Your holiday in Kenya: this is what you need to know

Kenya is the ideal holiday destination for adventurous travellers who love nature. But what are the best travel times to travel in this East African country? What is the weather like and is it a safe holiday destination? We answer all your questions about the Kenyan climate, the Masai, the delicious local cuisine and all about safety during your trip. Read on quickly!


Which safari parks are there in Kenya?

The Big 5 in Kenya

A holiday to Africa naturally goes hand in hand with a safari. But is Kenya a suitable holiday destination if you want to see Africa’s biggest animals? The animals that belong to the Big 5 are the buffalo, lion, leopard, rhino and elephant. And YES, all of them can be spotted in Kenya. Besides the Big 5, you can also meet other big African animals like giraffes, zebras and hippos here. But don’t forget the thousands of flamingos, baboons, antelopes and pumbas. Want to come face-to-face with the Big 5? Then Kenya is the place to be!

Did you know that…
…The Big 5 was so named because these are the animals that are the hardest to hunt? So the statement that they would really be the biggest animals in Africa is not true.

Kenya's 3 most famous safari parks

Kenya is known for its many safari parks where you can spot great African animals. There is huge choice when choosing a beautiful park. These are three parks you cannot miss for an unforgettable safari in Kenya.

The Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is an absolute must-visit with its endless savannahs and huge diversity of wildlife. Here you have the greatest chance of spotting a feline and see many different African animals anyway! Located in southwest Kenya, the safari park is one of the world’s most famous wildlife sanctuaries. The area is best known for the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra that occurs between July and October.


Tsavo National Park is het grootste park van Kenia, met landschappen die gaan van uitgestrekte savannes tot bergen en rivieren. Niet alleen dieren spotten tijdens een safari, maar ook prachtige uitzichten zijn gegarandeerd bij een bezoek aan dit park dat ook nog eens net naast de groene Taita Hills ligt! Het safari park biedt ook een aantal bezienswaardigheden, waaronder de Lugard Falls, Yatta Plateau en de Mzima Springs, die een populaire plek zijn om nijlpaarden en krokodillen te zien.


Is spotting an elephant high on your bucket list? Then Amboseli is the perfect destination. Spot countless elephants while overlooking the majestic Kilimanjaro. But you can also absolutely spot lions, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes and antelopes here!

Did you know that…
…Kenya has almost 30 national parks and another handful of nature reserves? You will definitely spot the Big 5 and other wild animals during your safari in one of these parks.

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Self-driving on a safari in Kenya!

If you thought a safari in Africa only consisted of driving a safari car, you’re dead wrong. If it is up to us, for a real safari experience, stay far away from those crammed safari cars and get behind the wheel yourself on a self-drive! Driving around one of the safari parks at your own pace and discovering the Big 5 is something you really don’t want to miss!

Go on a bike safari, motorbike safari or foot safari

Did you know that you can also spot some of Africa’s hottest wildlife on foot? At Lake Naivasha and in Hell’s Gate National Park, you can hike and cycle among beautiful rock formations while enjoying local wildlife such as giraffes, impalas and zebras. You can also swap your safari car for another vehicle: on a motorbike safari through Magadi, you’ll spot huge numbers of flamingos.

Sustainable safari in Kenya

Also not to be forgotten: Northern game reserves offer an authentic safari experience with less crowds and more local involvement. A visit to one of these conservancies will instantly make your holiday in Kenya more sustainable. This is where you spot the rare, last 2 white rhinos in Ol Pejeta, for example. You really can’t miss those, can you?

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Is Kenya safe?

Is Kenya safe for women?

Is Kenya safe? And perhaps an even more common question: Is Kenya safe for women? I can tell you; Yes! I, as a 27-year-old Dutch woman, live and live in Nairobi and feel safe here. But not only I feel this way, there are many positive stories of travellers who have travelled safely and happily through Kenya. For instance, freelancer Cynthia talks about her positive experiences in her travelogue. Margot also shares her experiences and says she felt safe during her trip.

“Since I have been here, I have never really felt unsafe.” says Merel, in her article on women-friendly Kenya. “In general, I think the most important thing is to realise that you are not at home in the Netherlands and to adjust your mindset accordingly.”

Travelling safely through Kenya!

As with any country, there are several aspects to consider when it comes to crime, terrorist threats and feeling safe as a tourist. For instance, it is obviously important to always be alert and take precautions, such as not walking alone on the streets after sunset and avoiding remote areas without a guide. In addition, it is also not practical to walk down the street with your phone loose in your hand in, for instance, CBD, or Nairobi’s Central Business District. In addition, make sure you lock valuables and do not put them in loose, open pockets.

What about terrorist threats in Kenya?

Threats regarding terrorist attacks (last major one in 2013) and protests in Kenya occur from time to time. But no fear! We will work with you to tailor a trip to Kenya and should one of the threatened destinations be in your organised trip, we will provide a good alternative. Before your trip to Africa, always check the travel advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or travel advice Kenya from the Belgian government.

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Kenyan culture: the Maasai and Ugali

The Maasai and other Kenyan tribes

Kenya has a rich culture with 44 different ethnic groups and numerous languages and dialects. The Kikuyu, Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin are the largest tribes in the country, but the Maasai are the best-known tribe for their colourful dress and traditional lifestyle as nomads. Each tribe has its own traditions, dress and dishes that contribute to the country’s rich cultural diversity.

Kenya's food

Like the different tribes, the cuisine is also very diverse, with different Kenyan dishes. The choice is vast, but local cuisine is mainly based on local ingredients such as maize, beans, vegetables and fruits. Ugali, a maize flour dish, is one of the most popular dishes with many locals.

Tea lovers? The Kenyan tea fields

Don’t forget to drink pure, fresh green tea too: the tea fields here are known worldwide for their quality and beauty, and tea production is an important source of income for locals.

Coffee that tastes like pure passion

Besides delicious tea, it is also a great travel destination for coffee lovers . In fact, Kenya is home to some of the best coffee fields in the world! The coffee plantations are on hills where everything is hand-picked and processed by local farmers who are true masters of their trade. This, combined with the perfect climate, fertile soil and altitude, makes your cup of coffee taste like pure passion and craftsmanship.

Did you know that…
…Kenya is the third-largest tea producer in the world?

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Why travel to Kenya with Charlie's Travels?

We have already answered quite a few questions about your trip to Kenya, so by now you know exactly about safety, which tribes are around, which Big 5 animals you can spot here and which safari parks best suit all your needs. We can safely say that we are the experts when it comes to sustainable travel in East and Southern Africa. Delightfully off the beaten track, away from all the tourist attractions and discovering the real Africa. Your trip is packed with authentic experiences such as meeting local people, discovering hidden gems and experiencing local culture.

And best of all? Your trip with us is responsible and sustainable. Sustainable travel is high on our agenda and we work with local partners whom we give fair compensation for their services. We are super flexible, eager to share our passion for Kenya with you and always ready to help you plan your perfect holiday to Africa.

Connecting with culture: The perfect travel destination for a homestay

Kenya lends itself perfectly to an eco-friendly trip, as it is the perfect destination for a homestay: the experience where you make a real connection with the local culture. For example, you can spend a night with Mama Rose. A real Kenyan power woman, who opens up her household as a homestay especially for Charlie’s Travellers. Partnering with locals is very important to us, as it contributes to the social and economic well-being of the community.

Besides, it is a mega authentic experience: cooking together, walking on her shambas and chatting in the kitchen with the whole family.Who is going to bivouac in a thirteen-in-a-dozen hotel when there is such a pure Africa experience to choose from?

The home base of Charlie's Travels

Most of the Charlie’s Travels team lives and works in Kenya, but about half of us did not grow up here. Each of us fell madly in love during a holiday or visit and decided to make Nairobi our home base. Being on the ground, we have extensive knowledge about Kenya and can answer all your questions. Whether you want to know more about security, local cuisine, weather or activities to do – we have the answers for you.

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Review: Geraldine Kemper and her journey with Charlie's Travels

The travel story of Geraldine Kemper

Of course, as ambassadors of Charlie’s Travels, we are confident that we can create an unforgettable tailor-made trip to Africa for you. But what do previous travellers think about this? Dutch celebrity, personality and presenter Geraldine Kemper went on a trip with us and wrote a great review about her holiday to Kenya:

“What makes Charlie’s Travels so special is that they not only visit tourist highlights, but also go off the beaten track.” “I felt safe and comfortable throughout the trip, thanks to the professional guidance and personal contact with the tour guides.” said Geraldine Kemper. “One of the highlights of my trip was visiting a Masai village.” “We were warmly welcomed by the locals and got a unique insight into their culture and lifestyle.” “It was an experience I will never forget and it was possible thanks to Charlie’s Travels and their connections with the local communities.”

Honest reviews from our travellers

At Charlie’s Travels, we are incredibly proud of the travelstories our travellers share about their adventures while travelling to Africa. These stories give you a good idea of what to expect while travelling with us: discovering unspoilt nature, exploring local culture and having unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.

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Best travel time Kenya

Is the weather good in Kenya?

You’re going on a trip to Kenya. Then, of course, you expect at least a bit of nice weather! There is a tropical climate, so generally speaking you can expect good weather when you go on holiday to an African country. But which are the best months to go on holiday? And what about the rainy season?

What is the best travel time for Kenya?

What is the best travel time for you depends on what exactly you want to do during your holiday to Kenya. Do you want to go on safari? June to October are the best months for spotting animals. It is not yet as hot as in the other months which makes the animals show themselves more.

During this period it is a bit cooler, think about 20 degrees during the day (with the coastal towns being the exception) and fresher in the morning and evening. From November to February you can expect tropical temperatures, think about 30 degrees and even a touch more at the coast. From March to May is the rainy season, but this too has its advantages. You’ll read more about that later.

The rainy season in Kenya

Most people expect a lot of drought and sunshine. There are certainly periods of drought, but also periods when it rains a lot. In November and April-May, it can rain a lot, sometimes too much. When it rains, it also rains hard. But don’t be put off, the rainstorms are often short in duration and in the evening, when you are already snug in bed. However, we do recommend bringing an umbrella during the rainy season. Going for a self-drive? Then we recommend renting a 4×4 so you can get away from everywhere easily.

I can only travel to Kenya during the rainy season. What can I do there?

But, what if you can only holiday during the rainy season? Not to worry, as there is still plenty to do! During the rainy season, the landscape becomes greener and the vegetation thicker. This not only makes the hikes much more beautiful, but it is also easier to spot wildlife. And if you are interested in the migration of wildebeest and zebra in the Maasai Mara, you really should go between July and October!

The tropical climate of Kenya

Want to see the Big 5 and do lots of outdoor activities? Then it’s best to pack your bags during the dry season. Kenya has a tropical climate with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. The dry season is from January to March and from July to October. During these months, the weather is beautiful and sunny with temperatures around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius. Perfect for wildlife exploration and other outdoor activities.

How hot is it on the Kenyan coast?

If you want to go to Kenya’s coast, you basically have carte blanche, but temperatures here can sometimes reach 35 degrees. From June to October, there is a mild coastal climate with a refreshing breeze from the sea and clear water for swimming.


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The best lodges in Kenya

Hotels and lodges in Kenya

After all the culture sniffing, hiking and safaris, you naturally want somewhere nice to sleep. Kenya is a great travel destination because it has something for every type of traveller, and is therefore rich in fine places to stay. At Charlie’s Travels, we value sustainable travel, which is why we have listed our top three eco-lodges for you.

Sustainable travel and sleeping in an ecolodge!

When you travel in a sustainable and responsible way, you contribute to a better world in your own way. This does not always mean that you will have a equally comfortable mattress under your bum, but it does mean that you will have a nice dream anyway because you know that thanks to you, the tourism pie will be better distributed and not all the money will go to the big hotels, lodges and other big chains. So be sure to visit an ecolodge if you really want to sleep well.

Travelling to Kenya with kids

A trip to Kenya with the kids is more than suitable, but sleeping on a mat and heading out the next day with overtired kids might not really contribute to a sustainable relationship with your partner. Fortunately, there are other ways you can contribute to sustainable and responsible travel to Kenya, and still stay hugely comfortable in one of Kenya’s many lodges, hotels and places to stay.

Top 3 best lodges in Kenya

There are a lot of options to choose from if you are going to Kenya and want to travel sustainably. Consider the lodges from this list:

1. Sabache Camp

Sabache Camp is an awesome accommodation in the Maasai Mara and is run by a local Masai family. Sleep in comfortable tents with your own bathroom and a veranda overlooking the savannah. Enjoy freshly prepared and delicious local food, guided bush walks and game drives with experienced guides.

2. Kili Springs Camp Amboseli

Looking for a sustainable and authentic place to stay? Kili Springs Camp, located in Amboseli National Park, is owned by local Masai. The camp offers comfortable and authentic accommodation with beautiful views of the savannah. Enjoy local cuisine, hike with experienced guides and visit the Masai community to discover their culture.

3. Lumo Conservancy

The place to be if you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay! At Lumo Conservancy, you have the choice of staying in comfortable lodges or tented camps, all made so that nature and comfort go hand in hand.Highly recommended if you want to immerse yourself in luxury for a night.

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6 cities in Kenya: discover Nairobi and Mombasa!

1. Nairobi

Your trip usually starts in capital Nairobi. A bustling metropolis where much of the Charlie’s Travels team lives and works. You can easily entertain yourself in Nairobi for a good week! For a real immersion in Kenyan culture, take the Nai Nami boys to explore the Central Business District, right in the heart of Nairobi. Would you like to start your Africa adventure a bit more quietly, but still have the full Africa experience in the pocket? Then go on safari in Nairobi National Park and spot some of the Big 5!

Do you have enough time? Then make sure you spend at least two days in Nairobi. Have you had time to absorb the first impressions of Kenyan culture? Then you can continue your tailor-made trip

2. Mombasa

Go for coastal urban vibes! If you want to end the trip relaxed to recover from all the impressions you gained on your holiday to Kenya, make sure you spend the last few days in Mombasa, or one of Kenya’s other coastal towns. Kenya’s coastline is a whopping 536 kilometres long, so there are more than enough beaches to relax on. Mombasa, Kenya’s oldest and second-largest city, offers a perfect combination of culture, history and beach fun… Visit Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discover the city’s rich history. Explore the beautiful architecture and culture of Mombasa, Old Town and the Mandry Mosque. Also combine your city break to Mombasa with a visit to the nearby coastal towns of Kilifi and Diani, small coastal towns that are not inferior to the big cities!

Wist je dat…
…Kenia bijna 30 nationale parken heeft en nog een handvol natuurreservaten? Tijdens je safari in een van deze parken zul je zeker de Big 5 en andere wilde dieren zien.

3. Watamu

Watamu is a small coastal town known for its pristine beaches, clear waters and the Watamu Marine National Park. The park is one of the best places in Kenya for snorkelling and diving. But apart from snorkelling and diving, this small coastal town offers countless other (water) activities.
For instance, take a boat trip and visit the local markets and surrounding villages.

Besides the beautiful beaches, Watamu is also the place to be for birdwatchers! Take a walk in the nearby Arabuko Sokoke Forest, a protected forest area with lots of wildlife and birds. Would you rather soak up culture? Then visit the nearby Gede Ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Watamu has a strong conservation community and locals are actively involved in preserving the area’s flora and fauna. It is an ideal place for travellers looking for a combination of relaxation, adventure and ecotourism. Not unimportant: It has a relaxed atmosphere, and for this reason is the perfect destination to end your trip through Kenya.

4. Kilifi

Kilifi is located north of Mombasa and is known for its quiet beaches and mangroves. There is plenty to do in the area, such as kayaking through the mangroves or a Here you will find a vibrant nightlife with several bars and clubs along the beach.

It has a laid-back atmosphere and is less crowded than Mombasa, making it the ideal place to relax and unwind. Planning to travel to Kenya at the turn of the year? Then be sure to toast to the new year by visiting the Beneath the Baobabs festival: one of the highlights of Kilifi where locals from all over the country travel to celebrate the new year.

5. Lamu

Located off the north coast of Kenya, Lamu is one of the oldest inhabited cities in East Africa.It is known for its beautiful architecture, narrow streets and traditional dhow boats. Taking a boat trip to the nearby villages and islands in one of these traditional dhow boats is also worthwhile.

A visit to Lamu offers the chance to escape for a while from all the busy roads you have already encountered along the way, as with donkeys being the most commonly used means of transport, this unspoilt town is largely car-free.The town has many historical buildings, including the Lamu Fort and several craft shops where you can buy local handmade souvenirs.

Lamu’s beaches are beautiful and ideal for relaxing and enjoying the sun and sea, while reminiscing about all the great things you’ve experienced over the past few days. During your trip to Lamu, don’t forget to visit Boho Paradise Shela too!

6. Kisumu

Kisumu is the third largest city after Nairobi and Mombasa and is located on the shores of Lake Victoria.It is an important trading city and has a rich history and culture.Visit the Kisumu Museum to learn more about local history and culture, or take a boat trip on the lake to see local fishermen in action. Also be sure to visit Dunga Hill Camp.A nice spot in Kisumu where you can enjoy delicious food overlooking the lake and lively live music during sunset.


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How will you travel in Kenya?

Different ways of travelling at Charlie's Travels

Okay, by now you have searched and read a lot of information about a trip to Kenya, but how do you want to travel? Will you travel with your family or household? Do you seek romance with your sweetheart? Or will you arrange a smashing anniversary trip for all your year club friends?

Whatever you want, at Charlie’s Travels we provide the ultimate Kenya experience. Choose a tailor-made trip completely tailored to your personal needs and budget. With your friends, your family, or with your lover – our local expertise will ensure you have the time of your life. Or join us on one of our epic organised group tours and experience the country together with an awesome group of travel companions, where you might also forge friendships for life. Whether you’re going for adventure, relaxation or culture, you’ve come to the right place.

A personalised and tailor-made trip

You can come to us for fully tailor-made trips. You have the choice of a self-drive trip, where you get behind the wheel yourself and explore the country at your own pace. Or you can opt for a trip with a driver/guide so that you can fully enjoy yourself and get some more information. Our focus is on sustainable tourism and discovering the real culture and people, away from the tourist hotspots. This way, during your trip, you contribute to a better life for our local partners. In short, we offer you an unforgettable travel experience and at the same time you support the local community.

Organised group travel

We organise various group tours to Kenya suitable for anyone looking for adventure, meeting new people and discovering the culture. During our group tours, you will experience Kenya in a unique way and visit the most beautiful places in the country. You travel in a friendly group of up to 12 people and are accompanied by an experienced guide who knows everything about the country. Be sure to check out all the info on our group tours, and choose from one of the many departure dates for the trip of a lifetime!

Not sure yet what exactly you want? Then make an enquiry with one of our Kenya experts, they will be happy to make time for you to provide you with no-obligation travel advice.

Travel distances in Kenya

Also not unimportant to consider when you want to explore Kenya are the travel distances and how many days your holiday can last. In general, the travel distances are not that bad, but it depends on what you want to visit. Travel distances in Kenya are very doable compared to many neighbouring countries. But if you compare it to our little country the Netherlands (or Belgium), the distances are soon a bit longer. It is important to keep this in mind when planning a trip, and of course we take into account travel days no longer than 4 to 5 hours.

A journey from Nairobi to Mombasa, for example, can take around eight hours by car. If you want to travel to Mombasa without any stops, we recommend going by train. This train takes six hours and there is absolutely no punishment for peering out and watching the elephants in the meantime. Don’t have enough time to take this amazing train journey? Then you can opt for a domestic flight. To minimise CO2 emissions during your trip, we prefer to go for an alternative. But never say never and feel free to consult with your Travel Consultant about the options.

How long should my holiday or tour in Kenya last?

For a round trip through Kenya, where you want to keep your carbon footprint as low as possible, you do need some time. Think at least two weeks of self-driving through the different areas of Kenya if you really want to have a fun trip full of diverse and unique experiences and cultures.

The perfect route without too much travel time

Whether you have a lot or little time for a holiday, we will work with you to see how we can make the travel distances manageable. Thanks to our expertise, we will tailor the perfect itinerary so that you spend your time well and see all the beauty of this beautiful country.

What is the cost of a trip to Kenya?

Once you are all set for departure and have jotted down the travel dates in your diary, there are still some important aspects to start your trip to Kenya: booking your plane ticket, arranging a tourist visa and fixing the necessary vaccinations. But hey, all part of the pre-fun!

Cost of Kenya flight ticket

Hopefully it doesn’t depress the pre-fun too much, but a plane ticket to Kenya is often one of the biggest expenses of a trip to this beautiful East African country. But did you know that there are several ways to save money on your plane ticket? For instance, it can be advantageous to travel during off-season or look for deals and discounts on different airlines. On websites like Skyscanner or Kayak, you can compare different periods and airlines To book your flight, we recommend booking directly with the airline.

Cost of Kenyan visa

Another important aspect of travelling to Kenya is applying for a tourist visa. You can easily arrange this, and we are happy to help you with that. Also useful to know is exactly how arriving at Nairobi airport works, so before your flight, go through this article to start your holiday stress-free.

Is Kenya expensive?

Of course, this depends on several factors such as your accommodation, activities and eating habits. Charlie’s Travels offers tailor-made trips, allowing you to decide how much you spend during your stay in Kenya. In short, with the right preparations, you can enjoy a great trip to Kenya without it costing you too much. We are happy to give you a price indication to give you an idea how much your dream trip will cost approximately.

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Vaccinations in Kenya and travelling responsibly

It is important to prepare well in terms of health and safety. There are a number of things you need to take into account when travelling to Kenya, we list them.

Compulsory vaccinations and inoculations

Please note! Regarding vaccinations, you as a traveller should ALWAYS contact the GGD yourself. We are not a health institution and are therefore NOT allowed to give advice on this subject!

First of all, it is good to know that Kenya has some highly recommended vaccinations for travellers. These are the vaccinations against yellow fever and Covid-19. The vaccination for covid-19 is partly mandatory, but a negative PCR test also suffices. It is also strongly recommended to get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus and polio and to look into possible vaccinations against cholera and meningitis. It is advisable to start scheduling your vaccinations at least six weeks before departure.

Travel insurance in Kenya

Besides getting the right vaccinations, it is also important to consider Kenya’s healthcare system. In the big cities, you will find fine private hospitals similar to what you are used to at home. However, waiting times are often long and in more remote places medical facilities may be limited. Your booking includes a payment for AMREF – also known as flying doctors. Should you be somewhere where there is no hospital nearby, you will be picked up by a plane and taken to the nearest hospital.

Being kind to the environment: plastic is banned in Kenya

Finally, it is good to know that Kenya has already had a ban on plastic since 2017. This means it is not allowed to bring plastic bags, bottles and packaging into the country. This ban was put in place to combat environmental pollution. It is therefore advisable to use alternatives, such as reusable bags and bottles.

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Countries in Africa

To which African country will you plans your travels?

You’ve just received a lot of info about a trip to Kenya, but we offer personalised, tailor-made trips in even more countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. Maybe you’re still unsure about which country you want to visit and you’re still nicely orientating on a travel destination in Africa.

We offer adventurous and unique trips to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana, among others. Each of these countries has its own charm and attractions, which we would love to tell you more about in one of our many articles or during a no-obligation orientation meeting with one of our Africa-lovers.

An authentic and sustainable trip to Africa

We offer you a special trip that introduces you to the beautiful and diverse African continent. We distinguish ourselves through our focus on adventure, culture and sustainable tourism. This means that your trip consists of authentic experiences, such as visiting lesser-known places and meeting local people. A trip to Africa is a special experience you won’t soon forget. That is why we offer our travellers a trip that exceeds their expectations.

We give you the opportunity to discover the continent in a unique way, enjoying beautiful nature, fascinating cultures and local communities. All this is made possible by our focus on sustainable tourism, which means we are committed to preserving Africa’s nature and culture.