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 the endangered blue swallow which migrates between here and northern Tanzania.
This is the only place in Kenya to see the rare roan antelope. Other introduced species include Jackson’s hartebeest, black rhino, Johor reedbuck, buffalo, and Burchell’s zebra. The localized race of Rothschild’s giraffe can also be spotted. There are tracks to be found of leopard and spotted hyena, but these predators are shy and are unlikely to be encountered.
The scenery is a mix of grassland, rolling hills and patches of woodland. The park is located in the Lamb we Valley east of Lake Victoria and is bordered by the Kanyamaa escarpment.
The weather and climate of Ruma are comparable to that of Kenya in general. More info:
Ruma can be visited year-round, but wildlife viewing is best in the dry months from June to October and January to February. Visits during the peak of the short rains (November), and especially during the long rains (April and May), might be challenging because of the condition of the roads, which aren’t great even in the Dry season. A sturdy 4×4 is required throughout the year.
Visitors to Ruma need to be totally self-sufficient with a fully-equipped 4×4. The park is located 425km/264mi west of Nairobi, 140km/86mi from Kisumu, and 42km/26mi from Homa Bay on Lake Victoria. Fly-Sax offers scheduled flights to Homa Bay.
Wildlife & Animals – Ruma National Park
Kenya offers excellent wildlife viewing. All of the Big Five are regularly seen on a standard safari. The Masai Mara is one of the best places in Africa to see big cats, and the white rhino is easily seen at Lake Nakuru. The Rift Valley lakes, especially Lake Bogoria, attract thousands of flamingos, which feed in the shallow waters.
Wildebeest Migration – Ruma National Park
The wildebeest migration is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacles. At least two million ungulates – mainly wildebeest, but also zebra and gazelle – move throughout the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem. The crossing of the Mara River is the absolute highlight of the migration. Ruma National Park Kenya
Wildlife Highlights – Ruma National Park
Samburu and Meru in the north are home to some interesting localized dry-country species. The odd-looking gerenuk is often seen standing on its hind legs feeding on dry bushes. The Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe are beautiful variants to the more common species found throughout the region. Tsavo is home to the rare fringe-eared oryx.
Best Time for Wildlife Viewing – Ruma National Park
Kenya offers quality wildlife viewing throughout the year, but the ultimate time is in the Dry season from June to October. This corresponds with the wildebeest migration in the Masai Mara. The exact timing depends on rainfall, but it’s typically in August-September when the wildebeest migration reaches the northern Serengeti, and they begin to cross into the Masai Mara. In October they make their move back into Tanzania. Ruma National Park Kenya
These months are high season for tourism. The parks are much quieter in the low season, and prices are more competitive as well.
With over 1,100 recorded species, Kenya is one of Africa’s best birding destinations. In Africa, this number of species is only exceeded by the much larger and inaccessible Democratic Republic of Congo. A fair number of endemic and near-endemic species can easily be seen on any birding trip. These birds are especially sought-after as they only occur within the country or marginally beyond. The European migrants are present from September to April.
Best Time for Bird Watching
The birdlife in Kenya is good year-round, but at its prime from September to April when the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa are present. At this time, many resident bird species are nesting and are in breeding plumage. For wildlife viewing, however, the Dry season is better.
Best Parks for Birding
The best wildlife viewing parks, such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli, offer a solid introduction to East Africa’s common birds. The Rift Valley Lakes including Lake Nakuru and Bogoria are the places to go to mark off many waterbirds, while the arid north, such as Samburu, offers many dry-country specials. Arabuko-Sokoke and Kakamega Forest are birding hotspots as well.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Kenya is during the Dry season from late June to October (these are the best wildlife viewing months). The wildebeest migration usually reaches the Masai Mara in August and remains until October when they move back to the Serengeti in Tanzania. Ruma National Park Kenya
Wildlife viewing is good year-round, but this can differ for some parks. See below to learn when to visit which park.
Weather & Climate
Kenya lies on the equator and has a pleasant, tropical climate, but there are large regional climatic variations influenced by several factors, including altitude. Kenya’s daytime temperatures average between 20°C/68°F and 28°C/82°F, but it is warmer on the coast. Kenya is too close to the equator to experience real winter and summer. There is, however, both a Dry and Wet season. Nakuru’s climate compared to Kenya’s parks
Nakuru town lies right next to Nakuru NP in the Rift Valley, one of Kenya’s most popular parks. Many of Kenya’s parks have a climate comparable to this, including the Masai Mara. Amboseli, Meru, Samburu, and Tsavo are at a lower altitude and, therefore, warmer. The Aberdares and Laikipia Plateau area in the highlands, and a bit colder. The highlands receive a great deal of rain and are very cold in the evening and morning. Ruma National Park Kenya
Dry season –June to October
During the Dry season daytime temperatures are usually around 23°C/73°F at higher altitudes, such as the Masai Mara, and 28°C/82°F at lower altitudes, such as the coastal areas. The sky is clear and the days are sunny.
June, July, and August, September & October – These are the coldest months. Early morning temperatures at higher altitudes are typically 10°C/50°F. It is advisable to pack warm clothing, as morning game drives in open vehicles will be cold. There is very little rain in most of the country.
Wet season –November to May
During the Wet season daytime temperatures are between 24°C/75°F and 27°C/81°F at higher altitudes. At lower altitudes, daytime temperatures are more consistent and hover around 30°C/86°F. Mornings stay cool at higher altitudes, and it is advisable to pack warm clothes for early morning game drives.
November & December – ‘Short rains’: A period of unpredictable, short rains between November and December that lasts about a month. The rain is sometimes heavy, but mostly falls in the late afternoon or evening, and will seldom have a negative impact on your safari.
January & February – During these months, a dry spell in the rainy season occurs with less rainfall. How long the spell lasts and when it takes place exactly is unpredictable.
March, April & May – ‘Long rains’: These months get the most rain. It’s very cloudy, especially in the highlands, including Aberdare NP and Laikipia Plateau. Humidity is higher and will be particularly noticeable in the coastal regions.
Kenya’s main airport is Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), located 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi. Kenya’s second international airport is Moi International Airport (MBA), located 9km/6mi west of Mombasa, but aside from flights to Zanzibar, this is primarily used for domestic and charter flights. Ruma National Park Kenya
From Nairobi or Mombasa, one can fly or drive between reserves, or opt to do a bit of both. Most domestic flights out of Nairobi depart from Wilson Airport (WIL), 6km/4mi south of Nairobi.
Whichever mode one chooses for travel, in most cases the local tour operator will arrange pick-up at the airport and all further transportation as part of the safari-package.
Domestic Airlines & Flights in Kenya
Wilson Airport (WIL) is used for flights to Tanzania and domestic flights.
Domestic flights can be booked with several carriers:
Malaria & Vaccinations
The information on this page is just a brief, general guide and should not be used in replacement of a consultation with your travel doctor. The government organizations and travel clinics below are trusted resources for complete and up-to-date info about travelers’ health in Kenya.
High risk throughout the country except in high altitude areas over 2,000m including Nairobi, Nairobi NP, Laikipia plateau, and Mt. Kenya. Most safari parks are high-risk zones. The highest risk of transition is during the rainy season from September to April. See the websites below for more detailed advice.
Safety & Security
In our opinion, Kenya is generally safe to visit. The tourist industry is very established and visitors are very well looked after. Several governments have advised against traveling to some cities and remote border areas, but tour operators will only take you to places that are considered safe. For more info on these travel warnings, see the advisory links below. There is a crime in big cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa, but most issues can be avoided by following basic safety precautions. More than a million tourists visit Kenya every year, and the vast majority of visits are trouble-free.
Staying Safe on Wildlife Viewing Activities
Your safari guides will ensure your safety at all times – all you have to do is follow their instructions and always keep your distance from wild animals. When on a self-drive safari, only leave your car where it has been designated as safe to do so. Ruma National Park Kenya