Kenya is famous as the original safari country. Within Kenya there are over 40 national parks and wildlife reserves which have been set aside for the conservation of wildlife and natural habitat.
Whichever park or conservancy you decide to visit you can normally guarantee that you will see the more common grazing animals; such as buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, eland, giraffe, gazelles, impala and waterbuck. Although common, don’t underestimate the pleasure you will get from seeing them in their natural habitat. In addition lions, leopards and cheetahs are present in most parks, but are most easily seen in the Mara and the Mara Conservancies. Elephants are best seen in Selenkay / Amboseli and Rhino are often sighted in Nairobi National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lake Nakuru Park.
The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s finest game area and home to abundant wildlife. This vast ecosystem incorporates the Mara National Reserve as well as the neighbouring Naboisho, Olare Motorogi & Ol Kinyei Conservancies which form a stunning wilderness area where guests can not only enjoy game drives but also experience extra activities that are not allowed in the National Reserve (such as guided safari walks, game drives by night and meals in the bush).
This is the best place for all the big cats, especially lions. The Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti to the Mara takes place from late June to early October when these animals move into the Mara from the Serengeti in big numbers. The Wildebeest Migration from the Loita Plains in Kenya to the Mara moves into Ol Kinyei Conservancy earlier, usually by January, and the calving takes place there during February and March when the plains of the conservancy are teeming with wildebeest before they move through Naboisho Conservancy and into Olare Motorogi.
This award-winning conservancy is an 18,700 acre tranche of land that has been set aside for the purposes of wildlife conservation. Access is only permitted to guests staying at Porini Mara Camp, Porini Cheetah Camp and our seasonal Gamewatchers mobile camp – making this not only an exclusive experience but one that respects the principles of eco-tourism.
The Olare Motorogi Conservancy is 33000 acres of outstanding natural beauty and ecological importance. It directly borders the Maasai Mara National Reserve and it contains the lower valleys of the Olare Orok and Ntiakitiak rivers, riverine forest, the Ntiakitiak Gorge and a 12km escarpment below which are large areas of acacia woodland. The only visitors allowed on the land are those that are staying in the handful of camps within the conservancy.
This 50,000 acre wildlife conservation area in Kenya’s Greater Mara Region borders the Masai Mara National Reserve to the south west, the Olare Orok Conservancy to the west and the Ol Kinyei Conservancy to the east.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is now the second largest conservancy in the region and has a higher density of wildlife than the adjacent Masai Mara National Park.
Amboseli National Park is situated at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro and is one of Kenya’s most popular national parks. The Selenkay Conservancy can be found 10 miles north of Amboseli National Park and is an unspoilt wilderness with a limited number of visitors allowed.
Amboseli: If you are looking to see big herds of elephants at close range along with the added potential of maybe seeing lions and cheetahs then visit Amboseli. This park is also very good for birdwatchers.
Selenkay: This Conservancy is within the Amboseli eco-system and a good place to visit to see giraffes and the less commonly seen animals like caracal, serval cat and the African wild cat, in addition to the lesser kudu, gerenuk and oryx which are not found in Amboseli or the Mara. The Conservancy is part of the territory of over 20 lions while leopards and cheetahs are also present.
Ol Pejeta is a 90,000 acre conservancy which is home to an amazing variety of wildlife including Africa’s only three remaining northern white rhino. It began life as the smaller Sweetwaters Game Reserve and was then enlarged to become the much bigger Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the largest sanctuary in East Africa for black rhino, and home to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary.
The biggest rhino sanctuary in Kenya with over 90 rhinoceros, both black and white as well as the very rare Northern White Rhino. It also has lions, leopards, cheetahs as well as elephants and a wide range of plains game. Wild dogs are seen quite often and the rare Patas monkey is also found in the Conservancy.
Nairobi National Park is unique as the only protected area in the world with such a huge variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. As a successful rhino sanctuary, the park has an excellent record for supporting the species and it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural environment.
This is an excellent starting point for a safari in Kenya and the Nairobi Tented Camp makes a good alternative to staying in a city hotel. The park is noted for having both the Black and the White Rhino as well as lions, leopards, and a wide range of plains animals including giraffe, zebra, eland, buffalo, impala, hartebeest, wildebeest, reedbuck as well as over 500 species of birds, all within a 28,000 acre park right on the doorstep of a capital city.
Lake Nakuru can be reached easily by road from Nairobi. It is famous for its flamingos but is also home to other bird species including African fish eagles and pelicans. Surrounding the lake are woodlands and grassland areas which are home to a variety of animals including rhinos and lions.
Home to both the white and black rhino, you will find that the black rhino are difficult to see however, the white rhino are often fairly visible. In addition, if you are on an early morning game drive it is often possible to see a leopard. Many other species are present including lion, buffalo, waterbuck, the rare Rothschild’s giraffe, impala and warthog. For bird-watching enthusiasts Lake Nakuru also offers a wide variety of birdlife.
Samburu Reserve is located in Kenya’s dry region and is home to some unusual species including the rare Grevy’s Zebra. This Reserve is a good place to see elephants. Lions and cheetahs are also present with the leopard being seen fairly regularly as well as the less common Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra.
The Aberdare National Park is part of the Aberdare Mountain Range, a region of stunning and diverse landscape where jagged peaks soar up to 3,930m and deep ravines cut through the forested slopes. The area is ideal for game-viewing as the rainforest supports a broad range of wildlife.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy hosts a wide variety of wildlife in some of Kenya’s most spectacular scenery.
Tsavo National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Kenya and in the world, offering a diverse range of habitats from mountains and rivers to plains and wooded grassland. The park is home to many different species including buffalo, cheetah, rhino and elephant.
This is an enormous park and home to a wide range of species including lions, black rhino and a big population of elephants but which are not as easily approachable as within Amboseli Park and Selenkay Conservancy.
Meru National Park, located on the equator, accommodates a wide variety of species from elephants to crocodiles due to its varied landscape. It is not visited as much as Kenya’s other reserves and therefore not busy with safari vehicles