Animals in Kenya
Animals in Kenya: Kenya has a variety of animals not only in national parks and game reserves, but also in the open grassland where game has co-existed with communities for hundreds of years.
Animals Of Kenya
Kenya Animals – Birds of Kenya
Birds, too, the big and small, are prominent, including flamingoes, vultures and ostriches. Birds are special in helping identify rich biodiversity and Kenya has more than 1,000 species. It has at least 60 Important Bird Areas (IBAs). These are places of global importance for bird conservation. They have threatened and special species.
Endangered Animals in Kenya
Today, there are many animal varieties, but some have become extinct. Wildlife is a leading tourist attraction in Kenya. The areas hosting game are protected in 33 national parks and reserves. Kenya’s fauna comprises more than 80 major species of animals.
Rain forests are home to Kenya’s unique species of animals – chameleons, squirrels, bats, frogs, monkeys and birds.
Forests in the central highlands are mostly mountainous and have afro-alpine vegetation.
The Big Five Animals in Kenya
1. The Lions in Kenya
Category: Kenya Animals
Lions are one of the main attractions of the game reserves in Kenya and are found in all the main ones. Lion spend most of the day lying under bushes or in other attractive places and when you see a pride stretched out in the sun like this, they seem incredibly docile.
For more information please visit: The Lion in Kenya
2. Elephants in Kenya
Category: Kenya Animals
Elephants in Kenya– It is the world’s largest land animal. Kenya has about 30,000 elephants, with an estimated 10,000 in the, Tsavo/Mkomazi ecosystem. One of the best places to see elephants is in the Amboseli Game Reserve. This is the home of late ‘Echo,’ the matriarch one of the herds studied by Cynthia Moss and featured in the book and documentary ‘Echo of the Elephants.
For more information please visit: Kenya Elephant
3. Leopard in Kenya
Category: Kenya Animals
Leopard in Kenya – The leopard is perhaps the most graceful and agile of the large cats. A powerfully built animal which uses cunning to catch its prey, it is present in all the major game reserves but is difficult to find as it is nocturnal and spends the day resting on branches of trees, often up to five metres above the ground.
For more information please visit: Leopard in Kenya
4. Rhinos in Kenya
Category: Animals in Kenya
One of Africa’s most sought-after species by poachers, the numbers of black rhino in Kenya have fallen dramatically in the past, though they are now once again on the increase, thanks to some determined conservation efforts. They are now thought to number around 500, compared with around 20,000 in 1970!
Rhino are one of the more difficult animals to sight, simply because they’re so few in numbers compared to other wildlife. They are seen in Amboseli quite often, and also in Masai Mara, Tsavo East (rarely), Nairobi National Park and Nakuru. Rhino usually feed in the very early morning or late afternoon; at other times they tend to keep out of sight.
For more information please visit: Rhinos in Kenya
5. Kenya Buffalo
Category: Animals in Kenya
Kenya Buffalo is a massive, moody and dangerous animal. Its main diet is grass, but at times leaves and buds make up the greater part of its feeding. It kills more people than lions or crocodiles.
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Old lone male buffaloes even lie in wait and ambush people, and it is dangerous for tourists to walk outside the grounds of a lodge or camp between a buffalo herd and their mid-morning drink.
For more information please visit: Kenya Buffalo
Kenya wildlife and where to find them…
Kenya is the best-known safari destination in the world. She is also the land where, in the early 1900s, the safari began. Safaris in those days were momentous undertakings requiring months of planning, covering hundreds of miles and lasting for many months.
It is said that the cavalcade of American ex-president, Theodore Roosevelt, which set off from Mombasa in 1909, stretched for over a mile, created a dust cloud that obliterated half the town and featured 250 porters carrying everything from a travelling library to four tons of preserving salt.
On their travels, Roosevelt and his son Kermit, were horribly successful in finding fantastic beasts, killing seventeen lions, three leopards, eleven elephants, ten buffalos, eleven black rhinos and nine white – all in the name of scientific discovery for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.
Where to find animals in Kenya
Today’s safari hunters set out in much more modest style. They’re also, mercifully, after shots of rather than shots at the fantastic beasts their predecessors labelled the ‘Big Five’ (lion, buffalo, rhinoceros, leopard and elephant). Given that Kenya boasts over 56 national parks and reserves, however, finding such creatures on a safari that may last only a few days requires either supreme luck or inside knowledge.
And even then it’s not as easy as you may think. Look for an elephant in the vastness of Tsavo West National Park, one of the country’s most famous, and you might never find one. There are over 10,000 in residence, but you have to know where to look. Hang out for a leopard in any Kenyan national park and you might wait weeks for a glimpse of its celebrated spots, though its nose might have been inches from your own, had you but known it.
Lions, for all their size, are past masters of the art of seeing without being seen. And as for rhinos, you’d be surprised at how quickly such a startlingly prehistoric creature can vanish into thin air. Finally, were you to find a buffalo in Hell’s Gate National Park, one of only two parks wherein you are permitted to walk unescorted, you might wish you hadn’t: buffalos are notoriously cantankerous and exceptionally dangerous, especially old lone bulls when disturbed mid-afternoon-nap.
Where to find leopards in Kenya
Enigmatic and elusive, it is said by those who know about leopards that you’ll only get to see one if it lets you. When you do, you may find its gaze strangely disconcerting as it looks, sphinx-like, straight through you. Notoriously difficult to tick the safari box on, leopards inhabit most of Kenya’s parks and conservancies but are best seen in the latter. Top spots include the Masai Mara National Reserve, where they tend to keep to the riverine edges waiting for the zebras and wildebeest to come down to drink, and the surrounding Mara conservancies. Also prime leopard country are the Aberdares and Kenya’s biggest park, Tsavo East and West where the perceived wisdom is that during the day your only chance of locating a leopard is to keep your gaze resolutely UP, with your eyes focussed on the forks of trees. Why? Because leopards like to use forked trees as game larders. Then you just have to look for the twitching of a tail.
Where to find lions in Kenya
Lions get everywhere, or so the safari guides would have you believe. They’ll tell you tall tales of lions dropping through the pop-up tops of safari vehicles, wandering through camps to the consternation of the campers, and snoozing on the sun loungers of the lodges. And, while such things have happened, they don’t happen often because lions are none too keen on the company of man, their only predator.
Lion spotting for the amateur, then, is best done under the guidance of a professional safari guide. These are the guys who always know where to find the resident prides; and who can produce them like large and particularly fearsome rabbits out of hats.
In the lead for lion-location is Kenya’s most famous reserve, the Masai Mara, where around one thousand lions have been so thoroughly catalogued that they have their own database. So, when you’ve located your lion, all you need to do is to determine whether or not it has spots on its nose, chunks out of its ears or a particularly unusual placement of whiskers – and you can get to know its name, number and life history.
An even better bet in the lion stakes is to be had in the conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara where each pride holds fast to its own bitterly fought-for territory and where, though the visitor-numbers are low, the lions are so habituated to the presence of vehicles at close range that you might find yourself the only observer of an enchanting family scene of lion, lioness and cubs at play.
And then there’s Tsavo West National Park, which lies equidistant between Nairobi and the coast, and is
home to one-third of all the lions in Kenya – some 700 of the fantastic beasts. An evocative wilderness of volcanoes, crystal-clear pools and palm-fringed rivers, Tsavo was also home to Kenya’s most famous man-eating lions, which, in the late 19th century, devoured at least 35 Indian railway workers thus playing havoc with the building of the Uganda Railway.
Finally, for lions from a different perspective, head for Lake Nakuru National Park where some 50 rare tree-climbing lions loll about in trees like formidably overgrown kittens.
Where to find elephants in Kenya
Elephants, despite their size, can be elusive; amazingly, they can even be mistaken for bushes; while in dense undergrowth eight tons of elephant can appear and disappear in the blink of an eye. One reserve that won’t disappoint you on the elephant front, however, is Amboseli, one of Kenya’s oldest and most-visited.
Home to one of the world’s most famous free-moving elephant populations, Amboseli National Reserve hosts some 1,200 elephants, which have been so extensively tracked, recorded and filmed that they’re almost household names. Nor does it take much effort to find them.
Nine times out of ten you’ll come across a herd or two wallowing in their favourite spot – the Amboseli swamps. The last remnants of a once great lake, which flourished over one million years ago, the Amboseli swamps paint a broad brush-stroke of vivid emerald green across the centre of this otherwise stark park. Fed by underground streams flowing directly from Mount Kilimanjaro, the swamps are cool, unpolluted and deliciously (for elephants) muddy.
They also offer the near-perfect photo opportunity for catching a herd of elephants, muddied up to their middles, dogged by white cattle egret and squelching happily through the papyrus while fetchingly posed against the backdrop of the famous
snows of Kilimanjaro.
For those who’d like their elephants concentrated, against a less theatrical backdrop, Mwaluganje Elephant Sanctuary has it all. An elephant migration route as old as time, this reserve boasts 150 elephants wandering in only 24 square kilometres of rugged terrain – that’s a lot of bang for your elephant buck. The Sanctuary also has a shop where you can purchase your own supply of elephant-dung writing paper.
What’s more, since the Shimba Hills National Reserve is right next door, so you can also drop in to catch its population of 200 elephants as they stroll picturesquely against gently rolling woodlands, which look as though they’ve been geographically misplaced and should be in Northern Europe, while below the hills crash the breakers of Kenya’s celebrated southern coast.
Where to find buffalos in Kenya
It’s been said that a buffalo resembles a cow on steroids, and it’s not far from the truth. Though usually docile and cow-like, the Cape buffalo is equipped with a particularly dangerous set of curling horns, which are responsible for killing more people in Africa than virtually any other creature (except the hippopotamus).
Widespread throughout Kenya, buffalos are an accepted part of the scenery in most of the national parks. For a really close encounter with a buffalo, however, you should head for Hell’s Gate National Park, close to Lake Naivasha. Here you can run, walk or ride a bike past the buffalo herds, though you’d be well advised not to get too close.
Despite their difference in size, buffalos and oxpeckers have formed a symbiotic relationship that works for both of them. The buffalos tolerate the attentions of the oxpeckers because they remove the parasitic ticks that can cause disease in oxen. And the oxpeckers dine regally on both the ticks and the flies that are attracted by the buffalos. Oxpeckers are members of the starling family and are endemic to the savanna lands of Africa. Their name arises from their habit of perching on large mammals such as cattle,
zebra, impalas, hippos and rhinos, and eating ticks, small insects, larvae and other parasites.
Where to find rhinos in Kenya
Ruthlessly hunted for its horn, which is widely used in Chinese medicine and much prized as a dagger handle in the Middle East, the black rhino came close to extinction at the close of the last century and remains Africa’s most endangered large mammal. Kenya has around 600 eastern black rhinos, half of all those remaining on earth and 90% of those remaining in the wild. It also has around 350 white rhinos.
What’s the difference between a black and a white rhino you might ask? Well, it’s not, as you might think, to do with their colour – because both are determinedly grey. In fact, the derivation of the name ‘white’ originates from the Afrikaans for ‘wide’ which is ‘weit’ and refers to the width of the white rhino’s lip, which is especially adapted to grazing.
The black rhino, on the other hand, has a triangular, prehensile lip more adapted to browsing on leaves and shrubs. An easier method of telling them apart, however, is that white rhinos are considerably bigger than black rhinos.
But where to find rhinos?
The quickest way to find a rhino, given that you are passing through Nairobi, is to head for Nairobi National Park, which can be reached in 15 minutes from the city centre. Known as the Rhino Ark, thanks to its success in rhino breeding, it shelters 50 black rhinos, which browse the plains and can even be spotted as your plane comes in to land at Nairobi airport.
Beyond Nairobi, Kenya’s largest population of rhinos lives in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy of central Kenya. Here over 100 black rhinos roam a very varied biosphere, while a number of trans-located white rhinos can be viewed at close quarters in their enclosure.
This is particularly rewarding at feeding time when they munch their way through bucket-loads of carrots, celery and cabbage. Close by is Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, one of Kenya’s most famous rhino conservation strongholds which, in 2014, opened its borders to the neighbouring conservancy of Borana, to create one of the world’s most important rhino sanctuaries, with a combined black rhino population almost 90 strong.
Other remarkable rhino spotting venues include Lake Nakuru, where you can snap a rhino set against the flamingo-fringed shores of the lake; and Meru National Park, where the dedicated rhino sanctuary hosts around 25 black and 55 white rhinos.
Finally, for a place where it is impossible NOT to see a rhino, head for Solio Ranch, just north of Nyeri, which holds the title for hosting ‘the highest density of rhinos per square kilometre in Africa.’ Here, you can see concentrations of up to 50 rhinos at a time. In fact so prevalent are the rhinos on the landscape that it’s hard to take a photograph without one of them pausing obligingly to pose.
Kenya Animals – Animals found in Kenya
- Antelopes in Kenya
- Baboon in Kenya
- Black and White Rhino in Kenya
- Black & White Colobus Monkey in Kenya
- Bongo Antelope in Kenya
- Buffalo in Kenya
- Bushbuck Antelope in Kenya
- Bush Duiker in Kenya
- Cheetahs in Kenya
- Civet in Kenya
- Colobus Monkeys in Kenya
- Crocodiles of the Mara
- Eland Antelope in Kenya
- Flamingos in kenya
- Genet in Kenya
- Gerenuk Antelope in Kenya
- Grant Gazelle in Kenya
- Greater Bushbaby in Kenya
- Greater Kudu Antelope in Kenya
- Hartebeest Antelope in Kenya
- Hippopotamus in Kenya
- Hunting Dog in Kenya
- Hyena in Kenya
- Hyrax – Dassie in Kenya
- Impala in Kenya
- Jackal in Kenya
- Kenya Buffalo
- Elephants in Kenya
- Kenyan Giraffe
- Kenyan Leopard
- Kenya Zebra’s Stripes Uncovered
- Kirks Dik Dik Antelope in Kenya
- Klipspringer Antelope in Kenya
- Leopard in Kenya
- Lesser Kudu Antelope in Kenya
- Lions in Kenya
- Mongoose in Kenya
- Oribi Antelope in Kenya
- Oryx Antelope in Kenya
- Ostrich in Kenya
- Rhinos in Kenya
- Roan Antelope in Kenya
- Sable Antelope in Kenya
- Serval in Kenya
- Sitatunga Antelope in Kenya
- Thomson’s Gazelle in Kenya
- Topi Antelope in Kenya
- Vervet – Green Monkey – Grivet in Kenya
- Vulture in Kenya
- Warthog in Kenya
- Waterbuck in Kenya
- Wildebeest in Kenya
- Zebras in Kenya