Kenya is an incredibly versatile tourism destination. From the wilds of the Maasai Mara to the pristine award-winning beaches of the Kenyan coast, Kenya has something for every travel enthusiast.
However, to maximize your Kenya wildlife safari, you need a versatile car capable of handling all manner of terrain and weather conditions.
Luckily, the Kenyan car market has the right kinds of vehicles for both road trips and wildlife safaris. The best safari cars are designed to cater to all your off-road motoring needs without compromising comfort. They are specially designed to give you a front-row seat to all the wildlife safari action.
Whether embarking on a guided safari or a self-driven adventure, the following are the five best cars for road trips and wildlife safaris in Kenya;
1.Toyota Land Cruiser
If ever a car seemed at home in the African jungle, it is the Toyota Land Cruiser.
The All-Wheel drive 8-seater is an all-terrain vehicle that is ready to take you to all corners of the country.
With an impressive 21.5cm worth of ground clearance, the Land Cruiser can easily navigate the Maasai Mara savannah. It is an ease that does not let up, not even when the Cruiser careens on sandy stretches at the Kenyan coast.
The car has a spacious cabin and is a joy to travel in, even for tall individuals.
For an even more fun-filled experience, travelers may consider opting for a safari in a customized Land Cruiser, which offers panoramic views of all the attractions you visit.
Since wildlife events come with no rehearsal, the Cruiser’s pop-up roof allows you to take breathtaking photos on short notice from whichever direction.
2. Jeep Wrangler
The Jeep Wrangler is an ideal safari option for small families, solo travelers, and couples and is solidly built to withstand the most grueling weather conditions and roads.
Besides spotting robust 33-inch all-terrain tires, the wrangler has a sophisticated differential system that ensures excellent performance even on the harshest roads. It also comes with winch-capable steel bumpers and impressive towing capabilities.
Thanks to the vehicle’s hill descent mechanism, drivers are assured of ultimate control in every situation.
Since it is a convertible, travelers may opt to enjoy their drives with or without the roof. For a more airy and adventurous feel, they can have the doors taken off as well.
Aside from its aesthetics and rich heritage as an off-road icon, the Wrangler delivers unparalleled comfort even in highly bumpy settings. ]
3. Nissan Patrol/ Safari
The stylish yet functional Nissan Patrol has deceptively soft looks that belie its tenacity off-road.
Perhaps what makes the Patrol a worthy contender when it comes to rough terrain is its nimble V8 engine and acres of underbody clearance. At 27.3cm off the ground, this behemoth makes off-road navigation seem easy as pie.
Expeditions Maasai Safaris nominated for prestigious World Travel Awards
Also, the car’s modest consumption makes it an economical choice for long-distance safaris, more so when you bear in mind that it can comfortably seat seven travelers at a time.
The foldable third-row seats and plenty of cargo space make this the perfect vehicle when you wish to go camping or carry lots of gear with you.
As a self-driven adventurer, you will also be happy to know that the Nissan Patrol comes with helpful assistance features. These include satellite navigation, intelligent cruise control, and forward-collision warning systems.
Some trims also feature comfort extras such as heated and cooled front seats, a sunroof, and second-row entertainment screens.
4. Land Rover Discovery
While some cars make travel an exhausting exercise, the Land Rover Discovery reminds you of what it means to cruise in luxury.
This 7-seater deluxe vehicle comes with a ‘stadium seating’ set up where the rear seats are set at a higher level to ensure that all passengers get to see what is happening up ahead.
That feature is convenient when visiting wildlife reserves as all occupants get to experience the action.
What’s more, the vehicle’s steeped roof ensures plenty of headroom even for tall passengers.
As far as cargo space is concerned, the vehicle has a generous and easily accessible boot space.
All the seats are electric, and lovers of tailgating will particularly love the split tailgate that doubles up as a bench seat ideal for picnics.
The car’s mechanical processes complement the Land Rover Discovery’s decadent interior in rendering comfy rides. That includes adjustable air suspension, which allows the vehicle to adjust its ride height according to the road and weight conditions, thus minimizing bumpy rides.
4. Ford Ranger
For travelers on a budget, the Ford Ranger is the pick-up truck that can take you anywhere, anytime. Compared to the other contenders on our list, the Ford Ranger is capable of getting the job done- at a bargain.
It is the vehicle for those travelers who aren’t overly concerned with the bells and whistles that come with luxury vehicles.
As such, it does not boast of a luxe interior. However, its infotainment and dash controls are highly user-friendly and have all the essentials you need to get around.
Also, notwithstanding its stripped-down and minimalistic design, the Ranger nonetheless performs exceptionally well in off-road environments.
It also comes with a host of invaluable driver-assist features for the modern-day traveler. These include a forward-collision warning system, adaptive cruise control, and automated emergency braking.
The most significant selling point for the Ford Ranger is its powerful, agile turbocharged engine and impressive towing capabilities. Not only does the engine render quick acceleration when needed, but it also delivers a steady flow of uninterrupted power even when towing.
Overall, the Ford Ranger is a car that delves into the sometimes harsh African countryside and manages to emerge unscathed.