Kenya is among the most famous African safari destinations, with wildlife and culture at every turn. From the Maasai Mara plains and Great Migration to the Great Lakes of the Rift Valley, there’s an abundance to see and do.
But how do you choose where to stay on your Kenyan adventure? We used our first-hand experience to compile a list of our favourite places to stay in Kenya to make the decision a little bit easier for you!
1. Angama Mara
Angama Mara means “suspended in mid-air” in Swahili, and one look at the lodge will make the reason for this name apparent. Built high above Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, Angama Mara has arguably the best view of the Maasai Mara Reserve, where they filmed the well-known movie Out of Africa.
Spacious tented suites stretch out over kopjes, spoiling guests to never-ending valley views. And it’s all geared towards giving you the best view of the plains, complete with spacious viewing decks. The Mara Triangle is only about 30 minutes from the lodge, and activities include hot air ballooning, walking safaris, game drives, and village visits. Angama Mara is a must for anyone looking to stay in Kenya.
2. Sanctuary Olonana
Sanctuary Olonana on the banks of the Mara River is in the heart of Kenya’s Big Game country. This unique setting amid the Maasai Mara offers guests remarkable opportunities for safari adventures and to witness the Great Migration when in season.
There are 14 suites, all overlooking the Mara River, with en-suite bathrooms and large decks. Sink into the comfortable seating area with a book from the camp’s library lounge. And enjoy a delicious dinner in the dining room, complete with breathtaking views of the birdlife flitting around. Other special activities include romantic bush dinners and picnics.
3. Asilia Naboisho
Naboisho Camp in the Naboisho Conservancy is a project that partners local landowners with tourism companies to protect this wilderness. The camp focuses on a low-impact yet luxurious design to further contribute to these conservation efforts.
Its location set in the shade of the acacia trees gives you a front-row view of the area, home to one of the highest densities of lions in the world. As it’s within the Great Migration corridor, the conservancy also offers guests the opportunity to witness glorious herds of elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, and zebra. Besides your game drives, your expert guides can also accompany you on bush walks, cultural visits, and night game drives.
Their conservation efforts are also evident in the accommodation with en-suite canvas tented suites. Naboisho has ensured that guests enjoy luxury while also leaving a light footprint. The king-size beds in each suite offer the ideal position to stare out at the breathtaking wilderness through large screen windows.
4. Saruni Samburu
Enjoy harmonious luxury in the bush at Saruni Samburu, with villas built into the rock face, offering unbelievable views. Activities include game drives guided by Samburu warriors with intimate knowledge and love for their land. One of the key attractions include the endemic ‘Samburu Five’, namely the gerenuk, the Reticulated giraffe, the Somali ostrich, the Grevy’s zebra, and the Beisa oryx.
With a limited number of luxury eco-chic villas available, three of which are family villas, Saruni Samburu is perfect for a group of friends or multi-generational families. Relax on your private verandah, take a dip in the infinity pool, or enjoy the outdoor showers with panoramic views of the landscape.
5. Giraffe Manor
Arguably the most famous lodge in Kenya, the Giraffe Manor is frequented by celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres. Found in the Langata suburb on the outskirts of Nairobi, it’s an elegant and exclusive boutique hotel with worldwide acclaim, primarily due to its endangered Rothschild’s giraffe herd.
The manor retains its original brick architecture, hugged by lush gardens. For your accommodation, you can take your pick from the 10 en-suite rooms, some ideal for couples and others geared towards family needs. Each room features a unique style with elegant furnishings, art-deco features and large four-poster beds.
If you love giraffes, then this is your version of paradise! You will share a space with these amusing animals wandering freely around the manor.
6. Ol Donyo
Ol Donyo Lodge is a thatched-roof bastion standing proud among a sea of green shrubbery. The land belongs to the local community, and guests pay conservancy fees directly to those responsible for preserving it.
There’s plenty to see on your game drives, such as elephant, leopard, lion, cheetah, giraffe, and many more. Or, if you want a more up-close experience, you can go on guided bush walks, horse riding or mountain biking.
Accommodation consists of cottages, complete with private pools. Each cottage also has access to a roof terrace with star beds, affording guests romantic stargazing opportunities. The lodge features a spacious lounge and dining area and offers views of the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, in the distance.
7. &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp
Set in the path of the Great Migration, one of the world’s most spectacular wildlife events, this Camp is a must-visit. But even if you visit when the Great Migration is not in town, Kichwa Tembo offers plenty to see and do.
Diverse wildlife is abundant in the area, and you can expect to encounter wildebeest, zebra, lion, elephant, cheetah, buffalo, and giraffe, among many others. In the Ngama Hills region in the eastern Mara, you can spot the rare black rhino.
40 tents of various capacities make up the accommodation at Kichwa Tembo. Each tent showcases a contemporary style, with neutral tones and textures. There’s also an on-site pool to keep you cool in summer and a shop you can browse for arts, crafts and other souvenirs.
8. Governors Camp
With vast plains and open skies, you can expect to see various wildlife, including the Big 5 and multiple bird species. The camp offers twice-daily guided game drives in custom 4×4 vehicles, hot air balloon safaris and Maasai cultural visits.
The luxury tents in the riverside forest all have views of either the river or the open plains. In fact, if you visit towards the end of July, you might even be able to see the Great Migration pass from the comfort of the deck.
9. Loisaba Tented Camp
Home to various wildlife and situated on the edge of one of Kenya’s elephant corridors, Loisaba is an eco-tourism destination that prioritises conservation. Enjoy bushwalks, horse riding, mountain biking, fishing or head out to the Samburu village for a cultural experience.
Keep an eye out for elephant, buffalo, wild dog, giraffe, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, the greater kudu and big cats. There are also over 260 species of birds and 50 species of mammals.
There are 12 tents at the Loisaba Tented Camp, of which 6 are en-suite. If you’re travelling as a family, you can choose between one of three family units. These consist of two en-suite tents connected by a walkway. Furthermore, you can relax in the camp’s central area and cool off in the beautiful infinity pool with a view.
10. Porini Rhino Camp
Embark on morning and evening game drives where you’ll spot the Big 5. Or get closer to the earth with a series of guided walks with one of the local Maasai. Other animals include the rare wild dog and a plethora of birdlife, most of which you can see from the doorway of your tent!
Memorable experiences include picnics on the river banks as well as sundowners in the wilderness. In the evenings, stargazing Kenya’s unpolluted skies is a must.
Guest can choose from one of the Porini Rhino Camp’s seven eco-friendly guest tents, each with incredible views.
When planning your next African adventure, Kenya should be at the top of your list. So, now that you know where to stay in Kenya, it’s time to start planning. As African Travel Experts, Rhino Africa’s team are here to help bring your next dream African holiday to life. Contact Rhino Africa today to start planning.
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