Saiwa Swamp National Park
Saiwa Swamp National Park is situated near Kitale town in the Rift valley province in Kenya. Saiwa Swamp National Park is 385 kilometers from Nairobi near the Uganda border. The Saiwa Swamp National Park is accessed through the Sitatunga Gate. Saiwa Swamp National Park is near Mount Elgon National Park. The park has no roads within its boundary. Instead, the park has walking trails and bridges that meander around the park.
The trails are 11 kilometers long. Saiwa Swamp National Park is the smallest national park in the country. Saiwa Swamp National Park was developed in 1974. Like other parks in the country, the park is controlled by Kenya Wildlife Service. The park covers almost 2. 9km². Saiwa National Park was mainly established to protect the Sitatunga antelopes.
Saiwa swamp National Park is an ideal place to visit for people who like walking and bird watching. It also a good place for peopled who enjoy camping. Saiwa Swamp National park has boardwalks and four observation towers that are strategically located. The observation towers enable tourists visiting Saiwa Swamp National Park watch the wildlife and birds. Like other national parks in the country, Saiwa National Park has various animals and birds. The park has a total of 372 species of birds that tourists can see.
Tourists visiting Saiwa Swamp National Park are able to see different kinds of birds like the Ross Turacos and the blue headed Coucal. In addition, the park has a wide range of African animals. Saiwa Swamp National park has black colobus monkey, white colobus monkey and otters. It also has genet cats and mongoose. Other animals that are found in Saiwa Swamp National Park are De Brazzzas monkey and Sitatunga antelope.
Sitatunga antelopes are able to swim and hide underwater during the dry season. Only the upper part of their nose can be seen during the dry season as they hide underwater. The Sitatunga antelopes have long legs and hooves that make it easy for the antelopes to run fast incase of danger. Though the long legs and hooves make it easy for the antelopes to run fast incase of danger, they affect their movement on land.
The Sitatunga antelopes are not able to run fast on land and can be attacked easily by predators. The Sitatunga antelopes have different colors. The female antelopes have a reddish brown cover and the male ones have a dark brown coat. They also have horns and mane. Additionally, the antelopes have warped horns that are almost 3 feet long.
Apart from having African animals and a wide range of birds, Saiwa Swamp National Park has various trees. The park is a mixture of two habitats. That is forests and swamp habitat. The Swamp habitats have tall bushes and reeds. Saiwa National Park has a tree platform where tourists can view the swamp and the Sitatunga antelopes from. Saiwa Swamp National Park has other animals, but it is not popular like other parks in the country because of its small size.
Tourists visiting the park can get accommodation from Saiwa tented camp. Saiwa tented camps are located 6 kilometers from the Saiwa Swamp junction. There are also tourist’s hotels in Kitale where tourists can get accommodation, food and other services. Lastly, Tourists can access Saiwa Swamp National Park by foot, vehicles or use air transport.