Saiwa Swamp National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Kenya. The protected area covers about 3 sq. km. The Kitale park has several attractions including the endangered Sitatunga antelope and diverse birdlife. The best time to visit is between December and March. It receives less rainfall compared to other months. It is one of the parks that allow unguided nature walks on forest trails. Accommodation is available at Tree Top Hut, public campsites, and private campsites. Here are some reasons why you should visit Saiwa Swamp National Park.
Saiwa Swamp National Park is not the best place for viewing wildlife. You may not spot many species of wildlife in the park. But it is home to the semi-aquatic Sitatunga antelope. This rare antelope has long and splayed hooves. These hooves are perfect for walking in vegetated and muddy swamplands. They also have an oily and shaggy coat perfect for aquatic habitats.
The park is one of the places in Kenya where you can spot the rare de Brazza’s monkey. Its white beard and orange diadem make it different from other monkeys. Other animals that you can spot are bushbucks, blue monkeys, and white and black colobus. With patience sightings of these animals is almost a guarantee.
Saiwa Swamp National Park is one of the best national parks for bird watching. Birdlife is abundant. Some common water birds are the African black duck, grey heron, and lesser jacana. The park is home to Narina trogons. This is one of the fascinating forest birds in Kenya. At the edge are orange-tufted sunbirds feeding on nectar. Other common species are Gonolek, turacos, crowned cranes, and marsh widow birds. The park has over 370 bird species. You can enjoy bird watching during an unguided nature walk. The park has several points for spotting some species.
Saiwa Swamp National Park is close to the equator. Temperatures don’t change much. Although it records high rainfalls, it has a humid and warm climate. While afternoon temperatures are around 26°C, nights are cooler (12°C). Rains are common between April and August. Sometimes, it can rain all day. Roads may be impassable. Minimal rains are recorded between September and November. The driest months are December and January.
The park has a lovely view. Apart from its wildlife, the park has tropical wetlands, riverine forests, acacia woodlands, and grass beds. Butterflies, reptiles, and amphibians also beautify the park. It is a great place for photography.
FAQs About Saiwa Swamp National Park
- Where is Saiwa Swamp National Park located?
Saiwa Swamp National Park is situated in Trans-Nzoia County in Kenya. This is about 385 km west of Nairobi. It is near Kitale town (23.9 km). Getting there by road can take about 35 minutes. Its coordinates are 1°6′N and 35°7′E.
- How do I get to Saiwa Swamp National Park?
You can get to Saiwa Swamp National Park by road. It is about 22 km from Kitale town. A 4×4 safari vehicle is necessary. You can also choose air travel. You will fly from Nairobi, the transport hub, to Kitale Airport. Your tour operator can also book charter flights to move from one destination to another.
- Is Saiwa Swamp National Park safe?
Saiwa Swamp National Park is one of the tourist destinations in Kenya. Kenya is considered safe and great for safaris. The country is located in East Africa, one of the safest parts of Africa. Following the park’s guidelines or safety measures will also ensure your safety.
- Which is the best time to visit Saiwa Swamp National Park?
You can visit the park any day between 6.00 am and 7.00 pm. Entry past 6.30 pm is not allowed. December to March receives little rainfall. This is the best time to view the rare antelopes and migrant birds. April to November receives a lot of rain. This may interfere with safari activities in the park.