Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mt Kenya National Park

Mt. Kenya National Park is located to the east of the Great Rift Valley, about 175km North-East of Nairobi.  The ecosystem lies in Central and Eastern provinces of Kenya.  at 5,199m the mountain is the second highest peak in Africa. Mt. Kenya is an important water tower in the country. It provides water for about 50% of the country’s population and produces 70% of Kenya’s hydroelectric power.

The kikuyu people believed the mountain to be a holy ground, they believe that their God who is called Ngai leaved on the mountain. They call it Kirinyaga, which means "Place of light". It is now the centre of a National Park offering more diversity of flora than most other Parks in Kenya.
Mt. KenyaNational Park was establishes in 1949 to protect Mt. Kenya and the diverse ecosystem surrounding the second highest mountain in Africa (5,199). Covering an area of some 700 square kilometres, over half of the Park is over 10,500 feet (3,000 metres). It was made a World Heritage site in 1997. The Park was created not only to help preserve the flora and fauna of the area, but also to protect the area because of its importance as a water catchments area for the surrounding population and agriculture. The mountain has three peaks namely lenana at 3364metres, Batian at 5188metres, Nelion at 5199metres. There are three routes that one can use to hike the mountain. These are Sirimon route, Chogoria route and Naromoru route.

The lower altitudes are covered in dry upland forest and are home to Colobus monkeys, Cape buffalo and elephants. (These elephants go as high as 15,000 feet in search of grazing). Montane forests start at 2,000 metres with cedar and podo trees. At 2,500 metres you move into a bamboo belt and then smaller shrub forest. Above this lies altitude moor land of heather and moss. Wherever you go there is wildlife, from baboon, forest hogs and leopard, each existing in its own environment in this unique park.

Although there is only one lodge in the Park itself, there are several famous lodges on its lower slopes, built there because of the cool climate in the hot season heat. Treetops, Naro Moro Lodge, mountain Lodge are all famous names in the history of Kenya and a great place to start a visit to the country.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

 Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the last remaining bird sanctuaries in the world today. It’s the second most visited national park in Kenya after the Masai Mara Game Reserve and arguably the most profitable. The Lake is a shallow 3.5m deep soda lake inhabited by thousands of teeming Flamingos synonymous with the lake and is home to more than 400 other bird species, creating a marvel that is fulfilling to behold. This is the reason why many ornithologists flock here throughout the year in search of unique bird species.

The Lake Nakuru National Park was gazetted as a national park in 1961, initially only a few square miles in size but today it has grown to 180 square kilometers of euphorbia forest, woodland forest, grasslands, rocky cliffs and acacia forests harboring thousands of flamingos, hundreds of bird species more than you have ever seen in years, countless mammals, carnivorous animals, baboons, Hyraxes and Hippos. The Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to a black and white rhino sanctuary surrounded by a high electric fence.

Making your way to the Lake Nakuru National Park, you will be greeted to the acacia trees that line up the road, with the Lake at a comfortable distance from the road. This is a welcome site far removed from the commotion of life in the modern city environment that we are used to. A herd of Zebras and Waterbucks will always stop to stare at your tour van next to the road as the lake simmers in the distance. Around the Lake are the beautiful flamingos, you would think the lake is pink, but wait till you get close! Your emotions are carried away by the slow motion of the passion filled birds.

The Lake Nakuru National Park is dotted with public camping sites all over, costing $25 per person per night, but it would be imperative for you to beware of monkeys and baboons which can be a nuisance at night sometimes. You could stay at the flamingo tented camp, the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge or the Lake Nakuru Lodge. If you are traveling on a budget, you could stay at the Backpackers' camping site, or the wildlife Club of Kenya Youth Hostel which are set up at strategic sites looking down on the magnificent lake views. Except for the roar of an occasional car engine, you are surrounded by ethereal beauty - Natural like you have never experienced in a long time.

A custom drive safari will involve waking up early in the morning to the warm rays of the African sunrise, mellowed by the chorus of a thousand birds as you get ready for a game drive. You will definitely spot pigeons carrying twigs to their mates as they build nests, giraffes, zebras, and of course the antelopes feeding gracefully off the lash grasslands as the beauty of the lake reflects the blue sky.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Masai Mara is a world heritage and famous for the annual wildlife migration. Zebras, gazelles and wildebeest cross the Mara river every year during the month of July from Serengeti National park a southern extension of the Masai Mara. This animal spectacle is one of its kind and worth witnessing.
Many wildebeest perish while crossing the Mara river, crocodiles have a feast, while cats hunt the weak wildlife. Masai Mara game reserve has a big population of game and abundant birdlife one can see all the big five, zebra, giraffe, hyenas, cheetahs, jackals, Wildebeest, topi and gazelles.
Masai Mara has world class facilities this include lodges, tented camps, and basic camping facilities. The lodges and tented camps are rated by their ambiance and the services they offer. There is a wide selection of lodges and tented camps and they are priced differently. Lodge safaris or tented camp safaris are priced base on the choice of the accommodation. Camping safaris in Masai Mara have come of age having competitive camping facilities with good tents that have beds and lavatories inside the tent. The meals are prepared by cooks and served at a common dinning area.
The Masai culture is alive and very evident from the time one sets his or her foot at the Masai Mara game reserve. A visit to the Masai villages offers one an opportunity to interact and learn the Masai Culture. During the evenings after dinner traditional Masai songs and dances entertain the tourist.