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kenya04A total of 7.9% of Kenya’s land is covered by National Park, encompassing no less than 59 separate reserves. Not all parks, however, are for going on safari though. Some are mountainous parks, others are Lake Ecosystem parks and there are marine parks too. Malindi Marine National Park and Reserve is one of the largest of its kind in Kenya. The area is famous for its stretches of white sandy beaches and the marine life in the area is of the liveliest in the country. Turtle and Whale islands are also in the area, offering the chance to get off the mainland for a while.

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A trip to the East African country wouldn’t be complete without witnessing some of its fascinating wildlife up close. Masai Mara National Park is arguably the country’s most famous but definitely the most visited. Not merely has it got spectacular views in every corner of the park, but zebra and gazelle trek the park on their way to Tanzania. Hot on their tails are an assortment of predators such as cheetah, leopard and hyena.

At the beginning or end of our journey will be Nairobi, a commercial centre complete with sky rise buildings which gives the visitor an impression that it is a bustling city. As it only 90 miles from the equator, it can get very hot in the city centre so, thankfully, when you need to get out Nairobi National Park is just a few kilometres from the city centre.

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spirit-of-kenya

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There are plenty of good reasons to visit East Africa. Kenya is blessed with some of Africa’s finest national parks, mountains, beaches and its lakes are filled with flamingos and pelicans. No wonder it’s one of Africa’s most popular destinations. The country’s natural beauty is also complemented by its proud cultural heritage. There are several tribes still living a traditional lifestyle such as the Samburu, Maasai and Turkana. Tourism is well established and there are some incredible eco-friendly boutique lodges and camps to choose from. In this way Kenya can really offer visitors a unique vacation.

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Safari Highlights:

(Click On Links To View Additional Info.)
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Samburu National Park
Aberdares Mountain forest
Aberdare National Park
Lake Nakuru
Lake Naivasha
Masai Mara

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Tour Details

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Day 1: Nairobi International airport – Stanley’s hotel

You’re guide and our SafariWise representative will meet you at the International Airport of Nairobi. We transfer you to the Stanley’s Hotel in Nairobi for a safari briefing and overnight.
Accommodation: Stanley’s Hotel
Meals: N/A

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Day 2: Stanley’s Hotel – Samburu Serena Lodge
After breakfast we start our safari with a drive to Samburu National Park for 2 days of game drives around Samburu, also considered the ‘heart of Kenya’ located just south of the Equator.

It boasts the most unusual flora and fauna of all East Africa’s major savannah reserves and offers unique vistas of rounded and rugged hills and undulating plains. The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of animal and birdlife. Buffalo Springs records over 365 species of bird. Game viewing and visibility is excellent. Reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, elephant, oryx, Somali ostrich, hippo, crocodile, gerenuk, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena will be seen.

Samburu National Park:

This game reserve is situated in the Northern Province of Kenya. It is rugged and a semi-desert. To get here we will cross the equator at Nanyuki and go to the northern hemisphere by passing the snow capped Mt Kenya lying astrand the equator line and huge blue mountains serve as a back drop to this game reserve. The environment is enchanting. The river Uaso Nyiro is the lifeline and the nerve centre of this Reserve and is bustling with a huge population of crocodiles. The game reserve is renowned for its rare species of animals that can only be found in this park, like –the long necked gerenuk, gravy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, and the Beisa onyx. The leopard is a frequent visitor in this park and most evenings it pays a courtesy call to the lodge’s guests as it feeds on some bite on a tree across the river. The park has an abundant species of birds and can turn even the most reluctant guest in to an avid bird watcher. It is considered by Ornithologists a paradise for bird viewing. In the evenings, we can watch gigantic crocodiles fight over big chunks of meat as they are fed by the lodge staff at the riverbanks or as they get out of the river to relax. This is a great photo session opportunity as we sip cocktails and watch the African sunset in orange flame sky.
Accommodation:
Samburu Serena Lodge
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 3: Samburu Serena Lodge
Game drives around Samburu National Park.
Accommodation: Samburu Serena Lodge
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 4: Samburu Serena Lodge – Aberdare Mountains Forest
Departure from our Nairobi Hotel at 0800hrs, drive to Nyeri via local villages with arrival to the Aberdares around noon. After lunch, we go on some game drives in the rich Aberdares mountain forest before return to our lodge. Accommodation is at the unique The Ark, a tree-top style stilted lodge which is set in thick woodland in the heart of the Aberdare National Park overlooking a floodlit waterhole and a saltlick which attracts a host of wildlife. Elephants, rhinos, leopards and bushbucks are frequently seen. Numerous Balconies and lounges provide superb game viewing and excellent photographic opportunities.

Aberdare National Park:
The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Rocks. Also of interest, an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffe and black rhinos.

The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north south between Nairobi and Thomson’s Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) and Kinangop (3,906m) separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.

The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000ft contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7000ft contour

The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park. The park is surrounded by a predominantly indigenous forest, whose management is under a MoU between KWS and the Forest Department.
Accommodation:
The Ark
Meals:
Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 5: The Ark – Lake Nakuru
After breakfast, we proceed to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes and best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores.

The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Rocks. Also of interest, an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffe and black rhinos. At Lake Nakuru, we also go on an early morning game drive. Overnight at the Lion Hill Lodge at Lake Nakuru, beautifully located close to the entrance with a view towards Lake Nakuru and its flamingo flocks.

Lake Nakuru:
Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 km2 in extent. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland next to Nakuru town. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter. The lake catchments is bounded by Menengai crater to the north, the Bahati hills to the north east, the lion hill ranges to the east, eburu crater to the south and the Mau escarpment to the west. Three major rivers, the Njoro, Makalia and Enderit drain into the lake, together with treated water from the town’s sewage works and the outflow from several springs along the shore.

Lake Nakuru was first gazetted as a bird sanctuary in 1960 and upgraded to National Park status in 1968. A northern extension was added to the park in 1974 and the lake was designated as a Ramsar site in 1990. The foundation of the parks food chains is the cyanophyte spirulina platensis which can support huge numbers of lesser flamingo.

The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Rocks. Also of interest, an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffe and black rhinos.

Location:
Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru District of the Rift Valley Province. It covers an area of 188 km2.

Major attractions:
Flamingo (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering about 450 species in total. Mammals: 56 different species including white rhinos. View-points: Lion hill, Baboon cliff and Out of Africa Hills: Enasoit, Honeymoon, Lion hill ridge etc.

Waterfalls:
Makalia
Unique vegetation: About 550 different plant species including the unique and biggest euphorbia forest in Africa, Picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands.

Overnight at the Lion Hill Lodge at Lake Nakuru, beautifully located close to the entrance with a view towards Lake Nakuru and its flamingo flocks
Accommodation: Lion Hill Lodge
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 6: Lion Hill LodgeExplore the area with our guide.
Accommodation: Lion Hill Lodge
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 7: Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara
After breakfast we proceed to Lake Naivasha where we enjoy a beautiful boat trip on Lake Naivasha, a true bird sanctuary.

On our way along the lakeshores we see hippos socializing lazily in the shallow waters or hiding in dense papyrus forest. Lunch will be taken at Elsamere, a haven for lovers of nature, set in Acacia forest on the banks of Lake Naivasha. It is the former home of the late Joy Adamson who, together with her husband George, became world famous for their pioneering conservation work and relationship with lioness Elsa, as told in her best selling book ‘Born Free’. After lunch we make our way to Masai Mara with viewing various games on the way, birds, herds of Antelopes, Zebra, giraffe, Elephants, gazelle, etc. At Masai Mara we go for an afternoon game drive with a big chance of seeing the’ Big five’ and many other wild animals set to retire for the day.

Lake Naivasha:

At 1880 metres above sea level, Lake Naivasha is the highest of the Rift Valley Lakes. It is the second largest freshwater lake in Kenya and one of only two freshwater lakes in the rift valley, the other being L. Baringo. Lake Naivasha is unusual in having no known outlet, normally a prerequisite for a freshwater lake! The lake edge supports dense vegetation which, in turn, supports a thriving bird population including the Grey-capped Warbler, Spectacled Weaver, Brimstone Canary and Red-billed Firefinch. All told the area has a bird list of over 350 species.

Masai Mara:
With an area of 1510 km² the Masai Mara is not the largest game park in Kenya, but it is probably the most famous. The entire area of the park is nestled within the enormous Great Rift Valley that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to South Africa. It is at the bottom of the Siria Escarpment. The terrain of the reserve is primarily open grassland, with seasonal riverlets. In the south-east region are clumps of the distinctive acacia tree. The western border is the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment of the Rift Valley, and wildlife tends to be most concentrated here, as the swampy ground means that access to water is always good and tourist disruption is minimal. The easternmost border is 224 km from Nairobi, and hence it is the eastern regions which are most visited by tourists.

While on the way, we visit a Maasai local village (Manyata) and take photos of Maasai with their culture attires.

The Maasai live in Kraals arranged in a circular fashion. The fence around the kraal is made of acacia thorns, which prevent lions from attacking the cattle. It is a man’s responsibility to fence the kraal, while women construct the houses. Traditionally, kraals are shared by an extended family. However, due to the new land management system in the Maasai region, it is not uncommon to see a kraal occupied by a single family.

The Inkajijik (Maasai word for a house) are loaf-shaped and made of mud, sticks, grass, cow dung and cow’s urine. Women are responsible for making the houses as well as supplying water, collecting firewood, milking cattle and cooking for the family. Warriors are in charge security while boys are responsible for herding livestock. During the drought season, both warriors and boys assume the responsibility for herding livestock. The elders are directors and advisors for day-to-day activities. Every morning before livestock leave to graze, an elder who is the head of the inkang sits on his chair and announces the schedule for everyone to follow.

The Maasai are a semi-nomadic people who lived under a communal land management system. The movement of livestock is based on seasonal rotation. Contrary to many claims made by outsiders, particularly the Hardinian school of thought, this communal land management system allows us to utilize resources in a sustainable manner. Each section manages its own territory. Under normal conditions, reserve pastures are fallowed and guarded by the warriors. However, if the dry season becomes especially harsh, sections boundaries are ignored and people graze animals throughout the land until the rainy season arrives. According to Maasai traditional land agreement, no one should be denied access to natural resources such as water and land.
Accommodation: Mara Serena Lodge / Keeroko Lodge / Mara Savora Tented Camp
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 8: Masai Mara
Full day of game drives at Masai Mara. Depending on the game drive we could visit the famous Mara River whereby different types of animals mingle to drink water. Picnic lunch in the bush.

We will either have the opportunity to experience the ‘Great Migration’ at Masai Mara or Serengeti, some 1.5 millions of wildbeast and zebras on the move. At Mara we also go on a night game drive to see nocturnal animals not to be seen during the day.
Accommodation: Mara Serena Lodge / Keeroko Lodge / Mara Savora Tented Camp
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 9: Masai Mara
Game drive at Masai Mara.
Accommodation: Mara Serena Lodge / Keeroko Lodge / Mara Savora Tented Camp
Meals: Breakfast /Lunch /Dinner

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Day 10: Mara – Nairobi
Early morning game drive at Masai Mara. After breakfast we return to Nairobi for departure or extension.

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Tour Cost

kenya02Price on request

Included in the quoted price:

  • Airport transfers in private car from/to Nairobi Airport
  • 1 x BB at Stanley’s Hotel
  • 9 days private safari
  • Transport and wildlife drives in modified 4WD Land cruiser or Land rover with photographic roof hatch and guaranteed window seat
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • SafariWise tour leader
  • All game drives as mentioned
  • All wildlife reserve entry fees
  • 8 x full board at excellent safari lodges or tented camps
  • 2 x 1.5 litre mineral water / person / day during game drives
  • Coffee/tea with picnic lunches

Excluded from quoted price:

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fee (US$ 50 – to be paid on arrival)
  • All items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Optional extra activities: Hot air balloon ride at Masai Mara (US$ 500 / person)

Notes:
a) The costing for the Tour Programme is based on a minimum of four (4) guests.
b) Please also note that the accommodation outlined in the itinerary may, very occasionally, need to be amended. Replacements lodges and hotels will always be of the same standard as the ones outlined in the itinerary and will in no way affect your holiday. Should we have to implement any changes to the above we will notify you as soon as possible.
c) A 15% non-refundable deposit is required on confirmation of safari.
d) Full payment is required sixty (60) days prior to arrival.
e) Quoted price is subject to availability and fuel/gas price- and exchange rate fluctuations.
f) Terms & Conditions.

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masai-mara-migration

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The Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, also known as “The Great Migration” takes place between Kenya’s Masai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the planet. Thousands of wildebeest and zebra’s migrate between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. The massive herds are closely followed by predators (lion, hyena and cheetah), making the most of every opportunity to catch their next meal.

The precise timing of the annual wildebeest migration depends on the rains. It is a very unpredictable and a spontaneous natural event.

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Safari Highlights:

(Click On Links To View Additional Info.)
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Massai Mara

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TOUR DATE:

Date on request
8 Days / 7 Nights
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Day 1:
Arrive in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi in the early afternoon. A 45-minute road transfer will take you to the Arican elegance of the Serena hotel. You will spend the evening in the lush and open surrounds of the Serena Hotel. One of Nairobi’s original hotels, this hotel has all the comforts of the past with the convenience of the modern era: The perfect place to relax for the evening.
Accommodation: Hotel

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Day 2:
We depart for the Masai Mara at 10am on a scheduled flight and we touch down at Kichwa Airstrip after a short 1-hour flight. From there we are transferred by road to our base camp situated in the actual Mara itself. You will be staying in a classic East African style safari camp consisting of canvas tents, staffed by local Maasai. You will have en-suite bathrooms with flush loos, flowing water and hot showers. While traditional, the camp is comfortable with large beds and private verandah’s. That afternoon we will enter the reserve for the first time and sample one of Africa’s greatest ecosystems.
Accommodation: Safari Camp

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Day 3 – 7:
For these five full days, we will focus on showing you the best of the Masai Mara and this will include tracking the migration and getting to the heart of the action. We go out each morning in the first light. We will have long wheel base vehicles with roof top hatches and large windows from which to photograph. Each person will have their own seat with window and hatch, ensuring that everyone has ample room to photograph from. Brackets, braces and clamps can be fixed onto the rails on the vehicles for tripod heads and flash brackets. Everything is designed to aid your photographic enjoyment. Depending on how and where the migration is moving, we might spend whole days in the reserve taking a picnic lunch along with us. We will find the best crossing points on the Mara River and spend pleasant hours watching the wildebeest mass on the banks with hungry crocs waiting below. If we are patient enough and fortune favours us, we will witness a wildebeest crossing, arguably the most spectacular wildlife event on the planet. Beside the actual visual spectacle, the noise of the crossing is something that will never be forgotten. Besides tracking and following the migration, we will search for as many predators as possible, including cheetah, as the great plains are home to these majestic cats. You will also enjoy unfamiliar sights of general game such as Topi standing aloft termite mounds and tiny shy dikdiks going about their daily routine. The Mara also houses some of the largest buffalo bulls on the continent and a huge density of raptors. A special for birders, amongst others, is the large and relatively common rupell’s griffon.

Our time in the Masai Mara will not just be about the wildlife though. We will take you to seldom-visited parts of the ecosystem and indeed right up to the southern boundary where the Masai Mara and Serengeti adjoin. Here, there is little human traffic, and we will enjoy the peace and quiet of the great plains as well as some private game viewing. This element of our safari is unique as most safari operators concentrate all their efforts on the river but we feel that by combining superb game viewing with a wilderness experience, we will offer our guests the very best of the Masai Mara.

The evenings will be spent sitting around the camp fire where and dining on excellent camp cuisine. As the coals die down, the warm camp beds beckon and everyone retires to bed.
Accommodation: Camping

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Day 8:
Return to Nairobi for international flights home

After a last morning drive, we return to camp for a hearty brunch before departing to the airstrip at 12h00 where we return to Nairobi. A transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta international Airport concludes the safari. Most of the international flights depart in the early evening and this fits with most connections.
This is unfortunately the end of the safari.

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Tour Cost

Price on request

Included in the quoted price:

  • Pickup and transport for the entire Safari and drop off at your destination.
  • Entrance and accommodation (2 persons per tent) to all reserves.
  • All meals, non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks
  • Game activities
  • The services of our guides
  • Return flights from Johannesburg
  • Local road and flight transfer

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Excluded from quoted price:

  • Gratuities to staff and guides.
  • Extra activities not included- ie hot air balloons.
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel visas

The emphasis of this tour is based on two things: Location and your photography.

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The key points for this as a photographic tour are:

  • The camp is inside the Masai Mara reserve with a view of the main crossing point
  • You are within 5 minutes from the main crossing point and 10 minutes from the other crossing points. Most camps are at least 60 minutes from these central areas.
  • The position of the camp is within the two main rivers- the Talek and Mara rivers, meaning easy and fast access to the most productive game viewing areas.
  • No gate restrictions or racing for the gate during the best hours of light. (all gates close at 18h30, and as most camps are outside the reserve, vehicles must leave the reserve) we are inside the Mara, thus can stay till dark.
  • We will have 3 x long wheel base Landcruisers for our use. Thus there will be 4 people per 8-seater vehicle. Ample space for photography and movement- each person will have a whole row to themselves as well as a roof hatch.
  • We will have the whole camp to ourselves.
  • The camp is a permanent tent camp- tents have flush toilets and showers.
  • There is a battery bank and silent generator for charging batteries and laptops

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Notes:
a) Please also note that the accommodation outlined in the itinerary may, very occasionally, need to be amended. Replacements lodges and hotels will always be of the same standard as the ones outlined in the itinerary and will in no way affect your holiday. Should we have to implement any changes to the above we will notify you as soon as possible.
b) A 15% non-refundable deposit is required on confirmation of safari.
c) Full payment is required sixty (60) days prior to arrival.
d) Quoted price is subject to availability and fuel/gas price- and exchange rate fluctuations.
e) Terms & Conditions.


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