Kenya is the most sought-after safari destination in Africa. It is home to diverse species of flora and fauna and is known for its distinctive culture and rich heritage. When planning a safari trip to Kenya, it becomes easier to plan your itinerary if you know what animals you most want to see as different national parks and game reserves are home to different animals and birds. Below we have mentioned the top 5 safari animals in Kenya that all travelers want to see along with a list of places where you are most likely to find them.
Top Safari Animals to See in Kenya
1. The Big Five
Kenya is one of the best places wherein you can spot all the Big Five animals in one place. The Big Five includes lions, rhino, elephants, leopards, and Cape buffalo. Head to Masai Mara – the most renowned national park in Kenya – to see the Big Five. In recent times, a high number of leopard sightings have been seen near Lake Nakuru. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is not only home to the Big Five, but it is also the largest black rhino sanctuary where you can spot both – the black as well as the white rhinos.
During your trip to Kenya, you can also see both – the spotted hyenas who are slightly larger than striped hyenas. These laughing hyenas (name derived from the sounds they make) are nocturnal animals that only come out in the dark to hunt for their food. You can spot them in the Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park.
Part of the antelope family, there are two main species of wildebeest – the blue wildebeest and the black wildebeest. They travel in large herds, and their habitat most comprises of open woodlands and grassy plains wherein you can see them constantly grazing. Wildebeests are a part of the largest annual wildlife migration on earth, wherein 1.5 million wildebeests along with thousands of other animals – zebra and gazelle – move from Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya in search of green pastures.
The fastest animal on earth, cheetah have a lightning speed of 100km/h and can change their direction instantly due to their light build and agility. They like to hunt during the day and roam around the open grassy savannah plains and forests. They are social animals that live in groups and can be spotted in the popular Masai Mara National Reserve.
5. Grevy’s Zebras
One of the most endangered species, Grevy zebras have thinner stripes that do not continue on their belly and have large eyes. Herbivorous in nature, they live on grass and legumes. During the dry season, they often migrate in search of water and food resources. You can find them in the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Samburu National Reserve, Shaba National Reserve, and Laikipia Plateau.
Kenya is a beautiful place wherein you can explore safari life at its best. Mentioned above are just a few animals that you would get to see while visiting Kenya. For a more comprehensive knowledge about Kenyan safari animals, take a look at this detailed infographic.