1. Maasai Mara.
Home to one of the wonders of the world, the great wildebeest migration, the Maasai Mara is the premier game watching destination in the World. Established in 1961, it is globally known for its exceptional population of lions, cheetah, leopard, black rhino, elephant and the annual wildebeest migration that occurs between the months of July and October. It covers an area of 1,510 square kilometers and its plains are abundant with lots of other big and small game animals as well as a 470 species of birds.
2. Tsavo East – Theatre of the wild.
The joint mass of Tsavo East and Tsavo West forms one of the Largest National parks in the world. Tsavo East covers an area of 13,747 square kilometers. It is a vast and untouched area of arid bush and it is drained by the Galana river which meanders across the park. It is guarded by the never ending lava reaches of the Yatta plateau, the longest lava flow in the world, and its wilderness is roamed by some of the biggest herds of ‘red’ elephants in Kenya. Also present in the park are lions, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, hippo, crocodile, lots of other plains game and 500 recorded species of birds.
3. Tsavo West – Land of lava, springs and man-eaters.
Covering an area of 7,065 spuare kilometers, Tsavo West is a savannah ecosystem that comprises of open grasslands, scrublands and acacia woodlands,belts of ravive vegetation and rocky ridges. Animals present in this park include rhino, lions, cheetah, leopard, hippos, buffalo, and over 600 diverse bird species including the threatened corncrake and the near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.
4. Amboseli National Park – Kilimanjaro’s royal court.
It is located in Loitoktok District, on the floor of the Rift Valley. It is mainly a savannah grassland ecosystem and is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants among other wildlife species.Other attractions in the park include the views of the magnificent and majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa and the tallest free standing volcanic mountain in the world. The big cats and other plains game are abundant and common in Amboseli as well.
5. Lake Nakuru National Park – Home of the flamingos.
One of the great soda lakes in the Rift Valley, its ecosystem comprises of the lake surrounded by mainly wooded and bushy grasslands. It supports a wide ecological diversity with greater and lesser flamingos and other water birds being the major attractions. The park is also famous for its healthy population of mammals, 56 in total including the white rhino, buffaloes, lions, cheetah, leopard and a wide variety of terrestrial birds with 450 species recorded so far.
6. Samburu/Shaba/Buffalo Springs National Reserves – Kenya’s Northern Frontier.
Covering an area of 165 square kilometers, Samburu National reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river in Kenya’s Samburu County. In the middle of the reserve flows the Ewaso Nyiro river through doum palm groves and thick ravine forest. This river is the main source of water, and without it the game in this arid region would not survive. This park is world famous because is where born free Elsa the lioness was raised by George and Joy Adamson, and Kamunyak the lioness adopted an Oryx. Large game common in Kenya’s northern plains can be found in large numbers here including gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, beisa oryx and reticulated giraffe. All the three big cats can also be found here, lion, leopard and cheetah as well as elephant, buffalo and hippos. Also present are 350 species of birds and crocodiles which can be seen basking in the sun along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river.
7. Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia – Kenya’s Eden in the highlands.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in Kenya’s Laikipia county, and is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary. It’s the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees and holds some of the highest predator densities in Kenya including lions, cheetah, leopard, hyena and wild dogs. It is a mosaic grass plains, wooded grassland, acacia woodland and evergreen Greenland extending over 350 square kilometers. See the big 5 and a combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views of Mount Kenya and the open plains, guaranteeing you an unforgettable safari experience.
8. Aberdare National Park – Majectic Peaks, Moorlands and Falls.
The Aberdare National Park, with an area of 767 Km2 covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya, from altitude of 1829M to 4001M above sea level. The topography is quite diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park include; the Black Rhino, leopard, African hunting dog, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of lions, giant forest hog Aberdare Cisticola, 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.
Visitors can also indulge in picnics, walking, trout fishing in the rivers and camping in the moorlands. Bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the Jackson’s Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
9. Meru National Park – Home of George and Joy Adamson
Meru national park is 350km away from Nairobi and covers an area of 870 square kilometres. It has a wide range of animals present including lions, elephants, leopards, black rhino, cheetah, hippopotamus and some rare antelopes.
Meru national park is one of the most famous parks in Kenya because it is one of the two conservation areas that conservationists Joy and George Adamson raised Elsa the lioness. This was well highlighted and made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free. Elsa is buried in this park and part of Joy’s ashes were scattered on her grave.
Tourist attractions include views of Mount Kenya, the home of George and Joy Adamson, Adamson Falls and Tana river.
10. Nairobi National Park – The World’s Only Wildlife Capital.
Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only 7 km from Nairobi city centre. The savannah ecosystem comprise of different vegetation types. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest. To the south are the Athi – Kapiti Plains and Kitengela migration corridor which are important wildlife dispersal areas during the rain season. Man-made dams within the park have added a further habitat, favorable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biome.
Major wildlife attractions are the Black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, buffaloes, Giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, elands and diverse bird-life with over 400 species recorded. Other attractions include the Ivory burning site Monument, Nairobi Safari Walk, the Orphanage and the walking trails at hippo pools. This park also hosts the site of Kenya’s Ivory burning monument which was and still is Kenya’s symbol of and commitment to the fight against poaching and commitment to wildlife conservation.