is a region of vast open plains, dotted with patches of scenic hills and rugged granite mountains, much of which is under conservation.
Here are the four main areas of interest ...Amboseli
... is a very well-known reserve centred on a verdant marshy area which, during the Jul/Oct dry season attracts large numbers of wildlife from the parched plains all around. The area is best known for that iconic view of elephants and giraffes ranging across broad open savanna against a backdrop of the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro.Chyulu Hills
... is a wonderfully scenic and peaceful upland area which offers similar views of Kilimanjaro. It is basically the upmarket version of Amboseli, without the visitor traffic of the better known area, but also with much lower wildlife densities.Tsavo West
... is a very large reserve of broad open plains, which also offers distant views of Kilimanjaro. There is some reasonably strong wildlife viewing to be found here too, as well as various other points of interest, including lava fields, remote springs, Colonial Era outposts and WW1 battlefields.Tsavo East
... is another enormous tract of land a little further to the north, also largely comprised of vast arid plains and with wildlife concentrated along three scenic rivers during the Jul/Oct dry season. Best of all it is home to the famous orphan elephant release scheme at Ithumba, arguably the highlight of the region.
There are three distinct ways to visit this region ...
The first, cleanest and most upmarket way is to fly by light aircraft into just one or two of the lodges here, stay for a few nights and then fly on to other locations further afield, such as Samburu
and Maasai Mara
The second, longer, more involving way is to travel overland through the region, staying at 2, 3 or more lodges along the way, perhaps starting in Nairobi
and ending down on the Kenya Coast
. The problem with this mode of travel is that it can expose you to some of the less appealing aspects of urban Kenya and to some very high vehicle traffic within the parks, so these trips have to be planned with great care if they are to be of sufficient quality.
The third and arguably most popular way is to visit the region by minibus from the coast, usually for just one or two nights, as part of a low cost packaged holiday. It is this budget traffic which ruins large parts of the reserve and needs to be avoided if you are planning any kind of authentic safari.