Samburu Game Reserve
Samburu is a journey of about 220 miles north of Nairobi in Kenya’s arid, northern scrublands. This tiny park is only 64 square miles but in its boundaries is the best game viewing Kenya has to offer.
You will see species here you won’t see anywhere else and yes, they are uniformly beautiful. Watch the reticulated giraffe, boldly marked blocks separated by the finest of lines, delicately move through acacia branches.
The Grevy’s zebra, fine lined patterns that seem to merge to gray from a distance, is easily distinguished from its Burchell (common) zebra cousin – besides the finer patterning the Grevy is larger with more of a domesticated horse conformation; front and back ends seem more in balance.
One of our favorites is the gerenuk, the gracefully long-necked “giraffe” antelope, perfectly capable of stretching full height on his hind legs to feed on the leaves from tree branches. That strikingly marked huge antelope, the Beisa Oryx, lives here as well, as do elephant.
Lake Nakuru Game Park
Lake Nakuru, the home of the famous flamingoes, is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and park grassland. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and plants, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern side. In this park you will see Flamingoes, Pelicans, herds of buffaloes and the rare Rhino.
The Masai Mara
The Masai Mara National Reserve is the most famous and most visited Reserve in Kenya. It offers breathtaking views no other game reserve can offer, perhaps in the world.
The wildlife can be divided into mammals, birds and reptiles. Many of the mammals can be divided into carnivores, primates and ungulates (hooved animals). Carnivores include cheetah, genet, hyena, jackal, leopard, lion, mongoose and wild dog. Primates include baboon, bush baby and monkey. Odd-toed ungulates include rhino and zebra. Even-toed ungulates include buffalo, giraffe, hippo, warthog and antelope (bushbuck, dik-dik, duiker, eland, gazelle, hartebeest, impala, klipspringer, kudu, oribi, reedbuck, roan antelope, waterbuck and wildebeest). The so-called “Big Five” are Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhinoceros. The “Big Nine” extends this to include Cheetah, Zebra, Giraffe and Hippo.
An impressive feature is the annual migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzanian border and rivers to reach the Mara’s grasslands from late June, tracked by predators: lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena, and circled by vultures as their journey unfolds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in early July-August. The incredible spectacle of crossing the Mara River happens in late July or August. Thousands of animals die in this dramatic crossing and predators and crocodiles have a field day.
This is one of the most spectacular and most popular game reserves in Kenya. Rich in game, the rolling grasslands and acacia savannah have frequently been captured on film, with “Out of Africa” being the most famous.
The reserve borders Tanzania and the two countries share the vast Serengeti plains, with wildlife free to roam between Kenya and Tanzania in search of food. The concentration of game in the Mara during the mass migration is mind blowing, and this is one of the few areas where you are likely to see the big five – buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and
Amboseli Game Park
At the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is one of Kenya’s most popular parks. It is some 240kms, Southeast of Nairobi very close to the Tanzania border. The snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli.
The national park covers only 392 sq kms but despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species) and birds (over 400 species).
The snows of Kilimanjaro, white and crystalline, form a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya’s most spectacular displays of wildlife – lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains’ game, creating Kenya’s most sought after photographer’s paradise. But the Park’s popularity is also causing serious concern.
Tsavo East & West
Tsavo East National Park covers an area of about 12,000 square km. This vast park lies in low semi arid country at the eastern edge of the inland plateau, north of the main Mombasa-Nairobi highway. Much of the park is level, open country with scattered rocky ridges and outcrops. Due to its size, the park is one of the world’s wildlife and biodiversity strongholds.
There are scattered seasonal pools, swamps and dams, but relatively few sources of permanent water. One of the great spectacles of the park is the Mudanda rock between Voi and Manyani. This one and a half km long outcrop is a water catchment area, which supplies a natural dam at its base. In the dry season, hundreds of elephants come to drink and bathe here.
Tsavo West National Park covers 9000 km2 and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park’s habitats include open plains alternating with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; palm thickets and mountain forest on Chyulu hills.
A part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volcano. In the far southwestern corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mt. Kilimanjaro, visible in the rear.