Kenya - West
Maasai Mara National Reserve - Maasai Mara is the main game park in Kenya, and is a must see. Maasai Mara is part of a huge grassland that extends down to the Serengeti Plain next door in Tanzania. The savanna is home to hyenas, elephants, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles and lions - such a wealth of animals, it's just amazing for kids!
The reserve is huge, and you'll either want to book a tour, or go on the morning and evening game drives organized by your hotel. (Driving on your own through the park isn't recommended, as you won't know where the animals are.) There are lodges and tented cabins throughout the reserve (book your accommodation well in advance).
Spend about three days (two nights) in Maasai Mara. Remember, this is not a place where you can wander around on your own (except within the hotel complex).
To get to Maasai Mara, fly from Nairobi (it's a long drive and there's not much to see on the way). From the plane, there are great aerial views of the landscape.
Kakamega Forest - Visit this forest reserve to explore the native rainforest of East Africa. You can walk through the forest paths (the trees are filled with monkeys and giant squirrels), but hire a naturalist guide, who will be able to spot those hard to see birds in the trees and little chameleons on the forest floor. There are also nighttime walks to see bushbabies, fruit bats and other nocturnal animals.
Tip: Bring along binoculars for everyone in the family, so you can really zoom in on each animal. There are inexpensive binoculars, lightweight and portable, kids can have their own pair (and if something happens to them, it's not a big deal).
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