1. Maasai Mara
2. Tsavo National Park
4. Ol Pejeta
5. Lake Naivasha
6. Aberdare National Park
7. Mount Kenya National Park
8. Sibiloi National Park
9. Lake Turkana
11. Chalbi Desert
12. Meru & Kora
13. Lake Victoria
1. Maasai Mara
No matter which animals you want to see in Kenya, here you will certainly not be disappointed! The Maasai Mara National Reserve is an area of 1510 square km. The name is a combination of the two most characteristic elements of this savanna: the Maasai tribe and the river Mara.
It is part of the much larger Serengeti National Park extending throughout Tanzania. The amazing spectacle prepared by nature almost guarantees you to see elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, lions, hyenas and many other species of African animals every year in search of food from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara. Animals travel across national borders. It’s best to observe them during the Great Migration, when they come to Kenya in July and August.
What’s more, the horse antelope lives here – a species not found anywhere else in Kenya. An interesting representative of the fauna is not only the Big Five! Add to this small rodents and insects of all kinds, and countless species of birds.
It can be cold in Maasai Mara, because the park lies at an altitude of about 2000 m above sea level. In the morning and evening, the temperature can be very non-African and drops to 10-15 degrees C. It is good to have warm clothes and short shorts and shoes for changing, because it gets hot during the day.
The best safaris in Kenya, walking, car and even a hot air balloon are organized in Maasai Mara!
2. Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park is the largest national park in Kenya, famous from its red elephants and baobabs. Its area is over 22 thousand. km 2, of which 9065km2 falls on Tsavo West and 13741 km2 on Tsavo East. It lies at an altitude of about a 1000 meters above sea level. So it is hot and tropical.
The land in Tsavo’s Parks is red as brick. Elephants wander around it, which have the habit of spreading sand or mudding, which protects their skin from the strong tropical sun.
In Tsavo West Park it is worth going to Mzima Springs – these are 2 lakes full of hippos and crocodiles. Next to one of them is the underwater observatory, which can be reached by stairs. The windows are at the water level and below, so you can watch fish and swimming hippos from a safe distance.
One of the most beautiful places in Tsavo East Park is Lugard’s Falls, 40km north of Voi, where the Galana River breaks through the gorge among the colorful rocks.
In Tsavo Park we will meet lions, cheetahs, leopards, buffaloes, spotted hyenas, warthogs, Maasai giraffes, cow antelopes, duikers, goby, rock goats, impales, Grant’s gazelles, oryxes, elandas and zebras.
Rare species include caracal, kudu and buffalo. In addition, in the Tsavo Park, there is a herd of Grevy’s zebras that have fled from poachers from Samburu.
Tsavo East or West?
Tsavo East Park is more modest and there are more tourists there. Tsavo West Park is more pristine and wild.
Amboseli is a park located in southern Kenya, close to the border of Tanzania, at the foot of Kilimanjaro. The vast plains, forests, swamps, animal abundance and magnificent views of Kilimanjaro are Amboseli at a glance.
The park looks the most beautiful at dusk when the animals go out in search of food, and the summit of Kilimanjaro on the border with Tanzania is covered by a veil of clouds.
Amboseli is one of the oldest parks in East Africa, protected for 40 years, with an area of only 392 square kilometers. The park is famous for its dignified beauty and animals that you can approach.
About 600 elephants live here – it is one of the few populations in Africa, that poachers did not kill. In addition, we will also see lions, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes and gazelles.
In the dry bush, you can sometimes observe small herds of generics. Hippos live in water bodies and in swampy troughs created by the waters flowing from Kilimanjaro. Over 400 species of birds also live here.
Because research has been carried out in the park for years on the life and habits of mammals, animals have become accustomed to the presence of cars – tourists can observe them without getting out of the vehicles.
Animals, however, remember unpleasant encounters with Masai hunters, which is why they are afraid of people moving on foot.
4. Ol Pejeta
Ol Pejeta is a mosaic of grassy plains, forested meadows, acacia trees and evergreen thickets with an area of over 350 km2.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest African rhino sanctuary in East Africa, located at the foot of the Aberdare hills and the magnificent snowy Mount Kenya.
Ol Pejeta boasts an amazing variety of animals including local chimpanzees and the Big Five (endangered black and white rhinos, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and lions).
The combination of amazing nature and stunning views of the open plains guarantees an unforgettable safari experience.
5. Naivasha Lake
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in Kenya, just outside of the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County, which lies northwest of Nairobi. It is part of the Great Rift Valley.
The name of the lake comes from the local Maasai name „Nai’posha”, which means „rough water” due to sudden storms that may occur here.
The basin lies at the bottom of the ditch ar an altitude of 1890 meters above sea level. Its area is 170 square kilometers.
The rivers: Engare, Melewa and Gilgil flow into it.
One of the most interesting features of the lake is its nature, especially the protected population of hippos. Despite their weight, hippos are extremely sensitive creatures, with good night vision – always follow the advice in houses and campsites after dark.
Lake Naivasha is aslo home to over 400 different species of birds – we will find here amongst great white-tailed eagles, ospreys, hawfinches, trunks and many species of herons.
Here you can also find giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impalas and even elands and congoons.
6. Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is located in central – west Kenya. It has an area of 766 square km, founded in 1950.
It covers a variety of areas, from mountain peaks (Aberdare Mountains) to deep mountain valleys with streams and waterfalls. Swamps, bamboo and tropical forests stretch on the lowest.
Icy, full of trout streams flow through the plateau, and then fall into waterfalls and join into the tributaries of the largest rivers in the country.
Despite the harsh climactic conditions, many animal species liked the place.
Here you can observe: elephants, buffaloes, elands, koby, bush banks, ridbocks, duikers, forest pigs, warthogs, servals, lions, hyenas, whit-throated talons. Rhinos, as elsewhere are very rare – sometimes they appear in the halls.
Herds of elephants and buffalos follow the rains – in the dry season they inhabit rainforests and bamboo, and when the downpours begin, they go out into the halls.
Less often you can see here the African golden cat and forest bongo (a shy antelope living in the bamboo forest).
7. Mount Kenya National Park
The national parks in the Kenyan Highlands are a great place to discover the unique nature and long hikes along mountain trails. One of them is the Kenya Volcanic Massif National Park, which is about 3.5 milion years old with peaks reaching over 5 thousands meters about see level. The entire National Park with the second highest peak in Africa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is characterized by lush vegetation in the lower parts and picturesque higher parts, with eternal snow and glaciers.
Kenya Massif National Park is located in central-western Kenya. It has an area of 766 square kilometers.
It was established in 1949 to protect Kenya’s wildlife and the surrounding environment which is a wildlife habitat and also acts as a water catchment area to provide water in Kenya.
The government in Kenya had four reasons to create a National Park on and around Mount Kenya. The importance of tourism for the local and national economy was important to preserve the area’s beautiful landscapes preserve the park’s biodiversity and the catchment area for the surrounding area.
Volcanic deposits in the soil of the surrounding region and the enormous amount of fresh water coming off the slopes make the area particularly favorable for agriculture.
In Mount Kenya National Park, you can meet: elephants, white-tailed mongoose, black-fronted duikers, mole rats, mud and water shrubs, eland, leopards, black rhinoceros and buffalo.
8. Sibiloi National Park
Sibiloi National Park is located on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. Established in 1973 by the Kenyan Goverment to protect wildlife and paleontologist sites, it covers an area of 1570 square kilometers.
It is a park quite rarely visited by tourists. The park is one of the better protected due to valuable minerals occurring in the park and its surroundings.
Sibiloi is serves as a stop for migrating water birds and is the main breeding place for the Nile crocodile. Wild land animals include, but are not limited to: zebras, Grant’s gazelles, lions, leopards, striped hyenas, kudu, cheetahs and northern melts.
Another attraction is the large petrified tree trunks and the Kobi-Fora, paleontological site, where fossil residues have contributed to understanding human evolution more than any other place on the continent.
Sibiloi is surrounded by Turkana, Gabra and Dassanach which are communities with very rich and uncontaminated cultural traditions.
9. Lake Turkana
Lake Turkana – an emerald reservoir in the northern part of Kenya, also known as the „jade sea”, stretches for 250km and a width of up to 30km, crossing the rocky desert in two and reaching the border with Ethiopia.
The lake is surrounded by chains of volcanic mountains contrasting with the threatening water surface, while strong winds rage in the desolate areas, giving them an even harsher image.
Jade waters were discovered for the world by Australians in 1888, giving them the name Rudolf Lake in honor of the Archduke of Australia.
Due to the fact that the north of Kenya is poorly developed in terms of communication, the best way to reach the lake is by a flight plane.
The largest desert lake in the world is inhabited by a huge population of Nile crocodiles, birds and hippos, as well as species of large fish, such as Nile perch weighing nearly 100kg.
A trip to the lake usually includes a cruise on a huge reservoir and visiting a traditional village of the Turkana tribe, accommodation in a tribal hut or specially prepared tents.
An exciting adventure can be a trip to Central Island Park, which is one of the islands of the lake, which is a volcanic crater with captivating lakes inhabited by unique species of fish and crocodiles.
Kericho is a city located in western Kenya at the foot of the Man Plateau. This is called „tea capital”. The upland area, temperate climate and a large amount of rainfall create perfect conditions for the cultivation of this plant.
When the first Europeans arrived, most of the area was covered with mountain forests. Thanks to significant investments, the forests were cut down and gradually planted with tea bushes. Bright green hills are one of the most productive tea producing areas in the world. The bushes also protect the slopes against erosion.
The Kericho property covers more than 8700 hectares of land and employs approximately 5500 permanent workers and several thousand temporary workers in high season.
Well-kept and shaded by trees, Kericho is ideal for walks, especially as some neighborhoods strike with an oriental atmosphere, rarely found in Kenya.
You can visit individual tea plantations here, which are combined with tasting, shopping and learning the secrets of growing and producing a noble plant.
Kenya is the world’s third largest tea producer.
11. Chalbi Desert
Chalbi desert is a small 100 000 square kilometer desert in Marsabit County in northern Kenya, located near the border with Ethiopia.
The north of Kenya is not entirely explored by mass tourism and is not as famous as the popular coast and surroundings of Nairobi, but it is considered a fascinating area full of landscape and nature surprises.
The nomadic tribes of Samburu and Boran appear most often in the endless wastes of the Chalbi Desert.
You can see a mirage here – large lakes of water visible from afar, disappear as you approach them. But the real herds of camels belonging to the Gabbra people in the Kalacha oasis turn out to be real – the men who guard them often raise their rifles in a welcoming gesture.
The capital of the region is the city of Marsabit, which is a big surprise for travelers due to its location on a small hill emerging from the plains. This unusual oasis of tall trees, especially in the early mornings, is enveloped in a light fog that gives the city a fairy-tale look. Marsabit is the largest trading city in this part of Kenya, so you can buy the most interesting souvenirs at the city market.
12. Meru & Kora
Both Parks were built on former hunting grounds to protect wild fauna. Even though they are far from the main safari routes, they are well worth exploring.
Meru – the city is an excellent base for exploring the Meru National Park. The city marketplace is surprising with a large selection of goods, while the Meru Museum is the most interesting place for tourists. The oldest brick building in the city has in its collection exhibits related to the traditions and culture of the local tribes. The museum also has a snake park, a zoo and interesting herb gardens with various medicinal herbs.
The number of animals in the Park is very high. Here we will meet large herds of buffaloes grazing on the Tana River, where crocodiles and hippos also live. And also herds of elephants, Grevy’s zebras, oryxes, reticulated giraffes, decorated with a characteristic mosaic of rusty spots interspersed with thin white lines.
Dikdiks, generuks and big cats are a bit harder to spot and can easily hide in tall grass and thick brushwood. Elanders and cow antelopes prefer wet meadows, small kudu live alone or in pairs and can be seen at dusk among the brushwood or at the bottom of valleys.
Bird lovers get a unique opportunity to observe rare palm-eaters, whose diet consists of palm fruits and carrion. You can also see Swifts building nests under the crowns of palm trees. On the Tana River, fishermen nest large and rare African grebes, resembling long-necked ducks or small cormorants. Common guinea fowl and vultures are quite common.
South of the Tana River is the Kora National Reserve. The game is not very numerous here, but you can spot lions, small kudu, elephants and cobas. The beautiful river in this section is inhibited by hippos and crocodiles.
13. Lake Vicktoria
Lake Vicktoria is a lake of tectonic origin, located in the East African Highlands. It is included in the so-called African Great Lakes. Its waters are divided into three countries: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
It covers an area of 68,8 thousands square kilometers, making it the largest lake in Africa and the largest tropical lake in the world in terms of surfaces area, as well as the second freshwater lake in the world, and the third in the world if all lakes, including salt ones, are considered. In terms of volume, it ranks eighth in the world.
Lake Vicktoria is located in the Nile basin. He falls into it, among others Kager, which is considered the source section of this river. The Vicktoria Nile flows from it.
Sailing on the lake on a regular basis is well developed.
The local people live off fishing. To increase catches, the Nile perch was introduced into its waters, the appearance of which disturbed the lake’s ecosystem. Many endemic fish species are on the brink of extinction.
As the first European, the lake was seen in 1858 by the English traveler John Speke, who named it in honor of British Queen Victoria.
Nairobi – the capital of Kenya is so exotic that it can certainly positively surprise every European. The chaotic mix of many cultures, colonial architecture, ubiquitous greenery and a relatively young but interesting history are the reasons why more and more tourists want to visit one of the fastest growing cities in East Africa. An additional advantage of the „city of sun” is the relatively close proximity to the coast and the vicinity of many interesting tourist attractions and national parks.
Whay to see in the capital of Kenya:
Giraffe Center – a center near Nairobi, not only maintains and expands the giraffe population, but is also a great place for children who can take a close look at nice African animals and even feed them. Nearby you can also visit the bird sanctuary or take a walk along the interesting nature path.
Karen Blixen Museum – a treat for lovers of the Danish writer who settled permanently in Kenya and wrote there, among others, famous memoirs known as „Farewell to Africa”. Tourists can visit the authentic Blixen house and beautiful gardens, where they can devote themselves to a romantic journey into the times of the writing of the novel.
Nairobi National Park – the first of many national parks in Kenya founded in 1946 on the territory of an animal reserve between Nairobi and the Athi River. From the window of a plane or jeep you can see several hundred species of mammals and birds living in the wild, from the smallest to the impressive size of giraffes, rhinoceros and lions haunting gazelles. The best vantage point for the vast terrain is Impala Hill and the Mokoyeti campsite.
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – runs an elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya. It was founded in 1977 by Dame Daphne Sheldrick in honor of her late husband, David Sheldrick. Their daughter, Angela Sheldrick has been running it since 2001. The Elephant Orphanage is located in Nairobi National Park and is open to the public daily form 11:00-12:00. At this time, the orphans come to the southern mud bath and feed. There is a gift shop on site.
Ngong Hills – a great place to travel by rental car. According to legends, the hills are the pieces of earth left under God’s fingernails after He finished creating the world. From the picturesque hills, you can admire not only Nairobi and the Great Rift region, but also antelopes and buffaloes living in the wild. The most beautiful views of the savannah are from the top of Point Lamwia, and an additional attraction in the area is the statue of Finch, the man with whom Karen Blixen flew by plane.