Even for repeat visitors, Kenya’s dense wildlife population and diversity always manage to captivate.
With over 40 game reserves and national parks, each with various animals, it is easy to see why most visitors always yearn for repeat safaris.
Besides being a leading wildlife destination, Kenya also has a myriad birdlife species, making it every birdwatcher’s paradise. The country’s beauty extends to its spectacular landscapes and beach vistas.
For instance, when heading out to the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, you can look forward to seeing the Great Rift Valley. It is a magnificent continuous depression that runs from Lebanon right through northern Africa, down to Kenya, and southwards up to Mozambique.
Looking down at the Rift is quite a thrilling experience.
Here are some of the other stunning natural attractions the country offers.
Amboseli National Park
If you are looking to view large elephant populations-the world’s largest land animal, then Amboseli is the place to be. Did you know that a male elephant can grow up to 3-meters tall and weigh up to 6 tons?
That is just about the weight of an average delivery truck!
Of all the parks and reserves in East and Central Africa, Amboseli has the most significant number of elephants. The park has slightly over 1600 of these gentle giants roaming an area of 392Km2
You are thus assured of spotting plenty of them every time you visit.
Besides its elephant populace, the park is also known for the iconic views of the ice-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. It makes for scenic, picture-perfect camera shots.
Other animals you will find at the park include buffalos, lions, zebras, hyraxes, dik-diks, leopards, cheetahs and lots others.
Bird lovers can look forward to more than 600 bird species, including the malachite kingfisher, Goliath heron, African jacana, long-toed lapwing, gray-crowned crane, among others.
2. Maasai Mara Game Reserve
The Maasai Mara is the park that gave rise to the African safari. To date, it continues to boast of the most extensive wildlife and bird species, as well as the eighth wonder of the world- the annual wildebeest migration.
It is also a perfect example of how humans can coexist with nature. It is not only home to over 450 animal species, but is also where you find the Maasai people, one of east Africa’s oldest indigenous people.
The most notable of Mara’s animals are the Big Five, which comprise the African lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhino.
These five were so named due to how difficult they proved to hunt. Thankfully, animal trophy hunting is now a thing of the past, as it was declared illegal, leading to increased numbers of these beautiful beasts.
Other animals of the Mara include hyenas, mongooses, giraffes, wild dogs, jackals, zebras, impala, cheetah, and plenty more.
Although the Mara is populated by these gorgeous creatures all year round, one of the best times to witness full-fledged wildlife drama is during the annual wildebeest migration.
It is a time when more than two million wildebeests make a mass exodus from the Serengeti across the crocodile rich Mara River into the Mara savannah.
To say that it is a sight to behold would be an understatement.
If your plan is to visit the Masai Mara for the annual wildebeest migration, we recommend choosing an offroad vehicle such as the Toyota Sequoia, Toyota Land Cruiser, Land Rover Discovery and other 4×4 vehicles. These vehicles are able to access parts of the park that smaller vehicles such as Safari vans can’t access.
Get in touch with a Maasai Mara travel expert to learn how to schedule a visit to the migration.
3. Tsavo National Parks
The Tsavo National Parks are comprised of Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks,
Collectively, the two parks take up a colossal 4% of Kenya’s landmass! They are the largest wildlife parks in Kenya. In particular, Tsavo East is one of the largest animal game reserves globally.
Some animals found at the park include elephants, kobs, elephants, lions, buffaloes, zebras, eland, topis, Kudu, gerenuk, crocodile, waterbucks, warthogs, giraffe, rhino, and hippo.
With 675 lions and plenty of other predators roaming around, Tsavo never has a dull moment.
So renowned are the park’s lions that they were the inspiration behind the movie ‘The Ghost and the Darkness, which chronicled the adventures of colonial railway builders and the then man-eaters of Tsavo.
However, you need not worry about the lions today as tours to the park are always aboard comfortable and secure 4×4 safari Land Cruisers.
4. Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is every photographer’s dream come true.
It is a park bursting with color and exciting backdrops. On the one hand is the lake and its blue hues, punctuated by dashes of rich pink on the shores, thanks to flocks of flamingos that feed at the lake.
On the other hand, the surrounding land has green and brown backdrops and hosts more than 50 animal species.
These include white and black rhinos, lions, hippos, colobus monkeys, elephants, giraffes, leopards, impalas, vervet monkeys, waterbucks, pythons, jackals, hyenas, and many other animals.
The park is also a haven of birdlife, with more than 450 recorded avian species.
While it is primarily renowned for its flocks of flamingos, which can sometimes number up to two million, the park’s other high flyers include marabou storks, fish eagles, yellow-billed pelicans, and hammerkops.
5. Nairobi National Park
So rich is Kenya’s wildlife that even visitors in a hurry or on short trips can still access the animals in their natural habitat closer to the capital.
The Nairobi National Park has the unique distinction of being a sizable natural animal habitat situated close to a modern city.
Besides copious amounts of animal varieties, the park is a protected area whose animals can come and go as they please.
Fenced on only three sides, the park’s animals can wander in and out of the park and into the Kitengela plains.
The park hosts 4 of the Big Five, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes, and lions and a host of migratory birds.