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Kenyan Parks

KENYA  NATIONAL PARKS & RESERVES PARKS/RESERVES,LAKES,SANCTURIES,MOUNTAINS.

MASAI   MARA.
ALTITUDE : 1610 Mts
AREA : 1510 Km2
-7th wonder of the world.
Masai mara there is no place like this on earth, a place of exceptional beauty that has drawn visitors from all over the world. Abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna breath taking sunsets and sunrises. Home to the ‘Big five’ (Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino) and the BBC Series THE BIG CAT DIARIES.  But the most spectacular phenomenon is the Great Migration that has been named as the 7th wonder of the world. 

  

Every year around the same time (July – October) Masai mara hosts about 2 million animals that include wildebeests,zebras,plain game and carnivores as well as hundreds of bird species, added to the resident animals. During this Great migration of these animals from the Serengeti National park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara is a sight to behold. The massing along the swollen river mara bank, crossing becomes one of the most spectacular sights. Masai Mara /Serengeti eco-system is the perfect habitat for the abundant wildlife. The mass of over two million animals cover the savanna and grassland as far as the eye can see, predation by the lion,leopard,cheetah and hyena at this time is great simply due to the numbers, a time of plenty for all.


 

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
ALTITUDE: 2200 m
-Birds paradise.

 
Lake Nakuru often also referred to as the ‘ornithological paradise’  hosts millions of flamingoes, pelicans, Fish Eagles and over 400 species of birds. The largest population of the rare and endangered Black rhino species is found here, its cousin the ‘white’ rhino is also found here. The Salt Lake provides perfect nesting grounds for the flamingoes.


 

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE


This National Reserve is located on the northern part of Kenya, it host some of the most beautiful animals, the Gerenuk (giraffe necked antelope), Grevys zebras, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx and many Northern race animals


 

ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK.
This National park hosts some of the rarest animals to be found in Kenya, these species include The Bongo Antelope, Black serval cat, Giant forest hogs and the very rare black leopard. Nocturnal wildlife viewing is possible here. Flora and Fauna is in Abundance in this park. Some of the activities in this park are Trout fishing, Trekking and the park also hosts THE RHINO CHARGE, (This is an event that the Rhino-Ark Organization has been holding to construct an electric fence around the park, to reduce human wildlife conflict and to stop the encroachment on the park by the locals, This fund raiser teams range from professional rally drivers to bush whackers whereby they go through various obstacles from cliffs, swamps to rugged terrain.)


 

LAKE BARINGO
Lake Baringo is a fresh water lake and constitutes one of the five lakes in the great rift valley here in Kenya. Located in the North western part of Kenya, It boasts of over 450 species of birds. Also an ornithological paradise.


 

LAKE BOGORIA
This National park is a salt water lake and boasts of a large number of flamingoes, pelicans. Most of the flamingoes that migrate from Lake Natron in Tanzania find their way to this lake. Another great attraction in this park are the Geysers, ‘Natural sauna’ some of these geysers shoot up few feet in the air, a major attraction to the visitors.


 

KAKAMEGA FOREST
Kakamega forest has the highest number of indigeneous tree species that exist nowhere else in Kenya, it is the last remaining of its kind and hosts wildlife as well as over 500 species of birdlife. It has an abundance of flora and fauna


 

NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi National park boasts as not only the oldest park in Kenya but also the only park in the world that borders a capital city. The highest number of the rare black rhino is fond here, Leopard, lion, cheetah among many other carnivores. The savanna grassland is also home to a good number of herbivores.
It harbours 500 species of birds and 55 different species of animals it’s also the second largest herbivore migration park after maasai mara.

The park is world renowed as the place where the former president Moi burned ten tonnes of ivory in 1989 in protest of the International trade of ivory. Major attractions include, Ivory burning site monument, Cheetah,Lion,Leopard, wildebeests,Zebras  and a walking trail at hippo pools.


 

DONYO SAPUK NATIONAL PARK
ALTITUDE:  2146m / 7035ft
AREA:  20.72 sq km
This is the former home of Kenya’s philanthropist settler Sir Winthrup McMillan and his wife Lady Lucie. The park is surrounded by dense forest that support a wide variety of birds and numerous primates. Buffaloes are dominant in this park hence the ‘Kikuyu people call Mt Kilimambogo’ (Buffalo Mountain).
The place is historic as the destination point of former American president Theodore Roosevelt and Sir Winston Churchill, a British statesman during the era of ‘Big Game Hunting’
This is a paradise for hikers, sightseers,campers and naturalists. The animals to be seen  include the Buffalo,colourful colombus monkeys, baboons, Bushbucks, Impala, Duikers among many others, Birdlife is also quite abundant.


 

SHABA NATIONAL RESERVE
The Reserve which is located in the Northern part of Kenya hosted the Television reality show ‘ SURVIVOR AFRICA’ . Here you are almost guaranteed close-up sighting of reticulated giraffes,Elephants and other species of antelopes and gazelles.


 

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Amboseli National park borders the highest Mountain in Africa ‘Mt Kilimanjaro’, and the staggering number of savannah Elephants makes it one of the most visited parks in Kenya. The eco-system here is a fragile one, High salinization due to increase in soil salts from the constant evaporation of Lake Amboseli. Hot and dry are the main weather conditions. The major attractions include, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru, Big five (Elephants,Lions,Leopard,Buffalo and Rhino)


 

TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK
This is the largest National  park in Kenya and its located in the south Eastern part of Kenya. During the 1900’s when the railway line was being built from Mombasa to Uganda, it cut across this vast area and two notorious lions nicknamed ‘MAN –EATERS’ terrorized and killed hundreds of railway workers. The movies ‘Ghost of the darkness and Man Eaters of Tsavo’ re-enact what happened. Currently in the Smithsonian Museum in New York Where they were mummified and put on display.


 

TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK.
Tsavo National park combined is the largest in Kenya, measuring some 22,000sq km which is 4% of Kenya land mass. This park features excellent and varied sceneries. The major attraction being The Mzima springs which produces an astonishing 50 million gallons of fresh water Daily, it also has an underground glass page where one can view Fish, hippos and crocodiles,


 

CHYULLU HILLS NATIONAL PARK
The Major attractions Chyullu caves, ‘SHETANI LAVA’ Swahili word for devils lava that erupted hundred years ago and spewed down over a vast area, the world longest lava tube. THE LEVIATHAN.  Attractions include Lions,Elephants, and the Elusive Klipspringer gazelle which is adapted to the Rocky habitat of the shetani lava


 

SHIMBA HILLS NATIONAL PARK
Located in the coastal part of Kenya, Shimba hills is home to the rare Sable Antelope that can only be found in this National park. Major attractions are Elephants, The shedrick falls, and the indigeneous forest cover. The Shimba Hills Lodge is also an attraction as it is built overlooking a watering hole and swing ladders that cut across the Evergreen bush if you want to go bird watching or just a bush walk.


 

MWALUGANJE ELEPHANT SANCTUARY
Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary is located in the south coast of Kenya, and as the name suggests it is home to hundreds of Elephants that are moved to other parks across the country to de-congest their staggering numbers.
Major attractions include the Elephants, duikers, gazelle, Impala , The flora and fauna and Birdlife.


 

MERU NATIONAL PARK
AREA: 4000sq km
Meru National Park is located in the North Eastern part of Kenya, the conservation area also includes, Bisanadi and Kora National parks. The world renowed conservationist George Adamson Together with His Wife Joy Adamson hand reared orphaned lion cubs here and later released them back into the wild, except for one lioness ‘Elsa’ which stayed with them and was buried side by side with the conservationist.
Major attractions include Lions, Elephants, The Rhino sanctuary,Adamson falls,


 

MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Mount Kenya stands at a height of 5199m sq, (currently the world record holder of world’s highest via “ferrata” (Iron road) at 4,985m above sea level.)Was inscribed as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1978 and a world heritage site in 1997. The highest mountain in Kenya and Africa’s second highest. The Highest peaks are Batian and Nelion, the third highest peak is Lenana. It is an important water tower providing water to about 50% of Kenya’s population and producing 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power. Mount Kenya was the second of the three highest peaks in Africa to be discovered by the Europeans, Dr Ludwig Krapf. Activities include, bird watching, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing.


 

SIBILOI NATIONAL PARK
AREA: 1570 sq km
This remote National park is located in the far up Northern Kenya. Its wonderful arid eco-system and prehistoric fossil sites that include fossils of a giant tortoise some three million years old, an ancient species of crocodiles that grew up to 15m long and a big tusked behemoth ( ancestor of today’s Elephant.) Attraction include L. Turkana, Fossil sites


 

HELLS GATE NATIONAL PARK
This park is located only an hour and half Northwest of Nairobi, it has a dry, dusty and unusually hot weather conditions. It is the only National park where you can walk or cycle without having an armed guard. The attractions include The Fischers tower, ( It’s a 25m column of volcanic rock. Try Hiking It !) Ol Njorowa gorge, central tower, Lammergeyer(very rare bird of prey introduced to the park)Rock Climbing, Mountain biking,Trekking,hot natural geysers and several scenes from the film “Tomb Raider” Starring Angelina Jolie


 

RUMA NATIONAL PARK
Located in the western part of Kenya, This relatively small  park was originally a nature reserve,  Ruma National park is a riverine woodland and savannah grassland and the weather here is wet and hot. The rare and elusive Roan Antelope can only be found here. Major attractions include, Jackson’s hartebeest, tiny oribi, Rothschild giraffe , 145 bird species, trekking , fishing and the Kanyamaa Escarpment.


 

MARSABIT NATIONAL PARK
Located in the Northern part of Kenya, it is one of the thickly forested and  smallest National parks in Kenya. Marsabit National park is renowed for being the home of AHMED the Elephant who lived in the park for approximately 60 years, The first president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta ordered declared that he be guarded 24 hours from poachers. The only elephant to be guarded by a presidential decree. A life size statue of Ahmed is at the National museums of Kenya in Nairobi. Attractions include, Caves,  Chalbi desert, Marsabit Mountain (which was created out of volcanic fire and shaped by mist.)


 

LAKE NAIVASHA
This fresh water lake is the highest in the Rift valley, located in the North west part of Kenya, And makes up one of the lakes in The Great Rift Valley, A one hour drive from the capital city Nairobi. The lake is home to hundred of fresh water birds as well as the nearby crescent Island. Attractions include, Hippos, boat ride to the Islands(Crescent Island one can walk around as animals such as duikers, gazelles and Impalas graze)


 

LAKE ELEMENTAITA
Lake Elementaita is a salt water lake, located in the North west part of Kenya. The Lake hosts hundreds of migrating Flamingoes and other species of birds. Attractions include, Buffaloes, Impala, Thompson gazelles Geysers and Natural hot springs.


 

THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY
This vast Escarpment was formed by the weakening of the earths crust, tearing itself apart forming an uneven gap, Thousands of kilometers long across the African continent. (Mozambique to Syria) The Great rift valley divides Kenya precisely down the length of the country. Some of the features found in the Rift valley Include, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita,Lake Bogoria, Lake Baringo and Lake Magadi ( The second saltest lake in the world). The lakes vary from fresh water to extreme alkalinity. Lakes High in Alcalinity hosts the blue green algae which is food to the millions of flamingoes that flock in these soda lakes and the fresh water lakes hosts fish and Fish eating eagles.


 

LAKE MAGADI
Lake Magadi prides its self as being the second saltest Lake in the world, Located in the south western part of Kenya, Salt deposits are harvested for commercial purposes, the weather is relatively hot and dusty



LAKE VICTORIA
Lake Victoria is located in the western part of the country, it is the second largest  fresh ware lake in the world. Also the source of the mighty Blue Nile. This Lake is shared among three countries , Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.


 

CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY
This Chimpanzee sanctuary is the only one in Kenya, and its located in the North west part of the country three hours from the capital Nairobi. Its home to some hundred primates, some which have been orphaned and rescued to recover here.


 

MOUNT LONGONOT
Standing at 2777mts Mount Longonot is an active volcanic mountain that has been dormant for many years. Generally the weather conditions here is hot and dusty.It offers trekking possibilities and the ascent up to the Rim of the mountain takes about two hours which is worth while once one has made it to the top. The dusty descent down  will take about an hour.


 

MOUNT ELGON NATIONAL PARK
Located in the far up western part of Kenya, Mt Elgon Borders Uganda to the west. The general weather conditions here is low altitude. It is an extinct volcano . The highest peak is Wagagai (4,321m) which is on the Ugandan side, on the Kenyan side Koitoboss summit is (4,187m). The major attraction is the Elephant digging for salts in the Kiptum caves just before dawn.


 

ARABUKO SOKOKE FOREST
 AREA: 60000 Hectares
Arabuko sokoke is located on the Kenyan coast, the largest and most important of all coastal forests in East Africa. It’s considered an important biodiversity area. The forest is a Unesco Biosphere Reserve. The forest is rich in wildlife and consists of three forests each with its own unique flora and fauna. The other habitat that forms this ecosystem is the Mida creek, which covers an area of about 32sq km and together with the Arabuko sokoke forest forms the Unesco Biosphere Reserve.
Like the Arabuko sokoke forest, the Mida creek is rated as an Important Biodiversity Area. (IBA) since it also supports rare and migratory bird species. It is an important stopover and non-breeding site for migrating birds, offering an ideal resting and feeding ground for birds migrating from Europe, Asia and the Middle East to Eastern and Southern Africa. Attractions include, The unique flora and fauna, herons, flamingos, young turtles,  Kingfishers, and the most intriguing the crab plover the only wader that makes its nest in burrows. 



MARINE PARKS:

MALINDI MARINE PARK.
Malindi marine park is located about 120km East of Mombasa town, Attractions include, High fish diversity, mangrove, coral reef gardens, lagoons and marine animals.

WATAMU MARINE PARK
Watamu marine park prides its self for being a home to over 600 species of fish, turtles and coral gardens that are merely 300metres from the shore.

MOMBASA MARINE RESERVE
This marine reserve has a coral reef which is rich in marine life, some of these include sea urchins, fish, jellyfish, sea cucumbers and star fish, its one of the busiest parks of Kenya marine parks.

KISITE MPUNGUTI MARINE PARK
This is one of the best and most accessible marine parks in Kenya, Its shallow waters makes marine life easy to spot and the brightly coloured coral rocks. Attractions include, Dolphins, sharks, turtles, butterfly fish and beautiful coral. Some of the activities include, snorkeling, diving and swimming with Instructors on hand to help the less experienced swimmers. For non swimmers there is glass bottom boat.

WASINI ISLAND
( dolphin island )
Wasini is an authentic fishing village with Arab coastal style houses, Ancient tombs and mosques. The attractions include, a 1000 year old coral garden managed by a devoted group of local women, dolphins, turtles,ancient baobab trees. Activities include, snorkeling, diving and afterwards relaxing at Charlie Claw’s Lazy Lagoon pool

FORT JESUS /FORT JESUS MUSEUM
Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese in 1593. This was a point for traders who came by ship through the Indian ocean mostly Arabs and Portuguese. Visit the Kilindini harbour where the slave and explorer ships used to dock and where African slaves were kept and later sold off. 

 

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