Kenya offers unlimited acres of wilderness full of incredible wildlife diversity. Most national parks here offer classic vehicle safaris and a few offer bike, foot and horseback safaris. Kenyan safaris are also much more affordable than other African countries. Here is a list of the best national parks in Kenya.
1. Masai Mara National Reserve
It just happens to be the most popular national park in Kenya for a reason. The great migration occurs annually between July and October. Sometimes its classified as the “Seven New Wonders of the World.” The massive movement of wildlife is a magical experience with spectacular views of the Savannah and crocodiles preying on wildebeest while the wildebeest trying their best to stay alive.
2. Amboseli National Reserve
Sprawling over Kiambu County lies the second most popular national park in Kenya. The park is photographer’s paradise, offering the gigantic Mt. Kilimanjaro in the background of large elephant herds it gives the park stunning scenery. Another major attraction of the park is the Masai Village. A visit there will welcome you to the natural habitat of the Masai and show you how they have been living for hundreds of years. It can be easily accessed via the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and doesn’t take long to go there. There are many affordable accommodation options here. The eco-system of the park spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border.
3. Tsavo National Park
This is the largest national park in Kenya. Offering over 22,000km sq of wilderness and divided into two; Tsavo east and Tsavo west the park is accessible from the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway. The best place to stay in Tsavo is the Sarova Salt Lick. The property is amongst the best rated locations in Tsavo. Walking safaris are the best attraction here although only Tropical Ice Safari Company has a license for that. Classic vehicle safaris are also an option but the walking safaris have their own unique adventure.
4. Nairobi National Park
A national park within a capital city! Not the old zoos or locked up animals but the real habitat of wild animals in acres of endless savannah grassland. Excluding elephants most other wildlife is present here. Currently there are about 21 lions in the park. Of late they have been famous for escaping the park and winding up in the city. See the video below:
Many other animals are also at home here including: black rhino, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, elans, impala and diverse birdlife. If you are looking for a short but thrilling Safari experience Nairobi national park is ideal.
5. Laikipia Wildlife Conservacy
Home to half of Kenya’s black rhino population the conservancy is a forerunner at supporting, co-ordinating and facilitating wildlife and natural resource conservation and management. The wildlife numbers in Laikipia are steady compared to other parks and conservancies in Kenya. Lewa Safari Camp is the ideal place to stay here. It has huge tented camps with en-suite washrooms. Lewa offers some of the most outstanding wildlife viewing. You might think it is just another wildlife conservancy in the magical Kenya, but Lewa is amongst the few that go the extra mile and give attention to detail. Walking and horseback safaris are popular here.
6. Hell’s Gate National Park
Remember Lion King? Simba? This is where Pumba lives! Many of the scenes in the movie Lion King are based on landscapes of this national park. Outstanding scenery including the soaring cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, volcanoes and eructing plumes of geothermal steam make it one of the most distinctive Parks. The park is easily accessed from Nairobi just about an hour’s drive. There are many activities here such as Biking, Camping, Game drives and Natural Spa.
7. Samburu Game Reserve
Spurting forth from the banks of Ewaso Ngiro River, Samburu National Reserve is a rough and semi-desert park. Due to its location and inaccessibility for many years the park has reserved a naturally serene and quiet atmosphere. Besides the abundant wildlife found in this game reserve, the park is also full of birdlife.
8. Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya is the tallest in Kenya and the second tallest in Africa. It’s located in the magnificent Nyanyuki. The national park was built to preserve the mountain, the wildlife and the surroundings. The landscape surrounding the mountain is striking. Mount Kenya National Park surrounds this massive mountain and is home to a wide variety of wildlife and some of the most marvelous plant life in Kenya. The best time to visit is Mid-Jan and Feb, or late August and September.
9. Watamu marine National Park
Turtles, exclusive coral gardens, the Gede Ruins – the Watamu Marine National Park & Reserve has it complete. The park is part of a complex of marine and tidal environments along the coast with various, fish, turtles and dugongs. Visitors can relish the white sandy beaches, snorkeling, water skiing, windsurfing and glass bottomed boat safaris.
10. Lake Nakuru National Park
In the midst of the Great Rift Valley, bordered by wooded and thick grassland, lies the stunning Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru National Park is epitome for bird watching, hiking, picnic and game drives. The park is famous for its large numbers of pink flamingos. Other famous animals in the park include; rhinos, giraffe and large pythons.