This delightful, short safari provides a wonderful overview of the different types of accommodation and landscapes available when on safari in East Africa. It also takes you through the elephant-rich salty plains of Amboseli, with its stunning backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, the grandeur of the Great Rift Valley with its string of blue/green lakes filled with flamingos and to the magnificent rolling plains of the famous Masai Mara reserve with its large populations of the big cats, buffalo, eland, hippo, giraffe and much more.
Perfect for the first time visitor, this safari gives just a taste of the huge variety on offer, whetting the palate for a return trip. Try a little camping in Amboseli; with your own vehicle, driver, naturalist guide and camp cook, you'll be very comfortable in your large, igloo style tents with mattresses, bucket showers and traditional safari long drop toilets. This is a true camping experience!
Follow up your camping adventure with comfortable, excellent quality lodges with friendly, helpful staff, ensuite facilities and stunning views for the remainder of your safari. Once again, you'll have your own personal vehicle and driver/guide to escort you through the wilderness, ensuring you a wealth of information about the animals, plants, birds and peoples you meet along the way.
Perfect on its own, or as an extension to an East African business trip, this trip offers a little bit of everything!
Day 1 On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to Macushla House. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax or to take an optional excursion. Overnight at Macushla House.
Day 2 Breakfast at the house. Drive to the Amboseli National Park. Lunch at your campsite. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at Amboseli Camping.
Amboseli is a fairly small National Park of 392 square kilometers, originally opened in 1948. It is however, amazingly rich is both flora and fauna. Amboseli is a designated International Bio-sphere reserve and is the home of a large number of world famous researchers, especially with regard to elephant.
Amboseli, meaning "Salty Dust" in the Masai language is an important rangeland in the Masai culture. The area surrounding the park is made up of Masai ranch areas, which offer a wide variety of game viewing and walking safari options, not found within the park itself.
The 'salty dust' is volcanic ash from Mount Kilimanjaro eruptions a millennium ago. The dry, arid plains covered by this dust form heat wave mirages in the dry season. Endless herds of animals seem to waver in the distance, interrupted only by the real herds of zebra and wildebeest hovering in front. This arid landscape belies the reality, as Amboseli has an endless water supply from the ice caps of Kilimanjaro. This water forms two clear water springs in the middle of the park that provide a permanent water supply, even in drought.
Amboseli is probably most famous for its photographs of elephant with Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. The mountain is situated on the boundary of the park and Amboseli is certainly one of the finest locations for mountain spotting with Mount Meru also being seen with ease.
The elephant themselves are of course a major attraction in Amboseli. The bull elephant here have some of the largest tusks in Kenya. Cynthia Moss and her assistants have followed and studied these elephant for over 20 years, providing some of the most detailed knowledge of these magnificent animals available. The elephant are generally found in larger herds than most other areas and are quite habituated to people, allowing excellent photography, even for us amateurs!
Most of the cat species, including leopard, lion, cheetah and caracal may be easily seen in Amboseli, as are the plains antelope and migrating wildebeest.
Day 3 Full day game drives in Amboseli. All meals and overnight at Amboseli Camping.
Day 4 Breakfast at the Camp. Drive to Nairobi, stopping for lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant. In the afternoon proceed to Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley. Enjoy a boat ride to the Crescent Island Sanctuary before dinner and overnight at Lake Naivasha Country Club.
The Rift Valley is one of the wonders of the world, stretching from the Middle East, down through Africa, reaching as far as Mozambique. The staggering view, as you approach from Nairobi, Kenya is quite unbelievable. The ground suddenly disappears from under you to show the huge expanse of the great rift, stretching for thousands of miles in either direction. Whilst this stunning introduction to the Rift valley is amazing in itself, actually descending and exploring the Lakes area of the Rift in Kenya is a "not to be missed'" opportunity.
The first lake approached is the beautiful, deep-green Naivasha. Whilst not a National Park or Reserve itself, the Lake Naivasha Basin holds two small National Parks, both of which are well worth a visit. Naivasha itself of course is well worth a visit despite not being a National Park! Excellent bird watching, a large population of hippo, good fishing and a wide range of superb hotels, camps and lodges make Lake Naivasha a favored spot for weekend breaks.
The first park in the area, the Mount Longonot National Park is based around a young volcano, which rises up to 2,776 meters. Created amongst the massive eruptions that formed the Rift itself, Longonot has beautiful V-shaped valleys and ridges covered in forest, which are a haven for a variety of birds and animals. With hiking, rock climbing, biking joining the more normal game viewing activities, this park is perfect for the more active visitor.
The second park is the Hell's Gate National Park. Famous for its natural hot geysers, eagle and vulture breeding grounds, obsidian deposits and extinct volcanoes, it is possible to walk, game drive, camp, cycle and rock climb within the park. Beautiful rock gorges and natural steam vents add to the beauty of this tiny, 68 square km. Park. Game to view includes hyrax, buffalo, giraffe, eland, hartebeest, lion and leopard. As with all of the Rift Valley Parks, Hell's Gate is also an ornithologist's dream. The cliffs of Hell's Gate are the breeding grounds for vultures, Verreaux Eagles, Auger Buzzards and thousands of swifts.
Heading further northwest, Lake Nakuru is the next stop. This world famous park was created to protect its stunning flocks of lesser flamingo, which literally turn the lakeshore pink in color. The park spans an attractive range of wooded and bush grassland around the lake, offering a wide range of eco-diversity. Notable game within the lake area is hippo and the diverse bird life. Both black and white rhino are now resident in the sanctuary and Rothschild giraffe, buffalo, impala, eland, warthog, Mountain Reedbuck, klipspringers and Black and White Colobus Monkeys are all plentiful. This park is world-renowned and is a beacon for ornithologists, scientists and wildlife filmmakers.
Day 5 Breakfast at the Club. Morning drive to the Lake Nakuru National Park. Lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Day 6 Breakfast at the lodge. Morning drive via Narok to the Masai Mara National Reserve. Lunch at Mara Simba Lodge. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at Mara Simba Lodge.
Located to the south of Nairobi, and bordering Tanzania, the Masai Mara forms part of the huge Serengeti eco-system. The Mara spreads over 1510 square kilometers of rolling plains, sudden rocky outcrops, and green winding rivers.
Not only is the Mara blessed with this stunning landscape, but also its animal diversity is one of the greatest in Africa. Surrounded by the grazing lands of the Masai people, the Mara is a sanctuary for all of the "Big Five" animals: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. The sweet grasses and abundant water ensure a full compliment of plains game such as the Impala and Thompsons gazelle. The deep river pools provide homes for hippo and crocodiles.
Each year, generally in August/September, the Mara is host to the spectacular Wildebeest Migration, one of the natural wonders of the world! Literally millions of these awkwardly shaped ungulates move across the open plains in an endless stream stretching from horizon to horizon. The movement of this vast herd is fascinating in itself, but it is seldom that a day goes by without the added bonus of watching the predators that follow the herd. Lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs rely on the herd for food. Spotting one of these magnificent predators is more or less guaranteed at this time. The breath-taking beauty of the Masai Mara and its astonishing diversity of wildlife combine to ensure that the Mara is one of the most popular stops on a Kenyan safari.
Day 7 Early morning, morning and afternoon game drives. All meals and overnight at Mara Simba Lodge.
Day 8 Breakfast at the Lodge. Drop-off at the airstrip for the scheduled flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival Wilson airport, met and provide with a vehicle and driver for shopping or Nairobi tours as you please, until your drop-off at the international airport for your flight home.
Includes: All meals, transport, driver/guide, camping crew includes cook and helper, water when camping and in vehicle, all accommodation, all activities, park fees and local taxes. (Clients must bring own sleeping bag and towel for the camping portion)
Excludes: Drinks, personal purchases, tips, visas and international flights