“Kenya is famous as the original safari country. Within Kenya there are over 40 national parks and wildlife reserves which have been set aside for the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.”
NORWICK AFRICA SAFARIS
Kenya Parks & Game Reserves
Kenya is famous as the original safari country. Within Kenya there are over 40 national parks and wildlife reserves which have been set aside for the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.
The most famous and most visited of Kenya’s national parks is the Masai Mara National Reserve. It offers breathtaking views and a chance to see Kenya’s “big five” animals – rhinos, elephants, lions, leopards and buffalo.
Masai Mara National Reserve (also known as Masai Mara or the Mara) is situated within the Great Rift Valley in the southern part of Kenya. Measuring approximately 1510sq. kilometres (approx. 938sq. miles) in size, this unfenced savannah grassland is roughly 150 miles southeast of Nairobi.
Maasai Mara derives its name from the indigenous people of Kenya – the Maasai tribe – and the Mara River that cuts through the park.
The Masai Mara provides the best view of the famous wildebeest migration as the animals cross the Mara River between July and August.
The Mara is also home to the richest concentration of wildlife, including the “Big Five” (elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos, and buffalo), zebras, antelope, gnus, Oribis, hyenas, giraffes, warthogs, gazelles, hartebeests, hippos, crocodiles and others. The park has the largest concentration of African lions, including the black-maned lion.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is Kenya’s second most popular national park after the Mara. Located 160 miles from Nairobi, the park offers a stunning view of both Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
Amboseli is renowned for its large herds of free-ranging African elephants. There are over 900 African elephants in Amboseli, as well as huge herds of wildebeests and many other animals including giraffes, African lions, monkeys, zebras, hyenas and antelope.
With its awesome view of Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895m), Amboseli National Park offers a unique and breathtaking backdrop for viewing Africa’s animals. It also has a dry Pleistocene lake basin that houses a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, after the rains
Aberdare National Park
Majestic peaks, moorland, deep ravines, streams and cascading waterfalls define the spectacular landscape of Aberdare National Park.
Aberdare is an ideal park for topography enthusiasts and bird watchers who also want a chance to view elephants, black rhinos and other game wildlife.
Many Kenyan animals can be seen here including African elephants, lions, rhinos, black leopard and the elusive bongo antelope. Two of Kenya’s best safari lodges are located in Aberdare National Park – Treetops and The Ark. Both provide excellent game viewing at night over the watering hole.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is a major Kenya attraction for tourists to Nairobi, offering them a chance to enjoy Kenya’s wildlife from within the city.
Located less than 10 miles from Nairobi city, Nairobi National Park is also a rhino sanctuary and you are guaranteed to see a black rhino during your visit.
You can also enjoy buffalo, zebras, wildebeests and a host of birdlife. With picnic sites and nature trails, the park offers plenty of fun for Kenyans and tourists alike.
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is a very popular park for tourists from Kenya’s coast. It’s less than 100 miles from Mombasa and is served by several airstrips.
Tsavo East is the park where you can see the infamous “Man-Eaters of Tsavo” lions, as well as elephants, rhinos, birds and other wildlife
Tsavo West National Park
Occupying 30 percent of Kenya’s total park area, Tsavo West National Park is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. It is easily accessible from the Mombasa-Nairobi highway and borders Tanzania to the south.
Tsavo West offers tremendous views of a landscape packed with diverse wildlife habitats, rocky ridges, acacia woodlands, isolated hills, semi-desert scrubs and mountain forest
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya, which is Kenya’s highest mountain, lies within the Mount Kenya National Park. The park flourishes with pristine wilderness, glaciers, snow-capped peaks, flora and fauna.
It is an ideal park for hiking and mountain climbing, as well as for viewing some of Kenya’s rare and endangered animal species
The park was created to encourage tourism, to preserve the area’s natural, outstanding beauty, and to conserve the animal habitat and protect it as a water catchment area. Mount Kenya National Park is located between Kenya’s other safari parks – Aberdare, Samburu and Meru National Park.
About 95 miles northwest of Nairobi is Lake Nakuru National Park.
For those who love birds and bird watching, Lake Nakuru offers a picturesque landscape, and is home to over 400 bird species, including both the greater and lesser flamingoes, as well as game animals such as the white rhinos
Lake Nakuru can be reached easily by road from Nairobi. It is famous for its flamingos but is also home to other bird species including African fish eagles and pelicans. Surrounding the lake are woodlands and grassland areas which are home to a variety of animals including rhinos and lions
Located in the Samburu district of Kenya is the Samburu National Reserve, a rugged, semi-desert park that has remained almost undisturbed by mankind.
In its remoteness, the park is an ideal retreat for those who enjoy calm and natural serenity.
This former home to “Elsa the Lioness” is full of birdlife and Kenyan game animals, and is a great park to spot the elusive Kenya leopard.
The game reserve is renowned for its rare species of animals unique to the park, namely: the long necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa onyx. The elusive Kenya leopard is often known to visit the park, especially in the evenings.
Other Kenyan wildlife present in the park includes cheetahs and lions, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos.
Birdlife is as plentiful as wildlife at Samburu National Reserve, which boasts over 350 different species of birds including vultures, kingfishers, marabous, bateleurs, guinea fowl, Somali ostriches and others
Meru National Park is noted for its fauna and natural beauty. It has many swamps and rivers lined with palms, as well as mountains and woodlands, and it is the setting for Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free”, which was later made into a successful film. The park is home to a large pride of lions, herds of buffalo, and hippos and crocodiles that live in the rivers.
Game viewing includes elephants, hippos, lions, leopards and cheetahs. There are also some rare antelope, including the Lesser Kudu, duiker and dik-dik, a tiny African antelope that stands just twelve inches high and is notoriously shy. Meru National Park also has some of Kenya’s largest herds of buffalo, along with hartebeests, giraffes and gazelles.