DAY 01 - Leaving Nairobi, we have an early start for our drive to Lak Naivasha. The township of Naivasha is a small sized town with banks and a post office. The town was originally built to service the old flying boats from Europe which landed on the lake. Lake Naivasha, one of the Great Rift Valley’s fresh- water lakes, is home to an incredible variety of bird life with over 350 species found on the lake shore. We stay at a beautiful lodge on the lake shore. The lake shore is sprinkled with yellow Acacia trees and is frequently visited by black and white Colobus monkeys. The lake is also home to around 300 hippos that can often be seen and heard from the lodge. This afternoon we discover the lake shore and take sunset tour of the lake by a local boat to try and spot the various waterfowl and hippo in the area. Enjoy the stunning Crater Lake Reserve, some of the only game parks where you are allowed to explore by foot. There are no predators in these game park’s but you will spot giraffe, zebra and impala! Our experienced local guide will give you plenty of information about the plants, birds, animals and people of Naivasha. Make sure you bring your walking shoes. Dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge, B,L,D.
DAY 02 - Next we drop down in to the Great Rift Valley past the spectacular Volcano Mount Longonot and head towards the rolling plains of the Masai Mara. The last one and a half-hours of the journey find us on bumpy, dusty, dirt road as we drive across the Loita Plains taking in the scenery. Before entering into the Game Reserve there is a visit to a Masai village. Not only can you see inside a traditional Masai hut, and learn about Masai tradition and lifestyle, but you can also try your hand at the age-old tradition of bartering for souvenirs. The village is slightly commercialised but still gives a good idea of how the Masai live. Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge, B,L,D.
DAY 03 - The Masai Mara is the most famous and prolific game park in Kenya covering an area of 1672 square kilometres. It is classified as a Reserve as opposed to a National Park to allow the Masai people to use the area to graze their cattle. A highlight of the Mara is no doubt the annual wildebeest migration, when literally millions of these beasts stray north from the Serengeti in search of grass for food, before turning south again.
The Masai Mara has one of the highest concentrations of lion in Africa and is a good place to try and spot the elusive leopard. In most National Parks it is forbidden to drive at night so all game viewing is done as early and as late as possible to get the best conditions. The best time of the day to spot the hunting cats is just before sunrise and just after sunset so we are up and away early. During the heat of the day we return to the lodge for huge buffet breakfasts and a chance to enjoy your superb hotel facilities, including a chance to relax by the pool.
Game Parks are places where the enthusiastic use a lot of film so it’s advisable to have some extra. Hopefully we should be able to spot prides of lions, elephants, buffaloes, zebra and hippo and other more common animals such as wart hog, giraffe, and baboon - almost every conceivable species of East African wildlife can be spotted here.
At our lodge in the reserve there are many optional activities to enjoy. In the evening there is the opportunity to learn more about the Masai and their way of life with a talk about their rich culture and an option to join them in traditional dancing. Early the next morning hot air ballooning is on offer. It is an amazing experience, as you take off with the sunrise and float above the Game Reserve, viewing the wildlife for approximately an hour before landing in the reserve to enjoy a full breakfast with champagne under the shade of a tree on the plains. The wildlife looks on while you partake in this luxurious fare. We offer two opportunities for a balloon safari on this tour, your tour leader will advise you whether the Masai Mara or Serengeti ballooning option is the best choice depending on the location of the migration. Dinner and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge, B,L,D.
Day 4 - Leaving the Masai Mara we drive north to Nakuru before heading into Lake Nakuru National Park. Nakuru is the primary Masai trading centre in the area, and the town is full of the colour of the Masai, resplendent in their red Shukas (robes). A fantastic town to stock up on souvenirs or just admire the local art. Lake Nakuru National Park is famous for a large population of pink flamingos, which featured in the movie “Out of Africa”. Aside from flamingos, Lake Nakuru boasts a sizeable population of rhinos, both black and white. The more sociable white rhino is a common sight seen grazing on the open plains. However, it's less sociable cousin, the black rhino, often remains hidden in the dense bush. Although not native to this park they were introduced here because the park offered good security from poachers and they are being used in a breeding program to maintain and improve the rhino population and gene pool. This park also has lion, leopard, buffalo, plains game and a large diverse bird population, which was the original reason the park was established. Our lodge this evening offers splendid views across the plains. Enjoy the sunset whilst listening out for the laughing hyena or the mighty lion staking his territory for the night. Dinner and overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge or Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, B,L,D.
Day 5 - After a half-day walking safari we journey back to the lodge for a big buffet breakfast then pack up and head to Nairobi stopping at the Rift Valley viewpoint for some stunning photo opportunities. The Rift Valley runs 6000 kms from the Red Sea into Mozambique and is up to 100km’s wide in places. After a photo opportunity at the viewpoint and a chance to enjoy the spectacular view we head back in to Nairobi for the night. Your tour ends upon arrival in Nairobi, B.