Parks in Kenya
Aberdare National Park is located about 100 kilometers north of Nairobi; and covers altitudes from 4,300 meters (mountain peaks) to 2,100 meters (bamboo forests and rainforests). Aberdare is 766 square kilometers in size and forms an important part of the Aberdare Mountains.
The wildlife that can be easily sighted in the park includes the African Leopard, African Bush Elephant, East African Wild Dog, Giant Bush Pig, Bushbuck, Mountain Reedbuck, Waterbuck, Cape Buffalo, Suni, side-striped jackal, the eland, duikers, the olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, and sykes monkey.
Rarer sightings include the African golden cat and the bongo, an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. There is also a large population of black rhinoceroses. In addition, there are more than 250 species of birds, many of which are threatened with extinction.
Amboseli National Park is located in the northwest direction of Mount Kilimanjaro on the border of Kenya and Tanzania, this park extends over an area of 392 square kilometers dominated by acacia forests, rocky thorn bushes, swamps and a Pleistocene lake. Amboseli is home to a large concentration of wildlife, estimated at 80 different species, including African elephants, African buffaloes, impalas, lions, zebras and wildebeest, and other African animals. population of elephants. Amboseli park is also home to a number of birds estimated at 400 species, including African marsh hen, redshank, Dickinson’s kestrel, Eurasian thick knee, greater flamingo, Hartlaub’s bustard, lesser flamingo, lapwing, pangani longclaw, stonechat, red-bellied heron, spike-heeled lark, Steel-blue Whydah, Taveta goldweaver, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Yellow-necked pygmy owlAmboseli consists of an amazing landscape created by Mount Kilimanjaro in the background and many places where animals and attractions can be spotted. Amboseli Park was officially declared a National Park in 1974 with an area of 392 square kilometers, but has a history dating back to before the arrival of the British colonial rulers in Kenya.
The Masai Mara was named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestors of the area. The word ‘Mara’ means ‘mottled’ in the Maasai (Maa) language. When visiting the Masai Mara it will not be difficult to understand how this area got its name. The short bushy trees that dot the landscape give it a kind of ‘mottled’ appearance. The ecosystem of the Greater Masai Mara is vast. It is almost 1510 square kilometers. The area is bordered to the south by the Serengeti and to the north, east and west are Maasai ranches. Although the riverbanks of the area’s three rivers (The Sand, Talek River and Mara River) are overgrown with shrubs and trees, most of the reserve is open grassland occasionally spotted by a flat-topped acacia tree . There are two different rainy seasons in April – May (the long rains) and in November – December (the short rains).
Every year from July to October, the Masai Mara plays host to one of the most spectacular wildlife shows on Earth – the Great Migration. The sight of so many animals on the plains is almost unthinkable. The sunburnt grasses of the rolling savannah become home to more than 1.5 million zebra, wildebeest and antelope that migrate from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in search of greener pastures and water. The Great Migration is unique to the Serengeti and Masai Mara.
Lake Nakuru National Park is located just south of the town of Nakuru, under the protection of Lake Nakuru National Park. Its proximity to Nairobi, approximately 164 km, allows day trips and part of a circuit along the Maasai Mara or Lake Baringo and east to Samburu.
The lake is known for the largest bird show in the world… countless pink flamingos; often more than a million or two at a time. They feed on the abundant algae that thrive in the warm water. As such, it is known as a “soda lake”. It is estimated that the flamingo population consumes about 250,000 kg of algae per hectare of area per year. The abundance of algae is created by the faeces of flamingos. Photos of the flamingos on Lake Nakuru are world famous. It really is an amazing place, quite overwhelming to see the pink lake..
In addition to the flamingos, there are two large fish-eating birds, the pelicans and cormorants, which are found in large numbers at the lake. There are over 400 species of birds on Late Nakuru and the surrounding park.
In addition, there are exotic mammals such as the 30 eastern black rhinoceroses, 70 white rhinoceroses, as well as large populations of giraffes and baboons. The park also has many Maasai lions, African cheetahs and Tanzanian leopards.
Samburu National Reserve is located in the southeastern corner of Samburu District in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province. It is bounded on the south by the Ewaso Nyiro River, which separates it from the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The reserve covers an area of 165 km² and is approximately 345 km from Nairobi.
The reserve is in Ecological Zone V- which is classified as arid and semi-arid with a moisture index of 42 to 57, indicating that evaporation exceeds available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool. The annual average temperatures are between 18ºC and 30ºC, while the average annual precipitation is 354 mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season begins in late May and lasts until early October when a high concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to the availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water for the reserve and nearby communities .
The reserve is accessible to wildlife with notoriety for its abundance of rare Northern Specialized species such as the Grevy Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe, Gerenuk and the Beisa Oryx (also called Samburu Special). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah are a major attraction (Kamunyak the prodigy lioness who adapted the baby Oryx is a resident of the reserve). Wild dog watching is also a common attraction in this unique protected area. Bird life is abundant with over 450 species recorded. Birds of the arid northern bushland are complemented by a number of riverine forest species. Lesser kestrel and taita falcon are species of global concern and both use the reserve. Five species categorized as vulnerable have registered in the reserve. These are African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed Vulture, Martial Eagle and the Yellow-billed Oxenpik. Critically endangered species under CITIES – Pancake turtle (malacochersus tornieri) is found in the reserve.
Designated as “Theatre of the Wild” by the Kenya Wildlife Services, the Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks together cover an area of approximately 22,000 square kilometers (approximately 4% of Kenya) and form one of the oldest and largest game reserves in Kenya (about 9 times the size of Maasai Mara National Park)
Tsavo East alone encompasses an area of approximately 13,747 square kilometers and is separated from Tsavo West by the A109 (Nairobi-Mombasa Motorway) and railway line that crosses the park. Tsavo East National Park opened in April 1948 and takes its name from the Tsavo River that flows from the west to the east of the park. Also in the park is the Athi River which connects with the Tsavo River to form the Galana River.
Tsavo East National Park is bordered by the Chyulu Hills National Park and Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. The park is located near the town of Voi in Taita-Taveta province. Most of the park is semi-arid moorland and savanna, making it most popular as one of the hotspots for large numbers of diverse wildlife, including the African Big Five. The park is also home to a wide variety of bird species, including the crowned crane and black kite. Tsavo East is also known for its rhino sanctuary.
Tsavo National Park has also become famous for the Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world spanning about 300 km.
Tsavo National Park has a diversity of attractions and activities for visitors to participate in. These attractions range from flora and fauna to the other naturally built aspects in the park.
Tsavo West National Park, is located in the Coastal Province, in southeastern Kenya. Tsavo West National Park, referred to as “Land of lava, springs, man-eaters and magical sunsets”, encompasses a vast area of 9,065 square kilometers.
Unlike its sister park Tsavo East National Park, which excels for its abundant and varied flora and fauna, Tsavo West National Park stands out more for its beautiful topography.
Tsavo West National Park is steeper and contains more diverse landscapes compared to Tsavo East National Park. This makes it a perfect getaway for the adventurous visitors who like more daring activities such as trekking and rock climbing, especially the most famous Kichwa Tembo rock face and other rock faces including Mastodon, Ivory Tower and the Great Tsavo Chimney.
Like some of the most popular parks in Kenya, Tsavo West National Park is home to the African Big 5 (lions, hippos, buffaloes, elephants and the rhinoceros) and other mammal species including hippos, giraffes, kudu and buffaloes.
With over 400 species of birds, Tsavo West National Park offers a rich abundance of birds for bird watchers.