National parks in Rift valley, Kenya
by Kamau Mbiyu
Lion cubs Masai Mara
Apart from the scenic slopes and lakes that are found in the Rift valley, the region also comes with several species of wildlife, which are hosted in the numerous national parks in the region. Below are some of the parks that are found in this area.
The Masai Mara is one of the world known national reserves and is found in the region. The reserve, located in south west part of Kenya, covers a total area of 1500 square km. By road one passes through Narok town, a journey that takes about 4 hours. It is also accessible by air, because there are numerous airstrips in the reverse. The vegetation around is mainly wooded grassland, with many of the trees being acacia. All the big five animals are found within the park. Other animals include the cheetah, hippo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, hyena, wild dog, gazelle, kongoni among others. Between June and August the migratory wildebeests are found in the Mara. During this time, they cross the Mara River, where many of them die as a result of being preyed on by crocodiles and lions, and being trampled on. There are numerous lodges and luxury tented camps in the reserve. The park is most convenient for game viewing, honeymooning, bird watching and sun setting. One can also enjoy performances from the local Masai community.
The lake Nakuru national park surrounds the salty lake Nakuru. It is found in the outskirts of Nakuru town about 150km from Nairobi. The park covers an area of 188 square km. The most striking feature about the park is the millions of flamingos that reside by the shores of the lake. This makes the lake come to life with the magnificent pink color of the birds. There are also plenty of pelicans and other birds in the park. Animals found in the park include the lion, leopard, black rhino, white rhino, buffalo, waterbuck, baboons and many others. There are also several species of snakes. The park is best for game viewing, picnicking, bird watching and team building. The baboon cliff is the best area in the park for a picnic. There are various lodges such as the flamingo hill lodge which offer luxurious accommodation.
The Hell’s gate national park is located in the south of the lake Naivasha. The vegetation around mainly consists wooded grasslands and it hosts a variety of wildlife. The most frequently observed wildlife include the zebras, gazelles, cheetahs, leopards and lions. There are also buffalos, elands, baboons and hartebeests. There are over 100 species of birds such as vultures, eagles, buzzards, and swifts. The park is best for game watching, picnics, camping, rock climbing, bird watching, and photography. Others activities done in the park include biking and wheelbarrow racing.
Sibiloi national; park is found in the northeastern side of the Lake Turkana. This is about 800km from Nairobi. It covers an area if 1570 square km. it is accessible by air because there are two airstrips. The region is a semi desert ecosystem, experiencing less than 250mm of rainfall annually. It has several unique historical and archaeological sites. It is considered the origin of man and there is a museum and research base. The major attractions are crocodiles, birdlife, and the historical sites. The world’s longest crocodiles are found in the region. Animals found in the region include the zebra, gazelle, giraffe, kudu, lion, hippo, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackal and others. For accommodation, there are various lodges, KWS accommodation and campsites.
Other parks and game reserves in the rift valley include Samburu National park, Soysambu game ranch, and Lake Bogoria game reserve among others. All these parks have lots of wildlife, bird species, and several other scenic features that will make your safari in Kenya worth.
Kamau Mbiyu is a Safari and Travel consultant with vast knowledge and experience. Enjoy Mount Kenya climbing, hotel booking, Mountain climbing, luxury travel, bungee jumping, golf safari in Kenya and beach holidays.