You might have heard people talk about visiting Kenya when on safari in Africa. So you wonder what Kenya is or why Kenya?
Well, Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It is famous for having a variety of wildlife species brought about by the vast Savannah grasslands stretched out across the country that makes a good home for many animals.
Due to this, there are many wildlife sanctuaries that make Kenya as a tourist destination popular in the African continent.
The country has been on steady growth and due to this, there has been a lot of human-animal conflicts which has brought about various conservationist from all over the world build up conservancies in the country try to preserve the natural animal habitat and also help different communities interact harmoniously with the animals.
The capital city of Kenya is Nairobi which has an international airport connecting to different hubs across the continent to ease travel. The country encompasses Savannah, lake lands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands.
There are various places to go on safari from the Nairobi National Park in the capital city to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve where the wild beast migration happens annually. The Amboseli National Park offering views to Tanzania’s 5,895m Mt Kilimanjaro.
Beach resorts line the coast with vibrant coral reefs that make Watamu Marine National Park in Malindi a popular diving area. It’s possible to hike or climb 5,199m-tall Mt Kenya whose snowy peaks dominate the central highlands.
We have Lake Nakuru National Park in the west which shelters a massive flamingo population. Lamu Island offers tranquil beaches, mosques and tours in the region’s typical dhow boats known for their slanted triangular sails and pointed bows.
Nairobi as a capital city has one of its kind National Park that plays host to a variety of wildlife including the endangered black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes and a diverse birdlife with over 400 species recorded. The are picnic sites, campsites and a walking trail for hikers.
The same area that has a park also has an animal orphanage that takes care of the vulnerable wild animals most rescued from the wild injured or separated from their herd at an early age.
Nairobi is also home to the National Museum with exhibits spanning native art to natural history and the roving Maasai Market. Some conservationist has also found their place in this city.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which hosts a number of orphaned baby elephants which were rescued from the wild after being separated from their herd or the mum killed by poachers in exchange of ivory. The elephants are weaned into adulthood while being rehabilitated with the intention of sending them back to the wild and reuniting them with their herds. The Trust is open to the public for one hour daily and also allows people to adopt a baby elephant at an affordable fee, as a foster you get a private visit and help feed them.
Giraffe centre is located 5 kilometres (3.1mi) from the capital centre. It is a place that protects the endangered Rothschild giraffe that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The place is also home to several warthogs which freely roam the area along with the giraffes.
Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli National Park is in southern Kenyan region also known as The Kilimanjaro Royal Court, crowned by Mt Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest peak. The park boast of having large herds of elephants that can be viewed up close.
The observation hill offers panoramas view of Mt Kilimanjaro peak and the park’s plains and swamps. There are other wildlife species including giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and hundreds of bird species. There is also Lake Amboseli on the western side which is normally dry outside the rainy season.
Point to note: The roads in Amboseli have a loose surface of volcanic soil that is dusty in the dry season and impassable in the wet season.
Samburu National Reserve
The Samburu National Reserve is a game reserve on the banks of the Ewaso Ngi’ro river in Samburu county, Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve.
The reserve is a rugged and semi-desert park located in Samburu county, neighbouring the Samburu tribe known for their remote culture and nomadic ways of life.
Due to its remote distance and inaccessibility, the park has retained a naturally serene and quiet feeling. The game reserve is known for its rare species of unique animals namely: the long neck gerenuk, gravy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and beisa onyx.
Other wild animals present include cheetahs, lions, elephants, buffaloes and hippos. The elusive leopard is often known to visit the park in the evenings.
The Ewaso Ngi’ro river is also known to have a huge population of the Nile crocodile.
Tsavo National Park
Tsavo is made up of two separate parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Located in Coast Province of Kenya in between Nairobi City and Mombasa city.
Tsavo East National Park
This is one of the largest and oldest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometres along with the 300 kilometres long Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world.
This is home to most of the largest mammals, vast herds of dust-red elephants, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, hippos, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, gerenuk and the prolific birdlife features 500 recorded species.
Tsavo West National Park
The park covers 9,065 square kilometres, the Nairobi-Mombasa road and a railway divide it from the adjoining Tsavo East National Park. The park is a popular destination for its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River.
Other Places to visit
Apart from the above-mentioned places, we have other parks and site visits like:
- The Abadeares National Park which is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range in the Kenyan Highlands.
- Hell’s Gate National Park which lies south of Lake Naivasha, northwest of Nairobi.
- Diani beach which has many beach resorts on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. The beach is about 10 kilometres long, from the Kongo river to the north and Galu beach to the south.