Kenya National Parks and Game Reserves
Kenya National Parks and Game Reserves
You are planning your Safari holiday travel in Kenya, are you concerned about where to visit, which travel agency to use, here below are discussed best Kenya Safari Park to experience the beauty of Africa.
- Masai Mara National Reserve
Reserve was founded in 1948 and it covers an area of 1510 sq. km. It is 275km from the capital city of Kenya, a 5 hours’ drive.
This Park is considered the most densely populated park of various animals in the world as well as among the most traveled in Kenya.
The reserve is home to about 80 species of mammals and more than 450 species of birds. Landscapes of the reserve are grandiose; the territory is divided into 3 large ecosystems: savannah, bush and river beds.
In the savannah, you will see large herds of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, dwellers, and buffaloes. Closer to the rivers, the first trees appear where giraffes, water birds, elephants, and bushbucks live. Acacia forests grow along the Mara and Talek rivers. The rivers are home to hippos and many crocodiles.
The bush is home to impalas, buffaloes, black rhinos, and dwarf dik-dik antelopes. As for lions and other predators, they live everywhere, but they especially like to gather under the shade of acacias during sunny days and are very active in the morning and evening. Here you can see all the representatives of the “big African five” (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, and elephant).
Surrounding communities are the Masai people whom for many years their ancestors have been living there naturally with animals. These people of nomadic shepherds managed to preserve their traditions and culture. During your visit, you can visit Masai village or get a customized organized visit from your travel agent.
- Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is located on the floor of Great Rift valley, among the rift valley lakes covering an area of 188 sq. Km, 155 km from Nairobi.
Lake Nakuru resembles a huge bird exhibition: over a million pink flamingos flock to the lake to feast on their favorite local fish. In addition to flamingos, in Nakuru National Park you can also see a pelican, cormorant, heron, warthog, waterbuck, buffalo, giraffe, Thompson’s gazelle, redun, and klipspringer (jumper). The oldest rhino nursery in Kenya is located here.
In the eastern part of the park, there is a very beautiful milkweed forest, and in the south, in the thickets of acacia, zoologists are trying to revive the population of the black rhino, which is in danger of extinction, because it is destroyed because of the horn, which, according to the people of Asia, is capable of increasing potency.
This program is being successfully implemented, which is facilitated by the significant size of the park. Apart from being a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to the black rhinoceros.
The park deserves to be proud of the largest population of leopards in Kenya. Also here you can see the warthog, hippo, lion, Thompson’s gazelle, waterbuck, buffalo, and giraffe.
- Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli Park is located 240 kilometers southeast of the capital Nairobi and along with the Masai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park is the most visited national park in Kenya. The Park covers an area of 392 sq. Km.
It is one of the most beautiful places in the country due to Mount Kilimanjaro (5895m) visible in the distance. Although the volcano is located in Tanzania, Amboseli offers the best view of its snow-capped peaks. During hot times of the day, the volcano is hidden by clouds, but it appears in its entire splendor at dusk and at sunrise.
In the case of Amboseli, it is the open-air and distant horizon, combined with marshland and dry and dusty land, on which hundreds of animals roam.
Amboseli has endless reserves of groundwater flowing through more than 300 meters of volcanic rock from the Kilimanjaro ice cap, which flows into two clear water sources in the heart of the park. However, the climate here can change from drought to flood, and in the early 1990s, continuous rain turned Amboseli into a swamp. After a few years, the rain stopped and the grassy plains turned to dust.
The dust in Amboseli is ancient volcanic ash whose salt crystals shimmer on the surface of a caked lake during the dry season. This creates hazy mirages that make it very difficult to understand what is real and what is not.
The Protection area is famous for its big tusked elephants, which can be seen here in herds of over 100 individuals. Many other animals like buffaloes, zebras, lions, zebras, wildebeest, etc. can be seen here.
- Tsavo National Parks
Tsavo Parks are divided into two ecosystems, Tsavo west National park, and Tsavo East National Park. The Main Nairobi Mombasa road and Standard Gauge Railway divide the parks into two.
- Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park offers incredible scale views and varied landscapes, such as riverside mountains, forests, plains, lakes, and wooded meadows. This area is especially attractive after the rainy season when everything turns green.
Tsavo Park is more popular due to its stunning scenery, Mzima Springs, variety of wildlife, good road system, rhino sanctuary, climbing opportunities, and guided walks on the Tsavo River.
Tsavo remained home to the Orma and Masai pastoralists and hunter-gatherers of the Waata tribe until 1948 when it was declared a national park. At that time, the indigenous population was relocated to Voi and Mtito-Andei, as well as to other places within the nearby Taita Hills Park.
After Kenya gained independence in 1963, hunting was prohibited in the park, and management of the park was transferred to a governing body that eventually became the Kenya Wildlife Service. Tsavo currently attracts photo tourists from all over the world who want to see this vast untouched wilderness and incredible relief.
- Tsavo East National park
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Kenya, located on the eastern edge of the inner plateau. Here you will see dense meadows and rocky open plains alternating with semi-desert landscapes with acacia bushes and forests, as well as the beautiful Galana River that flows through the park.
The seasonal rivers Voy and Tiva are important for the southern territories of the park, as there is very little other surface water. Mudanda Rock is a great sight in this park, as it is the catchment area that feeds a natural dam where hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe during the dry season.
The views are incredible and it’s also a great place to just sit and watch the animals. Ancient volcanic activity occurs in the Yatta Highlands, a long flat-topped lava ridge on the western edge of Tsavo East.
- Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is located in Central-Northern frontier Kenya, 343km from Nairobi, covering an area of 105 square kilometers. Its territory is part of a lava plain that includes various landscapes, red soils, thorny shrubs, eroded volcanic rocks, dried riverbeds, and steep hills. In the south of Samburu, the Brown River (“Brown”) flows.
Following its curve, palm trees, acacias, and tamarind can be seen, which create a magical contrast of fresh greenery. The wild nature of the region beckons and attracts! The fauna is no less diverse than the flora.
Samburu is home to elephants, impalas, hyena dogs, and other species. Crocodiles and hippos are found in the river. Among the birds are storks, buffoons, sacred ibis, and marabou.
The Ewaso-Nyiro River flows from west to east along the southern border of Samburu with buffalo springs. Because of the dry and hot climate, the vegetation here is poor – small acacias and shrubs, only along the banks of the river there are huge acacias, fig palms, and Duca’s palms.
The park is unique due to its rare big five species you cannot find anywhere else apart from the Samburu; Grevy’s zebra (desert zebra), gerenuk (giraffe gazelle), Oryx beyza (antelope with long straight horns), reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich with a bluish neck. In addition, lions, leopards, elephants, impala, gazelles, hippos, crocodiles, and many birds are found here.
- Aberdare National Park
The Aberdare National Park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and has a variety of landscapes, as the height of the park varies from 2,100 m to almost 4,300 m above sea level.
It is characterized by a rich variety of landscapes – from mountain peaks, which rise up to 4300 m above sea level, to deep V-shaped valleys with streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorlands, bamboo forests, and rainforests are found at the lower elevations of the park.
The mountain air is pleasant and fresh, and the park’s rainforest is a vital catchment for the entire city of Nairobi. The water cascades down beautiful waterfalls into rivers full of trout.
Aberdare National Park is famous for its treehouse-style hotels – Treetops and The Ark. Trees grow right through the building. With paths and seating towering over the forest canopy, you can observe the animals from a unique vantage point.
The hotel is located near a watering hole and natural salt licks, which gives its visitors the opportunity to constantly observe animals without disturbing them in large, curious groups, some of which stay up all night to see shy animals. There is even a hidden observation post, dug into the ground, with windows at the watering hole, where elephants come, often a few centimeters from your face.
The watering hole is dominated by elephants, and when lions and hyenas are thirsty, they have to deal with the elephants, chasing them away at great speed. Leopards are shy, so they are best seen at night under artificial lighting.
All rooms of such hotels have a bell system to wake up guests for especially good views of the animals, after which you can go to the observation platforms or just look out of the window. For example, a leopard is guaranteed two calls, and a hyena is most likely only one.
Animals that can be found in Aberdare National Park are leopard, African elephant, hyena dog, large forest pig, bushbuck, mountain antelopes, common waterbuck, African buffalo, suni antelope, stripped jackal, canna, duikers, Anubis baboon, guerrets, and white-chinned monkey.
On rare occasions, you can see the golden cat and the bongo antelope, a forest antelope living in a bamboo forest. Aberdare National Park also contains a large population of black rhinoceros.
Aberdare is home to more than 250 species of birds, including endangered ones: the endemic Aberdare cisticola, Kenyan turaco, sparhawk, African goshawk, eagles, sunbirds, and plovers. While driving or walking safari through the forest, you can see some monkeys, for which the forest is an ideal habitat, as well as many different species of birds.
At an altitude of about 3,048 m, there are bamboo thickets, which, in turn, are the favorite habitat of the bongo, a rare and elusive forest antelope.