An area between Nairobi and the coast that has three national parks. Masai herders inhabit nearby grasslands studded with baobab trees and open acacia woodland.

Amboseli National Park (96,838 acres) is 150 mi/240 km south of Nairobi and Kenya's most visited game park. Mount Kilimanjaro is just across the Tazmanian border (which shouldn't really be crossed). Its saline lake is usually dry but the two spring-fed swamps provide permanent water to a region that only receives 12" of rain a year. Great for elephant-watching. Roughly 55 other mammal species roam the land, including lions, cheetas, impalas, leopards, Grant's gazelles, elands, fringe-eared oryxes, gerenuks, buffalos, and a few black rhinos. Many wildebeests, zebras, and Thomson's gazelles leave the park during the rains but return to be near the swamps in the dry months. More than 425 species of birds live here, with the Taveta golden weaver a highlight, and ostriches, vultures, eagles, bustards, sandgrouse, hornbills, and larks common in the grasslands.

Tsavo East National Park (2,,901,500 acres) and Tsavo West National Park (2,239,100 acres) flank both the highway and the railroad that link Nairobi to coastal Mombasa (~200mi SE). Some lodges in Tsavo West have a view of Kilimanjaro. The Galena River, with its attendant gallery forests and seasonal swamps, snakes through both parks. Enormous baobaps provide shelter for parrots, rollers, and barbets. Giraffes, buffalos, elands, gazelles, waterbucks, gerenuks, lesser kudus, and elephants browse the bushed terrain; lions are numerous. Tsavo West has recent volcanic craters and lava flows, as well as Mzima Springs, where hippos breed. More than 450 species of birds have been recorded, including Eurasian migrants.

National Audubon Society {and some of my editing)

I flew into Nairobi but didn't spend any time there at all, because we drove straight into the parks and left ten days later from Mombasa (to Nairobi to London). I stayed on all of the parks mentioned here, in several unique lodges. Maybe later I'll go into detail about it but I have to take a shower :-)

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