- Created in 1950, this park essentially encloses two different environments: the striking 60 km stretch of moorland, peaks and forest atop the western Kinangop plateau and the eastern outcrop of the dense rainforest known as the salient. The park has varieties of fauna, flora and scenery not found anywhere else. Elephants and buffalos dominate, but other species including black rhino, spotted hyenas, bongo antelopes, bush pigs, giant forest hogs, black servals and rare black leopard, can also be seen. Look out for the few remaining lions (most were removed from the park to protect the endangered bongo antelopes) from the viewing platform next to the dramatic Chania falls and Karura falls. Gura falls which drops down a full 300 m drop to a thick forest is less accessible. Hundreds of bird species thrive, including giant king fishers and regal crowned cranes. Viewing wildlife here is not like you find it on the open savannah of Amboseli and Maasai Mara. The dense rainforest of the salient provide excellent cover for the animals, so it's best to take your time and stay a few nights. Thanks to rough terrain and minor roads turning in to mud traps during the rain, the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) restricts entry to all but 4WD vehicles. The park thus rarely features in safari itineraries and is even less visited by independent travelers. However, if you are prepared to hire a vehicle, join the lodge's tours', or hoof it on foot, your effort will be rewarded.
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