Kenya National Park and Game
There are 54 Kenya National Parks and Reserves, with
many sanctuaries and private conservancies all over the
country. The private conservancies and sanctuaries work
closely together with the Kenya Wildlife Services, K.W.S
- the organization responsible for the management of the
National Reserves and protection of wildlife in Kenya.
Aberdares National Park
Aberdares National Park is famous as the place Queen
Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne at
Treetops Lodge. The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic
range that forms the eastern wall of the Rift Valley and
the third highest mountain range in Kenya.
The scenery in this region is
spectacular and impressive as is the range of wildlife.
Due to the dense forest vegetation, you will need to do
some searching for the wildlife, but there are also many
purposes built game viewing lodges. Game to be found in
the park includes; elephant, lion, black rhino,
waterbuck, gazelle, giant forest hog, genet cats,
leopard, buffalo and the rare spiral-horned antelope
known as the bongo.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park, although small, at approx 395 sq
km, is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The views of
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, coupled with
the variety of game to be found, draws the visitors in.
The park which lies approximately 140kms south of
Nairobi on the border with Tanzania, is most famed for
its' large herds of elephants. A combination of drought,
increased tourism, and over-grazing has had a
hard-hitting effect on the western side of the park, the
land has become dry, dusty and barren and the animals
that were once there have moved into areas of shrub
forest and marshland.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Parke lies 6km from Nakuru town and the main
attraction is Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline soda lake
set beneath the high cliffs of the eastern Rift Valley.
Lake Nakuru is world famous for the 1.5
million-strong population of Lesser Flamingo and smaller
number of greater Flamingo, which frost its blue shores
sugar pink. It also plays host to over 400 species of
bird life, being the second most prolific ornithological
site in Kenya. Lake Nakuru is a very shallow, strongly
alkaline lake that occupies about a third of the park.
Nakuru National Park is also a sanctuary for Rothschild giraffes and black
Masai Mara Game Reserve
The Masai Mara is the most popular game reserve in
Kenya, and borders the Serengeti
National Park in Tanzania. The landscaped is mostly open
Savannah grasslands and acacia shrubland.
Masai Mara Game Reserve is home to 95 species of
mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds
species recorded on the reserve. The Masai Mara National
reserve hosts the annual wildebeests and zebra migration
involving over 1.5 million animals. The migration begins
between July and October. During this time of the year you will see a large number of
lion, hippo, crocodile and vultures all of which prey on
the weak and young migrating animals.
Other game to be
found in the Masai Mara at any time of the year include;
elephants, cheetahs, baboons, gazelles, giraffes,
jackals, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, water buffalo,
ostriches, and a large variety of antelope and birdlife.
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya National Park is located
amidst amazing surroundings of Mt Kenya with breathtaking scenery and a rich
biodiversity. Mount Kenya National Park was declared a Biosphere Reserve and a
UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 because of its variety of habitats ranging
from higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial
morains. Opened as Mount Kenya National Park in 1949, the mountain has been
recognized by local inhabitants for generations since itís the official home of
ĎNgaií, the Kikuyu tribeís Supreme person.
Mount Kenya National Park is renowned for its rich and diverse wildlife.
Excursions to the National Park, enable you see amazing varieties of wildlife
that include many rare and endangered species such as the Black Leopard, Sykes
and Colobus monkeys, Suni Antelope, Mole Rat, Mountane Vipers and Albino Zebra.
Other common wild animals include the elusive Bongo Antelopes, Cape Buffaloes,
and Black-tipped Mongoose, Elephants, Monkeys, Spotted Hyenas, Black Backed
Jackals, Olive Baboon, Porcupine, Elands, Bushbucks, Rock Hyrax, giant Forest
Hogs and black rhinos.
The birdlife around the mountain is also prolific including huge eagles, giant
kingfisher, red-fronted parrots and multicolored sunbirds.
Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is only 20 minutes drive from the
city and is ideal if you only have a stopover in the
city and want to experience some of Africa's game.
Because of it's location, there are many visitors, both
tourists and residents but you are guaranteed to see an
abundance of game, seemingly unaware and unafraid of
humans. The elephant is the only one of the 'big five'
not found here, but leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino,
giraffe, hippo, crocodile, antelope, wildebeest, eland,
zebra and Thompson's gazelle as well as many other
species are here in abundance.
At the western end of the park is an Animal Orphanage,
dedicated to young animals who are injured or deserted
in the wild. Here they are studied and cared for until
they can be returned to the reserve.
Samburu , Shaba
and Buffalo Springs National Reserves
The Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves lie
northeast of Nairobi halfway to Lake Turkana and cover
an area of approximately 300 sq kms. The complex formed
by Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba reserves is one of
the most interesting places in Kenya.
Buffalo Springs are adjacent reserves, separated solely
by the Ewaso Nyiro river. Shaba, the less visited of the
three, is also the largest, with a total extension of
239 km≤. Samburu and Buffalo Springs are similar in
surface, 165 km≤ the first and 128 km≤ the second.
of game occur in Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs
National Reserve including some species not found elsewhere; such
as the oryx,, gerenuk, Reticulated giraffe and Grevy's
Zebra. Other game includes ostriches, elephants and
leopards who are lured into the lodges with bait, so the
tourists can get a glimpse.
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is one of Kenya's oldest and largest parks, but
huge areas, mainly to the north of the Galana River, are
completely closed to the public. The southern accessible
area of the park includes the Kanderi Swamp and the
Aruba Dam on the Voi river and has large concentrations
of game including hippo, giant crocodiles lion, leopard,
waterbuck, kudu, zebra and ostrich. It is also home to
the largest herds of elephant in Kenya, usually covered
in red dust. The park provides for excellent photography
with it's spectacular views such as Mudanda Rock and
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park is located approx 230kms from Nairobi off the
main Mombasa-Nairobi road and has three rivers flowing
through it; the Galana, the Athi and the Tsavo
attracting large concentrations of game including
buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, lion, leopard, cheetah
crocodile and many varieties of antelope.
In the northwestern corner of the park is Shetani Lava
Flow, a massive lava bed created by an eruption in the
Chyulu Hills where the raw cone at the centre can still
be seen. Rain falling in these hills is purified as it
soaks through the porous volcanic ash , running
underground for 50km, resurfacing at the lush Mzimba
Springs, which is one of the parks main attractions.
This is haven to crocodiles and hippo and a waterhole
for a large variety of other game.