Saiwa Swamp National Park is Kenya's smallest wildlife park with an area of a meager 3kmē. The park is located in Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, and has mixed vegetation of swamp and forest plants. Despite its small size, the park is immensely endowed with unimaginable natural wealth. It was established in 1974 to protect the rare semi-aquatic sitatunga antelope and has tremendously achieved this objective. The camp, located 385km northwest of Nairobi, is set on a quiet, uniquely remote and undisturbed environment.
Wildlife and Birds in Saiwa Swamp National Park
The star highlight of the miniature park is the presence of the sitatunga antelope. The almost extinct De Brazza monkey is also here in abundance and are memorable to watch. Other animals are present too. Bushbuck, reedbuck, Genet cat, mongoose, otters and many bird species are available. The park is accessible on foot but a better view is necessitated by the wood platforms around the swamp. The wildlife habitat is a beautiful scenery filled with exotic trees and flowers. Saiwa Swamp is also home to many bird species so you won't miss to tick off a few interesting species from you list.
Attractions in Saiwa Swamp National Park
Birdwatching including rare water bird species
Sitatunga antelope, de brazza monkey and a range of exciting game
Insects such as the dragonfly and damselfly
Unique swampy scenery
Weather and Climate in Saiwa Swamp National Park
Saiwa Swamp is located near the equator, so month to month temperatures are nearly the same. The biggest influence in climate is rain and the area has distinctive dry and rainy seasons. December-March is characteristically dry, and African sunshine heat the air from early morning. On the flipside, April to October is characteristically wet and rains pound the ground days on end, sometimes from mornings. The temperatures are also lower.
Best Time To Visit Saiwa Swamp National Park
You will catch unforgettable scenes at Saiwa Swamp sitatunga sanctuary any time of the year. However, you will like the park better during the dry season. The birding is superb at this time as most migratory birds will be camping at Saiwa. More interestingly, the young sitatunga offsprings will appear in the open sun creating a spectacular scene. While you can visit anytime across the year, April to August is the peak rainy periods so you will be lucky to miss the downpours.,/br>
How To Get to Saiwa Swamp National Park
From Nairobi, you can access the park by air. Simply charter a plane from either Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or from Wilson Airport to Kitale Airport, 27km from the park. It is also possible to access the road via road through Eldoret town to Kitale. The 385km drive is tedious if you are independently doing the driving bit still worth it.
Where to Stay while in Saiwa Swamp National Park
You won't miss a comfortable place to stay, dine and wine. The Barnley House, Sirikwa Tented Camp, KWS Saiwa Swamp Campsite and Treetop House, Saiwa Picnic & Event Site and Saiwa Public Campsite are options within the park. If those are not as comfortable and luxurious as you would wish, Engo Airport Resort, Super Break Hotel, Iroko Twigs Hotel, Aturukan Hotel, Losokwan Luxury Tented Camp, Muremba Retreat Kitale, Mt Elgon Lodge and Trans Nzoia County Resort are more luxurious options near the park.
Malaria, Vaccinations and Safety
Security within and around the park is good. You are therefore safe to tour Saiwa, so are your personal items safe from theft or vandalism. However, talk to your physician about the best antimalarial medications. Swampy ecosystems have higher mosquito populations, and Saiwa Swamp is not different.
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