Stay in a selection of rustic permanent tented camps and lodges across Kenya’s unspoilt wilderness without sacrificing the creature comforts of home – then drifting off to sleep to the sounds of the African night.. Spend an incredible morning outside Lake Nakuru meeting with local women who are using local resources to create a living.. Spot hippos and unique birdlife of the waters of Lake Naivasha before landing at Elsamere Conservation Centre and learning of the history of Elsa and their conservation trust.. Spot endangered black and white rhino stopping for a drink in Lake Nakuru NP while on a game drive.
Visit Africa and forge into the heart of Kenya’s finest game parks on this eight-day overland journey. Visit Kenya’s amazing natural sights by day and in the evenings, kick back in the comfort of a well-appointed lodge or private tented camp and fall asleep to the sounds of nocturnal animals. Watch Kenya’s abundant flamingos make Lake Nakuru blush pink; pass herds of animals on the vast plains of the Masai Mara; and sip sundowners on evening game drives.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 7 Dinner Included: 6
On arrival in Nairobi, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel by our Intrepid representative. You may wish to speak to our representative regarding any additional tours or activities that you might wish to do while you’re in Nairobi. There will be a trip briefing at the hotel at approximately 6.00pm this evening. The rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
Please note this is an arrival day – you can arrive at any time. Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was established at the turn of the 20th century by Europeans as a stores depot during the construction of the East African Railway. Without plan or design, it established itself as the capital of the British protectorate, and today has a population of around three million.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Depart Nairobi and head north-west towards Lake Nakuru National Park (approximately 4 hours), arriving in time for lunch. Afterwards climb into our truck for an afternoon game drive and hopefully see some of the once abundant pink flamingos converge on Lake Nakuru, all under the watchful eye of nearby rhinos and zebras. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake which is home to thousands of birds and in the past was a haven for pink flamingos. There is quite a good chance of seeing white rhinos, whilst black rhinos may prove to be more elusive. After spending the day in the park, we return to our permanent tented camp.
Leave the camp after breakfast and head to a nearby village with a local guide. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the locals and get a feel for everyday life. Here you'll learn about local projects where the women yarn and knit wool, make art from banana bark and recycle plastic bottles. Then enjoy lunch prepared by the local women and hear their stories of work and the village. Travel south along a road sandwiched between two impressive natural reserves, to Lake Naivasha (approximately 3 hrs). One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is bordered with flat-topped acacias and has floating islands of papyrus reeds. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds. Here we take a boat ride spotting bird life and hippos and finishing up at Elsamere Conservation Centre. Enjoy afternoon tea while listening to their work on sustainability and the conservation trust.
Today is free to explore at your leisure. See all that this vast lake has to offer on a waterside bike ride or opt for time on the water instead and head out on a boat trip. If hiking is more to your tastes then there are two spectacular walks to consider – the first through the leafy hills and mountains of the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, and the second to Hell's Gate National Park. Hell's Gate is a dry trail compared to the Crater Lake path, winding its way along scenic paths through narrow cliff breaks, and is home to rare bearded vultures. The walk can be quite challenging. Return to the permanent tented camp at Lake Naivasha.
Masai Mara National Reserve
We head south-west to our next destination, the Masai Mara - arguably one of the finest game reserves in Africa (300kms, approx 8-9hrs). On the way you'll stop in Loita Hills, a remote region that's home to the traditional Maasai people. This is one of the key places where the Maasai people still practice their traditional way of life, with little influence from the western world. Make a stop at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. You’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors by way of traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture. Take a walk to the community village which was founded for widows who had lost their cows due to drought, and can never remarry. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Here the women are engaged in making handicrafts and sewing eco-friendly handbags, washable sanitary pads, and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home, and their cattle enclosures.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Today we wake before dawn to start our full day game drive. The Masai Mara is known for its rolling green plains, riverine woodlands and annual wildebeest and zebra migration. We may be lucky to observe black-maned lion, leopard and cheetah. These predators find an abundant food supply in the massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle that roam the grasslands. Also keep an eye out for elephants, hippos and giraffes among others. During the heat of the day we'll find shade under an Acacia tree and stop for a picnic lunch.
Masai Mara National Reserve
If you missed out on seeing one of the Big 5 (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceros) yesterday, never fear! Today is another day to experience the National Reserve on the included game drive. Alternatively wake earlier and enjoy a magnificent safari balloon ride.
An optional balloon ride over the Masai Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see 'Special Information') you will be picked up and driven to the launch site, receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You then glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, providing amazing wildlife photography opportunities; sometimes ascending to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. Upon landing you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before being returned to your vehicle. Please note if you are taking a balloon ride over the Mara you will be taken to the launch place from our camp before dawn and returned to the group when you have finished your ride. You will therefore miss some of the 4x4 game drive.
After breakfast, we return to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon, where our safari ends (240 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
If you are departing from Nairobi this evening, please do not book a flight to depart prior to 8pm. To reduce your travelling time back to Nairobi, you may wish to consider a flight from Masai Mara to Nairobi (additional cost). This gives you the chance to catch a late afternoon international flight out of Nairobi. Please note that the flight from Masai Mara arrives at Wilson Airport (Nairobi). International flights leave from Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). If staying on in Nairobi, you may require a transfer from Wilson Airport back to our Nairobi hotel. We are able to book the flight and also the transfer to our Nairobi hotel (additional costs involved).