A guided Eco-Safari that’s well thought out beginning with a visit to the secluded and serene game park of Meru to view a wide variety of animal and bird life, some endemic to this region plus experience the day-to-day life of the Meru and Borana people. Then on to the slopes of Mount Kenya to interact with the Kikuyu people before traversing the Aberdare Ranges from east to west and descend into the Rift valley. Once in the Rift Valley you combine the visits to Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and the world famous Masai Mara with visits to Loita Masai country for a chance to stay with them in their villages and be guided by them through their lands and way of life. This well-balanced itinerary offering unique cultural insights and fascinating sceneries ranging from mountains, hills and endless plains. Accommodation is in comfortable Moderate standard facilities and transport in 4X4 vehicles ideal for all the different terrines incorporated.
Day 1: By road to Meru wildlife park /Afternoon Game drive /overnight Meru Park Banda’s.
Departing Nairobi early head northwards to Meru Wildlife Park passing the eastern slopes of Mount Kenya and driving through agricultural country overlaid with pineapple, rice, coffee, tea and khat produce. We arrive at the Bwathorongi Banda’s inside the park in time for lunch then relax and go on our first late afternoon game drive. Meru National park is situated in the hot and humid Northern region and is among the most geographically diverse parks in Kenya – the ecosystems in the park consists of over 10 permanent rivers, rain forest, swamps and tall grasses that provide fodder and shelter to a wide variety of herbivores and their predators. There is a good chance to see Grevy zebra, Somali ostrich, elephant, buffaloes, reticulated giraffes, Oryx, lesser Kudu, reedbuck, eland, gazelles, impala, lion, cheetah, crocodiles among others. Lunch, Dinner and overnight at the Bwatherongi camp Bandas inside the park.
Day 2: Wildlife viewing in Meru Park / overnight Meru Park Banda’s.
We have a pre-breakfast game drive; go back to camp for breakfast then another late morning game drive to return for lunch. In the middle of the day we relax around the pool to allow the sun to go down before going on the late afternoon game drives. Our experienced nature guide offers in-depth details of the attractions and wildlife found inside this unfrequented park. Dinner and overnight once again at the Bwatherongi Bandas.
Day 3: Call on Boran and Meru tribes for cultural insights / journey to Mt. Kenya / overnight at Moderate standard forest lodge.
After an early morning game drive and breakfast we depart and pass via a local Borana village for interactive insights into their rich traditional ways of life – the Boran people are nomadic and depend chiefly on livestock for their livelihood thus erect semi-permanent community villages. Our next point of call will be the local Wa-Meru farmland to experience their unique farming practise of cultivating Khat (qat) - a stimulating and intoxicating shrub grown as a cash crop in this part of Kenya for export to the Arab world. As we trek through the local farms the local guide offers detailed insight into the day-to-day life of the Meru sub tribe and get a chance to visit the local market, school and homes and sample their cuisine and local drinks. Leaving Meru park behind we journey south through the southern and western slopes of Mount Kenya past large scale wheat and horticultural estates and the Equator to arrive at Mountain Rock Lodge - a country styled resort nestled on the forested slopes of Mt. Kenya. Dinner, Folk dance and overnight at the lodge.
Day 4: Mt. Kenya forest walk / call on Kikuyu farmers for cultural insights / overnight at moderate standard forest lodge.
This morning we go on a morning walk through the forest where a local nature guide will reveal medicinal plants, birds, animals and historical events of the forest environment as we saunter to the famous Mau Mau caves and waterfalls. The Mau Mau were Kenya’s guerrilla freedom fighter of the 1950’s who fought against the British colonial masters in pursuit for independence and at the time used this secluded cave as a dispensary to treat their sick and wounded fighter. After lunch we go on a culturally oriented eco-tour through the local Kikuyu villages and farms and optional school visits during term times. Here we can arrange an overnight stay for anyone wanting to experience village life a bit more closely. The village walk offers a fascinating insight to the lives of the people who live on the mountain slopes, enhancing your Mt Kenya experience and also helping to provide an income for the locals. Dinner and overnight once again at Mountain Rock Lodge.
Day 5: Cross over Aberdare Ranges / game watching & site seeing / overnight at moderate lakeside lodge.
Leaving mount Kenya behind we head for Aberdare National park - in addition to having a lush montane forest and a lot of wild game, this park houses the most dramatic waterfalls in Kenya. Our drive takes us through the forested salient section of the park adored by great numbers of highland adopted wildlife including: leopards, elephants, bushbucks, buffaloes, forest hogs, the rear Bongo among others. We then traverse the moorland section of the park and get a chance to visit the numerous waterfalls en-route and break for a picnic lunch at the beautiful Queen’s cave found underneath Chania Waterfalls – once a cold storage to preserve meat by Mau-Mau freedom fighters. In the late afternoon we leave the Park through the Mutubio park gate and descend down the western slopes of Aberdares and into the Rift Valley for dinner and overnight on the shores of Lake Naivasha in a moderate standard lodge.
Day 6: Lake Nakuru game viewing trip / return to Naivasha lakeside lodge for overnight.
Early start for a day trip to Lake Nakuru. This is a moderate sized park but a splendidly picture-perfect park with abundant wildlife and where there is a matchless chance of seeing the rare rhino - both black and white species, the elusive leopard as well as vast herds of buffalo, gazelles and the unusual Rothschild's giraffe. It has also had nearly 400 species of birds recorded within its boundaries among them the thousands of flamingo that crowd shoreline – a unique symbol for this famous tourism destination. After the game drive we return to our moderate standard lodge on the shores of lake Naivasha.
Day 7: Boat ride on lake Naivasha / Journey to Maasai village for cultural insights / overnight at Maji Moto eco-camp in tents.
Early morning boat ride on Lake Naivasha followed by a drive to a small Maasai village at Maji Moto (hot springs) on the northern tip of the Loita hills. Loita hills and plains form the wildlife corridor between Maasai Mara and the Narok region and hosts a great deal of wildlife through out the year. Over the years we have formed a special relationship with the local people here and we camp near their villages. You get a privileged chance to visit and spend time in an authentic Maasai bomas (homestead) to witness the work and life of women and children. Here we see and learn a thing about making beadwork jewellery and offer support by buying few as souvenirs. In the evening take a short stroll for a bathe in the natural hot springs or just deep you feet in.
Day 8: Walk among wildlife with warriors / cultural activities / game drive en route to Masai Mara / Night game drive / Overnight in Moderate standard permanent tented camp.
Start an early morning hike led by Maasai Morans (warriors) and trek to the Loita plains and hills - along the way you enjoy striking views while spotting wild animals and birds and also to get to learn about healing herbs used by the locals – the Maasai have folktales on virtually all plants, animal and landmarks you come across. On return to camp we are engaged in varies warrior training activities such as body decoration, wilderness survival tactics such as making fire from rubbing sticks, folk dances, spear throwing, Arrow shooting etc. If schools are in session you may visit a local school cum rescue centre for the Maasai girl child from early marriages. In the afternoon after lunch we head to Maasai Mara with a game drive in the Siana Conservation Area en-route - a wildlife dispersal area that is bordering Maasai Mara game reserve. Arrive at Mara Springs Safari Camp in time for a relaxing hot shower, dinner and a night game drive in Siana Conservation Area before going to bed.
Day 9: Enjoy detailed wildlife safari in Masai Mara / Overnight again in a tented camp.
Full day game drive in the Maasai Mara park. Maasai Mara, now the seventh wonder of the modern world, is a country of breathtaking vistas, vast rolling plains and rounded hills, acacia woodlands, dense thickets of scrub. Its vast plains teem with endless herds of game together with the associated predators. Here you find the largest population of lions in Kenya, impressive herds of elephants and other animals including buffaloes, hartebeest, wildebeest, topi, eland, impala, gazelles, black rhino, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, hippopotamus, crocodile, leopard, cheetah, hyena, jackals, among others. Bird species include eagles, vultures, marabou, ostrich, touracos, guinea fowls, bastards, cranes, and many more. (Perhaps the most interesting occurrence in Maasai Mara is the Wildebeest migration that occurs between the months of July and September. Every July, millions of wildebeests and zebra move from Serengeti to Maasai Mara on their annual migration, attracting an entourage of predators).Dinner and overnight once again at Mara Springs Safari camp
Day 10: Early morning game viewing / journey back to Nairobi by road.
A pre-breakfast game drive to spot any animals and birds that have eluded us the rest of the trip OR optionally go on a hot air balloon ride at your own cost. After breakfast we journey back to Nairobi to arrive for lunch.