KENYA NATIONAL PARKS
MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE
Altitude 5,000ft. Area 1,510 SQ kms. Distance from Nairobi 275 kms. Various airstrips available. Opened November 1974.
The most famous and most visited reserve in Kenya. It offers breathtaking views an extra-ordinary density of animals including the "Big Five" and many varieties of plain game. An impressive feature is the annual migration of the Wildebeest, Zebra and gazelle from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzania border and rivers to reach the Mara lush grassland from late June, hunted by the predators Lion, Hyena and circled by vultures as the journey unfolds.
Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in July-August. Apart from seasonal migration, game viewing is excellent year round. Game includes Elephant, Black Rhino, Buffalo, the big cats and virtually every animal found in Kenya. The rivers are a home to hippo and Crocodiles. 452 bird species are recorded including 53 Raptors, Buzzards, Vultures and Eagles.
LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 5,770ft. Area 188 SQ kms. Distance from Nairobi 157 kms Naishi Airstrip. Opened in 1968.
The world famous Lake Nakuru was created as a National Park to protect its stunning flocks of lesser Flamingo. A beacon for leading ornithologists and scientists.
The Park spans an attractive range of wooded and bush grassland around the lake offering wide ecological diversity from lake water, woodland to the rocky escarpment and ridges. Notable game within the lake is Hippo and the diverse wildlife.
On the shore roams Waterbuck, Bohors Reedbuck and Zebra and the woodland home to black and white Rhinos, Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Giraffes, black and white Columbus Monkeys, Eland, Warthog, Impala, and many more.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 3,900-4,500ft. Area 392 sq kms. Distance from Nairobi 265KMS Opened April 1948 Amboseli is a place of stark contrast. Meaning "Salty Dust" in Masai.
Amboseli despite its sometimes dry and dusty appearance, has an endless water supply filtered through thousands feet of volcanic rock from Kilimanjaro ice cap. These underground streams converge into two clear water springs in the heart of the Park. The endemic dust is volcanic ash which spewed from Kilimanjaro.
During the dry seasons a curious feature is the shimmering dry lake bed where mirages of populated horizons punctuated by real herds of Zebra and Wildebeest hover in front of visitors. The greatest attraction is the vast herds of Elephant within the Park. The bull Elephants have some of the largest tusks in Kenya.
Plentiful game includes Zebra, Wildebeest, Giraffe, Impala, Leopard, Caracal and Serval Cat. Birdwatchers can see Pelican, Bee-eater, Kingfisher, African Fish Eagle, Martial Eagle and Pygmy Falcon.
ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 7,000-14,000ft. Area 767 SQ kms. Distance from Nairobi 180 kms. Mweiga and Nyeri airstrip. Opened May 1950.
The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a fascinating region of Kenya. Mountain ranges and peaks soar around 14000Ft, giving way to deep v shaped valleys with streams and rivers cascading over spectacular waterfalls- Ideal for landscape lovers.
Game viewing is very rewarding. Lion, Leopards, Baboon, black and white Columbus and Sykes are abundant. Rare sighting of the golden Cats Bongo a rare and elusive forest antelope, Elephant, Buffalo, Giant Forest Hog and Kenya's indigenous and endangered Black Rhino.
SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS NATIONAL RESERVE
Altitude 2,500-4,000Ft Area Samburu 104 SQ KMS Area Buffalo Springs 131Sq KMS Distance from Nairobi 343KMS Opened 1985.
The Reserves offer unique vistas of rounded, rugged hills and undulating plains. The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of animal and birdlife. Buffalo Springs record over 365 species of bird.
Game viewing and visibility is excellent: Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy's Zebra, Elephant, Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Gerenuk, Buffalo, Leopard, Cheetah, Lion and Hyena.
TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 500-4,000ft. Area 11747Sq kms. Distance from Nairobi 333 kms. Opened April 1948.
Tsavo East is one of Kenya's oldest and largest National Parks. It is accredited as one of the worlds leading biodiversity strongholds, bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where the river banks give rise to lush vegetation. North of Galana is a true wilderness. Camel safaris are a feature.
Tsavo-East is recommended for photographers with its fabulous light and unbelievable views, in particular the Mudanda Rock and the Yatta Plateau the world largest Lava flow. Lugard falls on the Galana River are remarkable for the shaped water-worn rocks. Game includes the largest herds of Elephant in Kenya, Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Crocodile, Waterbuck, Gerenuk, Zebra and Hunter's Hartebeest with its lyre-shaped horns. 500 bird species have recorded in the area including Ostrich and some migratory kestrels while Buzzards stop at Tsavo-East during their long flight south.
TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 500-6,000FT Area 9,065sq KMS Distance from Nairobi 240 KMS Opened April 1948.
The Park is easy to reach, located off the main Nairobi-Mombasa road. It offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from Mountains, River forest, Plains, Lakes and Wooded Grassland. Its plains border with Tanzania. Game includes Leopard, Cheetah, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion, Crocodile and small mammals including Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik Dik and the nocturnal porcupine. The Park is excellent for visitors who enjoy walking, offering a number of nature trails and the opportunity to explore the Chaimu Volcanic Crater.
Mzima Spring is a star attraction, a pool of natural spring water with underwater viewing hides for observing Hippos.
HELL'S GATE NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 5,000-7,000 ft. Area 68 SQ kms. Distance from Nairobi 90 kms. Opened February 1984.
Hell's Gate is an ideal family getaway for a day trip from Nairobi or a stopover en-route to Lake Nakuru or Masai Mara. Located just beyond Lake Naivasha, famous for it's natural hot Geysers, Eagle and Vulture breeding ground.
Special location to view include Fischer's Tower the central tower and Njorowa Gorges. Two extinct volcanoes (Olkaria and Hobley's are worth a trip). Natural steam vents rise from fissures in the volcanic rock. Obsidian a striking black glassy rock formed from cooled lava is a feature of this landscape.
Game to view includes Hyrax, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Masai Eland, Cokes Hartebeest a haven for ornithologists and rock climbers. 103 species of bird have been recorded in the Park.
MERU NATIONAL PARK
Altitude 1,000-3,400Ft Area 870 SQ KMS Distance from Nairobi 348 KMS Opened April 1968.
Meru National Park is wild and beautiful straddling the Equator and bisected by 13 rivers and numerous Mountain-fed streams. The Park has diverse scenery from woodlands at 3000ft. On the slopes of Nyambeni Mountain Range, north east of Mount Kenya. To wide open plains with meandering riverbanks dotted with doum palms.
Game to view includes Lion, Elephant, Cheetah, Leopard and some of the rarer Antelope, Lesser Kudu, some of Kenya's largest herds of Buffalo. The rivers abound with Hippo and Crocodile. 300 species of Birds have been recorded including Peter's Finfoot, Inhabiting the Murera and Ura Rivers; Pel's Fishing Owl, Kingfisher, Roller, Bee-eater, Starling and Weaver.
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National Parks and Reserves: Kenya Tours & Safari Holidays, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Lake Nakuru National Park, Aberdare National Park, Amboseli National Park, Samburu Game Reserve, Sweetwaters Game Sanctuary, Tsavo West National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Shaba Game Reserve, Hell's Gate National Park, Meru National Park