Masai Mara
Kenya safariJustifiably one of the most famous reserves in Africa, its’ dominant feature are the great rolling plains of savannah grasslands, which sustain the greatest variety of wildlife in Africa and indeed in the world. The concentration of game is at its highest from July through October when the Mara is host to the annual migration of more than a million wildebeest. However, game viewing is excellent year round with giraffe,buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest and Thompson’s gazelle offering a rich choice for the predators lion, leopard and cheetah. It should be noted, however, that during the rainy season, the grass is fairly tall in some areas, which mayaffect visibility and restrict game drives slightly.
The Maasai people, after whom the park is named, are nomadic. While on game drives, you will often notice young tribesmen herding their cattle amongst the plains game. They are colourfully attired, usually wrapped in bright red cloths, and armed with spears.
The most famous of the Great Rift Valley lakes, Lake Nakuru is renowned for its magnificent bird life, especially the flamingos which seasonally flock there in their thousands. 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 Rothchild’s giraffe, large herds of buffalo and an abundance of various plains game. Sightings of leopard resting in the branches of acacia trees are very common.
The 40sq. kms. alkaline Lake Nakuru lies within the park and has been given the conservation world’s Ramsar Site designation. As you move further afield into the woods, you find black and white colobus monkey and closer to the escarpment walls and rocky ridges, mountain reed buck, dik dik, rock hyrax and klipspringer, making game viewing well worth while.
Towered over by the magnificent bulk of Mount Kilimanjaro (5,896 m), Africa’s highest mountain, Amboseli is one of Kenya’s oldest, famous and most-visited parks. Endlessly panoramic, yet comparatively compact, it is dotted with emerald green swamps in which great herds of elephant wallow; half submerged in the papyrus grasses. The permanent marshlands also provide a potent draw to hippos and buffaloes, while offering a haven for the abundant water birds. An International Biosphere Reserve, the park largely constitutes the usually dried-out lake bed of Lake Amboseli, which is surrounded by flat grasslands relieved by very few trees. On the plains are numerous antelopes, spotted hyenas, jackals, warthogs, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. Lions are rare. Observation Hill, a conical peak, which is easily climbed, offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Amboseli is world-famous for its populations of large mammals.
The swamps are a centre of activity for elephants, hippos, buffaloes and abundant water birds. The surrounding flat grasslands are home to grazing antelopes. Spotted hyenas are plentiful, as are jackals, warthogs, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. No longer present in their original numbers, lions can still be found in Amboseli though the famous black-maned lions have long since disappeared, as have the black rhinos that were once so plentiful. Wildlife highlights: lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, zebra, hippo, spotted and striped hyena, giraffe, oryx, wildebeest, gerenuk, impala and Grant’s gazelle. Birds: 425 recorded species.
Osaka Air – Outbound Tours – Kenya
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