For iconic views of wildlife wandering under the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, travel to Kenya’s pocket of national parks in the southeast. The mountain, just over the border in Tanzania, towers over the wetlands and plains that make up Amboseli, Chyulu Hills and Tsavo National Parks.
To see Amboseli in all her glory visit in the lush wetter months, when Lake Amboseli fills with water and birdlife, and every tree, bush and shrub glows a vivid green. Worth particular mention are the famously large-tusked elephants – if you’re feeling energetic after all of those scrumptious safari meals you can climb Observation Hill and watch the herds sending clouds of dust into the air as they move over the plains.
For the big cats, try Tsavo, whose name became a legend over a century ago because of two infamous man-eating lions. Today, thankfully, their time is long since gone, and the wildlife of Tsavo is one of its many attractions, rather than a reason to avoid the area. Separated into two parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park, you’ll witness crocs and hippos wallowing in the springs, monkeys scampering amongst the trees and superb starlings swooping on gleaming wings but as the area is essentially wild, this is a place to immerse yourself in Africa- listening to the never-ending birdsong, smelling the damp morning dust and watching Scorpio parade across the night sky.
Dividing the Tsavo and Amboseli plains, the Chyulus Hills mountain range is in the heart of Maasai country, where herdsmen lead their cattle to water alongside the wildlife, and vast swathes of land are set aside for conservation. This lush, beautiful area is one of Kenya's little visited gems, and all the better for it. Try Ol Donyo Lodge for serious rustic luxury, or head out to discover the unfettered wilderness on horseback.