Day 1: On arrival in Nairobi you will be met by our representative at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to your city hotel for accommodation. Alternatively we will meet you at your hotel at about 8.30 am. Over a cup of Kenyan tea or coffee your professional guide, will give you a briefing on your safari. We then drive for approximately 5 hours out through the fertile Kikuyu highlands to the edge of the Great Rift Valley, into which we descend 2,000 feet. The panorama of grassland studded with volcanic mountains is home to an animal kingdom unrivaled anywhere else in Africa. Our route takes us up over the Mau Escarpment and through the Masai trading town of Narok.
We fork south onto rough roads, reaching our private camp at the foothills of the Loita Mountain Range in time for a late lunch. Camp is established beneath giant yellow-fever acacia trees and is a popular roost for olive baboons and vervet monkeys. The afternoon is spent settling-in, followed by a short ride to familiarise ourselves with the horses (as an optional extra you may like to fly to the Mara on a scheduled charter). Meal Plan: Lunch and dinner in camp. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Barkitabu, Masailand.
Day 2: The morning and afternoon is spent on horseback exploring the beautiful Loita Hills and the surrounding countryside. We ride through acacia thickets and open plains in search of Burchell’s zebra, East African eland, warthog, Cape buffalo, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle and Masai giraffe. There is a variety of bird life to enjoy, including the African Scops owl, superb starling, secretary bird and the white-backed vulture. Meal Plan: All meals in camp. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Barkitabu, Masailand.
Day 3: Our first full day in the saddle takes us across the Loita Plains, past Kaitapini Hill and down onto the Shangalara lugga (dry river bed) for a picnic lunch. We enter the Olare Lamun valley and find our camp situated near a spring used by the Masai to water their cattle, a favorite haunt for both lion and leopard. Herds of impala, white-bearded wildebeest, Coke’s hartebeest and topi inhabit the neighboring scrub land. Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Olare Lamun, Masailand.
Day 4: After an early breakfast we saddle up and trek across the open savannah, interspersed with acacia, wait-a-bit brush and leleshwa (wild sage) woodland. We ride along the base of Oloiburmut Hill, before returning to camp for lunch. This area is home to a number of Masai manyattas (villages). Throughout the safari we have several opportunities to learn about, and, most importantly, enjoy the company of the Masai - a tribe of semi-nomadic people to whom the land belongs. Those who are interested may visit a small and remote primary school for the Masai children and in the late afternoon we visit a nearby manyatta of the local Masai “chief”. His constant company is a highlight of the stay here - a great friend of Gordon’s, he loves to serenade guests with stories of Masai tradition and lore. Meal Plan: All meals in camp. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Olare Lamun, Masailand.
Day 5: A pre-dawn wake-up call prepares us for a long ride over vast rolling plains skirting the southern end of the Bardamat Hills. We canter across the Koiyaki Plains to a picnic site on a small escarpment overlooking the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Now riding within the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, the increase in the abundance of wildlife is immediately apparent. We reach camp located in a glade of riverine forest on the Olare Orok River. A large camp fire and extra vigilant syces (grooms) keep watch at night to make sure that nocturnal predators remain at a safe distance! Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Olare Orok, Masai Mara.
Day 6: A day of rest for the horses, we set off in our customized 4x4 safari vehicles to photograph the wildlife at close quarters. We can expect to see spotted hyena, cheetah and elephant. An afternoon walk with the Masai morran (warriors) is also an option. After dinner we may go out by safari vehicle with a spotlight, to search for illusive nocturnal animals. Meal Plan: All meals in camp. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Olare Orok, Masai Mara.
Day 7: We ride in a northerly direction through a spectacular secret valley, gently winding our way along the southern bank of the Mara River, looking out for the crocodiles and large pods of hippo that frequent this area. The riverine forest is home to a variety of tropical birds including the rare Ross's turaco. The concentration of game, especially during the wildebeest migration (July to October) is breathtaking. We arrive in camp in the middle of the afternoon. There may be time for a short game drive or walk after tea. Meal Plan: Breakfast and dinner in camp. Picnic lunch in the bush. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Kiboko Bend, Mara River, Masai Mara.
Day 8: We explore the Masai Mara by horse or vehicle to photograph wildlife including lion, leopard, silver-backed jackal, impala and water buck. Another sensational day amongst the game. Meal Plan: All meals in camp. Overnight: Private Mobile Tented Camp - Kiboko Bend, Mara River, Masai Mara.
Day 9: After saying “goodbye” to the horses and camp staff, we return by vehicle, approximately 6 hours, to your Nairobi hotel. Day rooms are booked so that one may shower and relax before international flights home (as an optional extra you may like to fly back to Nairobi on the scheduled charter). For those interested in shopping, a trip to find East African gemstones, bronze sculptures, African jewelery and other curios can be arranged. Meal Plan: Breakfast in camp.
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