Day 1 - Nairobi
Meet the group for a tour briefing at 10 am in the hotel reception. Afterwards head off to visit Sheldricks Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre. These conservation projects allow you to see the animals up close while learning more about them and their plight in the modern world. Meet The Family Adventure Company's own sponsored elephant orphan, named Shukuru. Shukuru arrived at the Trust after a herdsman found her trapped down a manhole. She was only a few days old. Having been rescued and taken to the nursery in Nairobi she has since settled in well and now enjoys playing games and taking mudbaths with the other orphans.
Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt. Your hotel room or reception may also have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or the floor when you're in a bar or restaurant. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of time in paperwork if anything does happen.
Day 2 - Lake Nakuru
This morning, drive approximately 4-5 hours to Lake Nakuru, arriving in time for lunch. Pitch a tent and then head out on an afternoon game drive around the lake. Keep a lookout for the white rhinos that can often be found around the shores.
The alkaline waters of this lake once supported an extremely large colony of flamingos – estimated to be up to two million strong! Over the course of the year the lake changes size considerably, shrinking to its smallest in March at the end of the dry season, and changing the type of birdlife and wildlife that inhabit the area. Unfortunately changes in water levels and chemical concentration caused the permanent population of flamingos to move elsewhere in the 1970s, however the lush area around the lake remains known for its bird life.
Day 3 - Lake Naivasha
Encounter friendly locals on a village visit before reaching Lake Naivasha – a birdwatcher's paradise with floating islands of papyrus reeds. Afternoon wind and storms can cause the lake to become suddenly rough and produce high waves. For this reason, the local Maasai christened the lake Nai'posha meaning 'rough water’, which the British later misspelt as Naivasha. The waters of the lake draw a great range of game. Giraffes wander among the acacia, buffaloes wallow in the swamps and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops, while the lake’s large hippo population while away the day in the shallows.
Note: Pedal around the lake with optional bike hire.
Day 4 - Crater Lake walk
After a camp breakfast, head towards Crater Lake and take part in a guided walk along one of the many trails. The lake is a haven for birdlife and other frequent visitors, such as zebra and giraffe, can also be spotted. The afternoon is free to relax around the camp and take advantage of the swimming pool.
Day 5 - Great Rift Valley and Loita Hills
Depart Lake Naivasha, making a short stop in Narok to do a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5-6 hours), stopping for lunch en route. Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide, and takes you into the remote region of Loita Hills. This is the home of the traditional Maasai people. Visit the Maasai, who are known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African community. After setting up your tent, meet your Maasai hosts. A local elder will deliver a fascinating talk about the Maasai and their history and culture. You'll be shown around a traditional Maasai home and see where the resident cattle are kept. Showers, upgrades and WiFi are not available at tonight's bush camp.
Day 6 - Masai Mara
Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1-2 hours). The road is dusty when dry, and could be slippery and soft when wet, so the going may be slow. The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most tremendous animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch, then jump back in the truck and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. Your campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. WiFi is not available here.
Day 7 - Masai Mara
Rise early and venture into the Masai Mara National Reserve for a game drive. Explore this diverse environment and see a multitude of wildlife. Return to camp for lunch by the side of the Mara River – a great chance to spot crocs and hippos. Relax during the heat of the day before setting off again in the afternoon, expecting to return to camp around sunset. Depending on wildlife movements, we may, on occasion, do a full day's game drive; in this instance, we'll stop en-route for a picnic lunch.
Day 8 - Departure Day
Cross the plains of the Mara and climb the Rift Valley’s eastern wall past Mount Suswa on the return drive to Nairobi (approximately 6 hours ). En route there may be opportunities to stop and make some final purchases. Once back in Nairobi perhaps enjoy a final dinner with the group in a local restaurant and reflect on this incredible African adventure.
If you're flying out today, please book a flight after 6:00pm.
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
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