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Park & Samburu National Reserve
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10. NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi National Park covers and area of 117km2 and it is unique
by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of
animals and birds close to a major city. As expected, the park is
a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi. The park also serves
many residents and citizens living in the city.
The park has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna
Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush predominant.
The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river
with a riverine forest. In addition, there are stretches of broken
bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long
grass. Man-made dams have also added a further habitat, favourable
to certain species of birds and other aquatic biota. The dams also
attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season.
The park has diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded.
However all species are not always present and much depends on season.
Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March
Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful
of Kenya's rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock
for reintroduction in the species former range. Due to this success,
it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing
a black rhino in its natural habitat. To the south of the park is
the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration Corridor. These are
vital areas for herbivores disperse over them during the rains and
concentrate in the park in the dry season.
- Annual wildebeest and zebra migration in July/August
- Black rhinoceros
- Diverse birdlife
- Large predators
- Aggregations of large herbivores
- Ivory Burning Site Monument
- Walking trails.
- Nairobi Safari Walk and the Animal Orphanage.
11. SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE.
you see a camel train walking single file along a dry riverbed,
you realise you are in a pretty parched area. The three National
Reserves of Samburu, Buffalo Springs and Shaba are at the beginning
of the dry north where camels become commonplace. However, it is
not a completely parched area as it is watered by the Uaso Nyiro
River or 'River of Brown Water' in Samburu.
This is an essential and sometimes erratic water
source for all the inhabitants, including a considerable amount
of wildlife in the reserves and Samburu cattle and goats. Out of
the north Kenyan tribes of Samburu, Rendille, Turkana and Borana,
the Samburu dominate this area.
To the uninformed eye they could be confused with
the Maasai - for they are closely related and wear similar bright
clothing and jewellery and have the same cultural beliefs. They
continue their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle as they have done for
hundreds of years.The scrub desert, desiccated savannah and small
hills of this region create overriding colours of muted greens,
dusty creams, sand yellow, earthen ochre and every shade of brown.
Perfect camouflage colours for the many animals that inhabit these
BIRDS AND AMINALS AT THE SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE.
The reserves are relatively small and animals are easy to find,
with a number of weird and wonderful species endemic to this area.
Notably the gerenuk - also known as the 'giraffe necked antelope'
because of its ridiculously stretched neck adapted for browsing
high into the bushes. Another local inhabitant is the Grevy's zebra,
which resembles an ass with wide stripes that don't quite go all
the way under the belly. Reticulated giraffes are different from
their southern cousins in their perfectly arranged pattern. A very
common dwarf antelope in these parts is the tiny dik dik, who is
devoted to its mate for its entire lifetime.
Many other species exist in these reserves and large
crocs and hippos inhabit the river. Leopard, lion, cheetah and hyena
are found here and an unusual treat is that leopards are commonly
seen in daylight. Birds are numerous and 365 species have been recorded
in Buffalo Springs reserve.
THE SPECILITIES OF SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
- Gerenuk 'giraffe necked' antelopeReticulated
- Grevy's zebra
- Riverside lodges
- Leopards in daylight
- Samburu people
Shimba Hills National Reserve