This post was most recently updated on November 23rd, 2016
Kenya has a wide variety of landscapes, activities, cultures, wildlife as well as numerous opportunities for tourists. It offers a range of beautiful environments which are all within close proximity. As a tourist in the country, you’ll have the opportunity of visiting beautiful tropical forest, attractive sandy beaches and deserts. Additionally, you’ll be at liberty to explore the wild as well as climb mountains.
In Kenya, it’s very possible to have a safari that incorporates adventure, solitude, relaxation, new social experiences, luxury and natural simplicity.
Top Destinations in Kenya
The Mara is an extensive national reserve located in Narok County. It’s adjacent to Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. In the local language, Mara means spotted.
Masai Mara is considered to be among the top destinations in Kenya due to the high population of Masai Lions, Wildebeests, African Leopards, Thomson’ Gazelles, Tanzanian Cheetahs and Zebras. You must have heard/ read about the Great Migration that occurs in the Mara every year. If you wish to witness this magnificent occurrence, then you should consider visiting Masai Mara between July and October.
Masai Mara is part of the larger Mara Ecosystem, which consists of the following: Koiyaki, Kimintet, Lemek, Oloirien, Ol Chorro Oiruwa, Kerinkani, Olkinyei, Ol Derkesi, Siana, Naikara and Maji Moto.
Visiting the park gives you a rare opportunity of seeing all the Big Five: lions, black rhinoceros, leopards, African elephants and cape buffaloes.
The park also provides a habitat for hippos, bat-eared foxes, crocodiles, jackals and hyenas. More than 470 bird species also live in The Mara. They include: vultures, lilac breasted rollers, marabou stocks, African pygmy falcons, secretary birds, eagles, hornbills, ostriches, and crowned cranes.
Amboseli National Park
According to both foreign and domestic tourists who have had opportunities of visiting Amboseli National Park, it is among the top destinations in Kenya. It’s located in Kajiado County and occupies an area of approximately 400 square kilometers.
The surrounding area is predominantly inhabited by the Masai, and these people are usually very friendly and hospitable to tourists.
The park is only 150 miles from the capital city, which many tourists find quite convenient.
If you’re interested in getting very close to roaming elephants, then this is the best place for you. You’ll have the unique opportunity of visiting Masai villages, meeting the famous Masai people and also learning about their fascinating culture.
Amboseli National Park provides amazing view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest mountain.
Unlike other parks where tourists are encouraged to visit during certain months only, this park can be visited at any time of the year. This is because vegetation is sparse; hence wildlife can easily be seen. When you visit the park, you’ll see elephants, blue wildebeests, cape buffaloes, plain zebras, impalas, Masai giraffes, Masai lions, spotted hyenas as well as cheetahs.
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is located 350 km from Nairobi, the country’s capital city. It occupies an area of 165 square kilometers, and this area is found in an altitude range of between 800- 1230 meters above sea level.
When you visit the reserve, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see Ewaso Ng’iro River flowing via thick forests and exotic palm groves. Most of the wildlife that inhabits the park depends on Ewaso Ng’iro River for water since the whole area is generally semi-arid.
If you’re interested in seeing the Kamunya (a lioness that is renowned for bringing up oryx calves), then you should seriously consider traveling to Kenya and visiting Samburu National Reserve. Apart from this unique lion species, you can also enjoy looking at gerenuks, rhinoceros, Grevy’s zebras, waterbucks, oryxes, impalas, reticulated giraffes, Kirk’s dik-diks, Masai lions, Grant’s gazelles, Tanzanian cheetahs, warthogs, leopards, olive baboons, elephants, hippos as well as cape buffaloes.
Samburu National Reserve provides a natural habitat for more than 350 different species of birds. While visiting the reserve, you’ll have the opportunity of seeing grey-headed kingfishers, vultures, sunbirds, hornbills, bee-eaters, secretary birds, marabou storks, lilac breasted rollers, tawny eagles, spur-fowls, Bateleurs and vulturine guinea fowls, among other bird species.
You’ll also have excellent views of Ololokwe and Koitogor mountains while inside the reserve.
Lake Nakuru is among the top destinations in Kenya favored by both domestic and foreign tourists. The soda lake is 1,754 meters above the sea level and is found on the southern side of Nakuru.
According to experts, the lake has abundant algae which are responsible for attracting a huge number of flamingoes. Many tourists who visit Lake Nakuru are usually interested in seeing flamingoes that habitually line up on the lake shore.
If you visit the lake, you’ll not only see flamingoes, but also warthogs, southern white rhinos, baboons, eastern black rhinos as well as other large mammals. African fish eagles, Verreaux’s eagles, goliath herons, pied kingfishers and Hamerkops are other species of birds that live in the area surrounding Lake Nakuru.
In the local Masai language, Nakuru means Dusty Place. If you’re travelling from Nairobi (Kenya’s capital city), you can get to the lake after covering only 164 kilometers.
Tsavo-East National Park is among the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. It occupies approximately 13, 750 square kilometers, and most of this area is semi-arid.
The park is located a few kilometers from Voi, a town in Taita-Taveta County. A railway line and the A109 road separate it from Tsavo-West National Park.
The park is considered as one of the top destinations in Kenya because of various reasons. It consists of a wide range of animal and bird species, as well as the Mudanda Rock, Aruba Dam, Yatta Plateau and Lugard Falls.
When you visit the national park, you’ll have the opportunity of seeing one or more of the following animals: Arrdwolves, rock hyraxes, yellow baboons, hyenas, cape buffaloes, giraffes, bush-babies, gazelles, bushbucks, African elephants, caracals, elands, African wildcats, blue duikers, Tanzanian cheetahs, African hunting dogs, African civets and dik-diks, among others.
A visit to the park will also give you the chance of seeing ostriches, herons, kestrels, secretary birds, buzzards, hornbills, starlings, kingfishers and weaverbirds. It provides a natural habitat for more than 500 species of birds.
Access to the park is via three gates. You can use the Manyani or Bachuma Gates if you’re travelling from Voi or Mombasa respectively. If you’re travelling from Malindi, use the Sala gate. There is an alternative option of chartering a plane from Mombasa or Nairobi and then landing on any of the airstrips inside the park.
Tsavo-West National Park is adjacent to the Tsavo-East National Park. The two parks are separated by a railway line and the Nairobi-Mombasa highway. It’s more popular than the former because its scenery is more magnificent.
Tsavo West is under the administration of Kenya Wildlife Service, and covers an extensive area of about 9,000 square kilometers.
As a tourist in the park, you’ll have a rare chance of seeing, among others: eastern black rhinos, Masai giraffes, cape buffaloes, lesser kudus, African bush elephants, hippopotami, African leopards and Masai lions.
If you love climbing rocks, then this is the place for you. You’ll discover that the setting is wonderful for this activity since you’ll be in a position to see elephants wandering in the plains below, falcons and vultures circling above you as well as an excellent view of Mt. Kilimanjaro. You’ll enjoy rock climbing since the solid gneiss rock walls have numerous corners and cracks.
If you wish to have an unforgettable experience that consists of adventure, solitude, relaxation, new social experiences, luxury and natural simplicity, consider visiting the aforementioned places in Kenya as soon as you can.