Kenya - National Parks & Reserves
It's the quality of Kenya's Parks and Reserves that makes Kenya one of the most popular safari destination in Africa.
There are two main types of terrestrial protected areas in Kenya: National Parks and National Reserves, there are also
Marine Parks and Marine Reserves.
From the stampeding herds of the Mara to the culture of the Maasai. The Pink Flamingos of the Rift Valley Lakes against
the backdrop of the majestic Mount Kenya.
The Original 'Out of Africa' destination.
* Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks at the eastern edge of the inland plateau. Here you find bushy grasslands and rocky open plains alternating with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodland, with the Galana River cutting a green swathe across the park. The seasonal Voi and Tana rivers are important to the northern and southern portions of the park, as there is little other surface water. Mudanda Rock is a great spectacle of this park as this outcrop is a water catchment area which feeds a natural dam where hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe during the dry season. Views are exceptional and it is a good place to sit and watch game. Ancient volcanic activity is evident at the Yatta Plateau - a long flat-topped lava ridge on the western border of Tsavo East. Wildlife: The Park is home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust –red Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, pods of Hippo,Crocodile, Waterbucks, Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk and Hirola. The prolific bird life features 500 recorded species.
* Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West offers tremendous views and divers habitats ranging from mountains, river forest, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. It's especially attractive at the end of the rains countryside turns green. Mzima Springs is pool of natural spring water that attracts a lot of game and there is even an underwater hippo-viewing hide. Tsavo West is known for its 'Roaring Rocks', which if climbed gives views usually only seen by the eagles and buzzards that whirl around these cliffs.
Wildlife: Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Mongoose, Crocodille, Hyrax, Dik-dik. Birdlife features 600 recorded species.
* Amboseli National Park
The park is 39.206 hectares in size at the core of an 8.000 square kilometres ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species. Other attraction of the park includes opportunities to meet the Maasai people and also offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. In Amboseli’s case it is big skies and far horizons combined with swampy springs and dry and dusty earth trampled by hundreds of animals.
Wildlife: 'Big Five', Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos and a variety of water fowls like Pelican, Egyptian Goose.
* Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara is considered by many to be one of Kenya's finest National Reserves. The rolling grasslands offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities and the grassy plains are broken by rocky outcrops which are favourite midday resting places for lion, for which the Mara is famous. Some of the other animals which can be seen in and around this 700 square mile conservation area are elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers which traverse this Reserve. One of the Mara's main attractions each year is the astonishing spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million Wildebeast, thousands of Zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains, following the rains and succulent new grass. A costly trek as many of the lame, laggard and sick will fall prey to the ravening pack of predators and many more will die in the swirling flood waters trying to cross the Mara River. Once the rains have ended and the grass begins to wither the wildebeest turn south and head back to the Serengeti and beyond. The reserve with an area of 1510 km2 forms the northern part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and is famous for vast assemblages and migration of plains game and their associated predators. The parks southern boundary is contiguous with Tanzania's Serengeti National park.
Wildlife: Elephant, Black Rhino, Buffalo, plains Zebra, Heartebeast, Wildebeast and other herbivores and all the big cats are also found in Mara. The rivers are home of crocodiles and hippos.
* Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary . It is located in the Coast Province 220 kilometers from Mombasa. The sanctuary covers an area of 110 km2, and is adjacent to Tsavo West National Park. The variety of animals which live in this small 110 sq. km sanctuary are often easier to spot than those in the larger Tsavo Parks. Wildlife:
Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion, Giraffe, Zebra, Hartebeast, Impala, Waterbuck, Thomson's Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Dik-dik and other smaller animals. Including a great diversity of birdlife.
The Aberdare National Park, with an area of 767 Km2 covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya, from altitude of 1829m to 4001m above sea level. The topography is quite divers with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes.
Wildlife: Leopard, Elephant, Hunting Dog, Bushbuck, Black Rhino, Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Buffalo, Jackal, Eland, Duikers, Baboon, Colobus Monkey, and Sykes Monkey, in the moorlands. Even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park
*Shimba Hills National Reserve
The Shimba Hills National Reserve is a small National Reserve in the Coast Province of Kenya, 33 km from Mombasa and 15 km from the coast. The reserve is an area of coastal rainforest, woodland and grassland. It is an important area for plant biodiversity– over 50% of the 159 rare plants in Kenya are found in the Shimba Hills, including some endangered species of cycad and orchids. It is also a nationally important site for birds and butterflies. Shimba Hills contains Kenya's only population of Sable Antelope. Wildlife:Sable Antelope, Elephant, Giraffes, Leopard, Genet, Civet cat, Hyenas, Waterbuck, Bush pig, Buffalo, African Bush Baby, Bushbuck, Colobus, Duiker, Greater Galago,Black-faced Vervet Monkey, Sykes Monkey, Serval cat, Black and Red Shrew, and Knob-bristled Suni Shrew.
Ngutuni sanctuary is a 10.000 acre private game sanctuary, surrounded on three sides by Tsavo East National Park with view of the Sagala Hills and others nearby. Ngutuni Sanctuary is about 335 kilometers from Nairobi and about 150 km from Mombasa. Ngutuni and the surrounding national park is best known today for their fantastic variety of wildlife. It is only in Ngutuni Sanctuary, in the whole of Tsavo East National Park, where one can do a night game drive conveniently and spot a lot of animals including many big cats at very close range.
Wildlife: Buffalo, Cheetahs, Elephants, Giraffes, Impalas, Leopards, Lions, Black faced vervet Monkeys, Sykes's Monkeys, Waterbucks, Zebras and a variety of birds.
* Samburu National Park
The Samburu National Reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro river in Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The park is 165 km² in size and is situated 350 kilometers from Nairobi. Once inside the reserve there are two mountains visible: Koitogor and Ololokwe. Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts animals because of the Ewaso Ng'iro river.
There is a wide variety of animal and birdlife seen at Samburu National Reserve, including the following dry-country fauna: Gerenuk, Grevy's zebra, Oryx and reticulated Giraffe. All three big cats, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, can also be found here, as well as Elephants, Buffalo and Hippos.
*Lakes read more...
Due to the volcanic activities along the Great Rift Valley, lakes were formed as a result. From the North to the South of Kenya the valley is lined with a series of freshwater and soda based volcanic lakes.
Lake Nakuru is renowned for Greater and Lesser Flamingo, offcourse the Lake Nakuru has the greatest number of Flamingos in the world present throughout the year. Significant number of waders like Herons, Egrets, Plovers, Storks etc. are common in Lake Baringo and Naivasha. The enchanting African Fish-Eagle feeding in Lake Baringo is of interest to photographers worldwide.
- Lake Baringo
- Lake Naivasha
- Lake Nakuru