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.
Lake Nakuru National Park
The most famous of the Great Rift Valley lakes, Lake Nakuru National Park is renowned for its magnificent birdlife. This 188sq. kms. park is a paradise for those who are particularly interested in ornithology and also offers the opportunity of seeing white rhino, the rare Rothschild’s giraffe, large herds of buffalo and an abundance of various plains game. Sightings of leopard resting in the branches of acacia trees are common. The 40sq. kms. alkaline Lake Nakuru lies within the park and has been given the conservation world’s Ramsar Site designation.
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).
Watamu Marine Park and Reserve
The park’s coral reefs form the physical and biological backbone of the area. With over 150 species of hard and soft corals, such as brain corals, fan corals and sponges, it provides for abundant nutrients for fish. The main park has over 500 species of fish and the reserve over 1000. There are also whale sharks, manta rays, octopus and barracuda as some of the larger species in the park. Watamu also has different species of turtles and a turtle watch program which has managed to secure the main park’s beach as a 99% viable sea turtle nesting site for endangered sea turtles. This beach is patrolled and monitored vigorously. The turtles nesting in Watamu include the Green, Hawksbill and Olive Ridley turtles. The Olive Ridley species is rare but occasionally comes to the nesting site. Leatherback turtles do not nest in Watamu or Malindi but they pass by through the nearby waters during their migration.