SUNDAY: NAIROBI – SAMBURU
Distance: 330 KM / Time aprox. 6 hrs
Collected at 07:00 hrs from the Airport/Nairobi hotel and depart for Samburu National Reserve, driving North, Past Nanyuki (where you cross the Equator and possibly make a stop for a brief demonstration of Coriolis Effect).
Continue further north, past Isiolo, the gateway to the northern frontier Parks of Samburu / Buffalo & Shaba. Arrive at your camp for lunch.
Late afternoon game viewing drive in the Buffalo Springs / Samburu National Reserves – hopefully an opportunity to see all the Special five of this spectacular area!
Return to the Lodge at sunset, for dinner and overnight at SAMBURU SOPA LODGE.
SAMBURU, BUFFALO SPRINGS AND SHABA NATIONAL RESERVES The sharp contrast of colours is the most remarkable feature of the trio of the Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. The hazy blues of the surrounding hills and an infinite sky, the chocolate brown of the Uaso Nyiro River, the white dusty soils, interspaced with the vivid greens of semi-desert vegetation and the prehistoric looking Doum Palm- the only palm tree which has branches, scattered amongst the granite boulders and ancient black lava flows, found in the Shaba Reserve. The region’s animal life also pays tribute to the artist’s palette, with curious blue- legged Somali ostriches, chestnut coloured reticulated giraffes, black and white Grevy’s zebras, Gerenuk gazelles, and the grey-green Nile Crocodiles which inhabit the Uaso Nyiro River which flows through Shaba and Samburu. Samburu is often considered the country’s best leopard- viewing area, and sightings of prides of lions, cheetah, monolithic herds of elephants and buffalos in all the reserves is practically guaranteed. The birdlife in this area, ranging from the Sand Grouse to the multicoloured kingfishers and spectacular eagles and falcons is striking for its diversity, as for its colourfulness……
MONDAY: SAMBURU – MOUNT KENYA
Distance: 180 KM / Time aprox. 4 hrs
After breakfast, enjoy a brief game drive to capture the magical beauty of Northern Kenya. Thereafter retrace your steps and drive towards Mount Kenya region situated in the Central Highlands of Kenya.
Arrive in time for Lunch at Serena Mountain Lodge, located in Mount Kenya National Park.
Later, at 15:00 hrs, enjoy a guided nature walk through the forest combined with swahili classes then a visit to the cultural center.
Enjoy an evening and night of game viewing from the Lodge precincts.
Dinner and overnight at SERENA MOUNTAIN LODGE.
MOUNT KENYA NATIONAL PARK Mount Kenya, with its snow capped peaks 5,199 m. high, is Kenya’s highest mountain and certainly one of the most beautiful mountains anywhere. Its slopes are covered with rich deciduous and bamboo forests and open high altitude moorland just below the glaciers and snowfields. Wildlife resident within the forest includes elephant, buffalo and even lion, with several species of antelope and other smaller animals. Mount Kenya rises to the twin snow-covered peaks of Batian (5199 meters or 17058 feet) and Nelion (5188 meters or 17022 feet), the second and third highest peaks in Africa (topped only by Kilimanjaro's Uhuru peak in Tanzania, which rises to 5895 meters or 19340 feet). Both of Mount Kenya's peaks are named after Maasai laibon (ritual leaders) of the nineteenth century. According to legends of the Kikuyu people, Ngai (the creator of all things) dwelt on the summit of Kirinyaga. ``Kirinyaga`` means ``mountain of brightness`` in Kikuyu and has since been corrupted to the present ``Kenya.`` The 715 sq Km Mount Kenya National Park, established in 1949, protects the mountain and most of the endemic vegetation growing on its higher slopes. The mountain shelters a huge variety of wildlife, including the rare and elusive Bongo antelope. Elephants and buffalo are numerous while lions and leopards are around, though rarely seen. Over 150 species of birds have been spotted, making any visit a lively and colorful experience. The plant life varies from rosewood and bamboo to heather, giant lobelia and brilliant flowers that must be seen to be appreciated. First climbed in 1899, Mount Kenya has become a popular spot for mountain lovers. Of the two peaks, Nelion is the toughest climb. The easiest route to either peak is Grade IV, so only experienced climbers should attempt the climb. It is still possible to enjoy the beauty of the mountain and its wildlife, by hiking or partaking in the four-day climbs to Point Lenana, which at 4986 meters (16355 feet) can be reached relatively easily even by those without any climbing experience.
TUESDAY: MOUNT KENYA NP - LAKE NAKURU
Distance: 200 KM / Time aprox. 4 hrs
Breakfast at the Lodge.
Commence your drive to Nakuru National Park with a brief visit/ stop at Thompson Falls in Nyahururu. A scenic drive and dramatic descent down the Great Rift Valley Escarpment to the Rift Valley floor, to Nakuru Town and onwards to Lake Nakuru National Park.
Arrive at your Lodge in time for Lunch.
Late afternoon game drive at the Park, where you are almost guaranteed sighting of white rhinos and the African Buffalos!
Dinner and overnight at LAKE NAKURU SOPA LODGE.
Lake Nakuru is among Kenya's finest national parks. Flanked by rocky escarpments, patches of acacia forest and at least one waterfall, the park is often described as an ornithologist’s paradise. It was once christened the ‘Pink Lake’, due to the over 1 Million Lesser flamingos that resided on the shores of the shallow, alkaline lake. But the rising water levels in 2014 forced the flamingos to flee (although they are slowly returning). Hundreds of other water birds, including pelicans, marabou storks, seagulls, avocets, plovers and stilts can also be found at the lake itself, while the acacia trees and rocky cliffs of the park house Verreaux’s eagles, splendid fish eagles, vultures and wood hoopoes. The parklands are filled with numerous buffaloes, waterbuck, gazelles and impalas, while the majestic and rare Rothschild giraffes roam the riverine forest of acacias, occasionally walking across the open plains. Lions, leopards, hyenas and jackals are commonly sighted, as are the black and white rhinos, who have found refuge in Kenya’s prime rhino sanctuary.
WEDNESDAY: LAKE NAKURU – MAASAI MARA
Distance: 300 KM / Time aprox. 5.5 hrs
After breakfast, (at 07:30 hrs.) depart for the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, driving along the Rift Valley floor, past lakes Elementaita and Naivasha, via Mai Mahiu Town, where you turn left towards the Maasai Mara – going past Narok Town (the Maasai Capital).
Arrive at the Lodge in time for lunch.
Afternoon game viewing drive (at 16:00 hrs) in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, generally acclaimed as the finest game viewing area in the world!
Late afternoon game drive at the Park, where you are almost guaranteed sighting of white rhinos and the African Buffalos!
Return to the Lodge at sunset, for dinner and overnight at MARA SOPA LODGE.
Offering superb plains scenery, unmatched safari activities and diverse wildlife, Masai Mara National Reserve is considered Kenya’s best park and one of Africa’s highest wildlife density region for predators. The reserve covers 583 square miles (1510 square kilometres) of outstanding wilderness in South West Kenya. The location, wildlife, activities and comfortable moderate climate puts Mara at the top of the list, even for the most discerning traveller to Kenya. When the public reserve was first established, it covered 645 square miles (1672 square kilometres). Strategically, the size of the reserve was later reduced in 1984 to accommodate Maasai cattle grazing on their ancestral lands. Although the decrease in land area may be considered a let-down for wildlife conservation and protection at its infancy, the animals and habitats of the reserve found new allies to ensure their survival for generations to come. Many private conservancies have been introduced to protect the land that surrounds the reserve, thereby providing more area for wildlife. The lands not only protect habitats for resident species, but also preserve a critical part of the route used by wildebeests and zebras during the Great Migration that traverses the Masai Mara via the Serengeti National Park. Recognized as one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet, the migration is a continuous route that is followed by an over 1.5 million wildebeests and thousands of zebras, gazelles and elands. In their never-ending pursuit for the finest grazing and watering grounds, the gnu relocate on an almost constant basis. The perseverance of these wildebeests is demonstrated in their ability to mate while on the move, and many cows are pregnant during part of the migration. Additionally, even the youngest wildebeest calves are expected to keep up with the herd. Standing and walking within minutes are critical to its survival.
THURSDAY: MAASAI MARA
Morning and afternoon game viewing drives in the extensive Maasai Mara Game Reserve, if lucky, opportunity to see the big five in one day!!!
In consultation with your drivers / guides, there is an option of a full day game viewing drive with packed lunches, this allows you time to explore greater areas of the reserve without need to return to the Lodge for lunch.
All meals and overnight at MARA SOPA LODGE.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES (At and additional cost - payable direct):
01. Hour HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI over the Mara Plains, culminating with a Champaign bush breakfast
02. Visit to a traditional Masai Village
The migrators of Masai Mara National Reserve are present from approximately late June – early August until end of October – early November. But the Mara offers year-round game viewing. The reserve and surrounding conservancies offer diverse resident species experiences. Frequently to be seen are impalas, topis, giraffes, elephants, zebras, buffalos, warthogs and other grazing herbivores. With so many prey animals, Masai Mara is a veritable bonanza for large predators, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles and other stealthy, powerful hunters. The abundance of terrestrial animals is enhanced by the presence of more than 450-winged species, including 57 birds of prey. Masai Mara Game Reserve offers varied tour activities to explore the plains landscape and see incredible animal behaviours. The adjoining conservancies offer distinct activities that are not allowed in the reserve. Game drives in the reserve are perfect for those who seek to be immersed in Kenya’s bush country and see larger animals. For guests interested in observing the nocturnal animals, these are available in the form of night game drives in some of adjoining private conservancies. The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is recognized for an enormous diversity of flora and fauna, and some small details are missed during game drives. Most conservancies offer bush walks for an intimate look at the micro-ecosystems of the area. To complement these walks or a general visit to the Mara, a balloon safari experience, for a bird’s-eye view of the area, is a memorable experience. Lastly, the Maasai community is key to the advancement of wildlife management in the area. It is hence recommended for one to take time learning more about these noble people by visiting one of their villages for a life-changing cultural experience in understanding their modest and simple lives.
FRIDAY: MAASAI MARA – LAKE NAIVASHA
Distance: 230 KM / Time aprox. 4.5 hrs
Breakfast at the Lodge.
Depart for Lake Naivasha to arrive in time for lunch at the Lodge.
In the afternoon, depart for the shores of the Lake, for an Hour’s Boat ride, to enjoy the expansive bird life as well as numerous hippo families that reside within and around the Lake.
Optional activities available for this afternoon include;
01. Visit Crescent Island (must be done with Boat ride)
02. Visit Hell’s Gate National Park (cycling / walking / driving)
03. Hiking Mount Longonot.
Dinner and overnight LAKE NAIVASHA SOPA RESORT.
NOTE: Depending on the day’s weather the boat ride can start in the early afternoon before lunch in case it rains in the afternoon.
Resting at an elevation of 1890 meters is the serene freshwater Lake Naivasha, a superb oasis for a safari holiday. Just beyond its shores are papyrus swamps, acacia woodlands, forests and unique geologic features that are remnants of the area’s volcanic past. The nutrient-rich soil is fertilized by an abundance of water, including the Gilgil and Malewa Rivers, to create an ecosystem that is known around the world for a diverse avian presence, as well as terrestrial game animals. Lake Naivasha is a RAMSAR site, a designation that reflects the ecological importance of the wetlands around the lake. More than 450 distinct birdlife species have been identified, and the resident avi-fauna are joined by migratory species from October to March. The lake, high cliffs and forests are home to spectacled weavers, red-billed firefinches, grey-backed fiscals, grey-capped warbler and many other interesting and colorful aerial creatures. The most prominent, though, are the cormorants and pelicans while the African fish eagles are the most majestic of the raptors. As you tour through the acacia forests, you may sight hawks, cuckoos, woodpeckers, shrikes and other birds, and a solo giraffe may peer through the thorn-leaves branches out of curiosity. The papyrus swamps are where you find jacanas, herons and kingfishers. Lake Naivasha is one of the primary drinking holes for buffalos, zebras, elands, impalas, waterbucks and other grazers, as well as a favorite place for hippos to cool themselves during the day. Take a night game drive on one of the surrounding private conservancies like Loldia and Oserian, and you will see these incredible animals slowly emerge from their wallowing sites in the lake to grass along the shores. On your game drive, you may also see the other plains and forest fauna including the elusive leopard.
SATURDAY: NAIVASHA – NAIROBI – AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Distance: 315 KM / Time aprox.: 5.5 hrs
Early breakfast at the Lodge.
After breakfast, depart Naivasha and commenece your drive to Amboseli National Park passing through Nairobi. Continue due South of Nairobi on the Nairobi/Mombasa road for the first 125 KM (02 hours drive) before turning due West towards Mount Kilimanjaro. The drive thence is through typical African savanna country dotted with local homesteads and colourful Masai herdsmen grazing their cattle.
Arriving in time for lunch at the Lodge.
At 15:30 hrs depart for your first game veiwing in Amboseli National Park which is one of the best in Africa to spot large herds of Elephants up close, with the immense grandeur of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, as a picturesque background.
When the weather permits, you will get a chance to watch the vibrant sunset over Mount Kilimanjaro – a spectacular scene to capture through your lenses.
At sunset, exit the park and return to AMBOSELI SOPA LODGE for dinner and overnight.
Amboseli fue el primer lugar, en Kenia, donde numerosos turistas internacionales acudieron a hacer safari. Durante los años 50 numerosos visitantes extranjeros, incluidas varias productoras cinematográficas, visitaron Amboseli para disfrutar de las espectaculares vistas del monte Kilimanjaro. Amboseli se encuentra inmediatamente al noroeste del monte. Kilimanjaro, en la frontera con Tanzania. Amboseli fue establecida como reserva en 1948 y declarado Parque Nacional en 1974. El parque cubre 392 km2, y forma parte del ecosistema del mismo nombre, que cubre más de 3.000 km2. El Parque Nacional abarca los cinco principales hábitats de vida silvestre (llanuras, bosques de acacias, rocoso espina país arbusto, pantanos y marismas) y cubre parte de la cuenca del lago pleistoceno, ahora seco. Durante la época de lluvias una parte de la cuenca seca del lago se llena de nuevo. Amboseli es famoso por sus espejismos, sus paisajes y sus excelentes safaris fotográficos. La carretera que une Nairobi y Arusha es el punto de acceso a este parque Nacional, situado a unas 4 horas en coche de Nairobi en dirección a Tanzania. Al entrar en el Parque Nacional encontraran un paisaje de reflejos y espejismos derivados de las salinas secas del antiguo Lago Amboseli a los pies del espectacular Monte Kilimanjaro. Las corrientes de agua dulce que descienden de él hacia las marismas y pantanos de Ol Tukai, velan por la vida de los habitantes del parque. Amboseli es uno de los destinos más populares de Kenia para la realización de fotografía ya que es el hogar de la mayor población de elefantes del país, así como búfalos, ñus, jirafas, cebras, gacelas y otros antílopes. Los hipopótamos son los silenciosos protectores de charcas y pantanos, frecuentemente invadidos por los animales que buscan consuelo en el calor del mediodía, así como por las numerosas especies aves que pueblan el parque y que son en sí mismas un atractivo añadido de Amboseli.
SUNDAY: AMBOSELI – NAIROBI – DEPART
Distance: 260 KM / Driving Time aprox.: 4 hours
Early morning Breakfast at the Lodge.
After Breakfast depart for a breif game veiwing drive in Amboseli National Park.
Early in the morning is the perfect time to capture the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro – weather permitting!! ¡At Amboseli Sopa Lodge the mountain is revealed with all its splendor from the restaurants viewpoint while having Breakfast!!!! – weather permitting
At 09:00hrs, return drive to Nairobi arriving at 14:00 Hrs, drop off will be at the Airport for your departure flight/ respective hotel.
(Transfer 03/04 Hrs prior to departure)