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Tsavo East National Park
It is the largest Park in Kenya with an area of 21,812 Km2
Tsavo National Park was divided into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway /road.

 

Scenic features
Tsavo East is a very popular Park as is indicated by the high number of tourists. Some of the attractive scenic features include:

 

  • large herds of elephants and other wildlife.

  • it is easily accessible by road, air (light aircraft) and railway.
    the Park is a “catchments” for coast resorts’ visitors.

  • popular legend of Tsavo “The Man-eaters of Tsavo”.

  • Yatta plateau – It is about 290Km long and is one of the worlds longest lava flows.

  • Lugards Falls on the Galana river – This is not a true falls but a series of rapids. Visitors can walk down to the river to view the rapids.

  • Mudanda rock – This is a long rock outcrop that is about 1.6Km long. There is a dam at the base. Animals can be seen drinking. Visitors can walk along the rock and enjoy a cool breeze as well as view wildlife at the base.

  • Aruba Dam - was built in 1952 across the Voi river. The dam attracts many animals and water birds can be seen at this dam.

  • Tsavo/Athi rivers confluence – when the two rivers join they form the Galana river.

  • Elephants, Rhinos, Hirola (Hunters Hartebeest).

 

Accessibility
From Nairobi via Voi through the Voi gate or Manyani gate.
Similarly, from Mombasa via Bachuma gate.
From Malindi, via Sala gate. This road was recently graded and is attracting many visitors from North Coast.There are six airstrips in the southern part of the park and thirteen in the Northern part.

 

There are no scheduled flights to the Park but chartered light planes can be used.

 

For more information, please visit the Kenya Wildlife Service Website www.kws.org

 

Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is situated in the hot and arid fringes of Kenya's vast Northern Frontier District. The area is home to the Samburu tribe, pastoral relatives of the Masai. The landscape is rugged and dramatic - against a backdrop of volcanic mountains, gaunt hills and withered scrub tree punctuate the sparse and dry terrain with clusters of the incredibly hardy desert rose providing the occasional flash of vivid colour. The Ewaso Nyiro river, lifeline of the area, runs along the southern boundary dividing Samburu from Buffalo Springs Reserve. Crocodile and hippo share the river with the many small herds of elephant which bathe and frolic in the muddy brown waters during the heat of the day before returning later to browse on the lush vegetation of the riverine forest. Buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and plains game may also be seen but a special feature of this Reserve are the various species of game unique to these northern parks - Beisa oryx, the long necked gerenuk, Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and the blue shanked Somali ostrich.Samburu Reserve covers an area of 104 km2 on the northern bank of Uaso Nyiro river. The reserve has a unique landscapes of rounded and rugged hills and undulating plains.

Hot and Dry, mainly wooded and bushy grassland, riverine forest and swamps.

Over 50 species of large mammals including reticulated giraffe, grevys zebra, elephant oryx, somali ostrich, hippo, crocodiles, gemuk, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Large flocks of helmeted and vulturine guinea fowls are a common attraction.

Aberdare National Park
The Aberdares are part of Kenya's central highlands, running roughly north south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls with a range of almost 13,000 ft. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that give way to gentler valleys separated by steep hills and rocky outcrops. The park is an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins. The climate is wet and moist. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest, whose management is under an MoU between KWS and the Forest Department.

Animal life is most abundant in the forest zone. Large mammals are represented by elephants, buffalo, bongo and black rhino among others. Carnivores include lion and leopard, whereas primates are represented by baboon, black and white colobus and sykes monkeys. The park is rich in bird life with over 250 species recorded. The Jackson's Francolin is endemic.

Mount Kenya National Park
Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks - Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. The park, which was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 and is also a Biosphere Reserve, covers 715 km2, and includes the Peaks consisting of all the ground above 3200m with two small salients extending lower down to 2450m along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve with an area of approximately 2095 km2.Climate, flora and fauna on Mt. Kenya varies with altitude.

Accessibility
175 kms from Nairobi, the park can be reached on Nanyuki-Isiolo road via Sirimon Track or Nyeri-Nanyuki road near Naro Moru. The park is also reachable via Chogoria on the Embu - Meru road, about 150km north of Nairobi.The closest commercial airstrip to the park is at Nanyuki.

Major Attractions
Pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, High altitude adapted plains game, Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.


Huts:
Liki North Hut; Minto's Hut; Austrian Hut; Mackinders Hut (managed by Naro Moru Lodge); Judmare Hut; Shiptons Hut (managed by Mountain Rock Hotel).Bandas:
Sirimon Bandas
, Batian Guest House.Lodges:
Mountain Lodge (Serena Hotels); Rutundu Fishes Lodge (book through Lets Go Travel)ACTIVITIESMountain climbing, game viewing.

COMMON VEGETATION:

This varies with altitude and rainfall, and there is a rich alpine and sub-alpine flora.Between 1200m and 1850m, the vegetation is mainly dry upland forest comprising of Croton associations. Juniperus procera and Podocarpus spp. are predominant in the drier parts of the lower zone (below 2,500m), with rainfall between 875 and 1400mm (Naro Moru and Sirimon tracks on the western slopes). In wetter areas (over 2200mm/year) in the south-west and north-east, Cassipourea malosana predominates.Higher altitudes (2,500-3,000m with rainfall over 2000mm/year) are dominated by a dense belt of bamboo Arundinaria alpina on south-eastern slopes, and a mosaic of bamboo and Podocarpus milanjianus with bamboo at intermediate elevations (2,600-2,800m), and Podocarpus at higher and lower elevations (2,800-3,000m) and (2,500-2,600m).Towards the west and north of the mountain, bamboo becomes progressively smaller and less dominant. There are also areas in zones of maximum rainfall 2,000-3,500m with up to 2,400mm/year, where Hagenia abyssinica with Hagenia revolutum predominate.Above 3,000m, cold (low temperatures) become a more important factor, tree stature declines, and Podocarpus is replaced by Hypericum spp. A more open canopy here results in a more developed understorey. Many of the trees are festooned with mosses. Grassy glades are common especially on ridges. High altitude heath between 3,000m and 3,500m is characterised by shrubs with small leaves like African sage, Protea and Helicrysum.The lower alpine or moorland zone (3,400-3,800m) is characterized by high rainfall, a thick humus layer, low topographic diversity, and low species richness. Tussock grasses Festuca pilgeri, and sedges Carex spp. predominate. Between the tussocks there are Alchemilla cyclophylla, Alchemilla johnstonii, and Geranium vagans. Above the 3500m contour is the Afro-alpine zone, a moorland characterised by tussock grasses, senecios and lobelias.The upper alpinezone (3,800-4,500m) is more topographically diverse, and contains a more varied flora. Many of the species here are bizarre, especially the giant rosette plants Lobelia telekii and Lobelia keniensis, Senecio keniodendron and Carduus spp.. Senecio brassica is found in both the lower and upper alpine zone.There are a variety of grasses on well-drained ground and along the streams and river banks such as megaphytic Senecio battescombei and Helichrysum kilimanjari.

 

Continuous vegetation stops at about 4,500m although isolated vascular plants have been found at over 5,000m. There are 13 species endemic to Mount Kenya listed in Hedberg, (1951).

 

For more information, please visit the Kenya Wildlife Service website www.kws.org

Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is considered by many to be one of Kenya's finest National Reserves. The rolling grasslands offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities and the grassy plains are broken by rocky outcrops which are favourite midday resting places for lion, for which the Mara is famous. Some of the other animals which can be seen in and around this 700 square mile conservation area include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers which traverse this Reserve. One of the Mara's main attractions each year is the astonishing spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million wildebeest, thousands of zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains, following the rains and succulent new grass. A costly trek as many of the lame, laggard and sick will fall prey to the ravening pack of predators and many more will die in the swirling flood waters trying to cross the Mara River. Once the rains have ended and the grass begins to wither the wildebeest turn south and head back to the Serengeti and beyond. The reserve with an area of 1510 km2 forms the northern part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem and is famous for vast assemblages and migration of plains game and their associated predators. The parks southern boundary is contiguous with Tanzania's Serengeti National park.

With the hot and dry climate, the landscape is characterized by scenic rolling grassland plains, rounded hills and grooves of woodlands. Green riverine forests and bush thickets are found along the Mara river.

Elephant, black rhino, buffalo, plains zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest and other herbivores and all the big cats are also found in Mara. The rivers are home of crocodiles and hippos.

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