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Kenya Tourism

Kenya Tourism: Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It’s also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s 5,895m Mt. Kilimanjaro.

ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK
Located in Central Kenya within the Aberdare Mountain Range, 100km North of Nairobi city lies this reserve covering an estimated area of 766 square kilometres. The park was established in May 1950 with the main objective to conserve and protect the Aberdare Mountains. The reserve is named after Lord Aberdare, who was the president of the Royal Geographical Society. Upon the death of her father (King George VI) in 1952, Princess Elizabeth II while on vacation at Treetops Hotel watching wildlife with the Duke of Edinburgh became Queen of England in Aberdare. The park stretches over a wide range of terrain with altitudes of 2000m to 4000m thus boosting of having the third highest point in Kenya (4000m).
Owing to its diverse landscapes ranging from the more challenging highlands in the central, hills and moorlands to streams, intriguing waterfalls, deep ravines and the dry sand lake valley at the bottom that act as a habitat of the wildlife species, visitors to the park have a wide variety of wildlife to keep them amused all year round.

Some of the main attractions and activities in the park include
Game viewing and drives
Game drives in Aberdare National Park is one of the exciting adventures that presents to visitors an opportunity to get closer to wildlife and other various attractions. It’s best done in an open roof vehicle escorted by an armed ranger or guide. This guide is well versed with the park and will offer information regarding all aspects of the park ranging from the flora and fauna, weather among others
The park is known to host The Big 5 and large populations of the endangered black rhino making it home to the 2nd largest herd of the rare black rhino. Other wildlife easily observed here include African lions, leopards, elephants, waterbucks, East African wild dog, Cape buffalo, side stripped jackal and Giant forest hog. Rare sightings include the shy bongo antelopes and the African golden cat. The entire park is enclosed with an electric fence to protect its wildlife and keep poachers out of reach.

Bird watching in the park
With over 250 bird species, birding in Aberdare National Park can be done during any time and season of the year provides one of the best locations for bird watching throughout the year especially between November and April which is the best season due to the presence of the migratory species from Europe and North America which also coincides with the breeding season in the wet months. Easily including Jackson’s francolin, eagles, sunbirds, sparrow hawks, goshawks and plovers.

Trout fishing
One of the most exciting activity you can engage in at the park is fishing. Three rivers offer the easiest access to fishing in the park. These are the Amboni, Gura and Chania, the later offering the best opportunity. After fishing, you will also prepare your freshly caught fish. However, you are advised to engage the services of a Kenya Wildlife Service ranger to offer protection and guidance before you indulge in this activity.
Hiking
Your trip is counted incomplete if you do not visit Mount Kenya National Park which is only a few hours’ drive from the park and experience its three peaks.
How to get to the park
The park can be accessed by either road or air.
By Road
Road access to the park is about 160km from Nairobi city. There is a well tarmacked road in the Eastern part from Naro Moro and Nyeri towns. The best route however runs from the towns of Naivasha and Nyahururu.
Visitors accessing the park from Nyeri can use gates located at Treetops, Ruhuruina, Kiandongoro and Wandare. Accessing through Naivasha is best through Mutubio gate. Rhino and Shamata gates provide smooth access from Nyahururu.

By Air
Two airstrips are located in Aberdare National Park. Nanyuki and Mweiga provide safe and secure landing for visitors to the park.

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK, THE DWELLING PLACE OF THE GENTLE GIANTS.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya’s second most popular park after Maasai Mara National Reserve is located in Loitoktok district, Rift Valley Province of Kenya. Established in 1974, this majestic landscape covers an expansive area of 392 square kilometers and was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1991 on account of its unique ecological systems. Amboseli has glorious views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
The word ‘Amboseli’ comes from a Maasai word meaning salty dust. The protected area is famous for being the highest elephant concentration area in the world and for that reason, the best spot to view large herds of these impressive free-ranging gentle giants up-close, most notable was Tim; an incredible bull elephant who was one of the iconic attractions because of its size and huge tusks that touched the ground. At the time of its death in 05th February 2020, Tim was 50 years old.

Activities
Wildlife viewing
Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African wildlife because of the sparse vegetation due to the dry long months. The protected area is home to a variety of animal species and an excellent place to see the big 5 as well as other lesser known and rarer species. Some of these animals include African bush elephants, leopard, ostriches, impalas, zebras, flamingos, troops of baboons, cape buffalos, Maasai giraffe, wildebeest, and spectacular views of the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest free standing mountain in the world) in the background is a bonus to enhance your game drive experience.
Bird watching
The park is a birders haven with over 420 permanent and migratory species. The swamps within the park harbor water birds including crowned cranes, pelicans, herons, egrets and flamingos. Common endemic species include the Taveta Golden Weaver bird. The land/ground birds include the fish eagle, secretary bird, vultures, ostriches and francolin.

Cultural visit
The park also invites you to dig deep into the Maasai culture. This is made possible through visits to these local communities that stay on the boundaries of this protected area. Interacting with these natives brings a clear understanding of their traditional way of life from their way of dressing, construction, food and animals. This is an experience worthwhile.

Sight seeing
An observation hill in the park allows you to have a panoramic view of the beautiful landscapes across the reserve. Visible from the top of this hill is the backdrop of the snow-caped Mount Kilimanjaro as well as Lake Amboseli in the middle of the park. Amboseli also encloses spectacular variety of habitats including the dusty plains and marshy swamps

How to get to Amboseli National Park
By road
All routes from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park are in good condition and can lead to all the five gates of the park which are Airstrip gate, Meshanani gate, Iremito gate, Kulunyiet gate and Kimana gate. Travel through the Nairobi-Arusha road via Namanga which will give access to the park through the Meshanani gate. This drive can take about 45 minutes or more depending on the floor of traffic. An alternate route through Mombasa via Tsavo West National Park will lead you to the Kimana gate. The distance from Tsavo East or Tsavo West to the park is about 460km, driving for about 8 hours.

By Air
There are numerous flight companies offering daily chartered flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to Amboseli Airport. These include Safarilink flying from Nairobi and Tsavo West, Air Kenya from Nairobi and Mombasa Air Safari flying from Mombasa, Maasai Mara, Malindi and Diani Beach.

HELLS GATE NATIONL PARK
Hells Gate National Park is one of the Marvels of the rift valley. The park covers an area of about 68.25 square kilometres and is located in Naivasha, about a 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi. Baptized Hells Gate by Explorers Fischers and Thomson in 1883, the park was officially established and opened in February 1884. It is one of the most visited parks in Kenya and one of the two national parks where walking and cycling safaris can be done without the escort of a ranger. This factor makes it a convenient gate away for an excursion. This African park was the inspiration of some of the most popular Hollywood movies; The Lion King Movie together with Tom Raider movie acted in the gorge found in the park. The national park also surrounds four geothermal power generating plants in Olkaria, supplying about 50% electricity of Kenya making it the 7th largest producer of geothermal energy in the world. Hells Gate is popular with mountain bikes, rock climbing and those who love bird watching.

Main activities
Wildlife viewing
There is a wide variety of wildlife in the national park. These include Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, zebra, lion, giraffe, African buffalo, klipspringer antelope, and warthog. These can be seen during the game drive or still during your walking and cycling safari in the park. Lions and Cheetahs are also more heard than seen here.

Bird watching
Hells Gate National Park remains one of the key birding areas with abundant unique savannah bird species. Amongst them is the rare Mottled Swift and more bird species like Sharpe’s Claw, Shelly’s Rufous Sparrow, White-crested turacco, Northern-white Crowned Shrike. The park itself remains a central figure for the parleactic migrants like European bee-eater, Common Buzzard, Whinchat, Siberian Stonechat, and Isabelline Wheatear. The same park inhabits Intra-Afro migrants like Abdim’s Stork, Southern Pochard. On a lucky day, you can tick off about between 70-130 bird species although it’s believed that the park has a record of 165 bird species including the rare Boran Cisticola.

Camping
Due to the rarity of very aggressive wildlife species such as the lion and cheetahs, the park is quite safe for camping so long as you correctly follow all the camping and park protocols put in place by Kenya Wildlife Services as well as the park’s management. The park has three main campsites where most of the visitors prefer to sleep at. These are; Ol Dubai, Naiburta and Endachata. Several other campsites are found within the park where you can have an overnight.

Mountain Biking
Hells Gate National Park is one of the only two parks in Kenya where Mountain biking is safe alongside baboons, zebras, buffalos and many other animals in the park. This very rewarding activity brings you up-close with the array of wildlife in this magnificent protected area. Bikes can be hired at the park entrance.

Trail Hiking
Hiking the narrow but scenic gorge give access to the various sections of the gorge which are; devils bedroom because of the so many shafts there which look like a bed, devils shower with water flowing from a narrow outlet. The water when used to shower is believed to have medicinal uses such as treating skin diseases, the Hell’s kitchen section believed to be a place where the devil prepares his food. The kitchen has a small hot springs where one can boil eggs from and devils mouth.

Rock Climbing
This is one of the unique activities to engage in while in the park. Climbers can ascend the pointy rock formation called Fischer’s tower, 75 foot-high (25meters) and named after a German Explorer Dr. Gustav Fischer who was sent to find a route from Mombasa to Lake Victoria. This place is recommended for beginner level climbers. The second rock formation, the Central tower also locally referred to as “Embarta” in the Maasai language is much larger than the Fischer’s tower and only experienced climbers are advised to scale it. These volcanic plugs of hard igneous were formed at the same time when semi-molten rock was forced into a fissure, cooling and solidifying as it extruded. However, a Maasai community folktale claims the rock tower is a petrified figure of a Maasai girl who turned into a stone after disobeying her family before her wedding.
Swimming
A visit to the geothermal health spa is a much needed one and truly relaxing after a strenuous day adventuring in the park. The spa has three cascaded lagoons, the first one serving as receiving pond for hot brine of 90 degrees gathered from the different wells in the geothermal field. The second lagoon is an overflow from the first, designed in an aesthetic manner and has both the shallow and deep ends. It’s a little bit cooler than the first with a temperature of about 50 degrees. The third lagoon is the largest. It contains warm water and can take up about 400 people. The lagoon also has an extension of a children’s’ pool where children of as young as 3 years can enjoy the warm bath under the care of life savers as their parents relax in other pools. The health spa offers a bouquet of adventure like bathing for balneological effects, steam and sauna bathing with a spice of comfort, luxury and true African hospitality.

How to get to Hells Gate National Park
By road, visitors coming to Hells Gate National Park can drive through the Nairobi-Naivasha road (approximately 90km) and access the park through Elsa Gate.
By air, you can fly to Naivasha airstrip and a short drive will lead you to the park

LAKE NAIVASHA NATIONAL PARK
Also called “Sheer Adventure”, Lake Naivaisha National Park is located in the Northeast of Nairobi city. The park was established in April 1995 and sits over an area of 140 square kilometres. Lake Naivasha National Park derives its name from Lake Naivasha; the second largest fresh water lake in Kenya and it is one of the unique features found on the Great Rift Valley. The Lake is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes at an elevation of 1,884 metres and with no viewable outlet but assumed to have an underground outflow because of its relatively fresh water.
The Maasai christened the lake “Naiposha” which means “rough water” because of its very odd and sudden storms that occur always especially in the evening. Lake Naivasha National Park’s unique feature is Lake Naivasha’s exceptional blue waters and the park’s central location with only about 2 hours’ drive from Nairobi and close to Aberdare ranges and Hell’s Gate National Park. The park is surrounded by an incredible swamp area of about 64 square kilometres and other two smaller lakes; Oloidien and Sonachi.

Main attractions and activities
Crescent Island
Accessible by boat, this peninsula formed after water levels of Lake Naivasha significantly dropped and it offers a perfect spot for a picnic at any time of the day. The island is also home to some animal and bird species which enhance the experience of both the bird watchers and wildlife lovers. Crescent Island also offers other activities like hiking, walking safaris and cycling.

Game Viewing
Despite the fact that Lake Naivasha National Park is small in size, it hosts over 100 animal species. A game drive through the park will expose you to a variety of these animals which include Hippos, Giraffes, Waterbucks, Zebras and many other wildlife species. During the drive, you are also able to sight the various bird species that nestle in the park.

Exploring Lake Naivasha
Exploring Lake Naivasha by a boat brings you closer to its unique and rich species of wildlife, birds and other aquatic life. The Fish eagle is the most captivating of the bird life here. The lake also presents an opportunity to do fishing.

Bird Watching
With over 500 bird species, the birds of Lake National National Park are the foremost attractions. These can be spotted during a boat trip on the lake and commonly seen species include the Grey-backed Fiscal, Spectacled weaver, cormorants, pelicans, Jacanas, Herons among others.

Horseback riding
Your safari never gets as exciting as when you sit astride the back of a horse to explore the park. Horse riding allows you to get up-close to nature to appreciate it better. This guided ride allows visitors to see herds of buffalos, giraffes, warthogs, antelopes among other varied species.

Mount Longonot
Located Southeast of Lake Naivasha, Mount Longonot presents an irresistible urge to conquer its crater. The hike to the top of this dormant volcano takes your through a trail with possibilities of spotting leopards, buffalos, antelopes among other species.

How to get to Lake Naivasha National Park
Road access to Lake Naivasha National Park from Nairobi can be by use of a privately owned vehicle or public transport to Naivasha town and eventually to Lake Naivasha National Park.

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Lake Nakuru National park is located in Central Kenya, about 140km Southwest of Nairobi and lies in the South of Nakuru town in the rift valley of Kenya. The park was established in 1961 and was originally protected as a bird sanctuary. This park was also the first national rhino sanctuary and hosts one of the largest concentration of black rhinoceros in Africa and the world. Lake Nakuru, found in the middle of the park occupies about a third of the National park and is surrounded by an ecosystem of wooded and bushy grasslands. The park is famous for thousands of flamingos that hang around the lake. The highly saline nature of the lake supports the abundant growth of algae which is the main food source for the flamingos therefore attracting a vast flock together with pelicans that famously nestle around the shore. During the peak season, these birds reach up to 2 million in number and attract about 300 million tourists who travel from all over the world annually to majorly experience this beauty. The baboon cliff gives the best view point for the birds and other wildlife species in the park.

Birds in Lake Nakuru National Park
The park is also a great birding destination with over 400 bird species, most notably the large flocks of flamingos and pelicans. Other bird species include the long-crested eagle, long-tailed widowbird, white headed vulture, black winged lapwing, red caped lark, grey crowned crane, African fish eagle and pied king fisher.
Many visitors wonder Lake Nakuru National park because of the “flamingos”. The lake is famous for having the world’s greatest bird spectacle of pink flamingos; often more than a million or two on the lake shores during the peak season. They feed on the abundant algae, which thrives in the warm waters.
Main attractions and activities.
Flamingos
A family of large, brilliantly coloured flamingos in the family phoenicopteridae inhabit the alkaline and saline lakes and lagoons. They prefer to live in hot dry regions, avoiding cool moist forested areas. These flamingos are of two kinds; the Greater and Lesser flamingos. There deep bill is specialized to filtering tiny food items from the water and mud.
Greater flamingos.
The Phoenicopterus Greater flamingo are much larger than the Lesser flamingo in structure(large individuals standing nearly 6ft tall ),pale pink or white at a distance with a line of bright coral pink in folded wing .
Greater flamingos are adopted to feeding on relatively large organisms in the bottom and deep water, whereas the deep keeled species adopted for feeding on the surface or shallow water.

Lesser flamingos
The Phoeniconaias minor lesser flamingo is the smallest and most numerous species of flamingos. They have a pinkish white plumage and live on the shores of alkaline lakes and lagoons. Most flamingos feed on filtering small or microscopic plant life from mud and water.

Flamingos prefer to breed on soft mud on which they built characteristic moults usually 6 to 18 (15-46cm) high, shaped like truncated cones with a hollow opening at the top.
Chicks are fed on liquid regurgitated food from the parent’s crop into the mouth of the chicks. Small chicks are often fed while being brooded under the parent’s wing but as soon as they become active they are normally fed standing. Both parents take the responsibility of feeding the chicks.

Hiking
Go hiking to Malaika falls. The falls can be accessed by car and it’s about an hour’s drive from the main gate. The spectacular views from the top of the cliffs is worthwhile and mind rejuvenating after a strenuous climb.

Picnic
The park also offers adventures on some of the most scenic ridges and stunning views of the rift valley which complement the beauty of the park. The baboon cliff near the Western part of the park is an ideal location for viewing birds, sightseeing and the interaction with the baboons which are very common here.
On the North Eastern shore of the lake is the Lion hill where on a good day, you are able to see Lions, spectacular views of the park and the surrounding environment.
The South-western shore of Lake Nakuru has the Out of Africa Look Out. This site is famous for its scenic views showcased in the movie of the same name.
Wildlife of Lake Nakuru National Park Game viewing
The park is rich in wildlife and offers easy wildlife viewing with high possibilities of seeing all the big 4 except Elephants.
Have a chance to see animals like lions cheetah, warthogs, zebras, buffalos, rhinos, colobus monkeys, elands and waterbuck among others.

How to get to Lake Nakuru national park?
The park has three gates; the main gate, Lanet gate and Nderit gate which ease road access. The park is commonly accessed via the main gate, 4 km from Nakuru Town Centre. It can also be accessed from the main Nairobi-Nakuru road at Lanet Gate. Nairobi-Nakuru highway is the most frequently used and provides the best access for visitors coming from Nairobi. This drive takes about 3-4 hours through beautiful sights of vegetation and communities.
Visitors coming through the Southern part of the park can also have access through Masai Mara or Elementaita using the Nderit Gate.
Naishi airstrip in Lake Nakuru National Park facilitates access by air from Jomo Kenyatta airport.
Where to stay in Lake Nakuru National Park
The park offers accommodation and some of these facilities include Flamingo Hill Tented Camp, Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Maili Saba Camp, Hotel Waterbuck Nakuru, Mwakimugi Camp And Hotel, Mbweha Camp, Kivu Resort, Hotel Genevieve

MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Lying next to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park is Maasai Mara National Reserve, locally known as The Mara. It is a 1,510 km² area of preserved savannah wilderness in Southwestern Kenya established in 1961 and named in honor of the Maasai people who are the ancestral inhabitants of the area.
The Maasai migrated to this area from the Nile Basin and their description of the area when looked at from afar comes from two words: “Maasai” coming from the Maasai tribe and “Mara” meaning “spotted” in the local Maasai language, due to the many short bushy trees which spread dottily across this expansive landscape.
When it was originally established in 1961 as a wildlife sanctuary, the Mara covered only 520 km2 (200 sq. mi) of the current area, including the Mara Triangle. The area was extended to the East in 1961 to cover 1,821 km2 (703 sq. mi) and converted to a Game Reserve. The Narok County Council (NCC) took over management of the reserve at this time. Part of the reserve was given National Reserve status in 1974, and the remaining area of 159 km2 (61 sq. mi) was returned to local communities. An additional 162 km2 (63 sq. mi) were removed from the reserve in 1976, and the park was reduced to 1,510 km2 (580 sq. mi) in 1984. 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.
Wildlife in Maasai Mara National Park
Maasai Mara is one of the most famous and spectacular wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa, world-renowned for its exceptional populations of Lions, African leopard, Cheetah and African Bush Elephant. It also hosts the Great Migration, which secured it as one of the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa, and as one of the 10 Wonders of the World. This Great annual Migration takes place between the month of July to the end of August where over 2 million wildebeests and Grant’s Zebras cross Northwards from the adjacent Serengeti National Park at the border through the crocodile-infested Mara River into the park in an attempt to find new fresh pasture and water. Together with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it forms Africa’s most diverse, incredible and most spectacular eco-systems and possibly the world’s top safari big game viewing eco-system. Other wildlife species noticeable in the park include zebra, buffalos, oribis, crocodiles, giraffe, impalas, eland, hippos and the rarely sighted black rhino.

Other major attractions and activities in Maasai Mara National Reserve
Visitors can indulge in a myriad of activities including:
Game drives
Maasai Mara National Park is magical with game drives with spectacular views of savannah plains during the day drive. The day game drives give chance to witness the African sunrise and an opportunity to encounter restless kobs and gazelles, herds of free-ranging elephants, the lions in action or resting after enjoying their kill for the day among others. During the night game drive, you get exposed to other nocturnal animals like the Bush babies, Cape Hares, Aardvarks and the cats like the lions, leopards, civets, porcupines and others.

Birding
Bird watching is one of the great activities not to miss out when in Maasai Mara National Reserve. When it comes to birding in the Maasai Mara plains, we expect to twitch a lot of typical Savannah species. The park itself boosts a record of over 450 species. For special sightings of raptors, you could tick off about 50 different raptor species. Among other special birds in the park are the Usambiro Barbert, Secretary Bird, Kori Bustard, Pygmy Falcon, Harlequin Quail and the rare Quail Plover.

Cultural visit
A visit to the Maasai Mara National Reserve without an encounter with the legendary Maasai people, from which the park derives its name would seem incomplete. The Maasai people have over the time preserved their rich, indigenous and exclusive traditional ways of live despite the flock of visitors who come from all corners of the world with different cultural believes. They have kept their traditions, customs and believes intact. A visit to the homesteads of the Maasai people will expose you to more active and lively traditional dancing stanzas of up and down, to learning how to milk their indigenous cows, getting fresh blood from the animal, making their traditional houses and many more activities.

Nature walks
Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the reserves in Africa where nature walks are allowed despite the presence of the big 5. This is usually undertaken by the help of an armed ranger guide who will guide through trails which are less used by the predators such as the lion, leopard, cheetah and many others to help you view animals in a more natural way without using vehicles. These nature walks are usually within the camp or lodge and outside the main reserve. Within the park, the walk can take approximately 1 hour whereas out of the reserve, it can go between 2-3 hours. These walks are best done early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun is not very hot.

Hot air balloon safaris
A hot air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara is another exciting activity to undertake here. This life-time adventure takes visitors on a drift over the expansive plains, forests and rivers with an aerial view of abundant game life roaming the reserve. This usually one hour experience takes about 12-14 visitors in the balloon’s basket leading to a relaxed bush breakfast among other captivating activities. Guests are advised to wear warm clothing, carry along a camera to capture these moments and a notebook to list all sightings.

How to get to Maasai Mara National Reserve
By Air
The quickest way to Maasai Mara National Reserve is by flying. Daily flights from Wilson airport are provided by companies such as Air Kenya and Safari Link which flights take about 45 minutes arriving to airstrips near your accommodation facility. (Depending on where you choose to stay)
By Road
Maasai Mara National Reserve is about 280km (5-6 hours) west of Nairobi City. On your journey to the Mara, you will enjoy breathtaking views including that of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Suswa and Mount Longonot. The road from Narok to the reserve is quite rough and it is advisable to use a 4×4 vehicle as this will make your drive smoother. Once at the Mara, there are number of entry gates such as Talek, Oloololo, Sekenani, Musiara and Sand River gates.

MERU NATIONAL PARK
Meru National Park is located east of Meru and straddles the equator. The park from Nairobi City is about 350km and occupies an area of about 870 square kilometres. Established in 1968 and being one of the least visited protected areas in Kenya, Meru National park is the least spoilt and promising parks. Meru National Park became famous after animal conservationists Joy Adamson and her husband George Adamson hand-reared an orphaned Lioness called Elsa, which inspired the best-selling non-fictional book and award-winning movie Born Free. When Elsa died, Joy buried her remains in the park and was as well buried at the same site next to Adamson’s fall where Tana River is.
During the 1980’s, Meru National Park went through a dark time when poachers very aggressively poached and wiped out the entire white rhino population that had been introduced in the park. Their barbaric action forced the Kenyan government to promptly swing into action with the same force, driving out the poachers and tightening the security of the park. This was followed by the restoration of the once thriving white rhino population and other wildlife into the park hence bringing it back to its former glory.
Although the tourists’ numbers are still low in the park today, the wildlife numbers have steadily increased over the years making the park one of the most promising protected areas in Kenya and the East African region.

Key attractions and activities.
Burial site of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lioness
When animal conservationist Joy Adam who was also the wife to George Adamson died, she was buried in the park next to the grave of Elsa, the orphaned lioness who they hand-reared. Because of the works this couple had done in Meru National Park, a memorial site was constructed here in recognition of their efforts. This Dutch couple were the first explorers to enter the park and visitors interested in learning about their interesting history and conservation works can find all this information here.
Adamson’s fall
Situated in the cavern of Hastings, Adams Falls which was named after notable animal conservationists George and Joy Adamson stands 50m high and offers some sightings. Hiking to the top of the falls takes about 2-3 hours depending on the fitness level of the hikers but once at the top, the strenuous hike is so rewarding.
Bird watching
With over 300 bird species, visitors have the opportunity to see both swamp, forest and open savannah species some of which include the Maasai Ostrich, Guineafowl, Fish Eagle, Kori Bustard, Palm Weaver, African Finfoot, Secretary Bird, Wattled Starling, Martial Eagle and the Boran Cisticola.
Nature walks
A walking safari across Meru National Park allows visitors to focus on the smaller details in the park and may reveal to you animals like the bohor reedbuck, wallowing buffalos, the elusive caracal and over 400 species of lively birds.
Game viewing
Meru National Park is home to the African Big 5 and a variety of other rich wildlife species. Some of the mammal species that roam this complete wilderness include elephant, rhino, cheetah, leopard, both Grevy’s and Plain zebra, reticulated giraffe, hippo, buffalo and hartebeest among others. The cats are more difficult to see in Meru National Park due to the thick, tall grass cover and bushland. However, experienced driver guides can be able to locate where these cats are and give the visitors an opportunity to see these rarely sighted cats.
Cultural safaris
Meru National Park is a melting point of culture. The generosity of the local community has enhanced the success of the park. On the slopes of Nyambene hills to the West of the park are the Meru people who are predominantly agriculturalists with hectares of catha edulis plants (Miraa) and coffee. The Kamba, Borana and Orma pastoralist communities also border the park. These provide a rich cultural diversity and experience to visitors who want to find out more about the rich lifestyle of these people.

How to get to Meru National Park
Meru National Park can be accessed by both road and air transport.
Road Access
From Nairobi, Meru National park can be reached via Nyeri-Nanyuki route or using Embu to Ura gate
By Air
There are daily scheduled flights from Nairobi to any of the two airstrips in the park. These are the main airstrip at Kina, Mulika and Elsa Kopje’s airstrip.

MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK
Located 175km North-east of the capital Nairobi, the mountain of brightness as referred to by Kenyans is one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa with rugged glacier-clad summits, Afro-alpine moorlands and a variety of forests which demonstrate its unparalleled ecological processes. Established in 1949, the park covers an area of about 715 square kilometres and standing over just 5000m. Initially a forest reserve, the park currently is encircled by the forest reserve and was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in April 1978 and later a World Heritage Site in 1997 when the park and reserve were combined to protect Mount Kenya, its flora and fauna as well as other ecosystems which keep life in it thriving . It is the highest mountain in Kenya and second in Africa after Mount Kilimanjaro. This stunning mountain is a dormant volcano and the major water source to about 50% of the population, also contributing about 65% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.
Mountain Kenya served as a throne on earth for Ngai, the god of the Kikuyu people who live on the Southern and Western sides of the mountain.
Mount Kenya has three main peaks; Batian, Nelion and Lenana. The former being the highest and highly technical which makes them rarely climbed compared to Point Lenana which is a trekking point. Other peaks on the jagged landscape include Coryndon, Piggot, Dutton, and John presenting interesting rock climbs.
Statistics show that about 15,000 people climb Mount Kenya yearly and the biggest percentage of this go to Lenana peak at 4,985 meters because of ease of reach. The two other higher peaks attract only a few hundred climbers.
The three main routes used to climb are Naro Moru to the West, Sirimon on the North West and Chogoria on the South catering for 90% of all trekkers visiting this stunning snow caped landform.
Accessing the park
Access to the park by road is good with an estimated drive time of 4 hours through a good road from Nairobi using the Nanyuki-Isiolo road. This passes through the Sirimon track or using Nyeri-nanyuki road close to Naro Moru. Other access points are Chogoria through the Embu-Meru road, which takes approximately 2 and a half hours North of Nairobi. There are also many other public taxis and shuttles that traverse this route daily to Mt. Kenya area.
Wildlife in the park
While in the park, you will be able to see animals which include elands, elephants, waterbucks, black fronted duiker, tree hyrax, bushbucks, white-tailed mongoose, cape buffalos, dik-dik and mole rats.
The park also hosts a number of captivating high-altitude vegetation including lobelias and giant groundsels.
Rare sightings include the leopard, bongo and giant forest hog.
Bird watching
The park is a refugee to over 130 species of birds. Due to its montane avifauna, most of these are forest birds. Some of these include bronze-napped pigeon, Ayres hawk eagle, red-headed parrot, mountain Buzzard, Jackson’s Francolin, slender-billed starling, black-headed waxbill.

NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Located in the world’s only wildlife capital, Nairobi National Park is about 7km South of Nairobi city and it’s the most visited park due to its proximity to Nairobi city. The park was the first to be gazetted in Kenya on December 16, 1946, covering an area of 117.2 square kilometres and inhabiting over 100 mammal species and 400 migratory and endemic bird species. The park is famous for the conservation of the endangered black rhinoceros making it the world’s densest concentration of these magnificent creatures (more than 50). It is also home to a wide variety of wildlife including lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, buffalos, giraffes among others. Notable bird species include ostriches, blacksmith lapwing, black headed heron, and common moorhen among other varieties.

Main activities in Nairobi National Park include
Game drive
Get up-close with nature during the game drive with encounters of spectacular varied animal species including the endangered black rhinos, herds of buffaloes, towers of giraffes, prides of lions among others.
Bird-viewing
The park offers birding opportunities and holds up to 400 different migratory and endemic bird species. Migratory bird species enter the reserve between November and April making bird viewing possible all year round. Notable bird species are the black headed heron, Somali ostriches, blacksmith lapwing, and Somali bee eater among others.
Walking safaris
This safari is done along a raised wooden walkway allowing visitors to have an aerial view of the spectacular landscapes and animals of the park. This activity also prepares the mind of the visitors on what to expect in the reserve when they move closer to the animals during the game drives.

Other attractions in Nairobi National Park include
Nairobi Animal Orphanage
Located within the park, the orphanage serves as a nursing and healing centre for wild animals. It provides refuge to a variety of wildlife including black rhinos, lions, leopards, buffaloes, cheetahs, hyenas, serval cats, warthogs, baboons and various monkeys. The orphanage also has various bird species including the crowned cranes, ostriches, parrots and guinea fowls. The orphanage presents an opportunity to learn about the rescued animals.

Impala Observation Point
Situated only about 3km away from the main gate, the Impala observation point and picnic site is sitted high on a hill and is among the best spots in the park to picnic or just take a break. It gives panoramic views bird’s eye view of the nearby savannah plains where impalas usually spend most of their time. The site is also a good spot for watching birds and on a lucky day you may see predators.

The Ivory Burning Site and Picnic Area
This historic site is where 2,000 elephant tusks weighing 12 tonnes were set ablaze by Kenya’s former president Daniel Arap Moi on the 18th of July 1989. The ivory was confiscated from poachers before entering the market, stored and later burnt to demonstrate Kenya’s commitment to the conservation of the African elephants and zero tolerance to ivory trade.
Today, the site bears a monument, ashes of the ivory, as well as lawn with benches and lavatory that serve as a picnic site.

How to get to Nairobi National Park
By road
The park is only 9km south of the city and can be accessed by public or private transport via Langata road.
By air
Jomo Kenya International Airport and Wilson Airport receive international flights arriving in Nairobi.

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Situated in the arid plains North of Laikipia in Northern Kenya, on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River (meaning brown water) is Samburu National Reserve. The reserve is about 165 square kilometres in size and located 350 kilometres from Nairobi city. It is also the traditional homeland of the Samburu people (cousins of the Maasai) who were lured to this area due to the availability and reliability of the Ewaso Ng’iro River that provides water for their herds. The crocodile-infested river is also a thirst-quenching point and attracts an abundance of wildlife from the surrounding savannah plains.
Samburu National Game Reserve
The park’s further distance from human encroachment as well as inaccessibility has helped to keep its beauty intact with very evident natural serenity.

Major attractions and activities in Samburu National Reserve
Animals
The reserve is rich in wildlife with abundance of the rare northern specials such as the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the Beisa oryx. These are also known referred to as the Samburu Special Five.
The reserve is rich in wildlife with abundance of the rare Northern special five species-the Somali ostrich, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, grevy’s zebra and the Beisa oryx. These are also known as the Samburu Special Five
Several noticeable large game species found in abundance include elephants, Cape buffaloes and hippopotamus as well as all three big cats; the cheetah, African leopard and the lion (Kamunyak, the famous miracle lioness that adopted a baby oryx resides in this remote pristine wilderness). Other mammal species frequently sighted include Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, waterbucks and olive baboons. Wild dogs sightings are also a common attraction in this reserve.
Birds
For the bird lovers, over 350 bird species have been recorded in this majestic wilderness including Sunbirds, Bee-eaters, Secretary bird, vulturine guinea fowl, Superb starling. Lesser Kestrel and the Taita Falcon are global conservation concern and are found in the park. Other bird species in the park include the African Darter, Great Egret, White-headed vulture, Martial eagle, Tawny eagle, Yellow-necked spur fowl, Lilac-breasted roller, Secretary bird, Superb sterling, Northern red-billed hornbill, Vultures and the Yellow-billed woodpecker.
Cultural visit
An exciting visit to the traditional homes of the Samburu people will offer you an enormous experience of the traditional lifestyle of these desert pastoralists whose traditions have quite moved from that of their Maasai cousins. More captivating is an opportunity to see and enter the traditional Manyatta.
Game drive
Game drives will allow you to explore the park and see a myriad of wildlife, most notable the rare Northern special five which are the Somali ostrich, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, grevy’s zebra and the Beisa oryx. Other sightings in this dusty reserve include leopards, large herds of buffalos, cheetahs and lions.
How to get to Samburu National Reserve
By road
Samburu National Park is only 350km from Nairobi city and therefore can easily be accessed by self-drive or hired car, a drive that takes about 6 hours.
By air
International flights can arrive in Nairobi through Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Moi International Airport. From here, you can then take a charter flight to one of the airstrips within the reserve.

Cultural attractions
Karen Blixen Museum.
The Karen Blixen Museum is situated at a distance of 10 km outside the premises of central Nairobi, Kenya. It is topographically situated at the foot of the Ngong Hills, and is the previous African home of Danish writer Karen Blixen, who was acclaimed for her book “Out of Africa”. The book illustrates and narrates incidents from her life, and the history of Kenya and its influences upon her life. Karen Blixen had lived in this house at a favored location at the edge of Nairobi, and it has now been transformed into a museum in her distinction and honors. Blixen had existed here from 1914 to 1931 and additionally ran a cafe estate on the site. Initially claimed by the Danish government, the house was given to Kenya to commemorate the nation’s freedom.

Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park.
The green lush fields and grand aspects of Uhuru Gardens Memorial Park furnish a welcome distraction and sabbatical from the disarray and offer guests a spot to gain a learning experience. Weekdays are generally tranquil in this slope park, and weekends are found bustling with nearby families out on excursion in the sun. The prime utilization of Uhuru’s inclining slope is as a stadium seating for the political addresses, so it is advised to make sure to check if political meetings have been booked on the day of the tourism visit. Inside the enclosure are two landmarks symbolizing Kenya’s autonomy, and a Mugumo (fig) tree. The Mugumo tree is typical as it was planted on the spot where the Union Jack (British banner) was cut down and Kenya’s national banner was initially lifted. The site is of a differing aesthetic and symbolic quality of the local greenery of savannah forest.

Nairobi National Museum, Nairobi
The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) is a State Corporation that supervises Museums, Sites and Monuments in Kenya. It is a highly famous and central attraction and zone of perfection regarding the heritage exploration of the nation, along with an abundance of mastery in subjects ranging from paleontology, ethnography and biodiversity investigation to national protection. Its home office and the National Museum (Nairobi National Museum) are spotted on the Museum Hill, close to the Uhuru Highway between the Central Business District and the Westlands of Nairobi. The NMK was established by the East Africa Natural History Society in 1910, and the Society’s primary objective was and has been to direct a continuously indiscriminating and investigative examination of the common qualities of the East African community groups. The exhibition hall houses gallery accumulations and exhibition shows, of both occasional and lasting displays. Presently, the NMK administers over 22 territorial display centers, numerous destinations, and landmarks over the country. Different attractions inside the grounds incorporate the Nairobi Snake Park and the Botanic Garden and nature trail. The gallery’s business wing has restaurants and shops to guarantee a significant and wholesome experience for the international visitors.

Nairobi Gallery
The Nairobi Gallery is an extremely charming and cozy display Centre that has normal workmanship presentations. The main structure is the old Provincial Commissioner’s office building which was affectionately alluded to by the name of ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ by the pilgrim neighborhood on account of the births and relational unions that were recorded here. For those intrigued by “old Kenya”, the Gallery gives a chance for guests to see some of Nairobi’s pioneer past dating very nearly 100 years. With wooden entryway and window outlines, the shafts in the top side are the principle point of convergence for this fascinating building. The focal passage is built round with a high domed top side. It makes an impeccable beginning stage for any presentation with 5 rooms heading from it and a wide corridor for additional show space. This special building is right in the heart of Nairobi

African Heritage House,
The African Heritage House disregarding the Nairobi National Park is depicted by the prestigious Architectural Digest as “a construction modeling developed from the peaceful Kenyan plain as an outcropping of earth, and a dream of helpfulness enriched by the African virtuoso for embellishment.” Composed by American Alan Donovan, fellow benefactor of the African Heritage Pan African Galleries, the house is a synthesis of the mud architectures from all the zones crosswise over Africa. Visits may be orchestrated to the house through travel offices, lodgings, or through the contact mechanisms provided.

Bomas of Kenya.
The Bomas of Kenya is a visitor village in Langata, Nairobi. The Bomas estates show universal villages having a distinct place among the numerous Kenyan tribes. Bomas of Kenya Nairobi was secured by the administration in 1971 as a subsidiary organization of the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation as a vacation destination. It likewise needed to save, look after and safeguard the rich and differing social qualities of different tribal assemblies of Kenya. The Bomas of Kenya represents Kenya in a small scale. It is an absolute visiting necessity to all guests. Arranged 10km from Nairobi downtown area, and in the proximity of 1 km from the principle passage of the diverse Nairobi National Park, the Bomas of Kenya gives the visitors a chance to see the striking differences of societies that make up the captivating nation. At Bomas, diverse parts of Kenyan society are shown incorporating living styles, life leading, music and settlements. The statement bomass were determined from “Boma” a Swahili word for encasing residence and there are presently a numerous of distinctive “Bomas”, every one speaking of Kenya’s major ethnic aggregations. The visitors can’t bear to miss the most energizing customary dances, moves and gymnastic show which begins at a regular time on a daily basis.

Railway Museum.
The Nairobi Railway Museum is a renowned historical center in Nairobi, Kenya, contiguous to the Nairobi rail station. Holding shows from the old East African Railways, it was opened in 1971 by East African Railways and Harbors Corporation. It is attended by the Kenya Railways as of today. The gallery largely features the support of its rail association. This takes into account the effective development of display center exhibitions for the maintenance and so on.

Tom Mboya Statue.
The Tom Mboya Monument is situated along the Moi Avenue of Nairobi Kenya. It was raised in 2011 in the honor of Tom Mboya, a Kenyan Minister who was dispatched in 1969. Standing in the proximity of twenty meters from where the late Hon. Tom Mboya was assassinated, the landmark is around the most recent architecture in the Nairobi. Tom Mboya’s statue is truly tall and stands at the very least ten meters starting from the base. Moreover, with scarcely less than six months since its revealing, the landmark’s area has turned out to be a standout amongst the most famous points of visit which are right now accessible inside the Nairobi. Mboya was a standout amongst the most conspicuous figures in Kenya’s battle for freedom, and he viably took control of patriotic resistance to the British guideline when a significant number of its different guides, incorporating Jomo Kenyatta, were detained. He turned into the equity pastor in the post autonomy Kenyatta government and was the commercial concerns’ advisor around the time of his dispatching. The flamingos at the base of the figure represents his setting up the Airlift Africa venture, which was a way-through that helped East African people study in the United States. President Barack Obama’s father had been one of the influential Airlift supporters.

American Embassy Memorial Garden.
The American Embassy Memorial Garden is the previous site of the American Embassy, which was devastated by the terrorist bombings of 1998. It’s a perfect minimal spot regardless of being situated directly between Moi and Haile Selassie Aves. Spotted in the downtown area, this well-kept garden goes about as a solemn indication of the besieging community from the American Embassy in Kenya. It is widely regarded as the site to pay the regards for the harm faced in the attack.

The Maasai People at the Loita Plains in Narok, Maasai are a proud and confident people who have gained a reputation as fearless warriors. They stand out because of their colorful garments, jewelry and spear-wielding habit. The Maasai depend entirely on their livestock and because of that live a nomadic life in search of pasture/water. The Maasai tend to live in communities or small settlements that can contain between 8 to 15 houses. The settlements are protected from predators using thorn fences and bushes.

Mijikenda Kaya forests, these sacred forests are best to experience Kenya cultures. There are 11 forests in the area – each surrounded by villages which were built in the sixteenth century. Most of the village folks abandoned the villages in the 1940’s leaving behind the elders to keep the cultural values alive. The elders have ensured that their ancient practices and believes remain intact. Visit the Mijikenda Kaya forests for a truly unique cultural experience that is different from everything else we have discussed so far.

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