Rimoi is a national reserve that is usually forgotten among the many other options for safari in Kenya. The number of large animals is scarce and the density of the bushes makes it difficult to spot them. But, in contrast, the visit to the reserve is lovely for the inhabitants of the area since the number of tourists is rather minimal.
The size of the reserve (66 squared kilometers) categorizes it as a small one. The most common activity for visiting it is the campsite and the close contact with nature. Also to experience the contrast with the highlands surrounding it. For example, feel the cold in Iten (at 2400m above sea level) and the dryness of Rimoi (where Lake Kamnarok lays at roughly 1000m above sea level).
Among the available animals, the most famous ones are the elephants. Its population is big but seeing them while in the reserve is a challenge. Although the reserve is not large, there are some unfenced areas that allow the elephants to roam outside. For this reason, and for the density of the bushes, spotting elephants in Rimoi is not easy.
The easy and amazing animals that can be seen are the large quantity and variety of birds. They can be easily observed in open areas such as the Crocodile Camp or, even better, the elevated observation platform called Tabar. Also the area of lake Kamnarok is a good location for bird lovers, especially for those wetland species. In my visit to the reserve, I managed to spot a fishing eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), many lilac-breasted roller (Coracias caudata), the black kite (Milvus migrans), some bee-eaters, the grey-headed kingfish (Halcyon leucocephala), many spur-winged plover (Vanellus spinosus), some great egret (Casmerodius albus melanorhynchos), and many more.
Crocodiles can be present sometimes in the Kerio River, but it’s much more common that they migrate to places with more water. If that happens, bathing in the river is possible and also go upstream or downstream to explore the area. The rangers of the reserve might be able to give advice on that and suggest what it is allowed and what it is not.
Lastly, about camping, this is (in my opinion) the best way to enjoy the reserve. The area named “Crocodile Camp” sits adjacent to the Kerio River and only 5 kilometers from the park gate. The services offered are simple but sufficient: cooking area, water, latrines and showers. If it’s necessary, they also offer tents for hire.
Rimoi can’t compete with the rest of the reserves or parks in Kenya but it offers an unmatching tranquility. It is very common that the whole camping area is occupied by a single group. Such convenience pays off for the lack of larger animals to be seen.
Localization: the park gate is around 20kms away from Biretwo (unpaved).
Coordinates: 0.6390339151194004, 35.57921515479713 (Google Maps)
Phone numbers: 0726 645293, 0750540568, 0797302526
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