Our Lewa & the Mara Safari provides the opportunity to enjoy an outstanding wildlife safari holiday exploring the internationally acclaimed Lewa Downs Wildlife Conservancy. Staying at Lewa's own luxurious, small and private tented safari camp before flying to the Masai Mara to Kicheche Mara Camp, a classic tented camp hidden in a grove of wild olive and croton trees in a prime wildlife area of the northern Mara plains. This safari can be timed to coincide with the great migration.
The Safari begins on arrival in Nairobi where you will be met and transferred to Wilson airport for a semi light aircraft flight to Lewa's own airstrip. Here you will be met by a guide for the short journey to camp where you will be settled in for the next 3 Nights. Accommodation is in very well appointed safari tents under reed thatched roofs, with en suite shower rooms.
The tents are tastefully presented in traditional safari style, with colorful fabrics on cosy beds and simple wooden furniture. Each tent is set away from each other and has its own verandah. Dinner is taken in the charming open sided main lodge mess, breakfast and lunch are eaten here. There is also a comfortable colonial style lounge with arm chairs and big cushions on which to relax after a full day of game watching. Situated in a vast area of stunning African landscapes a safari on Lewa provides outstanding opportunities to view and photograph a wonderful diversity of wildlife including many rare and endemic species - without being restricted in cramped vehicles. At the heart of Lewa are miles of open savannah grasslands dotted with thorny scrub and centuries old yellow fever trees the landscape is scarred with rocky hills and gorges, providing perfect habitats for the indigenous Black Rhino and Grevy's Zebra population. In various areas of the conservancy are cathedral woodlands providing shade for Elephants and a myriad of birds. Several streams feed into the Lewa swamps which hide Sitatunga antelope amongst strands of lush green Papyrus. There are numerous activities to explore the environment and view its wildlife: game drives during the day and at night in open land rovers, walking safaris escorted by Masai trackers and armed scouts, horse back safaris or quietly sitting and watching from specially constructed hides. Lewa is a working conservancy and guests are able to see the work in action, and can sometimes join in! You'll learn about the success stories such as Lewa's Rhino and Grevy’s Zebra protection projects and possibly meet the Lion trackers as they gather data on Lewa's resident Lions.
A flight from Lewa will take you across Kenya to Ngerende airstrip on the Mara just 35 min game drive from camp. Kicheche will be your base for the next few days . Kicheche Mara Camp is a classic tented camp hidden in a beautiful acacia valley overlooking the Olare Orok stream. With only 8 tents the intimate and relaxed atmosphere gives you the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience in the prime wildlife area of the Mara North Conservancy, this camp prides itself on offering a friendly and relaxing stay and an intimate and relaxed atmosphere. Your tent is comfortably furnished with an en-suite bathroom and flushing toilet, low wattage lighting is supplied 24 hours. The tents are in secluded positions overlooking the plains and nearby hills. When you are not out exploring the plains and for night caps there is a spacious Nyati tent which acts as the camp lounge with comfortable seating, a library and board games.
Kicheche Mara Camp is located on the Aitong Plains in the northern Koiyaki Lemek region of the famous Masai Mara. The camp is located in a prime wildlife area and game viewing starts right from the camp itself. Early morning and late afternoon game drives are the most productive and customized 4WD vehicles give everyone a perfect view. Watching wildlife at close range, but without encroaching on their space is fascinating and your guides' instincts and experience provide superb photo opportunities. (For complete flexibility it is recommended that photography enthusiasts take a vehicle on an exclusive use basis - $350 per day supplement).
Walking safaris give a different perspective of the savannah. Your guides will point out the spoor of a leopard, the nest of a rare bird or signs of recent migration activity that would easily pass unnoticed.
The Masai Mara and the adjoining Loita plains form the northern-most part of the Serengeti – Mara ecosystem a 25,000 km² area usually encompassing the annual movements of the migratory wildebeest. The Mara receives the highest rainfall in the ecosystem. Rain falls here throughout the year but has peaks and troughs. The eco-system is home to the worlds greatest wildlife spectacle, the annual wildebeest migration. These grazers, together with zebra and Thompson’s gazelle traverse the eco-system through the year, and whilst there are resident animals in the Mara throughout (those that don’t migrate), numbers swell to gigantic proportions during the drier season, July/August to October/November. Of other herbivores, there are good concentrations of topi, impala, eland, dik dik, Grant’s gazelle, and waterbuck. The Mara’s abundant herbivores make it a paradise for predators. The large carnivores include the big cats – lion, leopard and cheetah as featured yearly on the BBC’s Big Cat Diary, and the spotted hyaena. The larger mammal species and also present - elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippopotami, and rhino, whilst genet, serval, various mongoose species (Kicheche is Swahili for a banded mongoose), bat-eared fox, black-back jackal, springhare and civet are usually also seen. Over 550 resident and migrant species of birds have been recorded in the Mara, a fascinating and diverse array ranging from the enormous ostrich to tiny sunbirds.
A flight from Ngerende airstrip takes you back to Nairobi where depending on your flight choice you will be met and transferred to Nairobi International airport or transferred to the 4* Fairview Hotel (or s
similar) for a night before transferring to Nairobi international the following morning and your home bound flight.