A 12 day safari across Kenya’s wildlife will take lucky visitors to the unrivaled Masai Mara Reserve as well as Samburu Reserve, Tsavo West National Park, and Diani Beach, among other locations.
You’ll be on the lookout for a variety of animals on your safari, including elephants, lions, leopards, impalas, bison, giraffes, hippos, gazelles, kudu, and waterbucks. During your 12-day safari in Kenya, visitors can also enjoy viewing several bird species, such as flamingos at Lake Nakuru.
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The best 12 day Kenya safari Tours
Price of a 12 day Kenya safari?
A 12 day camping tour starts at about $1,450 per person. Mid-range lodge tours start at $3,100 per person whilst luxury tours start at around $3,800 per person. There are many factors determining the price of a 12 day Kenya safari.
Safari packages to Kenya span a wide price range, influenced by several variables. The biggest factor determining the price of a safari is the level of accommodation. This will ultimately categorize tours as being budget, mid-range or luxury. Shared tours are usually cheaper than private tours.
This is especially the case for single travelers. On a 12 day trip you might want to consider a fly-in safari, but these are considerably more expensive than road safaris. Check out the seasons too; low-season prices can be favorable and while you’ll probably get some rain at this time, it’s when the scenery is at its best.
Tour breakdown for a typical 12 days in Kenya
Safari tour highlights
- See the Big Five including the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo
- Discover the famous Masai Mara and Tsavo East park
- Private tour guide in English and other languages
- All-inclusive tours including lodging, entrance fees, meals, and transport
- Game drives in comfortable, open top safari vehicles
- Unique accommodation including safari lodges and tented camps
- Optional activity add-ons including hot air balloon safaris
The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on the best 12 day Kenya safari package:
|Tour inclusions||Tour exclusions|
|Game drives per the itinerary as well as pick-up and drop-off||Visa fees, laundry services, drinks including mineral water at the hotels|
|Experienced english-speaking guide and driver||International/domestic flights|
|Transport and park entrance fees||Cultural visits to Maasai villages (15 USD p/p)|
|Accommodation (full-board safaris)||Tips to the driver guides, waiters and porters|
|Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bottled water|
Safari essentials and information
Is a 12 day safari in Kenya sufficient?
12 days is plenty to see, hear and experience the incredible wildlife and sights of Kenya. The number of days needed to properly do a Kenya safari can range from 1-2 days to 1-2 weeks, depending on how much time and budget a visitor has.
Each day consists of an early morning game drive and a late afternoon game drive, certainly sufficient time to view the big 5 and incredible scenery. On a 12 day trip you can even break up the drive to Masai Mara with an overnight stay in Lake Nakuru National Park or Lake Naivasha, with the option to visit nearby Hell’s Gate National Park.
Alternatively you can spend all of your time in the famous Masai Mara. With full days at the reserve, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to explore this iconic safari destination including a full-day dusk-to-dawn game drive that will include lunch at one of the picnic spots.
Morning and evening game drives are rewarding as well, but on a full day you can get further into the reserve, away from the more-crowded areas. Overall, 12 days is a superb amount of time for a safari in Kenya if it is part of a larger tour, but if not, allocating a few more days to your safari would be ideal if possible.
Accommodation offered on a 12 day Kenya safari?
After a long day surveying the incredible Kenyan landscape and wildlife on offer, guests can look forward to the very best safari accommodation Kenya has to offer. The accommodation here is excellent with numerous options from tented camps, luxury lodges to camping grounds.
From camping in the bush with amenities to mid-range and luxury lodges, there’s something for everyone here. Of particular note include the renowned Cottar’s 1920s Camp in Masai Mara, a spacious luxury safari camp in a quiet section of the park where the golden age of exploration meets modern-day adventure safaris.
Go fishing, walking or hot-air ballooning before enjoying an outdoor bath and sundowners and dinner in the bush.
Must do on a 12 day Kenya safari
The most popular option for a 12 day Kenyan safari is Masai Mara National Reserve. The flight from Nairobi gets you there in about 45 minutes, but a road safari is also feasible. With an early start, you should be in the Mara in time for an afternoon game drive.
A 12 day safari to Amboseli NP, at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro, is also a good option. While the Mara is best for big cats, you can expect elephant sightings in Amboseli. And on clear days, Kilimanjaro creates a perfect backdrop for your photographs.
Another option is to head for the highlands of Laikipia Plateau. There are several excellent private reserves worth visiting here, but Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a great choice. It’s home to all the Big Five, and offers easy encounters with both black and white rhino.
People on a beach holiday around Mombasa or elsewhere on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline often opt to add a short safari to their itinerary. The most popular choices for this are Tsavo East or West National Parks, which together form the largest protected area in Kenya.
Can I combine a 12 day safari in Kenya with a gorilla trek?
A gorilla trek is a popular add-on to a Kenyan safari. You can track mountain gorillas in Rwanda or Uganda. Both offer a similar experience, but the gorilla trekking fee of $1,500 in Rwanda is more than double the fee charged in Uganda.
However, the logistics of visiting Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda are easier. The drive to the park from Kigali, Rwanda’s point of entry, is only a few hours. Coming eye to eye with our close relatives is an incredible experience.
Many people enjoy the opportunity to get active and spend time in the forest after a classic safari in Kenya where most time is spent on game drives. Time permitting, you can also add a couple of days for forest hikes and other activities that are on offer.
Animals on a Kenya safari?
You’ll find just about everything in Kenya! The country is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo) and visitors will also find Wildebeest, Diceros, Impalas, Dik-diks, Impalas, giraffes, hyenas, African wild dogs and many more.
Endlessly intelligent and iconic, African elephants continue to capture the hearts of travelers to Kenya.In addition to watching the largest land mammals roam the savannah, you can opt to visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage where they care for young elephants and rhinos before releasing them back to the wild.
Rhino are more difficult to find. To see rhinos in Kenya, you should consider going to one of the reserves in Laikipia. Amboseli NP is great for elephant, giraffe and buffalo, but big cat sightings are less common here and rhino is absent.
Whilst Masai Mara is world famous for hosting the epic Great Migration, the Mara welcomes 1.5 million wildebeests onto its sprawling savannahs each July through October. Other wildlife that visitors can expect to find include abundant elephants, buffalo, giraffes, lions and cheetah alongside the migratory animals and zebra.
How much spending money do I need for a 12 day Kenya safari?
Visitors should budget for approximately $300 for a Kenya safari per person per day, including food and accommodation. Kenya safaris can be more expensive than their continental counterparts due to the higher costs of accommodation and food.
What animals will I see on a 12 day Kenya safari tour?
Visitors on a 12 day Kenya safari will see the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo), hyenas, wildebeest, giraffes, cheetah, zebras, endangered black rhinos, hippos, crocodiles and much more.
What is the best time to go on a 12 day Kenya safari?
The best time to go on a 12 day Kenya safari is from June to October when there’s practically no rain and daytime temperatures are not too hot. With an overall moderate climate, Kenya is however considered a great year-round safari and beach holiday destination.