National Parks and Reserves in Kenya

Kenya's national parks and reserves rate among the best in Africa.Oviously the tremendous variety of birds and mammals is the main attraction,and the more popular parks such as Masai Mara Game Reserve and Amboseli National Park see huge numbers of visitors,from the budget campers to the hundreds-of-dollars-a-day Hilton hoppers.In the peak season,from January to February on a game drive,you can observe at close quarters the daily habits of the profilic Nissan Urvan.Other smaller parks,such as Saiwa Swamp National Park,near Kitale in the country's western highlands,would be lucky to see a handful visitors a day.In addition to the protection of the wildlife,some parks have been created to preserve the landscape itself,and these too can be exciting and rewarding places to visit,such as Mount Kenya,Mount Elgon,Hell's Gate,Mount Longonot and the Kakamega Forest are all worth investigating.

Marine life is also in abundance and the marine national parks of Malindi and Watamu off the central coast,both offer excellent diving possibilities.Shimoni and Wasini islands islands in the extreme south offer even better opportunities but are much less accessible and developed.What propably helps to make Kenyans parks such a draw card for the budget traveller is that the competition among safari companies for the traveller's dollar is so fierce that a safari of at least a few days is within the reach of the vast majority of travellers.For those at the other end of the scale of competition is equally brisk and there are lodges and tented camps within the major parks which have superb facilities and are a real experience,if you can afford them.

National Parks in Kenya

Nairobi : Nairobi National Park

The Rift Valley : Hell's Gate National Park  Lake Bogoria National Park Lake Nakuru National Park Longonot National Park

The Central Highlands : Aberdare National Park Meru National Park Mount Kenya National Park

Western Kenya : Kakamega Forest Reserve Masai Mara National Reserve Mount Elgon National Park Saiwa Swamp National Park

Northern Kenya : Marsabit National Park and Reserve Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves Shaba National Reserve Tana River Primate National Reserve

The Coast and Southern Kenya : Amboseli National Park Save Amboseli Shimba Hills National Reserve Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Park

NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK

This park is the most accessible park of all Kenya's game parks,being only a few miles from the city centre.You should set aside a morning or am afternoon to see it.As in all game parks,you must visit it in a vehicle,walking is prohibited.This means you will either have to arrange a lift at the entrance gate with other tourists,go on a tour,or hire a car.Nairobi National Park is the oldest park in Kenya,created in 1946.For a park so close to the city centre you can see an amazing variety of animals,with a backdrop of jumbo jets coming in to land at Jomo Kenyatta International airport which is adjarent to the park.Gazelle,oryx,lion,zebra,giraffe,buffalo,cheetah and leopard are all seen regularly.Elephants are not to be found in this park as the habitat is not suitable.However,it is in this park that you have one of the best chances of spotting rhino,they doing quite well here because poachers prefer more remote areas.The concentration of game is higher in the dry season when water is more plentiful inside the park as small dams have been built on the Mbagathi River which forms the southern boudary of the park. The Animal Orpanage by the main gate has a sign inside the gate which reads " this is not a zoo " .Well , it is a zoo. From time to time there young abandoned animals which are nursed through to good health and then released,but basically it is just a zoo.If you want to hitch a ride through the park from the main gate,city bus No 24 from Moi Avenue will get you there.There are many companies offering tours of Nairobi Natioal Park and there is probably not much between them.The four hour tours usually depart twice a day at 9.30 am and 2 pm and does around USD 50 .If you hang around in front of the Hilton Hotel at around 2 pm it is often possible to get a discounted seat on a tour at the last minute as the operator try to fill the van. Most of the tour companies also offer a day-long combined tour of the national park with a visit to the Bomas of Kenya or the Karen Blixen Museum and including a gargantuan lunch at the Carnivore,but this can be an expensive day out at about USD 150 per person. back to the top

 

Hell's Gate National Park

This park is one of only two lowland parks in Kenya which you can walk through without a ranger/guide.The looming and the Hell's Gate george itself are spectacular,and are home to a wide variety of bird and animal life.On a walk through the park it is possible to see zebra,Thomson's gazelle,antelope,baboon and even the occasional cheetah or leopard.Ostriches and the rare lammergeyer are also sighted on occasion.The usual access point is through the main Elsa Gate,two km from Moi South Lake Road.From here the road takes you past Fischer's Tower,a 25 m high column of volcanic rock named after Gustav Fischer,a German explorer who reached here in 1883.He had been commissioned by the Hamburg Geographical Society to find a route from Mombasa to Lake Victoria but this was about as far as he got,largely because he was unable to get on good terms with hostile Maasai. The road then continues through the steepsided gorge and emerges at the Ol Karia Geothermal Station,a power project which utilises one of the hottest sources of the world.You can see the plumes of steam rising into the air from many viewpoints in the park.South-east of here,you will see Central Tower ,another column of volcanic rock similar to Fisher's Tower but much larger.From the geothermal plant the track heads back to the lake shore via the Ol Karia Gate,and emerges in the vicinity of Oserian Farm,which is now a large supplier of cut flowers,fruit and vegetables to the European market,and Elsamere.The entire walk from the lake road turn-off via Elsa Gate to the lake shore is 22 km.The distance between the two gates via the lake road is nine km.If you intend walking the whole way through the park,allow a full day,and take along some drinking water and something to eat.The only drinking water available in the park is at the camp sites.If you do not want to walk through the park it may be possible to arrange a trip by car if you ask around at Fisherman's Camp. back to the top

LAKE BOGORIA NATIONAL RESERVE

Since Lake Nakuru dried up considerably in 1995 and continued to do so during 1996,most of the flamingos were forced to migrate to other lakes.Many of them came to Bogoria where the estimated population is currently around one million,most of them at the southern end of the lake.The situation has changed over the recent years,as Lake Nakuru fills up again and many flamingos return to Lake Nakuru.The other attractions of Lake Baringo are the hot springs and geysers about three quarters of the way along the lake going south.They are comparable with those at Roorua in New Zealand but if you have never seen geysers before then this is the place.The springs are boiling hot so do not put your bare foot or hand into them unless you want to nurse scalds for the next couple of weeks.The land to the west of the lake is a hot and relatively barren wilderness of rocks and scrub,and animals are few and far between though you will almost always catch sight of small herds of Thomson's gazelle and you may be lucky to see the greater kudu,impala or klipspringer.The eastern side of the lake is dominated by the face of the north-eastern extremities of the Aberdares.Lake Bogoria is a very peaceful place not much visited by tourists so you will propably have the park for yourself,though this might change depending on the flamingos. back to the top

Lake Nakuru National Park

Created in 1961,the park has since been considerably increased in size and now covers an area of some 200 sq km.Like most other rift valley lakes,it is a shallow soda lake.Some years ago the level of the lake rose and this resulted in a mass migration  of the flamingos to other rift valley lakes,principally Bogoria ,Magadi and Natron.What had dubbed the world's greatest ornithological spectacle suddenly was not anywhere near as spectaclular.Since then the level of the lake has been decreasing steadily,and has now reached the point where it is almost dry during the dry season,and the flamingos have once again sought happy hunting grounds,mainly Lake Bogoria.While the situation does change from year to year,it seems that Lake Nakuru is no longer the ornthologist's paradise it once was.Hopefully the situation will change.The Lake is very shallow and the level fluctuates by up to four metres annually.When the water is low the soda crystallises out along the shoreline as a blinding white band of powder which is going to severely test your skills as a photographer.Lake Nakuru last dried up in the late 1950's and ,at that time,soda dust storms and dust devils whipped up by high winds made life unbearable for people in the town and surrounding area.In the dry season you will see these dust devils like tiny tornados whipping soda up into the air as they course along the shoreline.Since the park also has areas of grassland,bush,forest and rocky cliffs there are many other animalsto be seen apart from birds.One species you will see plenty are wart hogs with their amusing way of running with their tail erect.Right by the water you will come across waterbuck and buffalo,while further in the bush are Thomson's gazelle and reedbuck.There is even the occasional leopard.Around the cliffs you may catch sight of hyrax and birds of prey.There is even a small herd of hippo which generally lives along the northern shore of the lake.The park is surrounded by a high electric fence,which keeps in a number of black rhino which were introduced some years ago.The national park entrance is about six km from the centre of Nakuru.As in most national parks,you must be in a vehicle.Walking is not permitted so you will either have to hitch a ride with other tourists,rent your own vehicle or go on a tour.You can however,get out of your vehicle on the lake shore and at certain viewpoints.Do not drive too close to the water's edge,the mud is very soft.Take your cue from the tracks of other vehicles. back to the top

Longonot National Park

Hill climbers and view seekers should not miss the opportunity of climbing the rim of dormant Longonot (2886m),a fairly young volcano which still retains the the typical shape of these mountains,although it is far from being a perfect conical shape.The scramble up to the rim takes about 45 minutes from the parking area,and do the circuit of the rim a further 2 - 3 hours is needed.If you are feeling game there is a track leading down inside the crater to the bottom,though it is worth hiring a local guide before you set off. back to the top

Aberdare National Park

This park essentially encloses the moorland and high forest of the 60 km long Kinangop plateau along with an eastern salient reaching down to the lower slopes in the vicinity of Nyeri.Only rarely does this park feature in the itineraries of safari companies and it is even less visited by individual travellers.There are various reasons for this.The main one is perhaps the weather.As on Mount Kenya,rain can be expected at any time and when it arrives,it is heavy.Roads turn into mud slides and 4WD is absolutely essential.The park is often closed during the wet season as a result.Another drawback is the difficulty of seeing animals because of the dense forest.This is not savanna like Amboseli and Masai Mara so you have to take your time and stay a few nights,which brings us to the third drawback,finding a place to stay.Though there are three camp sites within the park,facilities are minimal and you are going to need a good tent and warm sleeping gear.Add to this the fact that there is no public transport whatsoever,hitching is virtually impossible and that ,as elsewhere,walking is not permitted without special permission.That essentially puts the Aberdares out of reach of anyone without their own transport.And lastly,unless you are camping,the only other accommodation possibilities are two very expensive lodges,The Ark and Treetops,which are not allowed to drive to with your own vehicle.You must make advance reservations for both and be driven there in the lodges' transport.In the dry season it may be possible to walk over the high moorland between the four main peaks if the weather is favourable but you cannot do this without the permission from the officials at the park headquarters at Mweiga.They will provide you with an armed ranger to guide you,which is obligatory.If this what you want to do then it might be best to first contact the Kenya Mountain Club in Nairobi before setting out,as they may be planning such a trip.These sorts of difficulties and the expense involved put off most independent travellers,but if you are determined to go then the rewards can well justify the effort.The park does offer a variety of fauna,flora and scenery which you will not find elsewhere execpt,perhaps ,on Mount Kenya.There are also the dramatic Guru Falls which drop a full 300 m,thick forest,alpine moorland and a slim chance of seeing a Bongo,black leopard,elephant or rhino.There are also hundreds of species of birds.The major plus about this park is that you never feel part of the safari bus gravy train as you can often do in Masai Mara,Amboseli or Nairobi National Park.There is a major fund raising effort going on among the local community to raise money to build an electric fence around the park perimeter.Such a fence is needed for two reasons,to keep the game within the park,and to stop the encroachment on the forest by local villagers.In countries with high population and growth rates,demand for land is high.For this reason national parks and reserves are always a contentious issue among local people. back to the top

Meru National Park

On the lowland plains east of town of Meru,the Meru National Park is a complete contrast to the more northernly reserves of Samburu,Buffalo Springs and Shaba where open bush is the norm.In Meru,abundant rainfall and numerous permanent streams flowing down from the Mount Kenya massif support a luxuriant jungle of forest,swamp and and tall grasses which,in turn,provide fodder and shelter to a wide variety of herbivores and their predators.As in other parks,such as Marsabit,where the vegetation is dense,the wildlife is not so easily sighted,so you need to spend a few days here if you are to fully appreciate what the park has to offer.Unfortunately this area was one of the worst hitten by poachers and shifta,and so there is not the abundance of wildlife that you find in other parks.With some difficulties,elephant,lion and cheetah can all be seen.Buffalo and giraffe are more common,and eland and oryx are the main antelope to be seen.Momnkeys,crocodiles and a plethora of bird species are common in the dense vegetation alongside the watercourses.Meru National Park was also the home of Kenya's only herd of white rhinos which were imported from the Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa.Jealously guarded 24 hours a day by rangers to protect them from poachers,these huge animals were quite unlike their more cantankerous cousins,the black rhino,in being remarkable docile and willing to allow their keepers to herd them around the camp sites and park headquarters area during the day and pen them up at night.Sadly,that is all gone now.Heavily armed poachers shot the lot of them and,for good measure,killed their keepers too.The park is also famous for being Joy and George Adamson's former base where they raised orphaned lion and leopard cubs until they were old enough to be returned to the wild.Both paid for their efforts with their lives.Joy many years ago when she was murdered in Meru park by poachers,and George in 1989 when he too met the same fate along with two of his assistants in the nearby Kora National Reserve.Security in the park has been beefed up since George Adamson was murdered but there is still a small risk of encountering poachers and bandits here so you need to bear this in mind,especially if you are driving your own vehicle.It is true to say,however,that the chances of running into bandits is just as great in Masai Mara or Tsavo as it is in Meru National Park.The one major plus about Meru is that you are unlikely to come across another safari vehicle anywhere in the park except at the lodges.The tracks through the park are well maintained and signposted though it is a good idea to have a copy of the Survey of Kenya's Meru National Park map with you. back to the top

Mount Kenya National Park

Although a distinctly seperate massif from the Aberdares,Mount Kenya also forms part of the central highlands.Africa's second highest mountain at 5199 metres,its gleaming and eroded snow covered peaks can be seen for miles until the late morning clouds obscure the view.Its lower slops,like tose of the Aberdares,are intensively cultivated by the Kikuyu and the closely related Embu and Meru peoples,along with the descendants of the white settlers who grow mainly wheat on the grassy and largely treeless plains on the northern side.So vast is this mountain that it is not hard to understand why the Kikuyu deified it,why their doors facing the peak and why it was propably never scaled until the arrival of the European explorers.It is the seat of Ngai,the Kikuyu god.And Ngai is still very much alive despite the fact that it is every travellers dream to get to the top and take home with them a memory which money cannot buy.You must climb to the top of the mountain.It is a superb experience.But take it steady otherwise Ngai will teach you a lesson.Mount Kenya's highest peaks,Batian and Nelion,can only be reached by mountaineers with technical skills.However Point Lenana,the third highest peak can be reached y trekkers and this is the usual goal for most people.As you might imagine,there are superb views over the surrounding country from Point Lenana and other high points around the main peaks,though the summit is often clothed in mist from late morning until late afternoon. back to the top

Kakamega Forest Reserve

The Kakamega Forest Reserve is a superb slab of virgin tropical rainforest in the heart of an intensive cultivated agricultural area.It is home to a huge variety of birds and animals and is well worth the minimal effort required to get to it.The Forest Department maintains a beautiful four room rest house in the south of the reserve at Isecheno,as well as a large nursery for propagating trees and shrubs used for ceremonial occasions around the country and for planting in the area.The workers are very friendly and it is no problem to get shown around.In the northern part of the reserve at Buyangu the Kenya Wildlife Services maintain a camp site and bandas.For the visitor the choice is which area to visit,the northern Buyangu area is the more easily accessible by public transport and only involves a walk of two km,to Isecheno you may have to walk a lot further.The forest itself comprises a number of habitats,but is generally very dense and is the home of a number of primate species,such as the red tailed monkey,black and white colobus monkey and the blue monkey.More than 300 species of birds have been recorded. back to the top

Masai Mara National Reserve

The Mara is the most popular game park in Kenya.Virtually every person who visits Kenya goes to Masai Mara,and with good reason as this is the Kenyan section of the wildly evocative Serengeti plains and the wildlife abounds.This is traditionally the land of the Maasai,but these people have been displaced in favour of the animals.The Mara is a 320 sq km slab of open grassland dotted with the distinctive flat topped acacia trees tucked away in the south west corner of the country.It is watered by the the tree lined Mara River and its tributary the Talek River.The western border of the park is the spectacular Esoit Oloololo Siria Escarpment and it is at this edge of the park that the concentration of the game are the highest.It must also be said that it is the most difficult area of the park to get around in as the swampy ground becames impassable after heavy rain.Conversely,the concentration of tourists and minibuses are highest at the eastern end of the park around the Oloolaimutiek Gate and Talek Gate as it is these araes which are the most accessible by road from Nairobi. back to the top

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon sits astride the Kenya Uganda border and,while it offers simlar trekking possibilities to Mount Kenya,its location makes it a far less popular goal.The lower altitude also means that conditions are not so cold,although rain can be more frequent here than on Mt Kenya.The mountain is an extinct volcano and the national park extends from the lower slopes right up to the border.The highest peak is Wagagai,4321 metres,which is actually on the far side of the crater in Uganda.The highest peak on the Kenyan side is Koitoboss.The Mt Elgon range is the fourth highest in East Africa after Mt Kilimanjaro,Mt Kenya and the Ruwenzoris.There are warm springs in the crater itself.the floor of which is around 3500 m above sea level.The mountain's biggest attraction is the elephants,reowned the world over for their predilection of salt,the major source of which in the caves on the mountain slopes.The elephants are such keen excavators that some have gone so far as to claim that the elephants are totally responsible for the caves.Sadly,the numbers of these saline loving creatures has declined over the years mainly due to incursions by poachers from the Ugandan side.There are three caves open for visitors,Kitum,Chepnyali and Mackingeny.Kitum is the one which you are most likely to see elephants,while Mackingeny is the most spectacular.Obviously a good torch is essential if you want to explore the caves.Kitum Cave has been associated with the fatal Ebola virus,following the death of two people who visited the cave.However,other people have safely visited the cave since.Research about Ebola is inconclusive,but there may be some risk of contracting it in Kitum Cave so the cave is probably best avoided at this point.A less obvious attraction is the range of vegetation found on the mountain.Starting with rainforest at the base,the vegetation changes as you ascend to bamboo jungle and finally alpine moorland with the giant groundsel and giant lobelia plants.The lower forests are the habitat of the impressive black and white colobus monkey along with many other species of birds and animals.Those most commonly sighted include buffalo,bushbuck,giant forest hog and Sykes monkey.Elgon can be a wet place at any time of the year,but the driest months seem to be December,January and February.As well as waterproof gear you are going to need warm clothes as it gets cold up here at night.Access to the 170 sq km national park is now permitted without a vehicle.A ranger will escort you to the camp site,which is one km inside the park.Escort is also required on any walks you may want to do on the lower forested slopes such as to the caves,for which a small fee may be payable. back to the top

Saiwa Swamp National Park

This small park north of Kitale is a real delight.The swamp area is the habitat of the sitatunga antelope,known in Swahili as nzohe ,and this park has been set aside to protect it.Sadly the park has seen better days,and there are very few situnga left,although it is possible that some may be translocated from elsewhere.What makes the park unique is that it is only accesible on foot.There are marked walking trails which skirt the swamp,duckboards right across the swamp in places,and some extremely rickety observation towers.The park is also home to the impressive black and white colobus monkey.It inhabits the higher levels of the trees and ,not having the gregarious nature of many primates,is easy to miss as it sits quitly in the heights.When they do move however,the flowing cape of white hair is very distinctive.Bird life within the park is also prolific.With all this on offer it is surprising how few people visit Saiwa Swamp. back to the top

Marsabit National Park and Reserve

The Marsabit National Park and Reserve is home to a wide variety of the larger mammals including lion,leopard,cheetah.elephant,rhino,buffalo,wart hog,Grevy's zebra,the reticulated giraffe,hyena,Grant's gazelle,oryx,dik dik and greater kudu amongst others.Because the area is thickly forested,however,you will not see too much game unless you spend quite some time here ,and preferably camp at Lake Paradise.The lake ,which occupies much of the crater floor of Gof Sokorte Guda,is apprpriately named.It is an enchanting place and right out in the bush.The Survey of Kenya's map,Marsabit National Park and Reserve is worth buying if you are touring this park. back to the top

Samburu and Buffalo Springs and Shaba National Reserves

Just north of Isiolo are three natinal reserves,Samburu,Buffalo Springs and Shaba,all of them along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River and covering a area of about 300 sq km.They are mainly scrub desert and open savannah plain,broken here and there by small rugged hills.The river,which is permanent,supports a wide variety of game and you may see elephant,buffalo,cheetah,leopard and lion as well as dik dik,wart hog,Grevy's zebra and reticulated giraffe.Crocodiles can also be seen on certain sandy stretches of the riverbank.You are guaranteed close up sightings of elephants,reticulated giraffe and various species of smaller gazelle in both Samburu and Buffalo Springs but other game is remarkable thin on the ground,particularly on the route into Samburufrom Archer's Post.The rhino were wiped out years ago by poachers.If you are driving around it is useful to have a map .The roads inside Buffalo Springs and Samburur are well maintained and it is easy to get around,even in 2WD,though you might need a 4WD on some of the minor tracks.Even though there are continuous,if you drive from Buffalo Springs to Samburu or vice versa in one day then you will have to pay two lots of park entry fees.However,if it is very late in the afternoon when you cross the boundary,the guards will generally postdate your ticket for the following day.These parks are much less touristed than Amboseli or Masai Mara so,once you are out of the immediate vicinity of the lodges and camp sites,you will frequently have the place for yourself. back to the top

Tana River Primate National Reserve

Well south of Garissa and not too far north of Garsen is the Tana River Primate National Reserve which ,as the name suggests,is a reserve for a number of endangered monkey species.It is possible to get close to the sanctuary by public transport but there is still a lot of walking involved and the facilities have long fallen into despair so you need to take everything with you.Very few safari companies include the reserve on their itineraries. back to the top

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli is the next most popular park after Masai Mara,mainly because of the spectacular backdrop of Africa's highest peak,Mount Kilimanjaro,which broods on the southern boundary of the park.At 392 sq km Amboseli is not a large park,and it certainly does not have the profusion of game which you find in Masai Mara but the game here is easy to spot.The western section of the park is the dry bed of Lake Amboseli and although it is occassionally flooded in the wet season,for the majority of the time it is a dry,dusty,shimmering expanse.Probably the best reason for visiting Amboseli is that you stand a good chance of spotting a black rhino.Amboseli also has huge herds of elephant,and to see a herd of elephantmaking their way sedately across the grassy plains,with Kilimanjaro in the background,may be a real African cliche but is an experience which certainly leaves a lasting impression.Other animals which you are likely to see here include buffalo,lion,gazelle,cheetah,wildebeest,hyena,jackal,wart hog,Masai giraffe,zebra and baboon.Amboseli more than any other park has suffered greatly from the number of minibuses which drive through each day.It has a much drier climate than Masai Mara and so for much of the year is a real bowl.If you are driving through the park,stick to the trucks,and hopefully others will follow suit.Most visitors approach Amboseli through Namanga,the main border post between Kenya and Tanzania. If you are stuck there is accommodation at the Namanga Hotel among others.The petrol station is a good place to ask around for lifts.Outside the town's petrol there are a couple of shops selling Masai crafts.The first prices asked are totally ridiculous,so bargain fiercely. back to the top

                                           Save Amboseli National Park

On the 28th September 2005, The President of Kenya, The Rt Hon Mwai Kibaki MP, asked the Minister for Tourism and Wildlife to publish a legal notice in the Kenya Gazettement Supplement No. 20, declaring that Amboseli National Park would henceforth become a National Reserve.  This would mean that the management of the Park would be removed from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and placed in the care of Olkejiado County Council. 

This change of status would also permit a wider range of human activities within the protected area that are not allowed in a National Park.

The reaction from wildlife experts including former director of KWS, Dr David Western, the East African Wild Life Society, Born Free Foundation and others has been one of dismay.  The facts to consider:

1.  That the change of status has been done in a manner which is illegal since it has not, as we understand it, conformed to the requirements of the Wildlife Act which would require that any such proposal should be only undertaken following consultation with relevant stakeholders such as KWS, a 60 day public comment period and ratification by the National Assembly.  As far as we are aware, none of these provisions have been complied with.

2.  Amboseli National Park is a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere site which should mean that it is accorded the highest possible national priority in terms of its conservation. Downgrading the Park's status to that of National Reserve is inconsistent with that obligation

3.  Amboseli National Park last year generated approximately 240 million Kenyan Shillings (approximately 3.5 million US $) funds that would have been directed to the KWS and which would, in part, have been used to support other national parks that are less well known and less able to generate revenue.  It seems almost certain that other parks will suffer following this withdrawal of income source.

What can we do about this?

A.  A number of wildlife and conservation organisations both Kenyan and from around the world, have signed a full-page Open Letter to the President, published in the Daily Nation on Thursday 6th October 2005.

B.  We are inviting the public to register their opposition to the downgrading of Amboseli National Park by voting below

C.  We are further inviting the public to leave their email contacts on this site and to tick the "Keep me informed" box so that we can send email alerts to people as this extremely important campaign progresses.

Thank you for your concern and support.

Save Amboseli and visit http://www.saveamboseli.net

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Shimba Hills National Reserve

This national reserve is in the hills behind the coast of Mombasa,directly inland from Diani Beach.The forest setting is beautiful but the game is not prolific.There is baited water hole at the Shimba Hills Lodge,and so it is possible you will see leopards and plenty of elephants but not much else.Other animals which frequent the reserve include the rare sable antelope,a tall and compact animal with beautiful horns on both male and female.The adult bull is a dark brown on the upper body and white below,while the female is a lighter brown.The animals are,unfortunately,often killed by poachers for meat,and this is the only reserve in East Africa where they are found. back to the top

Tsavo National Park

At just over 20,000 sq km, Tsavo is the largest national park in Kenya,and for administrative purposes it has been split into Tsavo West National Park,with an area of 8500 sq km, and Tsavo East National Park which covers 11,000 sq km.The northern area of Tsavo West,west of the Nairobi-Mombasa road , is the most developed and has some beautiful scenery.It is particularly beautiful at the end of the wet season when things are green,at other times of the year it tends to get very dusty in Tsavo.Tsavo East consists of vast rolling plains with scrubby vegetation.Almost the entire area north of the Galana River is off limits to the general public.This is due to the ongoing campaign against poachers,who still find the relative remoteness of Tsavo a good prospect.Happily it seems the authorities winning the battle,but in the meantime the rhino population has been absolutely decimated,from around 8000 in 1970 to less than 200 today.By Kenyan standards,Tsavo sees relatively few visitors,which means for those that do visit there is none of the congestion found in other parks and reserves. back to the top


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