Kenya, on the east coast of Africa, is the original home and iconic heartland of 'safari'. Spend time encountering huge herds of wildebeest and the “big five” in the Maasai Mara in southern Kenya, the natural wonder of the Great Rift Valley with flamingo-covered lakes, the dramatic landscapes and fascinating culture of Laikipia and Samburu, and the beauty of the tropical coastline. Kenya is arguably one of the best destinations in Africa for safari. The country is evocative of a romantic and pioneering age, made famous by the book and film Out of Africa, and Kenya holds a special place in the hearts of Africa-lovers. One of the best spots for game-viewing year-round is the Maasai Mara, part of the greater Serengeti ecosystem, where you'll find big cats aplenty, and during some months it is also home to huge herds of wildebeest grazing on the sweeping plains on their annual migration. Throughout the country there are high concentrations of "big five" game, of which Kenya has some of the highest numbers in Africa. North and east of the Mara, the Great Rift Valley cuts a swathe through the middle of the country, with glittering lakes and dramatic landscapes. The Laikipia plateau at the foot of Mount Kenya is another rewarding location for safari, with good populations of rhino as well as rarer species of zebra, giraffe and antelope, and a wide variety of safari activities ranging from riding safaris to walking with camels. From Lake Victoria to the country's numerous beautiful reserves, Kenya is home to so many diverse ecosystems and, after the thrill of safari, you can head for the Indian Ocean coastline to relax on miles of white sand beaches.