1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
One of Africa’s most stunning wildlife reserves is the Maasai Mara National Reserve (commonly known as “Masai Mara”). The Serengeti’s northern extension, the Mara, borders Tanzania and creates a wildlife corridor between the two nations.
It is called for the statuesque Maasai tribe, who have lived in the area for millennia and still graze their animals here while wearing red cloaks. Mara, which in their language means “mottled,” may be a reference to the way the acacia trees and cloud-covered skies cast light and shadow on the broad plains.
The park is well-known for the Great Migration, which occurs from July to October and involves tens of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Thomson’s gazelles moving toward and away from the Serengeti.
Numerous hippos and crocodiles lurk in the Mara River.Due to its relatively significant populations of lion, cheetah, and leopard, the park is also renowned for offering exceptional predator sightings, particularly during the dry months of December through February.
2. Amboseli National Reserve
One of Kenya’s most well-liked tourist destinations is Amboseli National Reserve, which is crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The Maasai word “Amboseli” means “salty dust,” which is a fitting description of the dry conditions in the park.
One of the greatest spots in Africa to see big herds of elephants up close is the reserve. Big cats like lions and cheetahs, as well as giraffes, impalas, elands, waterbucks, gazelles, and more than 600 different kinds of birds, are other animals that are frequently seen in the park.
Here, nature enthusiasts may explore five distinct ecosystems, including the dried-up Lake Amboseli bed, wetlands with sulphur springs, savannah, and forests. Look for the Maasai locals that reside in the park’s vicinity.
3. Tsavo National Park
Tsavo, the biggest park in Kenya, is divided into Tsavo West and Tsavo East. Together, these parks cover 4% of the nation’s total land area and are home to a remarkable variety of species, as well as rivers, waterfalls, savannah, volcanic hills, and a sizable lava-rock plateau.
Midway between Nairobi and Mombasa, Tsavo East is famous for photo-worthy sightings of large elephant herds rolling and bathing in red dust. A lush contrast to the dry plains and affording superb wildlife watching is the palm-fringed Galana River, which winds through the park.
The Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world, Mudanda Rock, and the Lugard Falls, which pour into rapids and crocodile-filled pools, are some of the area’s other features.
The northernmost parts of the park have some of the most breathtaking landscapes, and Tsavo West is wetter and topographically more diversified. Highlights include Chaimu Crater, a fantastic place to watch raptors, Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, and Mzima Springs, a collection of natural springs with sizable populations of hippos and crocodiles.
The deeper forest makes it harder to spot wildlife in Tsavo West, but the stunning scenery more than makes up for it.
4. Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves
The Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba Reserves are located in an arid area in the far north of Kenya, along the banks of the palm-lined Ewaso Nyiro River.
Elsa the lioness, who became well-known via the movie Born Free, was raised by George and Joy Adamson in one of two locations, the Shaba National Reserve.
The river’s waters are essential for the survival of the wildlife in all three reserves, and many species have evolved specifically to thrive in the dry climate. These animals include Somali ostriches, Grevy’s zebras, and gerenuks, a long-necked antelope that stands on its hind legs to reach new sprouts on higher tree limbs.
The Sarara Singing Wells, a local drinking hole where Samburu warriors sing traditional songs while carrying water, are a prominent attraction in Samburu National Reserve for their livestock to consume. Additionally, you can be rewarded with glimpses of wild dogs and large cats.
5. Lake Nakuru National Park
Large flocks of pink flamingos may be seen in Lake Nakuru National Park in Central Kenya. One of the soda lakes in the Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru, which makes up roughly a third of the park’s size, is overrun with birds.
More than 450 bird species have been identified in the park since its creation in 1961, in addition to a wide variety of other animals. Some of the creatures you could encounter are lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos. The environments range from expansive grasslands flanking the lake to steep cliffs and woods.
The biggest Euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa is also protected by the park. These indigenous, towering, branching succulents add a striking textural addition to the landscape.
6. Lamu Island
North of Mombasa, on the little island of Lamu, is pure old-world charm. Lamu Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was first occupied in the 12th century and is the oldest continuously inhabited community in Kenya.
One of the best things to do here is to stroll the maze-like streets. The structures represent the island’s long history of commerce. There are obvious Arab, European, and Indian architectural influences, but there is also a clear Swahili method. There are often intricately carved wooden doors, coral stone structures, secret courtyards, verandas, and rooftop terraces.
Visiting these places is like travelling back in time. There aren’t many, if any, motorised cars here, and donkeys still dominate the streets as they have for decades. Dhows plough the port. Lamu’s majority ofMuslims make up the majority of the population, and both men and women dress traditionally.
The Lamu Museum, Lamu Fort, and the Donkey Sanctuary are among of the island’s top attractions. They feature exhibits on Swahili culture and the area’s maritime history.
You may relax on one of the island’s white sand beaches or have an Arabic coffee at a nearby café if all the history becomes a bit overwhelming.
7. Lake Naivasha
Lake Naivasha, which is a refuge for birds, is located at the highest point of the Great Rift Valley. Here, more than 400 different bird species have been recorded, including African fish eagles, jacanas, white-fronted bee-eaters, and several kingfisher species.
Boating is among the finest methods to see animals. Hippos splash about in the lake as giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and elands graze nearby. Also keep an eye out for colobus monkeys in the trees.
The Crater Lake Game Sanctuary is a nature walk that is abundant in animals close to Lake Naivasha.With two extinct volcanoes and the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate, the reasonably priced Hell’s Gate National Park is located just south of Lake Naivasha and provides good climbing options.
You may stop by the Elsamere Conservation Center, the former residence of the late Joy Adamson, author of Born Free, and her husband George, for a cup of tea on the southern coast of Lake Naivasha.
Keep in mind that Lake Naivasha has been known to significantly decrease during periods of extreme drought, and the region’s thriving floriculture business is also having an influence on water quality and quantity. However, the lake is usually verdant and teeming with life.
The capital and largest city of Kenya offers a wide variety of options for tourists searching for activities outside safaris. Nairobi is renowned for having a vibrant colonial past. It originally served as the capital of British East Africa, drawing people looking to make a quick buck in the coffee and tea trades. Today, you can explore the city’s famous historic sites and excellent wildlife-related attractions.
Want to see some cultural sites in Kenya? In Nairobi, there are many places worth seeing. A fantastic place to visit exhibitions about Kenya’s history, nature, culture, and modern art is the Nairobi National Museum. The botanical gardens on the property will also appeal to gardeners.
The Karen Blixen Museum, the restored home of the well-known Danish author of the book Out of Africa, also known by her pen name, Isak Dinesen, is another well-liked tourist destination.
Visit Nairobi National Park, now a black rhino sanctuary and home to a variety of other African animals, if you want to observe wildlife close to the city centre.
9. Nairobi National Park
Who says a safari has to go far away from Nairobi? At Nairobi National Park, just a 15-minute drive from the hubbub of Kenya’s capital, you may observe a sleeping pride of lions or a gorgeous giraffe striding across the golden grass.
One of the best things to do in Nairobi is to visit this wildlife-rich park; it makes for a worthwhile day excursion, especially if you can’t get to one of the larger game reserves.
Buffalo, leopard, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, elephants, and cheetah are among the typical safari stars that can be seen here. At the park’s rhino sanctuary, visitors may also view some of the most critically endangered animals on the globe.
More than 400 kinds of birds, including the stunning grey crowned crane, live in the park, and the Nairobi Safari Walk offers a great opportunity to see wildlife up close.
Additionally, no trip to the park would be complete without stopping by the main park gates’ David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery. Save time to visit the Giraffe Centre, which is close to the well-known Giraffe Manor, where you may feed the long-necked beauties by holding them in your hands.
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