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Kenya National Parks and Game Reserves


Introduction to Kenya National Parks and Game Reserves

Kenya has no fewer than 40 national parks and game reserves supporting a wide range of unique habitats. From the great wilderness of Tsavo National Park to Amboseli National Park situated at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro to the vast plains of the Masai Mara; bird and beast roam free in their natural habitat. For years adventurers, travellers and photographers alike have been drawn to Kenya's natural beauty to sample what to many is the ‘Real Africa’.

Aberdares National Reserve

Aberdare National Park is a small park (767 square kilometres/296 square miles), situated 100 kilometres/62 miles north of Nairobi. Aberdare consists of the Nyandarua Mountain range, and the thickly forested hills and valleys are home to rhino, bongo antelope and black and white colobus monkeys. The Park was named by the explorer Thomson, who named the Park after Lord Aberdare, then president of the Royal Geographical Society. An Aberdare safari offers a game-rich experience and exceptional accommodation.
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Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is situated North West of Mount Kilimanjaro on the Tanzanian border. In the centre of the Park lies a now-dry lake basin. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli that flood during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty and Mt Kilimanjaro dominates the landscape. Large herds of elephant are common sights in Amboseli National Park, as are buffalo, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, Coke’s hartebeest, warthog, wildebeest, impala, giraffe, zebra and baboons. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and jackals are also present. Around the swamps and seasonal lakes, birdlife is abundant with a good variety of water species. Most of the Amboseli National Park consists of a dry, ancient lakebed and fragile grasslands with patches of acacia woodland, while in the southern area there are a number of small volcanic hills. Around the swamps the vegetation is lush with yellow-barked acacias and phoenix palms.
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Lake Nakuru National Park

The beautiful Lake Nakuru is recognized as being one of the natural wonders of the world. It is renowned for its flamingos and, in 1961; sections of the Lake were established as a sanctuary to protect the almost two million resident flamingos. Lake Nakuru is today also a sanctuary for black and white rhino.
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Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is the highest of the Great Rift Valley Lakes (1910 metres/6200 feet). The fresh water Lake is framed by papyrus – a favoured habitat for kingfishers and herons. With over 400 species recorded, Naivasha is favoured by birdwatchers. Crescent Island, at the south end of the Lake, is a private game sanctuary where walking is permitted.
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Masai Mara National Reserve

The Masai Mara National Reserve is a mosaic of rolling grassland (dotted plains), small bush-covered hills, acacia woodland, and along the Mara River, riverine bush and forest. The Reserve is one of the few places where it is possible to see the Big Five during an afternoon’s game-drive. The extraordinary annual Great Migration of wildebeest and other grazing herbivores across the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world. Over two million herbivores partake in this journey, with about 200 000 zebra and 500 000 Thomson's gazelle behind the main players... one-and-a-half million wildebeest!
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Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya, which is an extinct volcano sitting on the Equator, is Africa’s second highest mountain and stands at a height of 5199m (17,058ft). Opened as the Mount Kenya National Park in 1949, the mountain has been revered by local inhabitants for generations and is the official home of ‘Ngai’, the Kikuyu tribe’s Supreme Being... read more about Mount Kenya National Park

Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu/Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves are small but scenic reserves ranging in altitude from 800 to 1230 metres/263-404feet, and have the Ewaso Nyiro River in common. It is the unique wildlife, including the gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa Oryx and reticulated giraffe that attracts many visitors to this area. The Samburu/Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves are among the most pleasant in Kenya, and relatively undiscovered. The permanent forest shade on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River offer wonderful year-round game viewing and the birdlife is unusually numerous. A highlight of these Parks is watching large numbers of elephant bathing in the Ewaso Nyiro River.
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Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East national park is accredited as one of the world’s leading biodiversity strongholds, bushy grassland and open plains alternate with semi-arid acacia scrub and woodlands. Green swathes cross the park where the river banks give raise to lush vegetation. Tsavo’s massive area and wide range of landscapes make this an ideal place for a varied wildlife safari. Read More About Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park is easy to reach, located off the main Nairobi-Mombasa road. It offers tremendous views with diverse habitats ranging from mountains, river forest, plains, lakes and wooded grassland. Its plains border with Tanzania. Game to be seen in Tsavo west national park include leopard, cheetah, buffalo, black rhino, elephant, giraffe, lesser kudu, waterbuck, eland, gerenuk, impala, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile and small mammals including mongoose, hyrax, dik dik and the nocturnal porcupine Read More About Tsavo West National Park


Kenya National Parks in Pictorial
Kenya: Tsavo West National Park's Tsavo Gate along the Mombasa Nairobi Highway
Buffalo drinking at a water hole in Kenya's Aberdares National Park
Male Impala (Ram) a common animal across most of Kenya National Parks
The Common or Burchell's Zebra is a beautiful animal and can be seen in almost all Kenya national Parks
Female Lion (Lioness) - a member of the Big Five seen in Masai Mara National Reserve - Kenya
Tree climbing big cat - leopard in the Northern frontier national reserve of Samburu, Kenya
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