Top Ten Best National Parks to Visit in Kenya

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Brief Background about National Parks

National parks are some of the most beautiful and diverse places in the world. They provide opportunities for people to experience nature, learn about the environment, and enjoy outdoor activities.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful hike, a challenging climb, or a scenic drive, there’s something for everyone in a national park. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular national parks in Kenya, their unique features, and what you can expect to see and do while visiting. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore the great outdoors!

In no particular order, here is a list of the Top Ten Best National Parks to Visit in Kenya:

1. Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is a protected area in Kenya, located about 160 kilometers northwest of the capital city, Nairobi. The park is famous for its large population of pink flamingos, which can often be seen in large numbers on the lake’s shores.

Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to other wildlife, including the Rothschild’s giraffe, black rhinos, lions, leopards, and buffaloes. It is also known for its beautiful landscapes, including rocky cliffs, woodlands, and grasslands. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities in the park, including game drives, bird watching, and hiking. The park is also home to several luxury lodges and camps where visitors can stay while exploring the park.

2. Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is located in southern Kenya, near the border with Tanzania. The park is known for its large elephant population and its stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Visitors to Amboseli can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, and a variety of bird species.

The park also has several swamps and wetlands that are home to hippos and crocodiles. In addition to game drives, visitors can also take part in guided walks and cultural tours to learn about the Maasai people who live around the park. In overall, Amboseli offers a unique blend of wildlife viewing, breathtaking landscapes, and cultural experiences.

3. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve, also known as the Maasai Mara, is a protected area located in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzania border. The park covers an area of around 1,510 square kilometers and is known for its incredible wildlife, particularly the annual wildebeest migration. The park is home to large numbers of big cats, including lions, leopards, and cheetahs, as well as elephants, zebras, buffaloes, and many other species.

Maasai Mara National Reserve is also known for its beautiful landscapes, including the Mara and Talek rivers, where visitors can see hippos and crocodiles. Visitors can enjoy game drives, hot air balloon rides, and guided walks through the park, and for the more adventurous, there are also cultural visits to the Maasai people’s villages to learn about their customs and traditions. The best time to visit the park is during the months of July to October, when the wildebeest migration is at its peak.

4. Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a protected area located only 7 kilometers south of the city of Nairobi, Kenya. It is the first national park established in Kenya, in 1946, and it is one of the only national parks in the world that is situated within a city. The park covers an area of 117 square kilometers and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, zebras, buffaloes, and over 400 species of birds.

Visitors can enjoy game drives and guided walks through the park, as well as picnics and picnicking areas. The park also offers a unique experience of seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, but just a stone throws away from one of the busiest cities in Africa. The park is also home to the Ivory Burning Site Monument, which commemorates the destruction of seized ivory stockpiles as a conservation measure to deter poaching.

5. Watamu Marine National Park

Watamu Marine National Park is a protected area located in the Kenyan coastal town of Watamu, on the Indian Ocean. The park covers an area of 229 square kilometers and is known for its beautiful coral reefs, crystal clear waters, and diverse marine life. The park is a popular destination for snorkeling, diving, and swimming, with a wide variety of colorful fish and other marine creatures, such as turtles, dolphins, and whales.

Watamu Marine National Park is also home to several small islands, including Watamu Island and Mida Creek, that are popular for bird watching and picnicking. The park is also known for its white sandy beaches, which are perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Visitors can also take a boat trip to explore the park and see the marine life up close.

6. Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo East National Park is a protected area located in the southeastern region of Kenya. The park covers an area of about 13,747 square kilometers and is known for its diverse wildlife and rugged landscapes. It is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Kenya. The park is home to large numbers of elephants, as well as other big game such as lions, leopards, buffaloes, zebras and many other species. It also has a variety of birdlife and reptiles.

Tsavo East is particularly known for its red elephants, which are a subspecies of the African elephant that have a distinctive red color due to the high iron content in the soil in the area. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and camping in the park.

The park also offers visitors the opportunity to see the Yatta Plateau, one of the world’s longest lava flows, and the Lugard Falls, a series of rapids on the Galana River. The park is open all year round, but it’s best to visit during the dry season, from June to October, when the wildlife congregates around the water sources.

7. Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park is a protected area located in central Kenya, around the country’s highest mountain, Mount Kenya. The park covers an area of 715 square kilometers and is known for its incredible landscapes, including snow-capped peaks, glaciers, and alpine forests. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, hyenas, and over 130 species of birds.

Mount Kenya is also a popular destination for mountaineers, hikers, and rock climbers, as it offers a variety of routes to the summit, including the challenging Lewis Glacier, the most technical and difficult route on the mountain. Visitors can also enjoy scenic drives and walks, as well as camping and picnicking. The park is also home to several luxury lodges and camps for visitors to stay while exploring the park.

Tsavo East National Park is a protected area located in the southeastern region of Kenya. The park covers an area of about 13,747 square kilometers and is known for its diverse wildlife and rugged landscapes. It is one of the oldest and largest national parks in Kenya. The park is home to large numbers of elephants, as well as other big game such as lions, leopards, buffaloes, zebras and many other species. It also has a variety of birdlife and reptiles.

Tsavo East is particularly known for its red elephants, which are a subspecies of the African elephant that have a distinctive red color due to the high iron content in the soil in the area. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and camping in the park.

The park also offers visitors the opportunity to see the Yatta Plateau, one of the world’s longest lava flows, and the Lugard Falls, a series of rapids on the Galana River. The park is open all year round, but it’s best to visit during the dry season, from June to October, when the wildlife congregates around the water sources.

8. Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park is a protected area located in the southwestern region of Kenya, next to Tsavo East National Park. The park covers an area of about 9065 square kilometers and is known for its diverse wildlife, rugged landscapes, and volcanic features. The park is home to a variety of large mammals, such as elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, and many other species. It is also home to a rich bird life, with over 500 recorded species.

Tsavo West is particularly known for its volcanic landscapes, including the Chyulu Hills, which are a chain of volcanic hills, and the Shetani lava flow, which is a large volcanic flow that can be seen from the park’s main road. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks, and camping in the park.

The park also offers visitors the opportunity to visit the Mzima Springs, a series of clear water pools that are home to a variety of fish and crocodiles. The park is open all year round, but it’s best to visit during the dry season, from June to October, when the wildlife congregates around the water sources.

9. Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park & Reserve

Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve is a marine protected area located on the Kenyan coast, near the border with Tanzania. It covers an area of approximately 28 square kilometers and includes two small islands: Kisite & Mpunguti.

The park is known for its diverse marine life, including coral reefs, dolphins, and a variety of fish species. It is also an important nesting site for sea turtles. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service and is open to visitors for activities such as snorkeling, diving, and bird watching.

10. Aberdare National Park

Aberdare National Park is a protected area located in the central highlands of Kenya. It covers an area of around 766 square kilometers and spans across the districts of Nyeri, Laikipia, and Nyandarua. The park is known for its diverse wildlife, including elephants, black rhinos, leopards, buffaloes, and various species of antelopes.

The park also features spectacular landscapes, including montane forests, bamboo thickets, moorlands, and alpine meadows. The park is home to several species of birds and primates, including the black-and-white colobus monkey and the Aberdare cisticola. The park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service and is open to visitors for activities such as game drives, hiking, and camping.

Other National Parks to Consider Visiting in Kenya

Sibiloi National Park

Meru National Park

Mombasa National Park

Lake Naivasha National Park

Mount Elgon National Park

About Saint BK

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