Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses Savannah, lake lands, and the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It’s also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos.
From Nairobi, the capital city of the country, Kenya safaris starts with the visit to Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s 5,895m Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Maasai Mara National Reserve is an area of preserved Savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border. Its animals include lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos. Wildebeest traverse its plains during their annual migration. The landscape has grassy plains and rolling hills, and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers. The area nearby is dotted with villages (enkangs) of Maasai people.
Amboseli National Park is in southern Kenya. It’s known for its large elephant herds and views of immense Mount Kilimanjaro, across the border in Tanzania. Observation Hill offers panoramas of the peak and the park’s plains and swamps. Varied wildlife includes giraffes, zebras, cheetahs and hundreds of bird species. The western section is dominated by vast Lake Amboseli, which is dry outside the rainy season.
Lake Nakuru is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes at an elevation of 1,754 m above sea level. It lies to the south of Nakuru, in the rift valley of Kenya and is protected by Lake Nakuru National Park. The lake’s abundance of algae used to attract a vast quantity of flamingos that famously lined the shore.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometres. Situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru Desert it opened in April 1948, and is located near the town of Voi in the Taita – Taveta County of the former Coast Province. Is one of the world’s largest game reserves, providing undeveloped wilderness homes to vast numbers of animals. Famous are the Tsavo lions, a population whose adult males often lack manes entirely.
The Samburu National Reserve is a game reserve on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River in Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The park is 165 km² in size and is situated 350 kilometers from Nairobi. It ranges in altitude from 800 to 1230m above sea level. There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve.
Several large game species common to Kenya’s northern plains can be found in abundance here, including the following dry-country fauna: gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, oryx and reticulated giraffe. All three big cats, the lion, cheetah and African leopard can also be found here, as well as the elephant, Cape buffalo and hippopotamus.
Other mammals frequently seen in the park include olive baboon, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, and water buck. The rhinoceros’ population is no longer present in the park due to heavy poaching. There are over 350 species of bird. These include grey-headed kingfisher, sun birds, bee-eaters, Marabou stork, tawny eagle, Verreaux’s eagle, bateleur, vulturine guinea fowl, yellow-necked spur fowl, lilac-breasted roller, secretary bird, superb starling, northern red-billed horn bill, yellow-billed horn bill, and various vultures including the palm-nut vulture.
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana. The main ethnic groups living around Mount Kenya are Kikuyu, Ameru, Embu and Maasai. The first three are closely related. They all see the mountain as an important aspect of their cultures.
Nairobi National Park is a national park in Kenya. Established in 1946, the national park was Kenya’s first. It is located approximately 7 kilometres south of the centre of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city, with an electric fence separating the park’s wildlife from the metropolis. The park has a large and diverse wildlife population. Species found in the park include Cape buffalo, baboon, eastern black rhino, gazelle, Grant’s zebra, cheetah, Coke’s hartebeest, hippopotamus, African leopard, lion, eland, impala, Masai giraffe, ostrich, vultures and water buck.
Herbivores, including wildebeest and zebra, use the Kitengela conservation area and migration corridor to the south of the park to reach the Athi – Kapiti plains. They disperse over the plains in the wet season and return to the park in the dry season. The concentration of wildlife in the park is greatest in the dry season, when areas outside the park have dried up.
Small dams built along the Mbagathi River give the park more water resources than these outside areas. They attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park is the northern limit for wildlife migrations in the dry season. The park has a high diversity of bird species, with up to 500 permanent and migratory species in the park.
Diani Beach is a major beach resort on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is located 30 kilometres south of Mombasa, in the nearby Kwale County. It has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for the third time running since 2015.
The water remains shallow near shore, with some underwater sandbars near the surface which allow wading with a clear view of the sandy bottom.
Inland from the beach, there is extensive vegetation including numerous palm trees which cover the coastal areas, unlike the dry acacia trees of the mountainous Kenyan Highlands.
The Giraffe Center is located in Lang’ata, approximately 20 kilometres from the centre of Nairobi, Kenya. It was established in order to protect the endangered giraffe that is found only in the grasslands of East Africa. The main attraction for both school children and visitors are feeding giraffes from a raised observation platform. The Giraffe Center is also home to several warthogs which freely roam the area along with the giraffe.
Hell’s Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, North West of Nairobi. Hell’s Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It was established in 1984. A small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery.
This includes the Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell’s Gate Gorge. The national park is also home to three geothermal power stations at Olkaria. The park is equipped with three basic campsites and includes a Maasai Cultural Center, providing education about the Maasai tribe’s culture and traditions.
The Aberdare National Park is a protected area in the Aberdare Mountain Range in central Kenya located east of the East African Rift Valley.
It covers the higher areas and the Aberdare Salient to the east. Wildlife present in the protected area include lion, leopard, elephant, East African wild dog, giant forest hog, bush buck, mountain reed buck, water buck, Cape buffalo, suni, side-striped jackal, eland, duiker, olive baboon, black and white colobus monkey, and Sykes monkey.
Rarer sightings include those of the African golden cat and the bongo. Species such as the common eland, serval live in the higher moorlands.
The Aberdare National Park also hosts a large eastern black rhinoceros’ population and over 250 bird species including the endangered Aberdare cisticola, Jackson’s francolin, sparrowhawk, African goshawk, African fish eagle, sun birds and plovers.
Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 9,065 square kilometres. The A109 road Nairobi-Mombasa and a railway divides it from the adjoining Tsavo East National Park. Together with adjoining ranches and protected areas, they comprise the Tsavo Conservation Area. Tsavo West is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River.
Ol Donyo Sabuk is a mountain and an adjacent small town near Thika Kenya. The town is located in Kyanzavi Division, Machakos County. The peak, height 2,145 meters, was named by Maasai pastoralists, meaning big mountain.
The Kikamba name, Kiima Kya Mboo, means Buffalo Hill or Mountain. Near the peak is the grave of Lord Macmillan, his wife and their dog. Also, there is an extra grave of one Louise, who started working for the Macmillan’s when she was age 13 until her death.
Ruma National Park is the only terrestrial park in Kenya’s Nyanza Province. Dubbed the “Last Retreat of the Roan Antelope”, the park protects the only indigenous population of rare roan antelopes within Kenya.
Game species range from African leopards’ roan antelopes, eastern black rhinoceros, Rothschild’s giraffes, oribis, cape buffaloes, Lelwel hartebeests, olive baboons, Bohor reedbucks, hyenas, servals, topis, honey badgers, bush pigs and vervet monkeys among others.
Over 400 species of birds have been recorded in the park, making it an Important Bird Area. The rare intra-African migrant, the blue swallow is one such avian species.
White sand beach for swimming & picnics. This scenic, white sand beach is a popular locale for swimming, sunbathing, picnicking & relaxing.
Kakamega Forest is a tropical rain forest situated in the Kakamega of Kenya, northwest of the capital Nairobi, and near to the border with Uganda. There are 380 recorded species of plants. This includes 60 species of ferns, 150 species of trees and shrubs, and 170 species of flowering plants including 60 species of orchids with 9 species found only in this forest.
The forest is famous for its birds, 367 bird species have been recorded in the forest such as the West African Great blue turaco and black – and – white – casqued horn bill. At least 9 birds are not found anywhere else.
Mammals that occur in the park include bush pig, duikers, bush buck, African clawless otter, mongoose, giant African water shrew, squirrels, tree pangolin, porcupine, bats and a variety of primates including the blue monkey, redtail monkey, De Brazza’s monkey, baboon, potto and the occasional vervet monkey. Leopards have been occasionally reported, but the last official sighting was in 1991.
Insects are abundant and some are quite spectacular, such as Goliath beetles, pink and green flower mantis, and numerous colorful butterflies (489 species). Particularly well represented groups are ants (Formicidae), Lepidopterans, Orthopterans, and beetles. Gastropods, millipedes and spiders are also common.
Rusinga Island, with an elongated shape approximately 10 miles from end to end and 3 miles at its widest point, lies in the eastern part of Lake Victoria at the mouth of the Winam Gulf. Part of Kenya, it is linked to Mbita Point on the mainland by a causeway. Associated with the brightly glittering black sands of the beaches are made of crystals of melanite garnet, barkevikite hornblende, and magnetite eroded from the uncompahgrite lava fragments in the agglomerates that overlie the fossil beds.
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve is a marine park and national reserve in Mombasa, Kenya. The park is 10 km² while the reserve is 200 km². It is located on the coast near tourist areas and is a popular beach because of the snorkeling and diving. It is the most heavily visited of Kenya’s marine parks.
It is located on the coast near tourist areas and is a popular beach because of the snorkeling and diving. It is the most heavily visited of Kenya’s marine parks. It has coral reefs in its waters. It was established as a Marine Park in 1986, and encloses part of the lagoon, back reef and reef crest habitats of the Bamburi – Nyali fringing reef.
Thomson’s Falls is a 74 meters scenic waterfall on the Ewaso Ng’iro River, a few Kilometres from Lake Ol Bolossat, which drains from the Aberdare Mountain Range. It is situated 3 kilometres from the town of Nyahururu in central Kenya, at 2,360 meters elevation.
The Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve is located on the coast of Kenya, 110 km north of Mombasa and is protected as a national Forest Reserve. The Arabuko Sokoke Forest is an area of high endemism, containing endemic mammals, birds and plants. It contains three forest types, mixed forest, Brachystegia and Cynometra, each of which protects different communities of plants and animals.
It protects many endemic and near endemic species. The Clarke’s weaver is completely endemic to the forest, while the eponymous Sokoke scops owl, Sokoke pipit, and the Amani sunbird and spotted ground thrush are found only here and in a forest fragment in Tanzania. The park adjoins Mida Creek, a mangrove forest that is an important shorebird wintering ground, protecting species such as the Terek sandpiper and the crab plover.
The endearing golden – rumped elephant shrew, an endemic elephant shrew the size of a rabbit, is the most noticeable of the park’s endemic mammals, the Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose and Aders’s duiker are more elusive. The forest also has savannah elephants, African civets, as well as sokokes, baboons and vervet monkeys. The park is also recognized as an outstanding centre of amphibian diversity.
Ewaso Ny’iro is a river in Kenya which rises on the west side of Mount Kenya and flows north then east and finally south-east, passing through Somalia where it joins the Jubba River. The upper basin of the Ewaso Ng’iro River is 15,200-square-kilometre.
Malindi Marine National Park is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Kenya. It is claimed to be oldest Marine Park in Africa. The park lies at Malindi, about 118 km north of Mombasa and is protected and administered by the Kenya Wildlife Service. The park’s attractions include coral reefs, tropical fish, barracuda, turtles and dolphins.
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. It is located in Taita – Taveta County approximately 220 kilometers from Mombasa. The sanctuary covers an area of 28,000 acres, and is adjacent to Tsavo West National Park and the LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary.
It hosts Cape buffalo, African bush elephant, leopard, lion, cheetah, Masai giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, impala, water buck, Thomson’s gazelle, lesser kudu, dik-dik, and other smaller animals, including a diversity of birdlife.
Karura Forest is an urban forest in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. The forest was gazetted in 1932 and is managed by the Kenya Forest Service in conjunction with the Friends of Karura Forest Community Forest Association.
Karura Forest is 1,041 ha consisting of three parts separated by Limuru and Kiambu roads. Features in the forest include a waterfall, bamboo forest, marshland, Mau Mau caves and an old church.
Calm beach known for sea life & corals. A popular snorkeling & diving destination, this calm sandy beach is home to diverse marine life.
Manda is an island of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya, known for the prosperous 9th century ports of Takwa and Manda town. The island is now linked by ferry to Lamu and is home to Manda Airport, while Manda Toto Island lies to its west. The island is separated from the mainland by the narrow Mkanda channel.
Kisite – Mpunguti Marine National Park is situated on the southern coast of Kenya near Shimoni and south of Wasini Island in Kwale District near the Tanzanian border.
Nairobi Safari Walk
Wooden boardwalk across a safari park
Elevated wooden boardwalk winding through a safari park with lions, rhinos, cheetahs and leopards.
Buffalo Springs National Reserve is a protected area in the Isiolo County in northern Kenya. Wildlife includes Grant’s zebra and the endangered Grevy’s Zebra. Other species of mammal include reticulated giraffe, the African bush elephant, oryx, gerenuk, African buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.
Over 365 species of bird have been recorded in the reserve. The river is home to hippopotamuses and crocodiles. Somali ostriches are widespread within the national reserve. It is larger than the Masai ostrich’s and is distinctive for their indigo legs and neck.
Bomas of Kenya is a tourist village in Langata, Nairobi. Bomas displays traditional villages belonging to the several Kenyan tribes. Bomas of Kenya is home to one of largest auditorium in Africa. It is located approximately 10km from the Central Business District. It wanted to preserve, maintain and promote rich and diverse cultural values of various tribal groups of Kenya.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is located in northern Kenya. It was formed in 1995. It is a wildlife sanctuary incorporating the Ngare Ndare Forest and covering over 62,000 acres. The Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife including the rare and endangered black rhinos, Grevy’s zebras and sitatunga’s.
Shaba National Reserve is a protected area in northern Kenya to the east of the Samburu and Buffalo Springs national reserves. Together, the three reserves form a large protected area. The Shaba reserve has dramatic scenery including river-side forests, scattered woodlands and dry grasslands dominated by the Shaba Hill volcano.
The plentiful wildlife relies on waterholes and marshes scattered throughout the reserve. Shaba is home to the endangered Grevy’s zebra and the rare Williams’s lark
Wasini Island lies in southeast Kenya 3 kilometres off the coast of the Indian Ocean, 75 kilometres south of Mombasa, and 3 kilometres opposite the harbour of the village Shimoni. It is approximately 7 kilometres long and 3 kilometres across.
Lake Elmenteita, also spelled Elementaita, is a soda lake, in the Great Rift Valley, about 120 km northwest of Nairobi, Kenya. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the Lake Nakuru/Lake Elmenteita basin. Elmenteita attracts visiting flamingoes, both the Greater and Lesser varieties, which feed on the lake’s crustacean and insect larvae and on its suspended blue-green algae, respectively.
Tilapia were introduced to the lake from Lake Magadi in 1962 and since that time the flamingo population has dwindled considerably. The tilapia attracts many fish-eating birds that also feed upon the flamingo eggs and chicks.
Over a million birds that formerly bred at Elmenteita are now said to have sought refuge at Lake Natron in Tanzania. The lake’s shores are grazed by zebra, gazelle, eland and families of warthog.