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This tour will take you to some of the famous game reserves in these two countries as you combine wildlife and cultural experience. This experience will be enhanced by interaction with the locals in every national park visited. This will be done through village and community walks, observing the way of life of the locals.
Day 1 Arrival at Nairobi Jommo Kenyatta Airport. Stay at Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi
Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for overnight stay
Day 2 Transfer to Mt. Kenya national park
Mountain Kenya national park covers an area of about 715sq km around Mountain Kenya. Mt. Kenya or Kere Nyaga, as the Kikuyu call it, meaning the Mountain of Brightness, rises, 5199m above sea level and is the second highest mountain peak in the entire continent of Africa. It is Africa’s second highest formed between 2- 3 million years ago by a series of volcanic eruptions. Mt. Kenya National Park has spectacular scenery with lovely lakes, glaciers, tarns, peaks, and natural mineral springs in the area. Key bird species here include Little Kestrel, Jackson’s Francolin, Sharpe’s Long claw, Dueting Cisticola, Jackson’s Widowbird, Abbot’s Starling, and many more species. Mammals present here include, Black and White Colobus, Sykes Monkey, Bush Buck, Buffalo, Elephant, Olive Baboon, Water Buck, Black Rhino, Black-fronted Duiker, Leopard, Giant Forest Hog, Genet Cat, Bush Pig, Hyena, Elusive Antelope among others.
Day 3 Transfer to Samburu Game Reserve
The Samburu national reserve is located on the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River in Kenya. On the other side of the river is the Buffalo Springs national park. Samburu national reserve is 165 sq km. In the middle of the reserve the Ewaso Ngiro flows through the palm groves and thick riverine forests that provide water without which the game in the reserve could not survive in the arid country. Inside the reserve, there are two mountains visible ie Koitogor and Ololokwe. There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen. Several species are considered unique to the region including its unique dry-country animal life; all three big cats, lion cheetah and leopard, can be found here as well as elephants, buffalos and hippos. Other mammals frequently seen in the park include gerenuks, Grant’s gazelles, Kirk’s dik-diks, impalas, water bucks, Grevy’s zebras, Beisa oryxes, and reticulated giraffes among others.
Day 4 Game Viewing in Samburu Game Reserve
After breakfast, we have a game drive in the park. Large, domed termite mounds among the dry thorny shrub land make dens for aardvarks, warthogs and bat-eared foxes. Succulent aloes, euphorbias, and desert roses grow on rocky ridges that shelter hyraxes, klipspringers and leopards. Aardwolves are also occasionally seen. Common genets scrounge around, and banded and dwarf mongooses charge around in packs looking for smaller prey. Browsers of the thorny shrubs include common elands, impalas, Bright’s gazelles, reticulated giraffes, and gerenuks. Both Grevy’s and plains zebras graze the plain, sometimes in mixed herds. Warthogs root for bulbs and beisa oryxes graze on the shorter grass, and both greater and lesser kudus are seen in small numbers on the densely vegetated slopes of Lowa Mara and Koitogor. The Ewaso Nyiro is the life blood of hippos usually seen in the lower reaches near tributaries, and large specimens of Nile crocodiles bask on the exposed sand bars. Buffalos shelter in the dens e riverside thickets, and impalas and water bucks also stay close to the permanent greenery. Kirk’s and Gurnther’s dik-diks hold territories in the dense bush but are also found far from the water.
Later in the afternoon, we visit the nearby homesteads of the Samburu, Maasai, Turkana and the Boran. The conservation of the Samburu national reserve would not have been a possibility without the contribution of these local communities. You have an opportunity to get to know the rich culture of these communities and their ways of life. You may participate in some of the local activities here like rural cooking competitions, rural cow milking competitions, rural wedding ceremonies, etc.
Day 5 Transfer to Lake Nakuru national park
Lake Nakuru itself is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. This famous national park surrounding the Lake has populations of the Black Rhino, Rothschild Giraffe, Water Buck, Lion, Leopard, large python snakes which inhabit the dense woodland, and others. Lake Nakuru is famous for its location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth. Some of the birds which occur here are Flamingos, Cormorants, Pelicans, Little Grebes, White-winged Black Terns, Stilts, Avocets, Ducks, and the migrant Waders. Hippos wallow near the northern and southern ends of the lake. Rarities are a feature; Rothschild giraffes, and black and white rhinos were all introduced and are now breeding in this small national park. Rogue leopards translocated from other parts of Kenya have boosted the local wildlife population- this is one of the best parks to see this big cat. A small population of lions is also present, typically seen lounging about in thickets of fever trees. The grassland on the southern and western shores is grazed by defassa waterbucks, and white rhinos. Grey-crowned cranes and warthogs forage among plains zebras, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, bohor reedbucks, and buffaloes – ox-peckers picking parasites off their backs. Olive baboons fan out from cover while raptors such as bateleurs and vultures cruise overhead. The yellow fever trees growing at the water’s edge bubble with the calls of tropical boubous and white browed coucals.
Day 6 Transfer to Maasai Mara Game Reserve
The Maasai Mara is East Africa’s finest Game Reserve, located in South Western Kenya and is effectively a continuation of the Serengeti national park in Tanzania. The reserve is about 1510 sq km having been reduced from 1672 sq km in 1984. It is named after the Maasai people (traditional inhabitants of the area) and their description of the area when looked at from a view point – Maa which is Maasai for spotted; an apt description for the circle of trees, scrub, savannah and cloud shadows that mark the area. The Maasai Mara is famous for its exceptional population of the Big 5, other Game and the annual migration of Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelle, Zebra, and Wildebeest from Serengeti national park. Each year, far south in the great vastness of the Serengeti, the wildebeest, raise their quaint but dignified heads, sniff the air, and with one accord, start the long trek to the Kenyan border and the Mara. After exhausting the grass in Tanzania’s northern Serengeti, a large number of wildebeest and Zebra enter the Maasai Mara national reserve around the end of June drawn by the sweet grass raised by the April and May rains. It is estimated that more than a half million wildebeest enter the Mara and are joined by another 100,000 from the Loita Hills East of the Mara. Game Drives in the midst of these great herds is an unimaginable experience. While the eyes feast on the great wildlife spectacle, the air carries the smell, the dust, and the sounds of hundreds of thousands of animals. Once the Maasai Mara national reserve grass has been devoured and fresh rain in Tanzania has brought forth fresh grass there, the herds turn back south and head hundreds of kilometers back to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Plains. There the young are dropped in time to grow sufficiently strong to undertake the long trek up north 6 months later. Other resident mammals here include Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Topi, Eland, etc. In the Mara River, hippos submerge at the approach of vehicles only to surface seconds later to snorting their displeasure at the intrusion. Seemingly, the crocodiles sunbathe on the riverbanks, with mouth agape, waiting with subtle cunning for prey at which to strike with lightning precision. Birds too are prolific including migrants, over 450 species have been recorded, 57 of
Day 7 Game Viewing in Maasai Mara Game Reserve
We have game drives using a 4 WD vehicle suitable for the terrain within this popular reserve. Aside from the park itself, we may explore the nearby Loita Plains north of the Sekenani Gate, the Sekenani Valley or the dispersal area north of the Musiara Gate. Plenty of animals can be seen along the tracks leading off the main access road; warthogs, lions, elephants, and buffaloes are generally around and this habitat is favored by the antelopes such as Grant’s gazelles, impalas and the common eland, as well as the park’s 40-odd black rhinos, which disperse across the central Olmisigiyoi region and southeastern corner of the reserve. Kirk’s dik-diks (which only live in the thickets) are common in this habitat. Birdwatching is excellent and features several species like Denham’s Bustard, magpie shrikes and so many others.
We also visit the Maasai village. This is one of the most thought-provoking experiences you will ever have! At the edge of the village, we may be met by the Village Chief himslef. The village chief normally wears a red plaid sheet over his shoulder, beaded bracelets on his wrists and he carries a beaded stick. He has elongated ears, with dangling bead earrings. After getting permission, we enter the village. The Maasai people live in a homestead (Manyatta) made up of many huts. The huts are small and square (not more than 10 feet in any direction), and made of a combination of mud, dung and sticks, known as wattle. They consist of several tiny rooms. The rooms are dark since they have small holes for windows and a short narrow hole for a door. The roofs are low, flat and covered with sticks and straw. These huts are grouped in a circle joined by a fence of closely woven sticks, forming a protective wall around the central compound. Observe their way of life as they go about their daily chores and routines.
Day 8 Transfer to Nairobi
On this day, we transfer to Nairobi having lunch en route. As we drive, you may have the chance to see red-clad Maasai warriors tending their multi-colored herds amongst the plains game.
Day 9 Fly to Kilimanjaro airport, Tanzania. Proceed to Tarangire national park. Stay at Sopa Lodge
After an early breakfast, you will board a chartered flight to Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Thereafter, you will proceed to Tarangire national park. Tarangire is a quiet seasonal park with wide views to distant volcanic mountain ranges. Tarangire national park covers 2600 sq km of grassland and floodplains, including a large proportion of tall acacia woodland to the south of the open grass plains of southern Maasai land. The name of this park originates from the river which crosses the middle of the park, River Tarangire, the only source of water for the animals during the dry season. Tarangire national park has one of the highest population densities of elephants anywhere in Tanzania, with its sparse vegetation and strewn baobab and acacia trees, making it a beautiful and special location for wild game. This national park is the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem, and also the one place in Tanzania where dry-country Antelope like the stately fringe-eared Oryx, and peculiar long-necked Gerenuk are regularly observed. This park has hosts game that includes 300 elephants, herds of migratory wildebeest like Zebra, Buffalo, Impala, Gazelle, Hartebeest, and Eland.
Day 10 Game Viewing in Tarangire national park.
We have a full day spent in this amazing national park looking for wild game.
Day 11 Transfer to Lake Manyara national park. Stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
After breakfast, we depart for Lake Manyara national park. Upon arrival, we have an afternoon game drive inside the park to search for wild game. Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600m high Rift Valley Escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. It is 330sq km of which up to 200 sq km is lake when water levels are high. As we drive in through the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly by the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and you will also hear outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy. In addition to the forest setting, Lake Manyara national park has grassy flood plain with its expansive views eastwards across the alkaline lake to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra congregate on these grassy plains as do giraffes. Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for its tree climbing lions and large flocks of flamingoes (the park has 350 bird species). Other resident mammals here include Gazelles, impala, hyena, hippopotamus, and a great number of smaller mammals.
Day 12-13 Transfer to Ngorongoro Conservation Area for Game viewing. Stay at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Wildlife Lodge or Crater Lodge
We proceed to Ngorongoro Conservation, Area after a hearty breakfast, where we have a Game Drive upon arrival. Called the eighth wonder of the world and stretching across some 8,300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the Ngorongoro Crater which makes up only 3% of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Crater is one of the largest intact calderas in the world and has the densest predator population in Africa. Elephant, lion, zebra, wildebeest and a host of other resident animals are found here. It is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles, its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall. One major road descends into the Crater and another climbs out again – both of them one way. There are 120km of roads to explore in the dry season. The fresh water pools in the Mandusi Swamp are a dry-season home for the hippos, and sometimes they can be seen out feeding during the day. The surrounding marshy grasses and reeds are worth searching for water birds. There are around 250,000 large animals that enter and leave the Crater at will including lions, spotted hyenas, wildebeests, plains zebras, gazelles and buffalos, black rhinos, bull elephants. The animals are accustomed to visitors in vehicles and carry on their business with total disregard for observers, making for outstanding wildlife watching.
Day 14 Transfer to the Airport for departure