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A fairly small national park, Aberdare is in Kenya's Central Highlands. One of the more scenic and tropical parks, it is home to the Big 5, as well as some rare forest-dwelling game like the shy bongo antelope. Within easy driving distance of Nairobi, the Aberdare National Park has some original, historical safari lodges, and offers a unique safari experience in spectacular scenery.
Probably second only to the Maasai Mara in popularity, Amboseli National Park is a fairly small park known for its vast elephant herds. They're often photographed with nearby Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Only 200 km from Nairobi, Amboseli combines well with a number of other game parks for an outstanding Kenyan safari experience.
What was once a farming area with huge livestock ranches, Laikipia is today one of Kenya's most progressive and lauded success stories in conservation. It's a vast, sprawling area with a wealth of wildlife said to be even better than that of the famous Masai Mara.
Two of the better-known lakes in the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha are within easy reach of the capital, Nairobi. Each offers a distinctive safari experience and are often included in a Kenyan safari.
The Maasai Mara, Kenya. Also sometimes written as the Masai Mara. It's said that you won't find a greater abundance of game anywhere in Africa, as you will in Kenya's Maasai Mara National Park. Apart from the Big Five, the reserve is home to an incredible variety of wildlife in large numbers like the annual wildebeest migration involving over 1.5 million animals.
Although Meru National Park was made famous by Joy Adamson's "Born Free" books, it remains largely undiscovered and untamed. With its rugged jungle, rivers, swamps and grasslands, game viewing opportunities are excellent. Neglected on safari bucket lists for years, it has been restored to its former glory while evading the hordes of safari visitors.
Set alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River, Kenya's biggest northern river, Samburu has the lion's share of wildlife. Besides big cats and African wild dogs, you're likely to see some of the rare northern species such as Grevy's zebra, the Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk, Guenther's dik-dik and the beisa oryx, collectively known as the Samburu Special Six.
Kenya's biggest, yet most underdeveloped national park, Tsavo is bisected by the main Nairobi-Mombasa highway. Wild, uncrowded and authentic, Tsavo is famous for its red elephants. Tsavo National Park is easily combined with Amboseli and coastal Kenya for an unforgettable bush and beach safari experience.