Connecting with the energy and wildlife of the motherland of all humanity is the focus of this amazing spiritual journey to Kenya, Africa. Here we will have the opportunity to witness some of the most powerful animals on our planet; lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, wildebeest, and gazelles, befriend members of the Masai warrior tribe, and give deeply of ourselves at the Kids Alive Children’s Home and the Kamatongu Primary School.
The Maasai are a strongly independent people who still value tradition and ritual as an integral part of their everyday lives. They regard themselves not just as residents of this area but that they are as much a part of the life of the land as the land is part of their lives. Traditionally, the Maasai rarely hunt and living alongside wildlife in harmony is an important part of their beliefs. Lions and Wildebeest play as important a role in their cultural beliefs as their own herds of cattle. This unique co-existence of man and wildlife makes this Maasai land one of the world’s most unique wilderness regions.
At the heart of these lands is the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises 200 sq miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. Contiguous with the plains of the Serengeti, the Mara is home to a breathtaking array of life. Each year the Mara plays host to the world’s greatest natural spectacle, the Great Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti. From July to October, the promise of rain and fresh life giving grass in the north brings more than 1.3 million Wildebeest together into a single massive herd. They pour across the border into the Mara, making a spectacular entrance in a surging column of life that stretches from horizon to horizon.
Although Kenya is one of the more stable countries in Africa, poverty and deprivation are rife across the land. HIV AIDS has resulted in over one million children being left as orphans with no visible means of support or care. Life expectancy rates have fallen and thousands of families struggle to survive on a day-to-day basis. With children suffering from the ravages of malnutrition, malaria, HIV AIDS and diarrhea, the result is an ever-increasing child mortality rate.
On this journey we are going to visit both Kids Alive Children’s Home (a Christian organization) and the Kamatongu Primary School a government supported school that is in dire need of a permanent source of drinking water. We are going to donate funds to the school to help them achieve some of their most dire goals. This will be a powerful journey for us, an opportunity to open our hearts to nature and to those in need. There is no doubt that we will not come home the same people as when we departed.
Day 0: Depending on where you are flying from you will either depart your home on Oct 2nd or 3rd to meet us on the 4th in Nairobi, Kenya!
Day 1: Arrival at the airport at night and reception with Ontdek Kenya. Transfer from the airport to the Nairobi Safari Club or equivalent hotel in Nairobi.
Days 2 & 3: A 3 hr transfer takes you to Nyeri in central Kenya, home of the Kikuyu tribe. You will drive through the main farming areas of Kenya with a lot of coffee and pineapple plantations. We will make a stop at the open air Karatina market, which is the biggest farm produce market in the region. We arrive at the Sangare Tented Camp in time for lunch. Overnight at Sangare Tented Camp.
Sangare Ranch: Sangare is a 6500 acres private wildlife conservancy sandwiched between the Aberdares and Mt. Kenya. The 12-tent camp overlooks a fresh water lake full of exciting bird life where game comes to drink. The Sangare Hill forms a magnificent backdrop for the camp. The ranch whose habitat is savannah with scattered bushes is home to zebras, giraffes, antelopes, warthogs, leopards, hyenas, elephants and buffaloes. Bird life in Sangare is rich with +300 bird species reordered.
The tents are spacious and luxurious with four poster beds, unique African furnishing, private verandas and en suite facilities with flush toilets and shower. Your stay here will be for guided game viewing walks in the open plains where you will have sights of giraffes, zebras, gazelles, elands, bush bucks and of course the numerous birds. Meals can be enjoyed in the main dinning room by the fireplace or at the terrace overlooking the beautiful lake. All meals are made from pure organic vegetables and fruits grown in our garden.
Afternoon of day 3 – visit Kids Alive Children’s Home – about 45 min from Sangare. The home takes care of orphans; rehabilitates street boys and HIV infected and affected children. They have 58 boys in residence who attend neighboring primary and secondary schools. They also have community outreach programs that take care of vulnerable children in their homes. More information on the website.
Day 4: After breakfast we drive to the nearby Solio Ranch. This time we do an extensive game drive in the Rhino sanctuary, which has the world’s largest concentration of black rhinos. The white rhino is also found here as well as the reticulated giraffe, leopard, lion and a wide range of plains, game and bird life. We will drive around in the ranch but since this private sanctuary is little visited by the main tour operators providing a very private experience. To Sangare for lunch.
Afternoon visit to Kamatongu Primary School. This is a public funded school just outside the Sangare Ranch. It has a population of around 450 children ages 4 – 14 years. In theory it is supported by government but only on minimal running costs and provision of teachers. The school is in dire need of a permanent source of drinking water (they have a tank but no water supply), they also need pit latrines for their pre-school class. We are going to donate funds for their most dire needs during our visit.
Day 5: A three hour bus transfer takes us to the Rift Valley, where we will stay for 2 nights at the newly built Sunbird Lodge. Located in the Great Rift Valley, one of the wonders of the world, on the shore of the “pink” Lake Elementaita, overlooking the vast plains of Soysambu Conservancy. We will interrupt the transfer at the Equator and for a cup of tea in Nyahururu. Free afternoon or visit to the Kariandusi prehistoric site, a place where early man made his tools. The site is in the vicinity of the lodge.Overnight at Sunbird Lodge.
Day 6: Full day at the nearby Nakuru National Park is the oldest park of Kenya. It’s not only known for its thousands of flamingos but also for the vast herds of buffaloes, a good number of rhino and cats like leopard and lion. Of the big five only the elephant is missing. We make a game drive around the lake and have a drink at Lake Nakuru Lodge. Late afternoon transfer back to the Sunbird Lodge. Overnight Sunbird Lodge.
Day 7: Naivasha town is less than an hour’s drive away from Elementaita. Here we visit the colourful market. You find everything ranging from vegetables to clothes and from hardware to souvenirs. We reach the Lake Naivasha Country Club, our base for the next 2 nights, before lunch. In the afternoon we walk in the privately owned Crescent Island, which is a peninsula on the Eastern shore of Lake Naivasha. There is a lot of easy to see game e.g. giraffes, waterbucks, elands, zebras and impalas. It is also a heaven for birds with +200 species recorded. The walk is gentle and satisfying. We return to the lodge in time for afternoon tea. Overnight Naivasha Simba Lodge or equivalent.
Day 8: An early rising will ensure that one gets another magical display of the various birds. After breakfast we do a transfer by bus to the nearby Crater Lake Game Sanctuary. It is a lesser lake in the Rift Valley but a place where nature is at its best. We do a circular trek on the top of the crater from where we see the lake from various angles. Pleasant interruptions on the walks will be from giraffes, black and white colobus monkeys, elands, hartebeests and a range of gazelles, all which are easily found in the sanctuary. Overnight Naivasha Simba Lodge.
Day 9: We now take a break from walking and exploring local culture to put all our attention in African safaris. To see the best of Kenyan wildlife Masai Mara is the place to be – gentle rolling grasslands teeming with a plethora of animals and bird life. See Thomson and Grant Gazelles, Topi, Eland, Zebra, Waterbuck, Giraffe, Hippo, Wildebeest, Warthog, Crocodile, Ostrich, Vultures among others, and over 450 bird species, with over 50 birds of prey. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, buffaloes, gazelles and all the big cats are found here. So, after breakfast we start our journey passing through Narok Town; a colourful Masai town.
Our game viewing does not actually start at the park gate. We will be able to see many animals along the way grazing side by side with the Masai livestock. We reach the Mara Leisure Tented Camp, our home for the next three days, in time for lunch. After lunch a rest after our long drive and then tea before an introductory game drive. Overnight at the Mara Leisure Tented Camp.
Days 10 & 11: These are our cultural and activity days in Masai Mara. We do a morning game drive through the park and hike to a Masai manyatta (homestead). Here we will see how the typical Masai live. An afternoon game drive makes the day complete. On day 10+11 we do a morning and an afternoon game drive. We break from the driving with an optional walk through the dry bush along the Talek River, always on the look out for birds and small game. Overnight Mara Leisure Tented Camp.
Day 12: Leaving the Masai Mara in the morning for lunch at the Kiambethu Tea Farm. This is an old colonial home established by the early settlers and the pioneers of tea growing in Kenya. There will be a talk on tea: its arrival in Kenya, the growing, processing and tasting for those interested. A short walk in the tea plantation and into a small remaining part of indigenous forest completes the your travel in Kenya. We have a healthy farm lunch and thereafter transfer to Nairobi for the evening flight out.
Day 13: We’ll be on our way home, sad to be leaving our new friends and this powerful and beautiful land.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Kenya Spiritual Odyssey Pilgrimage/Spirituality Wildlife Viewing