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Touring Kenya

Wild Kingdom

Kenya's wildlife heritage is for many people its prime attraction. The bes known wildlife areas are Amboseli National Park, which is dominated by the snow covered Mount Kilimanjaro and Masai Mara National Reserve, famous for its abundance of game and its many predators. Other impressive wildlife areas are the three national reserves in the north east, set in arid bush country along the banks of the area's only river, the Ewaso Nyiro: they are Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba.

These reserves are notable for the unusual species they contain, the endangered Grevy's zebra, herds of beisa oryx, the long necked gerenuk and the very striking reticulated giraffe. To the south and east of the country lie Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks which are bisected by the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Together, the parks form one of the largest wildlife areas in the entire world-20,812km2(8035 sq miles) in contrast to the tiny Saiwa Swamp which is only 2km2(half a square mile) in size, and is possibly the world smallest national park. Another park deserving a mention is Lake Nakuru, very famous for its spectacular flamingos:sometimes as many as 1.5million make their home there.

Kenya's numerous and varied birdlife(1080 species) is attracting increasing numbers of ornithologists and bird-watchers, and is fastest growing sectoir of the tourist industry. Sixty six different birds of prey have been recorded(excluding owls);among these are 19 eagles from the mighty martial to the tiny pygmy falcon. Of the 11 species of vulture found in Kenya, the more commonly seen are the palm nut, African white backed, Ruppell's hooded, Egyptian, lappet-faced and white-headed species, and finally, the rarest, the lammergeyer.

 

Conserving Kenya's Natural; Heritage

Like every other African country, Kenya wildlife areas,forests and special habitats are continuously being threatened, mostly by an expanding population's need for more land, by increasing urbanisation and industrialisation.

Where to spot the BIG FIVE

  • Lion is a nocturnal hunter but easiest cat to see in the Masai Mara during the day.
  • Leopard: shy nocturnal, it can however usually be seen in the Masai Mara, Samburu, Lake Nakuru reserves early in the morning and later afternoon drives.
  • Elephant: seen in most wildlife areas, except Nairobi and Saiwa National Parks, best place is Amboseli around swamps at midday.
  • Buffalo: most dangerous of Africa's animals, can best be seen in the Masai Mara and Aberdare national parks.
Rhino: both black and white species most confined in Nairobi, Nakuru and Abedare parks; Solio Ranch and Lewa Conservancy.

 

 

 

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