They say, “You can’t please everyone.” Well, “they” surely haven’t been to the astonishing national parks of Kenya and Tanzania – for these parks truly offer something for everyone.
From your first glimpse of lions prowling the sweeping savannahs to antelope bounding through cool rainforests, from the birds and baboons filling the tropical jungle to the dolphins leaping about you in a dazzling marine reserve, these national parks are a life-sustaining marvel and a source of awe for all who visit.
Imagine descending into a lush, hidden realm – the Ngorongoro Crater – where thousands of animals make their home protected from the outside world by the walls of an extinct volcano. Or taking a ten-minute drive from a world-class city to Nairobi National Park, landing you in a reserve teeming with wildlife, the giraffes framed by a background of skyscrapers.
If you can imagine the possibility, the parks of Kenya and Tanzania can deliver it. And even provide you with some wonders you perhaps never thought of.
It’s the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, and you can witness this massive yearly migration of millions of animals seeking +sustenance and survival at the great parks of the Masai Mara and Serengeti. See the cycles of life play out as thundering herds of wildebeests cross the Mara River some falling prey to the submerged crocodiles below.
There are so many ways to view the wildlife in these national parks. You’ve probably seen pictures of game drives and walking safaris, but how about a biking safari past the grazing zebra at Hell’s Gate Park or a safari on horseback, riding past the rhinos at Lake Naivasha Park?
Not all the parks lend themselves to traditional safaris or wildlife viewing. For a different experience try hiking up the extinct volcano of Mt. Longonot National Park or taking in the glaciers and mountains lakes with a climb up Mt. Kenya National Park – the second highest mountain in Africa.
Moving in the opposite direction you can snorkel or dive amidst dolphins, turtles and shimmering sea life at Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park. This aquatic preserve lies near many of Kenya’s coastal resorts for a quick getaway.
But if the sight of fish swimming in crystal cold lakes and streams is more to your liking, then a visit to Aberdare National Park is a must. This paradise of waterfalls, cool mountain breezes and thick rainforest is the opposite of what most people picture as the typical African park.
We travelers love discovering the wildlife in these wonderful preserves, but the parks also play an integral part in protecting the animals, especially the endangered ones.
At Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary the rhinos are shielded, safe from poaching so their numbers will increase. Located here as well, the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary takes in orphaned and wounded chimps. It’s the only place in Kenya where you can enjoy the antics of these intelligent creatures.
Another haven for rhinos is at the sanctuary in Tsavo West National Park. Some 80 of these endangered animals are protected in this park, one of the largest and oldest in Kenya.
Everyone comes to the parks to see the lions and the rest of Africa’s “Big Five” but the birdlife here can be equally stunning. At Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya and Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania, get ready to be dazzled by the sight of thousands, and sometimes millions, of bright fuchsia flamingoes feeding at the alkaline lakes. And they are usually accompanied by great flocks of pelicans, cormorants, storks and herons. In fact, all the parks host hundreds of bird species.
There are so many parks in Kenya and Tanzania that visitors tend to overlook some of the out-of-the-way reserves. But that would be a mistake for two reasons: These parks also feature a great bounty of wildlife and… they are virtually empty of other visitors. It’s just you and the wildlife.
Meru National Park is such a spot. There’s jungle, rivers, rolling green hills and all the wildlife they support in this untamed and beautiful park. This is where Joy Adamson, of “Born Free” fame released Elsa the lioness back into the wild.
The big overlooked surprise in Tanzania is Tarangire National Park. You may see more elephants (3,000 during the peak season) and lions (over 700) than in some of the big-name parks.
And if it’s elephants you desire, then a visit to Amboseli National Park is in order. The park is small, and the herds are numerous, so you are guaranteed sightings of these wonderful pachyderms.
No journey to Africa’s parks would be complete without meeting the people who’ve inhabited and lived off these lands for hundreds of years. At Samburu National Park, you can visit a village, meet the Samburu people, and learn about their lives and culture.
Opportunities for similar exchanges with the Maasai people at their villages bordering Serengeti Park and Masai Mara will also be a chance to see and feel authentic Africa up close.
From the moonscape summit of Mt. Kenya to the undersea kaleidoscope of Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park to the millions of hooves moving to an ancient call over the Serengeti, you’ll get to experience all the wonders these national parks will bring to your life.
Below we present the many parks of Kenya and Tanzania where you can book a once-in-a-lifetime Africa Holiday with Natural World Kenya Safaris.
Tsavo East lies to the east of the Nairobi – Mombasa highway, equi-distant between Nairobi and Mombasa
World famous Tsavo West National Park, with it’s Tsavo East neighbour, combine to form one of the largest national parks in the world.
Stepping into the dense, dark jungle of the Kakamega Forest Reserve is like being transported to the Africa of ancient times. Moving through the thick canopy of this tropical rainforest you’ll be met with the sounds of birdsong, chattering monkeys and croaking frogs. Butterflies fill the air as does a feeling of intimate beauty in this hidden gem of Kenya.
Amboseli National park lies immediately North West of Mt. Kilimanjaro, on the Kenya / Tanzania border.
Picture a high mountain lake in a volcanic region near the equator covered with an endless swarm of bright, pink flamingoes. Dotting this lake and surrounding areas, steamy hot springs enhance the already dreamlike atmosphere. Now add in the sight of numerous bubbling geysers erupting along the banks and from within the lake itself.
A fenced elephant corridor connects the Shimba Hills with Mwaluganje Forest Reserve to the North.
Black and white rhinoceros; diverse birdlife; large predators such as lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah; large herbivores such as eland, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest; ivory burning site monument; walking trails at hippo pools; Nairobi safari walk and opharnage; spacious picnic sites.
Masai Mara Game reserve is located In the great Rift valley in southern Kenya bordering the Serengeti in Tanzania.
Rare Rothschild giraffe and endangered black and white rhino are common in the park, amidst large herds of Cape buffalo, ranging through the woodlands and grasslands.
Lake Naivasha is world’s famous for its amazing birdlife. Hippo, zebra, giraffe, colobus monkey, buffalo elands, impalas, waterbucks and other grazers can also be found in the shores of the lake.
The only national park in Kenya that allows you take a guided walking safari or ride a bike while enjoying sightings of Zebras, Giraffe, Gazelle.
Samburu national reserve is situated at the Southern Corner of Samburu District in the Rift Valley province of Kenya
Cool and misty. Year round rains average one thousand (1,000 mm) on the drier northwestern slopes and upto three thousand (3,000 mm) in the southwest.
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 360sq km wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya’s Laikipia County.
Arabuko Sokoke lies a few kilometers inland, between the towns of Kilifi and Malindi, 110 km north of Mombasa.
The marine park is 6km from the Kenya Coast(at shimoni)and 8km north of the Tanzanian border.
Meru national Park is a savanna Park, 35km east of Maua town in the north eastern lowlands below the Nyambene hills.
Mt. Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands, East of the Rift Valley.
The highest peak in Africa. The biggest freestanding mountain in the world. One of the largest volcanos on the planet – this is mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro – a towering symbol of grandeur, majesty and power.
Mountain rainforests. Rich savannahs. Alpine moorlands. And majestic Mt. Meru. You can soak up all these scenic landscapes in a single day at Arusha National Park, one of Tanzania’s most beautiful and varied parks.
The Ngorongoro Crater is a world heritage site, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and is commonly referred to as the 8th wonder of the world.
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration
Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it is located in Manyara Region
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