Good things come in small packages

Do you agree that good things come in small packages?

The most rare antelope species, Sitatunga, is found in the Saiwa swamp National Park which happens to be the smallest park in Kenya.

Saiwa Swamp National Park Gate.jpg

Saiwa swamp national park covers only 3 km squared and is located in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County, Kenya. It was created to protect and preserve the Sitatunga.

Saiwa Swamp National Park.jpg

This park was established in 1974 and managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service. Its vegetation is a mixture of forest and swamp habitat with tall bushes and reeds along its marshy edge.  Apart from the Sitatunga, the park also has smaller African animals, including black and white Columbus monkeys, genet cats, mongooses, bushbucks and De Brazzas monkeys, some bird species as well as unique indigenous flora species.

The park has no roads within its perimeter but instead it has walking trails and bridges. It suits walking, camping and even bird watching. It also has observation towers and tree houses.  It is an ideal park to visit if you enjoy walking, bird watching or camping.

Saiwa Walking Trails.jpg

Saiwa Tree House.JPG

This amazing park can be visited all year round and still able to provide you the most amazing lasting experience during your travel.

So what makes Sitatunga rare? They are rare due to their ability to live in the marshy and swampy areas unlike other antelopes that live in dry areas. They are aquatic antelopes that are confined to swamps and marshy areas. Their bodies are specially adapted to their environment whereby their hooves are widely sprayed and elongated, their coat is water-repellent and shaggy and the color of their coat promotes an excellent camouflage.

Sitatunga are mainly active during the night as well as the very early hours after dawn. They spend most of their time feeding. They only leave the swamps at night and not during the day. They can be found in groups but this is very rare. A group will mostly include an adult male, few females and juveniles. In most cases, individuals associate with their own sex.

The severe threat facing survival of the Sitatunga is habitat loss. The more the wetlands keep disappearing the higher the chances of Sitatunga disappearance. As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), Sitatunga has been classified under the least concern category.

For sure small things come in small packages!!!

 

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