For many years, big game hunting has drastically reduced the number of Rhinos in Africa. These prehistoric creatures once roamed the majority of the continent, with at least 20,000 black rhinos calling Kenya home, but poaching has reduced this number to less than 300 in the last two decades. Today, thanks to increased conservation efforts, the black rhino population is steadily recovering, and there are now over 600 black rhinos in Kenya. The Northern White Rhinos came close to extinction in 2018 when Sudan, the last known living male, died in March 2018 at Ol Pejeta Conservancy leaving the world with only two surviving white rhinos: the mother Najin and daughter Fatu.
Here are some of the best places in Kenya to see rhinos.
1. Nairobi National Park.
The most obvious place to start looking for rhinos is Nairobi National Park, which is located on the southwestern outskirts of Kenya’s capital. Its success in both protecting and breeding black rhinos has earned the park the nickname Kifaru (Rhino) Ark, and it is still home to more than 50 black rhinos living in densities not seen anywhere else in Africa. This is the place to go if you want to see a rhino snuffling across the savannah with Nairobi’s skyscrapers in the background.
2. Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located at the foothills of Aberdares National Park and snow-capped Mt Kenya, is the best place in Kenya to see both Black Rhinos and Southern White Rhinos. It is also home to the two surviving Northern White Rhinos, the mother Najin and daughter Fatu, that live under 24-hour armed guard at Ol Pejeta in central Kenya.
3. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to approximately 10% of Kenya’s black rhino population and 15% of the country’s southern white rhino population. It is one of the main reasons why Kenya still has rhinos. The Craig family, who own Lewa, and renowned rhino conservationist Anna Merz pioneered the use of private land for conservation and then combined it with high-end tourism in the 1980s. By 2015, the conservancy had 72 black rhinos and an estimated 62 white rhinos, and nearly two dozen rhinos raised there have been translocated to other destinations to help grow rhino populations in the country
4. Lake Nakuru National Park.
Lake Nakuru National Park, surrounded by yellow fever trees and towered over by the escarpment, is a perfect destination to see both the black and white rhinos in Kenya, which number around 60 in total. This is one of Kenya’s scenic highlights of the Great Rift Valley, and rhinos (especially white rhinos) can frequently be seen around the lake that gives the park its name.
5. Meru National Park.
Meru National Park was once the epicenter of the poaching massacres that decimated the country’s rhino population in the 1980s. However, today this park´s rhino sanctuary has been restocked with rhinos from Lake Nakuru making it an excellent place to see rhinos in the wild, with approximately 25 black and 55 white rhinos calling this place home.
6. Solio Game Reserve.
Solio Ranch, Kenya’s oldest rhino sanctuary located 22 kilometers north of Nyeri, is another pillar in Kenya’s rhino conservation story; many of the rhinos seen elsewhere in the country came from here. The wide-open horizons here make sightings a pleasant simple proposition. This sanctuary is home to 22% of Kenya’s rhinos and has the highest rhino density per square kilometer in all of wild Africa. It is by far the best and easiest place to see rhinos, with as many as 50 on a single plain.
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