Game viewing/game drives is the best sought out activity by almost all travellers who want to entangle with Kenya’s natural surroundings. It is carried out in all Wilderness national parks in all African countries. Game viewing is always conducted under the guidance of a ranger guide or guide drive who takes you through a great astonishing search of the predators and prey in the park wilderness. You will never go to any park and fail to engage in this kind of activity to spot the roaming wild creatures grazing and tough ones feasting on the weak ones. The wild is rewarding to those who yearn to explore and seek to encounter the big five mammals in their habitat.
Self-drive in an African country require confidence to drive on strange roads and off-beaten tracks for travellers from European countries. I won’t say you will find it easy to self-drive in Africa but expect maximum adventure as a reward from the road experience.
Self-drive and game drives are two different things carried out by one person on a safari. For self-drive travellers drive at their own pace from a hired car but game drives are only carried out in the park wilderness following game tracks in a safari vehicle. Game viewing is conducted in three different time intervals which is in very early in the morning, afternoon and night game drives.
This is one of the most rewarding activity where tourists get to sight some of the rare creatures coming out of their hide outs to hunt for food. It is spectacular to observe the sun rising to brighten up your day as you venture into a great search of the parker’s beasts. The adventure always starts very early in the morning with a morning delicious meal at the hotel/lodge and head for the park’s tracking routes for an amazing search. You will encounter some of the big five popular wild creatures and other park wildlife. The weather is always cool in the morning hours and wildlife creatures embrace it by responding to the morning rise.
This usually starts in the late afternoon hours after lunch meals and some refreshments or rest to gain energy to take you throughout this exciting afternoon session in the wilderness. These are usually guided game drives under 4×4 wheel drive open sided game vehicle designed to offer clear view of the park wilderness. This session is different from the night game drive and usually have different time intervals. The wilderness is also rewarding as tourists get to catch up with the creatures as they close up for a day and head to their resting grounds. The activity usually starts at around 3:30pm to 6:30pm and usually lasts to 2-3hours and by the end of the session you can’t miss to see any of the big five and additional reward of other park creatures, Vegetation types and innumerable bird species recorded.
Some national parks do not allow night game drives for some reasons untold but I would say lack of necessary equipments to take you through the night tracking session and of course security reasons. During night hours the big cats are active looking out for the preys. As the night calls some tourists embark on a guided incredible night game drive in search of the nocturnal creatures.
These are referred to as Kenya’s big five and are spotted in other African national parks in different African parks. Some clients are puzzled why these creatures are referred to as the big five and the answer is that they are difficult to hunt and are dangerous in nature. The African big five mammals in Kenya include elephants, African buffaloes, leopards, lions and rhinos. Encountering the big five fierce mammals is every tourists dream and Kenya national parks are there to make the dream come true.
The big five mammals are found in some of Kenya’s popular national parks. Below are the parks where tourists get to spot the big five mammals during their safari in Kenya;
Masaai Mara is a popular national reserve in Kenya and is known as big five destination. Its preserved wilderness savannah has promoted the breeding of the big five and other wildlife creatures. The reserve is positioned south west of Kenya in Narok County adjacent to Serengeti national park. It was named Masaai after the ancestral Masaai people who inhabited in the area. The beautiful scenery comprising of savannah, scrubs and trees prompted the Masaai tribe to refer it to Mara. Masaai Mara is one of the lucky destination with all the big five mammals such as lion, rhino, leopard, buffalo and elephants and blessed with the biggest event of the annual wildebeest migration. The reserve comprises of the highest concentration of black rhinos. Tourists will also encounter a variety of other wildlife species such as zebras, wildebeests, warthogs, giraffes, birds and Masaai locals. Other attractions include rivers like Masaai River and Talek River, escarpments, vegetation located in the middle of the park.
Tsavo national park is divided into Tsavo east and Tsavo west. It is ranked as the biggest game park when combined forms the world’s largest game sanctuaries. Tsavo west is the most rewarding and an amazing destination for the big cats like cheetah, leopards and lions. It harbors herds of elephants, Impala, rhinos, spotted hyena, hippos, Aardwolf, Senegal bush baby, African wild cat, common elands, variety of bird species and plant species.
The east covers a semi-arid area which was known as Taru desert. What has kept the Tsavo east lively is that river Tsavo flows from west to east. Tsavo national park’s biodiversity comprises of all big five mammals just like Masaai Mara game reserve.
Amboseli national park is a unique word to mean salty dust in the Maasai language. It is a common African elephant destination and a famous national park crowned by the gigantic highest magnificent mountain Kilimanjaro. It is a known big five mammal destination and hosts the famous big four which are lions, leopards, African buffaloes and elephants excluding the Rhinos. Birders are also offered a platform to view beautiful and colorful birds making Amboseli a bird haven and a prominent birding destination in Kenya with over 400 bird species recorded. Birds spotted include laser flamingo, shoe bill stork, yellow-necked spur fowl, Hamerkop, grey crowned crane, African Harrier hawk, Egyptian vulture, Black-winged kite, , Rofous chatterer, African Jacana and many others. You will spot these birds mostly at the swampy areas of Amboseli. Lucky tourist will also be able to spot the rarely seen leopards.
This three side fenced national park is located very close to the capital city of Kenya hence the name Nairobi. It is the smallest national park and the easiest park to be accessed by tourists on short trips or excursions. Nairobi national park hosts a large concentration of herbivores wildlife because the open grass plains is ready to protect the park’s diverse ecosystem. The park is blessed with the big five such as lions, leopards, rhinos, buffaloes except the elephants which are huge to share in the small sizable Nairobi national park. Other creatures sighted roaming in the park surrounding include zebras, giraffes, white and 9black rhinos, gazelles, cheetah, impalas, hyena, common elands, hippos and a variety of bird species.
Some of the birds to spot include Egyptian goose, white-backed duck, knob billed duck, black-headed heron, ostrich, black smith lapwing, Dusky turtle dove, lemon dove, laughing dove and many others. Nairobi national park is a perfect destination to search for some of the big four dangerous wildlife in the wilderness.
Kenya has plenty to offer to those who choose to visit and blend in its natural surroundings. Searching for the thrilling big five on a self-drive is scary but what is fun is to see the big cats in action trying to take on the prey. Visit Kenya with us and experience a great big five search with the best 4×4 vehicle from our fleet at a friendly affordable price.