The fantastic vacation paradise in East Africa offers its visitors various possibilities for an unforgettable stay. No other African country can enchant you with such a diversity of breathtaking flora and fauna.
Kenya's flora and fauna is impressive and almost without comparison. The multiplicity of national parks is one of the main pillars for the country.
Tsavo National Park was founded in April 1948 with a total size of 21.812 km², due to administrative reasons it was separated into Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park one month later. The eastern part with its 11.747 km² is about 2.000 km² bigger than the western part. The street and railway connection between Mombasa and Nairobi represents the border between the two parks. Tsavo East National Park is very dry, with savannahs in the South merging into semi-deserts in the North. However, the animal kingdom is diversified, besides lions, buffalos and rhinos the visitor can also admire the famous "red elephants". These received their names because they dust themselves for skin care reasons with the red sand typical for Tsavo. In contrast, the landscape in the western part is overall more hilly and wet. There are several swamps and especially around Mzima Springs, which supplies Mombasa with drinking water, you will find copious green vegetation. Crocodiles and hippos can also be found here and may be observed from a close distance due to a special shelter. Moreover, the so-called "Rhino Sanctuary" is situated in Tsavo West, a fenced area under the protection of the Kenya Wildlife Service, where some of the last black rhinos of the region are nurtured. Tsavo National Park distinguishes itself for housing the big five; the park is especially popular for its lions and Kenya's largest elephant population with over 6000 animals can also be found here. Furthermore, visitors will find giraffes, leopard, gazelles, antelopes, water bucks and many more in abundance.
The Maasai Mara is a part of the Serengeti and has an area of about 1.510 km². It received its name from the ethnic group living in this region - the Maasai -, the second word means "dotted" as viewed from above, and the trees in the savannah look like single dots. Wide areas of the park are open hilly grassland dominated with acacias and therefore offers the ideal opportunity of being able to spot all the animals. Additionally, the annual natural spectacle of the migration adds to the beauty of the park, where huge herds of gnus, zebras and antelopes migrate from the Southern Serengeti into the Masai Mara in order to search for better feeding grounds. The vegetation mainly consists of grass savannah. Besides, there are bush and tree savannahs with gallery forests alongside the Mara River. There are also Island Mountains.
Amboseli National Park is located in western Kenya directly at the border of Tanzania. It is one of the most visited and oldest national parks in Kenya and is relatively small, only 392 km². In front of the impressive scenery of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania dried up savannahs and dry plains form the main image. Infrequent strong rainfall causes the otherwise dry lake Amboseli in the Northwest of the park to fill with water. Numerous marshes in Amboseli are fed by underground springs. The national park is especially famous for its big elephant population, moreover the visitor is able to find hyenas, lions, giraffes, jackals, zebras, gnus and numerous antelopes. The elephants are territorial creatures and only leave the Amboseli basin at the borders. There are occasional interactions within East Africa with similar species from Tsavo West National Park, but the groups always separate again. Sometimes fellow elephants from the hillsides of Kilimanjaro come into Amboseli National Park.
Along the giant East African fracture zone, the Great Rift Valley, amidst different volcano mountains lies this unique lake chain. Lake Naivasha National Park, 1.890 m above sea level, is located directly at the highest fresh-water lake in the eastern part of the rift, about 70 km northwest of the capital Nairobi. The main feeders of the lake are the Malewa and the Gilgi River. Lake Naivasha as a bird sanctuary offers living space for numerous birds as well as giraffes, antelopes, countless hippos, gnus and zebras. Popular destinations for excursions are the Creek Island Wildlife Sanctuary located on an island amidst the lake and populated by many animals, the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary with its crater lake encircled by forest and the Hell's Gate National Park which is located south of the lake.
Samburu National Park, named after the East African warrior and nomad group, is a 165 km² big nature sanctuary. It is located about 800 to 1.200 m above sea level in the dry north of Kenya amidst the Rift Valley Province at the Uaso Nyiro River, about 350 km north of Nairobi. It borders on the Buffalo Springs National Reserve. The landscape is affected by open grass and thorn bush savannah as well as some craggy hills. Samburu National Park offers living space for numerous animals which can deal with the dry conditions like elephants, oryx antelopes, gazelles, net giraffes, grevy zebras, ostriches, lions and leopards.
Nairobi National Park was opened in 1946 and is supposed to be Kenya's first national park. It is located only about 8 km from the centre of Nairobi so that you are able to admire Nairobi's skyline from the park. Even though the park comprises of only 118 km² and is dominated by savannahs, acacias trees, it shelters a huge animal population. Visitors can watch more than 500 bird and 80 mammal species, amongst them gazelles, zebras, antelopes, giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs and hippos. Only elephants cannot be found here due to the size of the park. However, Nairobi National Park is a thriving sanctuary for black rhinos. Three borders of the park are fenced, the other one is bordered by the Mbagathi River. This natural frontier enables the migration of large hoofed animal herds.