Safari in Kenya – The Big 5 & Other Wildlife

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Safaris are a top travel experience for those who want a thrilling and exciting holiday. Kenya is incredibly popular for its wide variety of flora and fauna. The large land area is filled with wild animals and migratory patterns following the rain in that area. Even though some of these species face extinction threats and endangerment, others thrive in prosperity. Kenya allows you to interact with these unreal animals directly, and it offers a perfect habitat for them. Kenya has a diverse terrain that includes rivers, beaches, plains and mountains that offers a stunning backdrop as you observe wildlife in their natural state.

Safari tours are the best way to explore the national parks of Kenya to witness the Big 5, along with other species that may not be found anywhere else in the world.

Conservation In Kenya

The Kenya wildlife service is responsible for conserving and managing the national parks and wild animals. A total of 8% of the Kenyan landmass is reserved for wildlife conservation. It consist of 32 National Reserves, 27 National Parks, 4 Marine National Parks, 4 National Sanctuaries, and 6 Marine National Reserves. The services are responsible for protecting the animals’ natural habitat and maintaining a viable number of specie, especially in the protected areas, as well as to ensure the safety of endangered species.

The Big 5


Undoubtedly the most popular of the Big 5 are the lions. There are around a hundred lions in the Mara Naibohso Conservancy, making it the most densely populated home of these beasts. Lion Pride can also be seen in almost every conservancy. If you are lucky, you may catch a pride hunting down their prey.


Elephants can be easily spotted in most National reserves and Parks in Kenya. Still, the best place to find about 400 migratory elephants is the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Amboseli National Park. Elephant population can also be easily spotted in the Meru National Park and Maasai Mara.


Even though Rhinos are the most threatened species in the world yet, you will see some extraordinary conservation works in Kenya to save these beautiful animals. The Ol Pejeta conservancy is home to the last two white rhinos as well as a sizable population of black rhinos. The Nairobi National Park is the perfect place to spot 50 critically endangered black rhinos. Lewa wildlife has about 169 black rhinos, so be sure to include these parks in your safari tour. If you want to get up close and know more about these gentle giants, Ol Pejeta is perfect place. By staying on this property, you are not only contributing to saving the lives of these endangered rhinos, but also helping the local community as the profits go directly into conservation and community development.  


African buffaloes are known for their strength and size. Found in large grazing herds, they protect any weaker members by encircling them.  African Buffalos can be easily seen in most safari parks of Kenya.


It may be a little difficult to spot the solitary hunters. Leopards can be easily speckled in Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, and Samburu National Park. The chances of seeing leopards significantly increases from July to September when the wild beasts migrate towards Kenya, and leopards can have an ample amount of food.

Other Animals in Kenyan National Parks


The tallest animals in the world, Giraffes can rise up to 5.5 m. Giraffes like to live in savannas, Woodland, and grasslands. Kenya has three subspecies of giraffes; Maasai giraffe, reticulated giraffe, and Rothschild giraffe. Marula Valley farm and Hell’s Gate National Park are home to most giraffes of Kenya. Giraffe Manor is another incredible place to get up close with these lankies. They peak in through the windows as you enjoy your rainbow cuisine.


Zebra is the most visually striking animal in Africa. The black and white stripes of zebra are unique, just like our fingerprints. You will see two types of zebras, i.e., the plains zebra and Grevy’s zebra, aka imperial zebra. These imperial zebras are the endangered type, hence spotting one in the wild may be more challenging. If you would like to increase your chances of seeing one, the Samburu National Reserve and the Laikipia region are home to both types.


Hippopotamus or rivers horses are known for their aggressive and unpredictable nature. All famous lakes, rivers, and swamps of Kenya are filled with hippos who emerge out of the water at dusk for grazing and strolling. You can see them in Amboseli National Park’s wetlands and lakes, Masai Mara’s Talek and Mara Rivers, Meru National Park’s streams, rivers, and Lake.


Found in wide and open spaces, cheetahs can run up to 60 miles per hour. Seeing cheetahs hunt is a unique and enthralling experience. The treeless landscape of Masai Mara is the perfect hunting ground for cheetahs so you may get a better chance of spotting them there.


If you see any primary predator hunting, be sure there will be hyenas somewhere nearby. Even though they are despised for their cringy appearance and behaviors, they play a vital role in the ecosystem as they clean the site of a kill and get rid of discarded bones and left over following a hunt. Hyenas can be seen in Masai Mara, Amboseli National Park, and Meru National Park. 

Wild Dogs

African wild dogs, aka painted wolves, are endangered species because of habitat fragmentation and disease outbreak and are perfect predators with exceptional speed, intelligence, vision, and speed. Samburu and the Laikipia region are home to a considerable population of wild dogs.


In search of grass and water, millions of wildebeests migrate to from Tanzania to Kenya each year in a circular pattern. Great Wildebeest Migration arrives in the Masai Mara park in July.  In search of greener pastures, these animals are forced to cross the river filler with hungry crocodiles. This intense crossing is one of nature’s biggest event on earth.   


Flamingos are beautifully pink and feathery birds. Only six species of flamingos are left in the world, and 2 of them can be found in Kenya, known as lesser and greater flamingos. These birds like to live near alkaline lakes and water bodies. You can spot a remarkable number of flamingos at Lake Nakuru, Lake Bogoria, and Lake Naivasha.

 Safari Tours In Kenya

Kenya is a jaw-dropping destination for a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. The dramatic landscape and large national parks and reserves make the country an ideal option for your first safari tour. Different types of safaris are offered depending on your preferences and the season. You may also opt for a hot air balloon safari tour to have a wholesome experience out in the wild. The best national reserves and parks for a perfect safari experience include:

  • Masai Mara
  • Amboseli
  • Tsavo east
  • Samburu
  • Lake Naivasha
  • Lake Nakuru
  • Nairobi
  • Mount Kenya

The animals are constantly on the move and depending on the time of the year as well as weather seasons, the safari offers a different experience and sights. To make sure you have the perfect Safari experience in Kenya, go for a tailor-made trip that includes all exciting and eventful things. We’d love to plan your safari adventure. Let us know how you imagine your first safari tour to be and leave the rest of the work to us.

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