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Kenya

Page excerpts taken from Wikipedia

Kenya Flag.png

The diversity of Kenya's wildlife has garnered international fame, especially for its populations of large mammals. Mammal species include lion (Panthera leo), cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius), African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), wildebeest (Connochaetes), African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), zebra (Equus), giraffe (Giraffa), and rhinoceros. Kenya has a very diverse population of birds, including flamingo and common ostrich (Struthio camelus).

Nairobi National Park

  • Nairobi National Park is a national park in Kenya that was established in 1946 about 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Nairobi. It is fenced on three sides, whereas the open southern boundary open allows migrating wildlife to move between the park and the adjacent Kitengela plains. Herbivores gather in the park during the dry season. Nairobi National Park is negatively affected by increasing human and livestock populations, changing land use and poaching of wildlife. Despite its proximity to the city and its relative small size, it boasts a large and varied wildlife population, and is one of Kenya's most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries.

Mount Kenya

  • Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft)). Mount Kenya is located in the former Eastern and Central provinces of Kenya, now MeruEmbuLaikipiaKirinyagaNyeri and Tharaka Nithi counties, about 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) south of the equator, around 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.

  • Mount Kenya is a stratovolcano created approximately 3 million years after the opening of the East African Rift. Before glaciation, it was 7,000 m (23,000 ft) high. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. This has resulted in very eroded slopes and numerous valleys radiating from the centre. There are currently 11 small glaciers, which are shrinking rapidly, and may be gone forever by 2050.. The forested slopes are an important source of water for much of Kenya.

  • There are several vegetation bands from the base to the summit. The lower slopes are covered by different types of forest. Many alpine species are endemic to Mount Kenya, such as the giant lobelias and senecios and a local subspecies of rock hyrax. An area of 715 km2 (276 sq mi) around the centre of the mountain was designated a National Park and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The park receives over 16,000 visitors per year.

Meru National Park

Kora National Park

  • Kora National Park is located in Tana River CountyKenya. The park covers an area of 1,788 square kilometres. It is located 125 kilometres east of Mount Kenya. The park was initially gazetted as a nature reserve in 1973. It was gazetted as a national park in 1989, following the murder of George Adamson by poachers.

  • Meru National Park and the Tana River mark 65 kilometres of the park's northern boundary. Features of the Tana River include Adamson's Falls, Grand Falls and the Kora rapids. Its eastern boundary is marked by the Mwitamvisi River. The park has several seasonal rivers.

  • The topography of the park slopes gently from an altitude of 490 m in the south-west to an altitude of about 270m in the north-east. The central area of the park is an undulating peneplain. Basement ridges protrude above the surface of the peneplain as rocky inselbergs, domed hills or hard rocks that rise steeply from the surrounding area. The highest of these inselbergs are Mansumbi (488m), Kumbulanwa (450m) and Kora Rock (442m). The cracks and crevices in the inselbergs have become filled with soil, and a wide variety of herbsshrubs and small wind-blown trees have become established in them.

  • There is a wide variety of animal species in the park, including the caracalTanzanian cheetahAfrican bush elephantgenethippopotamusspotted and striped hyenasAfrican leopardlionservalwildcat and several types of antelope. The vegetation in the park is mostly acacia bushland. There are also riverine forests of doum palm and Tana River poplar.

  • The park had serious problems with poachers in the 1980s and 1990s. George Adamson and two of his assistants were murdered by poachers in the park in 1989. Adamson is buried in the park with three lions he released.

  • Efforts to restart the park were culminating in 2012 when the British actor Martin Clunes filmed a four month old orphaned lion cub being introduced to the compound; the first in 22 years. The cub named Mugie was around a year old when hyenas attacked it (who were in the area in large numbers due to poachers leaving carcasses behind), inflicting internal injuries from which it did not recover. The program left Tony Fitzjohn and his small crew there hoping to raise funds for the government approved fencing to make the area secure, and still trying to attain three other cubs from nearby Tanzania.

Sibiloi National Park

  • Sibiloi National Park lies on the northeastern shore of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. Established in 1973 by the government of Kenya for the protection of wildlife and paleontologist sites there, it covers 1,570 km2 (610 sq mi) and is internationally known for its fossils. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 as a part of Lake Turkana National Parks.

Amboseli National Park

  • Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is a national park in Kajiado South ConstituencyKenya. The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 km2 (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area, average 350 mm (14 in), one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world with 400 species of birds including water birds like pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hamerkop and 47 raptor species.

  • The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semiarid vegetation.

  • About 240 km (150 mi) southeast of Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is the second-most popular national park in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo West National Park 

Lake Nakuru National Park

  • Lake Nakuru National Park (188 km2, 73 mi2), was created in 1961 around Lake Nakuru, near Nakuru Town. It is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff. Also of interest is an area of 188 km (116 mi) around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect giraffes as well as both black and white rhinos.

  • The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhinos. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park marches for 12.1 km on the south eastern boundary with the Soysambu conservancy which represents a possible future expansion of habitat for the rhinos and the only remaining wildlife corridor to Lake Naivasha.

  • The park now (2009) has more than 25 eastern black rhinoceros, one of the largest concentrations in the country, plus around 70 southern white rhinos. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again relocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Waterbuck are very common and both the Kenyan subspecies are found here. Among the predators are lionscheetahs and leopards, the latter being seen much more frequently in recent times. The park also has large sized pythons that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees.

  • As well as flamingos, there are myriad other bird species that inhabit the lake and the area surrounding it, such as African fish eagleGoliath heronhamerkoppied kingfisher and Verreaux's eagle among others of their kind.

Hell's Gate National Park

  • Hell's Gate National Park lies south of Lake Naivasha in Kenya, north west of Nairobi. Hell's Gate National Park is named after a narrow break in the cliffs, once a tributary of a prehistoric lake that fed early humans in the Rift Valley. It was established in 1984. A small national park, it is known for its wide variety of wildlife and for its scenery. This includes the Fischer's Tower and Central Tower columns and Hell's Gate Gorge. The national park is also home to three geothermal power stations at Olkaria. The park is equipped with three basic campsites and includes a Maasai Cultural Center, providing education about the Maasai tribe's culture and traditions.

Chyulu Hills

  • The Chyulu Hills is a mountain range in Makueni County, South Eastern Kenya. It forms a 100 kilometre long volcanic field in elongated NW-SE direction. Its highest peak is 2188 metres high.

  • The Chyulu Hills stood in for the less picturesque Ngong Hills for the filming of Out of Africa. Chyulu hills National park is also one to visit if you like exploring caves. The levithian tube( also known as Kisula caves) is about 11 km long. One of the longest caves in Kenya and also Africa. It is best visited during the sunny periods January to March and also as from June to September. Chyulu hills National park is part of the Tsavo conservation area which covers Tsavo West National park,Tsavo east National park and the kibwezi forest.

  • The park's main gate is located in kibwezi, Makueni county Kenya.

Marsabit National Park

 

Ol Donyo Sabuk / Kyanzavi in Kamba

  • Ol Donyo Sabuk (in Maasai), or Kyanzavi in Kamba, is a mountain and an adjacent small town near Thika Kenya. The town is located in Kyanzavi Division, Machakos County. The peak, height 2,145 metres (7,037 ft), was named by Maasai pastoralists, meaning big mountain. The Kamba name, Kyanzavi means the mountain of nzavi or Lablab beans (Lablab purpureus). Kilimambogo, (another name of the mountain) has two parts, Kilima - meaning a hill or mountain in Swahili, and mbogo meaning a buffalo in many Bantu languages. Incidentally, the forested part of the mountain has a large population of buffaloes. Buffalo is called Nyati in Swahili. The town stands at the edge of Machakos County.

  • Lord William Northrup McMillan was the first white man to settle here, and everything else that has happened since is largely attributed to him (see below: Lord William Northrop McMillan). The town is quite dusty, due to deforestation and loose ground cover, compounded by occasional rainfall. However, the area is adorned with lots of untamed beauty.

  • The town is located about 18.5 km (11.5 mi) east-southeast of Thika, along the Thika-Garissa road (A3 road). Driving on Garissa Road from Thika town, there are pineapple plantations on both sides, accentuated by little pockets of blooming eucalyptus. About 18 kilometres (11 mi) east of Thika, there is a junction going south, with Kenya Wildlife Service markings. It will be a 3-kilometre (1.9 mi) drive from here to the famous Fourteen Falls, described as one of Kenya's most spectacular landmarks. By the river is St. Johns Kilimambogo Teachers College, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Mission hospital. Donyo Sabuk town is a kilometre (half-mile) away from Fourteen Falls, just across the Athi River, with a junction leading to the game park, and the other to the great house of Donyo Sabuk.

  • Down past the 2,145 m (7,037-foot) mountain base sits Donyo Sabuk town, a town that has retained many things that Lord Macmillan bequeathed the area. Here, partying goes on well into the night, and there are a number of "boys’ bands", where the box guitar is still in vogue. This musical town is the hometown of the late Kamba musician Kakai Kilonzo, late legendary Sila of Kilunda fame, and the still-active Gä'thika boys band.

  • Near the peak is the grave of Lord Macmillan, his wife and their dog. Also, there is an extra grave of one Louise, who started working for the Macmillan's when she was age 13 until her death.

  • In what was once one of the biggest ranches in Kenya, there are five towns inside the former Juja Ranch. The rural area is a multi-ethnic community in farms owned by people who were former squatters and his farm labourers. The mountain peak is inside a game park, and the rest is partially owned by the Kenyatta family.

Aberdare National Park

  • The Aberdare National Park is a protected area in the Aberdare Mountain Range in central Kenya located east of the East African Rift Valley. It covers the higher areas and the Aberdare Salient to the east.

  • The park is located about 100 km north of Nairobi and stretches over a wide variety of terrain at altitudes from 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). Established in May 1950, the Aberdare National Park covers an area of 766 square kilometers and forms part of the Aberdare Mountain Range. The park contains a wide range of landscapes - from mountain peaks that rise to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) above sea level, to their deep, v-shaped valleys intersected by streams, rivers, and waterfalls. Moorlandbamboo forests and rainforests are found at lower altitudes.

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