PARKS & RESERVES

”Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.” William Burchell

Kenya presents among its parks and reserves, a great diversity of landscapes: savannah as far as the eye can see, disproportionate mountains, gigantic lakes... It could by itself be the whole the African continent!
 

Find the magnificent natural parks that you must see at least once in your life!

The Maasai Mara, the best-known reserve in Kenya borders Tanzania and is home to an impressive variety of wildlife. Firstly it is one of the few parks where all of the “Big Five” can be observed but it is has so much more to offer. July through to October, you can witness the great wildebeest migration, although these tend to be the colder months of the year, it is a sight that you must witness at least once in your lifetime.

This national reserve has something for everyone, if you are wanting to take in the endless landscapes; from expansive savannahs to impressive rivers or spend your time wildlife spotting, the Mara holds it all, even boasting more than 500 species of birds.

Only just under 250km from Nairobi, the Mara is easily accessible from the capital, and with your private aircraft ready to go, your journey from the big city to this expanse of nature will truly take your breath away.

Recommendation: 2-3 nights
Best timeJuly - October

Samburu National Reserve is another hidden gem of Kenya. Located approximately 350km from Nairobi and between 800 to 1230 metres above sea level, the safari is popular with visitors who want to explore off the beaten track. The park is not as frequented as the more famous Kenyan parks, but this only adds to its beauty.

The reserve’s landscape is different from most other parks in Kenya, in general, the landscape is arider than most, home to rare dryland fauna. You may not spot the “Big Five” here, but Samburu has their own five, known as the “Samburu Five” This is because the reserve is home to some incredibly rare animals, the five being the Beisa oryx, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and Grevy's zebra.

The reserve is located on the banks of Ewaso Ng’iro River, just opposite the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The park is relatively small but is also home to the proud Samburu tribe. During your visit, there is an opportunity to visit these semi-nomadic communities. Not only will you get to experience the reserve's beauty during your safari but you can also take the opportunity to learn about the rich culture and Samburu traditions.

Recommendation: 2-3 nights

Best time: June-October, December-March

Lake Turkana is located near the Ethiopian borders, north of Kenya. Although it is the fourth largest lake in Africa, it is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake. The lake is also known as the ‘Jade Sea’ thanks to its incredible colour. The water may look tempting to take a dip in but save that for the Indian ocean because the lake has the largest Nile crocodile population in Africa. The lake also has a thriving “Nile perch” population and is an important site for many migratory bird species, as well as a breeding ground for many large mammals and reptiles.   

Lake Turkana crosses the spectacular landscapes of the Great Rift Valley and receives very little rainfall due to its desert climate, which means the area can be visited at any time of the year. However, the scenery is most stunning just after the rains, in April and November. The lake is harder to access via road in the wet seasons, but you do not need to worry when you have a private aircraft at your disposal. The lake is also amongst Kenya’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Lake Turkana should certainly be on everyone's ‘bucket list’ for all the reasons mentioned but it is also rich in Turkana tribe culture, known for their camel breeding. Visiting these tribes as well as the lake is certainly an experience like no other

Recommendation: 2-3 nights

Best time: April-November

Amboseli National Park has an impressive array of habitats, from open plains, acacia woodlands to swamps and marshland. It is famous for its large herds of elephants but one of the most striking features in the park is the immense view of Mt. Kilimanjaro that dominates the landscape. It is only from Amboseli that you can admire the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro, with wild animals in the foreground!

Although Amboseli is relatively small in comparison to the Maasai Mara, this will only make wildlife spotting easier, and you won't be disappointed, the park has a variety of animals including cheetahs, giraffes, zebras and hundreds of bird species. June to October is considered the best time to visit as this has little rainfall, making it the best time to spot wildlife.

One short flight from Nairobi and you will be at the park, remember to get your camera ready, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to capture Amboseli’s wildlife with the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world in the background

Recommendation: 1-2 nights

Best time: June - October

Tsavo National Park is divided into Tsavo East and Tsavo West, although bordering each other, these two areas are rather distinct from one another. Tsavo East is the largest park in Kenya and one of the oldest, known more for its abundant wildlife than its neighbour. The East is characterized by its semi-arid climate and almost desert-like plains. You will also notice the distinctive red soil that covers the landscape. Animals such as the elephants can often appear to be red in colour, this is due to their dust-bashing behaviour, covering themselves in the red soil. Tsavo East has an impressive elephant population so chances of seeing the famous ‘red elephants’ of Tsavo are high.

Spotting animals in Tsavo West is a little more difficult but this is compensated by the sheer beauty of the green valley and breathtaking scenery. You will also find the world-famous Mzima Springs here. Both sides of this magnificent park have something different to offer and will keep you in awe right through to the end.  

 

 

 

Recommendation: 1-2 nights

Best time: June-October, January-February

Laikipia is increasingly being noted as one of Kenya’s best safari regions, offering something different from the more popular parks such as the Maasai Mara. The area is almost the size of Wales, meaning it is large enough to avoid crowds, allowing you to enjoy this magical and wild region of Kenya. The area has extraordinary landscapes, from the panoramic views of the Samagnua valley, the undulating plains of Lewa and the pristine Ngare forests, providing a breathtaking backdrop for guests to photograph and admire.

The park is most famous for its wealth of endangered species, including the Critically Endangered black rhino, the elusive and Endangered African wild dog, as well as the Grevy Zebra, to name just a few of the fauna you can find here.

Mt. Kenya can also be observed here, as well as the famous Aberdares, showcasing the diversity of landscapes that can be found in Kenya, all in one region. What’s more, for the more adventourous traveler, a horse riding safari can be arranged, as well as a hike to the Thomson’s Fall in Nyahururu. You can even take the opportunity to visit the Aberdares National Park while here.

 

 

 

 

Recommendation: 2-3 nights

Best time: June-October, December-March

Meru National Park, most famous for being the setting of Joy Adamson’s book “Born Free”, is also home to the “Big Five”. For any “Born Free” fans, “Elsa”, the most well-known lioness in the book also has her grave marked here. The park is even home to the Critically Endangered white rhino, although rare to see, some visitors are incredibly fortunate to spot this stunning animal.

Although the park can be visited all year round, June through to September are noted to be the best months to spot wildlife. This is because of the abundant rainfall the park receives during the rest of the year. This only improves the landscape, with the rainfall resulting in tall grasses and lush swamps, creating a healthy ecosystem for all that lives there.

Meru National Park is a great escape from civilization, it is approximately 350km from Nairobi and 1,200 metres above sea level. The park is mostly uncrowded of visitors, making your experience even more special.

Recommendation: 2-3 nights

Best time: June - September

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy has been registered as a rhino conservancy since 1983, home to both the black and white rhino. The conservancy is famous for its successful rhino and Grevy zebra breeding programmes. Both species are endangered and impressively Lewa is home to the largest population of rhinos in Kenya, approximately 10%, and 20% of the world's population of Grevy Zebra. 

The conservancy also provides its visitors with stunning views and photo opportunities of Mt. Kenya, the highest mountain in Kenya and the second tallest mountain in Africa. This view is only enhanced by the diverse habitats found here, from virgin forest, fertile meadows, vast springs and acacia forests.

The conservancy is closed during April and November due to heavy rains, making some of the roads undrivable, but this break from visitors only helps the park flourish. The best season to visit the park is in the dryer months, June through to October and December through to March, making your chances of spotting the elusive rhinos a little easier.

 

 

Recommendation: 1 nights

Best time: June-October, December-March

Where the Maasai Mara ends, the Serengeti National Park begins. Located in northern Tanzania, it is one of the most developed and richest ecosystems on the planet. The great migration can be witnessed here during July through to October, with an immense 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,00 zebras crossing. This is truly a sight like no other and for any novice or experienced safari-goer, there is always something new to see.

The Serengeti National Park is also home to the “Big Five” and due to is expanse wilderness and beauty is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Furthermore, for any “Lion King” fans, you can visit the ‘Simba rocks’ here, which is depicted in the much loved Disney animation, much of the landscape in the movie has been taken from such places at the Serengeti and a visit to this famous rock will only make you love this iconic movie even more.

The landscape is mostly open plains and short grasses, which makes game viewing almost guaranteed all year round. You will not be disappointed, and being able to view this stunning landscape both from the land and air will leave you with a thirst to see more, it will be hard not to start planning your next safari after visiting the Serengeti.  

 

 

Recommendation: 2-3 nights

Best time: January-February, June-September

Wild Coast Air Safaris Limited 

+254 727 462 244

info@wildcoastair.co.ke 

1st Floor Diani Beach Shopping Center 

Diani Beach 

Kenya

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