Big Five safari holidays in Kenya

david sheldrick wildlife trust The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust does amazing work in Kenya for elephants who are poached for their tusks

Kenya is one of the best places anywhere in Africa for ticking off the Big Five: lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. A good short safari combination for those hoping to see all these charismatic creatures (and much more besides) would be Masai Mara (for lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant) and Lake Nakuru (for black and white rhino). Other top safari destinations that host all or most of the Big Five include Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli, Laikipia Plateau, Samburu-Buffalo Springs-Shaba, Meru and to a lesser extent Shimba Hills. It is important to note Kenya’s ongoing conservation efforts to protect some of its greater and lesser species - one of which is the elephant population. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the DSWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation.

elephant dswt An elephant calf gets around-the-clock care from dedicated members of the DSWT team

The DSWT has remained true to its principles and ideals, remaining a sustainable and flexible organisation. Guided by experienced and dedicated Trustees and assisted by an Advisory Committee of proactive naturalists with a lifetime of wildlife and environmental experience, the Trust takes effective action and achieves long-lasting results.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Masai Mara safari adventure

day 1

Welcome to Kenya
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure

day 2 to 5

Explore the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure
  • Masai Mara safari adventure

day 6

Bon Voyage

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A relaxed safari holiday in Kenya

Sit back and relax in Kenya Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline offers ideal conditions for chilling out. The most popular resorts are Diana, Malindi and Watamu. These resorts also boast a fine array of restaurants specialising in seafood and other international cuisines. The interior of Kenya is suited to a feet-up kind of holiday. The best way to keep a safari relatively relaxed is to…

Travelling to Kenya

Kenyatta International Airport Almost all visitors from abroad fly in. Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) is the main port of entry for international flights, and it has excellent connections to most other parts of Kenya and many other African capitals. Some carriers also operate international flights to Mombasa Moi International Airport (MBA). The national carrier, Kenya Airways…

Kenya in October

October is a good time to visit the Masai Mara after the crowds have dispersed Nairobi and the central highlands are hot by day, cool by night and might receive occasional rain. Mombasa and the coast is very hot by day, rather hot at night, and receives a moderate to high rainfall. The Rift Valley and western interior are hot by day, cool at night and receive a moderate…

Kenya food and tipping

Tip your safari guides and helpers if you feel that your expectations have been exceeded, which happens often in Kenya | Credit: Sambuk Lodge Tip in local currency where possible; it may be quite difficult for locals to exchange small amounts of hard currency into Kenya shillings. Tipping is not standard at eateries or bars catering mainly to a local clientele, but that doesn’t mean…

Rift Valley Lakes

Grey-crowned crane The sheer basaltic cliffs of the Rift Valley northwest of Nairobi hem in a classic East African landscape of open savannah studded with jagged volcanic outcrops and strung with beautiful lakes. Large mammals are less prolific than in the likes of the Masai Mara or Amboseli, but the area is renowned for its prolific birdlife. The main attention-grabbers are the…

Kenya vs South Africa

Kenya is more of a dedicated wildlife destination than South Africa. A far greater proportion of the country is given over to national parks and other wildlife reserves, and these tend to have a wilder and more untrammelled feel than their fenced-in South African counterparts and their asphalt-roads and village-like rest camps. Kenya would thus be the better destination for people seeking…

Popular Kenya Safaris

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

Elephant Herd | Best of Africa Safari (EA 16 days)

Best of Africa safari

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

Giraffes | Samburu’s Special Five, rhino and bongo (EA 8 days)

Samburu's Special Five, rhino and bongo

Even if you've seen the Big Five and the Great Migration, you'll appreciate the different beauty of animals like reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and bongo...

Wildebeest Migration | The Migration River Crossings July to September

The Migration River Crossings July to September

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River in an epic struggle for survival...

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combo Safari (11 days)

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combo Safari (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

 | Kenya family safari - Bush and Beach Itinerary

Kenya family safari - Bush and Beach Itinerary

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....

The Uganda Hills | The complete East Africa experience (EA 13 days)

The complete East Africa experience

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

 | Africa’s biggest elephant and the endangered Hunter’s hartebeest (EA 7 days)

Africa's biggest elephant and the endangered Hunter's hartebeest

Search for the almost extinct hirola antelope in Tsavo East, find Africa's largest elephants and visit Chyulu Hills to see Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak...

Lion cubs | Kenya’s top 3 southern attractions (EA 9 days)

Kenya’s top 3 southern attractions

Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara are southern Kenya's superstars, the best places for your safari...

 | Masai Mara safari adventure

Masai Mara safari adventure

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

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