If you’re considering an African Safari, you’re probably surfing the web aggressively, trying to find the grandest spot for wildlife sightings. You’ve got all your gear ready, the camera on standby, and all you need to know now is where to go! What I can tell you, is if Kenya was on your list, move it up to the first position, and if you hadn’t thought about it, you might need to question your sources! Kenya is a jewel embedded in East Africa. It is a country abundant in some of the world’s most majestic natural wonders. Think of spectacular mountain ranges, extraordinary rift valleys, hot springs, wildlife parks and even beaches! The country’s diverse landscapes are unlike any place in the world, and it’s a destination where one can find both relaxation, thrill and of course, wildlife! Now you’re probably wondering what exactly you’d see, and while we can’t guarantee you’ll see every single animal that roams the face of the earth, we can guarantee that it gets rather close, in Kenya. We’ll put all your wildlife questions to rest and even give you the exact places in Kenya, these beautiful beasts are found.
Animals in Kenya: The Cats
I’m sure the king of the jungle is right up there with your most desired sightings, and the good news is; they’re in abundance, in Kenya. While you’re most likely to see them on the hunt at dawn or dusk, keep your eyes peeled during the day, for any slight movements under a shady tree. This is their favorite spot, to cool off in the beating African sun. Where to find them: If you follow the great migration through the Serengeti National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve, from July to September you’re almost guaranteed to see many a pride of lion. There are plenty of mammals making their way to greener pastures during this time, meaning increased opportunity of seeing a kill! Leopards One of the most charismatic cats in the wild, Leopards are often difficult to come by, as they live a solitary life, making it a ‘looking for a needle in a haystack’ kind of task.
Remember, they enjoy lazing in trees, away from the scavengers, especially if they’ve made a kill. So, set your sights on the trees and thank us later! Where to find them: Masai Mara National Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park. Cheetahs are the fastest animals in the world. Seeing them dart at full speed would be a sight definitely worth seeing! Cheetahs are usually more active during the mornings, however, like the leopards, they are difficult to spot. If something speeds past you, creating a slight blur, you may have just ‘seen’ a Cheetah. Sorry, no time for quick shots! Where to find them: Make sure you visit Samburu National Park and Masai Mara to try your luck at seeing these magnificent cats.
Animals in Kenya: The Water Beasts
Hippos are in fact land mammals, however, because they feel safer in the water, they tend to spend most of their time there. Aggressive and extremely territorial, make sure to give them plenty of space, to save them from feeling threatened. One thing’s for sure; you’ll never be able to out-run these big guys, no matter how slow and clumsy they may look! Where to find them: The Masai Mara National Reserve is the place to track them down! The Nile Crocodile sure is a beastly creature. They grow up to 6m in length and are the largest of all the African crocs. While they enjoy munching on fish, they are more than happy to feast on anything they can sink their teeth into. So, any unsuspecting animals that come to drink at the water will have a hard time if there’s a croc lurking about! Where to find them: The Masai Mara National Reserve is the place they call home.
As one of the most endangered species, on African soil, the Rhino is a must see. Due to poaching, their numbers have declined drastically, and it’s said there are approximately only 30 000 Rhino’s left on the planet, most of which reside in South Africa. Seeing a rhino in the wild is indeed a rare and beautiful sight, and you shouldn’t pass it up, for the world! Where to find them: Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lake Nakuru National Park. African Elephants are the world’s biggest mammal and are often a hit with the tourists. They’re social animals that usually live in herds and can be found chomping on the leaves of trees or taking their much-loved bathe in the water. Where to find them: Tsavo East National Park, Amboseli National Park, and Samburu National Park the Giraffe You can’t leave without seeing the tallest mammal on earth, the giraffe. Another favorite amongst tourist’s, these beauties are always so calm and collected and are thankfully easy to spot, given their tall stature, with necks that protrude quite comically.
Where to find them: Meru National Park African Buffalo the African Buffalos tend to live in massive herds, sometimes made of thousands. Seeing them trot along the dusty plains of Africa is a sight to be reckoned with and can easily become quite a frightening one, too, but my oh my will that get a good pic! Where to find them: Amboseli National Park Zebras are part of the horse family, and there are several different types; the Plains Zebra, the rare Grevy’s Zebra and the Mountain Zebra. What’s great to know is that the rare Grevy’s Zebra can be found in certain parts of Northern Kenya, only. Their unusual markings and colorings are a stunning sight and once again, make for epic photos! Where to find them: Masai Mara National Reserve, Tsavo National Park and if you’re keen to see Grevy’s Zebra, take a trip to Lewa Conservancy Wildebeest The wildebeest travel in their hefty numbers throughout Kenya and Tanzania, as they form a large part of the natural spectacle; the great mammal migration. Wildebeest co-exist with Zebra and both frequent the menus of lions and other predators, making the migration the perfect place to spot nature in its purest and ‘cruelest’ form. Where to find them: Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park