Kenya safari destinations and safari parks in both countries that tourists can enjoy and consider whilst planning for their safari tours
Masai Mara National Reserve: Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Kenya safari destinations and safari parks is topped my the populous Masai Mara.
Masai Mara National Reserve is the most popular tourism destination in Kenya, Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland.
Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment.
The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.
There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve.
Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).
Wildlife – The Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the World. There is an excellent chance of seeing the Big 5, cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, zebra.
During the migration (July to November) huge numbers of wildebeest move in.
Nairobi National Park: Tour Nairobi National Park
Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city.
The park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi, where they can take part in a Kenya safari within the precincts.
Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range and other upcoming sanctuaries.
Due to this success, it is one of the few Kenyan parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat.
Nairobi Tented Camp is the first accommodation of any sort to be allowed in this unique safari destination. There is nowhere else in the world like it. Each of the 9 tents houses 2 people, and have their own flushing toilets and safari showers so you can enjoy en-suite living safari style. This is a wilderness escape where you can savor the thrill of camping in the heart of thick bush land right on the door step of the capital city.
Samburu National Reserve: Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Samburu National Reserve is one of the lesser-known national parks, but is nevertheless teeming with life.
Situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, there is plenty to attract wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx (also referred to as Samburu Special Five).
The reserve is also home to elephants and large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah. Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx was as a resident in the reserve.
Wild dog sightings are also a common attraction to this unique protected area. Birdlife is abundant with over 450 species recorded.
Hell’s Gate National Park- Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Hell’s Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 square km and is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 90 km from Nairobi. The park is 14 km after the turnoff from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
It is characterized by diverse topography and geological scenery. It is an important home of the lammergeyer (The Bearded Vulture).
Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the National Park.
Amboseli National Park: Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Amboseli is located immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. The Park covers 392 square km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem.
Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches.
The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry.
Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.
Major Attractions: Mount Kilimanjaro; Observation Hill which allows an overall view of the whole park especially the swamps and elephants; Swamp below observation hill hosts many elephants, buffaloes, hippos and a variety of water fowl like pelican; Egyptian goose; contemporary Maasai culture and indigenous lifestyle; herds of elephants.
Wildlife: Amboseli has over 80 different mammals to be found ranging from the tiny (and rarely seen) spectacles elephant shrew to the huge bulk of the African elephant. Few visitors will go home without superb elephant pictures with Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. There are over 400 bird species.
Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserve: Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
The Isiolo District lies at the northern foot of Mt Kenya rising above the expansive range lands of northern Kenya.
The arid and semi-arid zones district sits as a divide between the populous agricultural highlands of the Mt. Kenya region and acts as a gateway into the vast lowlands of North Kenya inhabited by various nomadic pastoralist communities where wildlife and livestock freely co-exist.
Together with the adjacent Samburu, and divided by the river Ewaso Nyiro, the three reserves form a very popular tourist destination because of the diverse wildlife populations they support.
Unlike other wildlife areas in Kenya’s northern tourist circuit, the reserves, which are popularly known as the Samburu Ecosystem, sustain free ranging wildlife species both within the three reserves as well as far into community lands.
Wildlife – Besides normal species found elsewhere in Kenya, the area is a natural home to the five rare species known as the five northern species which are endemic to this area. They are Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa Oryx, Somali ostrich and the gerenuk. Shaba is also the home for the highly endangered Williamson’s lark. All these rare species can only be found inside this game reserve.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru was first gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968.
The Park has Kenya’s largest population of rhinos. The surface of the Lake Nakuru occupies about a third of the park. It supports a dense bloom of the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis from which it derives its color and is a food source for flamingos.
During peak season over millions of flamingos and Pelicans congregate on the lake.
Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. The lake is almost 13kms across, but its waters are shallow with an average depth of five meters.
Lake area varies greatly according to rainfall, with an average range between 114 and 991 sq kms. At the beginning of the 20th Century, Naivasha completely dried up and effectively disappeared. The resulting open land was farmed, until heavy rains a few years later caused the lake to return to existence, swallowing up the newly established estates.
Afternoon wind and storms can cause the Lake to become suddenly rough and produce high waves. For this reason, the local Maasai christened the lake Nai’posha meaning ‘rough water’.
The lake and its surroundings are rich in natural bounty, and the fertile soils and water supply have made this one of Kenya’s prime agricultural regions. Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree.
These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination. The waters of the lake draw a great range of game to these shores. Giraffes wander among the acacia, Buffalo wallow in the swamps and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops while the Lakes large hippo population sleeps the day out in the shallows.
The region surrounding the Lake is well worth exploring. There are two smaller lakes nearby, Oloidien, and Sonachi, a bright green crater lake.
Mount Kenya National Park, also a Forest – Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Mt Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. The mountain itself is an awe-inspiring sight with its ragged peaks, and equatorial snow. Mount Kenya is surrounded by a belt of verdant forest that is an equally fascinating destination.
Traditionally, all Kikuyu homes were built to face this sacred peak. They call it Kirinyaga, or place of light. While the 5199 metre summit is a difficult technical climb, the lesser peak of Point Lenana (4985m) can be easily reached by any fit trekker.
This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, and unique montane vegetation including podocarpus and groundsel, and finally one of the world’s rarest sights, equatorial snow.
For those who don’t want to climb the Mountain the cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that are the perfect place to land a Trout.
Mile upon mile of palm-fringed shores snake around a coastline that extends out into thriving, colorful coral reefs and the calm of the Indian Ocean. The quality of Zanzibar’s best beaches can rival anywhere in the world making it an ideal setting for an unforgettable African honeymoon. The gin-clear waters are traditionally fished, either by hand or by the traditional wooden dhows, pervading all with the colorful life of the birthplace of African Swahili. For ease of discussion, we can divide the main island into 4 distinct beach areas, the north, north east, south east and south west.
Mombasa – Kenya safari destinations and safari parks
Mombasa is a place steeped in history, yet at the same time fascinating commercial and cosmopolitan port town.
Mombasa is an island connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries. The town overlooks a wide harbor, where commercial shipping mingles with traditional sailing dhows.
The true heart of Mombasa is found in the exotic old town, among the narrow winding streets and Arab architecture. The air here is always heavy with the scent of spices.
At the water’s edge is Fort Jesus, an imposing fort that stands watch over the harbor.
The high gun turrets, battlements and underground passages of this 16th Century Fort were the center of a historic struggle for control of the Kenya coast between the Portuguese army and the Shirazi Arabs. This war was waged around Mombasa over hundreds of years and countless battles, and the Fort stands as a testament to this tumultuous past.
Modern Mombasa is a city of great diversity and life. This is a town were all are welcomed and quickly absorbed into this great coastal melting pot.
Mombasa is a place where both history and progress are greatly valued, where a busy harbor existence is lived at its own unique, tropical pace.
Hopefully, this information about Kenya safari destinations and safari parks is of help in planning your memorable Kenyan safari tour.