Kenya National Parks and Game Reserves

With 24 national parks, 15 national reserves, 6 marine parks, and private conservancies on top of that, the choice can be overwhelming when it comes to visiting Kenya's national parks.To help you decide between north, south, east, and west, between hot and dry or luxuriant and leafy, and between hilly or flat, here’s a brief checklist of some of the best national parks in Kenya.

Nairobi National Park

Situated at the boundary of Kenya’s capital city is Nairobi National Park. Kenya’s first national park highlights an immense range of wildlife, including buffalo, rhino, zebra, and lions. You can self drive around the park, or reserve a game drive beforehand. The golden times to view the animals are at day break or day end. The park is under duress from developers, and there have been considerable occurrences involving wildlife wandering into nearby farmland, due to the intrusion of humans on the animals' habitats in recent years.

Masai Mara National Reserve

In what is contemplated as one of Mother nature’s greatest extravaganza, over a million wildebeest flow on from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya in search of abundant grasslands. The great migration is a just cause to visit the diamond in Kenya’s zenith of national parks, the Masai Mara. The most action-packed scenes occur at the river crossings, where the wildebeest slam and slash down the steep levee of the Mara River into crocodile- and hippo-permeated waters and, if they get through that, still have to canter past the Mara’s large number of Cats anticipating them on the other side. The best time to see the migration here is between the months of July and September.

Amboseli National Park

Positioned in the south of Kenya on the border with Tanzania, Amboselli National Park has spectacular views of the snow-capped, craggy peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s tallest mountain.

Renowned as being the best place in Africa to get close to the large population of elephants living in the park, here golden grasslands sit next to swampy, hippo filled springs, and in the skies above the wildlife it’s nothing but lilac, dusky horizons for as far as the eye can see. The elephants aren’t all you’ll see here though – Amboselli is also home to leopards, cheetahs, giraffes, lions and more.

Samburu National Reserve

Set in northern Kenya on the fringes of the Ewaso Ng'iro river, Samburu National Reserve is a delightful and arid flora and fauna that’s insignificantly visited due to its more of an out of the way location.

The attractions in Samburu are the distinct types of wildlife on offer in contrast to other parks. The Grevy’s zebra, for instance, is a distinguished animal not found in the south – its stripes are more narrow than that of the common zebra, and its physique more tall and horse-like.

Samburu is a popular option for those looking to getaway from the large crowds enthralled by famous parks like the Masai Mara.

Aberdare National Park

For something a little different, try the Aberdare National Park situated next to the Great Rift Valley. Here, luscious, vibrant forests give way to open expansive moorland, eminent mountains and scraped gorges.

The Aberdares are distinguished for their resident black rhino, as well as the giant forest hog, elephants and a doversity of antelope and gazelle. It’s here that the Treetops Hotel is situated – which made headlines as the setting where Princess Elizabeth of the UK acsended the throne when her father passed away in 1952.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Tsavo National Park is a thirteen thousand hectare game reserve in Kenya. The park offers varied habitats from mountains and rivers to plains and wooded grassland. It is home to many different species including buffalo, cheetah, rhino and elephant. The park was established in 1948 and is named after the Tsavo River which flows along the boundary of the park for approximately 400 kilometers (248 miles).
They are two different types of parks: national and private. A national park is owned and managed by the government, whereas a private game reserve is owned and managed by the lodges within it.
The Masai Mara Reserve is the most popular wildlife reserve in Kenya. During the dry season from July to October, millions of wildebeest and zebras migrate there.