According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, about 8% of the total land mass in Kenya is a protected area for wildlife conservation. These areas are gazetted landscapes or seascapes. This means that they have been surveyed, demarcated, and gazetted in either of the four categories. These categories include Marine Parks and Reserves, National Parks, National Game Reserves, and National sanctuaries. Besides Animal orphanages, the latter category includes the Safari Walk. KWS also manages over one hundred outposts outside the protected areas all over Kenya.
There is one main difference between National Parks and Reserves. In reserves, human activities such as fishing in marine reserves are allowed under specific guidelines. On the other hand, Parks are completely protected and no other activity can take place other than research and tourism.
List of Major National Parks in Kenya
It’s the quality of Kenya’s National parks that make it one of the most popular safari destinations in the World. Every park has its uniqueness and best times to visit. Below are some of the best Parks in Kenya. Click on each of them to learn more.
- Nairobi National Park
- Aberdare National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- South Island National Park
- Hells Gate National Park
- Sibiloi National Park
- Ruma National Park
- Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
- Ndere Island National Park
- Mount Longonot National Park
- Kora National Park
- Meru National Park
- Marsabit National Park & Reserve
- Mount Kenya National Park & Reserve
- Lake Nakuru National Park
- Chyulu Hills National Park
- Central Island National Park
- Arabuko Sokoke National Park
- Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks
- Mount Elgon National Park
- Saiwa Swamp National Park
List of Major National Reserves in Kenya
Just like parks, National reserves are great attractions for tourists and researchers. Among the reserves in Kenya, Masai Mara is the most famous. During the months of July and August, visitors flock to the Masai Mara to watch herds of Wildebeest and Zebra cross the Mara River.
- Masai Mara National Reserve
- Malka Mari National Park
- Mwingi Game Reserve
- Nasolot National Reserve
- Samburu National Reserve
- Kakamega Forest National Reserve
- Bisanadi National Reserve
- Shimba Hills National Reserve
- Mwea National Reserve
- Rahole National Reserve
- Arawale National Reserve
- Boni National Reserve
- Buffalo Springs National Reserve
- Dodori National Reserve
- Lake Bogoria National Reserve
- Rimoi National Reserve
List of National Marine Parks and Reserves in Kenya
There are four Marine National Parks and 6 Marine National Reserves in Kenya. The Parks are either adjacent to or enclosed within their Reserves.
- Mombasa Marine National Park & Reserve
- Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park
- Malindi Marine National Park & Reserve
- Watamu Marine National Park & Reserve
- Kiunga Marine National Reserve
- Diani-Chale Marine Reserve
Animal Orphanages and Sanctuaries
There are a number of animal sanctuaries and orphanages to visit in Kenya. These sanctuaries are started to help orphaned and endangered wild animals. The animals are taken care of and later on re-introduced into the wild. List of Animal sanctuaries you should visit in Kenya.
- Nairobi Animal Orphanage
- Nairobi Safari Walk
- Lake Simbi National Sanctuary
- Kisumu Impala Sanctuary
- Mwaluganje elephant sanctuary
Kenya is one of those best safari destinations to explore in Africa. It offers memorable travel experiences to both domestic and foreign tourists. Whether you are in for a hike up Mt. Kenya, or wildebeest migration at the Masai Mara, you won’t be disappointed.
Feature Photo: Chyulu Hills by KWS.