Journey through Northern Kenya with Becky, the first female overland truck driver in East Africa.. Get to know some of Kenya’s female wildlife rangers and understand the challenges they face in a male dominated industry.. Spend time with a single mothers group in Samburu who support each other through sharing profits from making jewellery, and growing organic fruits, vegetables and herbs using purified grey recycled water to sell back to the camp.. Hike to the Mau Mau caves and learn how women played a key role in helping the Mau Mau people win the war against colonial rule.
Make your way through the heart of East Africa and meet local Kenyan women from all walks of life, who will share their stories and triumphs in the struggle for gender equality. Hear inspiring stories from our all-female crew including your local leader and driver, Becky, who was the very first female overland truck driver in East Africa. You’ll also have the chance to meet a range of local women – from entrepreneurs, female park rangers and Samburu and Maasai villagers.
Beginning and ending in Nairobi, you’ll visit a bead making workshop, cook chapati with grandma’s, go on safaris in the Masai Mara, and Samburu National Reserve and meet a local women’s only support group striving to improve gender equality.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 5 Dinner Included: 5
Jambo! Welcome to Nairobi, Kenya's capital. Your adventure kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6pm, but feel free to arrive early and check out the sites or maybe even book a day tour with Urban Adventures.
After you meet your incredible female driver and leader, you may want to head out for dinner to try some local cuisine.
Please ask the hotel reception where the evening meeting will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that gets in before 6pm, you may want to consider arriving a day early, but if you’re running late please inform hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance and next of kin details at the meeting, so please ensure you have these on hand to give to your leader.
After breakfast we head to Kazuri Bead factory for a tour of the workshop.
Kazuri, which means 'small and beautiful' in Swahili, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop experimenting in handcrafted ceramic beads. Its founder started by employing two single mothers, but soon discovered that there were many others in the villages around Nairobi, most of who were disadvantaged and were in great need of regular employment too. Today Kazuri has grown tremendously and now has a large workforce of over 340 women skilled in the crafting of ceramic beads, strung into beautiful, artistic jewellery. If you're lucky you may even meet Elizabeth, who has worked at Kazuri since its inception in 1975.
This afternoon we'll take a Nairobi tour that explores the relationship between farming and food. Here you’ll meet inspiring grandmas whose lives are being changed forever because of their involvement in a local NGO's pig farming programs. It takes just under a year for a grandma’s new farm to become sustainable, and her life to change completely, including having her first-ever bank account!
The grandmas will share experiences, moments and personal stories with you and invite you to join in their daily routine, from helping with the pigs and cooking a traditional meal to singing and dancing the afternoon away.
Mt Kenya Region
Check out of your hotel after an early breakfast and drive four hours to the Mt Kenya region. The roads can become narrow as you climb past Sagana and approach the hills around Karatina and Nyeri, but don’t worry, you’ll be travelling in our custom-made safari vehicles. If it isn’t too cloudy, Mt Kenya provides a very scenic view as the road veers past its western slopes. From here the landscape levels out and the road is flanked by open plains all the way to Naro Moru — the base for climbing the most popular route up Mt Kenya.
At Mt Kenya, enjoy a picnic lunch before setting out on a nature walk with a local guide, escorted by female rangers. The 15km hike will lead you to the base of Mt Kenya. Pay a visit to the Mau Mau caves to learn how women played a key role in helping the Mau Mau war movement defeat colonial rule.
The long, but relaxed nature hike is a great opportunity to chat to the female ranger and learn about her role with Kenya's Forest Services.
From here, head back to the lodge for a well-deserved dinner.
Samburu National Reserve
This morning we drive for three to four hours to the Samburu region.
This dry, yet vibrant region of northern Kenya is home to the Samburu, Turkana and many other tribes. The Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd mainly cattle but also keep sheep, goats and camels.
Enjoy a picnic lunch before heading to our eco lodge to check-in and freshen up. Meaning ‘A Place of Beauty and Reverence’ in the Maa Samburu language, Sabache is located on a private conservancy and is owned and operated by an indigenous Samburu tribe. By staying at Sabache, travellers provide direct employment and income to more than 145 families in the area.
This afternoon you will have the unique opportunity to spend time with a local women's group in the community. The group is one of many in the area and is led by a community mobiliser and project coordinator. These women's groups are made up of single women, and those left widowed from tribal clashes with neighbouring Turkana people. Together they support each other by ‘table banking’ their income made from jewellery, and growing organic fruits, vegetables and herbs using purified grey recycled water to sell back to the camp.
Settle in for dinner under the stars at camp tonight.
Samburu National Reserve
Today we head to Samburu National Reserve; a rugged, remote reserve covering an area of 104 square kilometres. A safari in the Samburu region of Kenya offers a wonderful departure from the typical Kenyan safari experience and celebrates 'different'. It's home to a number of unique northern Kenya animals including Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx – known as the Special Five. There is enough of the regular action to be had here too, to make it a wonderful and intimate introduction to the world of safari.
After a morning game drive through the park in our overland truck we will escape the midday heat at a lodge within the park. Grab some lunch, a cold drink, before heading out again this afternoon. On our afternoon game drive keep your eye out for not only the Special Five, but also giraffes, elephants, hyenas and an abundance of birdlife.
Today is a long travel day, and we have a lot of ground to cover. After an early breakfast, check-out and head to Lake Naivasha. We will stop along the way for lunch and refreshments before arriving at our camp in the early evening.
Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake and is home to over 400 species of wildlife including hippos, a wide variety of fish and birdlife.
After breakfast enjoy a morning boat ride on Lake Naivasha.
The boat ride will end at the Elsamere Conservation Centre, the holiday and retirement home of local and global heroine Joy Adamson of “Born Free“ fame. Here we get to know more about the lady who dedicated her life to wildlife conservation and the environment. Enjoy a traditional high tea and a documentary movie before heading back to the hotel.
Later in the afternoon, you may want to visit the Hells Gate National Park for an optional afternoon walk in the gorge, ending with a swim in the healing waters of the geothermal spa within the park.
Alternatively you can visit a visit a flower farm, which is run predominantly by women. While these women have little or no formal education, working at the farm provides them with a stable income to support their families. As part of their employment, they belong to women’s only financial independence support groups. These groups have led to creation of financial institutions such as the Faulu Kenya and Kenya Women Microfinance Trust.
Masai Mara National Reserve
This morning we pack our bags and make our way to Loita Hills. We will drive for about 230 kilometres which will take approximately four hours due to the poor road network. The Loita Hills region is located south of Nairobi and northeast of the Masai Mara, and is one of the key areas in Kenya where the Maasai people still practice their traditional way of life, with little influence from the western world.
You’ll arrive for lunch in Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. Maasai and Samburu women remain the most oppressed women in Kenya, due to a culture that doesn’t allow women to inherit land and other properties from their families.
Here, you'll meet Hellen Nkuraiya, a teacher who was raised in a traditional Maasai family. She was married off twice by her father (in exchange for cows), the first time at the age of 12. She ran away from this life and later received a scholarship from a well-wisher to complete her schooling. After completing her college education she felt the need to address the challenges that affect the Maasai community that range from child marriages, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), women's economic empowerment, fighting for girls education and rights for widows. Hellen founded two community villages for widows in Tepesua (who had lost their cows due to drought, and can never remarry) so they can find support, safety and economic growth. The women are engaged in making handicrafts and sewing eco-friendly handbags, washable sanitary pads and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Her passion has earned her national and international recognition in her fight against FGM.
Travel another one to one and a half hours and jump in 4x4's to get to our camp on the outskirts of the Masai Mara National Park.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most tremendous animals. It is often thought to be the best place in East Africa for game drives. Along with the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, it forms Africa’s most diverse and spectacular eco-system.
Today you will jump in 4WD's and enjoy morning and afternoon game drives through the park. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the sky, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and of the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast
This evening you’ll be joined by one of the female rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Society for dinner who will share her experiences and the challenges of working in a typically male-dominated industry.
You’ll leave the Masai Mara after breakfast and drive towards Nairobi, which will take around six hours. There’s plenty of beautiful scenery to enjoy, but if you’d rather avoid the drive there’s an option to take a 45-minute flight instead.
If you drive, you’ll arrive back in the city in the afternoon and say goodbye to your tour leader and fellow travellers. If you’re staying on in Kenya, we can help you book additional accommodation, otherwise we recommend you don’t book your flight out before 8pm that day to allow for any delays.