When you walk out of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at Nairobi to begin your Kenya Safari, you have plenty of options, although most people only know about Masai Mara. Here are some suggested National Parks from the almost 40 you can choose to visit. If you prefer, pre-book a package tour that includes many of your preferences. In Kenya, as a traveler, the choices you have will spoil you.
Nairobi is a great place to spend a few nights on the way or coming back from Safari. It is a modern city with great accommodation, restaurants and plenty to see or go down to the coast to Mombassa and unwind on the beach after your Kenya Safari.
Kenya Safari Hints and Tips
When planning, take your time. Distances are long and far in Kenya. Don’t allocate only one or two days and rush around at top speed looking for the “Big Five”. You’ll end up disappointed because you won’t see many animals. While on your Kenya Safari you must relax and be still. Learn to listen and look close as well as far.
The Wildebeest migration is one of the most amazing natural spectacles. You can see the game all year round, but the migrations are in May/June, July/August and again in September/October.
In the south, the Masai Mara is famous for the sheer numbers and diversity of its game, Amboseli for its enchanting location on the Tanzania border at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and Tsavo for its elephants. In the centre, Lake Nakuru is host to millions of pink flamingos. The densely forested park of Mount Kenya – straddling the equator but snow-covered-provides the special excitement of treetop views at the animals’ waterholes; Samburu’s semi-deserts boast a variety of game.
Some Game Parks and Reserves in Kenya
* Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is well known for the part in the seasonal migration from the Serengeti. You can see thousands of wildebeests and zebras moving across the plains. Game viewing is excellent year round. The Masai Mara is one of the most famous and finest animal-watching areas on earth, with plenty of lions (see it from a different point of view from a hot air balloon flight). This region’s choice of accommodation includes lodges as well as renowned luxury tented camps.
* Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha
Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha – myriad animal and bird species. Nakuru is a World Heritage Site, famous for its vast numbers of pink flamingos. Naivasha has been described as a ‘bewilderment of birds’ with a population of up to 400 different species.
Relatively small by Kenyan standards, the Samburu-Buffalo Springs Game Reserve gives you a great opportunity to see a wide variety of game in a compact area of 330 sq km (127 sq miles). It’s location is on the Uaso Nyiro River north of Aberdare Forest.
*Tsavo National Park
This is not one park but two, with east and west sections straddling the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway to the southeast of the capital and east of Amboseli. The star attractions, up in the park’s hill country, are Kenya’s largest herds of elephant, sometimes amazingly red, covered in the dust and mud of the region’s soil.
*Aberdare National Park
This fairy park is a wonderland of cascading waterfalls, bamboo forests and sub-alpine plants. Visitors to this park can stay overnight at one of the tree hotels built on high elevation overlooking a floodlit waterhole and salt lick.
*Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli National Park is one of the region’s most photogenic parks. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at over 19,300 feet, dominates the park.
*Central Island National Park
Now designated as a World Heritage Site, you can reach this island approx. 20-40 minute boat.
These are only a few of the forty plus National Parks in Kenya. Take a look at the map and you can see the location of various parks so that you can plan your perfect Kenya Safari.