ITINERARY 03: NAIROBI \ ABERDARE \ NAKURU \ MASAI MARA
Upon Arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi, you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to your hotel. Overnight at a Nairobi hotel. (B)
Nairobi - Tree Hotel (200 KM - 02.30 HRS) (BLD)
Depart Nairobi at 0800 Hours and drive through the Kenyan Highlands, past pineapple and coffee plantations in Thika and Nyeri. You arrive at your base hotel, the Aberdare Country Club, in time for lunch. Aberdare country club is located on the slopes of Mweiga Hill just, 190 kilometers from Nairobi in Mweiga. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the Ark Tree Lodge in the Aberdare National Park located only 17 Kilometers/ 11 Miles away. The Ark overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of awesome wildlife. Meals and overnight at Lodge. You are required to pack an overnight bag when you transfer to the Ark for the night.
Tree Hotel - Nakuru (200 KM - 03.00 HRS) (BLD)
Breakfast at the lodge. Transfer to Aberdare Country Club where you will re-join your driver guide. Drive to the exotic Lake Nakuru National Park located in the Great Rift Valley. Arrive in time for lunch. Later in the afternoon proceed for an afternoon game drive. Among the predators are lions and leopards, there are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe. The Park also has large sized python snakes that inhabit the dense woodlands, and can often be seen crossing the roads or dangling from trees.
The game in this Park is plentiful and the magnificent bird watching will make a devotee out of even the most reluctant. The bird life here is world renown and over 400 bird's species exist here, White Pelicans, Plovers, Egrets and Marabou Stork. It is also one of the very few places in Africa to see the White Rhino and rare Rothschild Giraffe. Dinner and overnight at Lodge/Camp (LDB)
Nakuru - Masai Mara (300 KM - 05.30 HRS/ 230 KM - 05.30 HRS) (BLD)
After breakfast, drive through the dramatic Great Rift Valley to the Masai Mara National Reserve. This enormous reserve is actually part of the vast Serengeti plains famously known for its spectacular great wildebeest's migration and is home of the Big Five: Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Buffalo and Rhino. Lunch at your Lodge/ camp and relax before departing for an afternoon game drive. The Mara Game Reserve - one of the greatest wildernesses of the world. Large mammals are varied, and easy to see. Residents among the Parks are: Maasai Giraffe, Buffalo, Eland and thousands of plain game including Impala, Zebra, Topi, both Thomson's and grants Gazelles. Meals and overnight at a lodge / camp in Mara.
Masai Mara (BLD)
After breakfast, proceed on a morning game-viewing drive to search for the myriad species of game that make this reserve their home. If you are lucky, you can witness the kill in action, moment by moment, right in front of your unbelieving eyes! After a sumptuous lunch at your lodge, proceed for another exciting game drive, where you can expect to see the famous 'Big 5'. Meals and overnight at a lodge/camp in Mara.
Masai Mara - Nairobi (270 KM - 05.00 HRS) (B)
After breakfast checkout and drive back to Nairobi arriving in time for lunch at a restaurant. Later transfer to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your onward flight.
Inclusions:Stay ,Transfer,Sightseeings and Meals as per the above Itineraries.
Exclusions:Airfares,Visa and Government Service Tax.
Easter & Christmas Supplement:15th,16th & 17th April / 24,25,26,31st Dec - 1st Jan: USD 60 per person per night.
We have our own fleet consisting of safari minivans, and 4x4 Landcruisers. The safari minivans have 6 individual window seats, all equipped with integrated headrest, armrest and seatbelt, plus large pouches and bottle holders. Large fridge for cold drinks etc. ., All-terrain tyres inclusive of 2 spare wheels, special dust-proofing all around plus external protections.
Above all this we have a 24 - hour concierge number for ease of accessibility incase of situations that require our urgent attention at whatever time of the day. Our dedicated team of consultants is also always available and we guarantee a 24 hour turnaround time and if not possible we will always update you but not exceed 48 hours before responding.
Kenya Parks & Reserves Information.
Amboseli National Park
Arid looking as Amboseli is it has, historically, supported both game and the Maasai that kept their herds of cattle here. It is thanks to the waters that run off Africa's greatest mountain that the apparently dry Amboseli, Kenya's first game sanctuary, is able to support its wildlife. Mount Kilimanjaro broods high over Amboseli, generally cloaked by clouds but appearing in all its snow-shrouded magnificence from time to time. Kilimanjaro was once part of Kenya, but on the marriage of Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany Queen Victoria gifted it to her beloved grand son, whose colony Tanzania then was, as the perfect wedding present. The mountain now provides water for the park, wonderful views and of course, the most glorious background for animal photography. There has been serious erosion in the park. Elephant feeding habits combined with light soil have made serious inroads in the Amboseli vegetation. Nonetheless, there are still high numbers of the elephant for which the park is famous, and it is here that much research has been done on the largest land mammal. Indeed, a cursory examination will show that humankind is not the only animal to destroy its own environment.
The grasslands in the park can be undeniably lovely when made verdant by the rains and the three major swamps could star in a dinosaur movie. The swamps on the east of the park attract wildebeest, zebra and antelope with the predators that live off them, chiefly lion which tend to be easy to view here. In the south, Enkongo Narok swamp attracts hippos to the larger pools and plenty of buffalo, buck and teeming birdlife including the jacanas that pick their way elegantly and carefully. Giraffe are here and in areas still sufficiently treed there are leopard. Cheetah, caracal and civet may be seen. In the west of the park lies Lake Amboseli, a seasonal soda lake, sometimes with flamingos. Amboseli is a fabulous place to visit. The overwhelmingly lovely views and good wildlife sightings are too good to miss.
Aberdare National Park
Probably the highest national park in the world, Aberdare is all above 7,000 feet. The habitat of the Aberdare Mountains, like that of Mount Kenya that is on the other side of the Laikipia Plains, ranges from forest and thick bamboo to open moor land. Breathtaking waterfalls, brightly coloured birds, soaring raptors, a fascinating and diverse plant world and gorgeous scenery make this national park both lovely and intriguing.
This is the area for those who are keen to fish. A certain Captain Grogan and the fishing, in rivers such as the Naro Moru, the Thego, introduced the trout here in 1906 and the Chania is renowned. The Aberdares are also remembered as the guerrilla base of Kenyan heroes during their war for independence from the British. Established as a national park in 1950, Aberdare lies around two high peaks, Kinangop and Lesatima, with almost 50 kilometres of high moors stretching mistily between them. The scenery here is stunning and the waterfalls particularly dramatic - the Gura Falls plunge and foam down the side of a 1500-foot rock face. Some of the indigenous wildlife in the Aberdares is equally as stunning. Melanistic black leopard, serval and genet can be found here, but are both shy and rare. Large numbers of buffalo, a few rhino, elephant, Colubus monkeys, bush pig and wart hog may be found in the forests. It is said that the elephant still remember the bombing raids by the British during the war for independence, and are thus extremely suspicious of mankind. The birding is excellent. Brightly coloured parrots, francolin, the strutting secretary bird and green ibis are among the species here. Sunbirds enjoy the open moors and raptors such as the rufous sparrowhawk, goshawk, buzzards and the crowned eagle scour the moors for prey.
The Aberdares even has a Hollywood connection. This is where the film "Gorillas in the Mist", starring Sigourney Weaver, was made. The renowned naturalist studied the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and was murdered there. Perhaps even more famously, although rather longer ago, it was to Treetops, that the news of her father's death, and her accession to the throne, was brought to the then Princess Elizabeth.
Samburu National Reserve And Buffalo Springs National Reserve Kenya
Samburu is different from many of the other frequently visited areas. These forty square miles of reserve is not the oft-seen Kenyan landscape of savannah and flat-topped acacias, but harsh, dramatic terrain. The people from this area, the Samburu, are similarly dramatic to the outsider. Dressed in bright red, with their braided hair and skin daubed with red ochre, the "Moran", the youthful warriors of the Samburu almost always spear-in-hand, are a wonderful sight. The permanent water supply of the Uaso Nyiro River is what attracts the game to Samburu. Much of the reserve is arid, hilly landscape but riverine forest fringes the riverbanks and there are doum palms, the fruit of which is a great favourite with elephants. Crocodiles lie quietly in the mud and it is here that you will find abundant Birdlife, including palm-eagles, storks, hornbills, bee-eaters and plenty of weaverbirds.
Some species in the area are specially adapted to the arid environment, and are particularly northern - the magnificent Oryx, for example and the gerenuk, a rather odd looking long-necked gazelle which can stretch up to reach the lower branches of the thorn trees. You will also find Grevy's Zebra, larger than the more commonly seen Burchell's zebra, and reticulated giraffe, with their irregular netted pattern of white. Desert lion are found here, leopards can be seen, and the ostrich (Ethiopian) have blue legs! Elephant wander, browsing in family groups.
Buffalo Springs has the Uaso Nyiro River as its northern boundary, and thus may almost be seen as an extension of Samburu Reserve, which is bounded in the south by the river. The game here is the same as Samburu, but here there is more marshland and the large pools from the springs themselves. You may cross from one reserve to the other via a bridge over the river.
Samburu and Buffalo Springs are becoming more sought after as a wildlife destination. They are only a couple of hundred miles from Nairobi and thus an easy hop on the light aircraft that fly from Wilson Airport, which itself is just outside Nairobi. In addition, the harsh beauty of the landscape is compelling.
Mount Kenya National Park
Centred on Africa's second highest mountain, Mount Kenya National Park covers the most astonishing variation in terrain. The twin high peaks of extinct volcano Mount Kenya, Batian at 5199m and Nelion at 5188m, are the only places on the equator to boast permanent snow. Four days, for the fit amateur, will see you to the top of the lower peak, Lanana, and on the way up allow you to see the GM-looking giant plantlife of the mountainsides, including a huge lobelia of up to ten feet high quite unlike our own garden varieties, and giant rosette plants! The two higher peaks, joined by a ridge called the Gate of Mists, are strictly for the accomplished climber and Kenya is rated, even by Himalayan climbers, as one of the most difficult ice mountains in the world. To the Kikuyu, Kenya's largest ethnic group, Mount Kenya is the home of the God Ngai who sits atop the highest peak and is thus their sacred mountain.
Forested with juniper and podo from about two thousand metres, the vegetation changes to bamboo and then a thick canopy of lesser trees. Spanish moss frosts the trees, watered by the mists of the mountain slopes. Leopard, elephant, colobus monkeys, the shy bongo and buffalo inhabit the forest. Stunning sunbirds in jewel bright colours may be seen on the slopes. The Mount Kenya mole rat and the Mount Kenya mole shrew, specific to the area, are rare. The elusive golden cat can also be found at higher altitudes and it is said that on the moors there is a better chance of seeing the melanistic black leopard.
Tracks up the mountain are passable in good weather by four wheel drive vehicles. The Naro Moru track leads through the main gate to the park and takes you to about ten thousand feet. The Chogoria track, on the Meru side, takes you to about fourteen thousand feet. High altitude moorland walks are of stunning beauty. Tarns twinkle in the sunlight and the views are utterly breath-taking.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Originally declared a national park because of a superbly diverse bird population, which includes many migrants, the park is also a favourite place for travellers to seek the rare black rhino. However, it is for the flamingos that the lake is best known, and it was for their protection that the park was originally created. The level of the blue-green alkaline waters here varies and this, with other accompanying environmental changes, causes considerable variation in the flamingo population, but when they are present, en masse, the whole lake turns a gorgeous rosy pink.
Although protection of the flamingo population on the lake was the original rationale for the inception of the national park, further land was included in the early seventies and it is now about 190 sq m. This expansion, which took in a large grassland area, has allowed the park to protect further species. Buffalo, zebra, antelope and both lion and leopard are to be found. The rather less ubiquitous reedbuck and waterbuck are also here as is the glamorously leggy Rothschild giraffe. Temptingly, the black rhino-breeding programme, started in the late eighties, has proved successful and this is an excellent place to view them.
Lake Nakuru is a small national park. There is no need to stay in the area in order to see all that is to be seen. A good day trip may be enough and these can easily be organised from the Lake Naivasha area.
Masai Mara National G.R
Probably the most famous of the reserves, the Masai Mara, in Kenya's southwestern corner, boasts an astonishing amount of game. Unfenced, the Mara is bounded in the east by the Ngama Hills and in the west by the Oloololo or Siria Escarpment. Gazelle, wildebeest and zebra graze in large numbers and where prey is found so are predators. Not only is this a great place in which to find game, but also the wide greeny-gold savannahs spotted with thorn trees make it ideal for photography. The Mara, as it is known in Kenya, is ravishingly beautiful and also offers long, undisturbed views and utterly dramatic panoramas. The weather really means something here. The sun may beat down unforgivingly, huge clouds in fabulous shapes may sweep across the widest of skies, and the wind ripples the grasses as though they are stroked by a giant hand. The landscape is stunning.
The famously black-maned Mara lions are possibly the stars of the Mara show, but cheetah, elephant, kongoni, topi, Thompson's gazelle, waterbuck, hyena, and primates are all here too. As with the rest of Kenya, the birding is good. There is no settlement within the reserve however; the Mara is in theory owned by the Maasai, pastoralists and, in earlier times, renowned lion-killers. Lodges and hotels offer the opportunity to buy their beadwork, checked cloths and copies of their spears. It is said that if lions scent approaching Maasai on the breeze they move swiftly in the opposite direction.
Famously, the Mara is the northerly end of the Great Migration, that great primeval surge of wildebeest, zebra and antelope that sweeps in from Tanzania's Serengeti to Kenya's Masai Mara as the Tanzanian grass starts to fail. They are tracked by the large predators that pick off the weak, the stragglers and the young. The great herds, nearing their destination by July, mass along the Mara River, pushing, shoving and fantastically noisy, just waiting for the first animal to cross so that they can all follow, lemming-like, on the final leg of the journey. However, crocodiles lie in wait, sluggishly cruising the waters, fully prepared for their best meal of the year. Many fail in the life-and-death struggle - drowned, eaten by the crocodiles or, made careless or weak by their stressful swim, brought down by lions. The Masai Mara is terrible yet wonderful, and not to be missed.
PLEASE be reminded to inform your clients that the luggage allowance on our schedule flights is strictly 15KGS PER PERSON and that SOFT BAGS are highly recommended, if not essential. In light aircraft the baggage area and weight allowance is limited. Hard Samsonite type suitcases do not fit into the cargo compartment easily, if at all. Due to limited space available for storage in safari vehicles, we strongly recommend use soft duffle bags rather than hard suitcases.
Flying doctor services are Optional at USD 30 per pax (Subject to change and vendor terms & conditions).
Only applicable to one or two children under 12 years sharing a room with 2 adults. In the case of 02 children sharing a room with parents, the two children will share a bed, as most hotels Lodges cannot accommodate a fourth bed. 01 child sharing a room with 01 adult will be charged full adult rate.