RE: SAFARI TO KENYA - ADULTS / 09 DAYS - JULY - OCT 2015
DAY 01 - Fairview Hotel - Bed & Breakfast
It is ‘touch down’ at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Representatives of Zoar Tours, your hosts in Kenya eagerly await your arrival. Welcome to Nairobi, a city experiencing a Renaissance in art and culture. Our airport representative meets you at the airport and whisks you to Fairview Hotel. Following an evening arrival, we settle happily into the city's Fairview Hotel. The Fairview is that rare bird in Africa a comfortable hotel that hasn’t decked itself out in feathers of up market gloss and tasteless luxury. The hotel’s leafy acres and scattered buildings are laid out on Nairobi Hill, a world away from the overheated bustle. All this, plus a classy brasserie and wine bar and some of the best sushi in the city. The balance of the day is to relax and enjoy the surroundings. A safari briefing answers questions and creates excitement. This safari offers a unique opportunity to combine a wilderness adventure covering a wide range of landscapes; it offers the excitement and glamour of the African bush together with a romantic, and self indulgent itinerary. The lodges and camps chosen are flawless, with very pleasant staff and superb accommodation. Marvel at the vivid array of wildlife and rich diverse landscapes and experience the friendliness and in-depth knowledge of our Drivers and Guides. A sound rest tonight prepares us for tomorrow's adventures
DAY 02 - The Ark Lodge - Full Board
Our safari begins with the thrill of overnight game viewing in the comfort of a the Ark Lodge which is a Tree Hotel The lush hills of Aberdares National Park are covered by Kenya's densest forest and form the eastern flank of the Great Rift Valley. Outside the park itself we pass many ranches, coffee plantations and early European settlements, the Aberdares Country Club welcomes you for a sumptuous lunch. Here you'll store your luggage and take a small overnight bag with you up to the Ark. We leave our main luggage at the base hotel and continue with just our overnight bags to one of the famous "tree hotels", deep in the Aberdares Forest. On our journey to our lodge we hope to see typical forest-dwelling animals such as the black and white Columbus Monkeys. A special feature of the lodge where we stay is the floodlit watering hole where we can watch from the lodge itself throughout the night as a great variety of animals come down to drink. Different species of animals are active during the night compared with during the day and many shy species such as rhinos will only approach the lodge at night. It is fascinating to watch their behavior around the watering hole as they take turns in drinking from the watering hole and eating the salt which is put out for them at the 'salt lick'. In the morning we hope to have spectacular views towards jagged outline of Mount Kenya. There is also excellent bird watching from the lodge terrace into the surrounding trees.
DAY 03 - Samburu Sopa Lodge - Full Board
After breakfast, drive further north towards the highlands. Driving north we pass Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest mountain at 17,000 feet (5,199 metres). The massive size of this mountain and its gleaming and eroded snow-covered multiple peaks means that Mount Kenya dominates the surrounding countryside and even affects the local climate. The terrain makes a dramatic descent from the lush central highlands to the low semi-arid plains of Kenya’s Northern Frontier District. You arrive in time for lunch at your lodge in the Samburu Sopa Lodge. This afternoon you'll have a game drive to view unusual species rarely seen outside of this region. Grevy’s zebra with its distinctive narrow striped, Reticulated giraffe with its geometric pattern, the shy long-necked Gerenuk which stands erect on its hind legs to feed on the tender leaves of the high tree branches, and the Blue-necked Somali ostrich, among a variety of others. The land of rocky soil and scrubland, Bird enthusiasts will be rewarded with a wealth of species attracted to the palm tree-lined permanent waters of the river. We cross the Equator into the northern hemisphere on our way to Samburu Game Reserve in a semi-desert area of Kenya. Samburu is located on the Ewaso Nyiro River. In this dry land the forested riverbanks are excellent areas to see wildlife, as all animals congregate here to drink, especially at dusk and early in the morning. We'll eagerly search for leopards lounging high on tree limbs. There will be time to relax by the pool in between game drives.
DAY 04 - Samburu Sopa Lodge - Full Board
Your schedule for today includes an early morning and late afternoon game drives. Travelling through the landscape which is rugged and dramatic - against a backdrop of volcanic mountains, gaunt hills and withered scrub tree punctuate the sparse and dry terrain with clusters of the incredibly hardy desert rose providing the occasional flash of vivid color. Photographers will appreciate the dramatic backdrop of Ololokwe Mountain Ololokwe Table Mountain forms a dramatic backdrop to our game viewing today. The Ewaso Nyiro River, lifeline of the area, runs along the southern boundary dividing Samburu from Buffalo Springs Reserve. Crocodile and hippo share the river with the many small herds of elephant which bathe and frolic in the muddy brown waters during the heat of the day before returning later to browse on the lush vegetation of the riverine forest. Buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and plains game may also be seen but a special feature of this Reserve. Over 50 species of large mammals including reticulated giraffe, grevys zebra, Beisa Oryx, Somali ostrich, hippo, crocodiles, gerenuk, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. Large flocks of helmeted and vulturine guinea fowls are a common attraction.
DAY 05 - Sweetwaters Tented Camp - Full Board
After breakfast drive to Sweetwaters, arrive in time for lunch at Sweetwaters tented camp. Being home to 86 black rhinos and 11 southern white rhinos, Sweetwaters, which is East Africa’s Largest Black Rhino Sanctuary, has been assessed to be the best possible location for the northern white rhino's breeding project. Besides its proximity to the northern white rhino’s environmental stronghold, Sweetwaters game-to-area ratio tops the Kenyan park and reserve league It is the only park where the big 5 and chimpanzees can be seen and is also where the fastest growing population of rhino in Africa can be found. In 1994 the Jane Goodall Institute established the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary within the game reserve and moved a large group of chimps here from the unstable situation in their native West Africa. This afternoon we have a game drive in the reserve and tour the Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Optional Camel Ride or a Night Game Drive. Among these is a very healthy number of about 80 endangered black rhino. The rhino share the space with an almost unimaginable 10,000 other large mammals. Afternoon game drive and drive back to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
DAY 06 -Flamingo Hill Tented Camp - Full Board
After breakfast, drive to Lake Nakuru National Park to arrive in time for Lunch at Flamingo Hill Camp. Few words can accurately describe the awe-inspiring vision of a seemingly endless pink blanket of feathers laying at your feet. This is the astonishing beauty that greets you at Lake Nakuru National Park. Afternoon game-viewing drive is inside the park. Enjoy a game drive through the park and a visit to the Lake, set on a plateau on the Rift valley, overlooking one of the World’s greatest ornithological spectacles, Lake Nakuru, stands Flamingo Hill Camp it is beautifully landscaped with natural foliage and a startling variety of flower gardens Lake Nakuru National Park surrounds Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline lake famous for the millions of flamingoes who flock here year round. Besides the rich and varied bird life this is a popular place to encounter leopard. Waterbuck are usually sighted along the lake shore, and this is the home of the Rothschild’s giraffe. Baboon, impala, buffalo, monkeys, warthog, Reedbuck and eland are also resident. However, the main attractions are the rhino. Picnic sites in the park include Makalia Falls, Enjoro River Mouth near the main gate, Baharini, Acacia, Baboon Cliff, Out of Africa, Lion Hill Summit. The park is a designated rhino sanctuary and it is one of the best places in Kenya to observe them. Return to Flamingo Hill Camp for dinner and overnight.
DAY 07 - Mara Sopa Lodge - Full Board
Breakfast at Flamingo Hill Camp then depart via Naivasha through to Narok, drive past the extinct Volcano of Mt Longonot and Suswa into the homelands of the Masai Game Reserve arriving in time for lunch at Mara Sopa Lodge. Afternoon, enjoy a game viewing drive in this world renown reserve. Maasai Mara is a magnificent landscape of open plains bisected by the Mara River and its tributaries, and punctuated by marshes and forests. Certainly the most frequented game reserve in Kenya, this 650 sq kilometer reserve supports the highest density of game to be seen anywhere. During the seasonal migrations, Maasai Mara is home to up to a million wildebeest and an equally impressive number of zebras that move into the area from neighboring Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania. The reserve is home to all the “big five” and it is also possible to observe; baboon, eland, ostrich, bat-eared fox, jackal and cheetah. The rivers abound with hippos and crocodiles. Maasai Mara topography creates a unique bio-diverse area, providing guests with the opportunity to venture into the savannah covered with hundreds or even thousands of animals of many different species.
DAY - 08 - Mara Sopa Lodge - Full Board
Enjoy the entire day in the Maasai Mara with early morning game drive, optional balloon safari at an extra cost and an afternoon game drive. The Mara is also noted for its abundance of lions - particularly the superb black manned males. You'll see lots of elephants here often in large herds, as well as - if you're lucky - leopard, cheetah and rhino. All of the Big Five are residents. You're sure to see the African buffalo. Get the cameras ready, stock up on film and enjoy yourselves! All Meals and overnight is at Mara Sopa Lodge. The Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya’s most precious wildlife sanctuary. This is big game country and long famed as one of Africa’s greatest concentrations of game. Plains game is found here in staggering numbers, which in turn supports a tremendous predator population. Optional Activities: Balloon Safari, Bush Breakfast/Dinner, Visit to the Maasai Village. These vast grasslands are rich with herds of zebras, giraffes, gazelles, and topis. With huge grazing herds, voracious attendant predators, including Africa’s largest population of lions, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, rhino and bountiful birdlife, the Mara is the staging ground for the annual wildebeest great migration. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers, which traverse this reserve. The hippos keep you company and only say “Kwaheri” after you have had enough
DAY - 09 - Return/Depature
After breakfast, say 'Kwaheri' - a Swahili word for bye to Masai Mara and leisurely drive back to Nairobi arriving in time for lunch at Carnivore restaurant. The Carnivore is considered ‘Africa's Greatest Eating Experience. A variety of meats including a selection of exotic meat is roasted over charcoal and carved at your table on traditional Maasai swords (skewers). Delicious side dishes and an exceptional array of sauces complement this fixed price feast that also includes soup, a selection of desserts and Kenyan coffee. Set in attractive tropical gardens, the service and the décor are outstanding. After lunch transfer to the airport for your International flight home Great Migration Safari ends here.