10% of the this beautiful country is protected by 50 national parks and nature reserve. In Kenya, you can find all the animal species that exist in East Africa, except the chimpanzee, making this the favourite destination of the ones who want to live the safari experience.
"Safari" is originated from the native language "swahili" and it means "a journey" and a safari in Kenya is an expedition in nature with dimensions, forms and colours like nowhere else in this whole world.
How to get to Kenya: Main airport is Jomo Kenyatta from Nairobi and an alternative to this is the airport form Mombasa, most frequented during dry season. Once you got to Kenya, you can fly with Kenya Airways which connects the main cities: Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Malindi or if you want to fly directly to national parks you can choose Air Kenya Aviation.
Let's take a look at what adventures you can find here:
1. Tsavo National Park
Tsavo National Park is one of the most visited parks since is only 157 km away from Mombasa and famous beach resorts. Almost completely inhabited, this vast area of 21 813 square kilometer is probably the most wild and has very low water resources.
After its inauguration in 1948, the parks was divided into 2 sectors: Tsavo East (Voi Gate if you are coming from the A109 Road; Magnati Gate from Nairobi, Sala Gate from Malindi) and Tsavo West (Mtito Andei Gate from A109 Road, Chyulu Gate or Zigani Gate from Amboseli. Despite the fact that these two are very close to each other, these couldn't be more different: one is semi-arid and its land is prevalent flat the other one is smaller, volcanic and hilly.Best tour to see
In Tsavo East, the best tour to see more animals is the one that crosses the Voi River, starting from the Voi Gate to Aruba Dam, a well which attracts many impala antelopes, zebras, gazelles and a rare and very interesting species of lion without mane, which can be seen only here.
Don't miss out! You can admire here a spectacular water game - Lugard Falls, a series of unexpected waterfalls that run over the black dolomite rocks. Yes, this type of rock is specific to Alps and attracts lots of crocodiles that love to sit in the sun.
Compared to Tsavo East, Tsavo West has a more diverse scenery, highlighted by acacia, baobab forests and hills, requiring more attention for spotting wildlife, but if you sharpen you gaze, you will easily see great variety of fauna: zebras, elephants, buffalos, antelopes.
In Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary, a reserve founded in 1986 inside the park, you will discover rare specimens of black rhinos, critically endangered, which have recently become extinct in the wild. Black rhinoceroses actually are grey and can be easily distinguished from other species by the shape of their lip. Before the sanctuary was founded, there were only 10 specimens and now you can count 80 of them, being under surveillance 24/7.
Don't miss out! Mzima Springs is an oasis of sweet waters which springs from a series of small lakes. Here it was arranged a big pool surrounded by a glass wall which gives you the possibility to observe giant fish as Labeo altivelis and completely submerged hippos.
Recommended stay: 3 days
Best time to visit: January-February and June-October
2. Amboseli National Park
Mount Kilimanjaro imposing silhouette at the horizon, makes Amboseli National Park a tourist attraction that you do not want to miss out for safari. Located 230 km south of Nairobi, the park has an area of 390 square kilometers, full of landscape richness and the amazing views.
"Amboseli" derived from "empusel" means "salty dusty place" in masai language.
Vast lands of dust from volcanic ash that erupted by Kilimanjaro are the perfect habitat for hundreds of animal species as the fast gnu antelopes, zebras, Grant's and Thomson's gazelles, impala antelopes and also the predators consisting of lion, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals.
Don't miss out! To photograph the "Roof of Africa" , you must go to Observation Hill, 10 km away from Ol Tukai, go on top of the hill and enjoy the sunrise and sunset spectacle. Usually here is where the rangers organise taking a snack during the safari. When you expected the least, tables, chairs, a bottle of wine, gin, sausages appear from nowhere and you can have a front seat at the grand spectacle of Kilimanjaro, a view that you definitely won't forget soon.
Recommended stay: 2 days
Best time to visit: June-October
3. Masai Mara National Reserve
This nature reserve is considered by National Geographic one of seven wonders of the world. Between July and October, spread over 1530 square kilometers, you can find thousands of herbivores, transiting in 2 separate ways. First one, less numerous, coming from the fields in north Loita and the second one, called the Great Migration, taking place in July and counts 1.300.000 gnu antelopes and 250.000 zebras.
All these animals run in the same direction, coming from the near park, Serengeti and are going north, driven by a innate GPS, or better said, driven by instinct to fulfil their objective: Mara River. In April-May, the river flow is high so it rains, the grass is growing and the gnu antelopes simply appear.
Don't miss out! In Musiara, the main show takes place in September and you can witness hunting scenes everyday by the swamp, this being the region with the greatest number of lions from Africa: 200-300 specimens.
Recommended stay: 3 days
Best time to visit: July-October