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SAFARIS IN KENYA

Masai Mara Game Reserve | Lake Nakuru National Park | Lake Navaisha National Park | Lake Bogoria National Park | Lake Baringo National Park | Lake Elementaita National Park | Aberdare National Park | Amboseli National Park | Meru National Park | Mt. Kenya National Park | Tsavo East National Park | Tsavo West National Park | Shimba Hills National Park | Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve

MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE

Virtually everyone who visits Kenya goes to this 320-sq. km. of open grassland dotted with flat-topped acacia trees. A visit to Mara is truly a staggering one, and which is likely to have a profound effect on your own feeling of insignificance. This is the Kenyan section of the Serengeti and animals are in abundant. All year round, the Masai Mara, a living tapestry of grassy savanna, spreading thorn trees, rounded hills and tall gallery forests with its abundant wild life draw hundreds of thousands of photographers and visitors from all over the world.

The Mara is home to millions of wild game such as wildebeest and gazelle among others and are continuously tracked by Africa's great predators. The annual migration of these animals is one of the most inspiring sights on earth, and this is the dramatic life and death struggle that tourists come to see. Other animals seen are lion, elephant, cheeter, leopard, zebra, antelope, impala, Thomson gazelle, topi, giraffe, baboon, jackal, warthog, rhino and hyena.

A visit to the Masai village, located inside the reserve. This is a cultural village of the Masai tribe's people and it is an ideal place to take video pictures, buy trinkets and beadwork.

Ballooning Safaris, Hot-air ballooning at dawn as you drift quietly, is the best way of viewing the savanna plains and the animals without the intrusion of vehicles and the dozens of tourists.

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LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

This is 200-sq. km shallow Soda Lake lying in the volcanic strewn Rift Valley and is one of a chain of lakes stretching the length of Kenya from Tanzania to Ethiopia. It is world's greatest bird spectacle with millions of pink flamingos and pelicans, birds of prey like vulture, eagle and such animals as waterbuck and black rhino, buffalo, Reedbuck, gazelle, leopard, hyrax, hippos, velvet-monkey, Rothschild giraffe and baboon. This is an ideal place for ornithologists and photographers.

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LAKE NAVAISHA NATIONAL PARK

This is one of the Rift Valley's fresh water lakes with different ecology from that of the soda lakes. It is also home to a large variety of bird species. Main activities are fishing (both sport and commercial fishing).

The Crater Lake found here is magnificent with lush green vegetation at the bottom of a beautiful volcanic crater. HELL'S GATE Located in Naivasha area, is one of the lowland parks on the country which you can walk through.
The looming cliffs and the Hell's Gate gorge itself are spectacular and home to a variety of birds and such animals as zebra, baboons, Thomson gazelle, antelope, cheeter, and leopard. Another main attraction is the Fischer's Tower 25-m high calcium of volcanic rock.

The Olkaria Geothermal power station, which uses one of the hottest sources of energy in the world, is also a spectacular site, with plumes of steam rising into the air.

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LAKE BOGORIA NATIONAL PARK

This is a shallow lake found in the Rift Valley, covering an area of 30 square kilometer, with a depth of 9 meters and home to flamingos. Other attractions are the HOT SPRINGS and GEYSERS (with the Hot Springs boiling hot), gazelles, greater kudu, and impala. The sheer face of the northeastern ends of the Aberdare Ranges dominates the eastern side of the lake.

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LAKE BARINGO NATIONAL PARK

This is a fresh water lake in the Rift Valley, covering an area of 170 square kilometer, with a depth of 12 meters. KAMPI YA SAMAKI is the center of exploration in lake Baringo. This is a spectacular and mellow place to visit particularly with the Boating trips to the islands such as the 'Devil's island' and also with the bird walk, together with the various water sports available to tourists.

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LAKE ELEMENTAITA NATIONAL PARK

This is a shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley with ecology similar to that of Lake Nakuru. It is home to a large variety of birds such as flamingos.

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ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK

Beautiful wild moorlands, encircling Kenya's third highest mountain range, nestle this misty realm where elephants roam through lichen-hung forests as spectacular waterfalls plunge into churning pools, cascading into trout-filled streams amidst mossy dells. A haven for anglers, walkers and lovers of solitude. Exhale as you savour the unspoiled glories of the Aberdare range, unwind in some of Kenya's most famous lodges and absorb the breathtaking vistas of Mount Kenya's glittering coronet, sorrounded by the sparkling lakes of the great rift valley.

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AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Amboseli lies immediately North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. Amboseli was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 392 km2, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 Km2 Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by 6 communally owned group ranches.

The National Park embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty - the landscape is dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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MERU NATIONAL PARK

Meru is a savanna National Park, 35km east of Maua town in the north eastern lowlands below the Nyambeni hills. Meru is part of a complex of protected areas along the Tana river that includes the adjacent Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves (to the east and south respectively), Kora national park and Rahole national reserve. The wetter North Western sector is hilly, with rich volcanic soils. The land flattens towards the East, where grey alluvial volcanic soils appear. The area is crossed by numerous permanent streams, draining from the Nyambenes and flowing in parallel between tounges of lava, south eastwards towards the Tana River. As well as the many streams that cross it, the park is bounded by three large rivers: the Tana to the South, the Ura to the South West and the Rojeweru to the East. There are several prominent inselbergs of basement rock, notably Mughwango and Leopard rock.

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MT. KENYA NATIONAL PARK

Mt. Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands, East of the Rift Valley. Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks - Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. The park includes a variety of habitats ranging from higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial morains.

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TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK

Tsavo East is a very popular Park as is indicated by the high number of tourists. Some of the attractive scenic features include:

  • Large herds of elephants and other wildlife.
  • It is easily accessible by road, air (light aircraft) and railway. The Park is a “catchments” for coast resorts’ visitors.
  • Popular legend of Tsavo “The Man-eaters of Tsavo”.
  • Yatta plateau – It is about 290Km long and is one of the worlds longest lava flows.
  • Lugards Falls on the Galana river – This is not a true falls but a series of rapids. Visitors can walk down to the river to view the rapids.
  • Mudanda rock – This is a long rock outcrop that is about 1.6Km long. There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking. Visitors can walk along the rock and enjoy a cool breeze as well as view wildlife at the base.
  • Aruba Dam - was built in 1952 across the Voi river. The dam attracts many animals and water birds can be seen at this dam.
  • Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence – when the two rivers join they form the Galana river.
  • Elephants, Rhinos, Hirola (Hunters Hartebeest).

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TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK

Tsavo West National Park covers 7065 km2, approximately 30% of Kenya's area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The North Eastern boundary along the Highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour.

The park's habitats include open plains alternating with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest.

There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volacano.

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SHIMBA HILLS NATIONAL PARK

The Shimba Hills were gazetted as a National Forest in 1903, grassland areas were incorporated in 1924 and several subsequent extensions took place to bring the Reserve to its present size. In 1968 most of the Reserve was double gazetted as the Shimba Hills National Reserve. Two smaller areas to the west adjoining the reserve and almost entirely forested remain as Forest Reserves; Mkongani North and Mkongani West Forest Reserve. A fenced elephant corridor connects the Shimba Hills with Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the North. The Shimba hills are a dissected plateau that ascends steeply from the coastal plains, 30 km south west of Mombasa and just south of Kwale town. The surrounding escarpment rises from around 120m to 300m across the bulk of the plateau and as high as 450m at Marare and Pengo hills.

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ARABUKO SOKOKE FOREST RESERVE

Arabuko Sokoke was proclaimed a Crown Forest and gazetted in 1943. Part of the forest was gazetted as a strict nature reserve in the late 1960s. The reserve lies a few kilometers inland, between the towns of Kilifi and Malindi, 110 km north of Mombasa. It is the largest existing fragment of the tropical forests that covered much of the East African coast and is an important habitat for endemic/endangered birds, insects and mammal species.

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