KENYA NATIONAL PARKS
Kenya, just the name enough to evoke the most stirring wild images of millions of wildebeest storming across the Masai Mara plains, a herd of migrating zebra fording a crocodile ruled river; a young elephant enveloped in it's mother's tender embrace! All these are memories you'll have once you visit our National Parks and Game Reserves.
National Parks occupy an area of 44, 359sq km or 7.6% of the whole country. The parks hold 80 major animal species ranging from the Big Five to the tiny antelopes such as the dik-dik - slightly larger than a rabbit.
There are approximately 1500 species in bird-life which makes Kenya perhaps the finest country in Africa for bird watching. The major game reserves and parks are as follows: -
The Masai Mara Game Reserve
It is the world's famous game reserve due to the annual wildebeests migration. It is part of Serengeti National park in Tanzania. Often described as the greatest of natures stages, the Masai Mara, with its huge dramatic skies, is the most popular of all Kenya's game parks.
The landscape which is mostly savanna, hosts approximately 22 families of lions and 3000 elephants. This park is famous for herds of elephants, buffaloes, wildebeest and zebras that roam its plains. The Mara river is one of the best places to observe hippos and crocodiles.
Amboseli National Park
This park is south of Nairobi. It is found at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is 5896m where vast herds of elephants can be spotted feeding on the lush green grasses of the Amboseli swamps. Mt. Kilimanjaro, also the ' Shining Mountain' is the highest freestanding mountain in the world and is topped by a fifth of all the ice in Africa.
In all game reserves & parks, the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro is the 'guaranteed elephant spot'. Keep an eye on the large matriarch since elephants are like human, they're very protective of their families.
Samburu and Shaba Reserves
This is to the north of Nairobi and is set in the lands of the colorful Samburu pastrolists. The Shaba National Reserve is a rugged wilderness featuring bubbling hot springs, rolling savannah, miles of scrub & desert and the Ewaso Nyiro River which supports a diversity of wildlife.
It is famed for rare game species such as the grevy's zebra, long naked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and beiza oryx.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This game park is two hours drive from Nairobi. This park is famous for the millions of pink flamingos on the shores of Lake Nakuru. The park was named as ' the world's greatest bird spectacle'. In the park, the big five and other wild animals.
Lake Nakuru National park also offers a rhino sanctuary, some remarkable tree climbing lions and a large leopard population. You might get three out of five big ones, all in one go!
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 is the Njorowa Gorge, the ancient outlet for Lake Naivasha, long since dried up and now famous for its huge eroded cliffs.
Mount Kenya National Park
Home to the highest [5, 199m] 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, Ngai. It is also one of only small number of great mountains whose summit [Point Lenana , the 3rd highest peak] is accessible to non-climbers.
The Aberdares National Park
Was gazetted in 1950, 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.
Tsavo National Park
This national park is divided in two - Tsavo East & West. Elephants can be spotted in Tsavo National park by looking for a large gray shape. The largest herds are reputed to have been found in this park. Tsavo elephants can confuse you easily by covering themselves with the local deep red, iron-oxide soil to keep off insects!
As for the highly endangered rhino, these great, grey, prehistoric creatures are best found in the thick, scrubby bush. Particularly in sanctuaries that have been founded to protect them, like Tsavo park itself, Solio and Lewa Downs in Laikipia.
Tsavo East - is a true wilderness and evokes vivid memories of Africa's forgotten grandeur. Encompassing miles of arid plains, savanna & scrubland 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 on the Kenya Uganda Railway.
Tsavo West - also offers a glorious diversity of habitats but the biggest attraction is Mzima Springs. This is a fount of cool clear water that gushes hundreds of miles from below Mt. Kilimanjaro. It bursts out at a rate of 250 million liters a day, from the rocks at Mzima.
The coastal strip of Kenya is a great tourist attraction; with its white sand beaches & diverse cultures that fascinate the visitors.
Walk barefoot on the powdery sand beside a turquoise ocean that beckons you to relax in its gentle sea breeze that soothes. The ocean waters are safe for windsurfing, diving or even fishing.
Swahili cooking at the coast, like so many things that have been blown up on to the sapphire and silver sands of the Kenyan coast. It is a distillation of the myriad influences swept there by the lilting Kazkazi and Kuzi monsoon winds.
Marine Parks and Reserves
Kenya now has seven (7) Marine National Parks and Reserves and was the first African Country to offer protection to these sensitive aquatic ecosystems.