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Top Destinations to See Lions in Kenya’s National Parks

Lion safaris are a highlight in Kenya, a country that was once part of the British Empire and now hides treasures like lions in its national parks. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from experiencing the beauty often described as ‘God’s handwriting.’ Aim for the sun and visit the following national parks:

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to over 1.5 million wildebeest who migrate from the Serengeti to Maasai Mara National Park in July, passing through the Mara River. In October, they return to the Serengeti, having completed their journey in search of fresh water and rich grasslands.

Lions stand ready to chase prey that emerge from hiding during dry seasons. The reserve offers a wealth of engaging activities, including interactions with the local Maasai people. The Maasai, known for their primitive belief that all cattle on earth are God-given, are cattle keepers and engage in cattle wrestling.

They do not practice agriculture, as they are constantly on the move in search of water and pasture. Adorned with colorful beaded necklaces and wearing red shuka cloth, historically the Maasai used animal skins for clothing but have adopted Western-style clothing. The Maasai’s vigorous jumping dance, often performed by young people about to get married, is a spectacle that attracts tourists.

It takes place in the presence of females, allowing them to choose potential husbands. Birdwatching is also popular in Maasai Mara, with species like African vultures, Secretary birds, ostriches, Marabou storks, hornbills, Tawny eagles, Saddle-billed storks, and bustards. Their morning chorus of harmonious voices delights tourists.

Another exciting activity is the hot air safari, allowing tourists to soar above the clouds and fly high. Note that this activity is not suitable for individuals afraid of heights. To participate in these activities, an entry fee of 70 USD for adults and 40 USD per child under 12 years (valid for 24 hours) is required.

Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park boasts the best hotels where you can stay after observing lions’ movements in the early morning and evenings. Accommodations include Lion’s Bluff Lodge, Rhino Valley Lodge, Severin Kitani Bandas Lodge, Hunters Lodge, Kasigau Conservation Trust, and many others.

Tsavo West was designated a National Park in 1948 to protect and conserve wildlife in the Taru Desert. It offers magnificent game viewing opportunities, with chances to spot elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, tigers, leopards, lions, cheetahs, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, snakes, and more.

Activities in the park include campfires, and tourists are advised to wear safari jackets, safari hats, and clothing. A first aid kit is also recommended for a comfortable experience. Nature walks are also available, with entry fees of 515 KSh for adult citizens, 215 KSh for children, and 52 USD for adult foreigners, while children pay 35 USD.

Tsavo East National Park

Located in the southeast of Kenya, Tsavo East National Park is easily accessible by road or air transport. Travelers from Nairobi can use the Mtito Andei gate, covering a distance of 233 km, while tourists from Mombasa travel 96 km.

Alternatively, travelers can fly from Nairobi, taking 4-5 hours, or from Mombasa, taking 2-4 hours to reach the park. Tsavo East boasts a diverse range of wildlife, including carnivores, reptiles, primates, and herbivores, attracting numerous tourists worldwide.

Well-equipped accommodations include Satoa Tented Camp, Sentrim Tsavo East Camp, Ashnil Aruba Lodge, Voi Wildlife Lodge, Voi Safari Lodge, Ithumba Camp, and more. Activities in the park include lion viewing, birdwatching, hiking, nature walks, camping, and more.

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is renowned for its proximity to majestic elephants. Located in Kajiado County, it is also home to herbivores such as rhinos, giraffes, zebras, and carnivores including lions (known for their distinct spots and golden cubs), tigers, leopards, cheetahs, primates, and reptiles.

The entry fee for the park allows you to witness this wonderland, with 600 KSh for adult citizens and 800 KSh for children. Residents pay 600 KSh for adults and 800 KSh for children, while non-residents pay 40 USD for adults and 70 USD for children.

The park offers various accommodations, ranging from luxury to moderate, including Tawi Lodge, Kilima Safari Camp, Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge, Amboseli Eco Camp, Little Manyara Camp, and more.

Samburu National Reserve

Samburu National Reserve attracts many tourists eager to observe lions, leopards, tigers, elephants, rhinos, crocodiles, snakes, monkeys, and more. Trackers conduct research while walking throughout the landscape.

This park offers activities such as tracking, birdwatching, hiking, trekking, with entry fees ranging from 1,000-2,000 KSh for adults and 300-1,000 KSh for children who are citizens. Foreigners pay 80-120 USD for adults and 45-75 USD for children.

Access to the park is possible by road or air transport. Well-organized hotels such as Samburu Elephant Lodge, Sarova Shaba Game Lodge, Samburu Lodge, among others, ensure a comfortable stay.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park, with its shimmering lake, is home to various carnivores including lions, leopards, tigers, and herbivores like zebras, rhinos, buffaloes. It also houses reptiles such as snakes and lizards, as well as primates like monkeys and gorillas.

Visit now to see lions roaring with their cubs and the warbling birds in the trees. Access to the park can be by road or air transport. It is advisable to book in advance to avoid delays on the way.

Hotels in the area include Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge, Sarova Woodlands Hotel, and more.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park, located just 7 km away from the city, offers an entry fee of 400 KSh for adults and 215 KSh for children (citizens), while foreigners pay 35 USD for adults and 20 USD for children.

The park is rich in reptiles, carnivores, herbivores, and primates. Various accommodations are available, including Hotel Troy, Bermuda Gardens Hotel, The Panari Hotel, The Nairobi Safari Club, and more.

Wherever your heart is, that’s where you will find your treasure. It’s never too late to do what you ought to do. Board now and fly to the land of Kenya.

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