The Big Five Game Safaris In Kenya

Big Five Game Safaris In Kenya

The big 5 African game safari has always been and still is traveler’s bucket-list wilderness experience. An encounter with the Big 5 game in the wild is amazing such a memorable experience that any enthusiastic nature lover should expect while on Kenya safaris.

When it comes to big 5 game safaris in Africa, Kenya is one unique destination to consider a must-visit and you won’t regret spending a holiday in this magical country. With the big game and lots of other wildlife awaiting you to explore, it is with no doubt that Kenya is perhaps famous as a home to African safaris.

The Big 5 Game

All the big five games in Africa can be spotted in Kenya that is African elephants, lions, leopards, Rhinos, and buffaloes. They took the name- the big five considering the fact that they were the hardest animals to hunt on foot in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Today, 4 of the big 5 game members are listed among the endangered species making them such special creatures to see in the wild.

Leopard and lion population in the wild is steadily declining to make them vulnerable to extinction. The elephants on the other hand are endangered, however, efforts to save, protect and conserve them are in place. Regardless of banning the sale of ivory by most nations, elephants still remain as vulnerable species as poaching and habitat loss are still practiced. Rhinos especially the black ones are on the list of critically endangered species.

Where to go for big five game safaris in Kenya

Masai Mara National Reserve

Located in the Rift Valley area, Southwest of Kenya Narok county is a spectacular Masai Mara National Reserve. To most nature lovers on Kenya safaris, Maasai Mara is a favorite place to see wildebeests but it is amazing, a complete destination with all the big five game- rhinos, buffaloes, elephants, lions, leopards.

Masai Mara National Reserve offers an excellent view of the big game plus other wildlife species as they freely roam in its savanna grassland. This nature reserve is vast, occupying an area of 1510sq.kms and it is governed by Trans-Mara and Narok County Councils.

Other than the big 5 game, Masai Mara also protects thousands of other wildlife including Thompson’s gazelles, topis, cheetahs, elands, wildebeests, zebras, hippos, crocodiles, plus over 500 bird species. The birds that range within Mara Reserve include among others the Fischer’s sparrow lark, black-bellied bustard, ostriches, Sooty chats, long-billed pipit;

foxy lark, grey kestrel, yellow mantled and red collared widow birds, African pygmy falcons, weaver birds, white-headed barbet, Isabelline wheatears, secretary bird, kingfishers, bare-faced go-away bird, and more.

Amboseli National Park

Of Amboseli National Park’s 50 mammal species, there is a significant population of big five game. Famous as a home to the giants, Amboseli lies in Loitoktok district along with the Rift Valley Province. It is a 4 hours drive from Nairobi and features second after Masai Mara as the most famous parks in Kenya.

Amboseli is a designated UNESCO Man Biosphere Reserve and it is known for its large herds of elephants. However, it protects other wildlife such as buffaloes, cheetahs, leopards, mongoose, giraffes, kudus, lions, crocodiles, over 600 bird species, zebras and others.

Tsavo National Park

Tsavo National Park is the biggest of Kenya’s National Park, spanning on land area of 22000sq.kms. The conservation area is comprised of 2 parks- Tsavo East and Tsavo West, located in the Coast Province of Kenya.

The Tsavo National Park is popular for its red elephants, buffaloes, black rhinos, leopards, lions. It also protects a diversity of other wildlife including the lesser kudu, hartebeests, Maasai giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and birds.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Located South of Nakuru Town, Lake Nakuru National Park ‘A beautiful wildlife haven’ isn’t only home to pink flamingos but also big game. The alkaline park protects big game such as black and white rhinos, lions, leopards, buffaloes and in addition, there are waterbucks, elands.

Lewa Conservancy is another special place worth considering for viewing the big game. This is found in the Northern side of Kenya, founded in 1995 to shelter the critically endangered black rhinos, grevy’s zebras. Lewa has all the big 5 game- elephants, leopards, buffaloes, lions, and rhinos.

When to visit Kenya for big five game safaris

The dry or peak season is the best period of the year to visit Kenya to spot big five game safaris and that is from July, August, September to October; December, January to February.

For a memorable big five-game safari in Kenya, here are some of the items you should carry; long pants or short pants, cotton socks, long-sleeved shirts, a wide-brimmed hat, camera with extra batteries, daypack, waterproof walking boots or shoes, sweater, rain jacket.