Day 1 On arrival at the airport, met and transferred to Macushla House. Macushla, located in the suburb of Langata gives a quiet, peaceful stopover in this busy city area. With six spacious bedrooms, two lounges, a private study, bar, pool and dining room, Macushla caters for both business and holiday travelers. A delicious range of fresh, home cooked meals, served throughout the day, provide fine dining at your convenience. Located close to the Giraffe Manor, Karen Blixen Museum, Nairobi National Park and the Animal Orphanage, Macushla is the perfect place to start your safari adventure.
Day 2 Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to the Aberdare Country Club. Lunch at the Club. Afternoon is at leisure to explore the private game sanctuary. Dinner and overnight at the Aberdare Country Club.
The Aberdare Mountain ranges soar to peaks of 13,000 feet and dip into deep, V shaped valleys with streams and rivers cascading over spectacular waterfalls, including Kenya's longest fall of approximately 1,000 feet! Located in the heart of the Kikuyu tribe highlands area, in Central Kenya, traditional folklore states that the Aberdare Mountains are one of the homes of Ngai, God.
To the east of the ranges you can find Mt. Kenya and the fertile farming lands of the Kikuyu tribe, which were settled by the colonists in the early decades of the Twentieth century. The area between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya are part of what became known as the European highlands. To the west, the range falls steeply away into the Rift Valley and offers superb views of Lake Naivasha and the distant Mau Escarpment.
The steep hillsides of the western edges tend not be as attractive to wildlife as the gently undulating slopes of the eastern side, which, despite periods of mist, rain and cold spells, attract a wide variety and quantity of wildlife. There are three main eco-systems within the Aberdare Mountains: the rain forest, which gives way to dense bamboo forests, which itself gives way to moorland as the altitude rises.
The forest is home to a multitude of elephant, buffalo, giant forest hog and the endangered Black Rhino. The Aberdares are also an excellent area for spotting the elusive leopard and occasional sightings have been made of the Golden Cat. Black and white Colobus and Sykes Monkeys are easily seen, as are waterbuck, reedbuck, duikers, serval cats and bushbuck. Melanistic cats appear to be quite common in the high altitudes of the Aberdares and black serval cats are spotted fairly often.
The best viewing in the forest areas is in the Salient area of the park, where both Treetops and The Ark lodges provide superb nighttime viewing in this area of gentler slopes and slightly less dense forest. During the rains, the majority of the game spends its time in the forest rather than on the moorlands.
As you rise in altitude, through the bamboo belt, it is possible to spot the elusive bongo antelope and the giant forest hog, but viewing in this incredibly dense growth of bamboo is challenging to say the least! However, bird viewing is excellent; keep an eye out for the magnificent crowned eagle as it hunts for one its favorite meals, a Colobus monkey.
Once above 10,000 feet, the bamboo gives way to rolling moorlands with tumbling, crystal clear streams which are well stocked with trout; varieties of lobelia, groundsel and heather cover much of the ground. Here eland, lion, elephant and buffalo may be found in addition to the numerous birds, such as the Jackson's francolin, sparrow hawk, African Goshawk, sunbirds and plovers.
The moorland area offers superb scenery, excellent opportunities for high altitude hiking as well as fly fishing, which is encouraged as the trout is not an indigenous species and was introduced to the area.
Far more than simply a wonderful wildlife area, the Aberdares are also a vital water catchment area, with the rain forest feeding most of the local area and the city of Nairobi from its rivers and streams. Many of the mighty Tana River headsprings start in the Aberdare Mountains and end in the Indian Ocean.
The area is also famous as the 1950s headquarters of the Mau Mau Rebellion, with 'General' Kimathi's hideout still a much-visited attraction. Princess Elizabeth became Queen of the United Kingdom while staying in the Aberdares, at the now famous Treetops Lodge and the National Park is a favorite spot for a resident's weekend getaway with its campsites, self-catering bandas and walking possibilities.
The Aberdare Range National Park is 767 square kilometers and contains the two highest peaks: Lesatima at 13,120 feet and Kinangop at 12,816 feet. The park has been a protected area since 1950. Due to its altitude, the Aberdare Park has a climate closer to that of Europe than of the tropics. Jumpers, sweaters, jackets, thick socks, waterproofs and, during the April/May rains, even thermal underwear may be needed if staying in the moorland areas overnight.
A very different landscape from the wide, open plains of the African savannah, the Aberdares have been described as 'Scotland with lions' and is a well worth a stop on any tour of Kenya.
Day 3 Explore the Aberdare National Park moorlands and bamboo forests with a picnic lunch. Other meals and overnight at the Aberdare Country Club.
Day 4 Breakfast and lunch at the Aberdare Country Club. Afternoon transfer to the Ark. Dinner and overnight game viewing at the Ark.
Day 5 Breakfast at the Ark. Return down the mountain to the Aberdare Country Club where you rejoin your driver and private vehicle for the two-hour drive via the equator to the Samburu National Reserve. You'll arrive in plenty of time for lunch at the Samburu Intrepids Camp, your home for the next few nights.
The Samburu Intrepids Camp is a wonderful, extremely comfortable permanent tented camp. The large tents are easily the size of most hotel rooms, with all the amenities you would expect in a good hotel. Excellent game viewing may be done from the camp itself, whilst enjoying a cold drink and the attentive service of the friendly staff.
Northern Kenya is a huge expanse of scrub desert, bisected by a few life saving rivers. A true wilderness, this area of Kenya is very sparsely populated, and game patterns have been little affected by humans.
The Samburu area is part of an ancient lava plain covered with red dirt, thorn scrub, broken volcanic rock, dried riverbeds, steep hills and rocky outcroppings.
Unusual for this arid area of Northern Kenya, Samburu has a permanent water supply, the Ewaso Ngiro or "brown river'. This permanent water flow provides an oasis for the many elephant, hippo, and crocodile that abound in this area.
The region is also home to the rare Grevvy zebra, Somali ostrich with their distinctive blue legs, the shy Beisa Oryx and the largest African antelope, the Eland. The Samburu area is famous for its leopards. One of the most reliable areas in Kenya for spotting this beautiful but elusive cat, as well as lion and cheetah, Samburu proves very popular with the big cat researchers.
The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of bird life as well as mammals. Buffalo Springs records over 365 bird species. You'll lunch at Samburu Intrepids Camp before enjoying an afternoon game drive and then dinner and overnight at Samburu Intrepids Camp.
Day 6 Morning and afternoon game drives in Samburu. All meals and overnight at Samburu Intrepids Camp.
Day 7 Enjoy an early breakfast at the Camp. You'll then drive over the foothills of Mount Kenya, through the sheep farming country of Timau, to the old settler town of Nanyuki. Here you'll catch the Air Kenya flight to the fabulous Masai Mara National Reserve. On arrival at the airstrip, you are met and transferred to Governors Camp. Lunch at the Camp after checking in. Dinner and overnight at Governors Camp.
Governor's Camp is one of the oldest permanent tented camps in the Masai Mara. A locally owned company, this old-fashioned safari camp offers superb food, excellent service and access to one of the richest parts of the Masai Mara Reserve. The thick, black cotton soil makes this area of the Mara very fertile and the grasses, bushes and shrubs all provide fodder for the numerous plains game animals that live here.
Located to the south of Nairobi, and bordering Tanzania, the Maasai Mara forms part of the huge Serengeti eco-system. The Mara spreads over 1510 square kilometers of rolling plains, sudden rocky outcrops, and green winding rivers.
Not only is the Mara blessed with this stunning landscape, but also its animal diversity is one of the greatest in Africa. Surrounded by the grazing lands of the Maasai people, the Mara is a sanctuary for all of the "Big Five" animals: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. The sweet grasses and abundant water ensure a full compliment of plains game such as the Impala and Thompsons gazelle. The deep river pools provide homes for hippo and crocodiles.
Each year, generally in August/September, the Mara is host to the spectacular Wildebeest Migration, one of the natural wonders of the world! Literally millions of these awkwardly shaped ungulates move across the open plains in an endless stream stretching from horizon to horizon. The movement of this vast herd is fascinating in itself, but it is rare that a day goes by without the added bonus of watching the predators that follow the herd. Lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogsrely on the herd for food. Spotting one of these magnificent predators is more or less guaranteed at this time.
The breath-taking beauty of the Maasai Mara and its astonishing diversity of wildlife combine to ensure that the Mara is one of the most popular stops on a Kenyan safari.
Spend the afternoon exploring the Mara with your guide; keep an eye out for elephant, lion, cheetah, eland, topi and of course the wildebeest!
Days 8 and 9 Morning and afternoon game drives. All meals and overnight at Governors Camp.
Day 10 Breakfast at the Camp. Collected from the camp and with a game drive enroute, head to the private house of Rekero. The Beaton's home, Rekero, is surrounded by rolling hills and endless savanna plains. Rekero hosts just eight guests in comfortable, thatched bungalows set around a waterhole, host to elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo.
The Beaton's own hosting abilities are enhanced by their partners, the local Maasai, one of the great warrior tribes of Africa, as well as the Ndorobo, a small hunter/gatherer clan whose culture is quickly disappearing. Every tree, shrub and bush has a use, as you discover on your game walks, learning ancient tribal lore in between photo-shooting wildlife. Truly Africa - stunning landscapes, fascinating cultures and abundant wildlife, combined with the comfort of home, make Rekero a unique experience on any East African safari. Game walks, village visits and game drives as you choose (the party can easily split up on activities if needed). All meals and overnight at Rekero.
Days 11 and 12 A full day exploring this side of the Masai Mara with escorted walks with a Ndorobo tribe medicine man, game tracking with Masai warriors and game drives in a private 4x4 Landrover. All meals and overnight at Rekero.
Day 13 After breakfast, with a game drive enroute, return to Nairobi on a scheduled flight from the Mara. Met at the Nairobi airport by your driver and vehicle and taken shopping or to visit the museums or animal orphanages until it is time to return to the airport for your international departure.
Includes: All meals, transport, driver/guide, camping crew includes cook and helper, water when camping and in vehicle, all accommodation, all activities, park fees and local taxes. (Clients must bring own sleeping bag and towel for the camping portion)
Excludes: Drinks, personal purchases, tips, visas and international flights