Wild Animals in Kenya
Wild animals possibly seen while on Kenya safari – Kenya is one of the best countries to go for a safari to see wildlife roaming in their natural habitat, with amazing landscapes, pristine coastline beaches, friendly people ready to show you around. A visit to Kenya is worth your time and money as you will get to experience wilderness in its true shape with lots of memories to take back home.
With diverse wild animals and birds, a Kenya safari to most of the national parks or game reserves will let you encounter with the Big Five; Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo among other predators and grazers. Here is a list of wildlife that you will probably see with enjoying your Kenya Safari.
1. African Cape Buffalo
Considered one of the most dangerous among the big five; Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Leopard and Buffalo. African Cape Buffalo can be found on almost all national parks, game reserves and wildlife conservancies in Kenya. It’s loved by lions as they cannot run fast.
The tallest mammal in earth whose height is five times of an adult human being. Giraffes are a beautiful sight to see with your naked eyes. They are of 3 species which can all be found in Kenya’s different national parks and game reserves; Masai Giraffe, Reticulated Giraffe and Rothschild Giraffe. You can spot the Masai Giraffe in most of the parks. The Reticulated Giraffe is mostly found in Laikipia Conservancies and Samburu-Shabba National Reserve; Northern Kenya. The Rothschild, an endangered species of Giraffe, can be found in Lake Nakuru National Park and also in Nairobi’s Giraffe Centre in Karen.
One of the beautiful wild animals found in most of the Kenya’s attraction sites, Zebra are of two species; the Plain Zebra with broad, widely spaced stripes which are generally browner in females and get black in stallions and the Grevy’s Zebra with bat ears, its narrow, close-set stripes and unstripped belly. The plain Zebra are common in most of the parks while the Grevy’s Zebra are only found in the north-eastern Part of Kenya’s conservancies and reserves. Grevy’s Zebra can sometimes be found together in groups with Plain Zebra. Lions, hyenas and hunting dogs are all capable of killing both adult and young zebras, while leopards and sometimes cheetahs take foals. Zebras are capable of delivering a bone-crushing kick to predators.
4. The African Lion
Feared by both wild animals and human beings, known as the king of the jungle, the larget of the predators who is among the Big Five, Lion is one of the majestic and brave animals found in Kenya’s wilderness. A Kenya safari will not be complete without sighting a lion. Kenya’s Masai Mara hosts many prides of lions. Black-manned lions can also be found in Masai Mara. Most of the national parks and game reserves hosts lions.
A commonly seen, medium sized antelope in most of Kenya’s national parks and game reserves. The males have lyre shaped horns while females don’t have horns at all. A tuft of black hair on the lower part of the hind legs above the hooves is the site of a scent gland. During daytime impala are at most active in the early mornings and late afternoon. Can be seen in herds of 6-100 individuals which move in their large home range. When alarmed, they take flight in a series of spectacular bounding jumps and are capable of leaping 10 feet in air and an incredible 36 feet in breadth.
6. The African Elephant
Unmistakable the largest land mammal who is highly social, living in family units consisting of a number of related adult females and their calves in group of 10-15 individuals. Led by an old female known as the matriarch. A visit to Amboseli national park will surely be worth your time and money seeing these gentle giants traversing the plains feeding, wallowing and rubbing against trees or boulders. Tsavo East hosts red-dust elephants, an effect of wallowing on the red sand of Tsavo. Your first encounter with elephants will surely be a sight to reckon.
One of the big five, Rhino are of two species; the white and black rhinoceros. They are among the endangered wildlife species due to being poached for their horns believed to be medicinal. White Rhinos are more social than the black rhinos. Mostly found in single or female with a young one. Adult males are generally solitary and territorial. White rhinos can be seen at Nairobi National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve. Black Rhinos can also be found in Nairobi National Park, Tsavo West National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Mostly found in rivers, lakes and swamps within National Parks and Game Reserves. They are nocturnal and usually found in groups of 10-20 females and their young ones. Usually spends daytime snoozing in the water or resting on sand banks, emerging at dusk to feed out in the surrounding grasslands. Masai Mara is known to host large numbers of hippo in the Mara River and Mara Talek.
The fastest wild animal on earth that can run at a maximum speed of 70mph (112kph). Cheetahs are easily distinguished from Leopards by distinct black ‘tear-marks’ running from the inner corners of their eyes to the edges of their mouth. Cheetahs hunt medium -sized and small antelopes particularly the Thomson’s Gazelles and Impala. A Kenya safari to the Masai Mara Game reserve will probably gift you with the sightings of cheetahs. You can also sight cheetahs at Amboseli, Tsavo and Samburu.
10. Wildebeests / Gnus
One of the antelopes found in Kenya’s national parks and game reserves, Wildebeests are usually in open grasslands and acacia thickets. Can be found in large herds numbering hundreds of thousands. Masai Mara – Serengeti eco-system hosts the largest concentration of wildebeests. The annual wildebeest migration hosts thousands of wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara River with predators waiting to hunt down the wildebeests, a spectacular sighting that can be experienced between July and October.
One of the big cats of Kenya’s wildlife and part of the big five. Leopards are opportunistic animals and can hunt day or night if undisturbed. It has spots and bards across its chest; spots on the torso and upper limbs form a rosettes. Leopards are less frequently seen than cheetahs. Black leopards or ‘panthers’ are simply melanistic leopards which were recently seen and photographed in Laikipia county.
There are three species of hyena; the spotted hyena, stripped hyena and aardwolf. All can be found in Kenya’s wildlife attraction sites and national parks. The spotted hyena posses the strongest jaws of all land predators, equipped with extra-ordinarily powerful molar teeth for crushing bones. They are the most abundant large mammalian predator in Africa. The stripped hyaena are rare than the spotted hyaena and are smaller in size. The aardwolf looks very similar to a stripped hyaena but is smaller and primarily insectivorous.
Largest bird that cannot fly but has strong, long and powerful legs which enable it to run very fast at an approximate speed of 70km/hr. The male ostrich has a black plumage with white plumes on the wings and the tail, while the female has greyish plumage. It is found in most of the national parks in Kenya. The Somali ostrich is another species of the common ostrich found in the Northern Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve.
14. Thomson’s Gazelle
A smaller gazelle than the grant’s Gazelle also known as tommy with a black stripe on their body, can be found in the majority of the national parks & game reserves. Both male and female have horns but in females are smaller. Thomson’s gazelle form loose association of 5-50 females and their young, with a territorial male in attendance. Tommies are very fast, reaching speeds of up to 50 mph (80kph). They are commonly preyed by cheetahs, leopards and hunting dogs.
Mostly found near water bodies as their name suggests and are water-dependent of all antelopes. Only males have horns. They are of two species; Defassa and Common Waterbuck. Majority of Kenya’s national parks and game reserves hosts waterbuck. They can be found in plenty in Lake Naivasha and Nakuru. Adults are occasionally preyed by lions and hunting dogs while leopards and hyena prey on calves.
Your visit to Kenya will surely be memorable as you will be able to see the richest wildlife in the world with extraordinarily variety and abundance of both animal and bird life. Eastern Vacation tour company will be glad to plan for your Kenya Family Safari. Wild Animals in Kenya