The Big 5 in Kenya Wildlife Reserves

Kenya is a democratic and peaceful country located on the horn of Africa. With an estimated population of 42 million, this is the place to be if you want to have a taste of natures finest wildlife. Kenya Wildlife Reserves boasts of having the big five animals elephants, lions, rhinos, leopard, and the giraffe. Most of these animals are on the blink of extinction and there are only a few places you can find them.

The big 5 in Kenya wildlife reserves


The jungle has only one king and that happens to be the fierce predatory cat, the lion. With a roar that can be heard over 10 kilometers, Kenya has an estimated population of 3,000 lions. To some, the number sounds small but given the fact that there are less than 21,000 lions left in Africa as of 2017, we can now all understand why Kenya is the best place to see the king of the jungle. Lions are very territorial and hunt in parks. In captivity, a lion has a lifespan of 25 years. In the wild, this reduces to 12-17 years.


Back in the 1970s, the population of rhinos was estimated to be over 350,000 in Africa alone. Astonishing enough the numbers have dropped to less than 10,000 worldwide. Rhinos are poached for their tusks and in the next few years, there might be none left in the world. In Africa, Kenya has the highest population of rhinos. In fact, in almost every national reserve there are rhinos. The gestation period of a rhino is 16 months and in the wild they can live up to 35 years.


Elephants are the biggest land mammals and can weight up to 10 tonnes. As if that is not astonishing enough, an elephant drinks 50 gallons of water in a day. That is an equivalent of 200 liters. There are more elephants than you can see in Kenya. Thanks to the strict anti-poaching policies by the Kenyan government. Elephants have a gestation period of 22 months and have an estimated lifespan of 60 years.


There is no better place to see the worlds tallest terrestrial animal than in Kenya Wildlife Reserves. Unlike the other big 5, the giraffe is particularly friendly. For such a tall animal it would be expected that a giraffe would straggle to reach top its speeds. This is far from the truth, a giraffe accelerates fast and at top speeds can run 35km/hr maintaining this speed for long distances. Other than having along legs and neck, a giraffe also has a very long tongue which can grow for up to 21 inches in length.


Kenya Wildlife reserves are home to some over 20,000 leopards. Unlike lions, leopards are solo hunters and are very hard to trace. They spend over 80% of their lives on the trees and only come down when mating, hunting or defending a territory. Leopards are the only cats that drag their kill up a tree to feed. Their teeth and craws are very strong such that they can drag prey twice their body weight.

The final verdict

It is not by chance that Kenya is a hotbed for tourists. Both domestic and international tourism is encouraged, Kenya always have a thing for everyone

Written by Francis Nderi

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