Cool Kenya: Africa’s Number One Safari Spot

Kenya is a country that has long held an important place in the British imagination. A country of great geographical diversity, the land ranges from the icy glaciers and snowy mountains of the Kenyan highlands, to tropical rainforest and attractive coastline, with beautiful beaches and reefs offering some superb diving spots.

It was perhaps Kenya’s part in British colonial history that explains why it has become the subject and setting of so many renowned films and books; Born Free by Joy Adamson, a book which was later made into a movie in 1966 and then a 13 episode TV series, detailed the story of Adamson’s life in Kenya, focusing around the raising of an orphaned lioness cub, which Adamson and her husband (who was a game warden) brought up together.

Another very popular book set in the country is Out of Africa, a memoir by Isak Dinesen (the pen name of Karen von Blixen-Finecke) which was first published in 1937 and focused on the lives of European settlers and local tribesman in Kenya during 1914 to 1931. The story is largely based in and around Dinesen’s farm, during the twilight years of European colonialism and she draws an alluring landscape of Kenya that focuses on a utopian ideal where she lives in unity with the natives, many of the animals and other white settlers.

These two books refer to a romantic, colonial period of Kenya’s history that has long since passed, but Kenya remains one of the most popular African destinations for safari holidays, a status that is strengthened by the numerous wildlife documentary teams that visit the country to study the habits of creatures the make Kenya’s game reserves their home.

The BBC’s recent documentary series, Big Cat Diary, which follows some of Kenya’s most magnificent felines such as lions, leopards and cheetahs around the Masai Mara serves as an ongoing inspiration for wildlife lovers. The show closely follows the daily habits of animals, such as the Marsh Pride, where we learn of the intricacies of lion life, both the joys, for example the birth of new cubs, and the harsh realties, for example territoriality, the murder of rival cubs and the hardships of trying to find enough food to survive.

With such a rich history that is closely tied with Britain and particularly rich wildlife, it’s perhaps not surprising that Kenya remains the most popular country for an African safari. With sun backed plains, lush forested mountains and idyllic soft white sands which disappear into the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, Kenya is the perfect place to combine an incredible wildlife trip with a relaxing beach break and offers an ideal combination of luxury and adventure.