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AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK :: LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK :: MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE :: NAIROBI :: SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Situated near the Tanzania border at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Amboseli National Park is one of Kenya's most popular national parks. Here, visitors have the chance to meet indigenous Maasai, marvel at majestic, 18,652-foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro, and encounter some 600 species of birds and a wide range of animals, including cheetah, giraffe, hyena, zebra, and huge herds of elephants.
Dominated by gentle hills, open bush, dense woodlands, and shimmering waterfalls, Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley is famous for the pink flamingos that feed in its alkaline waters, as well as for its population of hippos, zebras, Rothschild giraffes, lions, leopards, cheetahs, water buffalo, pythons, baboons, and over 400 species of birds. The lake was established as a national park in 1961 and as a rhino sanctuary in 1983.
Considered one of Africa's finest wildlife reserves, Kenya's world-famous Maasai Mara is home to rolling grasslands, the tall, red-robed Maasai people, and abundant wildlife, with panoramic landscapes that inspired films such as Out of Africa. Here, visitors may encounter the "Big 9"—Cape buffalo, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, hippo, leopard, lion, rhino, and zebra, as well as hyena, jackal, mongoose, baboon and other primates, warthog, antelope, and crocodile.
Dubbed the "Safari Capital of the World," cosmopolitan Nairobi is the capital and largest city in Kenya. Popular attractions here include Nairobi National Park, one of Kenya's thriving rhino sanctuaries and home to giraffe, zebra, ostrich, baboon, cheetah, and lion; Nairobi National Museum; Karen Blixen Museum, dedicated to the author of Out of Africa; the Giraffe Center, founded to protect the endangered Rothschild's Giraffe; and Bomas of Kenya, a village showcasing the rich cultures of Kenya's various tribal groups.
One of the more remote national parks, central Kenya's Samburu sits serenely along the Ewaso Nyiro River in the Rift Valley, a magnet for wildlife in this arid landscape. Among the frequently sighted animals are the "Samburu Special Five"—Grevy's zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, and the beisa oryx—as well as the lion, cheetah, the elusive leopard, elephant, African wild hog, a huge population of Nile crocodile, over 450 species of birds, and the endangered pancake tortoise. Popular activities include the opportunity to visit a local Samburu village and experience the colorful native culture in its traditional setting.
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