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Kenya National Reserves and Parks

Kenya National Reserves and Parks

The Best National Reserves and National Parks in Kenyanairobi ntl park 1 Kenya National Reserves and Parks

The national parks and reserves in Kenya are found in various places around the country. Some are small in size while others are very big in size. Some are known throughout the world while others are just famous locally but all for really good reasons.

Tourists visit Kenya all year round to have a taste of the safari experience in Kenya. Safaris in Kenya are usually fun packed with tourists having a lot of activities and adventure during the safari. The national reserves and national parks in Kenya have various accommodation facilities that tourists can use whenever they visit want to go on safaris.

Tourists visiting Kenya for safaris can either choose to use safari camps, safari lodges, hotels or tented camps. There are very many of these facilities around the country. Some are in the national reserves or national parks while others are outside the perimeter of the national parks and national reserves.

The prices in these hotels, lodges and safari camps vary from place to place. There is no fixed rate for accommodation. These prices also vary throughout the year. Hotels change their rate depending on what season it is. There are high and low seasons when it comes to tourism in Kenya. The high season always experiences an influx of the number of tourists visiting the country while the low season experiences a low turnout compared to the high season.

During the low seasons, the rates of different accommodation spots usually drop by a considerable margin. It is usually very significant that many tourists choose to visit Kenya during this period to take advantage of the low charges. Other camps usually choose to close down temporarily until normalcy resumes in the parks.

Top National Reserves and National Parks in Kenya

So what are the most famous national reserves and national parks in Kenya? If you are planning come for safaris in Kenya, it is important that you know what the best places are to visit and what activities to expect when you visit these places.

You have a big decision to make because unless you have all the time to spend on holiday and all the money, you can never visit each national reserve and national park in Kenya. You will have to do a good research on your best destinations to visit and make sure they fit on your holiday timeline. While making these decisions, it is important that you also consider your budget for your holiday.

Below are some of the most popular national reserves and national parks in Kenya that you need to consider when visiting Kenya. These are ideal destinations for safaris and are famous among tourists who visit Africa.

The Masai Mara National Reserve

The Masai Mara National Reserve is found in Masai Mara. Masai Mara is in Rift Valley province and the closest town to the Masai Mara National Reserve is Narok Town. The native inhabitants of the area the Masai people and therefore the area gets its name from the Masai people and consequently the national reserves’ name is coined from the name of the place.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is the most popular safari destinations in Kenya and it is also quite popular in Africa. This is home to countless wildlife species and therefore a great place for safaris and adventure in Kenya. It is home to the big 5, that is, the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo.

There are also other very many interesting animals that call Masai Mara home. These include cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, gazelles, giraffes and many others. When you go for game drives in the Masai Mara, these animals can be easily seen and if you have a good guide, you will be taken to various spots famous for various animals you are interested in.

The Nairobi National Park

The Nairobi National Park is one of the most interesting national parks in the world. This is because it is the only national park that is found with a city. Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and the busiest of all the towns in Kenya. Nairobi is a metropolitan with all walks of life residing in the city.

The National Park is about 7km from the city’s CBD and just a few minutes ride will get you to the entrance of this national park. From the Nairobi National Park, you can see the tall buildings of Nairobi town and it is usually a great experience even to the city dwellers. It is convenient in that you do not have to travel long distances to see the big 5 or other animals on safari.

The animals are kept within the park’s perimeter by a fence but many times some of the animals make it out of the perimeter and cause a buzz around the neighboring areas. Just a few months back photos made rounds around the world. Some lions made it out of the national park to cause a snarl up of traffic as motorists got a rare treat of the wild beasts wrestling it out on the usually busy Langata Road.

The Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is also in Rift Valley. The national park gets its name from the Lake Nakuru that is found in the area. The lake is famous for its pink flamingo cover. It is an ideal place for bird lovers and the serenity of the area makes it an ideal destination for holidays.

There are other very many animals you can find in the park including the rhino of course other water animals and fish like Tilapia. There are very many hotels and lodges in Lake Nakuru that tourists can use when they visit the area. Nakuru is close to Nairobi and therefore offering a bit of convenience especially to domestic tourists.

The Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks

These twin national parks are found in the coast province. You can access these national parks from Mombasa, Voi or Malindi. The area is generally semi arid and dusty but is very rich when it comes to wildlife. This is the place to visit if you are particularly interested in seeing elephants.

The Tsavo East National Park and the Tsavo West National Parks are separate National Parks and therefore one cannot simply hop in and out of both. There are very many attractions in these parks including springs and Tsavo is also rich archeologically. There are also countless activities to do in Tsavo including rock climbing among other adventurous activities.

The Mount Kenya National Park

The Mount Kenya National Park is one of the best places for adventurous safaris in Kenya. There are very many activities that tourists take part in when they visit the Mount Kenya National Park. This national park is found in the central province of Kenya and get its name from the Mount Kenya, the tallest mountain in Kenya and the second tallest in Africa.

Apart from the wildlife in the park, tourists also get the rare treat of climbing Mount Kenya. There are different peaks that you can climb but each has its own fair share of challenges to deal with. It is always a thrilling experience to make it to the top and back and that is why Mount Kenya National Park gets tourists visiting the area all throughout the year.

The Amboseli National Park

Amboseli is also one of the most popular spots for safaris in Kenya. It is just south of Masai Mara and is rich in both flora and fauna. However, it is most famous for its scenic views of the Mount Kilimanjaro. From various safari camps and safari lodges in Amboseli, you have a great view of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro which has its foot in Kenya.

There are very many animals to see including the big 5. The Amboseli has the Savannah vegetation and the weather in the area is just about right for safaris. The Amboseli National park is also famous for elephants and therefore is an ideal safari destination if you are particularly interested in elephant’s activities.

There are other very many national reserves and national parks in Kenya. These include Kakamega Rain Forest National Reserve, Hell’s Gate National Park, Meru National Park, Sibiloi National Park and Buffalo Springs National Reserve among others. All these national reserves and national parks in Kenya make safaris in Kenya a memorable experience and will surely leave you wanting for more.

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Archaeological Sites in Kenya

Archaeological Sites in Kenya

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Kenya is a magical land with rich history that dates back to several million years ago. This is evident through the numerous archaeological sites located in different parts of the country.

Most of these sites provide historians with the opportunity of studying the behavioral pattern of early man. Light is also shed on some of the ancient civilizations to inhabit this part of the earth.

The Leakey’s family is largely credited to the success of discovery and excavation of many of these significant sites. Mary and Louis plus their son Richard have unearthed plenty of fossils and artifacts.

Here are some of the top archeological sites in Kenya that act as attractions to historians and tourists alike.

Lake Turkana, Rift Valley

Lake Turkana is the largest alkaline lake and permanent lake located in a desert in the entire world. Located along the Rift Valley, this lake is the outlet for three other lakes namely: Kerio, Turkwel and Omo. Since it lacks an outlet, evaporation is the only method of water loss.

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Lake Turkana is home to Nile crocodiles, carpet vipers, scorpions, hundreds of bird species and more than 50 species of fish. The banks are grazed by mammals such as zebras, gazelles, rhinoceroses and elephants. Predators such as cheetahs and lions are also present. Hominids inhabited the area three million years ago when it was more fertile.

Hyrax Hill, Nakuru

In 1926, Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the Hyrax Hill. Excavations started a decade later which led to the conclusion that Neolithic presence there dates back to 1500 B.C. There is a fortress and several tombs.

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Of all the findings, six Indians coins must’ve been the most amazing. These coins date back to 500 years ago with no logical explanation of how they ended up there.

According to oral history, women were more politically powerful than men in that society. This is why they were buried with grave items such as mortars, pestles and dishes.

 Koobi Fora, Koobi Fora Ridge

Koobi Fora is an important site with vital info on the hominid species that dates back to 4.2 million years ago.

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Numerous terrestrial mammals and stone tools have also been discovered in the area. Two species of the Australopithecus and three species of the Homo co-existed in the area. While the Australopithecus species vanished, the Homo species continued to evolve thereby bringing forth new species of man.

The excavation process was quite challenging so Richard Leakey mobilized locals and trained them. The team was known as ‘The Hominid Gang’.

Pate Island, North Coast

Human activity on Pate Island dates back to the 7th century. The area was largely inhabited by the Arabs and served as an important port in the 14th century. The town prospered in fine art producing amazing goldsmiths, weavers, carpenters and musicians.

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Chinese porcelain artifacts discovered in Pate proved that Chinese explorers traded with the locals there centuries ago. Some even intermarried which is why some of the people there have Asian features. History also reveals that the Chinese explorers from the Zheng He’s voyage were shipwrecked at Pate. Tombs from the Ming Dynasty have been discovered there.

Kariandusi, Nakuru – Elementaita Basin

It was discovered in 1928 but its history dates back to 1 million years ago. Geological evidence proves that much larger lakes existed in the basin.

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The area is currently covered by the Elementaita and Lake Nakuru. Plenty of tools and weapons have been discovered in the riverbed. This led archeologists to believe that rising levels of the previous lakes might have been a contributing factor to migration.

The popular tool of choice in this Lower Paleolithic site was the hand axe. The tool was also discovered in other parts of the world like South Africa, France and England from the Acheulian period.

Olorgesailie, Eastern Rift Valley

Olorgesailie is not only a significant site for archeology but also for geology and paleontology too. Excavation on the site began in 1943, several decades after it was discovered.

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The hand axes were in abundance which suggested the Acheulian period. Some of the animal fossils found include those of giraffes, gazelles, zebras and hippos.

The findings also included fossils of some animals’ species that are now extinct. The first human fossil unearthed from Olorgesailie in 2003 was the skull of a Homo erectus. Volcano ash helped in preserving the fossils.

Lamu, Lamu Archipelago

Lamu town was established in 1370. It is the oldest town in Kenya to be continually inhabited. An invasion by the Portuguese in 1505 forced Lamu’s King to pay them royalties.

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A century later, the Oman helped locals from the town in successfully resisting the Portuguese. This consequently led to the ‘Golden Age’ of Lamu which was under the Omani protectorate. In the 17th century, the town prospered in trade, crafts, politics and poetry.

Notable landmarks in the area include: Lamu Fort, Riyadha Mosque and the Donkey Sanctuary. Swahili architecture is on brilliant display there.

Gedi Ruins, Malindi

Excavation expedition in Gedi began in 1948 and lasted for a period of 11 years. Artifacts from Spain, China, India and Venice suggested a cosmopolitan population which was approximated at 2,500.

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The architectural designs of houses in Gedi were quite complex. This is especially when taking into consideration that the town existed from 13th century to 17th century. The houses had flush toilets and modern drainage systems. There was also a palace and a mosque.

The Oromo from Somalia invaded the town in the 16th century driving out the original inhabitants.

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Africa Safari Adventure Seasons

Africa Safari Adventure Seasons

Tarangire NP May 2014 41 Africa Safari Adventure Seasons
Safaris are available year-round, but seasonal climate changes and other factors can affect game viewing and personal comfort. Today we’ll cover what you need to consider in choosing your ideal time to travel in the East Africa Safari destinations.

The best time for game-viewing is typically during the dry season, which varies from country to country as detailed below. During this season, temperatures are mild, animal populations are concentrated at rivers, pools and other water sources, and there is less vegetation to obstruct your view. However, the rainy season can have special draws as well, such as an influx of migrating birds.

 
Tanzania Safari Adventure Seasons 

 

tanzania mt kilimanjaro Africa Safari Adventure Seasons

Tanzania has two wet seasons each year, short rains that come intermittently in November and December, and long rains that fall roughly from February to May. Generally, the dryer months of June to October are best for wildlife viewing.  Tanzania from early June is warm, sunny days and comfortable nights and ideal game viewing not only in the world-famous Serengeti National Park but throughout the country.

During rainy periods in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which boasts a terrific density of wildlife, animals congregate on the short-grass plains to have their young. At nearby Lake Manyara National Park, bird populations peak during the rainy seasons. You’ll find large numbers of flamingos, storks, herons, cormorants, pelicans and geese, among others.

Kenya Safari Adventure Seasons

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Kenya’s best game-viewing periods are during the dry winter months of May through August and the warmer spring months of September and October.

Tanzania and Kenya share one of nature’s most amazing spectacles, the annual movement of nearly 2 million wildebeest and zebras and other animals across open savannahs in both countries, known as the great Migration .

Seasonal rains and droughts drive the migration, so the timing varies a little every year but there is a general pattern, described below. If you schedule your visit correctly, you’ll be treated to ideal weather and extraordinary wildlife viewing.

Wildebeests and zebras typically spend December to April nursing newborn calves in Tanzania. The slow-moving calves lure lions, cheetahs and hyenas, and the resulting mix of predator and prey offers prime viewing opportunities in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.

When the rains end, usually in May, the animals head north in search of food. This is the start of the Great Migration, a steady stream of animals in columns that stretch for miles, heading toward the western and northern Serengeti. June and July are the best months for witnessing the migration in Tanzania.

By August or September, the herds begin to cross into Kenya to graze amid the lush greenery of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Some naturalists claim that the Masai Mara contains the largest concentration of predators along the migratory route. The animals will stay here until October or November. Most safaris visit the area before fall brings another rainy season to the plains and the herds turn south, back to Tanzania.
For more information on the Great Migration, and to book a safari  see http://www.natureboundafrica.com

Uganda Safari Adventure Seasons

Murchison falls boat ride Africa Safari Adventure Seasons

 

Most travelers to Uganda want to trek through the jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to spend time with mountain gorillas. The best times for this are during the dry months of June through early September and late December through February. The rainy seasons are from mid-September to November and from March to May, and gorilla tracking during these times is more difficult. Daytime temperatures in most parts of the country are consistently warm all year, but it can get much cooler in the higher altitudes of Uganda’s mountains, especially at night.

Uganda’s traditional game-viewing preserves, like Queen Elizabeth National Park and Kibale National Park, also are best visited during the dry months noted above. Routes through the parks can become impassable during the rains.

Rwanda Safari Adventure Seasons

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Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda  is another key destination for gorilla encounters. Like Uganda, the best periods to track the primates are June through early September and late December through January, the region’s two dry seasons. The tiny country’s high altitude keeps temperatures relatively low here as well.

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How Tourism helps the Gorillas of Rwanda

How Tourism helps the Gorillas of Rwanda

Rwanda Uganda Gorilla Tracking Tours Gorilla Watching Congo How Tourism helps the Gorillas of Rwanda

Should we really be entering the habitat of some of the most endangered primates left on our earth, or should we just leave them alone? In my humble opinion – and in hindsight – gorilla safari tourism has been an unprecedented success.

In an ideal world we would leave endangered wildlife to their own devices so that they can live in peace and re-populate undisturbed, but the truth is that this is just not possible these days.

The human population is exploding across the world, putting pressure on food resources, infrastructure and natural resources. This puts huge pressure on the wildlife left on our planet’s surface, and Rwanda is no exception.

Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in Africa yet it is also one of the most densely populated with a fast growing economy. The growth of the economy is fantastic for the human population, but not for the gorillas.

Look at any aerial map of this beautiful country and you will see the patch work fields criss-crossing the countryside, surrounding one small green mass encompassing the Virunga Volcanoes and the last stronghold of the endangered mountain gorillas.

Eco-tourism has undoubtedly bought money and therefore stability to this small corner of Africa. With gorilla permits now costing USD$1,500 per person per day, this is a booming eco-tourism project.

Ok, I am sure at least some of this money is misappropriated, however a vast amount of it also filters through to the right areas, to the guides and anti-poaching patrols, to the park authorities, to the local communities that gain employment and improved infrastructure from the presence of this tourism.

As a result of ever present tourists within the area, Rwanda has also resulted in improved security, this means less poaching, tighter border patrols with its rather unstable neighbour DRC and as a result, increased mountain gorilla populations.

This is proven categorically by the numbers. Approximately 12 years ago, the mountain gorilla population was struggling at around 640, since then it has increased dramatically to 840 individuals. This does bring with it its own problems as the remaining habitat is so limited and surrounded on all side by human encroachment, but at least things are heading in the right direction.

Maybe more notice should be taken of this example. Rhinos, pangolins, elephants and more are under threat – we need to act quickly if we are going to halt the destruction of our natural world, as in recent years we have plundered our natural resources and it will soon be too late to do anything about it.

10 MUST VISIT PLACES ON A TRIP TO KENYA

10 MUST VISIT PLACES ON A TRIP TO KENYA 

Tsavo ntl park 10 MUST VISIT PLACES ON A TRIP TO KENYA

KENYA IS ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD. WITH ITS BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES, ANIMALS AND BREATHTAKING VEGETATION, THERE IS NO WAY ANYONE WOULD NOT WANT TO VISIT THE COUNTRY. TOURISTS COME TO KENYA FOR BOTH SAFARIS AND BUSINESS PURPOSES. THERE ARE MANY PLACES WHICH SERVE AS BOTH KENYA LUXURY SAFARIS RAND KENYA NORMAL SAFARIS (CHEAP). BUT WHAT ARE THE PLACES THAT EVERY TOURIST WANTS TO VISIT WHENEVER ON A VISIT TO KENYA? WE HAVE COMPILED A LIST OF 10 MUST VISIT PLACES WHILE ON A KENYAN SAFARI.

1.Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is about 7 KM away from Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi which is equivalent to a 10 minute drive. The park’s environment is comprised of open grass plains and scattered Acacia bushes. There are several tree species found here like, Apodytes dimidiataCanthium schimperiana among others. Some of the animals found here are black rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, African Buffalo, Ostrich, Maasai giraffe among others. Nairobi’s towers are visible from the park.

2.Maasai Mara National Park

This is the most visited tourist attraction site in Kenya. It’s famous for its remarkable population of wild animals and famous wildebeest migration. The Wildebeest Migration which takes place each year from July to October is one of the ‘Wonders of the World’. There are several hotels, Camps and conservancies that offer accommodation while on a visit to Maasai Mara.

3. Lake Nakuru

Lake Nakuru is one of the soda Lakes in Rift Valley Kenya. The Lake is famous for its beautiful flamingos that give a breathtaking view to tourists. It’s often referred to as the greatest bird spectacle on earth. Other animals found here are Baboons, Warthogs and the black & White rhinoceros. Other birds also camp at the lake.

4.Samburu National Reserve

The Samburu National reserve is located in Northern Kenya on the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River. This is a nice destination to see wild animals like blue-legged ostriches, Elephants, Leopard, Zebra as well as enjoy the culture and traditional practices of the Samburu People. There are daily flights from Nairobi to Samburu.

5.Mount Kenya

This is the highest mountain in Kenya and the Second highest mountain in the whole of Africa. Its slopes are covered with forests while its highest peaks are covered with snow. The highest peaks are Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m which are difficult to climb. However, there is another peak Lenana (4985m) which is easily accessible and tourists have much fun climbing it. Tourists can use huts built on the mountain for accommodation or put up tents.

6.Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National park is comprised of Tsavo east and Tsavo West National Parks. It’s located in the Kenyan coast. Tsavo East National Park is famous for Bird watching, animals like the Cape buffalo, Caracal, African Wildcat etc., Rock Climbing, Falls and dams and several other attractions. Tsavo West is famous for Rock climbing and wide range of wildlife.

7.Malindi and Watamu

If you are looking for a beach safari, Malindi is the place to visit while on a Kenyan Safari. It is an island located in the Kenyan coast surrounded by magnificent beaches. Watamu, also found in the Kenyan coast about 15 KM south of Maslindi is surrounded by beautiful beaches and has a National Park. Fishing is also practiced here. This is also where one of the world’s largest spitting cobra called “Nasha Ajei” was discovered in 2007.

8.Lamu

Lamu Island, found in the Kenyan coast is one of the oldest cities in Kenya. It is the place to go to when you want to ‘run away’ from the world. There are no disturbing matatus and buses here. Donkeys are greatly used as a means of transport. One will also find comfort in the beautiful oceanic waves. It is a quiet Kenya Safari destination.

9.Amboseli National Park

It is located on the Kenya-Tanzania border on the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro; the highest mountain in Africa. Amboseli National Park is famous for elephants and a very beautiful view of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

10.Hells Gate

As the name suggests, it’s one of the most adventurous Kenya safari destinations. It is the only place where tourists can take unguided walks and cycles. It is famous for its steep cliffs, gorges basalt columns and varied wildlife (few). Hells gate is one of the historical sites in Kenya.

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