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NATIONAL PARKS

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park formerly known as Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve is Rift Valley province, ecosystem that spreads upto Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area one of the best widlife-viewing experiences in the world. The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.

Situated just 260 kms from capital Nairobi, it is the third most visited game area in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve and Nakuru National Park. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants.Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

Samburu National Park

Samburu National Park is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro river and on the other side of the river is the Buffalos Spring National Reserve on the Rift Valley province. It is located just 350 Kms from Nairobi. Samburu Reserve is also the home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.

There are a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its ts unique dry-country animal life. All three big cats, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, can be found here, as well as Elephants, Buffalos and Hippos. Other mammals frequently seen in the park include Gerenuk, Grant's Gazelle, Kirk's Dik-dik, Impala, Waterbuck, Grevy's Zebra, Beisa Oryx and Reticulated Giraffe. There are over 350 species of birds and it includes Somali Ostrich, Kingfisher, Sunbird, Bee-eater, Marabou Stork, Tawny Eagle, Bateleur, Guinea fowl and Vultures. The Uaso Nyiro River contains large numbers of Nile crocodiles.

Aberdares National Park

This park is located 100 kms from Nairobi and stretches wide variety of terrain because it covers altitudes of about 7000 ft to 14000 ft above sea level. It covers wide range of landscapes from mountain peaks to their
deep v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers & waterfalls.

Animals easily observed include the lion, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey, and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the golden cat and the bongo - an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and spotted and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands. The Aberdare National Park also contains a large population of the black rhino. Visitors can also indulge in walking, picnics, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the endangered Aberdare Cisticola, Jackson's Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. Nakuru means “Dust or Dusty place” in Maasai language. The lake’s abundance of alage attracts the vast quantities of flamingos that famously lines the shore in thousands sometimes millions. It is just 160 kilometeres from Nairobi.
Other birds also flourish in the area, as do warthogs, baboons and other large mammals. Black and White rhinos have also been introduced. Among the predators are lion and leopard, the latter being seen much more frequently in recent times. The park also has large sized pythons that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees. There are over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park. Thousands of both little grebes and white winged black terns are frequently seen as are stilts, avocets, ducks, and in the European winter the migrant waders. Also they have a bunch of Zebra.

Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake lying north west of Nairobi outside the town of Naivasha. It is the part of the Great Rift Valley. It is situated at an altitude of 1884 metres and an average depth of 30 m. Between 1937 and 1950 the lake was used as a landing place for flying boats on the Imperial Airways passenger and mail route from Southampton in Britain to South Africa. It linked Kisumu and Nairobi.

The lake is home to a variety of wildlife; over 400 different species of bird have been reported. There is a sizeable population of hippos in the lake. Floriculture forms the main industry around the lake. Fishing in the lake is also another source of employment and income for the local population.

Maasai Mara Game Reserve

The Maasai Mara is a large park reserve in south-western Kenya, which is effectively the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park game reserve in Tanzania. Named for the Maasai people nd the Mara River, which divides it, it is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of zebra and the wildebeest from the Serengeti every year from July to October, a migration so immense it is called the Great Migration. Its twenty or more lion prides are an attraction.
The Masai Mara is perhaps most famous for its lions. All other members of the "Big Five" are to be found in the Masai Mara. Hippopotamui and Cheetah are also found in large groups. The wildebeest are the dominant inhabitant of the Masai Mara, and their numbers are estimated in the millions. Around July of each year these ungainly animals migrate in a vast ensemble north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October. The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving an immensity of herbivores some 1,300,000 Wildebeest, 360,000 Thomson's Gazelle, and 191,000 Zebra. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena

Numerous other antelope can be found, including Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, impala, topi and Coke's hartebeest. Large herds of zebra are found through the reserve. The plains are also home to the distinctive Masai Giraffe as well as the common giraffe. The large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. The Masai Mara is a major research centre for the spotted hyena. Additionally, over 450 species of birdlife have been identified in the park, including vultures, marabou stork, secretary bird, hornbill, crowned crane, ostrich, long-crested Eagle, and african pygmy-falcon

 

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