Areas, parks & places to visit in Kenya
Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills
Like an oasis in the dry savannah, with its emerald-green, perennial swamps beneath towering Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is the best place in Africa to see elephants in dense concentrations. One of the oldest parks in Kenya, originally part of the colonial era’s ‘Southern Maasai Reserve’, Amboseli became a wildlife sanctuary in the 1940s and was declared a national park by Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta in 1974...
Kenya’s coast is one of the most alluring parts of the country and very little developed in comparison with many tropical beach destinations in south-east Asia, the Caribbean or the Pacific. As well as beautiful beaches and a coral reef, it has fascinating historical sites and compelling tropical forest safari destinations.
Laikipia is an extensive region of large ranches and rolling, semi-arid savanna and bush country that is growing in importance for wildlife conservation and adventurous and luxury safaris. The upper tributaries the Ewaso Nyiro rise in the highlands south of Laikipia and flow north through the region, and out through the Samburu reserve system further north.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is the ‘human exclusion zone’ that forms the northern extension of the Serengeti-Mara eco-system. In common with the Maasai Mara Conservancies to the north and east, it is Kenya’s most wildlife-rich region, but it tends to be busier with tourists than the conservancies.
Maasai Mara Conservancies
The Maasai Mara Conservancies are the privately owned Maasai lands to the north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Together with the national reserve, the conservancies form the northern extension of the Serengeti-Mara eco-system and in common with the reserve are Kenya’s most wildlife-rich region. They tend however to be much less visited than the reserve.
Meru National Park
Meru National Park is a rejuvenated wildlife park on the well-watered northeast side of Mount Kenya, with excellent game-watching and the best KWS-run rhino sanctuary in the country. With barely a handful of camps and lodges it’s also exceptionally uncrowded.
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya and East Africa’s biggest city. As well as large shanty towns and wealthy suburbs it also has a surprising number of green spaces, including the magnificent Nairobi National Park – a broad swathe of savannah, woodland and forested valleys home to all the plains wildlife except elephants.
Northern Kenya’s landscapes range from semi-arid savanna and hill country to stony desert and dune systems. Lake Turkana splits the far north into west and east. Mountainous outcrops across the north are often swathed in forest and have mild, local micro-climates. While wildlife is relatively scarce, this is one of the best regions in Kenya for cultural contacts.
Samburu National Reserve
North of Laikipia
, the hot, dry, relatively low country (around 800m above sea level) that heralds Kenya’s vast northern deserts and semi-deserts is the traditional homeland of the Samburu people
, who were drawn to this region by the reliability of the Ewaso Nyiro, northern Kenya’s biggest and least seasonal river, for watering their herds...
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo East National Park is the largest park in Kenya and one of the biggest in Africa – a vast area of dry bush, inhabited by huge herds of brick-red elephants. The Galana River creates a beautiful landscape as it cuts through the park.
Tsavo West National Park
Tsavo West National Park (the western extension of Tsavo East National Park) is an extensive region of spectacular, volcanic and hilly landscapes, encompassing rolling grassland, woodland, and stream and river valleys. A wildlife-rich area, its most magnetic attraction is Mzima Springs.