Nairobi National Park is the oldest national park in Kenya having been established in 1946. It’s the only protected area in the world with the variety of animals and birds close to the city. The park covers just 117km² (44 square miles) This wildlife sanctuary gives visitors a chance to indulge in an African safari at the footsteps of a city. The wide open grass plains and backdrop of the city scrapers, scattered acacia bush play host to a wide variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded.
Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s finest hub of wildlife situated within the Great Rift Valley in the southern part of Kenya. It measures approximately 1510sq. kilometres (approx. 938sq. miles. It offers a great opportunity to view the big five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and cheetah). The annual migration of wild beasts and zebras from the Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania provide the highlight between June and August. In the remainder of the year the Park is still rich in wildlife having the greatest density of wildlife per square kilometer in Kenya. Herds of plains zebras, giraffes, jackals, white-bearded gnus, Oribis, warthogs, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, hartebeests, hyenas, bat-eared foxes, rare Topi antelope and beautiful rone antelope, as well as hippos and crocodiles in the Mara River are some of the fauna the pristine national reserve has to offer. Those in birding adventure will have sights of long-crested eagles, vultures, ostriches, marabous, white-tipped crests, owls, wary guinea fowl, Jackson’s bustards, among others. Hot air balloon rides that provides a sky-high view of wildlife, Maasai village visits to interact with Maasai people are some of activities you may opt to experience.
These National Game Reserves are situated in the northern part of Kenya, on the fringes of the hot and sparsely populated dry region. They attract a different range of wildlife species unique to the area, among which are the gerenuk, the beisa’s oryx, the reticulated giraffe, the blue legged ostrich and the grevy’s zebra. The reserve is a haven for bird lovers, with over 350 species of birds including Somali ostriches, kingfishers, vultures, marabous, guinea fowl and many more. A visit to local Samburu villages provides an interaction with the Samburu people in their traditional setting and experience their culture
Aberdare National Park is the center for Kenya’s forest lodges (tree hotels) including the world famous Tree Tops, where on her vacation, Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain learned her father had died, thus making her Queen. The park provides Picturesque, steep forested ravines and open moorland that plays hosts to African elephants, lions, rhinos, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, black and white colobus monkeys, buffalos, warthogs as well as many other animals native to Kenya Night game viewing is available for those whose interests include the nocturnal wildlife and the many mountain animals are seen from the comfort of the balcony as they come to drink from the nearby salt lick. Bird watching is good here, with over 250 species of birds recorded in the Park including the Jackson’s Francolin, Sparrow hawks, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
Amboseli National Park is a popular destination owing to its spectacular sights of big-tusked elephants set against the backdrop of Africa’s largest free standing mountain. The name “Amboseli” comes from a Maasai word meaning “salty dust”, The park offers some of the best opportunities to see African wildlife because the vegetation is sparse due to the long, dry months. The protected area is home to African bush elephant, impala, lion, cheetah, Cape buffalo, spotted hyena, Masai giraffe, Grant’s zebra, and wildebeest. Visitors may also opt to visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.
Lake Nakuru National park is a pristine wildlife sanctuary renowned for its magnificent array of birdlife. It is the migratory flocks of thousands of greater and lesser flamingo that really create the attraction here, when the lake’s shallow waters turn pink. The lake supports the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina Platensis, which is the main food source for the brilliant pink flamingoes that can be found wading on the lake’s edge. Black and white rhino, the rare Rothschild’s giraffe, a small herd of buffalo, dik dik, klipspringer, eland, the occasional leopard and many other plains game are also found here. The park has unique vegetation with about 550 different plant species including the biggest euphorbia forest in africa, picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands. The park has stunning viewpoints at lion hill baboon cliff and out of Africa view points and the makalia falls.
Lake Naivasha is a very picturesque freshwater lake that derives its name from the Maasai name Nai’posha, meaning “rough water” because of the sudden storms which occasionally arise from the lake. Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 1,884 metres (6,181 ft). The lake boasts a dense population of hippos and over 400 different species of birds from grotesque, garbage-scavenging marabou storks to pet-shop lovebirds, doves cooing in the woods, weavers and warblers twittering in the acacia trees and splendid fish eagles. Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea – the yellow fever tree. Giraffes saunter among the acacia, Buffalo flounder in the swamps and while the Lakes large hippo population sleep the day out in the shallows.
Mount Kenya National park is an untouched adventurous zone that requires thrill seeking adventurers to conquer the 5199m climbing to the top of the Mt Kenya – the highest mountain in Kenya and second in Africa after Mt Kilimanjaro a. It is a pristine wilderness with dense forest, tarns, glaciers, mineral springs and rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game and unique montane and alpine vegetation. Common species found are giant forest hog, genet cat, bush pig, mole rats, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, buffalo, duiker, leopard, black rhino, bushbuck, and more elusive is the bongo, a rare type of forest antelope. The birdlife is very prolific with more than 130 species of birds having been recorded, including sunbirds giant kingfishers, red-fronted parrots, olive pigeons and Verreaux’s Eagles.
Tsavo national park is one of the largest game parks in the world surrounded by the beautiful Chyulu hills and the Pare mountains. The park is split into two by the main Mombasa to Nairobi highway and covers a total area of around 2,000 sq km. The flat landscape is dotted with hills and baobab trees, making it extremely attractive. Tsavo East is generally flat, with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. It plays host to wild animals including the leopards, cheetahs, ostrich, gazelle, buffaloes, lions and elephants that glow red after dusk, blowing the gaudy red dust through their trunks over their bodies. Tsavo west contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and mountainous scenic landscape. It has more varied of topography and more diverse array of habitats than Tsavo East. Popular attractions in the Tsavo West National park are Lake Jipe and the Mzima Springs (there is an underground viewing platform to observe crocodile, hippo and the various fish under water). Tsavo West National park is known for bird life and for its large mammal’s e.g. black rhino, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, hippo and Masai lion. There are also other smaller animals that can be spotted in the park, such as the bush baby, hartebeest, lesser kudu and Maasai giraffe. Popular attractions in the Tsavo East National park are the Lugard Falls and Yatta Plateau (which is the world’s longest lava flow)
Shimba hills national reserve is located 20 miles (33 kilometers) south from the island of Mombasa. It is a wildlife habitat rich in flora and fauna and hosts a high density of African elephants in Kenya. One of the main attractions to the Shimba Hills is the impressive Sheldrick Falls, which cascade 25m (82 feet) over the escarpment. Some of the animal species found in the area are the last breeding herd of Sable antelope (among the Kenya’s largest antelope, with black coats and long horns), buffalo, waterbucks, hyenas, warthogs, leopards, baboons and monkeys. The forest is an important bird area and is endowed with forest birdlife. There are many birds, including 111 different recorded species. There are even more birds to be seen during the spring migration. The grasslands hold localized species such as red-Necked-Spur fowl, Croaking Cisticola and Zanzibar Red Bishop.
Its located in the Ndendelel escarpment. Visitors to the lake get an opportunity to marvel at the hot springs and even get to boil eggs, there are plenty of birdlife and wildlife including lesser kudu and dik dik.