WILDLIFE FACTS

Kenya Big 5: Named by hunters as the 5 most difficult animals to Hunt. Some needed to tell them “Pictures only Boss”

Lion – Simbo on Safari Kichwa
African elephant- Ndovu
Cape Buffalo – Nyati on Safari Mbogo
African leopard – Chui On Safari Ya Juu ( roughly translates as can in the trees )

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White/Black rhinoceros – Kifaru On Safari Pembe

Wildebeest Masai Mara scaled 1

The wildebeests, also called gnus or wildebai, are a genus of antelopes, Connochaetes. They belong to the family Bovidae, which includes antelopes, cattle, goats, sheep, and other even-toed horned ungulates. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu, and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu. Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in a northern and a southern species. The blue wildebeest remained in its original range and changed very little from the ancestral species, while the black wildebeest changed more in order to adapt to its open grassland habitat in the south. The most obvious way of telling the two species apart are the differences in their coloring and in the way their horns are oriented. In East Africa, the blue wildebeest is the most abundant big game species and some populations perform an annual migration to new grazing grounds 

but the black wildebeest is merely nomadic. Breeding in both takes place over a short period of time at the end of the rainy season and the calves are soon active and are able to move with the herd. Nevertheless, some fall prey to large carnivores. Wildebeest often graze in mixed herds with zebra which gives heightened awareness of potential predators. They are also alert to the warning signals emitted by other animals such as baboons.

  • Elephants are the largest land animals in the world.
  • The largest elephant on record was an adult male African elephant. It weighed about 24,000 pounds and was 13 feet tall at the shoulder!
  • Elephants can live to be over 70 years old.
  • Only one mammal can’t jump — the elephant.
  • The average weight for an elephant heart is about 27 to 46 pounds!
  • Elephants have highly developed brains and are the largest of all land mammals. The brain is 3 or 4 times larger than that of humans although smaller as a proportion of body weight.
  • Elephants have a slow pulse rate of 27. For a canary, it is 1000!
  • An elephant’s skin is an inch thick.
  • Elephants have poor eyesight but an amazing sense of smell.
  • At the age of 16, an elephant can reproduce but rarely has more than four children throughout her lifetime. At birth, an elephant calf weighs about 230 lbs
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  • Elephants have the longest pregnancy of all the animals. It takes a female 22 months from conception to give birth.
  • Elephants purr can you order Ambien online like cats do, as a means of communication?
  • Elephants prefer one tusk over the other, just as people are either left or right-handed.
  • Tusks are an elephant’s incisor teeth. They are used for defense, digging for water, and lifting things.
  • Elephants have four molars, one on the top and one on the bottom on both sides of the mouth. One molar can weigh about five pounds and is the size of a brick!
  • The elephant trunk has more than 40,000 muscles in it.
  • Elephants waive their trunks up in the air and from side to side to smell better.
  • The elephant’s trunk can sense the size, shape, and temperature of an object. An elephant uses its trunk to lift food and suck up water then pour it into its mouth.
  • Elephants cry, play, have incredible memories, and laugh.
  • Elephants can swim – they use their trunk to breathe like a snorkel in deep water.
  • Elephant feet are covered in a soft padding that helps uphold their weight, prevent them from slipping, and dull any sound. Therefore elephants can walk almost silently!
  • Elephants use their feet to listen, they can pick up sub-sonic rumblings made by other elephants, through vibrations in the ground. Elephants are observed listening by putting trunks on the ground and carefully positioning their feet.
  • Elephants are highly sensitive and caring animals. if a baby elephant complains, the entire family will rumble and go over to touch and caress it. Elephants express grief, compassion, self-awareness, altruism, and play.
  • Elephants have greeting ceremonies when a friend that has been away for some time returns to the group.
  • Elephants have large, thin ears. Their ears are made up of a complex network of blood vessels that regulate an elephant’s temperature. Blood is circulated through their ears to cool them down in hot climates.
  • An elephant is capable of hearing sound waves well below our human hearing limitation. The far-reaching use of high-pressure infrasound opens the elephant’s spatial experience far beyond our limited capabilities.
  • Elephants are social creatures. They sometimes “hug” by wrapping their trunks together in displays of greeting and affection.
  • Elephants pay homage to the bones of their dead, gently touching the skulls and tusks with their trunks and feet. when an elephant walks past a place where a loved one has died, he/she will stop dead still; a silent and empty pause that can last several minutes.
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Check Our Reviews

Tripadvisor

Heike G
Heike G
2024-04-05
Unforgettable, beautiful, impressive safari with a knowledgeable and experienced scout. We would be happy to book again! Every day was indescribably beautiful. Lion and elephant families, buffalo, cheetahs, hippos, thanks to an experienced driver and scout… you can't get much better than that.
Barry Wong or Doris Lee
Barry Wong or Doris Lee
2024-03-28
Look no further for your next Safari! Absolutely the best Safari money can buy! We spent 21 days traveling through 9 different parks and Best Camping took care of every detail. They even helped with special birthday requests on the fly. Most accommodating in every way and kept in constant touch throughout to make sure our needs were met. The drivers they hire are excellent and did their very best to make it as smooth as possible given the condition of the roads.
jpat746
jpat746
2024-03-20
Amazing, friendly and reliable! Did a one day trip, at sheldrick, Nairobi national park and giraffe feeding and it was amazing! The team looked after us all day, with lovely transport and a fantastic guide. The business was so easy to communicate with as I was in London, so they sorted it all out prior to me coming out to Kenya and were always on hand to answer any questions! 100% would recommend to anyone and will use them again when coming back!
Jamie L
Jamie L
2024-03-09
A safari to remember forever I went on a 22 day safari tour in January 2024. I had never been to Africa before, but it had been a dream of mine to go there someday. This tour made my dream come true. My goal was to see and get close to the animals and observe them in their natural habitats, doing their natural things. I am a big cat admirer in particular and so of course I was hoping to see them ...and I did! Lions, both male and female, and cubs, in hunting mode and sleepiness, one lioness sitting in and then descending from an acacia tree. Leopards, several sightings in trees, one with its fresh kill on the limb nearby. Cheetah , again several sightings, some very close up. But I also saw and learned so much about other animals and became a great admirer and supporter of the African elephant, in particular. Our guides/drivers were so knowledgeable and were constantly relating fascinating facts while also magically finding animals (including birds and reptiles) for us to observe, and photograph of course...although to me the photography was secondary to the experience. It was so soul soothing to see the whole circle of life in such spectacular natural settings, with the acacia trees and other trees and plants, with the backdrop of gorgeous mountains, hills, valleys and lakes. I loved learning about and admiring the various species of gazelle and impala and so many others of their kin. The giraffe and zebra in their many variations were wondrous to see and watch. The rhinos and cape buffalo and wildebeest were impressive. And I loved watching the primates (monkeys and baboons), our little cousins, doing their thing. And I have a new favorite bird: the Grey Crowned Crane, also known as the national bird of neighboring Uganda. I also appreciated learning about the Kenyan nation and getting to know some of its wonderful, friendly and knowledgeable citizens. In sum, it was the best trip I have ever taken . Kenya, and Africa, will be part of me for the rest of my life.
CathJ
CathJ
2024-02-27
Great safari experience in Kenya Wonderful experience. Robert our driver and guide was perfect, cautious when driving and very knowledgeable about animals and Kenya. We got to see the Big 5 and a lot more! The lodges were beautiful and comfortable. Imraan has been so nice and reactive in organizing the trip. I can only recommend Best Camping Tours and Safaris!
Patricia D
Patricia D
2024-02-21
The trip of a lifetime I never imagined that I would love and enjoy something like this. I had the very best time and would go again in a heartbeat. The owners were wonderful, the drivers were incredible and the animals were plentiful. All of the destinations were special, the food good and the accommodations were very nice. Best Camping if you want an amazing experience!!
Dream17297322292
Dream17297322292
2024-02-20
Tsavo 3 Day Tour The views were amazing! We saw a lot of animals. The driver was very informative. He was accommodating to our group who had an age range of 0-97 years old.
Michael
Michael
2024-02-18
In one word: Excellent! We would like to share with you our wonderful experience with Best Camping Tours. It started already at home: Planning our Safari from there, we had a quite a few open questions remaining. Within a few hours after our first written contact, we had a long initial telephone conversion with Imraan, in which we exchanged ideas (given the time constraints we had: pros and cons of visiting more/less parks, which places should we visit, what is covered in the fee etc…) From the beginning we saw that Imraan has a wealth of experience, felt that he is really listened to us to adjust the schedule wherever possible. Finally we agreed on a 6 days safari (3 days Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita, Lake Naiwasha). On the day prior to departure, we had another longer phone call with Imraan, in which he gave us a precise briefing on what to expect every day of the safari. Mohammed, our driver and guide, was so knowledgeable, patient, and kind. He is an excellent and careful driver. He knows so well the places where to find the animal in the parks, and could name all the birds we saw, amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed the many many hours of game drive and approaching the dozens of different animals species. The team at the Masai Mara camp welcomed us with such a kind hospitality and great sense of humour. Thank you for taking so good care of us! It has been a marvellous and unforgettable journey for us. We had quite a few expectations, they were by far exceeded! We highly recommend Imraan and his team. We hope to able to come back another time and for sure, we will call nobody else than Best Camping Tours! Asante Sana!
Nooreen H
Nooreen H
2024-02-13
Fantastic reliving childhood memories Thanks Imraan and team for making this such a memorable trip for me! Nothing was too much trouble. The game drives wrre amazing and animals seen, such a great adventure! Love the staff so kind and caring. Thanks so much🙏🏼🙏🏼🇰🇪
Angelique F
Angelique F
2024-02-07
Highly recommended- superior service and experience! Best Camping handled our group of 12 with the utmost professionalism and we had an amazing time thanks to their attention to detail, hard work, amazing staff, & their checking on us during our 23 day safari adventure! Imraan was personally in contact during our trip, making sure that we were having a wonderful time & answering any questions we had. Our drivers were incredible- they were safe drivers, found every wild animal we hoped for (plus some!), & got us the best angles for viewing and photographing. We had some challenges during our trip - sickness, injury, weather, an added balloon excursion, and Best Camping was able to help us quickly with everything! They even proactively moved us from one lodge to another due to concerns others had raised, & we appreciated that they cared enough to be proactive. This was my first trip to Africa, & I’m relieved that Best Camping handled everything for us. I would book with them again in a heartbeat, & will recommend them to anyone wanting to visit Kenya.

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Madhur Rao
Madhur Rao
2023-09-30
A wonderful and memorable trip thanks to Imran and special mention of Ben our guide. Watching the migration was an amazing experience. The entire trip was so well planned and each hotel/accommodation unique in its own way. From tented rooms to the beach resort where we were spoilt for choice of food. Now we need to work on losing that extra weight! But every moment of our trip is one we will cherish. Asante sana
Anushree Shiroor
Anushree Shiroor
2023-09-25
This was our second time with Best Camping Safaris, and we had a wonderful experience yet again! From planning the itinerary, to meeting us when we landed in Kenya and briefing us regarding our impending travels with helpful guidance, being in touch regarding pick ups and drop offs and coordinating them without any problems, having a really lovely driver and guide (Ben), and ensuring extra care because we were travelling with our two young kids, to the point of final goodbyes, Imraan and his team were the absolute best. We got to see all the animals (the big five, and more!) we wanted, as well as a chance to see the wildebeest migration live! Best camping ensure you maximise your safari experience but without compromising on safety, and quality. We cannot wait to go back again on another adventure with them! Thank you for a lovely trip and amazing memories 🙂
Nabs Damji
Nabs Damji
2023-09-07
We had a wonderful experience on our safari! The booking experience was seamless, and the safari itself was amazing! Lucas was an excellent driver & guide! Highly recommend!
Shibu Cyriac
Shibu Cyriac
2023-09-01
Extremely overwhelmed by the experience we had with Best Camping tours .we were well taken care of during our stay . Really appreciate Imran’s prompt responses to address our queries and concerns not only during our stay there but right from the time we decided to plan for this trip . He was always in touch with us and we were assisted at every step whenever required which made us feel ‘ a home away from home’ . Friendly and well experienced guide who was with us throughout our stay at Masai Mara camp, made us feel comfortable through his friendly and understanding behavior. All over great experience and I strongly recommend Best Camping tours to all those who are looking forward for a visit to Kenya .. Thank you Best Camps for your remarkable services !!!
Kai O'Donobhan
Kai O'Donobhan
2023-03-12
I did a 8 day safari, and could not reinstate how happy I am that I chose Best Camping Tours and Safari. I wanted to do a trip around Kenya that provided me with the most local experience, alongside being able to witness as much of the country as we could throughout our holiday. Imran was always available over call, and listened to what we wanted out of our trip and organised a personalised experience that exceeded our expectations – Imran helped us on a scale beyond the scope that we would have expected from him, including preparation for the trip. We went across Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita and Amboseli (before ending the safari and exploring Mombasa, which Imran also kindly helped with). Mo accompanied us on the trip across the 4 reserves – I was very impressed by his knowledge of each national reserve, which was clear as we drove through. His expertise in the national reserves provided us with the opportunity to see the big 5 (which is very rare), alongside breath-taking views of 5+ cheetahs. Mo’s expertise enriched our overall experience significantly. Each accommodation (including the unique experience provided at the local Masai Mara site) was fantastic, and truly made this one of the best trips of my life. I could not recommend Best Camping Tours and Safari further, if you would like a safe, reliable experience of Kenya with local coverage to make the most out of each natural reserve.
Mike Guest
Mike Guest
2022-12-03
5 stars isn't enough for the level of service that Imraan provides. Right from booking he was there for any questions, making sure we had everything worked out and even making suggestions we hadn't thought of. The tour he arranged for Masai Mara was amazing and our driver Ben was equally great! He always seemed to know where to stop for the best view and it didn't matter how long we did or didn't want to watch or take pictures. Sometimes you meet someone for business and when you're done, that's the end of it and then sometimes you're lucky enough to do business with someone you consider a friend...and that's Imraan and the rest of his crew!
baptiste pilloix
baptiste pilloix
2022-10-30
Super accueil, Imrann est attentionné, nous a beaucoup aidé pour nos premiers jours à Nairobi. Le safari s'est déroulé à merveille, avec un guide passionné, le tout pour un prix correct. Je recommande vivement !
Punita Agarwal
Punita Agarwal
2022-08-31
Just finished a 9 day tour with Best Camping tours....our experience was phenomenal. Everything was well taken care of. Our driver knew a lot about the Amborsili and Masai Mara parks and the jungle and that was a great help in spotting the animals. The owner Imraan takes personal care of all your needs and that reflects in his staff too. All in all, an unforgettable experience .

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