Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Tourist Circuit (Masai Mara National Reserve, Lake Naivasha, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Bogoria National Reserve, Lake Baringo)

Masai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara Cover PhotoMasai Mara lies in the Great Rift Valley which stretches from Ethiopia’s Red Sea running down through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi to Mozambique. It is the Masai Mara where the valley is wide with a towering escarpment realized.

The reserve is characterized by rolling open grassland savannah with patches of acacia, shrubs overshadowed by the big blue skies in the backdrop.The plain teem with abundant plain games making it one of the popular wildlife destinations in Africa which has it the phrase ‘‘all of Africa in one’’.


Annual wildebeest migration: - The migration in Masai Mara is usually from mid-July through to October every year with over 2 million wildebeests, zebras and other wild animals crossing the Mara River into Masai Mara from Serengeti.

The big cats and other wild animals are also easily seen in this spectacular open sky savannah grassland dominated with endless plains and spotted acacia trees vegetation cover that is perfect for wildlife viewing without posing obstructions.

Maasai Mara PhotoWild animals present include the big five (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard), plain game (wildebeest, zebra, impala, topi, giraffe, thomson & grant gazelle, bushbuck, oryx, eland), predators (cheetah, hyena, jackal, African wild dog), hippo, nile crocodile, reticulated giraffe, grevy’s zebra, hartebeest, gunther’s dik dik, somali ostrich and abundant birdlife

Activities here include game viewing, hot air balloon safari, sightseeing, photography, bird watching, Maasai village visit

Facts:

Seventh wonder of the world because of the Great Annual Wildebeest Migration that takes place between July through to October every year
The perfect spot for the big five
BBC Big Cat diary and National Geographic site for their documentaries
Africa’s best plain game spot

 

 

 

 

 


Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park strategic location makes it an outright stopover for overnight stay for visitors connecting from Amboseli or Samburu to Masai Mara by road. The ecosystem is dominated by the lake which is inhabited by the lesser and greater flamingoes (in millions), pelicans. Further inland the lake is surrounded by wooded & bushy grasslands, patches of the escarpment and ridges rocky cliffs. It is this park that you will find the only surviving biggest euphorbia forest in Africa.

It is the most visited park owing to its uniqueness and flexibility both in road network and vegetation that allow for uninterrupted game viewing because of lack of dense forest cover.

Wild animals present include white & black rhino, waterbuck, gazelle (thomson’s & grant), dik dik, eland, olive baboons, grey chicked monkey, warthog, rothchild giraffe, African buffalo, rare to spot tree climbing lions, leopards and cheetahsand over 450 species of birdlife


Activities here include game viewing, bird watching, sightseeing, photography

Facts:

Important Bird Area (IBA) site
Kenya’s Ramsar Site
Sanctuary for rhinoceros


Lake Naivasha 

Lake NaivashaLake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley close to Naivasha town. Formerly know as ‘happy valley’ the town still retains the culture of being a hideaway due to its proximity to Nairobi, the capital city.

Naivasha hosts quite a number of private wildlife sanctuaries that supports wildlife.

Major activities here include boat rides and canoeing, visit to Crescent Island, guided nature walks, game viewing, bird watching, biking and sport fishing.

 

 

 

Crater Lake Game Sanctuary: -The sanctuary at the bottom of an extinct volcano on over 10,000 acres of land. The sanctuary is named after the Crater Lake offering a nature trail takes you around the lake through a forest that supports wild animals like colobus monkeys, waterbuck, zebra, flamingoes plus over 170 bird species.


Crescent Island Game Park: - This is Naivasha’s best kept secret known for its beautiful private unfenced park sitting on an Island on Lake Naivasha. Access from the mainland is by prvate boasts. The park supports huge numbers of pelicans, cormorants, fish-eagles and herds of wildebeest, hippo, giraffe, pythons, hyena, buffaloes, waterbuck, zebra and gazelle. From Crescent Island vantage point you can always enjoy a 360 degrees spectacular view sweeping across the nearby Mount Longonot, Hell’s Gate, Mau Escarpment, Eburu forest and on a clear day you can also enjoy Aberdare ranges views. 

Kigio Wildlife Conservancy:  -Kigio Wildlife Conservancy is a 3,500-acre of beautiful Private Wildlife Conservancy in Naivasha. The vegetation cover range from riverine, euphorbia woodlands, short grass to Leleshwa shrub. The rich bio-diversity in Kigio is something that has been recognized internationally. Kigio offers something different from the traditional game drives by making available activities like game walks, biking. Wild animals found here include endangered rothschild giraffe, herds of African buffalo, impala, gazelle (grant's & thomson), eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 250 bird species. 



Lake Bogoria National Reserve

Lake Bogoria National Reserve is an alkaline lake in the Great Valley usually described as the jewel of Kenya’s Rift Valley. Once named as Lake Hannington, the lake is known for its blue-green algae which seasonally attract a million of so flamingoes.

The reserve which 34km² has the lake taking up much of the reserve with Siracho escarpment rising in the background. Also important attractions here are the hot springs and geysers. The fresh water attracts over 373 species of birdlife among them pink flamingoes (which feeds on the blue-green algae), pelicans, fish eagles, ostrich, marabou storks, ruff, curlew sandpiper, tawny eagle and little stint.

Other wild animals include waterbuck, klipspringer, grant gazelle, impalas, the rare greater kudu, patas monkeys, genet, serval cat, white tailed mongoose, reptiles (lizard, tortoise, black mamba, spitting cobra and puff adder).

Lake Bogoria Greater KuduTime permitting a cultural visit to the local communities that include the Njemps, Tugen, Pokot villages is worth the experience. Activities here include sightseeing (mud pots, hot springs & geysers), game viewing and biking opportunities

Kesubo Swamp: -Kesubo Swamp is amarsh area to the north of the reserve teeming with abundant wildlife with over 200 species recorded.

Facts:
Kenya’s 3rd ramsar site
Important Bird Area (IBA) site


Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake on the floor of the Rift Valley. The several islands and volcanic ranges but one particular one that is worth a visit is the Gibraltar Island.

It is world known for the largest population of Goliath heron in East Africa. Ol Kokwe Island is rich in cultural experience with existing communities like the Njemps who offer a truly African cultural experience.Lake Baringo Fish Eagle

Other communities bordering lake are the Tugen and Pokot. Activities on the lake include boat rides, canoeing, sightseeing, game viewing, bird watching, cultural visit and fishing