Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. The largest and most populous city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 4.5 million, Nairobi started life as a railways depot in 1899. Today, the city skyline is dominated by modern high rise buildings and is a tourism and trade hub. Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa politically and financially. A vibrant city with a mix of races and cultures, providing the visitor with several sightseeing options such as museums, a national park, golf courses, resorts and posh night clubs. Nairobi is one of the leading cities in Africa.
Aberdares National Park
The Aberdares National Park covers the higher areas of the Aberdares Mountain Range of central Kenya and the Aberdares Salient to their east. The park is located about 100 km north from Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrains because it covers altitudes from about 7,000 feet (2,100 m) to 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above sea level. It covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdares Mountain Range. The park has a wide range of landscapes – from the mountain peaks that rise to 14,000 feet (4,300 m) above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorland, bamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes. Animals easily observed include the lion, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkey, and Sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the golden cat and the bongo – an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands. The Aberdares National Park also contains a large population of black rhinos. Even the bird viewing is rewarding, with over 250 species of birds in the park, including the endangered Aberdares Cisticola, Jackson’s Francolin, sparry hawk, goshawks, eagles, sunbirds and plovers.
Samburu Game Reserves
In the arid North of Kenya, water means life. The waters of the great Ewaso Nyiro river draw wildlife in great numbers to its banks, creating an oasis of green. This river flows through three great northern reserves, Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba. This is spectacular country, set against a backdrop of the mighty Mountain Ololokwe. The verdant riverine forest is a stark contrast to the arid thorn studded plains. Samburu is visited by large herds of Elephants, drawn by the promise of water. In the dry season, the elephants use their tusks to dig deep into the dry river beds, unearthing precious water. These waterholes then become a focal point for other game. The Samburu region is the best place to find several endemic Northern species, including Gerenuk, the Reticulated Giraffe, the Somali Ostrich and Grevy’s Zebra.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Covering an area of over 1,500 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. The reserve is located between the Great Rift Valley and Lake Victoria in primarily open grassland.The swampy land provides more access to water and less access to tourists. The eastern end is closest to Nairobi and hence easier to access by tourists.
The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 bird species recorded on the reserve. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).