October 21

Top 12 Luxury Safaris in Kenya


October 21, 2022

Kenya has long drawn eager safari enthusiasts to its game-rich grassy plains, mountainous regions, lush forests, and massive lakes. Its popularity spurs from its wide variety of wildlife, ancient cultures, luxury lodges, and exceptionally unique experiences. In addition to this, the greatest wildlife show of all takes centre stage in this magical land, namely the Great Migration. This is when, every year, thousands upon thousands of wildebeest thunder across this sanctuary. However, even when they're not passing through, Kenya remains a consistently excellent year-round safari destination. So, if you're considering visiting this piece of wilderness paradise, here are our top 15 luxury safaris in Kenya.

Maasai Mara tribal member gazing into the vast Mara plains while waiting for guests to arrive for their bush breakfast

Get to know the Maasai culture and explore East Africa's wildlife, Image Credit: Sanctuary Retreats

1. Angama Mara

Inspired by the Swahili word for "suspended in mid-air", Angama Mara boasts an elevated position above the floor of the Great Rift Valley and overlooking the magnificent Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Only minutes from the Mara Triangle, guests can experience hot air ballooning, walking safaris, cultural visits to neighbouring Maasai villages – or simply absorb arresting valley views through floor-to-ceiling windows of their sumptuous suites. Each suite enjoys full glass frontage overlooking the plains and spacious viewing decks, which are ideal for in-room dining, massage treatments and red rocking chair safaris. Therefore, Angama Mara truly provides a luxury escape where one can experience the Massai Mara from every angle.

Elevated wilderness views as far as the eye can see

Vast valley views from Angama Mara suite’s large deck area, Image Credit: Angama Mara

2. Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri means "beautiful place" in Swahili, and this luxury tented safari camp certainly embodies the definition. Offering one of the best luxury safaris in Kenya, Mahali Mzuri finds itself right in the path of the annual Great Migration in the private Olare Motorogi Conservancy.

Arched canvas canopies line a lush valley edge which descends into the rolling plains of the Greater Maasai Mara ecosystem. Whether from the 12-metre infinity pool, luxury tents or out on a game drive, you can enjoy unforgettable sights across the Kenyan plains. Furthermore, bush dining, spa treatments and Maasai Mara tribe visits add further dimensions to the overall experience.

Contemporary suites, nestled in lush terrain, boast almost fluid-looking canopies

Stylish suites provide a secluded sanctuary on a lush valley edge, Image Credit: Mahali Mzuri

3. &Beyond Bateleur Camp

If you're yearning for a safari adventure plucked from an "Out of Africa" scene, you should add &Beyond Bateleur Camp to your bucket list! You'll find this safari camp of yesteryear at the scenic foot of Oloololo escarpment (the rim of the Great Rift Valley) in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Here, the surrounding vistas beckon you to explore Mara's wildlife-filled lands. From game drives, bush walks, hot-air balloon trips and lectures by a Maasai naturalist to visiting local villages for varying perspectives of the region, there's plenty to keep you busy. Furthermore, adding to the ambience and glamour of Kenyan explorers of old, each suite is tastefully decorated with antiques and comes with a private butler.

Elegant interior of safari suite embellished with decor indicative of old-world safari

Experience luxury safaris in Kenya with an old-world ambience, Image Credit: &Beyond Bateleur Camp

4. Mara Plains Camp

Elegant yet understated, the Mara Plains Camp radiates old-world charm with a dash of royal ambience. Picture red leather, copper, and brass touches, as well as accents of deep purple and large wooden doors inspired by the Maasai and Arab culture. Therefore, it's no wonder this luxury camp is one of Kenya's only three Relais & Châteaux properties. 

The secluded setting in the Maasai Mara allows you to see plenty of wildlife without sharing the experience with crowds of other guests. Moreover, as one of the only camps in the region to offer safaris in open game drive vehicles, striking photographic opportunities and up-close-and-personal encounters with the wildlife are a given.

Luxurious elegance radiates from every inch of the East Africa-influenced architecture at Mara Plains Camp - one of the top 15 safaris in Kenya

Luxurious elegance radiates from every inch of the East Africa-influenced architecture, Image Credit: Mara Plains Camp

5. Sanctuary Olonana

If you're after luxury safaris in Kenya with a contemporary twist, look no further than Sanctuary Olonana. Situated on the banks of the Mara River, in the heart of Kenya's most famous game reserve, Olanana exemplifies opulence while celebrating the Maasai Mara's breathtaking natural wonders.

Guests can enjoy all the stable experiences one would expect from a Kenya safari, including game drives, village visits, bush dinners, scenic flights and balloon rides. However, it's the lodge's design that truly sets it apart. Look forward to soothing interiors comprising natural materials, splashes of colours indicative of African wildflowers, dramatic glass doors, Maasai-inspired ornamentation, indigo rugs, elegant Edison-bulb pendant lights, and so much more.

Exterior view of the suite illustrating bleached wooden deck and contemporary architecture

Contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with Maasai mudding and stone walls, Image Credit: Sanctuary Olonana

6. Sala’s Camp

Renowned for delivering an authentic Maasai Mara cultural experience (a definite MUST when it comes to luxury safaris in Kenya), Sala's Camp seamlessly combines a traditional "under canvas" safari experience with contemporary comfort. Furthermore, as a bonus, Sala's Camp is less than two kilometres away from the Tanzanian border, which means it's one of the first camps in the Mara to witness the legendary annual Great Migration.

The luxury lodge sits in a secluded spot on the banks of the Sand River and enjoys waves of wildlife and wonderful views into the Serengeti National Park. Taking pride in a bespoke approach, they plan all your activities to fit your schedule. Enjoy leisurely game drives, wilderness bush breakfast, riverbed volleyball, spectacular sundowners on the savannah, and more.

Aerial view of Sala's Camp shown along a swollen river and surrounded by lush green vegetation

Intimate and secluded, nestled along the tree-lined banks of the Sand River, Image Credit: Sala’s Camp

7. Segera

A luxury lodge in the Laikipia region of Kenya, Segera provides a pristine paradise overflowing with bespoke experiences. The lodge strives to provide one of the best luxury safaris in Kenya. Furthermore, it's a spiritual retreat featuring endless savannah, waterfalls and tropical garden vistas. 

Venture out on excursions starting at Kenya's spectacular lakes and ending off at majestic Mount Kenya. You will spot a variety of wildlife on game drives and nature walks, or you can opt to have an "Out of Africa" experience with a fly-over trip across the bush. Segera offers several luxury villas, each with its own private deck, sun loungers, swing bed, and sunken jacuzzi boasting views of snow-capped Mount Kenya. And to top it all off, they offer heavenly spa treatments! 

Biplane, similar to the one from the movie 'Out of Africa', flying over Segera retreat

Opt for an “Out of Africa” experience with a fly-over trip across the bush, Image Credit: Segera

8. Loisaba Tented Camp

Enjoying incredible vistas on the edge of an escarpment, Loisaba Tented Camp is ideally positioned to capitalise on unhindered views across Laikipia's mottled landscape all the way to Mount Kenya. Here, African-themed sophistication and style are the flavours of the day, using chic Africana furniture combined with modern European accents. 

Furthermore, as it's close to Kenya's elephant corridors, the area is home to a large variety of wildlife. Explore the 57,000ha conservancy via 4x4, foot, mountain bike, horse or even camel! Moreover, they can arrange excursions to a Samburu village and fishing trips for you. Back at camp, airy tents boast large floor-to-ceiling windows, polished wood floors, modern furnishings and wide verandahs, ideal for taking in the expansive panoramas.

Main viewing deck showcases Laikipia's spectacular mottled landscape, Image Credit: Loisaba Tented Camp

9. Ol Donyo

The tranquil Ol Donyo lodge is tucked away in a sea of green shrubbery along the Chyulu Hills in Amboseli National Park, one of Kenya's most prized safari destinations. The wealth of wildlife quickly becomes apparent from the very beginning of your stay. You can sit back and absorb breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance while elephants, giraffes and other plains game leisurely stroll by.

Adventures include game drives, bush walks, horseback safaris, Maasai village visits and fly-camping. After a rewarding day of safari shenanigans, guests can cool down at the infinity pool or unwind in their lavish accommodations. Each spacious suite features its own exclusive plunge pool and a rooftop terrace where they can set up a romantic outdoor star bed for a heavenly night's sleep.

Exterior view of Ol Donyo suite with private plunge pool

Each spacious suite comes with its own plunge pool and rooftop terrace, Image Credit: Ol Donyo

10. Tortilis Camp

Tortilis Camp sits on a serene hill, hugged by a forest, and is named after the flat-topped, umbrella Tortilis trees on the border of Amboseli National Park. The area is home to the local Maasai, who've been walking ancient trails for generations and account for over half the guides at this polished eco-property.

Gazing over Kilimanjaro's snow-capped peaks, Tortilis is the ideal base from which to experience a Kenya safari in all its glory. Guests can enjoy game drives, walks, Maasai interactions, sundowners and bush meals both inside the national park or exclusively in Tortilis's conservancy. The camp is exquisitely built with natural materials and thatched roofs, which add to an authentic African feel.

Luxury tented suite boasting a grand thatch roof, exquisite stone flooring and plenty of space

All suites have a verandah offering magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Image Credit: Tortilis Camp

11. Elsa’s Kopje

Elsa's Kopje is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson's biographical book and film called "Born Free". Elsa's Kopje enjoys a spectacular vantage point overlooking Meru National Park. And the elegant lodge is set in Mughwango Hill, rising above the site of George Adamson's original camp.

Meru National Park is known for having more diversity of animal species than any other park in East Africa. Therefore, it's a thriving rhino sanctuary with plentiful lions, cheetahs, leopards, elephants, and birdlife, to name just a few of its stars. Wholly constructed from naturally sourced materials, the lodge emanates a very earth-like atmosphere and enjoys views as far as the eye can see over Mount Kenya, the Nyambeni Hills and the Eastern Plains.

A private evening dinner on the pool deck illuminated by soft-glowing lanterns

Romantic lantern-lit dinner overlooking the vast Meru wilderness, Image Credit: Elsa’s Kopje

12. Saruni Samburu

Situated in the Sera Community Conservancy, Saruni Samburu is flanked by the neighbouring Kalama Conservancy and Mount Kenya. Harmony, privacy and bush luxury are the order of the day. And, guided by Samburu warriors, you can branch out and explore over 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness teeming with wildlife.

However, one of the key attractions here is the 'Samburu Five'. This collection of wildlife endemic to the area comprises the gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Grevy's zebra, and the beisa oryx. Back at Saruni, a secluded sanctuary awaits with only a handful of luxury eco-chic villas equipped with private verandahs and infinity pools. Therefore, you can look forward to an exclusive escape where nature is the focal point and opulence is an added bonus.

Gorgeous elevated views from a polished concrete-floor balcony

An unparalleled escape when it comes to luxury safaris in Kenya, Image Credit: Saruni Samburu

Luxury Safaris in Kenya Solely for You

Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway for two, a fun-filled family adventure, or a solo expedition of self-discovery, Kenya offers a host of luxury options to suit your safari needs.

Our Rhino Africa Travel Experts have explored the deepest corners of East Africa and, by doing so, gained in-depth knowledge to tailor-make luxury safaris in Kenya suited especially for you. So, get in touch with one of our Travel Experts today, and let's start planning your visit to some of the wildest places on earth.

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About the author 

Michelle Welvering

Growing up, Michelle always wanted to become a world-renowned artist, a kickboxing-champion and an eccentric explorer – aka a Kickboxing Exploring Artist! After pursuing an education in Fine Arts and opening her own Kickboxing gym in Pretoria, an unexpected twist led her to a six-year stint as a travel consultant in South African tourism. She believes that all things happen for a reason and, driven by adventure, she was eager to find a more “wild” and cultural space to call home. This led her to wander the Western Cape coastline, fall in love with the city of Cape Town and, of course, her workplace, Rhino Africa.

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