A Kenyan 4x4 Safari

North of the Equator lies Samburu (which means Butterfly), 225 km2, in an area still known as the Northern Frontier District. A beautifully dramatic landscape of semi desert, with blue hazy mountains in the distance, gently swaying Doum palm trees, and the even gentler trickling of the Ewaso Nyiro and Isiolo Rivers; wild and untamed, this is one of Kenya's last true remaining wilderness areas. The Ewaso Nyiro River is the main source of water in this otherwise harsh and dry country. It runs throughthe hot sands, a brown-coloured (Ewaso Nyiro) artery of life whose banks are overgrown by thick, riverine vegetation, from the short grasses along the shore to the towering Acacias that grow to over 25m in height. The snow covered Mount Kenya, which is seen clearly on most days, is the birth place of the river, which runs through the land in a slow sluggish motion, before mysteriously disappearing into the ground in the far off Lorian Swamp, never to be seen again. Some say it runs under ground all the way to the Indian Ocean on Ethiopia's coast, but then again, perhaps not. The Samburu people are historically close to the Maasai. Both came from the region around present day northwest Turkana in the seventeenth century. Many in the driest areas of their range in the northeast have turned to camel herding as a better insurance against drought than cattle. This land is inhabited by such strange and exotic creatures as the Blue-Legged Somali Ostrich, the enormous Grevy's Zebra (which is more endangered than the rhino!), graceful, long necked Gerenuk gazelles, the mystical Oryx antelope and the most beautiful of all giraffes- the Reticulated Giraffe.
Mount Kenya
Mount Kenya is Africa's second-highest mountain. Its heart is actually the remains of an extinct volcano, some 3.5 million years old. Europe first heard about the mountain when the missionary Krapf saw it in 1849, but his stories of snow on the equator were not taken seriously. It was only in 1883 that the young Scottish traveller, Joseph Thomson, confirmed its existence to the Western World. The Kikuyu, Maasai and other people living in the vicinity had venerated the mountain for centuries.
Lake Nakuru
Lake Nakuru National Park is situated in Central Kenya, 140km north-west of Nairobi, in Nakuru District of the Rift Valley Province. It covers an area of 188 km2. 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 lake catchment 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 the outflow from several springs along the shore.
The lake supports huge numbers of lesser flamingo.
The Maasai Mara
The Maasai Mara is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual wildebeest migration from July to October - a migration so immense it has to be seen to be believed. The Maasai Mara Game Reserve although not the largest game park in Kenya, is one of the most spectacular and most popular game reserves in Kenya. Rich in game, the rolling grasslands and acacia savannah have frequently been captured on film, with "Out of Africa" being the most famous. The reserve borders Tanzania and the two countries share the vast Serengeti plains, with wildlife free to roam between Kenya and Tanzania in search of food. The concentration of game in the Mara during the mass migration is mind blowing, and this is one of the few areas where you are likely to see all of the big five - buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard. In fact lions are ridiculously common and, you are quite likely to see them feeding on a kill during your visit. Other animals include cheetah, zebra, spotted hyena, black backed jackal, hippo, giraffe, eland and of course wildebeest. The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is famous for the annual migration of over one million wildebeest and thousands of zebra and gazelles. The incredible spectacle of them crossing the Mara river into Kenya happens in late July or August. Thousands of animals die in this dramatic crossing and predators and crocodiles have a field day. In October the animals return again to Tanzania. The history of this area can be traced back at least 2,000 years, when Neolithic man discarded pottery and arrow heads in the Lemek valley slightly north of the reserve. The Maasai herdsmen have occupied the area since the 17th century, living in harmony with the wildlife as pastoralists and not hunters. These proud warrior people are still here today and the men often perform an amazing dance in the lodges.

The Itinerary
Day 1
Upon your arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will immediately enter the arrivals Lounge and you will proceed to the immigration counter where you may be asked to present your Yellow Fever vaccination Card. Should you not have your Kenya entrance visa, you may purchase this on arrival at a cost of USD $50 per person payable in cash. Each person will simply be required to provide a passport valid for at least 6 months past your arrival date, fill up an immigration entrance form and the immigration officers will do the rest. On collection of your luggage YOUR AFRICA representative will meet you and escort you to your vehicle to transfer you to your hotel. This transfer will take you through the centre of Nairobi and will take, depending on traffic, approximately 45 minutes. Overnight on bed & breakfast basis at FAIRVIEW HOTEL.
Day 2
After breakfast, your safari starts at 7.30 and you driver will take you in your private 4x4 vehicle in your journey towards the North. You will enjoy extensive views of the Mount Kenya on the way and will reach Samburu National Park in time for lunch.
You will stay 2 nights on full board basis at SAMBURU INTREPIDS. Your driver will take you on 4x4 photographic safari in the morning and afternoon to discover the animals of Samburu National Park.
Day 3
During this full day in Samburu, you will be able to do photographic safaris and discover the game that is very particular to Samburu: the reticulated giraffe, long-neck gerenuk antelope, Somali ostrich, Grevy's zebra and majestic Beisa oryx. Lunch, dinner and overnight at SAMBURU INTREPIDS.
Day 4
After an early breakfast, you will today discover the Mount Kenya and will stay at MOUNT KENYA SAFARI CLUB on full board basis. You will have the opportunity to visit the animal orphanage, try the putting green or the golf course, horse riding or just relax by the swimming pool with extensive views of Mount Kenya. Please note these activities are optional.
Day 5
After an early breakfast, you will drive West towards the Great Rift Valley. The landscape will change dramatically from the Mount Kenya Region alternating with rocky cliffs, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with Euphorbia forests. You will reach Lake Nakuru region for lunch at FLAMINGO HILL CAMP where you are going to stay for 2 nights on full board basis. The lodge is just a few minutes away from Lake Nakuru National Park where you will enjoy game viewing during these two days.
Day 6
After breakfast, you will go with your picninc lunch and enjoy a full day in Nakuru National Park to see what it has to offer: flamingos, black and white rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalos and of course antelopes, gazelles, giraffes and zebras.
Day 7
You will depart after early breakfast and will drive towards the Maasai Mara. The journey will take you through agricultural lands of the Rift Valley and the landscape will then change when you reach the Maasai Mara eco-system. You will view giraffes and zebras long before reaching the reserve and will arrive for a late lunch at KILIMA CAMP. After relaxing while enjoying the breath-taking views over the Mara plains, you will enjoy an afternoon game drive in the Mara Triangle or, if you prefer, a nature walk with a Maasai naturalist (supplement Applicable), and come back to camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 8
Enjoy a full day in the Maasai Mara and choose to do a full day or half day game drive or early morning and afternoon game drives to capture the best light for your photographs. Full board. accommodation at KILIMA CAMP.
Day 9
After an early breakfast, you will drive to Nairobi (5 hours) and from there, depending on the time of your international flight, your Africa guide will transfer you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where we will bid you KWAHERI (Farewell in Kiswahili). Optional lunch and excursions are available in Nairobi.

The Lodges:
Fairview Hotel (Nairobi)

Located in Upper Hill, a business and residential area, Fairview offers comfortable rooms in a beautiful and relaxing garden. The Fairview was acquired by the Szlapak family in 1946. At that time, the hotel had only 40 rooms. Since then, the hotel has grown to just over 100 rooms. Facilities include swimming pool, gym and Wi-Fi.
Samburu Intrepids (Samburu)

On the riverbanks of the Ewaso Nyiro, 27 tents in the middle of the Samburu National Park. Because of the warm climate, Samburu Intrepids' s public areas are all palm-thatched and open to the elements, raised on silts to catch the cooling breeze blowing off the river. You will enjoy as well the swimming-pool, a soothing drop of blue in this otherwise arid environment.
Mount Kenya Safari Club

Sited on the lush grounds with spectacular views across the heavily forested slopes to the craggy snow capped peaks of Mount Kenya. The hotel has just been renovated and offers 115 rooms in a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure.
Flamingo Hill (Nakuru)

Flamingo Hill Camp is nestled between the "honeymoon hills", close to Nakuru National Park and set in beautifully landscaped grounds with natural foliage and a variety of indigenous African plants and flowers. It is composed of 25 tents. Each tent has four poster beds, writing desk, a private verandah overlooking the plains. All have ensuite bathrooms fitted with flush toilets, showers and WC.Hot and cold running water is available in all tents.
Kilima Camp (Maasai Mara)

Situated on top of the Oloololo-Siria escarpment, overlooking the Mara River, with a phenomenal view, Kilima Camp is a luxurious private tented camp bordering the Maasai Mara Conservation Area (15 min from the Oloololo Gate). With 12 tents, Kilima Camp offers the true African adventure in style and comfort with an eco-friendly touch with maximum care to the environment and its people, the Maasai.

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