The Top 10 Game Parks and National Reserves in Kenya

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Did you know that tourism is the second-largest source of foreign exchange revenue after agriculture? Kenya is one of the best tourist destinations in the world. It is known for its remarkable diversity, landscape, wildlife, and culture. Each year, the country receives at least 2 million visitors. This figure does not include domestic tourists. There are numerous tourist destinations like national parks where you can spend your good time with your loved ones.

With all these options you may feel overwhelmed in choosing the right holiday destination in Kenya. At The Best in Kenya, we are here to relieve you of the stress and hassle. We can guarantee you quality and memorable moments once you visit these destinations. You will not have to break your bank to visit the destinations.

National Parks in Kenya

National Park /Game Reserve

Attraction Features & Activities

Wildlife

Maasai Mara National Reserve

The great wildebeest migration
The Maasai culture
The hot air balloon
Big game Walking safari
Bird watching  
Baboons, Wildebeests, Lions, Cheetahs, Ostriches, Crocodiles, Hippos, Monkeys, Wild dogs, Hyenas, Assortment of birds, Zebra, antelopes

Amboseli National Reserve

The large herd of big tusked elephants
Great view of Mt. Kilimanjaro in TZ (highest peak in Africa)
Game drives  
Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, Giraffes, Hyenas, Wild dogs, Antelopes, Gazelles Zebra

Tsavo National Park

Game drives
Bird watching
Big 5 Explore
Chaimu caves
Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Rhino, Buffalos, Elephants, Gazelles, Lions, Cheetahs, Baboons, Hyenas

Samburu Buffalo Springs & Shaba National Reserve

Game Drives
Bird watching
Lions, Leopards, Zebras, Antelopes, Buffalos, Elephants, Crocodiles, Baboons, Giraffes

Lake Nakuru National Park

Pink flamingo gathering
View-points such as Baboon cliff, Lion hill
Makalia waterfall
Honeymoon Hill
Rhino, Monkeys, Zebra, Baboons, Antelopes, Waterbucks, Flamingoes, Lions, Pelicans

Meru National Park

View of Mt. Kenya
Tana river
Adamson’s Falls  
Giraffes, Antelopes, Zebras, Bats, Guinea fowls, Lions, Buffaloes, Cheetahs, Hippos, Wild birds, Ostriches, Monkeys

Mt. Kenya National Park

Pristine
Wilderness
Views of Mt. Kenya
Diverse flora and fauna
Leopards, Zebras, Tree hyrax, Bushbucks, Waterbucks, Black rhinos, Buffalos, Moles, rats, mongoose

Hell’s Gate National Park

Plants and wildlife
Rock features & caves
Hot Springs -Olkaria Geothermal Station
Nature Trails
Zebras, Antelopes, Giraffes, Hyenas, Eland, Gazelles, Assortment of wild birds

Olpojeta Conservancy

Diverse wildlife
Equator Line  
Black rhinos, White rhinos, chimpanzees

The Aberdare National Park

Wild animals
Beautiful scenery
Waterfalls
Buffalo, Hyena, Kurdu, Elephants, Warthogs, Baboons, Monkeys, birds
List of Game Parks in Kenya

1. Maasai Mara National Reserve

Wildebeests Maasai MaraThe Maasai Mara National Reserve is popularly known as Mara is a must-visit. Be sure to visit this place whenever you are in Kenya. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. The reserve is located on the must-visit part of Kenya along the Great Rift Valley.

It is adjacent to the Serengeti National park in Tanzania. The reserve was named after the ancestral inhabitants- the Maasai people. The word Mara means spotted circles of trees, savannah, scrub, and cloud shadows hence the name Maasai Mara. It is 180km from Nairobi city. Here are the top attractions you enjoy when you visit Maasai Mara:

  • The great wildebeest migration
  • The Maasai culture- it is one of the untapped cultured on the planet
  • The hot air balloon
  • Big game
  • Walking safari
  • Bird watching

2. Amboseli National Reserve

Elephants in AmboseliThe national park is a top tourist destination in Kenya after Maasai Mara. Amboseli is a Maasai name that means salty dust which is a true description of the park’s parched conditions. The park is located in southeast Nairobi. It only takes four hours to travel to Amboseli from Nairobi via road. The park has an airstrip if you choose to use air transport to cut down on the time you take to access it.

 While in Amboseli, you are guaranteed a perfect view of large herds of big tusked elephants. You will hardly get such a perfect opportunity in other national parks in Kenya. The Amboseli is famous for two things:

  • The large herd of big tusked elephants
  • The great view of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania- the highest peak in Africa.

 Also when in Amboseli you are bound to spot big cats, such as lions and cheetahs. Other wild animals like giraffes, impalas, elands, waterbucks, gazelles, and more than 600 species of birds are also scenery to behold. If you love everything to do with nature, then this place is for you. In Amboseli, there are 5 natural habitats where you can explore. They include; a dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli, wetlands with sulfur springs, savannah, and woodlands

3. Tsavo National Park

Buffaloes in TsavoThis is one of the largest national parks in Kenya. It is sliced into two; Tsavo West and Tavo East. The park is situated in a semi-arid area previously known as the Taru desert. Both Tsavo East and Tsavo west account for 4% of the total country area. Once you visit this area be sure to enjoy the best sceneries- rivers, waterfalls, savannah, volcanic hills, a massive lava-rock plateau, and wildlife.

 Tsavo East provides you with an opportunity to capture the best photo moments of elephants rolling and bathing on the red dust. That’s not all, you also have an opportunity to see the following;  Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow; Mudanda Rock; and the Lugard Falls.

Tsavo West is a bit wetter. Here, you have an excellent opportunity to enjoy the following; Mzima Springs, Chaimu Crater, and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary. You hardly get any wildlife here because of the denser vegetation.

4. Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves

This national park is located in the arid region in the remote north of Kenya. Have you heard of Elsa the lioness that was made famous in the film Born Free? Well, it was raised at Shaba national reserves by George and Joy Adamson. The wildlife in the three reserves is all adapted to the climatic conditions found in this place.

 These animals include; Grevy’s zebras; Somali ostriches; and gerenuks, and long-necked antelope. A top attraction at the Samburu National Reserve is the Sarara Singing Wells. This is where you find locals singing as they haul water for their cattle to drink.

5. Lake Nakuru National park

Flamingos in L. NakuruLake Nakuru National park is located at Nakuru along the Great Rift Valley. This national park is famous for the huge flocks of pink flamingos. They flock at Lake Nakuru one of the soda lakes found in Rift Valley.

 When you visit the park elation is not a gamble. The park has a rich diversity of wildlife. You might sight Lions, leopards, warthogs, waterbucks, pythons, and white rhinos. Also, the park plays a significant role in protecting the largest Euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa.

6. Meru National Park

Complete Wilderness, the park is located along the slopes of Mt. Kenya. The park boasts one of the best-undisturbed environments. Meru National Park has numerous species of birds, thus a perfect destination for bird watching.

There are also several species of snakes in the park. In the grassland vegetation, you will see the beautiful zebra paintings grazing with gazelles. Carry your essentials when visiting the park to take advantage of the spectacular environment.

7. Mt Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya National Park is found in the central highlands, east of the central valley. It is a UNESCO world heritage site. The mountain is the tallest in Kenya and the second largest mountain in Africa.

It was formed by a series of volcanic eruptions. Mt Kenya has three peaks; the highest is Batian, followed by Nelion and then Lenana. Sceneries vary from glaciers, lakes to alpine forests and dense pockets of bamboo. You may also sight animals such as elephants, black and white Colombus monkeys, buffalos, hyenas, and leopards.

8. Hells Gate National Park

Hells GateHells Gate National park is one of the few parks in Kenya that allows you to engage in camping activities. Also, you have an opportunity to explore on your own by foot or bicycle. How awesome is that? When at the park be sure to enjoy excellent hiking and climbing opportunities with two extinct volcanoes; the red cliffs of Hell’s Gate Gorge; Obsidian Caves; and Fischer’s Tower.

 Olkaria Geothermal Station, a unique project in Africa sits in Hells Gate National park. The park has a variety of wildlife which include: leopards, baboons, hartebeest, eland, ostriches, gazelles, and more than 100 species of birds. The Oloor Karia Maasai Cultural Centre found within the park is an excellent place to familiarize yourself with the Maasai culture.

9. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ole Pejeta Conservancy is located 200km north of Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. It is a few kilometers from Mt Kenya National Park. The park’s aim is conservancy and sustainability.

Here, you guaranteed a perfect sight of the big five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo) plus other animals such as cheetahs, hyenas, zebras, and hartebeests. Also, the conservancy gives you a perfect opportunity to see northern and southern rhinos.

10. The Aberdare national park

The park is located 150km (93 miles) east of Nairobi. You can access this place from Nyeri and Naro Moru. Here are the top attractions at Aberdare National Park:

  • The beautiful mountain scenery
  • Picturesque waterfalls
  • Rare animals – Black Serval, Black Leopard (seldom seen), and the Eastern Bongo (a huge forest Antelope)
  • Watching animals come to the waterhole at the famous Treetops Lodge
  • Trout fishing
  • Hiking

You should consider several factors before you decide on the tourist destination places in Kenya to visit. One of those factors is cost. Ensure you have enough resources to facilitate your travel, accommodation, and game park fees. These national parks are located in different regions with different climatic conditions. It is crucial to ensure the climatic conditions of the area you choose do not negatively affect your health. Do not miss out on Kenya delicacies as you drive to the parks.

National Parks in Kenya FAQs

1. Which is the largest game park in Kenya?

Tsavo East & West National Parks form the largest game park in Kenya. The two cover an area of more than 21,000 square kilometres, making it among the largest in the world.

2. How many game parks are there in Kenya?

Kenya has one of the highest numbers of game parks in the world at 54. Almost every county has a game park or reserve.

3. Which is the most popular national park in Kenya?

Nakuru National Park stands out because of its diversity. Therefore, it receives the highest number of visitors from across the world. 

4. What is the entry fee into a game park in Kenya?

Although prices differ from one game park to another, the cost is around ksh. 500 for residents and $40 for non-residents. The prices may vary a little bit from one reserve to another.

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1 COMMENT

  1. wow so many Parks in Kenya, I think all of them is so beautiful and has their own charming points, I can’t wait to visit there someday.

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