Parks & conservancies
Kenya has about 45 national parks and about 160 conservancies. All the national park are managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) which is a government body. The conservancies are mostly privately owned. There are too many parks to list so we have made a small selection for you!
The Masai Mara is the most famous nature reserve in Kenya. It has become so famous due to the annual Great Migration of wildebeest, zebras and Thomson’s gazelles from the Serengeti. The Great Migration is known as one of the greatest natural wonders of Africa and is really worth seeing. The best time to see the migration is from July to October. The reserve is located in southwestern Kenya and is part of the Serengeti plain, which is located in Tanzania. The Masai Mara has a variety of accommodation, from camping to luxury lodges.
Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park is one of the most popular parks in Kenya. It lies on the border of Kenya and Tanzania , near Mount Kilimanjaro. The park is, compared to other parks, fairly flat and can sometimes be very dry and dusty. The park is best known for the large groups of elephants passing through the park. Besides elephants there are also many other types of animals you can spot, such as lions, leopards , impalas and Grant gazelle . During your safari in the park you can also pay a visit to a real Masai village , which is a nice experience. At night you stay in of the many lodges or tented camps that are inspired by the Masai people.
Lake Nakuru National Park
On the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded grassland, lies the beautiful lake of Nakuru National Park, about 160 km from the capital, Nairobi. This park is a paradise for bird lovers. In addition to the many birds you can also find lions, rhinos, leopards and buffalo.
The park is not very big, so it is easy to visit in a day or half a day when you are in a hurry.
The park used to be famous for its millions of flamingo’s, unfortunately lately they have not been seen because of the lack of food. Nowadays is a good place to seen the tree climbing lions.
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East is one of the largest and oldest parks in Kenya and is easily accessible from Mombasa. Till 1948 it formed one large park together with Tsavo West National Park. Since 1948, the parks were separated by the A109, the Mombasa – Nairobi Highway. Tsavo East National Park is known as the ‘theatre of the wild’ and has a wide variety of animals including the ‘Big Five’ (lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant and leopard). The landscape of Tsavo East can be considered to be a savanna landscape. In addition to the animals you can spot, there are also a number of other attractions to see including Aruba dam, Lugard Falls, Mudanda Rock and Yatta Plateau.
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park is, just like Tsavo East National Park, easily accessible from Mombasa. Unlike Tsavo East, Tsavo West has a hilly volcanic landscape. The ‘Big Five’ can be spotted here, and there are plenty of other animal. This park also has some amazing natural phenomena such as volcanoes, lava flows and caves. A visit to ‘Mzima springs’ is also highly recommended. Here you can find a natural spring and a large group of hippos and crocodiles.
The park is known as ‘the home of the leopards’, because they roam around the parks a lot. From this park Mount Kilimanjaro can be visible on good days which will give you stunning pictures.
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a park that is privately owned . The park was established in 1972 by Hilton International and borders to Tsavo West National Park. There are a lot of animals to spot in this park such as elephants, leopards, buffaloes and lions. The park features two luxury hotels, the ‘Sarova Taita hills game lodge’ and ‘Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge’. The Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge is a special hotel, it is built on stilts. It is therefore possible for animals to walk underneath your hotel room. Another special attraction this hotels offers are night safaris. You will be taken on a night safari by a specialized ranger to search for the animals. This is a once in a lifetime experience!
Aberdare National Park
Aberdare National Park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and borders the Great Rift Valley. Compared with other park Aberdare National Park is a very green park. The park is situated far above sea level and therefore heavy rainfalls a very common in this park. Because of the high amount of rainfall this park has turned into a beautiful type of rainforest which is certainly something worth seeing. When the rainfall gets really heavy it will make the roads muddy and it will be harder to get trough the park. Because of the heavy rainfalls and the muddy roads this is a park not visited by many tourist, so this will be something unique to see. Again no lack of wildlife, but the animals are difficult to spot in the dense vegetation.
Ol Pejeta conservancy
The conservancy is known for its high density of animals per square meter and therefore this park is second on the Kenyan ranking in terms of the amount of animals in the park. In addition, they also have a rhino and chimpanzee sanctuary, which you can visit to see the animals up close.
This park has been an activate fighter in the fight against rhino poaching. They have an incredible rhino project which helps us increase the number of rhinos. Also they are the home of the last two female northern white rhinos. The last male northern white rhino Sudan passed away in 2018. Currently they are working on IVF options to see if they can save the species for extinction.