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Top 5 Safari destinations in Kenya

The diversity of wildlife in Kenya is simply astounding and is well renowned worldwide.

Kenya’s game parks, reserves and other wildlife protection areas host some of the wildest and unique game.

Kenya’s game parks, reserves and other wildlife protection areas host some of the wildest and unique game thus the reason why it is known as the home for the safari.

Year in, year out hundreds of thousands of tourists from across the globe visit Kenya to witness various attractions in the country that is rich in both wildlife and culture.

Each part of the country is unique with its features and attractions that would interest different sets of visitors.

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Here is a look at the top 5 safari destinations in the country.

1. Maasai Mara

Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world.

It is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas and is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland.

The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.

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There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve.

Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).

Apart from the big five, other wildlife attractions include thecheetah, serval cat, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, hippo, crocodile, baboons, warthog, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, impala, waterbuck, oribi, reed-buck, zebra.

The Mara Triangle can be accessed through two all-weather airstrips which are the Mara Serena and Kichwa Tembo.

The main road access into the Triangle is through the Narok and Sekenani Gate.

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2. Lake Nakuru National Park

Christened “The Bird Watchers’ Paradise”, the park is located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland.

Visitors can enjoy the wide ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges.

The park is ideal for bird watching, hiking, picnic and game drives.

The park has a tarmac road connection with Nairobi, a distance of 156 km North West of Nairobi on the main A104 road.

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The most commonly used route into the park is via the main gate, four kilometres from Nakuru Town Centre.

It is also possible to enter the park from the main Nairobi Nakuru road at Lanet Gate.

The Nderit Gate is used by people accessing the park from Masai Mara or Elementaita.

The park’s main attractions include

  • Flamingo
  • Mammals:
  • View-points:
  • Hills:
  • Waterfalls:
  • Unique vegetation:
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The entry fee charges are Sh215 for a child (citizens) and Sh860 for an adult (citizen).

Residents are charged Sh515 (child) and Sh1030 (adult) while for non-residents charges are USD 35 (child) and USD 60 (adult).

3. Amboseli National Park

Nicknamed“The Kilimanjaro Royal Court”, the park is crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak and is one of Kenya's most popular parks.

Amboseli National Park is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.

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Nature lovers can explore five different habitats here ranging from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulphur springs, the savannah and woodlands.

They can also visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.

The main road into the park is from Nairobi via Namanga (240 km) on the Nairobi - Arusha Road, through Meshanani Gate. The other road is from Nairobi via Emali (228 km) on the Nairobi - Mombasa Road.

Access from Mombasa is mainly through Tsavo West National Park via Kimana (Olkelunyiet) Gate.

The park has a single airstrip for light aircrafts at Empusel gate. Other airstrips exist at Kilimanjaro Buffalo Lodge and Namanga town

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The park’s main attractions include

The entry fee charges are Sh215 for a child (citizens) and Sh860 for an adult (citizen).

Residents are charged Sh515 (child) and Sh1030 (adult) while for non-residents charges are USD 35 (child) and USD 60 (adult).

4. Tsavo East National Park

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Christened “Theatre of the Wild”, Tsavo Eastforms the largest protected area in Kenya and is home to most of the larger mammals, vast herds of dust –red elephant, Rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, pods of hippo, crocodile, waterbucks, lesser Kudu, gerenuk and the prolific bird life features 500 recorded species.

It hosts the 300 kilomtere long Yatta Plateau, the longest lava flow in the world with the midnight blue waters of palm-shaded Galana River is one of the most evocative images in Africa.

The park’s main gate is at Mtito Andei which is 233 km South of Nairobi and 250 km North of Mombasa on the main Nairobi- Mombasa Road.

It has several airstrips which areVoi, Aruba, Satao, Sala, Ithumba, Sangayaya, Mopeo, Bachuma and Cottars.

The entry fee charges are Sh215 for a child (citizens) and Sh515 for an adult (citizen).

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Residents are charged Sh515 (child) and Sh1030 (adult) while for non-residents charges are USD 35 (child) and USD 52 (adult).

5. Tsavo West National Park

From the sight of fifty million gallons of crystal clear water gushing out of from the under parched lava rock that is the Mzima Springs  to the Shetani  lava flows, Tsavo West is a beautiful, rugged wilderness.

The savannah ecosystem comprises of open grasslands, scrublands, and Acacia woodlands, belts of riverine vegetation and rocky ridges including the Poacher's Lookout where visitors can see the teeming herds in the plains below.

Tsavo West offers some of the most magnificent game viewing in the world and attractions include elephant, rhino, Hippos, lions, cheetah, leopards, Buffalos, diverse plant and bird species including the threatened corncrake and near threatened Basra Reed Warbler.

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The entry fee charges are Sh215 for a child (citizens) and Sh515 for an adult (citizen).

Residents are charged Sh515 (child) and Sh1030 (adult) while for non-residents charges are USD 35 (child) and USD 52 (adult).

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