Nairobi: 1 night Tarangire: 1 night
Amboseli: 2 nights Lake Manyara: 1 night
Tsavo East: 1 nights Masai Mara: 2 nights
Tsavo West: 1 night South Horr: 2 nights
Ngorongoro Crater: 1 night Samburu: 2 nights
Serengeti: 1 night Aberdare: 1 night
Ol Pejeta: 1 night Naivasha: 1 night
PROPOSED NATIONAL PARKS AND RESERVES
Mara is the Maasai word for “spotted”. From the air, the visual effect of the Mara thickets looks like spots, hence the name — Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Maasai Mara is the only park in Kenya that contains all of the infamous “big five” – rightly named big five, not because of their size, but because they were among the most poached animals in the country – some for their horns believed to be aphrodisiacs, others for their skin. In spite of this, the Maasai Mara has continued to be a safe haven for these animals.
The Massai Mara boasts more than 450 species of birds, including raptors. The park is home to an astonishing number of animals, umbrella shaped trees, beautiful sunsets (always at the same time every day of the year), the winding Mara River and the rugged Ololoolo Escarpment. Here you have the option of enjoying another once in a lifetime experience – floating above the Mara River and the game rich African savannah in a hot air balloon.
Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli National Park lays North West of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest Mountain (5895 m). The park covers 392 sq km and its fragile ecosystem supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species) and birds (over 400 species) making it one of the country’s most popular game parks.
The name Amboseli is a Maasai word which means “place of dust”. Herds of elephants can be spotted covering themselves in dust or wallowing in a swamp full of birdlife. Covered by savannah and acacia trees, the open flat plains are ideal places to search for wildebeest, buffalo, cheetah, lions, hyenas, zebras, hippos and other animals. Two permanent water springs come from underground seepage from the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro – the Park’s majestic backdrop. Large wildlife concentration mostly occurs here during the dry season because of permanent swamps. Part of the park is composed of a seasonal lake. During the dry season the dried-up lake bed produces mirages in the shimmering heat. From Amboseli, it is possible to engage in a scenic flight to see the top of the mountain.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest conservancy for the black rhinos in East Africa located in the expansive 24,000 acres privately owned Ol Pejeta Ranch in Sweetwaters Game Reserve. Famous for its non-indigenous chimpanzees, the Jane Goodall Institute established the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary at the site. The Sanctuary does not encourage breeding, but it recognizes the importance of raising baby chimpanzees to adulthood. A walk around the Sanctuary will give you an opportunity to spot the orphaned chimps. It’s also the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. Apart from the chimps and the black rhinos, you have a chance to view an amazing variety of wildlife such as zebras, lions, leopards, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, oryx, elan, baboons, elephants and various species of birds.
Tsavo East and Tsavo West
Tsavo East and West combine to form the largest park in Kenya. It is because of this sheer size that it was split into two, divided by the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway. Tsavo West is the more developed park and has some amazing volcanic landscapes and dense bushes. Tsavo East is popular for its large herds of Elephants. Some of the other major attractions here include Lugards Falls, Mudanda rock, Aruba Dam, the Chyulu Hills, Shetani lava-flows and the crystal clear Mzima Springs, where water flowing underground from Mt. Kilimanjaro is pumped out. There is an underwater observation post, where you can easily spot large crocodiles, hippos and fish.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The conservation area covers 8,280km sq (3,196 square miles) and stretches from Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley north to the Serengeti Plains. The conservation area also contains at least seven extinct volcanoes and is probably one of the most varied terrains in East Africa. The plains in the north are critical for the wildebeest migration. This area was established in 1959 to cater for tourists, protect the forest to the south and guard unique archaeological sites like Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli especially after the Maasai complained that they were being pushed out of their grazing land which was Serengeti by then. The altitude varies from Lake Eyasi at 1,000m (3,280 feet) to the Peak of Lolmalasin Mountain at 3,640m (11,940 feet).
The Serengeti National Park
One of the world’s last great wildlife refuges, Serengeti National Park has various types of vegetation: grassy plains, savannah with acacias, wooded hills and mountains that provide the backdrop for an extraordinary concentration of animals which reaches its peak during the annual wildebeest migration. Almost 1.5 million wildebeest undertake a circuit of 1000kms, searching for new pastures and watering holes. The name comes from the Maasai ‘Siringet’, meaning endless plains. The Seronera Valley in the Serengeti is famous for the abundance of lions and leopards. The best time to witness the migration is from December to May in the south of the park and from June to October in the western corridor and to the north – near the Maasai Mara/Serengeti border.
Lake Manyara National Park
Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park is known for its incredible beauty as well as its tree climbing lions that lounge along the branches of acacia trees. Including a lush forest, woodlands, grasslands, swamps and a soda lake, the area covers 390 sq km and is a sanctuary to over 350 species of birds, such as pelicans, storks, sacred ibis, and flamingos. It also has numerous buffaloes, elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes and a great variety of smaller animals.
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