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Best Places to Launch Safaris and Wildlife Tours in Kenya

Fredrick is a tour and travel enthusiast. He runs an online travel platform that specializes in Africa tours, trips, vacations, and safaris.

When planning for a safari in Kenya, you need to find a good destination where you will be operating from during your tour. The best places to launch wildlife tours in the country are the ones that are located near game parks or reserves. Here are some destinations that you can consider when gearing up for luxury safaris in Kenya.

In Brief, the Best Places to Launch Safaris and Wildlife Tours in Kenya

  • Malindi
  • Lamu
  • Nakuru
  • Naivasha
  • Nyeri
  • Eldoret
  • Kisumu
  • Mombasa
  • Narok
  • Nairobi

10. Malindi—One of the Best Places to Start Tours in Kenya

Malindi introduces you to the tourist attractions of the country's north coast. From this town, you can access the Malindi Marine National Park, Watamu Marine National Park and game reserves that are located in the south eastern part of the country.

Other things that you can explore when staying in Malindi include: Vasco DA Gama pillar, Tana River delta, traditional buildings, Robinson Island, beautiful beaches and extensive coral reefs.

With local & international hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, Malindi offers satisfying holidays to all its visitors. The coastal town also has an airport and a good network of roads.

9. Lamu

Lamu is located on a stunning island and allows easy access to a number of wildlife parks and reserves that offer exciting safaris. The town is one of the oldest in the country, but has retained all its charm since its establishment.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts attractions such as the Lamu Museum, Lamu Port, a donkey sanctuary, Riyadha Mosque and a number of cultural festivals held throughout the year. In addition, it has a fair share of the country's major hotels, restaurants, markets, retailers and entertainment providers.

8. Nakuru

Located 160km north of Nairobi, Nakuru is a town surrounded by famous game parks and national reserves. If you are planning for a safari in Lake Nakuru National Park (which is the world’s greatest bird spectacle), you should choose Nakuru as your destination.

Other tourist attractions in the region include: Menengai Crater and Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site. The town has all kinds of shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, bars & nightclubs, and is quite lively & vibrant throughout.

7. Naivasha

Located along the Nairobi-Nakuru highway, Naivasha is a gateway to popular wildlife-rich zones in the country's southern part of the Great Rift Valley. The Hell's Gate National Park (which is well known for its breathtaking scenery & a wide variety of wildlife) is well accessed from this town.

Other attractions that can be easily accessed from the town include: Lake Naivasha, Mount Longonot National Park and the Olkaria geothermal strip. When it comes to amenities, Naivasha has enough hotels, restaurants and shopping joints for all its visitors.

6. Nyeri

Located in the central highlands of Kenya, Nyeri is the best destination for people who tour Mount Kenya National Park and Aberdare National Park. The two game reserves are home to a large population of animals.

Mount Kenya (which is the highest mountain in the country) is a perfect spot for sightseeing enthusiasts, campers and mountaineers. From the base to the summit, the mountain has a wide range of vegetation and breathtaking rock outcrops. Concerning the amenities, Nyeri town has both basic and luxury accommodation, dining and entertainment facilities.

5. Eldoret

Located in western Kenya, Eldoret provides a hassle-free access to a number of game parks such as the Samburu National Park and Lake Bogoria National Reserve. Visitors who tour the Great Rift Valley choose this town as their best destination.

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The Great Rift Valley is home to stunning natural features such as lakes, escarpments and volcanoes. Some lakes that can be accessed from the town include: Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria and Lake Turkana. If you are looking for the best places to watch birds in Kenya, consider these lakes.

Eldoret town is home to great shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. It also has an airport and is well served by roads.

4. Kisumu

Located in the greater Lake Victoria basin, Kisumu is a city surrounded by awesome safari destinations such as Kisumu Impala Sanctuary and Hippo Point.

Some more attractions that can easily be accessed from the city include: the Kisumu Museum, Town Clock, Dunga Beach & Wetland and Kit Mikayi.

The Kisumu Museum features a series of pavilions that contain live animals and artifacts such as traditional farm tools, weaponry and jewellery. The port city is home to a number of great hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and bars.

3. Mombasa

Located in the Kenya's east coast, Mombasa is the best place to stay when exploring game parks that are found in the region. Some wildlife-rich zones you can easily access from this city include: Tsavo National Park, Haller Park and Mombasa Marine National Park.

After you are done with the wildlife tours, you can visit the city's spectacular beaches. Some popular beaches include: Nyali, Shanzu, Pirates, Bamburi, Diani, Tiwi and Shelly. Other places of interest in the city include: Fort Jesus and Old Town.

With many bars, pubs, restaurants and discotheques, Mombasa offers vibrant and lively nightlife to all its residents and visitors. In addition, the city has all kinds of accommodation facilities.

2. Narok, Maasai Mara National Reserve

Located in south western Kenya, Narok is a town well known for the Maasai Mara National Reserve which is where the world's most famous wildebeest and zebra migration takes place. The best African safaris in Kenya also take place in this expansive animal habitat.

The game park is home to the Big Five- lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. Other animals found in the park include: cheetahs, hippopotamus, hyenas, jackals, foxes, crocodiles and birds.

Narok town and its neighboring areas have enough hotels, shopping malls, restaurants and bars for all tourists. The tourist destination attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

1. Nairobi—the Best Place to Launch Safaris and Wildlife Tours in Kenya

Popularly known as the ‘Safari Capital of the World’, Nairobi is the best destination to kick-start luxury safaris in Nairobi National Park and other game reserves in the nearby counties. The city’s game park is home to varied species of animals and birds.

Other tourist attractions that can be accessed from Nairobi are museums such as the Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi Railway Museum, Rahimtulla Museum of Art, Karen Blixen Museum, Kenya National Theatre, Bomas of Kenya and Mizizi Arts Centre.

The Kenya's capital is home to many luxury hotels, shopping malls, clubs, bars and restaurants. Its nightlife is usually lively and vibrant, so you cannot have boring nights when staying in the city.


In order to avoid wasting your time when having safaris in Kenya, I recommend that you launch your wildlife tours from one of these places. Get the most from your tours by operating from places that can give you an easy access to your places of interest.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Frederick S Januaries

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