East Africa Camping Safari

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This incredible two week journey explores some of the most interesting and unique regions of Kenya, with a focus on tented wildlife safaris in some of the finest game reserves in the world. In two weeks you will experience the diversity Kenya has to offer from the Serengeti plains with wildebeest, zebra and antelope, to the lions, cheetah and leopards that stalk them.

After a brief introduction to the colourful capital of Kenya we start with “Masai Mara National Reserve” — Set at an altitude of 1650 mts. the rolling grasslands offer natures many dramatic spectacle with abundance of game species.

Year round the Mara is rich in resident wildlife and the combination of gentle climate with scenic splendour and unbelievable wildlife makes it Kenya’s most popular inland destination. As we move into the spectacular RiftValley we come to “Lake Naivasha” which is the highest and purest of the Great Rift Valley lakes and is ideal for leisure pursuits which bird watching, Water skiing, fishing, adventure trekking and game watching. Few lakes in the world have a more commanding or lovely setting than this Lake.

Onwards we access to the infinitely remote “Lake Bogoria” which presents an exciting contrast to the more conventional game parks. Gregory, the great geologist who first set eyes on this lake in 1892 described the sight as the most beautiful view in Africa. As we explore through the Rift Valley we will find ourselves in Lake Nakuru National Park — Kenya’s largest rhino reserve which also has earned its fame as the home of the greatest bird spectacle in the world — a myriad of more than a million pink flamingos.

Following the path to the Samburu National Reserve we will look for Grevy zebra, reticulated giraffe and other rare animals living in this near desert dry bushland. And before we return to Nairobi one of the highlights will be majestic Mount Kenya, which was considered God’s domain by awed farmers at its foothills. This is the second highest mountain in Africa at 17,000 feet sitting high above our camp in the foothills from which we will explore its lower reaches on a day hike.

While on safari we travel in a specially built safari vehicle, which is completely self-sufficient with all equipment, fuel, food and water on board. There is a professional crew to make our experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible

Detailed Itinerary

Nairobi

Arrive in Nairobi and you will be transferred to our comfortable Hotel. The evening is free to relax and get over your jet lag.

1

Nairobi

Free day in Nairobi on your own.

The National Museum, Railway Museum and the National Archivesis are good places to visit. You might also want to stroll to the Kenyatta Conference Center — the second tallest building in Nairobi where you can get a great view of Nairobi. Choose to go on a short orientation walk around the city. Or use the day to pick up any last minute supplies you might have missed. Overnight in the hotel.

2

Nairobi to Masai Mara

Leave Nairobi at 0900 hrs heading westwards past the populous Kikuyu settlements then descend to the floor of the scenic Great Rift Valley with a brief stop-over at the Rift Valley View point.

From the Narok – Naivasha junction we take the south western bearing across the Rift floor which hosts dramatic and varied landscapes including volcanic backdrops of soaring lava cliffs and undulating Savannah topography. Our journey today is chiefly through the vast Maasai country which supports livestock, wild game and wheat fields. Midway to the Mara we stop briefly at Narok town, the commercial and administrative centre of the Maasailand. From here we drive further west across the Mara plains, which are rich in wildlife. The rolling loita hills on the side of the dirt road to our destination are a picturesque site. We arrive at Mara Springs Safari Camp; our permanent tented camp in the secluded Sekanani Valley in time for a late lunch and a welcome hot shower. The camp is located a short distance from the Masai Mara Game Reserve which we shall visit for game viewing and sight seeing drives throughout our stay starting this afternoon. Total driving time 5 hours. Dinner and overnight in Mara camp.

3

Masai Mara

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 the elephants, 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 in Mara Camp.

4

Masai Mara

Dawn start in order to offer those enthusiastic about walking a chance to go on a 2 hours hike escorted by Maasai warriors before the start of the day’s game drives. 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 remain behind at the camp or alternatively go on a pre-breakfast game drive. You return to the camp for breakfast then proceed on the day’s game drive. Today’s lunch is served hot at the camp.

If you wish you could optionally visit a Maasai Manyatta (Homestead) or nearby primary school this afternoon at a small extra fee.

5

Masai Mara to Naivasha

Another early game drive to spot any animals you may have missed the whole time — Early morning game viewing sessions normally reward you with a chance to witness a hunt or capture memorable scenes on film of predators setting ambush and causing a pandemonium among their prey. Return to the camp for breakfast then drive for 4 hours up to Lake Naivasha. On arrival at our waterside camp by Lake Naivasha, lunch, and then go on our pre-booked boat ride along the shoreline where you get the best sites to spot birds and Hippos. The lake is famed for its bird life particularly fish, eagles, pelicans and lovebirds and has many hippos — often grazing around our tents at night!

Tip: An alternative to the boat ride is a visit to the nearby Hells Gate National Park for a walking or cycling safari. Here you walk or ride amongst herds of zebra, gazelle and giraffe with a dramatic volcanic backdrop of soaring lava cliffs, steaming volcanic vents and Hot Springs. The alternative may be attractive to the adventurous visitor but the mid-afternoon sun may make the task very challenging. Dinner and overnight in Lake shore Camp.

6

Naivasha to Bogoria

Leave early and drive westwards for 4 hours up to Lake Bogoria National Reserve, famous for its hot springs and a concentration of flamingos and other salt lake birds. This afternoon we have a chance to go on a 2 – 3 hours game walk on the lake shores 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 in Bush Campsite.

7

Bogoria to Nakuru

Depart early for a 3 hours drive to Nakuru town for lunch before entering the 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, water buck buffalo, impala, warthog, pelicans and a spectrum of other bird species. Dinner and overnight in Park campsite.

8

Nakuru to Samburu

Leaving early, we drive for 3 hours, via Thompson’s Falls in Nyahururu, up 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 in Park campsite.

9

Samburu

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 Sambur village (“Manyatta”) to learn about the local people’s unique culture and lifestyle. Dinner and overnight in Park campsite

10

Samburu to Mount Kenya

Depart early and drive back towards Mount Kenya enjoying splendid views of this majestic Mountain most of the way. You can ask the driver to stop in Nanyuki at one of the banks, where you can change some more money if necessary. Patrick, the manager at the Mt Rock Hotel, will also change money if you are unable to change in town.

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. Drive on to Mountain Rock Lodge on the western slopes of Mount Kenya, arriving for lunch. Mountain Rock Lodge is a country lodge built within the natural Mount Kenya forest and runs as an Adventure holiday base.

This afternoon we do a 3 hours nature walk through the forest learning about local medicinal plants, bird watching and a visit to the historic Mau Mau caves and waterfall.

Once a base for the Kenyan freedom fighters, the Mau Mau caves were a secret hideout for the freedom fighters that 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 guides who have a wealth of knowledge on all these aspects. After the hike return to the lodge for a relaxed afternoon. Dinner and overnight in Mountain Rock Lodge.

11

Mount Kenya

After breakfast we take a day trip to Mount Kenya.

Mt Kenya straddles the Equator, its highest point (Batian) rising to 5199m above sea level. Our day trip to the Mount Kenya National Park 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 either Sirimon (2600m) Park gates, we do a 3 – 4 hours trek through forest, bamboo and heather up to the moor lands 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.

Tip: A less taxing alternatively to the mountain trek would be to take a 3 – 4 hours walk close to the hotel, visiting local farms and villages to gain insights into the current way of life of an African family (Kikuyu tribe in this case) and how they have merged some of their age-old cultures with modern civilization.

If our visit coincides with a school day, we get a chance to visit one of the local schools in the area. An African lunch is served on one of the farms during the tour. Those who may be interested in sharing a home stay experience we can have this arranged for arranged tonight in one of the village homes. All homes used on such an arrangement are decent and safe. Dinner and overnight in Mountain Rock Lodge/Homestay

12

Mount Kenya to Nairobi

Have some free time and overnight at a comfortable hotel.

13

Departure to your destination.

You will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the airport to catch your flight.

NOTE: The Mount Kenya Extension Trek will start on Day 12, which is Day 1 of the Mt. Kenya Climb. And in this case you will return to Nairobi on Day 16 from Mount Kenya. Stay overnight in Nairobi and depart for your destination on Day 17.

If you are doing the Kilimanjaro trek after the Camping Safari you can proceed to Moshi (Tanzania) by bus in the morning from Nairobi on Day 14 and in case you are doing Kili after Mt. Kenya you can proceed on Day 17 from Nairobi.

14

 

— WE ALSO HAVE A 7 DAY SPECIAL AFRICAN SAFARI —

NOTE ON FLIGHTS: Flights from the East Coast transfer in Europe and arrive the following evening in Nairobi — Day 1 of your trip.

PLEASE NOTE: On adventure trips of this type, weather, local politics, transport or a multitude of other factors beyond our control can result in a change of itinerary. It is, however, very unlikely that the itinerary would be substantially altered; if alterations are necessary the leader will decide what is the best alternative, taking into consideration the best interests of the whole group. Where a change does occur, we do everything we can to minimize the effect, but we cannot be responsible for the results of changes or delays.

Synopsis

Trip Grading:

Length: 14 Days from Nairobi

Land Cost: $3455

International Airfare: Apx. $1750 from North America

Dec 21 – Jan 03 ’15
Jun 28 – Jul 11 ’15
Jul 26 – Aug 08 ’15

Dec 20 – Jan 02 ’16
Jun 27 – Jul 10 ’16
Jul 25 – Aug 07 ’17

Depature Dates: We operate this trip for 1-12 people year-round with any starting date of your choice! Above pricing based on 4 participants. The best timing for the tour is Dec-Feb and Jun-Sep

Included in the land cost: All accommodation in Hotel, Lodge, or Tent for 13 nights; all meals while out on Safari; all camping equipment (except a sleeping bag); services of an experienced trip leader, cook, porter, and local guides; group medical kit; all domestic group transportation.

You can also contact Canadian Himalayan Expeditions directly for more information.

Synopsis

Trip Grading:

Length: 14 Days from Nairobi

Land Cost: $3455

International Airfare: Apx. $1750 from North America

Dec 21 – Jan 03 ’15
Jun 28 – Jul 11 ’15
Jul 26 – Aug 08 ’15

Dec 20 – Jan 02 ’16
Jun 27 – Jul 10 ’16
Jul 25 – Aug 07 ’17

Depature Dates: We operate this trip for 1-12 people year-round with any starting date of your choice! Above pricing based on 4 participants. The best timing for the tour is Dec-Feb and Jun-Sep

Included in the land cost: All accommodation in Hotel, Lodge, or Tent for 13 nights; all meals while out on Safari; all camping equipment (except a sleeping bag); services of an experienced trip leader, cook, porter, and local guides; group medical kit; all domestic group transportation.

You can also contact Canadian Himalayan Expeditions directly for more information.


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