Optional single supplement from £360 - £730.
Minimum age 16.
Description of Kenya safari
This eight day Kenya safari takes us not only for a few days into the unforgettable Masai Mara, but also to lakelands where wildlife watching is equally spectacular. After landing in Nairobi we travel north, in our private minibus, to Lake Elementaita on the edge of the escarpment leading to the Rift Valley, where thousands of flamingos make a fine welcoming sight. There is also an optional safari game walk here to see the other wildlife of the region such as gazelle or impala.
Parallel to this lake is world renowned Lake Nakuru National Park, also famous for its flamingos and the fact that it was used for a spectacular overhead shot in the seminal film, Out of Africa. One of the Rift Valley’s eight lakes, it also entices giraffe, buffalo and both black and white rhino as well as hundreds of other bird species to its wetlands.
From one dramatic setting to another, we drive to the Masai Mara where we spend three days on game drives and an option for game walks too. Home to the world famous Maasai tribes, many of whom work as expert and excellent wildlife guides, this is the world stage for the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra which takes place between June and October, as we witness them cross the Mara River trying to escape the hungry mouths of crocodiles en route. Outside this season, the Mara is still one of the most spectacular places to go on safari, with many of the planet’s big predators including lions, leopards and cheetahs roaming these vast plains. Staying in luxury tented camps, you will wake up to the sights and sounds of the Mara, making this holiday one of a lifetime.
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1 Reviews of Kenya safari
Reviewed on 09 Feb 2020 by April Arnatt
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We visited Kenya to see elephants and we saw many in parks and the two conservancies we stayed in. We will always remember the two young elephants playing together in ponds and puddles, clearly having enormous fun spraying each other with yet more water and trumpeting as they did so. The roads were pretty exciting too in this very wet year!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Find out exactly where your accommodation is with relation to roads and airstrips and the time it will take to travel between them. The condition of Kenyan roads means that journeys that would take 15 minutes on tarmac take literally hours.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We stayed in properties on lands leased from Maasai people, and largely employing them too. I'm concerned that that driving "off-road" on the savannah in the very wet conditions where soil is disturbed and plants uprooted is damaging the environment and will research this aspect more before/if we go again. Our first guide/driver at one location was especially careless of the ground, and managed to get the vehicle stuck several times on one drive. We also felt he was reckless around the animals and this was very distressing, so much so we immediately asked for a new guide. Nothwithstanding that issue, it is probably better for tourism income to support wildlife conservation and provide local employment.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Apart from the upsetting incident with the guide we enjoyed the experience enormously.
Read the operator's response here:
The highlight of this trip is going on game drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park, where we hope to spot some the ‘Big 5’ and countless other fascinating species. First of all, by visiting these protected areas, we must pay park fees which go towards community and environmental initiatives in this area. We are very mindful of the environment and local groups we encounter anyway and maintain a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy.
Our local operators are trustees of the Kicheche Community trust, which runs several programmes for the benefit of people and wildlife. For communities to prosper within and in the vicinity of wildlife conservancies it's important for these communities to be protected from the wildlife and vice versa. In 2012 Kicheche Trust donated half for the construction of 5 predator free bomas (small groups of housing). The trust also part sponsors the Naboisho Lion project in Naboisho Concervancy, Masai Mara, which helps to protect and monitor local wildlife. By travelling with us, you are not only raising awareness about animal welfare but contributing to these vital projects.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We will be spending three nights in a luxury tented camp and 2 nights in a lodge. Both accommodations are locally run and locally staffed, so by choosing to stay here, we are supporting employment opportunities for communities in surrounding areas. Most meals are supplied and we are keen to source ingredients from as nearby as possible as a means of generating income for small businesses within the local community and producing fresh, authentic food for clients. Breakfasts and lunches often include freshly baked biscuits, fruit, cakes and hot drinks.
We usually use Ilkeliani Camp, which assists the surrounding Masai communities of the game reserve in conserving their wildlife and environment. By using this accommodation, we contribute to a number of initiatives they run. The camp provides for the Masai people whereby they receive a bed night fee for every guest night in the camp. Unlike most camps in the Mara who charge their clients an extra "hidden" conservation fee, Ilkeliani contributes to this cause directly from their profits. This enables the Masai to benefit from their natural resources in a sustainable and non-destructive way so to better able to care for their families and improve their standard of living.
Through Ilkeliani, we support the ‘Pack for a Purpose’ initiative. We encourage guests to bring school supplies and equipment with them and then provide transport to the Molibanny Primary School which is located near the Mara Reserve. The school educates children between the ages of 6 and 13 in the surrounding villages on the edge of the Masai Mara. The school often has difficulty obtaining items like book bags, chalk, coloured pencils and notepads so our contributions- and those of our guests- are really greatly appreciated here. We have also raised considerable money for various projects in Kenya including the predator free bomas project and supporting S.A.F.E Kenya (http://safekenya.org/) which uses street theatre to educate about the harms of female genital mutilation.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
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