A two-week journey of adventure and discovery, combining different unique ecosystems in Kenya. You can opt to join this trip for the first 7 days only, completing a tour of Masai Mara and the Rift Valley or join on the second phase starting from Nakuru and proceeding on to Samburu and Mount Kenya in another 7 days. We can offer any departure date for private trips or you can join one of our regular departures commencing every Sunday subject to a minimum of 4 persons confirming.
Follow conventional tourist routes and include accommodation in budget hotels where these are available.
Masai Mara – Rift Valley Lakes Section – 7 Days
A journey through Kenya’s finest wildlife areas that has more to offer than just a visit of one wildlife park after another. Contrasting wildlife environments and cultures of Kenya’s savanna and the Rift Valley Lakes.
Day 1 Leave Nairobi at 0900hrs heading westwards past the populous Kikuyu settlements then descend to the floor of the Great Rift Valley. From the Narok – Naivasha junction we take the south western bearing across the Rift floor to the Maasai town of Narok for lunch. Later drive straight to Masai Mara for late afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight Mara Springs Safari Camp
Day 2 Early start for a full day’s game drive. Ecologically the Mara is an extension of the great Serengeti plains and teems with wildlife. This is where we can see elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard, zebra, giraffe, hippo, crocodile and a whole ark-full of other smaller animals and birds especially the birds of prey in their natural surroundings. From July to September, the Mara is home to the great wildebeest migration from Tanzania. We take a short break from the mid day sun beside the Hippo Pool on the Mara river where we have our picnic lunch as we watch hippos gracefully swim and play. After lunch we may visit one of the Lodges in the Game reserve to relax or swim (at own cost). An evening Maasai dance and cultural lecture around the campfire comes after our dinner. Dinner and overnight Mara Springs Safari Camp
Day 3 Dawn start in order to offer those enthusiastic about walking a chance to go on a 2 hours hike escorted by Maasai warriors. We hike up to the summit of the Naunare hills overlooking our Camp, a vantage point providing splendid views of the whole of the Masai Mara Park and its environs. Starting early helps you hike comfortably before the scorching African sun sets in as well as spot lots of birds and wild game along the trail. Those who are not interested in hiking can visit a local school or Maasai village (“Manyatta”). After lunch, do an afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight Mara Springs Safari Camp
Day 4 Take the northwest bearing, driving on the new Narok-Bomet road through rich agricultural country. We cross through large tea estates and maize plantations, arriving at Kericho, the nucleus of the ‘tea belt’, in the afternoon. Take a tour of the expansive tea estates to see how tea leaves are picked, sorted and transferred to the factory. We can organise for a foreman to give us a talk on the tea growth cycle, right from propagation to harvesting. Dinner and overnight Kericho Tea Hotel
Day 5 Leave early and drive north-eastwards through Nakuru up to Lake Bogoria National Reserve, famous for its hot springs and a concentration of flamingos and other salt lake birds. Afternoon game drive en route to our campsite. All along the lakeshores thousands of flamingos, kingfishers, herons and an array of other birds congregate to feed. With some luck it is possible to see the rare lesser kudu, gazelles, zebra and other game in the surrounding bushes. The fascinating scenery of Lake Bogoria National Reserve includes the steaming hot springs and geysers. Those wishing to take it easy in this hot part of the country can ride along on the vehicle alighting only at points of interest within the park. Dinner and overnight Park campsite
Day 6 Morning 2-3 hours game walk on the lakeshores. Later drive for 2- 3 hours to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is a world famous bird and rhino sanctuary where thousands of flamingos congregate to feed on Spirulina platensis, a blue-green alga that grows naturally in the lake. Found here as well are plenty of other interesting wildlife and birds such as the white rhino, leopard, lion, waterbuck, buffalo, impala, warthog, pelicans and a spectrum of other bird species. Afternoon game drive here with an excellent chance of seeing the rare rhino. Dinner and overnight camping inside the park.
Day 7 Whole day of game drives in Lake Nakuru park. Those ending their trip today proceed directly back to Nairobi after morning game drive while those joining for the 2nd section of the trip spend another night at the Park. Samburu –
Mount Kenya Section – 7 Days
Day 8 Leave early for a drive up the Rift Valley escarpment via Thompson’s Falls in Nyahururu, to Mountain Rock Lodge (Mt. Kenya) for lunch. From here, we journey further to the north, taking us another 3 hours to reach Samburu Game Reserve where we do a late afternoon game drive en route to our well-selected campsite along the Ewaso Nyiro River. Dinner and overnight Park campsite
Day 9 Whole day on game drives. Located in the semi-arid parts of northern Kenya, Samburu teems with wildlife and birds and it is a true representative of the semi-arid ecosystems of East Africa. Some of the unique wildlife species found here include the long-necked Gerenuk, Grevy’s Zebra and birds such as the Batelleur and Buffalo weaver. Optional brief visits to a Samburu village (“Manyatta”) to learn about the local people’s unique culture and lifestyle. Dinner and overnight Park campsite
Day 10 Depart early and drive back towards Mount Kenya enjoying splendid views of the majestic Mountain ahead. Then on to our hotel base for the next three days on the forested slopes of Mt. Kenya. Afternoon relaxing around the grounds or gentle walk through the forest where local natural history expert will reveal the medicinal plants, birds and animals of the forest environment. The natural Forest that surrounds the hotel was once a base for the Kenyan freedom fighters who fought against the British colonial masters in the 1950’s. During the hike we learn a lot about the history as well as the flora and fauna of this tropical montane forest from our escort naturalist guide. Dinner and overnight Mountain Rock Lodge.
Day 11 Early breakfast then leave for a day trip to Mount Kenya while the peaks are still free of cloud cover. This is the highest mountain in Kenya that also straddles the Equator, its highest point (Batian) rising to 5199m above sea level. Our day trip focuses mostly on studies of the vegetation and its zonation though there are also opportunities for bird watching and wildlife viewing. From a lower altitude at the Sirimon (2600m) Park gates, we do a 3-4 hours trek through forest, bamboo and heather up to the moorlands at 3,300m above sea level then descend in 2 hours back to the Park gate. Being a volcanic mountain, Mount Kenya has plenty of other fascinating features such as deep valleys and rivers. More energetic hikers can trek further up to higher altitudes of between 3500m – 4000m from where we are able to capture good views of the main peaks. Alternatively, you can visit Sweetwaters Game Sanctuary. Here, we get to see among other animals the translocated Chimpanzees from the war torn Central African countries. Sweetwaters Sanctuary is a privately owned game ranch located 40 minutes away from Mountain Rock Lodge. It occupies part of the expansive Laikipia plains. A whole lineup of interesting activities awaits you on this ranch, including an orientation tour of the ranch, conservation activities, study of chimpanzees, game drives, wildlife biology and ecology and animal identification. There are also options for swimming, horse riding and camel riding. As you pass Nanyuki, take a short break at the Equator crossing for a photo session and an optional demonstration of Corioli’s effect on water rotation either sides of the Equator.
Dinner and overnight Mountain Rock Lodge.
Day 12 Culturally oriented tour through the local Kikuyu villages and farms. Optional school, market or traditional wool-spinners visits. We can arrange overnight stays for anyone wanting to experience village life a bit more closely. A fascinating insight into the lives of the people who live on the mountain slopes, enhancing your Mt. Kenya experience and also helping to provide an income for the locals. Or alternatively choose another activity among those available from the hotel – horse riding, trout fishing, mountain biking and bird watching. Dinner and overnight Mountain Rock Lodge.
Day 13 Transfer to Aberdare Country Club or Outspan Hotel for “Tree Hotel” experience. From the hotel balcony, you can watch large concentrations of animals round a salt lick. Dinner and overnight at The Ark or Treetops Hotel
Day 14 Transfer back to Nairobi.