Kora national park is located in the northeastern direction from Nairobi in Tana river county in Kenya. This national park is considered the third-largest protected area in Kenya after the Tsavo East national park and Tsavo West National Park. Meru national park and Kora national park border each other forming the northern boundary.
Kora national park is under the management of the Kenya Wildlife services which is in charge of conservation and ensuring park regulations are followed among other duties.
Kora national park is characterized by a generally rugged environment with rock outcrops, granite kopjes, acacia woodland, and scrub as you head south to the Tana River.
Different personalities lived within Kora National Park such as George Adamson, Tony Fitz John and many others who put in place various projects to rehabilitate lions in this national park. George Adamson also an author and a wildlife conservationist became known as “Baba ya Simba” meaning the “father of lions” in the Swahili dialect.
The lions were rehabilitated beneath the Kora rock in a camp established by George Adamson for this purpose. Different people visit these camps for different purposes such as helping in the rehabilitation of the lions, spending time with the lions and many other reasons all aimed at contributing to introducing the lions back into their natural environment in the wild.
The effective conservation of Kora national park involves combined efforts of both local and foreign scientists to rehabilitate the lions and leopards into the wilderness. Research is also carried out about the nature of the inselbergs, plant species and many other features found in this national park.
Kampi ya Simba is also known as “camp of lions” was a place for rehabilitating lions back into the wild of Kora national park. Various wildlife species can be seen at this camp as they emerge from the bushes. Different wildlife species can be seen around the camp and during the time when George Adamson was alive, he fed the wildlife species and they would later go back into the wild.
Another significant camp in Kora national park is Kampi ya Ndovu which is the base camp located on the banks of the Tana River.
Access to Kora national park can be through the following means;
- By road; from Nairobi via Thika, Mwingi and Kyuso villages
- By air; Kyethoni airstrip, Kampi ya Simba airstrip, Masanduku airstrip (in Meru national park)
Aside from the above available options of accessing Kora national park can also be reached via a bridge which connects Meru national park and Kora national park. Kora national park is also crossed by river Mwitamwyisi on the northeastern border. The entry gates in Kora national park include Adamson’s gate, Kaningo gate, Masyungwa gate.
Attractions in Kora National Park
Attractions sighted by tourists visiting Kora national park include;
- Wildlife species include caracals, cheetahs, elephants, genets, hippos, spotted hyenas, striped hyenas, serval cats, antelopes, and many other wildlife species. These wildlife species have proved fascinating as they can be spotted among spaced spreading trees and savannah grasslands, among rock outcrops as they graze and hunt.
- Tana river located not far from Kampi ya Simba is the only source of water for both wildlife and people in Kora national park with an exception of the rainy season where the various rocky outcrops provided optional water sources inform of pools of water. There are different attractions that can be seen along this river and they include the Adamsons Falls, Grand Falls, and Kora rapids. The Tana river drains the southern and eastern slopes of Mount Kenya and the eastern slopes of the Aberdares and is the largest river in Kenya. Fish species that are caught in the Tana river include; Tilapia, perch and many other fish species.
- Cultural attractions include interactions with the local communities such as the Asako village, Boka and Kamaguru in the eastern boundary of the national park. Some of these locals have become involved in the conservation in Kora national park and participate in tourism-related projects within the national park. These communities engage in subsistence agriculture and pastoralism on the borders of the national park.
Activities in Kora Park Kenya
Activities for tourists to engage in during a visit to Kora national park include;
- Game drives award the tourists with views of diverse numbers of wildlife as well as domestic livestock which can also be seen in this national park. A variety of wildlife species can be sighted in Kora national park and they include caracals, cheetahs, elephants, genets, hippos, spotted hyenas, striped hyenas, serval cats, antelopes among others. Game drives take place at different times of day in Kora national park and they include morning game drives, full-day game drives, and evening game drives. Morning game drives are very rewarding to the tourists as the wildlife species are more active during this time of day and are easy to see. Full day game drives allow the tourists to see the wildlife species at different times of the day and observe their way of life in terms of survival, feeding and their relationship with other wildlife species. During the evening hours of the day, the wildlife species may be a little difficult to spot due to the fact that they seek shelter at this time of day and are hidden.
- Rock climbing engages tourists in adventuring in the topology of the land which has different sites for the activity for both amateur and professional climbers. The tourists climb up the Kora rock which is considered as a place of historical value where it was sais that George Adamson would call out to the lions and they would respond to his call by roaring back and would sometimes gather around this rock. Some of the rocks are isolated and are known as inselbergs and in Kora national park they can be seen peeking above the Nyika bush.
- Fishing is done in the Tana river within Kora national park with a great number of the local communities depending on fishing for a living. Tana river is associated with a variety of river forms such as oxbows, meanders, sandy floodplains, and many other features. Fishing on the Tana River depends on the change in tide and this has greatly influenced fishing in Kora national park along the Tana River.
- Nature Walks involve walking along the forest river lines and other surroundings in the national park with an up-close interaction and a closer view of attractions. These trails offer sightings of different wildlife species and the beautiful scenery in Kora national park.
Accommodation Facilities in Kora National Park
Accommodation facilities in Kora national park range from luxury accommodation, midrange accommodation, budget accommodation offering quality services including safety, comfort, relaxation to tourists and they include;
- Luxury accommodation; Leopard rock lodge, Elsa’s kopje lodge.
- Midrange accommodation; Meru guest house, Kinna guest house
- Budget accommodation; Murera cottages, Oribi guesthouse, Chui cottages, Simba cottages.
Camping facilities are available in different locations such as Kampi Baridi, Kitanga, Makutano, Rojoweru, Mugunga, Ken Mare, Kanjoo, Bwatherongi some of which are public campsites.
Adventure and retreat in Kora national park for an authentic wilderness experience in the home of George Adamson.