AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
A four-hour drive from Nairobi lies in Maasai land, at the base of the majestic snow-capped 19340ft Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa) and is one of Kenya’s most popular parks.
The big five (leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant and lion) all make their home in Amboseli. Plains game abound and the grasslands offer superb game watching.Amboseli is served by several lodges/campsites all situated to take full advantage of both the wildlife and the spectacular scenery.
TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
One of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries lies halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa. Tsavo west is only a sort drive from Amboseli National Park. In the south of the park is the scenic Ngulia escarpment and Tsavo River,attracting game and birdlife to its banks.
Near the Chyulu hill crystal clear freshwater springs gush from below ground and here, at Mzima springs, an observatory and platform allow visitors to view the underwater life. Two excellent lodges serve Tsavo west Kilaguni and Ngulia and further south in private game sanctuary and Hilton’s Salt lake and Taita hills lodges. Also campsites are available.
The wilderness of Tsavo East is dominated by the Yatta Plateau (one of the world’s longest lava flows) and the Galana Athi River.Several comfortable tented camps site here, and there are also lodges on the park boundaries.
MOUNT KENYA 5120M (17058FT)
Approximately two hours drive north of Nairobi lies Mt. Kenya, Kenya’s highest mountain standing a 5,120m (17,058ft).Nearby in the Aberdare of mountains range whose highest peak Ol Doinyo La Sitima reaches 10,500ft.
On the southern slope of Mt.Kenya and in the salient of the Aberdare mountains, are three exciting tree hotels-Treetops,the Ark and mountain lodge.Each lodge, overlooking floodlit glades, waterholes and salt licks,is situated in a magnificent rain forest alive with wildlife peculiar to the area.
Mt.Kenya,quit apart from its scenic beauty and wildlife, is also popular for high altitude walking and rock climbing on its main peaks,Lenana, Nelion and Batian. All slopes above 3200m (10500ft) have been gazetted a National Park and well worth visiting for the unusual flora and fauna of the alpine zone.
SAMBURU GAME RESERVE AND THE NORTHERN PROVINCE
On the fringes of the hot and sparsely populated northern region of Kenya lies a small oasis,the Samburu Game Reserve. This area is home of the Samburu tribe, pastoral relatives of the famous Maasai. A special feature of the reserve is the species of game unique to the area the long necked gerenuk.Grevys zebra reticulated giraffe,blue-shanked Somali ostrich and oryx,crocodile and hippos share the river with herds of frolicking elephants.
Immediately across the river is the buffalo springs Game Reserve,its name taken from the crystal-clear springs, which bubble out of the ground and are favourite watering hole for the game. Shaba National Reserve,adjacent to Buffalo Spring,was the home for many years of authoress Joy Adamson and her beloved cheetah.
Further to the north lies the Chalbi Desert and beyond that Lake Turkana, the “Jade Sea” on the eastern banks of which fossils relating to the origin of man have been discovered.A permanent museum has been established at Koobi for a near Sibiloi National Park.
Distinctive hills and mountains characterize the area where the lifeline for human and animal inhabitants is the wide Vaso Nyiro River.Nestled in the shady riverine forest are several attractive lodges. Also campsites are available.
GREAT RIFT VALLEY AND THE LAKES
Approximately one-hour drive from Nairobi lays Lake Naivasha, dominated by rugged Mt.Longonot in the southeast.The birdlife is superb with up to 340 species to be found. Just a short boat trip the mainland is Crescent Island where you can actually walk amongst the game. The all-weather road northwest of Naivasha by passes Lake Elmenteila continues to Lake Nakuru,famous for the concentration of flamingo which thrives on the algae found in its shallow water.
Lake Nakuru is also a national park containing a variety of game and the country’s first Rhino sanctuary.The road continues to north to Lake Bogoria,described by explorers “the most beautiful view in Africa”. This National Reserve with sharelines of boiling geysers-a reminder of the volcanic organic origins of the Great Rift Valley is home to the rare greater kudu and variety of birds.Just a short distance north of Bogoria is Lake Baringo. Bird viewing by boat or by foot is superb and often accompanied by our Resident ornithologist’s paradise.There are excellent lakeside hotels/campsites at Naivasha, Nakuru and Baringo.
MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE
Considered by many to be Kenya’s leading game reserve,the Masai mara lies west of Nairobi, its western boundary common with Tanzania’s Serengeti national park. The gentle rolling grasslands,traversed by the Mara River and dotted with serus, acacias and riverine forest is home to the magnificent blank-manned lion and abundance of plain’s game and other predators.
Crocodile and hippo share the muddy waters of the river whilst elephant, buffalo and rhino push their way through the dense forest on its banks.
Each year over two million wildebeests,zebra and accompanying predators surge across the Tanzanian border to the Masai Mara in the quest for flesh pastures. This sea of wildlife is a sight to behold with game stretching literally as far as the eye can see.
The early morning calm of the Mara has made possible the introduction of balloon safaris. Depending on the wind and the weather, colorful hot air balloon float upwards and drift over unsuspecting game allowing unique viewing and photographic opportunities. After landing on the plains in the vastness of African, a champagne breakfast is served.
Safari lodges here are all well known for their comfort and cuisine and several excellent permanent tented camp/normal campsites are sited on the periphery of the reserve.
Situated just one hour’s drive south of Mombasa and some 16km inland is Shimba Hills Reserve.Amongst these scenic rolling hills traversed by tropical streams and waterfalls live buffalo, elephant, leopard, and the rare sable antelope and many other spices of forest and plains game. The variety and number of forest birds as they call from perches high in the beautiful ancient tropical rain forest is a sound and sight to behold.
Accommodation in this unspoiled reserve is hotels and campsites. Situated above a natural waterhole, which almost nightly attracts elephant and leopard and plenty of other forest animals, the lodges, campsite covered in the forest vines, blends unobtrusively into its surroundings. As well as accompanying guests on game drives our Resident Naturalist leads exciting walks to Sheldricks’ falls and the Marere Dam.