Day 01: Arrival Nairobi
You will be met upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by our representative; assisted and transferred to Nairobi Serena Hotel. You will rest and enjoy the ambiance of the hotel with the possibility of realizing optional excursions. Accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the Hotel (BB)
Day 02: Nairobi/Samburu game reserve
After breakfast you will be drive to Samburu Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch at Ashnil Tented Camp. There after game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Ashnil Tented Camp (LDBB
Day 03: Samburu game reserve
Early morning game drives returning to the lodge for breakfast. Rest at the hotel till lunch time at leisure, game drive in the afternoon; dinner and overnight at Samburu Serena Lodge (LDBB) Samburu Game Reserve is situated on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River; Samburu Serena Lodge captures the earthy rhythms of riverfront life. The flavour is rustic but sophisticated. Supremely comfortable guest rooms overlook the river, where the crocodiles feed in full view. Delicious meals are taken under shady palm thatch; with good ambiance. In the evenings there may be entertainment or a wildlife lecture from a local expert. Nearby lies rare game - long necked gerenuk, Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa Oryx. Leopards are frequent passers-by. 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.
Day 04: Samburu game reserve/mount Kenya national park
After breakfast you will be driven to Mount Kenya National Park arriving in time for lunch at Serena Mountain Lodge. Rest of the day at leisure with game viewing from the lodge; thereafter lunch, dinner and overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge (LDBB) Mount Kenya National Park is at 7,200 feet on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Mountain Lodge is ringed by a dense rain forest, which comes alive at dusk with a myriad of sounds of creatures of all sizes. This is the adventure offered at the 42 room Mountain Lodge where animal sightings are fascinating and frequent. A two and a half hour drive from Nairobi, Mountain Lodge is now managed by Serena Hotels. The comfortable rooms have spacious verandas and private shower rooms. The game viewing is excellent. You may watch the waterhole, right next to the lodge, throughout the evening and at night and local game includes elephant, buffalo, rhino and waterbuck. A specially constructed viewing bunker, connected to the lodge by a short tunnel, offers spectacular close-up views of wildlife at the waterhole. Towering over the landscape are the majestic rocky peaks of Mount Kenya, providing some dramatic photographic opportunities. Centered 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, Lenana, and on the way up allow you to see the GM-looking giant plant life 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 at the top, the highest peak and is thus their sacred mountain. Forested with juniper and podo about two thousand meters tall and the vegetation changes to bamboo and then a thick canopy of lesser trees. Spanish moss frosts t trees, watered by the mists of the mountain slopes. Leopard, elephant, Columbus 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 breathtaking.
Day 05: Mount Kenya national park/lake Nakuru national park
After breakfast you will be driven to Lake Nakuru National Park arriving in time for lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge. Thereafter game drive in the afternoon; dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge (LDBB) Lake Nakuru National park is situated in the heart of the Rift Valley; Lake Nakuru is one of Kenya's most famous soda lakes. A major feature of this park is the wonderful bird life, particularly the thousands of flamingos, which create a shimmering pink hue over the lake. A rhino sanctuary also provides the opportunity to see the endangered black rhino. Sarova Lion Hill offers a unique vantage point. Each of the 64 superbly appointed chalets with private secluded veranda enjoys views over the lake and the distant hills. Even the glorious pool has a view! Originally declared a national park because of a superbly diverse bird population, which includes many migrants, the park is also a favourite place for travelers 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.
Day 06: lake Nauru national park/Maasai Mara game reserve
After breakfast you will be driven to Maasai Mara Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch at Mara Serena Lodge, game drive in the afternoon; dinner and overnight at Mara Serena Lodge (LDBB)
Day 07: Maasai Mara game reserve
Very early in the morning, after a cup of coffee or tea in the lodge you will join your driver-guide and set out for an early morning game drive in the reserve. This is usually the best game viewing time as during the early hours, temperatures are low and the animals are most active. The plains game roams the savannahs licking on the morning dew on the leaves, watching all the while for the predators. Back in the camp, enjoy your sumptuous buffet breakfast then it time to relax or swim in the camps pool. Mid-morning game drive followed by lunch in the lodge and thereafter game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Mara Serena Lodge (LDBB) .A masterful interpretation of a traditional Maasai village, Mara Serena Lodge seemingly floats on a sea of savannah. A beautiful pool looks out over the wide plains. The rooms are Maasai-influenced in style yet extremely comfortable. The main dining room, where delicious meals are served, has three large domes and three small ones depicting Maasai manyattas (villages). Occasionally an African al fresco barbecue is served by the pool overlooking the Mara plains. Fresh fruit juices and cocktails, wines, spirits or liqueurs are available at the bar until late in the evening. At Serena, the views are stunning. It is on this very terrain, stretching endlessly before the lodge, that the annual migrations take place. Millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle pass through on their way to and from their alternative feeding grounds in Tanzania. The Mara Serena offers you a grandstand seat for one of the greatest shows on earth. Probably the most famous of the reserves, the Maasai 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 unforgiving, huge clouds in fabulous shapes may sweep across the widest of skies; the wind ripples the grasses as though a giant hand strokes them. The landscape is stunning. The famously black-manned 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 Maasai Mara as the Tanzanian grass starts to fail. The large predators pick off the weak, the stragglers and the young track them. The great herds nearing their destination by July, in 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 Maasai Mara is terrible yet wonderful, and not to be missed.
Day 08: Maasai Mara game reserve/Nairobi/departure
After breakfast you will be driven to Nairobi, Kenya's colorful capital city. Drop off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your onward departure flight.
Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.