Maasai Mara
Maasai Mara

Kenya, located in East Africa, has one of the richest biodiversity of all African countries. It boasts over 52 national parks, more than 1,000 wildlife species to discover, and a little over 1150 recorded bird species. It is also on a wildlife safari in Kenya that you get to see the last two remaining Northern white rhinos in the world.

The best part? The country plays host to some of the most riveting sceneries globally, all of which combine to form a spectacular background for wildlife viewing. 

In this piece, we look at the best national parks in Kenya that offer the chicest Kenya safaris. But before then, let us share our most booked mid-range and luxury Kenya Jungle safaris.

Some of the best places for wildlife safaris in Kenya include the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, the magnificent Mount Kenya National Park, and the exceptional Samburu National Park.

Other leading Kenya safari destinations include Tsavo West National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park as well as the nearby Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Kenya is also home to several Great Rift Valley Lakes which include Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Lake Elementaita.

Next, we look at the top 10 national parks in Kenya.

Replete with striking sceneries, over 99 different mammal species, and close to 450 bird species, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is the perfect destination for Kenya jungle safaris. The most popular way to explore Masai Mara is to go on a game drive around the park. Game drives in Masai mara are a rousing indulgence that introduces you to a vast variety of wild animals. These include the Big 5, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, dik-dik, hippos, crocodiles, giant forest hogs, warthogs, and over 450 bird species.

You also get to enjoy the beautiful Maasai Mara landscape; from the slow-moving waters of the Mara River to the scattered acacias and sunburned grasslands.

Keep your eyes open, you never know when a crocodile at the river is going to lunge at an unsuspecting antelope. Other activities to do in Maasai Mara National Reserve include; camping, bird watching, sundowner, photography, and Masai village visits.

We recommend adding the following destinations to your Kenya safari in Maasai Mara National Reserve:

  • 2 days, 1 night Lake Nakuru National Park

  • 3 days, 2 nights in Amboseli National Park

  • 3 days, 2 nights in Tsavo West National Park, and

  • 3 nights in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater

  • 1 day in Nairobi National Park

Hint: During the annual Masai Mara wildebeest migration (which occurs July to October), plan to spend at least 3 nights in Maasai Mara National Reserve. The wildebeest migration is one of the major attractions in Kenya. Lots of international as well as local visitors travel to Masai Mara at this time. Masai Mara migration safaris are best planned 6-3 months in advance. For others, getting good hotels can become a little tricky.

Somewhere between Lake Nakuru shallow and tepid waters lies the Lake Nakuru National Park. It is a tropical paradise hidden amongst an ever-changing terrain of woody and bushy grasslands.

Kenya animal safaris here are great and exciting; the park promises over 56 different mammal species, 450 bird species, and over 550 plant species.

Take game drives around Lake Nakuru National Park for close and intimate interactions with white rhinos, waterbucks, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, lions, and hippos.

Go on a flamingoes-fangirling excursion around lake Nakuru and get a glimpse of these pink beauties for which the park is most known. Take advantage of the Baboon Cliff and Out of Africa lookouts for top-of-the-cliff views of the wildlife and gorgeous panorama.

Lake Nakuru National Park is located between the Amboseli National Park and the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. This makes it a popular stopover during a Kenya safari to these two Kenya famous destinations.

Meru National Park is more than just luxuriant jungles, winding rivers, lush grasslands, and termite cathedrals. It’s a magical and intensely cathartic experience best experienced on a Kenya wildlife safari.

You’ll find abundant wildlife dotted across the savannah, some common, some rare, during your visit to Meru Game Park. Keep an eye out for Grevy’s zebras, elephants, reedbucks, buffaloes, hartebeests, cobras, pythons, elephants, puff adders, and more than 427 bird species.

You will also love the park’s superior aesthetics and serenity, a rare combination that is the very reason this is one of the best safari parks in Kenya. Take a walk around its open and wooded grasslands and get to experience the park’s natural wonders intimately. Go camping, scene viewing, and on game drives for a partaking of its enchanting thrills and spills.

Tsavo National Park comprises Tsavo West and Tsavo East game areas separated by a Nairobi-Mombasa highway. An astounding national park in its own right, this southeast Kenya masterpiece features some of the country’s most striking and rewarding landscapes. A Kenya animal safari to this national park treats you to the best of these views. The most stunning being Tsavo East’s 300 km Yatta plateau, the Galana River, Lugard Falls, and a diverse assortment of wildlife.

The most common Kenyan animals you are likely to see in Tsavo National Park include elephants, gerenuks, lions, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, and waterbucks. You might also see the giant forest hog, wildebeests, cape buffalos,  and a vast variety of bird species.

Tsavo West is charming and evocative, too, its lush landscape punctuated by rocky ridges, numerous swamps, Lake Jipe, the Mzima Springs, and Shetani Lava flows. They all combine to form an effortless background for wildlife viewing. Join us on a Kenya jungle safari of Tsavo and experience surreality firsthand.

Watch in awe as crystal clear waters emerge from lava rock (Mzima Springs) and silently pour into the Shetani Lava Flows. Discover the world’s most significant lava flow (Yatta Plateau). And marvel at the dust red elephants of Tsavo East.

Popular Destination to add to A Kenya Safari in Tsavo:

Tsavo is located close to the Kenyan Indian Ocean coast. You can combine a 2-night safari in Tsavo with 3 nights Kenya beach holiday to Diani Beach. While at Diani, plan and visit Watamu Marine Park and explore its colorful coral gardens. You can also go for marine activities such as scuba diving, deep sea fishing, a day tour to Wasini island, a visit to Lamu Old town, and many more. Diani beach is one of the best beach holidays destinations in Africa. From Diani, you can take a direct flight to Maasai Mara National Reserve.

The Aberdare is known for its otherworldly sceneries, and the Aberdare National Park is not excluded from this irresistibility. Known for its striking ravines, open moorlands, and wildlife-adorned savannahs, this park is often tapped for rousing Kenya wildlife safari packages.

There is more to uncover on this charming preserve, bushbucks, hyenas, baboons, colobus monkeys, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, warthogs, black rhinos, duikers, and wild cats.

Explore these 189530 acres of riveting grounds through guided game drives, surrendering all stresses to its captivating waterfalls, wildlife, picturesque bridges, and river valleys. Discover rarities like giant forest hogs, golden cats, civet cats, serval cats, and bongo during an Aberdare Kenya wildlife safari. Or go on a guided birding excursion and discover the over 250 bird species resident of the park. Other exciting park activities include; picnicking, trout fishing, and camping.

From its lush and scenic landscapes to its multitudes of wildlife and birds, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy has Kenya wildlife tours written all over it. This dramatic park nestles between the foothills of Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare, and amongst its many charms is its high game-to-area ratio, the highest there is in the country.  There are over 10000 large mammals to discover here, and even more fascinating because it houses the only two remaining northern white rhinos in the world.

Other rarities in the park include the Big five, over 80 endangered black rhinos, six southern white rhinos, Jackson’s hartebeests, and Grevy’s zebras. When you’re not too spellbound by the conservancy, you can check out the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the only place in Kenya where you can see chimps. Explore the park on horseback, go camping, or enjoy game drives.

  • Disconnect and purge in the wilderness at the Samburu National Reserve, a great destination known for its rich wildlife, effortless panorama, and serene ambience.Over 900 elephants live in the park; a sight made even more fascinating by the thousands of other wildlife sprinkled all around the park. These include wild dogs, lions, cheetahs, leopards, and oryxes.But there’s more. The Samburu is also famed for the Samburu Five, a rare quintet that features the Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, gerenuk, Somali ostrich, and Reticulated giraffe.There are also more than 450 recorded bird species in Samburu National Reserve.Awake to the harmonious melodies of the wild in a lodge right at the heart of the park, go on a game drive for an intimate interaction with the wildlife or better yet, go for a guided walk around the park. Other exciting activities include horseback riding, photography, bird watching, and sundowner. It’s possible to catch a direct flight from Samburu National Reserve to Maasai Mara National Reserve.

With miles of astounding landscapes and beautifully diverse habitats, Amboseli National park offers an effortless background for Kenya wildlife tours. Simply moving around this 392 km2 park is a spectacle by itself, the bewildering park guests with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Amboseli National Park offers five different habitats featuring woodlands, savannahs, wetlands, and the dried-out bed of Lake Amboseli.

The highlight? The park hosts the most prominent African elephant population in the region as well, as 56 other mammal species. These include the Big Five, impalas, giraffes, dik-dik, lesser kudu, crocodiles, wild dogs, and cheetahs.  Amboseli national park also boasts an impeccable ambience to delight in. One that goes exceptionally well with bush dinners and sundowners.

Rough it up at a designated campsite within the park, or douse yourself in unspeakable luxury at the tastefully designed lodges. Go on a morning, evening, or afternoon game drive and watch as the park comes alive with crowds of wildlife. Revitalise your body by walking around the park. Or go bird watching and let the over 450 bird species add some colour to your days.

The most popular destinations to add to an Amboseli National park safari include 1 night in Lake Nakuru National Park, 1 night in Lake Naivasha, and 2 or 3 nights in Masai Mara National Reserve.

Few places are as magical and alluring as the Hell’s Gate National Park, and that is why the park has topped our list of best national parks in Kenya for ages. The scenery is riveting, the ambience mysterious, and the park is in its most natural state, another reason the park is a favorite.

Occasionally you will find baboons, zebras, hartebeests, antelopes, reedbucks and elands in this fanciful playground, as well as a colourful explosion of birds that features swifts, eagles, buzzards, and vultures.

Its main attraction is spectacular scenery featuring towering cliffs, rock towers, scrubby volcanoes, and gorges.

Merge this scenery magnificence with the cycling, and you’ll see why the park is an undefeated Kenya wildlife safari destination. Other exciting activities you can engage in while in the park include; rock climbing, camping, photography, hiking, game viewing, and bird watching.

Best known for its breathtaking city views and wildlife, this 117.21 km2 park is a classic example of the city-meets-nature kind of magnificence. The park is a short drive away from Nairobi’s CBD, making it perfect for quick Kenya wildlife safaris.

Wide-open grasslands, jaw-dropping city views, scattered acacias, and wildlife are all found at Nairobi National Park. Some fun things to do during Nairobi safari tours include sampling an afternoon tea at the Kiambethu tea farm, an early morning game drive, as well as night game drives. Some of the Kenya animals you are likely to see during a safari in Nairobi include African lion, giraffes, black rhinos, elephants, cheetahs, lions, leopards, buffaloes, and hyenas.

The second-best part? The Nairobi Safari Walk is a 7km wooden boardwalk that allows uninterrupted views of the park and all its attractions. Discover more than 150 species of trees. Stroll through the park’s lush grasslands and wildlife. And, when the sun sets, watch as the sun disappears behind the city’s skyscrapers.