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Kenya

Kenyan destinations mapKenya continues to impress and astonish even the most traveled of visitors. The incredible diversity of wildlife found in the Mara, Amboseli and the other parks in the country is what has made Kenya the destination for the classic safari for the last century. The herds of elephant, the masses of wildebeest and of course lion are just the starting point of any safari. Experience the culture of the traditional Masai that live in Kenya's national parks. Learn to make fire without matches, take a tour of a typical Masai hut and test your jumping skills against Masai warriors.

For the more adventurous, Africa abounds with extreme activities. Thrill-seekers will want to trek the slopes of Mt. Kenya, Africa's 2nd highest mountain, as well as try out the white water rafting opportunities in the central part of the country. Those headed to the ocean will find the idyllic white-sand beaches of Mombasa and Lamu to be a soothing escape into a coastal paradise.

Main Attractions:

  • Numerous species of wildlife and plants in the national parks and game reserves
  • Ocean coasts and lake beaches
  • Mountain treks from the very high Mt. Kenya to the volcanic Mt. Longonot
  • Brilliant landscapes of the Rift Valley
  • Prehistoric cultural and archaeological sites in Turkana
  • Culture and people

kenya-map-parks

The Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa. Kenya's territory lies on the equator and overlies the East African Rift covering a diverse and expansive terrain that extends roughly from Lake Victoria to Lake Turkana and further south-east to the Indian Ocean.

Kenya has a warm and humid tropical climate on its Indian Ocean coastline. The climate is cooler in the savannah grasslands around the capital city, Nairobi, and especially closer to Mount Kenya, which has snow permanently on its peaks. Further inland, in the west, there is a hot and dry climate which becomes humid around Lake Victoria, the largest tropical fresh-water lake in the world. The northern parts are also hot and dry, and has a semi desert-like terrain which get very green when it rains.

Kenya is a presidential republic and got it's independence from Britain in 1963. It has gradually become the largest economy by GDP in East and Central Africa. It has 47 semi-autonomous counties governed by elected governors. The capital and largest city is Nairobi. The people of Kenya are from diverse cultures, 42 communities with different ethnicity and languages but united by the common languages (Swahili and English), cosmopolitan cities and towns, and common interests especially business and religion.


wildebeest-at-sunsetKenya is traditionally famous for its safaris, diverse climate and geography, and expansive wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara (where the wildebeest migration takes place), Lake Nakuru National Park, and Aberdare's National Park. Kenya has several world heritage sites such as Lamu and numerous world-famous beaches, including in Diani, Bamburi and Kilifi where international yachting competitions are held every year. The diverse communities engenders a diverse culture, with one common feature across all the Kenyan cultures: Hospitality. Kenyans warmly welcome their peaceful visitors and give them preference regardless of the odds.

January to mid March is a good time to chase the sun. Beaches, adventure treks and cultural activities are available throughout the year, but June to October is dry season and the best time to visit for wildlife viewing opportunities. The wildebeest migration from Tanzania starts in July and is a wonderful experience which ends in October.

 

Kenya's National Parks and Game Reserves

Kenya has 23 National Parks, 15 National Reserves and 7 Marine Parks/Reserves.

The main attractions in some of them are:

MASAI MARA

The Mara is the most famous park in Kenya with over 450 types of birds and 95 species of animals, including all of the Big 5. The Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra occurs here annually from July to September.

AMBOSELI

Resting at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Amboseli contains 2 swamps nestled in the midst of this vast arid grassland. African elephants are plentiful and the sparse vegetation provides excellent opportunities for viewing the buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, hyena, giraffes, zebra, and wildebeest in Amboseli.

LAKE NAKURU

The lake's naturally occurring algae attracts more than 2 million flamingos to the shores of Lake Nakuru along with over 400 other species of bird. Zebra, impala, gazelle, lion, leopard, hyena, hippo, buffalo and white rhino are common along with the 30 endangered Rothschild giraffe.

MT KENYA

Mt Kenya stands as the 2nd highest mountain in Kenya at 5,199 meters (17,057 ft). Most visitors ascend to Point Lenana at 4,985 meters (16,355 ft), beyond which requires technical climbing. The Mt Kenya National Park is home to elephant, bushbuck, eland, rhino, leopard and waterbuck.

SAMBURU

This collection of 3 parks attracts a diverse array of animals to its permanent supply of water. Leopards are more common here than anywhere else in Kenya. Lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and hippo live here along with more rare Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and more than 350 species of bird.

ABERDARES

The park's streams, rivers, and waterfalls are surrounded by mountain tops. Great hunters like the lion, leopard and African hunting dog live in this less traveled park, attracted by the Cape buffalo, waterbuck, eland, elephant and baboon. The waterholes in the park provide for excellent wildlife viewing at night.

SWEETWATERS

View some 26 orphaned chimps while boating through the Chimpanzee Sanctuary located here. Positioned between the slopes of Mt Kenya and Aberdares, Sweetwaters affords the opportunity to see lion, elephant, white and black rhino, cheetah and even Max, the park's tame rhino.

National Parks and Reserves Listing

National Parks

Aberdare National Park
Amboseli National Park
Arabuko Sokoke National Park
Central Island National Park
Chyulu Hills National Park
Hell's Gate National Park
Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Malka Mari National Park
Malindi Marine National Park
Masai Mara National Park
Meru National Park
Mombasa Marine Park
Mount Elgon National Park
Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Longonot National Park
Nairobi National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Ruma National Park
Saiwa Swamp National Park
Sibiloi National Park
Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park
Watamu Marine National Park

Kenya's National Reserves

Arawale National Reserve
Bisanadi National Reserve
Boni National Reserve
Buffalo Springs National Reserve
Dodori National Reserve
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
Masai Mara National Reserve
Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary
Mwea National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve
Shimba Hills National Reserve
Tana River Primate Reserve
Witu Forest Reserve (Utwani Forest Reserve)
Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Marine Parks and Reserves

Kiunga Marine National Reserve
Kisite-Mpunguti Marine National Park
Malindi Marine National Park
Watamu Marine National Park
Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
Mpunguti Marine National Reserve
Tana Delta Reserve

Accommodation is found in the parks and reserves as lodges and camps.