One of the original safari destinations in Africa, Kenya boasts of a good number of national parks and reserves. The wild-at-heart country features spectacular landscapes, diverse natural ecosystems and a wide variety of wildlife species. From game safaris, the great migration to mountain hiking and biking, there are many exciting things to experience.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the wonderful scenery, see the “Big Five” and enjoy game safari adventures or experience bush camping, here are the best national parks in Kenya in no particular order.
1. Tsavo East and West National Park
Straddling Nairobi City and Mombasa, Tsavo is made up of two parks, Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West National Park. Together, they form one of the largest national parks in the world, covering about 4% of Kenya with diverse wildlife and birdlife.
Along with its landscape and riverine forests, the Tsavo parks offer excellent game viewing and a pleasant drive.
Tsavo East and West National Park
2. Maasai Mara National Reserve
Named in honour of the Maasai people, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's oldest and most beloved safari destination. A land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife, and endless plains, the reserve is considered a "must see" for any new visitor travelling on a safari to Kenya.
The reserve is contiguous with the Serengeti National park in Tanzania and as such, it sees wildebeest traversing its plains during their annual migration.
Masai Mara National Park
3. Nairobi National Park
Located about a half hour drive from Nairobi CBD, the National Park offers the most accessible yet unusual safari experience in Kenya. Although many tourists visit Kenya for a safari, you don’t need to leave the capital city to take one.
Lush grassland, beautiful scenery, a wide variety of wildlife and diverse birdlife awaits visitors at the park. There are picnic sites, campsites and walking trails for hikers at the park.
Nairobi National Park
4. Amboseli National Park
The Amboseli National Park is one of the best national parks in Kenya renowned for its herds of large elephants, and exceptional views of the massive Mount Kilimanjaro, which is located in Tanzania. A photographer's paradise, Amboseli offers scenic landscape views, abundant wildlife and hundreds of bird species.
Amboseli National Park
5. Aberdare National Park
Situated in the central highlands of Kenya, the Aberdare National Park offers a unique safari experience and an opportunity to see the “Big Five” and a range of undiscovered creatures such as the rare Black Leopards.
When you visit the Aberdare on safari, you’ll be treated to exceptional game viewing, unusual landscapes, and impressive scenery.
Aberdare National Park
6. Lake Nakuru National Park
Otherwise referred to as the birdwatchers' paradise, Lake Nakuru National Park is among Kenya’s finest. The national park features a beautiful lake lying on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, a variety of wildlife species and ecological diversity. The park is ideal for bird watching, hiking, picnic and game drives.
Lake Nakuru National Park
7. Mount Kenya National Park
The Mount Kenya National Park surrounds the second tallest mountain in Africa and dares tourists to come touch the sky. Its breathtaking scenery, a wide variety of wildlife species and amazing plant life, makes Mount Kenya National Park an adventurous pick for travellers. If you're advanced, you may climb to other peaks after Point Lenana.
Mount Kenya National Park
8. Hell's Gate National Park
Hell's Gate National Park features startling natural beauty, spectacular scenery including water-gouged gorges, volcanoes and towering cliffs. A rare thing – the park offers you a chance to walk or cycle through wildlife areas. Tourists can hike the gorge or climb Fischer's Tower at the park.
Hell's Gate National Park
9. Shimba Hills National Reserve
If you are staying in Mombasa or Diani Beach, the Shimba Hills National Reserve is a perfect day trip for you. Covered in coastal forests, the reserve is rich in flora, fauna – hosting the highest density of African elephant in Kenya. Explore the reserve on guided game drives through the forest to the beautiful Sheldrick Falls.
Sheldrick WaterfallShimba Hills National-Park
10. Samburu National Reserve
The Samburu National Reserve, located in the Northern part of Kenya, gained its fame due to the richness of flora and fauna it possesses. Often regarded by travellers and guides in Kenya as the best of Kenya’s national parks, Samburu showcases the big five and excellent game viewing.
Samburu National Reserve
11. Buffalo Springs National Reserve
Buffalo Springs National Reserve offers its visitors an amazing and indulgent safari experience. Here you'll find a wide range of wildlife in a tranquil and unspoiled setting in Northern Kenya. You can indulge in several activities such as nature walks, bird watching, game viewing safari and cultural activities.
Buffalo Springs National Reserve
12. Meru National Park
The Meru National Park offers visitors an all-inclusive wilderness experience in Kenya. The national park is utterly unspoiled and features a rugged and secluded atmosphere that you can’t find anywhere else.
Having over 400 recorded species of birds and a wide variety of wildlife species, Meru National Park boasts a variety of fun activities including fishing along the Tana River.
Meru National Park
Experience Kenya’s Wildlife at its best!
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If you come across any more parks you feel should be featured on our list, let us know on social media or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org