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Wildlife safaris and birdwatching

An Endless Flow of Animals and Rolling savannahs. Snow-capped peaks. Lush forests and sprawling plains. Kenya hums with landscapes of diversity. These varied landforms support a fantastic range of wildlife, granting the country its deserved reputation as a superb safari destination.

Every sort of animal type is found here but perhaps no animal group is as desirable a find as Africa’s iconic “Big Five” – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino. You’ll see them all at Kenya’s premier parks:

  • Tsavo East National Park

  • Amboseli National Park

  • Samburu National Reserve

  • Masai Mara Game Reserve


To catch the excitement of the big cats – lions, leopards, and cheetahs – no other park beats Masai Mara for the sheer concentration of these great felines stalking its rolling grasslands.
The numbers of rhinos throughout Africa have been severely depleted due to poaching but in Kenya, they are making a strong comeback due to stringent conservation efforts. These parks and reserves offer safari-goers increasingly larger numbers of both the black and white rhinos:

  • Tsavo West National Park

  • Meru National Park

  • Lake Nakuru National Park

  • Old Pejeta Conservancy


Perhaps no animal symbolizes the majesty and wonder of Africa as does the noble elephant. These giant but extremely intelligent creatures are found in great concentrations at Amboseli Park, marching before the backdrop of iconic Mt. Kilimanjaro, and also seen in numbers reaching 1000 at Samburu Park to the north. Tsavo East shows off a unique aspect of elephant life – they love to roll in the park’s red-oxide soil giving them a dusty, rose-coloured coat.
For sightings of wildebeest and zebra, nothing compares with the Great Wildebeest Migration at the Masai Mara Game Reserve for viewing virtual rivers of these invading grazers. Crossing over the Mara River, up to two million of them follow their yearly cycle of birth and survival as they traverse the park’s immense plains creating lines of wildlife that stretch to the horizon. We regularly operate safari tours that witness The Great Migration.


Of course, a Kenya safari isn’t complete without time spent watching the antics of monkeys and baboons. You’ll find these curious and playful creatures at parks dense with montane, coastal, and tropical forests:

  • Aberdare National Park

  • Kakamega Forest Reserve

  • Lake Nakuru National Park

  • Shimba Hills National Reserve

  • Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve


And if you wish to also view highly intelligent chimpanzees in their natural habitat, there’s only one place in Kenya to go – Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

But at whichever parks and reserves you choose for your safari, our Scar travels Safari guides are experts at finding all the species you’ve come to see. They are your experienced escorts to an adventure filled with the wonderful wildlife that Kenya provides. Now it’s time to pick the perfect Kenya safari holiday.

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From the world’s biggest bird, the Ostrich, to spectacular flamingos that congregate in their millions at the various Lakes of the Great Rift Valley and camouflage them in pink, Kenya holds some remarkable birding sights that you have to see them to believe. With eleven percent of the world’s species – some 1089 different varieties, Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world.  It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day!

The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found; more than in any other capital city, and more than in most countries.

Bird watching is good all year round in Kenya.

The rainy seasons of April and November coincide with migration of birds from and to Europe and Asia, and some of the top day’s totals have been recorded at that time. Migrants make up only about ten percent of Kenya’s birdlife. Spectacular birds of the bush –guinea fowl, go-away birds, rollers and barbets, to mention but a few – are active all year.

To see Kenya’s rarest, indigenous and unfortunately endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands. Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver.

Some other areas including the forest “islands” at the top of the Taita Hills, near Voi, is home to the beautiful but critically endangered Taita Thrush and Taita Apalis, as well as the endangered Taita White-eye.

Sharpe’s Longclaw and Aberdare Cisticola, native and endangered, live in the highland grasslands near the Aberdare mountain range.

In western Kenya, Kakamega Forest is a little patch of Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Kenya. Among the many rainforest species found are spectacular Turacos and Hornbills, and the tiny, endangered Turner’s Eremomela.

The scarce and threatened Papyrus Yellow Warbler is found in papyrus swamps on the shores of Lake Victoria, alongside the Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged Warbler and Papyrus Canary, all papyrus endemics.

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