Kenya National Parks and Kenya National Reserves

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Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain Kilimanjaro lies some 240 km south-east of Nairobi. The snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro rising above a saucer of clouds, dominates every aspect, of Amboseli, and forms a backdrop to an impressive display of wildlife with its population of lion, elephant, leopard, cheetah, buffalo and other savannah game. A photographer’s paradise.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru, an alkaline lake on the bed of the Great Rift Valley, has earned its fame as the home of the greatest bird spectacle in the world – a myriad of more than a million pink flamingo, which seasonally use its waters to feed on the abundant algae which thrive in its worm waters.

Lake Nakuru has a great deal to offer beside its magnificent bird life. Here, you will also find lion, leopard, buffalo, and other savannah and forest game which makes game viewing well worthwhile.

Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is the country’s highest mountain, Sitting astride the equator its icy summit rising to a height of 5,199 meters. All the mountain above the 3.200 meters contour forms a national park. In fact the mountain consists of three principal zones; the rocky peak area, with its cloak of glaciers and snowfields; the alpine zone with distinctive giant vegetation; and the vast gentle slopes drenched in mountain forest and bamboo jungle. Due to its unique vegetation Mount Kenya has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

Most visitors are content with marveling at the mountains beauty from a distance. For the more adventurous, the lesser peaks of the mountain can be conquered without much difficulty. However this does require a certain degree of fitness as the air towards the top is quite thin. It would be advisable to consult your physician beforehand. An attempt to reach the summit is only recommended to seasoned climbers.

Tsavo National Park

The combined area of Tsavo East and West National Parks makes Tsavo one of the world’s largest game sanctuaries, covering an area of more than 20,000 km. Tsavo West has more than 2,000 km of well maintained murram roads, that lead from one natural wonder to another. Chief among these ranks the marvel of Mzima Springs, replenished with twenty million liters of crystal-clear water a day from underground streams of the nearby Chyulu Hills. The Springs form a haven for many different animal species. Tiptoeing across the bottom, apparently weightless, we find the surprisingly light-footed but ponderous hippo. Crocodile bask in the heat of the day taking an occasional where to buy ambien cheap swirl in the water while gazelle, giraffe and zebra wander around the banks through thick acacia among hundreds of chattering birds.

Among the less common animals to be found in Tsavo, are the fringe-eared oryx, the gerenuk and Hunter’s hartebeests. The carnivores in addition to lion, leopard and cheetah, include caracal and hyena.

Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserve

These three adjoining reserves lie 325 km from Nairobi in the hot and fringes of the vast northern region of Kenya. The reserves are within the lands of the colorful Samburu tribe, relatives of the famed Masai.

Furthermore they are the home to wildlife species rarely found elsewhere, including Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk gazelle, oryx, reticulated giraffe and the Somali ostrich. Some of these species are so well adapted to the dry area, that they con go for long periods of time without water, surviving only on moisture obtained through their food. Elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and more common savannah game are also abundant here.

One of the main features in the area is the life-giving Uaso Nyiro River, broad and often sluggish with a large population of crocodile, seen frequently at almost every meandering bend. Along the river banks clusters of doum palm and riverine forest add shade and contrast to the surrounding countryside and provide a habitat for a variety of many primate species, elephants roam the hills which punctuate the scrubland and often seek solace and contentment in the shallow waters of the river and it is nearly a daily occurrence to find herds drinking and bathing in a spectacle of sheer satisfaction.

Masai Mara Game Reserve

Masai Mara is justly one of the best known wildlife areas in Kenya. Here the herds of elephants, browse among rich, tree-studded grasslands. Thomson’s gazelles, zebra, eland and many more species of savannah game offer a rich choice for the predatory lions, leopards and cheetahs which hunt in the reserve and the adjoining areas.

But even this richness of fauna, and untouched life of Africa continuing as it has for thousands of years, is secondary to the Mara’s annual migration of wildebeest.

The spectacle of more than a million of these creatures moving as a great mass across the savannah, is one of the most breathtaking sights in nature. The actual migration does not last very long and its start is impossible to predict accurately. Nevertheless visitors to the Masai Mara in August through September are certain to see the great herds of wildebeest and zebra.

However year round Masai Mara is rich in resident wildlife, and the combination of gentle climate with scenic splendor and unbelievable wildlife makes it Kenya’s most popular game reserves.