Aberdares National Park Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Loisaba, a private ranch Masai Mara National Reserve Meru National Park Nairobi National Park Nakuru National Park Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves Amboseli National Park West Chyulu Game Conservation Area Lake Manyara National Park Ngorongoro Conservation Area Serengeti National Park Tarangire National Park Tsavo East National Park Tsavo West National Park Shompole Shimba Hills

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Map of East Africa, covering Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania from the coast (Indian Ocean) to Lake Victoria in the West.
Map of East Africa, covering Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania from the coast (Indian Ocean) to Lake Victoria in the West.
The map shows most of the parks and reserves in East Africa. The balloons show the ones we have visited since Dec. 1994 with the number indicating how many times ('A' in Tsavo East = 10). We've not been to them all - it would take a lifetime, but we're working on it!

Click on the balloons or select an area from the drop-down box to jump to a short description for each location. Use your web browser's [BACK] button to return to the map.

Aberdares National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Aberdares National Park.

The Aberdares are a mountain range at the edge of the Rift Valley. The lower slopes are cut through with deep gorges covered in dense forest. Above the tree line are bamboo forests thick enough to hide elephant! Higher still you come through Alpine meadows before moorland reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands.
Colobus Monkey in the treetops
6th Sept. 2002
Note, many of the tracks can easily become impassable even in a 4-wheel drive vehicle during the frequent rainfalls.

There is a wide variety of game, including (but not limited to ): Elephant; Cape Buffalo; Rhinoceros; Waterbuck; Bohor and Mountain Reedbuck; Hyena; Colobus Monkey; Baboon; Warthog; the rare Giant Forest Hog; Bushbuck; Leopard; Duiker; Serval; Long Crested Eagle; Jacksons Frankolin.

The park is usually used as a single night stop-over as tours travel to/from Samburu. One of the advantages of a longer stay is the park is not overrun with hordes of mini-buses.
We have only been to the Aberdares once in June 2003, staying at the Ark for 3 nights. We were taken on an escorted safari with a private guide - now the extra expense is well worth it to travel with someone who knows the country and game as only a local can! By taking a few days in the park we were able to travel to the upper reaches where the terrain changes from tropical, through Alpine to Scottish Highlands.

Amboseli National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Amboseli National Park.

Amboseli is one of the better known parks. It is primarily a dry soda lake with swamps fed from underground water running off Mount Kilimanjaro just across the border in Tanzania. In dry seasons the area is a dust bowl with many dust devils spiralling into the sky. A few trees are scattered across the plains.
The game, includes: Elephant (Amboseli is well known for its Elephants); Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Waterbuck; Wildebeest; Burchell's Zebra; Impala; Vervet Monkeys; Baboons; Hyena; Gerenuk (or Giraffe Gazelle); Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Bohor Reedbuck; Warthog; Rabbits; Golden Jackal; Bat-eared Fox; Lion; Cheetah; Serval; Eland; Kudu; Beisa Oryx; Puff Adder; Ostrich; Marabou; African Jacana; Knob-billed Duck; Superb Starling; Helmeted Guineafowl; Goliath Heron; Egyptian Geese; Great White Pelican; Pied Kingfisher; Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse; Cattle Egret; Tawny Eagle; Spur-winged Geese; Crowned Cranes; Little Egret; Lappet-faced Vulture; Oxpeckers; Blacksmiths Lapwing; Yellow Billed Stork; Sacred Ibis; Common Squacco Heron; Grey Heron; Great Egret; Black Headed Heron; Martial Eagle; Pale Eastern Chanting Goshawk; Kori Bustard.

Elephant at dusk
22nd Jul. 2005
We have travelled to Amboseli on the following three occasions:
  • Dec. 1994. A single night stop-over in Amboseli Serena Lodge towards the end of our first safari.
  • Dec. 1996. A single night stop-over fly-camping just before our wedding.
  • Jul. 2005. A four night stay in a seasonal camp.

West Chyulu Game Conservation Area, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Chyulu Hills Park.

The Chyulu Hills are a young formation formed by volcanic activity. The hillsides are covered with trees and bush with many lava flows spreading across the flat grassy plains, dotted with the occasional grassy knoll.

The quiet location means you can safari contentedly knowing it's unlikely you'll be disturbed by other vehicles. As a conservancy area walking safaris are possible, but you will still need an armed guard.
Family of giraffe
19th Jun. 2004
The game is limited but includes: Thomson's Gazelle; Wildebeest; Masai Giraffe; Beisa Oryx; Grants Gazelle; Black-backed Jackal; Elephant; Gerenuk; Rock Hyrax.

Tourists tend to drive through the area while travelling between Tsavo West and Amboseli, assuming the weather is good enough.

Again we have only been to this area once (although we were scheduled to cross the Chyulus on our first safari but had to divert because of heavy rains) while on a private safari in June 2004, staying at Ol Donyu Wuas for 2 nights.
It was a pleasure travelling with friends who are passionate about their country and touring into areas they have known all their lives, especially with a customised Land Rover with all the field luxuries you need for a good sundowner!

Lewa Wildlife Conservatory, Ke
Please follow this link to Lewa's own web site.
Lewa Downs is owned and run by the Craig family who have a number of properties and businesses established on the old ranch. As the name implies the area is covered by rolling grassy hills with few trees and swamps along the river. It is best known for its rhinoceros and Grevy Zebra breeding programmes.

As accommodation is limited you can safari on your own without seeing another vehicle all day. Walking, camel and night safaris are available, as well as horse riding.

There is plenty of game, including: Rhinoceros, both white and black; Elephant; Reticulated Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Zebra, both Grevys and Burchell's; Eland; Impala; Beisa Oryx; Defassa Waterbuck; Sitatunga; Gerenuk; Hare; Dik-dik; Warthog; Rock Hyrax; Bush-baby (their eyes are seen reflecting the light on night safaris); Vervet Monkey; Somali Ostrich ; Kori Bustard; Red-billed Hornbill ; Chestnut-bellied Kingfisher; Lilac-breasted Roller; Verreaux's Eagle Owl; Hadada Ibis; Tortoise.
The Sitatunga is a rare antelope that lives all its life in water or marshes. As such it is difficult to count, but since its re-introduction to Lewa some years before our visit it has flourished. Our Samburu guide hadn't seen it in the hide in 20 previous visits!
23rd Dec. 2002
We have been to Lewa twice:
  • Dec. 2002. Our first safari to an exclusive property.
  • Dec. 2007. A long awaited three night stop-over. The staff had changed since our original visit and we enjoyed our stay far better.

Loisaba, Ke
Please follow this link to Loisaba's own web page.

Loisaba is a privately owned working ranch which supports a number of wildlife studies, such as research in to the Wild Dog and tracking lions.
A pack of Wild Dogs - a rare treat. We watched them for 45 mins!
2nd Jan. 2004
The property spans an escarpment above the Ewaso Ng'iro River, with the ranch on the plateau which is pretty flat open grassland. The landscape below the escarpment is of low rolling hills with trees and scrub for the game to hide in.

Activities include: walking safaris; camel safaris; horse riding; quad biking; cycling. Loisaba is famous for their starbeds, which generates income for the local Samburu tribes that run and support them.
There is a lot of game, including: Elephant; Burchell's and Grevy's Zebra; Reticulated Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Defassa Waterbuck; Greater Kudu; Beisa Oryx; Eland; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Gerenuk; Steenbok; Klipspringer; Dik-dik; Warthog; Lion ; Leopard; Cheetah; Wild Dog; Black-backed Jackal; Rock Hyrax; Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Black-chested Snake-Eagle; Brown Snake-Eagle ; Hamerkop; Dark Chanting-Goshawk; Pale Chanting-Goshawk; White-bellied Go-away-bird; White-bellied Bustard; Speke's Weaver; Rufous-crowned Roller; Red-billed Hornbill; Common Buzzard; Little Bee-eater; Superb Starling; Rosy-patched Bush-shrike; Grey-headed Kingfisher; Von der Decken's Hornbill (often woke us up at dwn with its constant pecking); Tawny Eagle; Vulturine Guineafowl; Straw-tailed Whydah; Verreaux's Eagle-Owl; Long-tailed Widowbird; Grey Crowned Cranes; Augur Buzzard; Martial Eagle; Tortoise; Terrapin.

The hosts at the time made us feel so at home they became good friends and we kept going back. Unfortunately, they've now moved on and we haven't been back since.
  • Dec. 2002. Three night safari, after a few nights at Lewa.
  • Jun. 2003. Four nights after our escorted trip to the Aberdares.
  • Dec. 2003. Five nights, including the helicopter safari on New Year's day.

Lake Manyara National Park, Tz
Please follow this link to Lake Manyara National Park.
Lake Manyara is one of the series of soda (rather than fresh-water) lakes running through the Great Rift Valley. The park on its North Western shore is heavily wooded and best known for its tree-climbing Lions (we've only ever seen lions in trees in the Ngorongoro Crater!), trying to avoid the Tsetse flies that infest the area.

It's often used as a stop-off point to/from the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti.

The game includes: Elephant; Masai Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Wildebeest; Lion (although we haven't seen them); Impala; Dik-dik; Blue Monkey; Vervet Monkey; Baboon; Warthog; Turtle; Ostrich; Hamerkop; Flamingo; Silver-cheeked Hornbill; Ground Hornbill.
A pair of Ground Hornbills, pecking at a sign nailed to a tree - why?
27th Dec. 2000
We've only ever visited Manyara on our first safari to Tanzania with a single night's stop-over on 27th Dec. 2000.

Masai Mara, Ke
Please follow this link to Masai Mara Conservation Reserve.
Zebra and Wildebeest - the migration in full swing
20th Jul. 2005
The Masai Mara (no it's not a typo Maasai is reserved for the race) is probably the most famous game park in the world - a must for anybody travelling to East Africa. Well frankly we consider it over-rated, as it has far too many beds in too small an area making it difficult to get any animal photos without other buses in the shot! On our last safari we passed a convoy of 20+ buses trailing outside Keekerok Lodge at 16:10 on their way towards the river to see the migration! Such volumes of traffic obviously damage the environment so the park wardens have to block-off large areas for long periods to allow it to recover. This forces all vehicles into other areas and consequently damaging that as well!

The Masai Mara abuts the Serengeti in Tanzania and is a wide expanse of open grasslands spread across long rolling hills. There are a number of rivers crossing the area and patches of trees and bush.
Its popularity comes from the diversity of game and how easily it is spotted, including: Elephant; Rhinoceros; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Burchell's Zebra; Eland; Wildebeest; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni, as the locals like to refer to it); Topi; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Baboon; Vervet Monkey; Lion; Cheetah; Leopard; Spotted Hyena; Black-backed Jackal; Warthog; Marsh Mongoose; Rock Hyrax; Monitor Lizard; Ostrich; African White-backed Vulture; Helmeted Guineafowl; Secretary Bird; Rufous-crowned Roller; Lilac-breasted Roller; Rüppell's Griffon Vulture; Grey Crowned Crane; Crowned Lapwing; Yellow-billed Stork; Marabou (Stork); Eastern Chanting-Goshawk; Wattled Starling; Sacred Ibis; Egyptian Goose; Woolly-necked Stork; Lappet-faced Vulture; Grey Heron; White-bellied Bustard.

We've visited the Mara on three occasions:
  • Dec. 1994. Our very first game park, staying 2 nights at Keekerok Lodge.
  • Sept. 1999. A two night stay at the Mara Simba Lodge on the Tana River.
  • Jul. 2005. Four nights at the recently opened Ol Seki luxury camp, just outside the Mara.

Meru National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Meru National Park.

Until the early 2000's Meru had been in decline and attracted few visitors. KWS has improved the roads and restocked the area with game. The park still doesn't attract a lot of visitors as it is off the beaten track to the East of Mount Kenya. This gives you plenty of scope for good photography and observe the game in peace and quiet.
There is a variety of game, including: Rhinoceros (in a segregated reserve); Reticulated Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Common Waterbuck; Burchell's Zebra; Lesser Kudu; Impala: Grant's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Baboons; Lion; Black-backed Jackal; Rock Hyrax; Crocodile; Common and Somali Ostrich; African Fish Eagle; Martial Eagle; White Stork; Hamerkop; Grey-headed Kingfisher; Crowned Crane; Eastern Pale Chanting-Goshawk; Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill; Red-billed Hornbill; Guineafowl.
Buffalo smelling the air, as they are aware of our presence.
30th Dec. 2004
We've only visited Meru once on a four night safari after visiting Samburu in December 2004.

Nairobi National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Nairobi National Park.
Common Ostrich close to Nairobi
22nd Dec. 1994
Nairobi National Park is conveniently very close to the capital. Unfortunately as Nairobi expands it impacts on the park. So far the Western ring road runs alongside the SE boundary, but there are plans for the new Nairobi-Mombasa railway to cut the park in half.

The park has long rolling hills, cut through with streams with long grass,a few trees and watering holes.

This is the game we saw on our only visit: Bushbuck; Common Eland; African Buffalo; Kirk's Dik-dik; Grant's Gazelle; Thompson's Gazelle; Masai Giraffe; Rothschild's Giraffe; Blue Wildebeest; Coke's Hartebeest; Hippopotamus; Impala; Fringe-eared Oryx; Bohor Reedbuck; Common Waterbuck; Grant's Zebra; Chapman's Zebra; Black Rhinosceros; Vertvet Monkey; Nile Crocodile; Serrated-hinged Terrapin; Grey Heron; African Fish Eagle; Rüppell's Griffon Vulture; Secretary Bird; Long-tailed Comorant; Grey Crowned Crane; Eqyptian Geese; African Spoonbill; Helmeted Guineafowl; Saddle-billed Stork; Common Ostrich; Singing-bush Lark; Red-billed Oxpecker.
Considering all the years we have been travelling to East Africa we have only visited Nairobi National Park once, for a day on. 25th Dec. 2014.

Lake Nakuru National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru is a soda lake in the middle of the Great Rift Valley and considered a real gem with a wide variety of game and birds. This park encompasses the whole lake and its surrounding forests providing a protected area covering a extensive habitat and therefore suitable for wide range of game. It is particularly known for its rhino and flamingos which turn the lake pink.

This is the game we saw on our only visit: Rothschild Giraffe (one of the few locations they live); Warthog; Lion; Baboons; Rock Hyrax; Greater and Lesser Flamingos; Yellow-billed (or Intermediate) Egret.
Flamingos in Lake Nakuru
22nd Dec. 1994
We have only visited Nakuru on a fleeting visit for an afternoon during our first safari in December 1994. We are told this doesn't do it justice, as it needs longer to hunt down the more elusive animals, such as rhino.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, including the Crater, Tz
Please follow this link to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of my favourite locations as you're virtually guaranteed to see most of the game. This is where we saw the Big-Five in 13 minutes - and we weren't even on safari at the time! I would advise first timers to include it in their itinerary, as it alone will determine whether you get the bug as we did or not.

The Crater itself has its own eco-system with only the larger game migrating. You won't find giraffe inside the Crater but there are plenty on the North Western slopes leading down to Oldupai Gorge and the Serengeti. The Crater is only accessible with 4-wheel-drive vehicles due to the steep slopes. We understand the authorities have now restricted access to the Crater to half day rather than whole day passes and also increased the entrance fees. If this is so it gives less time to spot the game and you can no longer take a packed lunch to eat at the lakeside.
A family of six White Rhino (Black Rhino are solitary ).
24th Dec. 2000
Oldupai Gorge (better known as Olduvai Gorge - a misspelling by the earliest explorers to the area - oldupai is a wild variety of sisal that grows profusely in the area) is within the conservation area made famous by the Leakey's for discovering the earliest (at the time) evidence of man and his ancestors, including some footprints over 3.5 millions years old. The gorge itself looks like a jumble of rocks.

For those with a bit more time you may wish to follow the shifting sands - a crescent moon dune of black volcanic sand that marches across the landscape at 100m a year! There are other craters within the region and on one occasion we walked to the bottom of Empaki - not a task to be undertaken lightly - you will need to be fitter than average!
The extensive game, includes: Elephant; Rhinoceros; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Cape Buffalo; Wildebeest; Defassa Waterbuck; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Grant's Zebra ; Eland; Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Reedbuck; Warthogs; Lion; Leopard; Cheetah; Serval; Spotted Hyena; Black-backed Jackal; Golden Jackal; Bat-eared Fox; Baboons; Vervet Monkey; Rock Hyrax; Python; Common Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Cattle Egret; Yellow-billed Egret; Augur Buzzard; Short-toed Eagle; Lappet-faced Vulture; Rüppell's Vulture; Greater and Lesser Flamingos; Marabou; White Stork; Yellow-billed Stork; Sacred Ibis; Egyptian Geese; Crowned Crane; Grey Heron; Hamerkop; White Pelican; Saddle-billed Stork; Black-bellied Bustard; Helmeted Guineafowl; Blacksmith's Plover; Southern Pochard; Yellow-throated Sandgrouse; Oxpeckers; Grey-headed Gulls.

We've safaried in the Crater and the surrounding Conservation Area on the following three occasions:
  • Dec. 2000. Two night safari, on our first visit to Tanzania, where we also travelled to Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara.
  • May/Jun. 2001. Three night safari when we also returned to Tarangire.
  • Jul. 2002. Five nights, where we also visited Olduvai Gorge, the shifting sands and Empaki.

Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves, Ke
Please follow this link to Samburu's web-site for background information on Samburu and Buffalo Springs.

Samburu and Buffalo Springs are different parks separated by the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Samburu is bound to the North by high hills falling to the river in the South. It is dispersed with open plains, dense bush and forest which supports a wide range of game and is particularly well known for its cats. Buffalo Springs rises from the river in the North to low rolling hills in the South. It is cut by a few streams and has large open meadows, bush and trees offering similar diversity of game as Samburu.

You may have heard about the Lioness who adopted baby Oryx on three occasions. This happened here and we were safariing in the area the time it first occurred - but didn't find out about it until we got to the coast!
The game includes: Elephant; Hippopotamus; Reticulated Giraffe; Buffalo; Common Waterbuck; Beisa Oryx; both Burchell's and Grevy's Zebra; Gerenuk; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Baboon; Vervet Monkey; Lion; Leopard; Cheetah; Black-backed Jackal; Warthog; Marsh Mongoose; Dwarf Mongoose ; Rock Hyrax; Crocodile; Monitor Lizard; Tortoise; Turtle; Somali Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Marabou; Yellow-billed Stork; Secretary Bird; Grey Crowned Crane; Red-billed Hornbill; Bateleur (Eagle); Long-crested Eagle; Egyptian Geese; Vulturine Guineafowl; Eastern Pale Chanting-Goshawk; White-bellied Go-away Bird; Black-headed Heron; Yellow-necked Spurfowl; White-headed Buffalo-Weaver; White-crowned Shrike; Spur-winged Lapwing; Lilac-breasted Roller; Grey-headed Kingfisher.
We followed this Leopard for 3 miles! Such a thrill for our first visit to the area.
7th Jan. 2000
We've safaried in both parks on the following five occasions:
  • Jan. 2000. Two night safari, when we thought we would get some good cat shots before moving on to Tanzania.
  • Dec. 2001. A three night safari, chosen to give my Mother a good safari experience without too much travelling - we flew in both directions.
  • Dec. 2004. Another three night safari, before travelling on to Meru.
  • Dec. 2007. Four night safari, after our second visit to Lewa. We stayed at Oria Douglas-Hamilton's Elephant Watch Safaris, visited Save the Elephant's research centre. We met both Ian Douglas-Hamilton and Saba (as then) Douglas-Hamilton, who is very assured and welcoming.
  • May 2008. A return visit to Elephant Watch Safaris where Oria was hosting herself.
  • Dec. 2015. We returned to Elephant Watch Safaris where Saba was now the host. Frank, her husband managed Save the Elephant charity.
  • Dec. 2016. A further return to Elephant Watch Safaris after we had visited Oria and Iain at their lodge on Lake Naivasha.

Serengeti National Park, Tz
Please follow this link to Serengeti National Park.

The Serengeti National Park covers a large area of Tanzania abutting the Masai Mara in the North, Lake Victoria along the Western Corridor and down to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the South. Much of the area is covered in wide expanses of grassland interspersed with rocky kopjes. A few trees follow the water courses, being more dense in the Western Corridor.
Cheetah sitting in the grass below Naabi Hill.
25th Dec. 2000
Depending on the migration cycle it attracts very similar game to the Masai Mara, but visitors are much scarcer as there are far fewer beds, spread over a much wider area.

The game includes: Elephant; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Defassa Waterbuck; Wildebeest; Burchell's Zebra; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Topi; Eland; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Bohor and Mountain Reedbuck ; Lion; Leopard; Cheetah; Spotted Hyena; Warthog; Vervet Monkey; Rock Hyrax; Agama Lizard; Chameleon; Common Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Marabou; Grey Heron; Bateleur; Secretary Bird; Superb Starling; Lilac-breasted Roller; Lilian's Lovebird.
We've only visited the Serengeti for two nights on our first trip to Tanzania, in Dec. 2000 when we also went to Tarangire, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara.

Shimba Hills National Reserve, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Shimba Hills National Reserve.
Shimba Hills lies in the South Coast region of Kenya and runs parallel to the coast although 15-20 kms inland. As the name suggests the landscape is quite hilly with good views across the coastal plain. It has grassy meadows and woodland areas. There is one main lodge in the area, although it attracts many day visitors from the hotels along the coast.

The game includes: Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Impala; Sable Antelope; Baboons; Colobus Monkey; Sykes Monkey; Green Mamba (I always get a cartoon view of fright - reflecting the snake's and my reaction as we scared each other); Gecko; Grey-headed Kingfisher.
The elusive Sable Antelope - we had been searching for 2 days!.
23rd Dec. 2000
We've only been to Shimba Hills once for four nights in Dec. 2009 before travelling on to Tsavo West.

Shompole Conservancy, Ke
Please follow this link to Shompole Conservancy.

The Shompole Conservancy is located on the Kenya-Tanzania border to the North of Mount Shompole, an old volcano and Lake Natron. We travelled there after a long drought and so the area was very dry with daily temperatures in excess of 40°C (104°F in old money), so we were thankful for the individual plunge pools in our room which overlooked the landscape. The area included large termite mounds, 4m tall rising out of the sandy plain, dried soda lakes and low marsh areas.
Mount Shompole viewed looking across the Northern tip of Lake Natron
2rrd Dec. 2005
On one game drive we offered a herdsman who travelled each week between his village in Tanzania and the herd grazing on the Kenya side of the border. He covered the 60 miles on foot in a day, even during the soaring temperatures.

The game includes: Elephant; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Defassa Waterbuck; Wildebeest; Burchell's Zebra; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Topi; Eland; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Bohor and Mountain Reedbuck ; Lion; Leopard; Cheetah; Spotted Hyena; Warthog; Vervet Monkey; Rock Hyrax; Agama Lizard; Chameleon; Common Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Marabou; Grey Heron; Bateleur; Secretary Bird; Superb Starling; Lilac-breasted Roller; Lilian's Lovebird.
We've only visited Shompole once on a five night safari in Dec. 2005.

Tarangire National Park, Tz
Please follow this link to Tarangire's website.
Tarangire is situated in low hills and follows the Tarangire River and its many tributaries to the edge of Lake Burungi. The landscape is generally of wide grassy meadows, low scrub and areas of woodland. At many times of the year you'll need long sleeves, plenty of mozzie spray and handy rolled papers to fend off the abundant Tsetse flies infesting the area!

The game includes: Elephant; Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Wildebeest; Common Waterbuck; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Warthog; Baboons; Vervet Monkey; Lion; Leopard (although We've only saw its kill); Spotted Hyena; Rock Hyrax; Squirrel; Common Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Bateleur; Fish Eagle; Rüppell's Griffon Vulture; Goliath Heron; Ashy Starling (indigenous to the area); White-bellied Bustard; Yellow-necked Spurfowl; Oxpeckers.
We haven't seen larger troops of Baboon than in Tarangire - there must be hundreds in some troops
23rd Dec. 2000
We've been to Tarangire twice:
  • Dec. 2000. One night safari on our first trip to Tanzania, going on to the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Lake Manyara.
  • May 2001. A two night safari, on our second trip, also travelling to the Ngorongoro Crater.

Tsavo East National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Tsavo East National Park.

Tsavo East is probably the largest park in the whole of East Africa, but the area North of the Galana River is restricted and can only be entered with special dispensation from the authorities. Much of the park consists of long rolling hills covered in thick bush rising from the river in the North towards Taita Hills in the West. Just inside the park along the main Mombasa-Nairobi highway are areas of grassy meadows and swamps. The views from Voi Safari Lodge over their local watering hole out across the plains are magnificent and must not be missed!
Lioness lingering in the bushes - I can see my dinner!
29th Dec. 1998
If there has been little rain the game will congregate at the watering holes and along the river, but during wet periods it will disperse into the dense bush, when you'll have to help your driver in spotting. The game includes: Elephant; Rhinoceros; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Common and Defassa Waterbuck; Beisa Oryx; Wildebeest; Burchell's and Grevy's Zebra; Coke's Hartebeest (or Kongoni); Hirola (or Hunter's Hartebeest with straight horns - we were lucky to recognise it as others kept driving in Dec. 2006); Gerenuk; Impala; Grant's Gazelle; Thomson's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Lion; Leopard (finally spotted in Dec. 2010); Cheetah; Black-backed Jackal; Baboons; Vervet Monkey; Warthog; Rock Hyrax; Crocodile; Monitor Lizard; Agama Lizard; Tortoise; Common Ostrich; Kori Bustard; Marabou; Bateleur; Fish Eagle; Long-crested Eagle; Tawny Eagle; Secretary Bird; Brown Snake-Eagle; Spotted Eagle-Owl; Goshawk; Rüppell's Griffon Vulture; White Pelican; Grey Heron; Sacred Ibis; African Open-billed Stork; Egyptian Geese; Little Egret; Yellow-billed Stork; Spoonbill; Bustard; Helmeted Guineafowl; Hamerkop; Red-billed Quelea (flocking like the starlings in U.K.).
We've travelled to Tsavo East on ten occasions - the most we've visited anywhere. To some extent we use it as a reference, as we've travelled under many different conditions: dry; wet; after forest fires.
  • Jan. 1997. Our first visit followed our wedding. Although we had already done a single night's fly-camp in Amboseli beforehand one of the other couples suggested we try another single night in a prepared camp at Sobo.
  • Dec. 1997. A two night safari after heavy rains, when we travelled back to Kenya on our own - again at Sobo Camp.
  • Dec. 1998. Another two night safari following forest fires the previous year, at Sobo Camp.
  • Dec. 1999. Our Millennium reunion. We manage to sneak in a safari between heavy rains which washed the camp away a week after we left! Alison and I took our first safari to Samburu in the New Year on the same trip.
  • Aug. 2000. The Orphanage Safari. We sponsored a safari for 10 local orphans and just had to go on it to see what they got out of it!
  • Dec. 2006. A six day safari, including 3 nights at Galdessa Camp on the Galana River!
  • Dec. 2010. A four night safari, staying at the Ashnil Aruba Lodge. Although the accommodation is basic the location is excellent.
  • Dec. 2011. A three night safari, staying at the Kulalu Camp just outside Tsavo East on the Galana River. A very comfortable and welcoming camp. Galana Ranch runs its own conservancy on the North side of the river.
  • Dec. 2012. A five night safari, staying two nights at Galdessa and three at Kulalu Camp. Due to rains we were unable to cross the river into the Galana Conservancy and struggled to drive the track along the river between the two camps.
  • Dec. 2013. A five night safari, staying at Kulalu Camp. We were lucky to be able to cross the river twice during this safari. Once for a walking safari and the second on our last morning.

Tsavo West National Park, Ke
Please follow this link to KWS' web page on Tsavo West National Park.
Tsavo West lies to the West of the Mombasa-Nairobi highway. Volcanic activity in the Chyulu Hills to the North makes this area much hillier than Tsavo East and generates a wider range of landscapes. Roughly in the middle we have Mizuma Springs which provides a plentiful supply of fresh water to Mombasa some 100 miles away. Landscapes range from volcanic rocky hills, grassy or dry meadows (depending on how much grazing occurs), thick bush and tree laden river courses.

Game includes: Elephant; Hippopotamus; Masai Giraffe; Buffalo; Lesser Kudu; Beisa Oryx; Burchell's Zebra; Common Waterbuck; Eland; Impala; Thomson's Gazelle; Dik-dik; Bushbuck; Klipspringer; Warthog; Baboons; Vervet Monkey; Rock Hyrax; Monitor Lizard; Crocodile; Common Ostrich; Marabou; African Crowned Eagle; Long-tailed Cormorant; Hadada Ibis; Red-and-yellow Barbet.

We've been to Tsavo West three times:
  • Dec. 1994. Last night flying visit on our first safari. By this time we were all suffering from our ordeal in one way or another and didn't get much out of it.
  • Jun. 2004. A four night safari with local friends who wanted to take us on their ultimate safari, including Chyulu Hills. A much different experience!
  • Dec. 2009. A four night safari staying at Finch Hatton' tented camp after a three day trip to Shimba Hills. We nearly had to camp out in the bus after heavy rains caused the river to flood, but a 1 hour detour saw us through!
African Crowned Eagle just outside Finch Hatton's Camp. We think this was one of a pair of juveniles released the year before.
14thJun. 2004