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11 Photos That Will Make You Wonder Why You Haven't Gone On Safari In Kenya Yet

Hakuna Matata, there's still time to make it happen, and Kenya's where it's at.

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1. So, the closest you've been to wildlife is your local zoo. No big deal.

Megan Snedden / Via

If you think you've had a close encounter with African animals when you saw them behind bars, just wait until you get to regions like Samburu National Reserve and the Maasai Mara Ecosystem. There's nothing like observing species in their natural habitat.

2. You've seen leopards before ...

Megan Snedden / Via

The Big Five game are some of the most popularly known species including the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and rhinoceros. In Kenya, you can spot each of these in the wild.

3. But have you seen a leopard eating its prey up in a tree?

Megan Snedden / Via

While on safari, the biggest thrill is the diversity of the experience. Each time you go on a game drive, you never know what you'll see. Plus, you wont have to deal with overly charismatic animal handlers, or crying children as you would while witnessing wild life in captivity. Instead, you get to watch the sun go down over the Acacia trees with the gentle sound of birds chirping and bones crunching in the background. It doesn't get any more real than that.

4. How about some bragging rights?

Megan Snedden / Via

Not everyone can say they've gotten this close to an elephant, and not everyone will. According to the Great Elephant Census, elephant populations around the world are declining by 8 percent per year, mostly because of poaching. The Kenyan government and local communities are doing a lot to preserve species, but you should still see them while you can.

5. You'll also see other rare species, like Grevy's Zebras.

Megan Snedden / Via

According to the African Wildlife Foundation, there are approximately 2,000 Grevy's Zebras left in the wild. While their populations used to span several countries in Africa, today they are confined to Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia.

6. And the Samburu "Special Five."

Megan Snedden / Via

In addition to Grevy's Zebra, species unique to Kenya's Samburu region include the Reticulated Giraffe, the Long-Necked Gerenuk, the Somali Ostrich, and the Beisa Oryx.

7. And the "Small Five."

Megan Snedden / Via

A coy reference to the Big Five species, the small five includes the Buffalo Weaver (featured), the Leopard Tortoise, the Rhino Beatle, the Elephant Shrew, and Antlions. If you don't know what the heck Antlions are, you'll have to go to Kenya to find out.

8. Let's get real, it's basically an animal party out there.

Megan Snedden / Via

In the Maasai Mara Ecosystem in southern Kenya, animal silhouettes dot the horizon line in all directions. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle.

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