The acacia woodlands offer the best overall wildlife viewing in the park. This habitat is favored by the park’s famous tree-climbing lions, leopards and giraffes and can claim the greatest elephant concentration in East Africa. The first long-term field study of elephants in the wild was conducted here and the book entitled ‘Among the Elephants’ by Iain Douglas-Hamilton documents this pioneering work.
10 square miles
Upon making the descent from the ridge of the Great Rift escarpment, the first of the unique habitats you will encounter as you enter the northern edge of the park is the jungle like groundwater forest.
Nurtured by a permanent supply of ground water from the area’s high water table, a dense evergreen forest of mahogany trees and wild date palms tower overhead. Gnarled vines and mossy cover drape their branches, giving the forest an ancient and mysterious allure. Sunlight filters through the leafy canopy of foliage and dances over a verdant carpet of wild hibiscus, ginger, and other leafy plants that thrive in the moisture and shadows below.
Abundant freshwater springs spill out from the wall of the Great Rift Valley, and moisture seeps from the volcanic rock into the water table just below the surface of the earth.
Beautiful Antiaris and Quinine trees shoot up through the canopy from the forest floor, stretching their leafy arms to the heavens.