Kenya Central Highlands safaris, tours & holiday packages

The Central Highlands

Mount Kenya looms large near some of Kenya's best national parks, where you might spot unusual animal species

The central highlands, dominated by the Aberdare mountains and Mount Kenya, are often visited because it's so easy to get there from Nairobi. The highlands are drained by rivers towards the east into semi-arid areas. They were traditional ranch land and are mostly privately owned. Recently, private owners have combined areas to create space for wildlife to return. There are wonderful conservation areas that have well-managed safari experiences. The central highlands include some species not found in the southern parts of Kenya. The chance of spotting Grevy's zebra, beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and gerenuk make visiting the northern parts of the central highlands floodplains worthwhile. It's a secluded area that's well managed and, recently, well conserved. Old elephant routes and trails have been reopened and it's a sanctuary for endangered species like rhino.

Popular Kenya Central Highlands safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries

Price on Request

per person

8 days

Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days)

It's easy to see why so many visitors flock to Kenya from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.

Price on Request

per person

12 days

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days) - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Explore the jewel in Kenya's crown; the wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve

$ 2,655

£ 1,907

R 40,131


per person

6 days

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts

Andre Van Kets says

The central highlands in Kenya's Laikipia province is a wonderful end to your safari. I recommend that you go to the south and the renowned Masai Mara first to get the big cats and migration out of the way, then visit a few Laikipia properties for the perfect end to your Kenyan safari.

More on Kenya Central Highlands holidays

Laikipia East includes the Lewa Wildlife Reserve and the reserves of Shaba, Samburu and Buffalo Springs. Laikipia North used to be the core cattle ranching area but it's now being restored to its original glory, with excellent safari experiences. The Eastern part of Laikipia isn't often visited but includes Meru National Park, which is well worth visiting for its good sightings and lack of traffic. It's better to fly into the central safari circuit than to drive because of Nairobi's traffic and the uncomfortable two-hour drive to get to the central highlands. Southern Laikipia includes the town of Nanyuki, which acts as the hub of central Kenya, and this is where you'd fly to when visiting the central highlands. Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the northern edge of the saddle between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya, is the main attraction of the southern parts.

Kenya Central Highlands Map

Kenya Central Highlands's location on Google Maps

Frequently Asked Questions about Kenya Central Highlands

What is a safari “bucket” shower?

Safari/bucket showers are common in mobile or tented camps where there is no permanent plumbing. They are an effective yet environmentally friendly way to shower where water is at a premium and provide plenty of hot water to wash… go there.

What is the accommodation like on safari?

Safari lodges have guest rooms similar to a hotel with en-suite bathrooms. They are comfortably furnished with all facilities normally associated with a 3-star hotel. Tented lodges have rooms which are tents on a platform and with a roof and… go there.

What languages are spoken in Tanzania?

Language The official language in Tanzania is Swahili but there are hundreds of other local dialects. English is the second official language and the country's commercial language. It is also the main teaching language used for all higher… go there.

When is the best time to visit Mount Kenya National Park?

December to March are the sunniest months and perhaps the best time to visit. There are some cloudy periods and rain from March to May, and drizzle from October to early December which may restrict clear views. However, Mount Kenya National… go there.

How does the weather influence a safari?

While a safari holiday can be at any time of year, it is worth noting that seasonality will impact the type of experience you’re likely to have as well as the cost of your safari. During the dry season, the wildlife tends to congregate… go there.

Can I bring my children along on a safari?

Family safaris in Africa are a worthwhile and meaningful experience. Aside from spending quality time with your nearest and dearest under a wide blue African sky, a safari in Africa offers invaluable experiences including unique cultural… go there.

What is a typical day on safari like?

Life on safari has a rhythm of its own, largely dictated by the animal's movements. Generally, the most rewarding times for game viewing is in the cooler early mornings and also late in the afternoons when the animals are most active. A… go there.

When is the best time to visit Samburu National Reserve?

The months of December through March and July through October are dry, making them by far the best months to visit the Samburu National Reserve. When the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.

When is the best time to visit Tsavo East and West National Park?

May to October is the best time to visit Tsavo East and West National Park. The wildlife is easier to spot - since they gather around the waterhole. go there.

Kenya Central Highlands - Africa Wildlife Safaris

Reviews on our Kenya Central Highlands safaris

This was my first safari. I didn’t expect to be so pampered. Everything was first class. We had everything provided for us before even asking. We had a dedicated team at our service. Megan was on call whenever we needed something and she…


from Nigeria

Tanya was an absolute delight to deal with. From the first phone call she was extremely polite, professional and very eager to facilitate my requests regarding our safari. Our 3 nights at the V & A Hotel were fabulous and Motswari Game…


from Australia

Perfectly tailor-made tours that take all your wishes and requests into consideration. All my expectations were beyond fulfilled.

Henrik Wetterstrand

from Sweden

Living afar and trusting in an organisation with whom you have no previous knowledge can lead to feeling of mistrust and wondering whether what we have paid for actually exists. A little more proactive communication would have eased those…

Tony Russell

I just wanted to thank Discover Africa and Karl Svendsen - the safari was great - we saw many more animals than expected including cheetah, leopard, many lions and even a three-day old elephant calf. Additionally, we had our own hippo…

Margaret Dean

Planning the trip was managed extremely well especially since travel was at a busy time of year and not much notice was given. All communication was by email, and was responded to promptly and efficiently. Different options were provided…

Suzanne McKeen

Related Articles

Our African Travel Expert

Free safari planning advice from destination experts