10 Best Game Parks in Kenya
6. Aberdares National Park
– Area: 762 km2, Location: Nyeri County
Aberdares comprises of an isolated mountain range that forms the eastern side of the Rift Valley, with its highest peak Ol Donyo Lesatima reaching 3999 m. A thrilling road across the forest gives way to views of Aberdare Range, Kinangop Peak, Twin Hills, Elephant Hill, Table Mountain, passing picturesque waterfalls and bamboo forests where big and small game can be easily spotted. Aberdares Park, described as a plateau of romantic views, is a treat to rare flora, waterfalls on icy streams and enormous wildlife resources. Aberdares National Park has unique floral interest, bearing many of the sub-alpine plants not usually found in the tropics, and is also a sanctuary for elephants, buffalo and rhino, the rare bongo and giant forest hogs. Unique to this park is the floodlit waterholes from where visitors observe wildlife from the balconies of Treetops Lodge or the Ark.
7. Nairobi National Park
– Area: 117 km2, Location: Nairobi County
The fact that Nairobi National Park sits just 7 kilometers from Nairobi’s Central District with such a fantastic concentration of animals is outright remarkable. Africa unfolds here around every bend, unfenced and untamed, with the superb silhouette of Nairobi in the background. Except for a few kilometers along the main roads near town (to keep the game out of traffic) the park is not fenced. Wildlife move freely in and out of it across the un-fenced boundary with Kapiti Plains. Although subject to seasonality there is always a fantastic concentration of most of the animals which visitors can expect to encounter during safari in Kenya. There are more than 100 fauna species in Nairobi National Park. Game viewing is exceptional in the early morning hours and early evening, when the sunset behind Ngong Hills often provides a fine background for photographers. Nairobi Park has many miles of all weather roads, laid out it numbered circuits.
8. Tsavo National Parks
– Area: 21, 812 km2 Tsavo East, Location: Kitui and Taita Taveta Counties
– Area: 9,065 km2 Tsavo West, Location: Taita Taveta County
Tsavo National Parks – East and West – are famous not only for their size but also as the key stronghold for big game in Kenya. Tsavo East covers about 20% of Kitui County while Tsavo West covers approximately 60% of Taita Taveta County. Its population of about 20,000 elephants is believed to be the largest concentration of elephants in the wild. There are many spectacles in both Tsavo Park including the Mzima Springs: “There, the dry valley of arid lava stands in parched contrast to the millions of gallons of crystal sparkling water which gush out to the ground to provide beautiful pools, framed by palms and tamarinds”. There’s also the Lugard Falls, Mudanda Rock, Shetani Lava Flow, the Kitichwa Tembo Hill, Chaimu Crater, Lake Jipe, and the near Chyulu Hills National Park.
9. Shimba Hills National Park
– Area: 300 km2, Location: Kwale County
Shimba Hills was declared a National Forest in 1903 and then designated as a National Reserve in 1968. It was gazetted partly to protect the population of the rare sable antelope, and in 1971 it received an addition of the also endangered roan antelope. Aside from being popular as a sanctuary for elephants, Shimba Hills National Park has one of Kenya’s most attractive scenery. The rolling hills with open grasslands and patches of rain forest overlooking the Indian Ocean serve as one the most impressive landscapes in Kenya. The park is linked with a fenced elephant corridor to the lovely 24 km2 Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary. Visitors to the Shimba Hills National Park can also enjoy tours of the Sheldrick Falls, an impressive 25 meters high waterfall of fresh spring water, accessible by a marked 2 kms footpath through the lush gallery forests and spectacular views.
10. Masai Mara National Reserve
– Area: 1,510 km2, Location: Nark County
Masai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly the crown-jewel of Kenya’s faunal sanctuaries. The rolling grassland, acacia woodland and the patches of riverine vegetation of Masai Mara Reserve offers dramatic and memorable scenery and an abundance of Africa’s cherished game. Ecologically, it’s part of the Serengeti ecosystem extending from over the border with Tanzania. Masai Mara National Reserve accounts for 75 percent of wildlife in all Kenya’s protected areas. Most animals within the park move with seasonality in the grazing, most notably the annual migration of the wildebeest. More than any other reserve and park in Kenya the Masai Mara is dotted by umpteen luxury lodges, tented camps and campsites. The are almost 35 revered luxury lodges mainly in the conservancies adjoining the Mara – Lemek Conservancy, Mara North Conservancy, the Mara Triangle, Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Naibosho, Olare, and Motorogi Conservancy.
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