Europe & Africa / Kenya
Kenya Walking Safari
A Safari Lodge-based Walking Adventure among Africa's Big Five
Experience the wildlife wonders of East Africa on foot like the first explorers. Visit off-the-beaten-path parks of the Great Rift Valley plus the Maasai Mara. Minimal travel times and a relaxed pace allow plenty of time for photos, cultural interactions and a full appreciation of this magnificent landscape.
Days 1-2: Arrival in Kenya-Lake Naivasha
We're met upon arrival and transferred to our hotel in Nairobi. The next morning we're off to the magnificent Great Rift Valley and stunning Lake Naivasha. This afternoon we hike in privately-owned Crescent Island Wildlife Sanctuary, formed by the protruding rim of a collapsed volcanic crater on the edge of Lake Naivasha. We walk among yellow barked acacias in search of wildebeest, giraffe, hippo, gazelle, eland, waterbuck, 200+ bird species and some gigantic pythons! This evening we settle into Sawela Lodge bordering the southern shore of the lake.
Days 3-4: Crater Lake Game Sanctuary-Hell's Gate National Park
We visit Crater Lake Game Sanctuary on the western side of Lake Naivasha. This 10,000 acre reserve surrounds tiny jade-green Crater Lake, held in high regard by the local Maasai. The sanctuary is home to over 150 bird species, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, bushbuck, gazelle and black and white Colobus monkeys. Hell’s Gate National Park's looming volcanic cliffs, deep gorges and basalt columns provide a dramatic setting for its wildlife. Buffalo, giraffe, zebra, eland, hartebeest, gazelle, warthogs and baboons are common. Our hike begins in open savannah studded with camphor and acacia trees and edged by huge volcanic cliffs. We then descend into Hell's Gate Gorge with its geyser-fed streams and dense vegetation before climbing to the ranger’s post.
Days 5-6: Lake Elementaita-Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we’re off to Lake Elementeita where we spend the next two nights at Sunbird Lodge. Elementeita is one the Rift’s famous soda lakes whose alkaline waters are rich in specially adapted algae and crustaceans that attract huge number of birds, including vulnerable and endangered species like Great White Pelicans, Great Crested Grebe and thousands of pink flamingos. We explore Lake Nakuru National Park, the oldest national park in Kenya, on a full day game drive. Lake Nakuru is famous as the home of one of the greatest birding spectacles in Africa--the gathering of over a million fuchsia pink flamingos. The park is also one of the best places in East Africa to see both black and white rhinos plus Rothschild's giraffe, waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, lion, and leopard.
Days 7-10: Maasai Mara-Departure from Nairobi
We make our way to the jewel in Kenya’s wild life crown, the Maasai Mara. The Mara is a 1000 square mile reserve of broad savannah and riverine forests protecting the northern extension of the great Serengeti ecosystem. It is home to all of Africa’s Big Five--lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo--and is the site of the Great Migration, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River at the height of the dry season in August and September. Hippo, crocodile, gazelle, hartebeest, topi, reed buck, roan antelope, cheetah, hyena, impala and 450 species of birds can all be found in the Mara. Morning and late afternoon game drives in the reserve alternate with hikes guided by local Maasai Morans (warriors) in the rolling grasslands of the park’s bordering ranch country. A visit to a Maasai manyatta (village) gives us a glimpse at traditional Maasai culture. We stop at the Kiambethu Tea Estate with its magnificent gardens and views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Ngong Hills en route to Nairobi.