With over 40 national parks and reserves, as well as private reserves, choosing which safari destination to explore in Kenya can be difficult.
With over 40 national parks and reserves, as well as private reserves, choosing which safari destination to explore in Kenya can be overwhelming for visitors. These destinations are home to unique plant species, different wild animals, savannah grasslands and breathtaking landscapes attracting thousands of travelers from all corners of the world. The natural wildlife habitats of these national parks are home to some of the largest wild animals on the planet. Kenya’s beauty is hidden in these enchanting parks – no wonder the East African nation is named the wildlife capital. These 10 national parks in Kenya will have you booking a flight.
ten Masai Mara National Reserve
Kenya’s most famous safari destination is located in southwestern Kenya. Maasai Mara is not only famous for having the greatest concentration of Big Five – leopard, lion, elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo, it is the place that witnesses the great annual migration, where more than 2 million wildebeest alongside zebras and gazelles migrate from the Serengeti in Tanzania. at the park. This place is home to more than 500 species of birds and 95 different species of mammals. The wildlife safari experience in this destination is second to none!
- Main tourist attractions: Mara River, Olare Orok Conservancy, Mara Triangle.
- Best time to visit: July-October.
- Major Safari Experience: wildebeest migration
- Average Cost of Maasai Mara Safari: $359 for a 3 day trip.
9 Amboseli National Park
After Maasai Mara, Amboseli is Kenya’s second most famous national park. The park’s beautiful landscapes, which include semi-arid and humid swamps, have attracted a wide variety of wildlife over time. Resting at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, this stunning wildlife safari destination is one of Kenya’s best. The sights are hundreds of elephants, and one can get stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro.
- When to visit: July-September
- Major safari experience: Meet Kenya’s Maasai Tribe, Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
- Main Attractions: Lake Amboseli, elephant research camp
- Safari cost: $750 to $1250
8 Tsavo National Park
Separated into two parts; Tsavo East and Tsavo West, this is one of Kenya’s oldest and largest national parks – with stunning rocky landscapes including the Yatta Plateau, Aruba Dam and Mudanda Rock. It also has extinct volcanoes and is home to various wildlife including lions, leopards, elephants, giraffes, rhinos and buffaloes. The park is rich in various bird species and sparse grasslands.
- When to visit: June-October, January-February
- Main tourist attractions: Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Epiya Chapeyu Tented Safari Camp
- Major Safari Experiences: Jipe Lake, Mzima Springs, Ngulia Hills
- Average cost: $750 to $1250
7 Nairobi National Park
This beautiful safari destination is located 75 km south of Nairobi and is the only destination with a cityscape on the horizon. The park is home to a wide variety of endangered wildlife species including black rhinos, lions, hyenas, and different types of birds. The park is also home to a major rescue home for elephants and rhinos – the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an organization that collects orphaned baby animals and houses them.
- When to visit: June-September
- Main Attractions: Galleria Mall, Nairobi Mosque
- Major safari experience: camping, picnicking, elephant walking trails.
- Average cost: $750 to $1250
6 Hell’s Gate National Park
Located in the Great Rift Valley region of Kenya, Hell’s Gate National Park is a renowned destination for the geothermal activities that take place in the region. Hell’s Gate features geothermal steams, making it the most atmospheric national park in the East African nation. It’s a great place for a wildlife safari experience, with giraffes, elk, zebras, Thompson’s gazelles and hartebeest. Olive baboons and klipspringers can be spotted here. However, the park only has buffalo among all members of the Big Five.
- Best time to visit: June – October
- Best Safari experience: Wildlife viewing
- Main Attractions: Olkaria Geothermal Station
- Average cost: $170 to $11,000
5 Mount Kenya National Park
Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa with a height spanning 5199m. Mount Kenya National Park features glaciers, mineral springs, tarns, and beautiful views of the many endangered wildlife that live here. the park also includes a montane plantation. Mount Kenya National Park features breathtaking scenery that any traveler would not want to miss.
- Best time to visit: December-March
- Main tourist attraction: Mount Kenya
- Major Safari Experiences: Mount Kenya Hiking, Camping and Caving
- Average cost: $180 to $800
4 Samburu National Reserve
Samburu National Reserve is also found in Kenya’s Rift Valley region along the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River. The park is home to various wild species of wildlife, including Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, and necked gerenuk. Because it is more remote than the other reserves, Samburu is less visited. But it features a stunning arid ecosystem worth exploring.
- When to visit: December-March, July-October
- The main attraction: Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve
- Major Safari Experiences: Wildlife viewing, cultural experience and bird watching.
- Average cost: $150 – $250
3 Lake Nakuru National Park
Famous for being home to thousands of flamingos, Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best safari destinations in Kenya. The park is also home to warthogs, rhinos, zebras and baboons. One can have a breathtaking view of the Baboon cliff and walk around the magnificent Makalia waterfall. One can have the best safari experience in the park during peak season.
- When to visit: June-March
- Main tourist attractions: Lake Nakuru, Makalia Waterfall
- Major safari experience: Bird watching, wildlife watching.
- Average cost: $450 to $600
2 Chyulu Hills National Park
The hills of Chyulu, although little visited, are among the best, with epic volcanic landscapes and green hills. The park is home to wildlife including giraffes and reed deer among others. The main problems facing this verdant destination are human encroachment on livestock and poaching of wild animals. Visitors can hike, camp, and visit one of the longest caves in the world, the Upper Leviathan Cave.
- Best time to visit: June-September, January and February
- Average cost: Ranges from $750 to $1250
1 Aberdare National Park
Located in the central region of Kenya, close to Mount Kenya, Aberdare National Park features beautiful landscapes including mountain peaks and deep ravines covered in rainforest, bamboo forests and heathland. The black rhinoceros, the second largest herd of critically endangered species, lives in this park. Karuru, Kenya’s tallest waterfall is a major attraction here.
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