formed - that East Africa is the 'Birthplace of Mankind.'

More than anything else, East Africa is known for its wildlife. For many years is has been the destination of choice for big animals safaris where you can expect to see huge gatherings of animals. Herds of over 100 Elephants are still seen today, so are hundreds of thousands of migrating wildebeest, plentiful Impala and Gazelles, Zebras, Giraffes and masses of Buffalo. Large Lion prides dominate most of Kenya and Tanzania's game reserves and Leopards, Cheetah, Hyenas and Jackal are commonly seen.

The East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda, provide endless thrilling safari opportunities. It is the only place in the world where you can descend into a huge collapsed volcano and drive freely amongst the game that is trapped in the Ngorongoro Crater. You can drift silently over the animal-dotted plains of the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon, followed by a champagne bush breakfast. Even the most amateur photographer can go home with a picture of Elephants against a backdrop of snow capped Mt Kilimanjaro from Amboseli.

In Uganda and Rwanda you can have a close and moving encounter with man's larger cousin, the highly endangered Mountain Gorilla. In Kenya and Tanzania you may be privileged to witness one of the world's last great migrations, where millions of Wildebeest and Zebra move through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem in an endless search for perfect grazing.

Your first visit to East Africa will not be your last, because as many travel writers, photographers and safari enthusiasts know, something about it keeps drawing you back.

If you don't believe me, try it!

Safari Countries of East Africa:

  • Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Rwanda
African Safaris Guide to South and East Africa
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