What Animals Can I Expect To See?

Whichever park or conservancy you decide to visit you can normally guarantee that you will see the more common grazing animals in Kenya; such as buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, eland, giraffe, gazelles, impala and waterbuck. Although common, don’t underestimate the pleasure you will get from seeing them in their natural habitat.
In addition lions, leopards and cheetahs are present in most parks, but are most easily seen in the Mara and the Mara Conservancies.
Elephants are best seen in Selenkay / Amboseli and Rhino are often sighted in Nairobi National Park, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lake Nakuru Park.
While everyone is keen to see “The Big Five” and you have a good chance of doing so on a safari of over a week combining Nairobi Tented Camp and all the Porini Camps, there are many other less well-known animals in Kenya or rare species found in the different parks which can also be exciting to watch.


Nairobi National Park: This is an excellent starting point for a safari in Kenya and the Nairobi Tented Camp makes a good alternative to staying in a city hotel. The park is noted for having both the Black and the White Rhino as well as lions, leopards, and a wide range of plains animals including giraffe, zebra, eland, buffalo, impala, hartebeest, wildebeest, reedbuck as well as over 500 species of birds, all within a 28,000 acre park right on the doorstep of a capital city.

Amboseli: If you are looking to see big herds of elephants at close range along with the added potential of maybe seeing lions and cheetahs then visit Amboseli. This park is also very good for birdwatchers.

Selenkay: This Conservancy is within the Amboseli eco-system and a good place to visit to see giraffes and the less commonly seen animals in Kenya like caracal, serval cat and the African wild cat, in addition to the lesser kudu, gerenuk and oryx which are not found in Amboseli or the Mara. The Conservancy is part of the territory of over 20 lions while leopards and cheetahs are also present.

Tsavo: This is an enormous park and home to a wide range of animals in Kenya and species including lions, black rhino and a big population of elephants but which are not as easily approachable as within Amboseli Park and Selenkay Conservancy.

Lake Nakuru: Home to both the white and black rhino, you will find that the black rhino are difficult to see however, the white rhino are often fairly visible. In addition, if you are on an early morning game drive it is often possible to see a leopard. Many other species are present including lion, buffalo, waterbuck, the rare Rothschild’s giraffe, impala and warthog. For bird-watching enthusiasts Lake Nakuru also offers a wide variety of birdlife.

Samburu: This Reserve is a good place to see elephants. Lions and cheetahs are also present with the leopard being seen fairly regularly as well as the less common Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra.

Mara and the Mara Conservancies: This is the best place for all the big cats, especially lions. The Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti to the Mara takes place from late June to early October when these animals move into the Mara from the Serengeti in big numbers. The Wildebeest Migration from the Loita Plains in Kenya to the Mara moves into Ol Kinyei Conservancy earlier, usually by January, and the calving takes place there during February and March when the plains of the conservancy are teeming with wildebeest before they move through Naboisho Conservancy and into Olare Motorogi.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia: The biggest rhino sanctuary in Kenya with over 90 rhinoceros, both black and white as well as the very rare Northern White Rhino. It also has lions, leopards, cheetahs as well as elephants and a wide range of plains game. Wild dogs are seen occasionally and the rare Patas monkey is also found in the Conservancy.

Here is a list of 71 different species of mammals seen by our Chairman, Jake Grieves-Cook, while staying in the different Porini Camps, experiencing a range of animals in Kenya.

Concerned about the security of your booking and your own safety while on safari?

We fully appreciate your concerns when it comes to booking a safari in Africa and you can rest assured that your financial security when booking and your own personal safety when on safari is our highest priority. Gamewatchers Safaris is a member of the Kenya Association of Tour Operators bonding scheme, backed by a leading insurance company, to ensure your payments are fully protected if a bonded KATO member ceases trading.