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Posted by: LAMARA TOURISM AND TRAVEL AGENCY LTD on 12/10/2020

TOP 10 BEST DESTINATIONS IN KENYA FOR A GAME DRIVE

TOP 10 BEST DESTINATIONS IN KENYA FOR A GAME DRIVE
MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE

The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November. There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 bird’s species recorded on the reserve. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino). Other game includes hippopotami, cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, giraffe, Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox. However, wildebeest are by far the dominant inhabitants of the Masai Mara. Their numbers are estimated in the millions. The Great Migration starts in July each year when well over one million wildebeest along with large numbers of Thompson’s Gazelle, zebra and other herbivores migrate from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to fresh pastures in the north and then back south again in October.

LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK

Lake Nakuru is a shallow strongly alkaline lake set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest. The lake’s catchment is bounded by Menengai crater to the north, the Bahati hills to the north east, the lion hill ranges to the east, eburu crater to the south and the mau escarpment to the west. Three rivers, the Njoro, Makalia and Nderit drain into the lake. Lake Nakuru was first gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968. A northern extension was added to the park in 1974 and the lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990. The foundation of the park’s food chains is the cyanophyte spirulina platensis which can support huge numbers of lesser flamingo. During peak season over one million flamingos congregate on the lake plus half a million pelicans. The Park also contains Kenya’s largest population of rhinos. The surface of the lake occupies about a third of the park. The lake supports a dense bloom of the blue-green Cyanophyte Spirulina platensis from which it derives its colour. It is a food source for flamingos. The lake is fringed by alkaline swamps with areas of sedge, Cyprus laevigates and Typha marsh along the river inflows and springs. Fauna: Includes Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle, the rare long-eared leaf-nosed bat, colobus monkey, rock hyrax, hippo, leopard, lion, rhino, waterbuck, impala, gazelle, striped hyena, bat-eared fox, wild cat, reedbuck and golden cat.

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK

Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. was established as a reserve in 1968 and gazetted as a National Park in 1974. The Park covers 392 square km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches. The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall. Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE

The reserve lies within ecological zone V – which is classified as arid and semiarid with a moisture index of 42 to 57, which indicates that evapotranspiration is greater than available moisture. The days are extremely hot while the nights are cool. The annual mean temperatures range between 18º C and 30ºC, while the mean annual rainfall is 345 mm with peaks in November and April. The dry season starts in late May and goes up to early October when a large concentration of wildlife is found in the reserve due to availability of lush vegetation along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the main source of water to the Reserve and the nearby communities. The reserve is rich in wildlife with an abundance of rare northern specialist species such as the Gravy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx (also referred to as Samburu Special Five). The reserve is also popular with a minimum of 900 elephants. Large predators such as the lion, leopard and cheetah are an important attraction (Kamunyak the miracle lioness that adopted the baby oryx is a resident in the reserve).

Samburu National Reserve is rich in game with many rare species. Game includes Gravy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, beisa oryx, elephants, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dogs and over 450 species of birds.

TSAVO EAST NATIONAL PARK

Tsavo National Park is the largest park in Kenya and was established on 1st April 1948. Tsavo National Park was split into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway and road. The park has an interesting and diverse history including the Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used the park as a hunting ground prior to gazettement; the first European to see Mount Kenya, Rev. Dr L. Krapf, journeyed on foot through this area in 1848; during the construction of the railway bridge over the Tsavo River in 1898, lions (the famed maneaters of Tsavo) terrorised the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. J.H.Patterson. During World War I, British forces-built fortresses along Tsavo river to counter threats from invading German soldiers from Tanganyika (now Tanzania); the European explorer Captain Lugards a European explorer passed through the area on his way to Uganda. 

 Wildlife: Elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile, waterbuck, kudu, gerenuk, zebra and Hunter’s hartebeest Birds: The prolific bird life features 500 recorded bird species

TSAVO WEST NATIONAL PARK

The park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The north-eastern boundary along the highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour. The park’s habitats include open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi-desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest. There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volcano. In the far south-western corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park. This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains. At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools. Visitors have an opportunity to view animals underwater through a glasshouse, man-eaters – caves where 2 lions were shot in Tsavo West by Col. Patterson, railway bridge forms boundary.

Wildlife Leopard, cheetah, wild dogs, buffalo, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, plains game, crocodile, mongoose, hyrax, dik-dik, lesser kudu and porcupine. Prolific birdlife features 600 recorded species.

HELLS GATE NATIONAL PARK

Hell’s Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 square km and is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 90 km from Nairobi. The park is 14 km after the turnoff from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway. It is characterised by diverse topography and geological scenery. It is an important home of the lammergeyer. Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the National Park. Wildlife Includes eland, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, impala, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, klipspringer, rock hyrax and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck.

NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK

Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. The park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi. The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city. It has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south. In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park has a rich/diverse. Over 80 recorded species to include rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile and hippo (no elephants) Birds: more than 400 species 

MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK

The park includes a variety of habitats ranging from higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial moraines.

Wildlife Giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhino, Suni, black-fronted duiker, mole- rat and over 130 species of bird.

ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK

The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) contour with some forest and scrubs at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 metres) contour. The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park. The park is surrounded by predominantly indigenous forest,

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