Nairobi National Park
Africa's wildlife- not with individual examples in zoos, but in herds of thousands, is found in breath-taking, beautiful, expansive savannah and mountain landscape: The creation of the Nairobi National Park (114 sq. km) in 1946 was the start of the nature reserves, and arose from the "Nairobi Commenage" in the south-east of the city. According to a statute of the British colonial government, this area was not to be used as building land even during city growth.
Only Maasai herders were allowed to live on this wilderness stretch of the Athi Plains, between lion and cheetah, gazelle and giraffe, which sometimes strayed into the city and provided excitement.
The only city in the world which neighbours a natural game protection area, harbouring over 100 species of mammals. The Park borders the traditional South Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration Corridor and attracts a range of exciting game.
Although it is a seasonal park, most of the game, such as lion, leopard,cheetah, impala, coke's hartebeest(kongoni), eland, Thomson's and Grant gazelle, Maasai giraffe, hippo and buffalo, including the indigenous Black Rhino, live in the protection of the park all year round. Herds of plains zebra, wildebeest and eland enter the park during the great migration in July and August to enjoy the rich grazing until the next rains come.
There is a section of highland forest in which crotons, Kenya olive, Muhugu, ekebergia, markhamia and cape chestnut are characteristic trees. You can also find yellow barked acacia, acacia xanthophloea and the 'fever tree'.
The Park is also an ideal starting point for ornithological safaris, with over 400 species of birdlife.Most birds in this park depend on year seasons. Birds of prey include; secretary bird, martial, crowned, tawny and bateleur eagles. Vultures, buzzards(augur buzzard) and hawks are also present.
Seasonally i.e in March and early April you can find Montagu's, European marsh and pallid harriers. Also in evidence are the migrating common and lesser kestrels.
Maasai Mara Game Reserve
"Mara" is Masai for "lively confusion", and nothing could better describe the mixture of colours on the coats of the striped gnu which dominates Maasai Mara as it does the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Ten of Thousands of striped gnu (Wilderbeeste ), Gazelle, Zebra, Impala and myriads of other animals move in a yearly rhythm over about 16 000sq. km (Maasai Mara 1792 sq. km, of which 512 sq. km have the status of a national park).
The short rainy season in Kenya attracts the animals in June/ July from the Serengeti northwards while they are attracted to the rich, extensive grassland of the south in November/December after the longer rainy season.
In addition to the unimaginable numbers of hoofed animals, Maasai Mara can boast the largest population of lions and other big Cats.
To get only a vague idea of these gigantic mass movement of the spectacular annual wilderbeeste migration, the best view is from a hot-air balloon, which moves silently and does not scare off the animals
The Park can be accessed by Air through scheduled flights or charters and also by road . The park boasts a wide variety of accommodation facilities from Luxury Tented Camps, Traditional Game Lodges to Budget Camp Sites.
Tsavo East National Park
To the east of the Nairobi- Mombasa highway, the 13 600 sq. km of the Tsavo East National Park begins. Only 4500 sq. km are open to visitors, the remainder being reserved for researchers. The park is still recovering after elephant herds, having previously seasonally migrated away, destroyed the vegetation and especially the trees as a result of the continuous drought.
Nevertheless, in the second drought, many thousands of "red" elephant dyed red from the lateritic earth in which they roll and powder themselves. In the years previously, the additionally provided water holes had attracted more animals than nature could feed in the crisis years.
If you drive into the park at Buchama Gate (coming from Mombasa) or at Manyani Gate, your first objective should be Observation Hill. High above the confluence of the Tsavo and Athi Rivers, the north-western panorama is limited by the Yatta Plateau, with its 300 km, one of the longest in the world.
A boat journey on the Galana River will open up a remarkable world of birds.
Tsavo West National Park
This is Kenya's second largest park and lies east of Amboseli National Park. The backdrop of the park is the Chyulu Hills 2200 m high, and terrain of the light- footed cliff springer. Sub-terranean watercourses flow from this volcanic range of hills (the most recent lava flows are at the most 300 years old) in a south-easterly direction and bubble crystal-clear to the surface at Mzima Springs (10 to 20 million litres a sec; part of Mombasa's water supply).
Hippo and crocodile will not, however, share the "Pool" and its bank with you without a struggle, in which you are sure to come off second best, so you should keep to the tracks and observe them from the underwater observation room.
Amboseli National Park
This national park (320 sq. km) can even be visited as a day trip from Nairobi. The official entrance (approx. 250 km from Nairobi) lies east of Namanga on Lake Amboseli, a puddle even during the rainy season, and in the remaining months a barren salt flat where treacherous sand spouts rise up and mirages deceive the viewer with images of cool waters.
It actually only becomes reality at Ol Tukai (approx. 80 km further), where a rivulet from the snowy slopes of Kilimanjaro feeds waterholes and marshes. The black rhino are a special feature, pounding the floor of the open acacia woodland, while elephant prefer the grassy levels.
The most interesting wildlife contrasts the classic photo from Amboseli: elephant or lion with Kilimanjaro in the background are in the vicinity of Enkongo narok ("black and friendly") and Observation Hill. Ornithologists will be richly rewarded by the marsh birds and a species of weaver bird.
Samburu & Buffalo Springs National Reserves
The Park is situated at in the Frontier of Kenya's rugged northern territories. The Park is 131 sq km and offers a unique vista of rounded hills and undulating plains. The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of animals and birdlife. Buffalo Springs records over 365 spieces of birds.
They includeHelmeted and Vulturine Guinea Fowls, Sandgrouse and doves in addition to a galaxy of smaller birds. The Animals to be seen include the rare norther species : Reticulated Girrafe, Grevy Zebra, Black Rhino, Beisa Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Long-necked Gerenuk and ofcourse the Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and laughing Hyena.
Accommodation is found in Lodges and Luxury Tenetd Camp situated along the edge of the Uaso Nyiro River - the lifeline of the reserve.
Meru National Park
Meru Park offers the visitor the opportunity to see the different types of landscape (770 sq. km): swamps, grassy plains, bushland and the Tana River. Meru became famous through the Adamsons and Elsa the lioness in the film "Born Free".
The renaturalisation of Elsa is just one example of countless attempts to reintroduce to the area species of animals threatend by extinction.
Mt. Kenya National Park & Aberdare National Park
Astride the Equator, Kenya is a golden land of adventure and splendour! The slopes of awesome MT. Kenya - a volcanic mountain once estimated to be 7000 m high was made a National park. Today the snow and glacier covered peaks Batian (5200 m) and Nelion (5100 m) are clearly visible over the gently undulating land around.
The "lower border" of the park at 3300 m coincides approximately with the zone of the brier (Erica arborea), which here actually does grow to tree height. The brier merges & slopes into the lower, sparser moor heather, lobelia and composite rosewood trees (Hagenia), a zone of bamboo trees and dense rain forests follow downslope.
These damp natural habitats are favoured by elephant, rhino, harness and crested antelope, diadem longtailed monkeys, short-legged apes and the crested eagle. Inhabitants of the moor and grassy levels are lion, elk antelope, Frankoline fowl and nectar birds. The Hinds mountain viper is only found here and in the Aberdare N. P.
This reserve (584 sq. km) extends between the peaks of Kinangop (3570 m, also named Nyandura) and the 0l Doinyo Lesatima (3970 m). The main access road from Nairobi runs via Nyeri (153 km; Outspan Hotel) on the gentle eastern slopes of the Nyandura Range (Aberdares). Here, shrouded in luxuriant forests, are the well-known lodges. The Ark and Treetops, where the water holes and salt licks attract early in the morning and in the morning and in evening bongos, waterbuck, various forms of antelope, buffalo, bush swine, lions and hyenas.
The clear mountain streams would make any angler's heart beat faster since, in case you didn't know, there are also trout in Kenya, with fine examples in the Aberdares and on Mr. Kenya. They were set free by European settlers before the First World War and have acclimatized themselves supremely in the Highland water. The traveller will have the best view on the way to Lake Naivasha: in the east the snowy peak of Mr. Kenya rises majestically from the brown plains, while in the west the Kilanto Plateau of the Aberdare Range runs steeply down to the Great Rift Valley.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru Park provides visitors with one of Kenya's best known images - Thousands of Flamingo, joined into a massive flock on the fringe of the Lake Nakuru Soda Lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water - the flamingo in Lake Nakuru is a breathtaking sight.
The Park has become world famous for its Flamingo and other birdlife that reside in the area to feed on the abundant algae that forms the lake bed. The Birds are contstantly moving back and forth, feeding and occasionally and spectacularly take to flight filling the sky over th lake with colour.
Lake Nakuru Park is also an important sanctuary for both the Black and White Rhino. The Park also abounds with game - herds of waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and more. This Park is also one of your best chances of seeing the Leopard while in Kenya and also has several large prides of Lions. Exploring beyond the Lake is also very rewarding as there are forests, cliffs and waterfalls to be found.
The wide fresh waters of Lake Naivasha attract a great range of wildlife from the surrounding hills. A boat trip on the lake will let you encounter local fisherman, countless hippos and over 400 species of birds .Naivasha is at the floor of the Great Rift Valley and enjoys numerous visitors from all over to enjoy the breathtaking views of the lake and the landscape.
Walk along the flamingo fringed shores of this beautiful lake and discover a fascinating local history of the indegenious people of the area. Stunning views of the Rift Valley and the ideal spot for a close get-away from the hussle and bustle of City Life.
This volcanic soda Lake is surrounded by boiling geothermal pools and steam jets, while its freshwater springs draw flamingos and plains game in great numbers. The Hot Geysers of this lake are frequented my local and foreign visitors alike, in search of the therapeautic and relaxing effects of the natural steam. Lake Bogoria is Kenya’s natural Spa Bath.
Freshwater Lake Baringo, the traditional fishing ground of the Njemps tribe, is alive with hippos, crocodiles and a wealth of birdlife. Ticked away in the North Rift this Lake is a Bird Watchers Paradise, set in a tranquil and un-spoilt natural surrounding.
The source of the Nile is also the source of an abundance of Nile Perch, a greatly prized freshwater game fish. Breathtaking sunset Boat Trips on this Lake of great importance ,South of the Sahara. A Fishing and Bird Watchers haven.
Malindi - Watamu Marine National Park
Malindi - Watamu Marine National Park is 261sq km. It is located on the Kenya Coastline - north of Mombasa. Famous for its vast stretches of casuarinas fringed white sandy beaches, the coastal resorts of Malindi and Watamu are also world leaders in the accessibility, beauty and diversity of marine life which lives just off-shore on Barracuda and North Reef coral reefs and Turtle and Whale Islands;which is the nesting ground for roseate and bridled terns from June to September when they should not be disturbed and are protected by razor sharp rocks and rough sea.
Watamu Marine National Park and Reserve encompasses the Mida Creek mangrove forest where young coral begins its existence before the tides take it out to the reefs beyond.The forest roots are rich in fish, crabs, prawns and oysters and are also excellent for birdwatching. Tewa Caves, near the mouth of the creek, are partly underwater where Giant Groupers (up to 800lbs) co-exist with many other tropical fish species.
The low tide is best to make a trip.
Floating slowly over the coral beds you get to see brilliantly coloured marine fishes of bizarre shapes,spiny fish urchins, brightly hued seas slugs, crabs and starfish.Shore birds include; sanderlings, curlew sandpipers, little stints, whimbrel and greenshanks and three species of plovers: grey, great sand and mongolian sand.Non-breeding visitors include terns and gulls. They are; swift, lesser crested and saunders' little terns and the sooty or hemprich's gull.
On the mainland Giant Monitor Lizards, dik dik, Antelope, mongoose and monkey species. The coral reefs are home to over 140 species of hard and soft corals. Their symbiotic relationship with the chlorophyll generating plants give the corals their spectacular night-time phosphorescent colours. The reef plays a diverse role.
As well as bio-diversity strongholds, they are breeding grounds for fish and other marine life, a vital barrier against the force of the sea, protecting marine organisms and tourist recreation, they keep out dangerous sharks common to the deeper waters, and their colour and the exotic coral fish they support provides a major attraction for tourists.There is an excellent range of accommodation along this stretch of the Kenya coast.