With various beautiful sceneries and amazing wildlife across the country, Kenya would satisfy even the most difficult travelers. Here is the suggest list of unmissable places in Kenya.
Picture 1 - Sunset in Kenya
Do you know the word “safari” actually originates from Kenya? In Swahili, the language of Kenyan people as well as most of peoples in Africa, safari means “journey”. And safari itself is actually the big part of any adventure to Kenya. It could be a little hard to decide which place to visit, national park, national reserve or national marine area, since Kenya has numerous of them.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Among popular national parks and reserves, Maasai Mara National Reserve is the number one unmissable place. With a wide variety of species and the large population of certain ones like zebra, lions, wildebeest, Maasai Mara National Reserve will surely give you an unforgettable experience. The best time to visit the reserve is during The Great Migration from about June to September with the amazing image of over a million wildebeests and zebras crossing Mara river full of crocodiles. November and February are also green months to visit with less crowds and lower prices. In fact, the Maasai Mara can be visited all year round, but not April and May when roads get muddy due to rains. It is also easy to access Maasai Mara National Reserve due to several scheduled flights, lodges and even mobile tented camps, which come with really affordable prices.
Picture 2 - Wildebeest in The Great Migration
Lake Nakuru National Park
Best known for their huge flocks of flamingos along the shores enjoying the alkaline water, Lake Nakuru National Park will not let you down, especially if you are a huge fan of pink. The flamingos are actually not born bright pink but get that color because of the algae they eat from the lake’s waters. The pink flamingos along with the beautiful calm lake make a spectacular view that you can only see in this area. Beside flamingos and over 450 different bird species, visitors may also see lions, leopards, ostriches, hippopotami, warthogs, giraffes, black and white rhinos. The park is also home to the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. This type of tree has a fascinating appearance that is pretty much like huge cacti.
Picture 3 - Pink flamigos in Lake Nakuru National Park
It is easy to travel to Lake Nakuru National Park since it is just 3-hour drive from Nairobi and anytime of the year is a good to pay a visit. There are also lodges and several public and private campsites in the park for you to choose.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Situated in Laikipia County between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a 360 km2 not-for-profit wildlife conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to the Northern white rhino. It is a subspecies of the white rhino, beside the Southern white rhino. In 1960, there were still 2000 individuals of this species remaining in nature, but then the number has significantly decreased to 3 left in captivity in the conservancy due to poaching for leisure and for the rhinos’ horns. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is trying their best to grow the number of individuals and help them to survive in nature. The conservancy has also been home to the chimpanzee rescued from the black market since 1993 and is the only place you can see this amazing animal.
Picture 4 - A northern white rhino in Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Coming to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, you can either book observation tour to going around the conservancy or sign up for volunteer programs to give a hand in helping the animals. Remember to check schedules to book everything in advance.
Having a chance to be in Kenya, you will be surprised about Kenya’s fascinating wildlife. It does not only happen on land but also underwater.
Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
Located on the south coast off Shimoni and south of Wasini Island on Kenyan south coast, 3.5 nautical miles toward the sea, Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park was started to protect the beauty of 4 islands and special habitats of a wide range of endemic marine animals and breeding migratory birds. Kisite Island, the largest one, is a small undergrowth coral island with important environmental value as avifauna breeding grounds, especially for migrating crab plovers and roseate terns. There are more than 45 types of corals and 360 fish species identified within the park, such as grouper, wrasse, pufferfish, scorpionfish, damselfish, snapper, ray, as well as turtle and dolphin. Coming to the park, you can choose many activities like watching birds, camping, snorkeling or even diving to enjoy when being in the park.
Picture 5 - Wild life in Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
Malindi marine national park & reserve
Located in the south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek, Malindi marine national park and reserve is best-known for its long stretches of casuarinas. Its beautiful white sandy beaches and the diversity of marine life including fish, crabs, prawns, oysters and tropical fish species are really fascinating to explore. You will also have chances to watch shore birds like sanderlings, curlew sandpipers, little stints, whimbrel, greenshanks and three species of plovers. There are various activities you can enjoy in Malindi marine national park and reserve such as swimming with fish, wind surfing, snorkeling and diving. Another amazing service is glass bottom rides in which you sit on a boat, observing lively marine life right under your boat.
Picture 6 - Colorful wild life in Malindi marine national park and reserve
Owning a various geography, Kenya has many mountain areas. Its mountains vary in not only heights and climates but also sceneries and wild animals.
Mount Kenya National Park
Have you acknowledged that there is a Mount Kenya in Kenya? To be correct, the country was actually named after the mountain, whose name was originally “Kirinyaga”, which means a place with Ostrich. Being the second highest peak in Africa with the height of 5,199 meters above sea level, Mount Kenya and Mount Kenya National Park will offer you spectacular diverse habitats including lakes, mineral springs, forests, and grasslands along with rare species including African forest elephant, black rhino, leopard, giant forest hog, bongo, and black-fronted duiker and other four endangered bird species.
Picture 7 - The scenery looking up to Mount Kenya
The best way to enjoy Mount Kenya National Park is climbing or hiking up the mountain enjoying the changing sceneries, provided that you have at least 3 days. You can also choose to have a helicopter pick you up to one of the mount, spending time admiring the spectacles. Remember to prepare your stuffs if you spend your nights in Mount Kenya National Park since at night the temperatures dramatically drop below freezing.
Hell's Gate National Park
Being close to Nairobi with lower fees than other parks, Hell's Gate National Park is quite popular with a variety of activities you can enjoy such as hiking, bicycling or even camping. In fact, Hell's Gate National Park is one in the only two Kenyan national parks where you can enjoy this activity. With three basic campsites available in the park, camping is really safe though there is no fencing between you and the wild. There are also a wide variety of animals you can see in the park, such as lions, leopards, cheetahs, African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest and over 103 species of birds, including vultures, Verreaux's eagles, augur buzzard, and swifts. If you are into a mountain trip but want something less intense, Hell's Gate is definitely the destination for you.
Picture 8 - Zebras in Hell's Gate National Park
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