Rift Safari – Kenya
Kenya is regarded by many as the ‘Jewel of East Africa’, and has some of the continent’s finest beaches, most magnificent wildlife and scenery, and an incredibly sophisticated tourism infrastructure. It is a startlingly beautiful land, from the coral reefs and white sand beaches of the coast to the summit of Mount Kenya, crowned with clouds and be jeweled by strange giant alpine plants.
Between these two extremes is the acacia-studded rolling savannah, which is home to game parks such as Amboseli, the Masai Mara, Samburu and Tsavo; the lush, agricultural highlands with their sleek green coat of coffee and tea plantations; and the most spectacular stretch of the Great Rift Valley, the giant scar across the face of Africa.
Kenya is a place for safaris, and one-tenth of all land in Kenya is designated as National Parks and Reserves. Just about every African plains animal is present. Over 50 Parks and Reserves cover all habitats from desert to mountain forest, including six marine parks in the Indian Ocean.
Kenya has a fascinatingly diverse population with around 40 different tribes, all with their own languages and cultures. Major tribes include the Kikuyu, the Luhyia and the Luo, but the most famous are the tall, proud, beautiful red-clad Masai, who still lead a traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle of cattle-herding along the southern border.
A mixture of African and Arabic, the unique Swahili culture can be found along the balmy coast, where for centuries it became prosperous on the profits of commerce from the trade winds that carried ocean-going dhows (sailing boats) across the Indian Ocean to Arabia and Persia.
The name “Nairobi” comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyirobi, which translates to “The Place of Cool Waters”. Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya, known as the “Green City in the Sun” .Founded in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907 and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan Republic in 1963.
The Kenya Coast is one of Kenya’s main attractions. It offers a combination of historical sites, superb beaches and coral reefs – once described by Ernest Hemingway as ‘completely unmatched in the world’. The Kenyan Coast can be divided into four main regions: the Town and Port of Mombasa; the South Coast stretching from Mombasa to the Tanzania border; the North Coast covering the beaches from Mombasa to Kilifi and finally Watamu, Malindi, and the Lamu archipelago.
Mombasa town is Kenya’s second largest town and main port. Its history stretches back nearly 2,000 years, including periods of colonization by Portuguese, Arabs, and the British. The town of Mombasa is on a small island, and is a cosmopolitan blend of African, Arabic, Asian, and European cultures. The old town of Mombasa is fascinating and worth exploring for its maze of narrow streets.
EXCURSIONS IN NAIROBI
You may choose the following excursions while you are in Nairobi City
Nairobi City Tour
Take a trip and enjoy the vast city of Nairobi. The tour consists of a visit to the colorful City Market, Parliament Buildings and the Kenyatta Conference Centre. Clients also visit the National Museum and gaze upon the historical artifacts and the famous Homo Sapien. The tour finishes with a visit to the Snake Park.
National Museum and Snake Park
Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill, approximately 10 minutes drive from the Nairobi city centre. It is the flagship museum of NMK, housing some of the most celebrated collections of history, culture and art from Kenya and East Africa.
Nairobi National Park and Nairobi Safari Walk
Nairobi National Park is a unique Park as it is the only protected area situated close to a capital city. The Safari Walk is an interesting place to visit while you are the National Park. It is vibrant with unique plants and animals and visitors do not only enjoy the leisure walk but also learn about the resources and how to conserve them.
The Carnivore, famous for its succulent steaks and mouth watering barbeque dishes has been described as the ‘meat eater’s paradise’. Also available is a variety of vegetarian dishes.
Karen Blixen Museum and the Giraffe Centre
Karen Blixen Museum is located on the outskirts of Nairobi on Karen road. Its history dates back to 1914, during the First World War, with the arrival of Karen Blixen from Denmark. A striking feature about Karen Blixen Museum is the beautiful grounds. The house built in 1910 has a red tile roof and mellow wood paneling in the rooms. Take a drive towards the Ngong Hills, to the Karen Blixen Museum – to the house which for many years was her home. Thereafter driving to the Giraffe Manor where the famous Rothschild Giraffe – Daisy can be fed.
Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage
Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage is located in Nairobi Game Park. It was originally started by David Sheldrick and the work was taken over by his wife after his death. The Park itself is too small to sustain any adult elephants, but they take in orphaned baby elephants from all over Kenya. You can visit between 11 am and 12 noon and watch the elephants being fed and playing. You will also have a chance to talk to the keepers of the elephants.
Ballooning can be arranged in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania. Early morning balloon rides, approximately one hour, over the Masai Mara provide a wonderful view of the wilderness area. Upon landing, the crew sets up a champagne breakfast. Optional balloon trips take the place of the morning game drive. The duration and direction of the trip is dependent on prevailing weather conditions. Children under the age of 12 are not permitted and height restrictions apply.
Safaris on Foot
For walkers and trekkers, some Game Reserves and National Parks in Central, Western and North Eastern regions offer the opportunity of walking safaris which are a thrilling experience. For those ambitious, treks and climbs can be arranged on Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon and the Aberdares
Kenya is home to approximately 1300 different species of birds, more than any other country on the African continent. The Rift Valley supports large populations of birds including raptors such as the Fish Eagle. The alkaline lakes attract greater and lesser flamingoes and white pelicans, herons, fish eagles, spoonbills, ibises. From December to March the migrants from Europe arrive.
EXCURSIONS IN MOMBASA
Half Day Tour at Fort Jesus
Your tour begins with a visit to the Akamba Wood Carving Factory. This will then be followed by a visit to one of Mombasa’s most attractive Hindu Temple. During your entire tour the guide will reveal many visible aspects of Mombasa’s rich history including the elephants tusks found in the city (these are made from metal and not ivory), the town’s aromatic scented spice shops and the stalls at the Old Mackinnon Market and the Portuguese Castle – Fort Jesus. Thereafter embark on another adventure to the old Arab Quarter, home to a historic Dhow port which invokes images of a seafaring adventure of an olden era.
Full Day Tour at Fort Jesus
Include lunch at a local restaurant followed by visit to the Haller Park. Haller Park is the largest animal sanctuary in Mombasa. Located next to the Bamburi Cement Factory, the Park boasts an enormous variety of animals, reptiles, insects and botanical gardens. Walking along the trail is the ideal way to look at the various animals, and on many occasions holding or feeding a reptile such as a snake is allowed under close supervision of a guide. Educational videos are also shown, with emphasis on the the history and continuous improvement of the trail. A previous limestone mining quarry, has been redeveloped through reforestation and conservation efforts, and is now a habitat for a large number of flora and fauna species.
Dive into a magical world and enjoy snorkeling on the southern coast and a relaxing day on the tropical island. After breakfast you will take a tour to Shimoni “the place of the caves”, and take a dhow to the beautiful Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park, which offers some of the best snorkeling in Kenya. DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR SWIMSUIT AND STRONG SHOES THAT YOU CAN GET WET. Thereafter visit Wasini Island and sample fantastic fresh sea food lunch served in a traditionally styled coastal restaurant. You will then visit an archetypal Muslim village (optional) (Please respect local customs and cover your swim suit to avoid embarrassment,) or you may want to just have the afternoon at your leisure. In the early evening return by Dhow to the Shimoni jetty and transferred back to hotel.
Depart from Hotel/location and transferred 125 km to Malindi north of Mombasa Island. This pleasant town still upholds the atmosphere of a Swahili fishing village. There are several stylish hotels and a variety of shops and market places. On the way to Malindi you will visit the enchanted Gedi ruins, an ancient ruined city that was mysteriously deserted in the 17th century. You will also visit the colorful coral gardens in a glass bottomed boat and admire the variety of tropical fish (please remember to take a swim suit and tough soled beach shoes)
Tamarind Dhow Dinner
You will be picked up and transferred to the jetty. Prepare to have a delightful evening cruising on the creek on a romantic dhow, whilst enjoying cocktails, seafood dinner and dancing to a bongo band. Return to your hotel after dinner.
THE GREAT RIFT SAFARI
|Day / Date||Location||Hotel/Lodge/Camp||Meal Plan||Activities|
|Tue||Abaerdare National Park||Ark or Similar||L,D||Met on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by Centurion Representative. Transferred to a hotel in Nairobi to freshen up and for light refreshments. After briefing by Centurion Representative, depart for the mountainous Aberdare National Park arriving in time for lunch at the Aberdare Country Club or Similar. You will check-in at the hotel for overnight at the Ark or Similar. After lunch transferred by lodge vehicle with an overnight bag to the Ark. Game viewing is from the lodge balcony. Dinner and overnight at the Ark. (Main safari luggage will be stored at the Aberdare Country Club to be collected on departure)|
|Wed||Lake Naivasha||Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge or Similar||B,L,D||Early morning transfer by lodge vehicle to Aberdare Country Club where you will have breakfast. After breakfast and collecting your stored luggage depart for the Great Rift Valley and Lake Naivasha. Arrive in time for lunch at the Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge or Similar. Rest of the afternoon at leisure or enjoy optional excursions (to be booked and paid locally)Dinner and overnight at the Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge.|
|Thu||Masai Mara Game Reserve||Mara Simba Lodge Lodge or Similar||B,L, D||After an early breakfast depart for the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. Arrive in time for lunch at the Mara Simba Lodge or Similar. After lunch enjoy a game drive returning to the lodge by late evening. Dinner and overnight at the Mara Simba Lodge or Similar|
|Fri||Masai Mara Game Reserve||Mara Simba Lodge or Similar||B,L,D||An early morning game drive is followed by breakfast. (Optional Balloon Safari with bubbly bush breakfast-extra charge) Rest of the morning at leisure at the lodge enjoying the lodge facilities. Lunch at the lodge is followed by a game drive. Dinner and overnight at the Mara Simba Lodge or Similar.|
|Sat||Nairobi / Deaprt||B||Depart after breakfast for Nairobi. Proceed to the airport for your return your chosen Nairobi Hotel as the case may be.|
L-Lunch, D-Dinner, B-Breakfast
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