The country that inspired such films as "Out of Africa" and "The Man Eating Lions of Tsavo" offers the discerning traveller the opportunity to revel in one of Africa's finest jewels. Known as the "Cradle of Humanity" for its links to early human life, Kenya conjures up images of wild safaris, grassy plains, pristine beaches and mountain ranges such as the Aberdares and the awe inspiring Mount Kenya  

Hot Air Baloon Maari MasiFlamingos Lake Nakuru KenyaElephantKenya 4WD SafariMasai Mara tribesmen performing a warrior dance

Safaris are the epicentre of Kenya's tourism industry and many parks offer the chance to see the 'Big Five'; elephants, buffalo, lions, leopards and rhinoceros. Kenya also boasts 1,200 different species of birds with a number of lodges employing specialist bird guides for the budding ornithologist.

The Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli and Lake Nakaru are the best known National Parks. The Mara also enjoys the annual wildebeest. It is a sight to behold, taking place between June and September.

For those after a morelateralexperience, the more remote and wilder North of the country should not be underestimated. The Big 5 are still around but you are more likely to see the Samburu Special 5: Grevy's zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and beisa oryx.

The Kenyan coastline comprises beautiful soft sandy beaches against a backdrop of coral cliffs, creeks and offshore coral islands which are perfect for snorkelling. On the south coast, Diani Beach and Wasini Island provide scuba-diving opportunities and glass-bottomed boats. Big game fishing is also available for the Hemmingway's among you.

On the North Coast, Malindi and Watumu beaches are stunning and along the Tana River Delta, hippo and crocodile-watching are also on the agenda. Head further north and you find Lamu - a place like no other - a peaceful, tropical island where the phrase of choice is 'pole pole' meaning 'slowly slowly'. The rhythm of life is indeed such ! This ancient Swahili settlement oozes charm and is the perfect place to kick back and relax after adventures in the bush.

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