10 Things You Might Not Know About Kenya’s National Parks

Discover more about the spectacular National Parks of Kenya

By Google Arts & Culture

Did you know that Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to the last two surviving northern white rhinos? Or that Hells Gate National Park provides renewable energy for Kenya? Discover more about some of Kenya’s spectacular National Parks through these 10 facts…

1. Masai Mara has over 1.5 million wildebeest

The Masai Mara is a popular tourist destination for its amazing wildlife viewing areas. With over 95 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles roaming around, as well as the annual wildebeest migration bringing 1.5 million animals into the park in July and out in November, you are sure to spot one of the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, or rhino).

2. Ol Pejeta has the last surviving northern white rhinos

As the largest black rhino sanctuary in east Africa, Ol Pejeta is working to ensure wildlife conservation and rehabilitate animals rescued from the black market. This is also the home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos, which are close to being extinct.

Two Female Northern White Rhino's at Ol Pejeta Conservancy (2019)

This is Najin and her daughter Fatu, who are the last two female northern white rhinos left in the world.

3. You can climb the second tallest mountain in Africa

Only falling around 700 meters short of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa at 5,199 meters. If you’re up for it, you can climb the mountain and camp among the breath-taking scenery.

4. Find early examples of human evolution at Sibiloi

Known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’, Sibiloi National Park is home to archeological sites which have contributed to the understanding of human evolution. Among the many fossils is a skull of a Homo habilis – the ancestor of Homo sapiens. 

5. Saiwa Swamp and Ruma are home to rare animals

See if you can spot an endangered semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope or a rare De Brazza monkey among the tropical wetlands and forest at the Saiwa Swamp National Park. Or uncover Kenya’s last remaining sanctuary for the endangered roan antelope at the Ruma National Park.

6. The Meru and Koru National Parks are ‘sisters’

Although they are two separate parks, the Meru and Koru National Parks are known as ‘sisters’ as they can be found next to each other. Both adjoining parks are filled with jungles, rivers, swamps, and an abundance of wildlife.

7. The Adamsons were buried in Kenyan National Parks

Naturalists George and Joy Adamson, known for the movie Born Free, made themselves at home at the Adamsons’ Camp in Kora National Park.

Joy and George AdamsonNational Museums of Kenya

After their deaths, the Adamsons were buried not far from the camp, with George buried in Koru National Park and Joy buried in the sister park, Meru.

8. Tsavo East has the longest lava flow in the world

Yatta Plateau, found in Tsavo East National Park, is the longest lava flow in the world, growing over 300 kilometers in length and rising 100 meters above land. If you trace it back to its origins, you’ll end up at Oldonyo Sabuk near Nairobi.

9. Over 600 species of birds can be found at Tsavo West

You can find amazing wildlife all over Kenya's National Parks, but Tsavo West offers some of the best game watching opportunities.

Birds of East Africa Gallery, Nairobi National MuseumNational Museums of Kenya

If you're an avid bird watcher, you definitely want to head to Tsavo West National Park as there are over 600 species to discover.

10. Hells Gate’s geothermal activity makes renewable energy

In the Great Rift Valley, Hells Gate National Park got its name from the geothermal activity that lies within its boundaries. All that geothermal steam not only adds to the atmosphere of the park, but it has been used to generate renewable energy to power electricity in Kenya!

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