Kenya’s 7 best national parks

Kenya national parks
Masai Mara is the flagship of Kenya’s wildlife sanctuaries. PHOTO/FILE
Endowed with 54 national parks and game reserves that support a thriving population of wild animals, Kenya is one of the best safari destinations in East Africa.

Visitors to the country get numerous opportunities to see an incredibly wide range of animals in their natural habitats, including large herds of elephant, lions, rhinos, buffaloes and leopards.

The following are the seven top national parks in Kenya:

1.) Masai Mara Game Reserve
Located in south-west Kenya, about 300 km from the capital Nairobi, Masai Mara is one of the most popular national safari parks in Kenya. The reserve offers spectacular views of the Mara plains and a chance to view buffalo, lion, elephant, rhino and leopard.

The Masai Mara is popular for the great wildebeest migration, an annual event that sees more than 1.5 million wildebeests, gazelles and zebras crossing over from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Mara in search of pastures.

2.) Amboseli National Park
Situated about 260km from Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is the second most popular animal sanctuary after the Masai Mara. It offers spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru in Tanzania. Amboseli is endowed with an incredibly huge array of wild animals including large herds of elephants, buffaloes, leopards and lions, among others.

3.) Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park, situated about 150 km north-west of Nairobi, is a birdwatchers’ paradise with over 400 bird species – including the greater and lesser flamingos. It holds a thriving population of wildlife, including the white rhinos, that make for rewarding safaris.

4.) Tsavo East National Park
Located some 160 km from Nairobi, the Tsavo East National Park is very popular among tourists on holiday at the Kenyan coast. It is popular for the infamous “Man-Eaters of Tsavo” (lions), rhinos, elephants, buffalo and other animal species. Tsavo East also supports a thriving population of bird life that makes for fantastic birdwatching safaris.

5.) Tsavo West National Park
Situated face-to face with the Tsavo East National Park, Tsavo West National Park is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. It borders Tanzania to the south and it offers spectacular views of a landscape full of diverse animal habitats, isolated hills, ridges, mountain forest, acacia woodlands and semi-desert scrubs.

6.) Nairobi National Park
Located just 15 km from Nairobi, the Nairobi National Park is said to be the world’s only city national park. It is popular among business travelers to Nairobi as it offers them a chance to enjoy game viewing safaris in between business meetings. Nairobi National Park is also a rhino sanctuary, meaning you are guaranteed to see black rhinos during your tour.

7.) Mount Kenya National Park
Located in central Kenya, Mount Kenya National Park is home to Africa’s second highest mountain – Mount Kenya. It is a haven for wild animals, including endangered species. It also supports an incredibly huge array of bird species.

Mount Kenya National Park flourishes with spectacular glaciers, white snow-capped summits, flora and fauna, and is ideal for hiking expeditions, mountain climbing and African wildlife safari.

Facts:- Some national parks and reserves are close to each other and it is therefore possible to combine your safari with more than one park. It is advisable to take a game drive early in the morning or late in the evening for better chances of viewing the animals.