Safaris In Africa

Kenya: What to Expect on a Kenyan Wildlife Adventure

Giraffe Centre Nairobi
Written by See Africa Today

Kenya is an excellent place for wildlife adventure all year, thanks to its temperate environment and diverse species. There are just two wet seasons in Kenya that can affect your wildlife safari – the short and long rains.

Heavy downpours flood rivers and convert dirt roads to sticky mud in April and May during the long rains. During this time, some lodges and campers may close.

From November through December, the short rains take over. There are midday thundershowers but are short-lived. Game watching is still excellent, photographic conditions are ideal, and there aren’t many tourists in the area.

During your adventure, expect to sight the following wild animals.

Cheetah

A cheetah in Kenya

A cheetah in Kenya. Photo/Expert Africa

When you’re the world’s fastest land animal (capable of speeds of over 100 km/h or 60 mph), you need flat, open regions to hunt down your prey. One of the most thrilling sights you’ll see on a wildlife adventure in Kenya is watching these quick felines hunt.

In Kenya, where can you see cheetahs?

Cheetahs climb to the top of termite mounds to watch the Masai Mara wildlife and spot their next meal. The Masai Mara’s relatively flat and treeless landscape is an ideal hunting ground for these Kenya animals. There are enough termite mounds to use as lookout points – cheetahs climb to the top to keep an eye on them the Masai Mara wildlife and spot their next meal.

Crocodile

You will find the Nile crocodile across Kenya, primarily in aquatic habitats such as lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshlands. An adult male can grow five metres (16 feet) long and weigh up to 750 kilograms (1 650 pounds).

It is Africa’s largest freshwater predator, capable of killing practically any animal that comes within its range. They are omnivores who eat fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

Around August each year, a million wildebeests run the gauntlet of Nile crocodiles to reach the Kenyan banks of the Mara River — an annual feast for these apex predators! This is a heart-stopping wildlife adventure.

Amboseli National Park Masai Mara National Park and Mamba Village in Mombasa are some of the places you can see crocodiles.

Giraffe

Giraffes are another Kenyan species that you’ll see in abundance all around the country. They’re a common sighting for most safari visitors. It’s a real treat to see the world’s biggest terrestrial species awkwardly shift into a wide-legged position to drink water!

Where can you see giraffes in Kenya?

On a Kenya wildlife adventure, you’ll observe the following subspecies of the giraffe:

You will see Rothschild’s giraffe (one of the most endangered) close at The Giraffe Centre or Giraffe Manor in Nairobi. Lake Nakuru National Park is also a significant fortification.

The best places to see reticulated giraffes are Samburu National Reserve and Meru National Park.

Masai giraffes are in large numbers in Kenya’s largest parks, such as the Masai Mara and Amboseli.

Hippopotamus

The beauty of iSmangaliso Wetland Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

The beautiful ecosystem of iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa. [Photo by isimangaliso.com]

It’s no wonder that you’ll find vast pods of these animals in Kenya’s rivers, lakes, and swamps, as their name comes from the ancient Greek meaning “river horse.” The hippo’s closest living relatives are cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, etc).

Despite their pig-like appearance. The hippo is one of the most dangerous creatures on the planet because of its aggressive and unpredictable character, especially when they emerge from the water to graze at night.

The daily, chortling soap opera of territorial males will keep you entertained if you stay at a safari resort or camp near a river or lake.

Where can you see a hippo in Kenya?

Although you’ll find hippos in abundance around Kenya’s permanent water sources, the following are the most important sites to watch hippos on a wildlife adventure in Kenya:

The wetlands and lakes of Amboseli National Park

Talek and Mara Rivers in the Masai Mara

Streams and rivers in Meru National Park

Masai Mara safari in Kenya’s Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Naivasha

Hyena

Hyenas, the eternal opportunists. They are seldomly far from a kill made by predators such as lions and cheetahs. When they spot the appropriate opportunity, these chuckling scavengers will grab any scrap of flesh from any predator.

Hyenas have a terrible image due to their ferocious behaviour and hideous look, but they (together with vultures and jackals) play an essential function in the ecology by eating carrion.

Where can you see a hyena in Kenya?

Amboseli National Park Masai Mara National Park Meru National Park

Wild Dog

A pack of wild dogs (also known as painted wolves) is one of the most exciting sights to see on any safari. Habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict, and disease outbreaks threaten the African wild dog population. This is why it is now an endangered species.

These canids possess all qualities that make a predator perfect: acute intelligence, excellent cooperation, superior hearing, great physical strength, exceptional vision, and sheer speed. If you’re ever lucky enough to hear your safari guide say they have spotted that wild dog, you’ll feel a rush of adrenaline!

Where can you see wild dogs in Kenya?

The population of wild dogs in Samburu and the Laikipia region is increasing, so your chances of encountering them on your Kenya wildlife adventure are good. Laikipia is presently the second-largest wild dog range in Africa (behind Botswana).

Wildebeest

Although wildebeests are in large numbers throughout Kenya’s wildlife areas, it is best to witness a million of them in one place between July and November.

The Great Wildebeest Migration, one of the last significant terrestrial wildlife movements on the globe, arrives in the Masai Mara at this time. Possibly the best animal show on the planet!

August is the perfect season to see the action-packed river crossings from the Serengeti to the Mara and the most popular period to visit Kenya for a wildlife safari. The Mara may fill up quickly, so start preparing at least a year ahead of time. Staying in one of the private conservancies bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve is also a good idea. While still close to the Migration’s hotspots, you’ll have a more serene safari experience here.

Zebra

wildlife adventure

A Kenyan wildlife adventure will have you enjoy Zebra sights. Photo/Expert Africa

You can find these striped equines in a range of habitats throughout Kenya, including savannahs, grasslands, forests, shrublands, and hilly locations. Although you may find them in most of Kenya’s wildlife areas, hundreds of thousands of them migrate into the Masai Mara each year as part of the Wildebeest Migration.

Where can you see zebras in Kenya?

The common plains zebra (found in all Kenyan wildlife parks) and Grevy’s zebra are the two subspecies of zebra found among Kenya’s wildlife.

Grevy’s zebra, often known as the imperial zebra, is the world’s largest wild equid and the most endangered zebra species. On a wildlife trip in Kenya, the best places to see Grevy’s zebra are the Samburu National Reserve and the Laikipia region.

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