This can be said of many countries but, in my humble opinion, few more so than Kenya - this is a country packed full of diverse landscapes, cultures, and amazing places to stay. I had just 16 days to explore as much of Kenya as possible - I had some serious ground to cover... and boy did I!
Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park, between Nairobi and Mombasa, was a new area to me and it is b.e.a.utiful! Dry plains, lava fields and natural springs mean you go from arid red earth into dense lush jungle in a matter of minutes. It's not for first time safari goers but it offers much to those looking for something a little different. There are very few camps in the area which makes the possibility of seeing another human pretty slim. I was staying at the recently renovated Finch Hattons Luxury Camp. The luxury tented suites embrace the style and spirit of traditional colonial safari-hands.
Kenya's South Eastern Coast
From Tsavo I headed South East to the coast. The area is undoubtedly in need of a little love but the raw materials are all there: white sandy beaches, fun little bars and restaurants, culture and plenty of watersports. For those not looking for anything too swanky the southern coast has bags of character and that lovely Kenyan charm.
The Only and Only Masai Mara
From here I headed to the Masai Mara; the last time I was here was undoubtedly on one of the best experiences of my life... a riding safari with the late Tristan Voorspuy. The area was as beautiful as I remembered and the game, the game, the game.... I quickly learnt that those camps in the conservancies have some serious advantages over those in the main reserve; much less busy and more flexibility on activities being two of the most important. Another thing that struck me was how many young children in these camps were having the time of their lives... the Masai are BRILLIANT with them and their squeals of delight would put a smile on even the grumpiest of guests.
Lewa and Laikipia
From the Mara I went to Lewa and Laikipia. These areas are totally different both to each other and the Mara and so combining the two is (in my opinion) a must. Ol Malo must have a mention here, it was the icing the on the cake in terms of an end to an epic adventure. This place is special not simply because the area is so beautiful but also because The Francombes are some of the most phenomenal hosts I've ever had, and then of course there's the lodge. The design is Kenya meets Neverland and the more you see the more detail you find.
And so on my final note...
Make a conscious decision to go here (and soon)... you'll regret it if you don't.