Kenya National Parks
Aberdare National Park Kenya
Set between Mt Kenya and the Rift Valley in Kenya’s Central Highlands, Aberdare National Park is a phenomenal place to absorb the wildlife wonders of our planet. This 767sqkms paradise is found high in the clouds, at an altitude from 1829m to 4001m above sea level.
It is made of forested ravines, rolling Savannah, bamboo forest, scenic waterfalls, open moorland.
This contrasting landscape offers a refuge for all kinds of animals inclusive of those hardly seen elsewhere, like a black leopard and elusive bongo. Another multitude of wildlife found here include elephants, buffaloes, black rhinos, leopards, bushbucks, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, warthogs, black and white colobus monkeys, and on and on.
The most notable of its 250 recorded bird species include goshawks, Jackson’s Francolin, plovers, Sparrow hawks, eagles, and sunbirds.
In the moorland zone, you stand chances of encountering Melanistic serval cats above the tree line.
Aberdare National Park has multitudes of rare sightings inclusive of African civet cat, Giant Forest hog, African wild cat, bongo, blue duiker, and golden cat.
Samburu National Reserve Kenya
Samburu National Reserve is a big 5 haven set in the motherland of Samburu, a tribe of cattle keepers found in a semi-arid corner of Kenya. A visit to this wildly beautiful and mountainous highland offers a nice change from the usual wildlife.
It’s “Special Five” include dry-country specials like Somali ostrich, Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and beisa oryx, all of which are readily seen. One of the biggest highlights of Samburu is the sight funny looking gerenuk standing on their hind legs in search for food.
On the South, Samburu’s harsh environment is neighbored by Ewaso Ng’iro, a river that sustains wildlife during the dry season.
It owes its constant flow of water to the glaciers melting from Mount Kenya. You can drive here and pick up a fair amount of game, elephants, lions, buffalos, and leopards. As they drink water, their eyes are always glued on large crocodiles basking in the sun.
Mountain Kenya National Park Kenya
Wildlife Highlight: forest elephants, bushbucks, tree hyrax, suni, white-tailed mongoose, black-fronted duiker, waterbucks, elands, and mole-rat. Animals rarely seen include leopard, bongo, giant forest hog. Birds: Over 130 bird species have been recorded.
Masai Mara National Reserve
If you have to choose between visiting Masai Mara, Serengeti, Kruger Park, or Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, concentrate on Mara.
It is a lively reserve that offers a maiden experience of wildlife, with almost guaranteed chances of seeing all the Big 5 animals; Lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and leopards. It hosts 95 mammal species and 485 bird species and countless reptiles and amphibians.
It is a verdant earthly paradise covering 1,510 km2-which is divided into reserves of a manageable size. It’s vast landscape teams with Savannah grassland that is beautified with stretches of acacia woodlands, rocky hills, and forest that is adjacent to rivers.
The park’s annual wildebeest migration has earned itself a top spot among one of the Seven Wonders of the World as it is one of Africa’s most breathtaking experiences. The spectacle usually starts around July and August as 2.5 million wildebeest, gazelles and 250,000 zebras start migrating from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to the neighboring Masai Mara Game Reserve, arriving in September.
Amboseli National Park Kenya
A day’s visit to this open elephant kingdom is as good as 10 days in most Kruger National Park. It has an ecosystem like no other in the world. Here, you will see Mt. Kilimanjaro soaring above a forest of acacia trees, with elephants matching past and perhaps a colorful hot air balloon floating beautifully overheard.
It is within easy reach from Nairobi and Mombasa thanks to well-tarmacked roads.
You will see how very large herds of elephants live together like a family. You will see the circle of their life and you may even catch sight of a calf being born.
As the sunset turns to gold in the evening, the air is filled with a fog of dust in which wandering elephants appear as ghostly silhouettes.
Tsavo West and East National Park Kenya
If you have an appreciation of the wildlife wonders of our planet, You Should Be Here before you die. It is found southwest of the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and east of Mountain Kilimanjaro.
Tsavo East and Tsavo West combined in 1948 to create the biggest wildlife estate in Africa, occupying 4% of Kenya’s vast expanse, 20,812 square km. It starts from the foot of the Chyulu Hills and goes down to the Tanzanian border.
It is made of rugged volcanic hills, dense acacia woodland and black lava flows. This makes it an incredible treasure for photography tours.
If you want a Big 5 adventure in a less crowded park, Tsavo West is a much better choice than Masai Mara. Its extra wow factor is its concentration of black rhinos which can be found in its Ngulia sanctuary.