Day 1: Nairobi - Treehotel L.D.
Drive north of Nairobi through smallholdings of the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest tribe, en route to your base hotel for lunch and then onto a Treehotel for overnight.
The Aberdares is a mountain range which lies directly north of Nairobi, whose highest peak, Ol Doinyo La Satima, reaches 3,998m. Part of the range is protected as the Aberdares National Park and encompasses all land over 3,200m together with a salient stretching east, down to 2,133m near the town of Nyeri. The dense forests of the Salient, once an elephant migration route between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya, are rich in wildlife - elephant, warthog, giant forest hog and bush pig, waterbuck, duiker, suni, dikdik, reedbuck, eland, bushbuck and the extremely rare bongo. Black and white colobus monkey are frequently seen swinging in the treetops. Lion, leopard, genet and serval cats, the latter frequently seen in its melanistic (black) phase, are also seen here. Above the forests are misty moorlands with icy rivers plunging into spectacular waterfalls and strange six metre tall mutants of alpine plants - groundsel, erica, hypericum and seneccio whose brilliant yellow flowers bloom but once in twenty years.
Day 2: Treehotel - Samburu (B, L, D)
Continue north across the Equator before losing altitude as you gently descend into Kenya’s cultural rich and arid Northern Frontier District and travel on to Samburu Game Reserve for lunch, an afternoon game drive, dinner and overnight.
Samburu Game Reserve is situated in the hot and arid fringes of Kenya's vast Northern Frontier District. The area is home to the Samburu tribe, pastoral relatives of the Masai. The landscape is rugged and dramatic - against a backdrop of volcanic mountains, gaunt hills and withered scrub tree punctuate the sparse and dry terrain with clusters of the incredibly hardy desert rose providing the ocassional flash of vivid colour. The Ewaso Nyiro river, lifeline of the area, runs along the southern boundary dividing Samburu from Buffalo Springs Reserve.
Crocodile and hippo share the river with the many small herds of elephant which bathe and frolic in the muddy brown waters during the heat of the day before returning later to browse on the lush vegetation of the riverine forest. Buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and plains game may also be seen but a special feature of this Reserve are the various species of game unique to these northern parks - Beisa oryx, the long necked gerenuk, Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe and the blue shanked Somali ostrich.
Day 3: Samburu (B, L, D)
A full day game viewing to look for the 'big five' and the various species of game found, in Kenya, only in the northern parks.
Day 4: Samburu - Lake Baringo (B, L, D)
Drive with a picnic lunch across the Northern Frontier District to Lake Baringo, a fresh water Rift Valley lake, famous for its magnificent birdlife. Dinner and overnight at a hotel on the lakeshore.
Day 5: Baringo - Rift Valley (B, L, D)
Continue across the floor of the Rift Valley to your hotel overlooking either Lake Nakuru, Elementaita or Naivasha for lunch, the afternoon, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Rift Valley - Masai Mara (B, L, D)
After breakfast depart for the Masai Mara arriving in time for lunch, an afternoon game drive, dinner and overnight.
The Masai Mara is considered by many to be one of Kenya's finest game reserves. The rolling grasslands offer ideal game viewing and photographic opportunities and the grassy plains are broken by rocky outcrops which are favourite midday resting places for lion, for which the Mara is famous. Some of the other animals which can be seen in and around this 700 square mile conservation area include elephant, black rhino, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle. Hippo and crocodile abound in the muddy brown waters of the rivers which traverse this Reserve. One of the Mara's main attractions each year is the astonishing spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million wildebeest, thousands of zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains, following the rains and succulent new grass. A costly trek as many of the lame, laggard and sick will fall prey to the ravening pack of predators and many more will die in the swirling flood waters trying to cross the Mara River. Once the rains have ended and the grass begins to wither the wildebeest turn south and head back to the Serengeti and beyond.
Day 7: Masai Mara (B, L, D)
Morning and afternoon game drives to search for some of the game perhaps not yet seen. Meals and overnight in the Mara.
Day 8: Masai Mara - Nairobi (B)
After an early morning game drive and breakfast, return to Nairobi arriving before lunch.
B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
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