An all-encompassing itinerary ideal for those who would like to do a walking safari without necessarily doing camping. The program combines Kenya and Tanzania giving the client a taste of the two Countries, there disparities, different cultural orientations and the diverse wildlife and landscapes. The walks are easy and well spaced thus ideal for every age group. Wildlife viewing is combined with interactive visits to local villages giving the client the other facet of East African that is always ignored by conventional tourists.
Day 1: Depart from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha region.
You check in at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon you visit of Hell’s gate National park. Cleft deep into the floor of the Rift Valley, Hell’s Gate provides endless bio-diversity. The towering cliffs and undulating grasslands provide one of the few remaining places where you can walk alongside herds of Zebra, eland, hartebeest, gazelles, giraffes and buffaloes as well as birdlife including augur buzzards, vultures, verreaux eagle, bee-eaters, and chats among others. Its spectacular scenery including the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam make it one of the most spectacular parks in Africa. You drive and walk in the same measure stopping from time to time to enjoy the fascinating sceneries and abundant wildlife. Overnight at Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge.
Day 2: Day trip to Lake Nakuru national park for game drives in the park to see flamingoes and other mammals.
At only 4kms from Nakuru town and covering an area of 180square kilometers, Lake Nakuru is a world famous bird and rhino sanctuary. The park encompasses Lake Nakuru, a rift valley soda lake, and two forests – acacia and euphorbia forests. Millions of flamingoes paint this park with its shimmering pink color. Other birds include pelicans, ostrich, marabou, ibis, eagles, vultures, woodpeckers, touracos, barbets, among others. Due to this park’s prolific birdlife, the park has lately been declared a World’s Important Bird Area. Apart from the bird life, Lake Nakuru is abundant with wild game including lions, leopard, rhinos, impalas, gazelles, eland, zebra, buffalo, and giraffe. Later drive back to Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge for overnight.
Day 3: Early morning boat ride on Lake Naivasha and later drive to the small Maasai village called Maji Moto (hot springs) in the Loita plains.
The Loita plains form the wildlife corridor between Maasai Mara and the Narok region. These plains teem with wildlife all year round with climax concentration being between the months of November and March. During this period there is a huge population of wildebeests that migrate to here from the Maasai Mara to graze on the grassy plains and for the calving season. With the abundance of herbivores predators are inevitable and so anyone coming here may be mistaken to think that he/she is already in the Maasai Mara. This region is also home to the Maasai people, the semi nomad pastoralists who have preserved the age old traditions despite the advent of modernity. Upon arrival you will visit a Maasai “Manyatta” (homestead) to learn more about the way of life of these people. Later in the evening we’ll take a short hike and visit the hot springs and take a dip or just soak our feet in. Overnight at Luxury tented camp set up at the Maji Moto campsite.
Day 4: Full day of activities with the Maasai.
Start an early morning hike with the Maasai Morans and trek to the hills overlooking the campsite. Along the way you learn about the medicinal plants, birds and how the Maasai interact with wild animals in the wild. If schools are in session you may visit a local school that has been set up to rescue the Maasai girls from female genital mutilation and early marriages. Other activities you may engage in include warrior training activities such as body decoration, wilderness survival tactics and folk dances. Overnight at Luxury tented camp set up at the Maji Moto campsite.
Day 5: Depart for Maasai Mara national reserve.
Maasai Mara, now the seventh wonder of the modern world, is a country of breathtaking vistas, vast rolling plains and rounded hills, acacia woodlands, dense thickets of scrub. The whole bisected by the Mara River and its tributaries margined with luxuriant riverine forests. Its vast plains teem with endless herds of game together with the associated predators. It is perhaps the only region left in Africa where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. Here, you find the largest population of lions in Kenya, seen in their natural setting and the impressive herds of elephants. Other animals include buffaloes, hartebeest, wildebeest, topi, eland, impala, gazelles, black rhino (very rare), giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, hippopotamus, crocodile, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackals, among others. Bird species include eagles, vultures, marabou, ostrich, touracos, guinea fowls, bastards, cranes, and many more. Afternoon game drive in the reserve to see some of this big game. Overnight at Keekorok Lodge.
Day 6: Full day game drive in the Maasai Mara national reserve.
Our experienced driver guides will take you to different locations of the park to observe the large concentrations of herbivores and the related predators. The most intriguing phenomenon in Maasai Mara is the Wildebeest migration that occurs between the months of July and September. Every July, millions of wildebeests and zebra move from Serengeti to Maasai Mara on their annual migration, attracting an entourage of cheetahs, lions and other predators. Overnight at Keekorok Lodge.
Day 7: Early morning game drive in the reserve and later return to the camp for breakfast and after breakfast you head back to Nairobi. Overnight at Rock House Guest House in Nairobi.
Day 8: Depart from Nairobi and journey south through vast savannah to Amboseli national park for a first wildlife viewing session and arrive in time for lunch. The park is famous for being the best spot in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet the Maasai and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro – the highest free-standing mountain in the world. This afternoon we explore five main wildlife habitats – open grassland plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush, swamps and marshland that characterize Amboseli. These ecosystems are home to gazelles, elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, wildebeests, zebras, hippos among others. The presence of the permanent swamp makes birdlife in Amboseli abundant. Overnight at Amboseli Serena Lodge or similar.
Day 9: After an early breakfast we have another game drive en-route to the border town of Namanga and cross into Tanzania then proceed to a Maasai village below the Longido Mountain. We have a picnic lunch here then visit a Maasai homestead and learn about medicinal plants and their use and age-old cultural practices. We set up camp near the Maasai village. Have dinner as you enjoy Maasai folktales told by the locals under star-lit night sky. Overnight in tents in Luxury Tented camp at Longido.
Day 10: Guided by Maasai warriors together with our own naturalist guide, leave camp early and follow narrow footpaths through a dense natural forest. After three hours you will be at the picturesque Dawa ya supu (medicine soup) view point. We then follow trails created by buffaloes to reach the top in another two hours climb. Our Maasai guides make loud cries intermittently to warn buffaloes of our presence. The views from the top are simply unbelievable. On clear days you can see for more than 200km and view all the mountains of Northern Tanzania (Mount Meru, Oldonyo Lengai and Kilimanjaro). Descend to campsite, have a short rest and a well deserved hot lunch. Our trek has taken the better part of 6 hours. We then board our vehicle(s) for the journey to Karatu. Dinner and Overnight at Lodge in Karatu.
Day 11: Set of early with packed lunch to Ngorongoro Crater, a unique collapsed volcano which is a permanent residence of over 25,000 herbivores and a high density of predatory cats. We do a game drive in the Crater with high chances of seeing elephants, rhinos, zebras, lions, gazelles, wildebeests among others. During midday you stop for picnic lunch and later continue with the evening game drive as you head back to Karatu. Dinner and overnight at a Lodge in Karatu.
Day 12: Hike to Endoro Forest up to the water falls. Return to Karatu for overnight in a Lodge.
Day 13: Depart from Karatu with game drive in Lake Manyara National park. Lake Manyara is a park that is famed for its tree climbing lions. Herds of elephant here are impressive. The sight of the pink flamingos is spectacular and the views of the Rift Valley escarpment breathe taking. Overnight at Lake Manyara hotel.
Day 14: Full morning cultural activities at the Mto wa Mbu village, a cultural melting pot for a mix of Tanzanian tribes. We alight from the vehicle(s) and hike into the village to learn about the different economic activities undertaken by the locals. Among these are small-scale horticultural farms, banana plantations, local beer brewery and Makonde wood carving workshops and community project we support that include schools and water points. After lunch you journey back to Arusha for a relaxed evening and guest house overnight!