Diani-Chale & Kisite Mpunguti National Marine Reserves, Dodori National Reserve, Kiunga Marine National Reserve, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park


National Parks and Reserves in Kenya

26. Diani-Chale Marine National Reserve

Diani-Chale National Marine Reserve

“This marine park was established to safeguard its delicate coral reef, excellent coral gardens, and fish species. It incorporates a range of marine activities like traditional dhow fishing trips, snorkeling, sailing, other non-motorised water sports as well as glass-bottom boat marine life safaris” – Kenya Tourism Board.

27. Kisite Mpunguti National Marine Park

Kisite Mpunguti National Marine Park and Reserve.

Although there is no wildlife supported on the water-less Kisite-Mpunguti coral islands, callers to this site get to enjoy superb uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean as well as enjoy various activities at the multi-colour coral gardens. The 39 km2 Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Park and Reserve, comprised of 28 km2 Kisite Marine Park and 11 km2 Mpunguti Marine Reserve, was established to protect the scenic islands and surrounding habitats that host a wide range of endemic marine life and breeding migratory birds. The marine park was first created at Kisite in 1973, and in 1976 the boundaries were revised and re-demarcated. In 1978, Mpunguti was gazetted as a marine national reserve following disputes over the loss of fishing grounds caused by the marine park under the aegis of Kenya Wildlife Service. Today, its biosphere covers the four separate islands of Mpunguti ya Juu, Mpunguti ya Chini, Kisite and Mako Kokwe as well as their surrounding coastal areas. Kisite Island, the primary interest of visitors to this place, features an exposed sand bar and the surrounding pellucid waters offer perhaps the most rewarding of snorkeling sites. The park, which is open daily between 8:30 am and 6:00 pm, is reachable by boat from Shimoni and Wasini.

28. Dodori National Reserve

Dodori National Reserve - Ventes Ventures

Located north of Lamu Island and contiguous with the Boni National Reserve, the wild and remote Dodori National Reserve is inhabited by a hatful of plains game, three unique varieties of turtles, a multiplicity of migratory birdlife and even some elephants. Although Dodori National Reserve has abundant wildlife, the animals are rather shy because of the rarity of vehicles. The landscape of the 133 km2 Dodori National Reserve is predominated by the native canopy forest which forms a fragment of the great Northern Zanzibar to Inhambane Coastal Forest. Gazetted in 1976 as a national reserve, Dodori National Reserve remains underdeveloped lacking both easy access and accommodation. While this offers an interesting excursion into an unusual coastal flora, it is necessary to go fully equipped and with enough supplies to overcome the complete lack of resources.

29. Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Kiunga Marine National Reserve in Lamu County.

The Kiunga Marine National Reserve, which can be reached from Kiwayu as can Dodori and Boni National Reserves, is a 270 km2 colourful underwater world. Kiunga stands at the head of a long chain of islands running parallel to the coast and making a sheltered navigable channel for about 112 kms. The park itself is comprised of a 60 kms coral reef which runs parallel to it, and close to 50 off shore islands. The greater part of these islands are uninhabited; but there are a number of settlements on the mainland along the coast. The islands, and the coastal strip facing them, represent the farthest northern frontier of the ‘Swahili Coast’. Kiunga Marine Reserve is best known as a safe-haven for populations of the endangered Dugong (also popular as the sea cow) and the bounteous coral reef, home to a multiplicity of fish species that include the wrase, barracuda and rock cod. Kiunga Marine National Reserve is located 48 kms northeast of Lamu.

30. Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park

Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park. Image Courtesy of Steemit

The relatively small 21 km2 Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park situated 30 kms east of Thika Town, along the A3 Thika-Garissa Road, is dominated by the forested top of Ol Donyo Sabuk Hill. A considerable part of its top, excepting the summit itself, is covered by forest consisting of lofty trees, of which Conopharyngia and Croton are the most important. Plants of the forest floor include Cape peppers, stinging nettles and Aneilema pedunculata (or the “Mickey Mouse” flower). Ol Donyo Sabuk is also known as Mount Kilimambogo, an epithet that answers to the few buffaloes that use this forest as a refuge, grazing outside it after dark. Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park is more scenic than faunal and makes a delightful goal for a weekend trip. The object of many trips here is an active adventure up and down Ol Donyo Sabuk Hill, on an 8 kms ascent which is well rewarded with knockout views at the summit; making up for what little wildlife is found within the park. Here, Mount Kenya stands guard to the north beyond a saucer-shaped valley separating the two. On most days, Yatta Plateau and Mount Kilimanjaro can also be easily glimpsed, immediately south and far southeast, respectively. Westwards, the flat volcanic scrub plains stretch away towards the Mua Hills. A round-trip takes about six hours on a moderate walking pace. Other interests at the Park are the MacMillan Grave, nearby MacMillan Castle and Fourteen Falls.

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  1. Lake Baringo National Reserve, Lake Bogoria National Reserve, South-Western Mau National Reserve, Rimoi National Reserve, Lake Kamnarok
  2. Mount Kenya National Park, Mwea National Reserve, Bour-Algi Giraffe Sanctuary, Rahole National Reserve, Arawale National Reserves
  3. Boni National Reserve, Ruma National Park, Bisanadi National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Shaba National Reserve
  4. Amboseli National Park, Kakamega National Reserve, Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Reserve, Watamu Marine National Park, Malindi Marine Reserve
  5. Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Ndere Island National Park, Mwingi National Reserve, South Kitui National Reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve
  6. Diani-Chale Marine National Reserve, Kisite Mpunguti National Marine Park and Reserve, Dodori National Reserve, Kiunga Marine National Reserve, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
  7. Chyulu Hills National Park, Ngai Ndeithia National Reserve, Malka Mari National Park, Losai National Reserve, South Island National Park
  8. Marsabit National Reserve and Park, Sibiloi National Park, Meru National Park, Mombasa Marine National Reserve and Park, Nairobi National Park
  9. Mount Longonot National Park, Crescent Island Game Sanctuary, Hell’s Gate National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Bonjoge National Reserve
  10. Masai Mara National Reserve, Aberdare National Park, Samburu National Reserve, Maralal Game Reserve, Lake Kanyaboli National Reserve
  11. Kora National Park, Tana Primate National Reserve, Tsavo East & Tsavo West National Parks, Mutejwa National Reserve
  12. Mount Elgon National Park, Saiwa Swamp National Park, Central Island National Park, South Turkana National Reserve, Nasolot National Reserve