National Parks

Saiw National park, rare sitatunga house

Only in the smallest Kenya reserve you can see the water antelope

25-04-2021 by redazione

If you want to see the rare Sitatunga water antelope, there is only one park in Kenya where you can go, and it is the smallest in the whole country.
It is Saiwa National Park, near Kitale, in the northern part of the Rift Valley.
Saiwa Park was created in 1974 specifically to protect the natural habitat and conservation of the rare Sitatunga species, and is now managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service.
It covers only 2.9 square kilometres and its vegetation is a mixture of woodland and marshland with tall bushes and reeds along its marshy banks. There are tree platforms overlooking the marsh from which visitors can observe the sitatunga. 
The park is also home to other wildlife, but due to its small size, it is not as popular as other national parks in Kenya.
Saiwa Swamp is located 385 km northwest of Nairobi, close to the border with Uganda. 
Access is via the so-called 'Sitatunga Gate', which is not far from the entrance to Mount Elgon National Park, which is well worth a visit for those coming to these parts.
Saiwa Swamp National Park has no roads within its perimeter, but 18 km of trails and bridges wind around this little unspoilt gem. It is therefore an ideal park to visit if you enjoy walking, birdwatching and camping. There are boardwalks and four strategically placed observation towers to watch wildlife and 372 species of birds including Ross's turaco and blue-headed coucal.
When visiting the park, remember to wear a hat and take water with you to avoid dehydration. A camera and binoculars to observe the wildlife and a guide to identify animals and birds will also be useful.
When visiting the park, remember to wear a hat and take water with you to avoid dehydration. A camera and binoculars to observe the wildlife and a guide to identify the animals and birds will also be useful.
Saiwa Swamp National Park has a mixture of small African animals, including black and white Colobus monkeys, otters, genet cats, mongooses, bushbucks and De Brazzas monkeys as well as the sitatunga antelope.
The sitatunga antelope stand 1.5 meters (5 feet) tall and have shaggy, waterproof coats. Sitatunga antelope are good swimmers and hide underwater when danger threatens, with only the tip of their nose showing.
Sitatungas have long legs and elongated hooves that allow them to outrun danger in swamps, but make them less fast on land. Females have a reddish-brown coat, while males are dark brown and have a mane and horns. The remarkable twisted horns can reach a metre or more in length.

 

TAGS: sitatunga kenyaparco nazionale kenyariserva kenyanatura kenya

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