Reserves and Parks

MAASAI MARA GAME RESERVE

Covering an area of over 1,500 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. 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…

mmmara

The swampy land provides more access to water and less access to tourists. The eastern end is closest to Nairobi and hence easier to access by tourists. The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeests 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). Other game include hippopotami, cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, giraffe, Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox. However wildebeest are by far the dominant inhabitants of the Masai Mara.

Their numbers are estimated in the millions. The Great Migration starts in July each year when well over one million wildebeest along with large numbers of Thompson’s Gazelle, zebra and other herbivores migrate from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to fresh pastures in the north and then back south again in October.

THE ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK

abadea

The Aberdare National Park, with an area of 767 Km2  covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya, from altitude of 1829M to 4001M above sea level.  The topography is quite diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park include; the Black Rhino, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey and sykes monkey. Rare sightings include those of lions, the golden cat and the bongo- an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and spotted and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands.

Visitors can also indulge in picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
ACTIVITY OPTIONS

  • Game viewing
  • Camping
  • Trekking
  • Bird watching
  • Photography
  • Horse riding

 AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

ambooo

ACTIVITY OPTIONS

  • Game viewing
  • Camping
  • Viewing Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • Bird watching
  • Photography

Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya. The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area (average 350 mm (14 in)) one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world with 400 species of birds including water birds, pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hammerkops and 47 types of raptor.

The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.140 kilometres (87 mi) South of the capital city Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is the second most popular national park in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve and the visit can easily be done in a weekend.

 ARABUKO SOKOKE

sokoke

The Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is located on the coast of Kenya, 110 km north of Mombassa and is protected as a national Forest Reserve. The Arabuko-Sokoke National Park  is only a small portion of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, a few square kilometres in size and is located on the north-western edge of the forest. The National Park was gazetted only in the late 1980s and in fact straddles the Forest Reserve boundary with about 50% lying outside the boundary. This outer section actually lies outside an electric elephant fence installed in 2006/7 and is now fully inhabited by local communities to the extent that there is no sign on the ground to show where the National Park begins or ends. The National Park sadly doesn’t add any particular protection to the forest which is the largest fragment of coastal forest (420 square km) left in East Africa, and is an area of high endemism, containing endemic mammals, birds and plants. The Reserve, however, is jointly managed by Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service, National Museums of Kenya and the Kenya Forest Research Institute and is one of the better protected forests in Kenya. The forest was first protected as a Crown Forest in 1943, and was gazetted in the 1960s. The forest is threatened by the desire for land by local people. Several national and international conservation organisations are working with the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect the park.

The forest contains three forest types, mixed forest, Brachystegia and Cynometra, each of which protects different communities of plants and animals.

Activity options:
* Bird Watching
* Butterfly watching
* Walking Trails
* Game viewing

HELLS GATE AND MT LONGONOT NATIONAL PARKS

helll

Hell’s Gate National Park lies to the south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, North West of Nairobi.  The park which is mainly comprised of savannah ecosystem habours a wide variety of wildlife. There are over 100 species of birds in the park, including vultures, Verreaux’s Eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson’s gazelle, and baboons are also common. The park is also home to klipspringer antelope and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck..
ACTIVITY OPTIONS

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Rock climbing
  • Bird watching
  • Photography
  • Wildlife viewing

 KORA NATIONAL PARK

kora

 

Kora National Park is located in Coast Province, Kenya. The park covers an area of 1,788 square kilometres. It is located 125 kilometres east of Mount Kenya. The park was initially gazetted as a nature reserve in 1973. It was gazetted as a national park in 1989, following the murder of George Adamson by poachers.

Meru National Park and the Tana River mark 65 kilometres of the park’s northern boundary. Features of the Tana River include Adamson’s Falls, Grand Falls and the Kora rapids. Its eastern boundary is marked by the Mwitamvisi River. The park has several seasonal rivers.

The topography of the park slopes gently from an altitude of 490 m in the south-west to an altitude of about 270m in the north-east. The central area of the park is an undulating peneplain. Basement ridges protrude above the surface of the peneplain as rocky inselbergs, domed hills or hard rocks that rise steeply from the surrounding area. The highest of these inselbergs are Mansumbi (488m), Kumbulanwa (450m) and Kora Rock (442m). The cracks and crevices in the inselbergs have become filled with soil, and a wide variety of herbs, shrubs and small wind-blown trees have become established in them

Major attractions

Pristine wilderness, Inselbergs, Tana River with Adamson’s Falls, Grand Falls and Kora rapids, diverse birdlife George Adamson’s grave.

Activities
Game viewing, rock climbing, fishing in River Tana.

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK image012

The park lies in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru district of the Rift Valley Province. The ecosystem comprises of the lake, surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. The park supports a wide ecological diversity with Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds being the major attractions of the area. The ecosystem provides for about 56 different species of mammals including the white rhino and buffaloes and a variety of terrestrial birds numbering nearly 450 species.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  •  Flamingo (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering about 450 species in total.
  • Mammals: 56 different species including white rhinos,waterbuck etc.
  • View-points: Lion hill, Baboon cliff and Out of Africa
  • Hills: Enasoit, Honeymoon, Lion hill ridge etc
  • Waterfalls: Makalia.
  • Unique vegetation: About 550 different plant species including the unique and biggest euphorbia forest in Africa, Picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands.
  • Participate in the cycle with rhino event every september yearly

MARSABIT NATIONAL PARK    

marsabit

The Marsabit National park lies in northern Kenya, about 560km north of Nairobi in Marsabit district. The park comprises of densely forested mountain and three crater lakes that are the only permanent surface of water in the region and that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. Major wildlife attractions include the African elephant, the endangered Grevy’s zebra, lion, leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, large herds of greater and lesser kudus, common zebra, Grant’s gazelle and many other small antelopes. The park is famous for its elephant named Ahmed that was provided with 24hr security surveillance by presidential decree in the 70′s, to demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to wildlife conservation.

 

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Land of Gofs
  • Magical Lake paradise
  • A dynasty of giants
  • Last refuge of the huge-tusked bull elephants
  • Pristine Forest
  • Diverse birdlife
  • The greater Kudu
  • Realm of raptors
  • Bird life

 MERU NATIONAL PARK

meru 2

  •   Access from Nairobi (348 kms) is via Nyeri-Nanyuki-Meru or via Embu all weather roads. Access into the park from Maua to Murera Gate (35 km) and 348 km from Nairobi..
  • The other access is via Embu to Ura Gate (120 km), 290 km from Nairobi- inaccessible at the moment

  Airstrip:

  • Main airstrip at Kina, Mulika next to Meru Mulika Lodge and Elsa’s Kopje airstrip

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Former home of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the lioness
  • Views of Mt Kenya
  • Rivers and riverine habitats
  • Tana river
  • Adamson’s falls

MT KENYA NATIONAL PARK

mt mt kenya

Mt. Kenya National Park is located to the east of the Great Rift Valley, about 175km North-East of Nairobi.  The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya.  At 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.

UNESCO inscribed Mount Kenya as a World Heritage Site.  Its described as one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with its rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and diverse forests that illustrate outstanding ecological processes.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, High altitude adapted plains game, Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.

MT ELGON NATIONAL PARK

 

Mount Elgon National Park is 470km (292 miles) north-west of Nairobi, straddling the border between Kenya and Uganda. It is 11km from the town of Kitale, and close to Saiwa Swamp National Park.The park covers 169km² with Mount Elgon, Kenya’s second biggest mountain, situated at its center. The mountain is covered with vast areas of natural forest and huge Elgon teak and cedar trees that tower 80 feet (24m) above the forest floor. Mount Elgon is also knowThe wild and remote location of this national park offers excellent viewing of African animals found in Kenya. There are over 400 elephants plus buffalo, leopards, the colobus and blue monkeys (a protected species), hogs, waterbucks and various species of antelope. They can be viewed from a 4×4 wheel drive truck and the many hiking trails which wind around the park. There are also three nature trails that lead to both the caves and Elephant Bluff. You will also find breathtaking views of the park from Endebass Bluff.

Mountain climbing or trekking is another attraction in Mount Elgon National Park. For those who want to combine their safari with a visit to the peak of Mount Elgon, which sits at 4,155 meters above sea level, climbing can be accomplished for its lava tube caves, which are frequented by the resident elephants.

 NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK

nairobi np

Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only 7 km from Nairobi city centre. The savannah ecosystem comprise of different vegetation types. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest.  To the south are the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela migration corridor which are important wildlife dispersal areas during the rain season. Man-made dams within the park have added a further habitat, favorable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biome.

Major wildlife attractions are the Black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded.  Other attractions include the Ivory burning site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and the walking trails at hippo pools.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • The only Wildlife park in the world that is so close to the city
  • Black rhinoceros :which is an endangered species
  • The first park to be gazetted in Kenya on December 16, 1946
  • Major rhino sanctuary for breeding and restocking other parks

 NDERE ISLAND NATIONAL PARK

ndere is

Ndere Island National park covers an area of 4.2 km2. It’s an island off the northern shore of Lake Victoria and was gazetted in November 1986. Ndere means “meeting place” in the language of the local Luo tribe. According to the Luo folklore, Kit Mikayi-mother of the tribe, rested up near Ndere after her long journey south down the Nile valley. She found the lush shorelines so pleasing that she and her people stayed. It’s one of the scenic & special interest parks managed by KWS. It was branded as ‘the island of serenity and beauty’ in March 2010

Major attractions

  • The scenic Ndere island
  • Six mini-islands
  • Fresh air
  • Terrain
  • Wildlife; De brazza monkeys, Olive baboons, Sitatunga antelopes, Hippos, Impalas, Monitor lizards, variety of fish species, Dikdiks, Aardvarks, Jackals, Geckos, Vervet monkeys, over 100 bird species and a variety of trees, shrubs , herbs and grass
  • Good view of Homa hills as well as surrounding islands namely Mnara, Maboko, Kagera, Mageta, Rambungu, Imra, Ochola amongst others

Activities

  • Walking
  • Game viewing
  • Boat riding
  • Bird watching
  • Sport fishing
  • Hiking
  • Camping

RUMA NATIONAL PARK

ruma

Ruma National Park is the only Terestial Park in the entire Nyanza Province. It was initially established as the Lambwe Valley Game Reserve in 1966 to protect its indigenous population of rare roan antelopes which exist nowhere else in Kenya. In 1983 it was gazetted as a National Park. Namely Ruma N. Park

It was renamed “Ruma” upon request of the local community. The area had been so named by one of Kenya’s most powerful wizard, the much feared Gor Mahia who lived around the park. The park is largely of black cotton soil with surrounding area settled with a mix of small scale cultivation and grassy pasture land.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

Roan antelope which is found nowhere else in the country.

Wildlife – Roan antelope, black rhinos,leopard, buffalo, hyena, Rothschild’s giraffe, oribi, Jackson and lelwel hartebeest, impala, bohor reedbuck, serval cat,  topi, baboons, vervet monkey, honey badgers, bush pig and many more.

Birds – Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in this park. It is renowned amongst ornithologists for its rare intra – African migrant, the blue swallow.

The Park provides an unspoiled world for game lovers, bird watchers, tranquility and peace for meditation, historians, campers, team building, picnic, sundowners and scenic beauty.

SAIWA SWAMP NATIONAL PARK

saiwa

The park is located at 385km from Nairobi and 27 km from Kitale town in Trans-Nzoia District of Rift Valley Province. The park ecosystem comprises of forest and swamp vegetation. The swamp is dominated by tall bull-rushes and sedges and is bordered by open grasslands and riverine forests.The park was established to protect the endangered Sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope. Other wildlife species commonly found in the swamp include the Otter, Genet cat, Serval cat, mongoose, bushbuck and monkeys.  The ecosystem is also rich in birdlife, harbouring about 372 species.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • The endangered Sitatunga Antelope
  • Bird watching
  • Nature board walk & tree top house

WILDLIFE

  • Includes Sitatunga, monkey, otter, genet cat, serval cat,
  • Mongoose, bushbuck and ratel.

WHERE TO STAY

 SIBILOI NATIONAL PARK

sibiloi

The park is located at 385km from Nairobi and 27 km from Kitale town in Trans-Nzoia District of Rift Valley Province. The park ecosystem comprises of forest and swamp vegetation. The swamp is dominated by tall bull-rushes and sedges and is bordered by open grasslands and riverine forests.The park was established to protect the endangered Sitatunga, a semi-aquatic antelope. Other wildlife species commonly found in the swamp include the Otter, Genet cat, Serval cat, mongoose, bushbuck and monkeys.  The ecosystem is also rich in birdlife, harbouring about 372 species.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • The endangered Sitatunga Antelope
  • Bird watching
  • Nature board walk & tree top house

 TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK

red elephnt22

The Joint mass of Tsavo West and Tsavo East National Parks forms one of the largest National parks in the world and covers a massive 4% of Kenya’s total land area. Tsavo East the larger of the two, lies to the east of the Nairobi –Mombasa road, equidistant between Nairobi and Mombasa, and offers a vast and untapped arena of arid bush which is washed by azure and emerald meandering of Galana River. Guarded by the limitless lava reaches of Yatta plateau and patrolled by some of the largest elephant herds in Kenya

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS:

  • Elephant in Eden – The sight of dust-red elephant wallowing, rolling and spraying each other with the midnight blue waters of palm-shaded Galana River is one of the most evocative images of Africa
  • Aruba Dam – The beautiful Aruba dam located on the north bank of the seasonal Voi River, is visited by thousands of animals and a great game viewing destination
  • Mudanda Rock – This whale –backed Rock towers above a natural dam, which acts as a draw to thousands of Elephants
    The longest lava flow in the world- at 300 kilometers in length, the heat shimmering edge of yatta plateau is the longest lava flow in the world and an ornithological paradise that attract migrating birds from all over the world
  • Lug ards Falls – Named after Captain Lugard, the first proconsul to East Africa, the falls feature bizarrely eroded rocks through which the waters of the Galana River plunge into foaming rapids and crocodile –infested pools

TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK

 

The park is located on south eastern Kenya, 240km from Nairobi along the western side of Mombasa-Nairobi highway. The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges.

Major wildlife attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

  • Recent Volcanoes, lava flows and caves with potential for geological and cave exploration and hiking. Mzima Springs & underwater hippo and fish watching,

WILDLIFE

  • Leopard, Cheetah, Wild dogs, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Lion,Crocodile, Mongoose, Hyrax, Dik- dik, Lesser Kudu, and Nocturnal Porcupine. Prolific birdlife features 600 species.

 






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Reserves and Parks

MAASAI MARA GAME RESERVE Covering an area of over 1,500 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. 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 swampy land provides [...]

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