Kenya has for long been regarded as the “Home of African Wildlife Safari“. Its national parks and reserves are among the best in Africa. Obviously the flora and fauna is the main attraction. The parks hold variety of animal species ranging from the Big Five namely lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard to the special five namely gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, grevy Zebra and Somali ostrich.
The sight of annual migration of millions of wildebeests, thousand of zebras and hundred of gazelles as they cross-over the massive Mara river from Tanzania’s Serengeti into Masai Mara National Park can be a lifetime experience for you.
There are over 1000 species of bird which makes Kenya perhaps the finest country in Africa for bird watching.
Some parks have been created to preserve the landscape itself, and these too can be exciting and rewarding places to visit, such as Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon, Hell’s Gate, Mount Longonot and the Kakamega Forest are all worth fascinating.
Marine life is also in abundance and the marine national parks of Malindi and Watamu off the central coast, both offer excellent diving possibilities.
There are varieties of accommodation within the park and reserves ranging from budget, standard and luxury, which are a real experience too.
While on safari in Kenya, you will find spectacular mountain scenery, fabulous beaches and coral reefs, magnificent lakes and deserts, and widespread savannah grassland.
Kenya also has remarkable multi-ethnic cities, known for their rich and charming culture and architecture
Below are some brief descriptions of some of the famous National Reserves and Parks in Kenya. For more detailed information please email us
The Masai Mara Game Reserve
The Masai Mara game Reserve is the most famous and most visited reserve in Kenya. It offers breathtaking views (as seen in the film “Out of Africa”, much of which was filmed here), an extraordinary density of animals including “the Big Five” (lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino) and may varieties of plains game.
An impressive feature is the annual migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzanian border and the Massive Mara river to reach the Mara’s grasslands from late June, tracked by predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah,hyena,crocodile and circled by vultures as their journey unfolds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in early July-Mid September.
Apart from the seasonal migration, game viewing is excellent all year round. Game includes elephant, rhino, giraffe, buffalo, plains zebra, and the big cats. The rivers are home to hippos and crocodiles. 452 species of birds, 53 of which are raptors.
A well worth it and recommended activity in the Masai Mara National Game Reserve is the Hot air balloon safari. Early in the morning, you will be woken and driven to the departure site. Once in the air, the view of the surrounding landscape, the rising of the sun between the mountains and the congregation of the wild animals at the river is so beautiful. This adventure concludes with a champagne breakfast while in the bush…what a memories of a lifetime not to miss.
Amboseli National Park
This park is on the South of Nairobi. It is found at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro which is 5896m [19341 ft], Africa’s highest summit and the highest free standing mountain in the world because it rises 15,100 feet from its base [4000 ft].
Amboseli is one of the most beautiful parks in Africa. This park is famous for its big game – elephants, giraffe, buffalo, lions, and cheetahs – and for its great scenic beauty. It is hard to beat the sight of African elephants in front of Africa’s most famous mountain Kilimanjaro. The 3,810 sq km of this National park and game reserve encompasses various ecological zones of dry lake bed, acacia woodland, rocky lava strewn, thorn bushes, swamps and mashes and the massive of “Oldoinyo Orok” rising to over 2,760 m. Sun rises and sunsets are romantic with the backdrop of the snow-caped Kilimanjaro.
Samburu /Buffalo Springs /Shaba National Reserves
Just on the North of Nairobi and Isiolo are the three National Reserves, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba all of them are along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River and covering a area of about 300 sq km set in the lands of the colorful Samburu pastoralists close relatives of the Maasai. They are mainly scrub desert and open savannah plain, broken by small rugged hills.
The river supports a wide variety of game and you may see elephant, buffalo, cheetah, leopard and lion as well as dik dik, warthog, grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Somali Ostrich and Vulturine guinea fowl.
Crocodiles can also be seen on some sandy stretches of the riverbank. You are guaranteed close up sightings of African elephant, elusive leopard, reticulated giraffe and various species of smaller gazelle in both Samburu and Buffalo Springs.
Samburu national reserve is famed for rare game species such as the grevy’s zebra, long -necked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx and somali ostrich.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National park is about three hours drive from Nairobi. Famous for the both greater and lesser flamingoes, which cover the lake edge in a layer of bright pink, the fish eating pelicans as well as over 450 other spices of birds. The park has been branded an international bird sanctuary. It becomes the first site to receive such the Important Bird Area (IBA) celebrity status in Africa in recognition of its outstanding value to bird conservation. In the park, the big five and other wild animals can be easily observed excluding the elephant.
Lake Nakuru National park also offers both the white and black rhino sanctuary.
Hells Gate National Park
Hells Gate is one of the few remaining places in Kenya where you can walk unguided and it’s principal feature include Fischer’s Tower the central tower and Njorowa Gorges the ancient outlet for Lake Naivasha, long since dried up and now famous for its huge eroded cliffs. Two extinct volcanoes (Olkaria and Hobley’s are worth a trip). Natural steam vents rise from fissures in the volcanic rock.
You will also have an opportunity to see wildlife and birds including vultures, Verreaux’s Eagles, augur buzzard and swifts. An ideal getaway for a day trip from Nairobi or a stopover en-route to Lake Nakuru or Masai Mara
Mount Kenya National Park
Home to the highest [5,199 meters] mountain in Kenya, Mount Kenya National Park contrasts warm savanna with glaciers and snow storms. Both the Kikuyu and Masai regard the mountain as the home of their supreme being, god. It is one of only small number of great mountains whose summit Point Lenana, the 3rd highest peak that is accessible to non-climbers who are adventures and fit enough.
Spectacular scenery is an important aspect of the park, with lovely lakes, tarns, glaciers, peaks and natural mineral springs in the area. The vegetation naturally varies according to the height. Dry upland forests are found in the lower slopes, which change to montane forest from 2,000 meters upwards. This forest generally consists of cedar and podo. The vegetation changes to a thick bamboo forest at around 2,500 metres which, in turn, changes to the upper forest of smaller trees and high altitude moss. Visitors can observe a variety of plants (of at least 11 species) and animals including the black and white Colobus, Sykes monkey, bushbuck, buffalo, and elephant. At lower altitudes, animals like the olive baboon, waterbuck, black rhino, black fronted duiker, giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig and hyena are found.
The Aberdares National Park
This is one of the oldest parks in the country and is famous as the place where Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England while staying at in the original Treetops Lodge. It is also famous for its prized in habitant, The Bongo Antelope and home to the second largest population of indigenous black rhino. It features miles of high moorland scenery, tumbling waterfalls and sensational views.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is the only urban park in the world within the proximity of a capital city and is Kenya’s shop window. The park is unique as no where in the world exists a wildlife park with such a variety of animals and birds species so close to the capital city. The flora of the park makes it possible for many different types of wildlife species to co-exist.
The Park has been designated as a rhino sanctuary and more than 50 rhinos had been moved into the park from remote parts of the country, therefore the most ideal place in the country to see the black rhino.
In the park you may also see buffalo, lion, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, antelopes and gazelles as well as over 400 species of birds. You should set aside a morning or an afternoon to see it.This national park is divided in two – Tsavo East & West. The combined area of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks makes Tsavo one of the world’s largest game sanctuaries, larger than Wales in Great Britain or Jamaica in the Caribbean. Lying about halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa it covers 20,812 square kilometers. Tsavo East is larger and more arid than Tsavo West.
Tsavo East – is a true wilderness and evokes vivid memories of Africa’s forgotten grandeur. Encompassing miles of arid plains, savanna & scrub land and sheltering over 8000 elephants.
Tsavo entered ‘frontier lore at the turn of the century when two maverick ‘man-eating’ lions devoured over 50 Indian laborers as they were building the Kenya Uganda Railway.
The main river that passes through this park is the River Galana. A variety of animals can be seen: lions, leopard, cheetah, zebras, giraffes, serval, antelopes, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, stripped hyena, ostrich, gazelle, buffalo, elephant and many more. A variety of migratory and native birds are also seen.
Tsavo West – also offers a glorious diversity of habitats but its biggest attraction is Mzima Springs. This is a fount of cool clear water that gushes hundreds of miles from below Mount Kilimanjaro. It bursts out at a rate of 250 million litres a day, from the rocks at Mzima.
Mzima forms a haven for a rich wildlife pageant with elephant soaking half immersed in the waters, light footed but ponderous looking hippo, apparently weightless, tip-toeing across the bottom, crocodiles basking on the bank or swirling through the water; gazelles, zebra and giraffe wandering around the banks through the thick acacias and raffia palms together with hundreds of chattering monkeys and birds.
Mzima is also the main source of Mombasa’s water supply. There are well-marked nature trails, an observation platform and an underwater glass tank that was constructed by a film maker Allan Root , which provides a special vantage point to view this remarkable oasis.
MERU NATIONAL PARK
Meru National Park is 35 km East of Maua town in the North Eastern lowlands below the Nyambene hills. Of all the Kenya parks, it presents the widest variety of landscapes and habitats. Forest, swamp and savannah are pierced by numerous permanent streams, draining from the Nyambene and flowing in parallel between tounges of lava, South Eastwards towards the Tana River.
Meru National Park holds the Adamson’s falls, the leopard rock and great wildlife. It was where George and Joy Adamson released several hand-reared animals including the famous lioness Elsa [in the book born free]
Game to view includes Lion, Elephant, Cheetah, Leopard and some of the rare antelope Lesser Kudu, some of Kenya’s largest herds of cape buffalo. The rivers abound with Hippo and Crocodile and 300 species of birds have been recorded.
Kakamega Forest Game Reserve
Its situated on the North-West of Nairobi and is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya, left over from past millennia when dense rain forest stretched from West Africa, across Central Africa and into the highland areas on the West and Eastern walls of the Great Rift Valley. Rising 4,000 to 7,000 Feet above sea level, the forest has been a protected area of Kenya since its vital role in the eco-system was first recognized in 1933.
The Forest’s has a huge variety of birds, reptiles, wildlife, butterflies and insects make it a specialist eco-tourism attraction for bird watchers and wildlife photographers.
Walking beneath the lush forest canopy the deep shade is pierced by flashes of color, exotic bird’s calls, the scents of wood, flower and moss.
Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Bogoria is a shallow soda lake located on the Northern side of Nakuru town. It is well known for its hot springs and geysers dotted all around the Southern shore of the lake. There are sulphur waters gushing out of the ground and known to have therapeutic benefits, hence are natural spas and steam baths.
It is the home of Africa’s most magnificent antelope, Greater Kudu and a host of other savannah wildlife namely zebra, impala, Grants Gazelle, Klipspringer, Dik-diks and olive baboons among others.
Lake Baringo is a big shallow freshwater lake. It is most famous as an ornithologist’s paradise with 500 bird species, hippos and crocodiles are in the lake. The many islands all around also present a nice place to visit.
Mount Longonot National Park
Within the park lies the young dormant Mt. Longonot volcano rising 2,776 above sea level. The park is 90 km from Nairobi and offers visitors the opportunity to view Longonot volcano and crater, the Naivasha basin and a splendid view of the Rift valley.
Marine Parks And Reserves
Kenya has six Marine National Parks and Reserves and was the first African Country to offer protection to these sensitive aquatic ecosystems.
1.Malindi marine reserve
2.Watamu marine reserve
3.Mombasa Marine Park & reserve
4.Kisite Mpunguti reserve
6.Kiunga marine reserve