This one week long safari takes you to the private homes of the Craig and Beaton families. Two of the original British settlers in Kenya, these two families, in conjunction with the local tribes, have opened their homes to visitors. Explore the stark beauty of northern Kenya at the game sanctuary of Lewa Downs, and then visit the famous big cat hunting grounds of the Masai Mara. Enjoy all the comforts of home with none of the chores!
One of Kenya's original settler ranches, Lewa Downs has been in the Craig family since 1924, when the Craig's grandparents first started to raise cattle. It is now a part of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which includes Anna Merz' highly respected Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary. The area is committed to the conservation of the wildlife and diverse habitats found on these northern slopes of Mount Kenya and combines this wildlife protection with benefits to the local community such as schools, clinics and employment.
The original farm house and its guest cottages are the center of this private ranch and form your base as you go on game walks, horse riding expeditions or day and night drives to exploring this fascinating area. The experienced naturalist guides provide an endless variety of information throughout the day while the evening brings delicious food and safari tales swapped round a roaring log fireplace.
The Beaton's home, Rekero, is located in the heart of the Masai Mara, one the greatest and most diverse concentrations of wildlife in Africa. Famous for its large populations of lion, leopard and cheetah, a safari to Kenya is incomplete without a visit to the Mara. 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 Masai, 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.
Day 1 Collected from the Nairobi Airport or your Nairobi hotel and transferred to Wilson Airport for the one-hour flight to Lewa Downs. Met upon arrival and enjoy a game drive enroute to the cottages. Lunch at the cottages before a game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Lewa.
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 Laikipia Plateau, in the Northern District, 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, Laikipia 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. Lewa is famous for its rhinos. One of the most reliable areas in Kenya for spotting this rare, endangered species along with leopard, lion, buffalo and elephant, many guests spot all of the 'Big Five' here!
The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of bird life as well as mammals. Over 365 bird species have been recorded! The perfect place for an introduction to the harsh, yet stunningly beautiful landscapes of northern Kenya, the Laikipia Plateau is a vital part of a safari itinerary.
Day 2 A full day game walking, horseback riding or game driving through the Sanctuary as you please. All meals and overnight at Lewa.
Day 3 An early morning game walk or horseback ride takes you to a delicious bush breakfast spread out under acacia trees looking towards to the snowy peak of Mount Kenya. Game drive back to the cottages and enjoy the swimming pool or tennis, or simply catch a nap before your evening game drive, dinner and overnight at Lewa.
Day 4 After breakfast, leave Lewa for your quick drive to Nanyuki and the flight to the Masai Mara. Met at the Mara Airstrip and game drive through the reserve to Rekero Cottages. Enjoy lunch at the cottages and then take a gentle hike trough the rolling hills with your Ndorobo medicine man as he points out the animals, birds, plants and insects that abound. You might try out a local herbal remedy or two as well! Dinner and overnight at Rekero Cottages.
Located to the south of Nairobi, and bordering Tanzania, the Masai 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 Masai 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 seldom that a day goes by without the added bonus of watching the predators that follow the herd. Lion, leopard, cheetah and wild dogs rely on the herd for food. Spotting one of these magnificent predators is more or less guaranteed at this time.
Day 5 A full day game driving through the Masai Mara in search of the wildlife with your Masai guides. Dinner and overnight at Rekero.
Day 6 This morning visit a traditional Masai village and enjoy an introduction to the fascinating culture of this warrior tribe. After lunch, game drive or game walk as you please. Dinner and overnight at Rekero.
Day 7 After breakfast, game drive enroute to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi. Met at the airport and taken to your Nairobi hotel or the international airport.
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