When you think of Kenya, the world famous Masai Mara comes to mind, but the country has plenty of other options when it comes to safaris and wildlife parks. Some of them are privately owned reserves, others are on government land, but all offer fabulous wildlife viewing, great lodges, amazing plants and birds, hiking and climbing trails, and nature at its best.
South and Central Island Parks: Famous for its breathtaking beauty, amazing bird life including flamingos, migratory birds, pelicans and waterfowl, the South Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is sparsely inhabited and is home to the endangered El Moto tribal people. . The Central Island park is actually the crater of a small living volcano and has three saltwater lakes. These lakes are famous for flamingos and are also the habitat of the largest number of Nile crocodiles in the world. The shores of the lake are teeming with species of zebra, topi, oryx, Grant’s gazelle, and reticulated giraffe, as well as a host of snakes and reptiles. There are many tented camps and comfortable accommodations here.
Hell’s Gate – This picturesque park on the shores of Lake Naiviasha is famous for its incredible scenery. Wildlife includes antelope, giraffe, lion, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, impala, klipspringer and mountain hyrax, plus a wide variety of wild birds. Although there is no accommodation in the park itself, there are plenty of options nearby.
Shimba Hill – One of the oldest national parks in Kenya, this reserve is famous for its rainforest and mountainous terrain, wonderful for hiking and climbing. There is a fenced-off elephant corridor here and many lodges, plus an independent Kenyan Government lodge. Wildlife viewing here includes sable, hyena, warthog, vervet and colobus monkeys, ostriches, and giraffes.
Tamar River Primate Reserve – These riparian forests are home to two endangered primate species: the red colobus and the mangabey. This hot, dry park is also home to buffalo, giraffe, and kudus, while the river has crocodiles, hippos, and waterfowl. Only tented accommodation is offered here.
Lakipia – Now rivals the Masai Mara as the location of one of the richest concentrations of wildlife in Kenya, especially endangered species. This region has more than seven protected rhino sanctuaries and the second largest elephant population in the country. Here you can see zebras, antelopes, wild dogs and birds. Accommodation options are private lodges, guest houses, and guest houses, plus luxury tents.
Malindi Marine Reserve – With a fabulous diversity of marine life here, ranging from delicate corals to mangroves, amazing species of fish, mammals and turtles, plants and rare seabirds, this park is one of a kind. Glass-bottom boat tours, scuba diving, snorkeling, educational tours, water sports, and picnics are offered here. Accommodation is available in independent locations abroad, as there are no overnight options for visitors.
Visitors to Kenya can check out some of these wonderful options while on vacation there.