The Mara (as the old hands like to call it) is the most popular wildlif park in Kenya. Abounding with wildlife and joined to the Serengeti, this 320-sq-km reserve is anything but plain. Few visitors miss roaming at least part of its vast open savanna grasslands - or leaping out of the way of the annual wildebeest stampede. The western border of the park is the spectacular Esoit Olooloo (Siria) Escarpment and it's at the edge of the park that the concentrations of wildlife are the highest. Lions are found in large prides everywhere and it's not unusual to see them hunting. Elephants, buffaloes, zebras, various antelopes and hippos also exist in large numbers. A reserve rather than a national park (the Maasai people are allowed to graze and hunt animals here), the Mara includes a Maasai village that's open to tourists, but which can be a little hard-sell.
There are twice-daily flights between Nairobi and Masai Mara, and plenty of accommodation options once you get there. The small provincial town of Narok - a few hours drive west of Nairobi - is the park's main access point.
Lapped by the warm, tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the East African coast offers superb diving opportunities virtually year round, with several, well-protected marine parks.
The best times for diving in Kenya, Zanzibar and Tanzania are December through March, with many seasonal species, such as the Whale shark and Manta ray, making their visits during this time.
Long, fringing reefs run along the shore, offering drift dives, drop-offs and a large variety of marine habitats within one small area.
The strong winds between May and September have caused shipwrecks over the years, providing many wreck dive possibilities along the outer reefs.
Inside the lagoons are numerous smaller coral heads that provide a nursery for many tropical reef fish and a haven for lobsters, rays and turtles.
Well-qualified PADI and BSAC dive centers are available up and down the coasts of both Kenya and Tanzania.