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south africa

national parks (back to intro)

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Nairobi National Park
Hell's Gate National Park
Mount Longonot National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Kamnarok National Reserve
Masai Mara National Reserve
Aberdare National Park
Mount Kenya National Park
Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
Mwea National Reserve
Mount Elgon National Reserve
Saiwa Swamp National Park
Kakamega Forest National Reserve
Meru National Park
Samburu and
Buffalo Springs National Reserves

Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo West National Park
Amboseli National Park
Mount Elgon National Reserve

This reserve is located about 470 kilometers from Nairobi on the Kenya-Uganda border at an altitude of 8,000-13,800 ft above sea level. Mount Elgon is volcanic in nature and was formed during the volcanic eruptions that created the Great Rift Valley. The park is known as one of Kenya's most beautiful parks.

It was opened to visitors in April 1968. There are a wide variety of walking trails, and even mountain climbing opportunities. The park offers picnic sites and even hiking and fishing can be done. While lodges are not available within the park, there are three campsites. Park guides accompany visitors on the hike up Mount Elgon and to Koitobos, which, at 4,200m, is the highest peak on the Kenya side of the park. There are four rivers - Nzoia, Suam, Kerio and Turkwell - which flow into Lake Turkana. Fishing is allowed in the Suam River. Visitors can also observe animals like the elephant, buffalo, leopard, the protected colobus and blue monkeys, giant forest hog, waterbuck, and antelope. While an estimated 400 elephants are present in the park, there are over 240 species of birds for the ornithologists.

Another attraction for visitors are the caves Kitum, Makingeni, Chepnyalil and Ngwarisha. Kitum, meaning Place of Ceremonies in Masai, is the largest of the caves and extends 200m horizontally into the mountain. Every night, long lines of elephants enter the caves to feed on the salt rich deposits. This has led the animals to be dubbed "underground elephants."

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