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Kenya National Parks


Aberdare National Park Kenya protects the mountain range of the same name. Tree hotels are designed for guests to observe wildlife coming to waterholes (or salt licks) in pristine forest habitat. Wildlife viewing from this elevated position is a remarkably rewarding way to see animals otherwise difficult to spot

Amboseli National Park Kenya is one of Kenya’s most popular parks and offers great wildlife viewing. The park is famous for its elephants, but most big safari animals can be spotted here. The black rhino has become extinct, but the other four of the Big Five are present. The plains support an abundance of large herbivores


Chyulu Hills National Park Kenya is an extension of the more popular Tsavo West NP. The green Chyulus is one of the youngest mountain ranges in the world, having been formed only about 500 years ago. The volcanic scenery is fascinating, but human encroachment with cattle and poaching are major problems.


Hell’s Gate National Park, This small park near Lake Naivasha contains a nice variety of plains animals, but it lacks most of the flagship species. The appeal lies more in the scenery with impressive sandstone cliffs and volcanic outcrops. Rock climbing, hiking, and mountain biking are some of the activities available.


Kora National Park Kenya is the former home of famed wildlife conservationist, George Adamson, or ‘baba ya Simba’ (Father of Lions). It was here that the lion Elsa, of Born Free fame, lived. The former reserve had serious problems with poachers in the 1980s and 1990s – George Adamson was murdered


Lake Bogoria National Park this small reserve can only be visited as a day trip and is on few tourist itineraries. There is only one road through which needs to be backtracked to leave. Most of the reserve consists of a large, algae-rich lake usually inhabited by big flocks of flamingos. Aside from birds, there is very little wildlife.


Scenic Lake Nakuru is Kenya’s most popular national park. The park’s main feature is a large, shallow lake supporting great birdlife, including big flocks of pelicans and variable flocks of flamingos. The lake was once famous for its flamingos, however, since 2012, conditions have become unfavorable for


Marsabit National Park is located in northern Kenya, a part of the country that will only appeal to the intrepid, adventurous traveler. Anybody traveling this far north will find a stopover in this little-visited park very worthwhile. Its wildlife-viewing centerpiece is a forest-fringed crater lake overlooked by Marsabit Lodge.


Masai Mara National Reserve is the most famous of Kenya’s reserves, has been called the most magnificent wildlife theater in the world. Masai Mara (Masai Mara) is known as Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, situated in southwest Kenya. The park is famous for the abundance of lion, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Masai people


Meru National Park is a lot less busy than some of Kenya’s more popular parks and has an unspoiled feel. All of the Big Five are present. Elephant and buffalo are very common, and there is an enclosed rhino sanctuary containing both black and white rhino. The park is extremely scenic with tall doum palms growing along the park’s many

Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve protects the largest remaining tract of coastal forest in East Africa. The reserve is mainly a bird-watching destination, and several endemics and near-endemics can be found here. The forest is a magical place to spend a couple of hours – and a welcome refuge from the coastal heat – but doesn’t expect to


Nairobi National Park lies within sight of Nairobi city, and animals can be seen against a backdrop of high-rise buildings. The park’s proximity to a large urban center is unique in Africa and wildlife viewing is surprisingly good. Most big safari animals are present (except elephants). There is a small walk at the entrance leading through indigenous forest


Ruma National Park Kenya. This rarely visited park was established to protect Kenya’s last remaining population of the beautiful roan antelope. The park is totally undeveloped and visitors need to be self-sufficient. Some other wildlife has been introduced, but densities are low and animals are skittish. This is a good place to see


Saiwa Swamp National Park is Kenya’s smallest national park. It basically protects a swamp fed by the Saiwa River, which provides shelter for a viable population of the rare sitatunga antelope. There are several observation towers overlooking the swamp, and with some patience, sightings are almost guaranteed.


Samburu National Reserve Kenya is the most popular reserve in northern Kenya. Wildlife viewing is good, and most big safari animals are easily spotted. The arid environment is home to a variety of north Kenya specials – both birds and mammals. A village visit to a nearby Samburu homestead is a worthwhile activity.


Shimba Hills National Reserve protects one of the last large coastal rainforests in East Africa. It is a stronghold for the rare subspecies of sable antelope: Roosevelt’s sable. This is not a Big Five reserve, but several of the usual safari animals, as well as some interesting forest animals, can be found here.


Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West together form one of the world’s largest national parks, covering 4% of Kenya. Tsavo East NP feels wild and undiscovered; its vast open spaces are mesmerizing. The huge, semi-arid wilderness is home to most safari animals, and although wildlife densities aren’t large, spotting animals is always possible here due to the lack of foliage.


Tsavo West National Park together with its expansive Tsavo East neighbor form one of the largest national parks in the world. The park is home to the Big Five, but wildlife viewing can be a bit slow at times. There are, however, several landmarks worth visiting including recent lava flows and Mzima Springs with its underwater observation chamber for close-up views of hippos.


Kakamega Forest National Reserve is the only tropical forest left in Kenya. The forest is home to a variety of primates, and it is one of Kenya’s birding hotspots. It marks the easternmost distribution of many sought-after West African species. Even non-birders will appreciate the jungle atmosphere of the forest. Walking with a knowledgeable guide is the best way to explore the forest.