The republic of Kenya is one of the world’s largest countries with Nairobi being its capital city. Kiswahili is the main language spoken which was adopted from the Arabs who traded along the coastal towns of the country. Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Uganda to the east, Tanzania to the south, India ocean to the southeast and Somalia to the east. Mombasa is the oldest city of Kenya and sits along the Ocean.
TOURISM IN KENYA
Kenya is one of the tourism giants in Africa; it is blessed with a number of game parks, mountains, lakes and also the beaches along the Indian Ocean. Today Kenya brings in a lot of revenue in tourism. The Kenya tourism Board is responsible for maintaining information pertaining to tourism in Kenya. The main tourist attractions in Kenya include;
- The wildebeests crossing at Masai mara national reserve which is also considered to be the 7th wonder of the world
- Colonial Era forts at the coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu.
- The view of Mountain Kilimanjaro across the border of Tanzania
- The beaches along the Swahili coast in the Indian Ocean
- Game parks and reserves
- Coffee plantations at Thika and tea plantations at Kericho
- Historical mosques
- White capped mountain Kenya
- The Great Rift Valley
MASAI MARA NATIONAL GAME RESERVE
Masai Mara national game reserve is a large national reserve located in Narok, Kenya. It also neighbors with the Serengeti National park in Tanzania. The national reserve was named in honor of the Masai people who settle around the park. There are several masaai conservancies that form the mara triangle, they include; Koiyaki, Lamek, Ol Chorro, Oirowua, Mara north, Olkinyei, Siana, Maji moto, Naikara, Kimintet,Oloirien, Kerinkani and Olderkesi.
Masai mara national Game reserve is known for a variety of wildlife which include; Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs, African Bush Elephants, Wildebeests, Topi, Zebras, Thomson’s gazelles,Buffalo, Black and white rhinos, Hippopotami, Crocodiles, Hyenas, Jackals, Bat eared foxes, Antelopes and the Masai giraffe.
Masai Mara has also one of the seven natural wonders of the world which is the great migration of wildebeests, zebras, topi and the Thomson’s gazelle. This is always witnessed on the mara and Talek River.
Masai Mara national Game reserve is also another spot for bird watching in Kenya. With over 470 species of birds, many of them being migrants, visitors have all the chances of viewing a number of birds in the game reserve. There are over 60 species of raptors. The birds in the reserve area include; Vultures, Marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, eagles, African pygmy-falcons and the Lilac-breasted roller which is Kenya’s national bird.
Masai Mara national reserve is also blessed with a number of lodges and tented camps though main reserve is unfenced even along the border with Serengeti meaning there is free movement of wildlife within the ecosystem.
There are several Airstripes which serve the camps and lodges in the masaai Mara, they include; Mara Serena airstrip, Musiara airstrip, Keekorok, kichwa, tembo, Ngerende airport, Ol kiombo and Angama Mara airstrips. There are several airlines like safari link and Air Kenya.
LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
The rift valley soda lake in Africa is located south of Nakuru. It lies in the rift valley of Kenya and has an elevation of 5,755 ft above sea-level. The lake is protected by Lake Nakuru national park. The lake is a home of various animals and birds, they include; baboons, warthogs, Eastern black rhinos and southern white rhinos,flamingos and many more. The park is close to Nakuru town, the word Nakuru means “Dusty place or Dust” in maasai language. The Lake is also under the gazetted Ramsar gathering of wet-lands.
The National park came to existence in the year 1961 near Lake Nakuru and Nakuru town and famously known for the many flamingos that nest along the lake shores, the number of flamingos depends on the food availability with their advantage point from the baboon cliff. The park has gazeted areas for giraffes and black and white rhinos. The park has 2 black rhinos and 70 southern white rhinos currently. There are a variety of waterbucks, lions, leopards can be sighted on a lucky day. There are a possibility of seeing pythons crossing the road. Birds like flamingos, African fish agle, Goliath Heron, Pied kingfisher, Hamerkop can be watched.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Located in Kajiado County with its ecosystem spreading across the Kenya-Tanzania boarder, Amboseli national park is occupied mostly by the masai. It even used to be called the Maasai Amboseli Game reserve back then. It being in the swampy area, there are over 400 species of birds including water birds like the kingfishers, pelicans, crakes, hamerkop and 47 raptors. Amboseli national park protects two of the five main swamps; it also includes a dried –up Pleistocene lake and semiarid vegetation.
Amboseli national park is famous for harboring the free-ranging elephants. Also it gives tourists a very good view of the mountain Kilimanjaro which is the highest free standing mountain in the world. Amboseli was also a home to the world’s most researched about elephant in the world, Echo. It was followed for many decades by American conservationist Dr Cynthia Moss and very many books and documentaries. The park is blessed with African wildlife like; African bush elephant, cape buffalo, Impala, lion, cheetah, spotted hyena, masai giraffe, Grant’s zebra and blue wildebeests. The park also has small and large birds.
TSAVO NATIONAL PARK
Tsavo is made up of two separate parks, the Tsavo East national park and the Tsavo west national park. It is located in the coast province of Kenya in-between Nairobi city and Mombasa. Tsavo is approximately 22,000km2, being the largest national park in Kenya and one of the largest in the world. The park was split into two because of the construction of the railway going through to Mombasa.
It’s slightly larger, flat with dry plains across which the Galana River flows. Also have the Yalta Plateaus and Lugard falls. It gives a good sight of dust-red elephant wallowing. It is the largest protected area in Kenya. Also is a home of mammals like vast herds of dust-red elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions, leopards, and pods of hippos, crocodiles, waterbucks, and the prolific bird life which features over 500 species.
It can also be accessed through Mayani gate, Voi gate, Buchuna gate and Sala gate.
It is localized for bird watching and antelopes.
It is located in the coast province of Kenya. It is separated from the eastern by the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway and the railway line. It is a 5hrs 37mins (280kms) drive to Mombasa town. More mountainous and wetter compared to the East Tsavo because of the Sipe and Mzima springs. It holds a magnificent bird life and a bigger number of large mammals like Black Rhino, Cape buffalo, Elephants, leopards, Hippos and the Masai Lion. It is also famously known for rock climbing and guided walks along the Tsavo River.
It can be accessed through the Mtito gate, man eater’s gate, Ghyulu gate.
It is also over shadowed by the Kilimanjaro Mountains in the southwest. It is also a favorite for Big 5 viewing.
NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi national park is the only protected area in the world with a huge variety of wildlife near the city centre of a country. It is targeted for the visitors to Nairobi. The park is a well known rhino sanctuary where they are taken care of until they are relocated to their previous range or upcoming sanctuaries. It is one of the very few parks where a visitor is assured of seeing a black rhino. The park sits onan area of 117km2 plus a diverse range of habitats with a wealth of Flora and Fauna.
The park is blessed with over 400 bird species where by some are seasonal. Other wildlife for visitors to see include; lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, eland, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and black rhinos.
There are several national parks in Kenya that have a variety of wildlife. They include;
- Arabuko sokoke national park. It is a forest in the coastal region of Kenya with the smallest part of the forest having the national park. The reserve hosts plants and animal species like the clarke’s weaver bird and the sokoke pipit.
- Chyulu Hills National Park. It is a picturesque park with green hills and amazing landscape views. It is a stunning place to visit because of the views and the animals, such as the reed bucks and giraffes. It also a hiking spot plus camping.
Kenya is also blessed with the coastal towns that have put up a number of beaches along the shores of the ocean. There are a number of beaches which include;
- Diani beach which is the most popular in the coastal region. It is located 30kms south of Mombasa
- Nyali beach. It one of the best beaches because it offers a lot of privacy since it is never so crowded.
- Lamu beaches. It is blessed with the white sands which give a perfect relation during vacation. Manda bay and Shela beach are the most popular beaches in Lamu.The beaches are surrounded by luxury well built resorts around the ocean.
- Vipingo beachis located near kilifi
- Watamu beach is 7km along the ocean.
- Tiwi beach located 17kms from Mombasa
- Shanzu is located 30 kms from mombasa
- Kikambala is located north of Mombasa
- Bamburi beach is located on mombasa’s north coast
- Gazi beach is located 3 kms from Gazi, a coastal town in Kenya.