RIFT VALLEY LAKES REGION
The Rift Valley Lakes Region are those lakes within the East African Rift, which runs north-south through the eastern side of the African continent from Ethiopia in the north, to Malawi in the south. Many of the Kenyan Rift Valley Lakes are fresh water; your tour will focus on 3 of the soda lakes, Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Baringo. The flamingo droppings produce large amounts of algae in the lakes, which produces specific vegetation, as well as the evolution of many fish species; these droppings, in turn attracts the flamingos.
Lake Nakuru is a soda lake, just south of the town of Nakuru, protected by the Lake Nakuru National Park. The abundance of algae, created by the flamingo droppings, in turn, attracts the literally millions of flamingos that line the shore. In addition, other attracted species are exotic mammals such as the 30 Eastern Black Rhinos, 70 White Rhinos, giraffe and baboons. The Park also has many Maasai Lions, African Cheetahs and Tanzanian Leopards.
Photographs of the flamingos on Lake Nakuru are world famous. It is truly an amazing site, overwhelming the first time. There are times when the top of the lake is solid pink from all the flamingos.
MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE:
This is the most famous and most visited of the Wildlife Parks in Kenya; 270 kms from Nairobi (4-5 hours by road). Here in Maasai Mara one can find large numbers of Maasai Lions, African Leopards and Tanzanian Cheetahs; the biggest spectacle in East Africa also takes place here….the Wildebeest Migration to and from the Serengeti (Tanzania) from July to October. There are 1.5 million wildebeest traveling the 1000 kilometer distance in a 40 kilometer long line. The crossing at the Mara River is a spectacular sight, where the crocodiles attack the wildebeest as they try to swim across the water. Nothing seems to deter the Wildebeest from this annual migration, during which over 8,000 wildebeest babies are produced every hour of the journey.
Maasai Mara is located in the Southwest of Kenya, combined with the Serengeti is the most spectacular game-viewing eco-systems in the world. The Reserve stretches 1,510 square kilometers. Here there are over 95 species of mammals and almost 600 species of birds. Game Drives in Maasai mara are never a disappointment; with the large number and variety of predators, one usually can encounter a “kill” en route through the park.
DAY 1: TRAVEL TO GREAT RIFT VALLEY – LAKE BOGORIA
After breakfast, your Jewel Safaris guide will be pick you up at your hotel in Nairobi, or at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport and given a short briefing of the itinerary before beginning your drive to the Great Rift Valley area of Central Kenya.
Lunch will be taken in a local Kenyan restaurant in the town of Nakuru, or en route, depending on what time the journey begins.
After lunch, continue the drive through the Rift Valley region to Lake Bogoria, near the Hot Springs. Here you will encounter the famous flamingos that flourish in these soda lakes. The blue waters of the lake change to pink with the thousands of flamingos that float on the water.
In the late afternoon you will drive to your accommodation at nearby Lake Nakuru, check in and enjoy some relaxation time.
Dinner will be served at your accommodation.
DAY 2: LAKE BARINGO SAFARI
After breakfast you will drive to Lake Baringo, a famous Kenyan bird sanctuary. You will be taken on a boat trip to closely view the crocodiles and hippos that line the shoreline of the lake.
Lunch will be served en route to maximize your time looking at the wildlife.
After lunch, you will return to Lake Nakuru to view the world’s greatest population of flamingos – concentrating in and around the lake. In addition, you will go on a game drive in the Lake Nakuru National Park to encounter the other wildlife that lives in the park, which include White and Black Rhino, leopards and elephants.
Before night fall, you will return to your accommodation for dinner.
DAY 3: TRAVEL TO MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
After breakfast, you will pack up at your accommodation and begin the journey to Masai Mara National Reserve. En route you will see many Maasai settlements near the road; an opportunity to not only meet these indigenous people, but also to do some shopping for local handicrafts.
En route, you will stop in the town of Narok for a traditional Kenyan meal.
After lunch, you will continue your journey to Masai Mara National Reserve, and settle in at your accommodation in the park. You will encounter en route many animals, as well as Masai settlements. After entering the park gates, you will be taken to your accommodation to check in and have a short rest.
Dinner will be served at your accommodation.
DAY 4 and DAY 5: MAASAI MARA GAME DRIVES – ON LAND AND IN THE AIR.
You will spend the next 2 days exploring the huge expanse of the Maasai Mara National Reserve; it will be a combination of game drives in a Safari vehicle plus the opportunity to go on a Balloon Ride to have a totally different perspective – a bird’s eye view. The wildlife viewing in Maasai Mara is unmatched in Kenya, and visitors are never disappointed with these safaris.
In addition, there will be an opportunity for you to not only be entertained by the local Maasai cultural dancers, but to visit a traditional Maasai “Boma”, where you will have a most interesting encounter with one of the world’s only traditional-living peoples. The harmony with the environment and the wildlife is truly heartwarming; the Maasai have a great respect for both the animals that they co-exist with and their surroundings.
After a full day of wildlife encounters, you will return to your accommodation for a shower and a bit of relaxation before dinner, which will be served at your accommodation..
DAY 6: RETURN TO NAIROBI
After breakfast, you will begin your journey back to Nairobi. En route, you will have the opportunity to stop on the roadside to shop for Maasai souvenirs from the many vendors that set up shop on the rim of the Rift Valley wall.
Lunch en route or at Karen, at the outskirts of Nairobi.
After lunch, if time permits, a visit to the Giraffe Centre in Karen to feed and pet the many giraffe that they have at the Center.The Giraffe Center is an educational institute that teaches both the history of the Giraffe as well as the lifestyle and habits of this most unusual mammal.
Depending on what your on-going plans are, you will either be returned to your hotel in Nairobi or taken directly to the Jomo Kenyatta Airport for your onward floight.
MAASAI MARA NATURAL RESERVE:
- The Governor’s Camp
The Governor’s Camp has provided overnight accommodation for over a century. It is nestled in the forest along the winding banks of the Mara River. The River itself is alive with hippos, crocodiles and many bird species.
The accommodation is in well appointed luxury tents, all viewing either the Masa River or the plains of Masa Mara; animals are in plenty day and night in this area of Masa Mara National Park.
- En-suit bathrooms
- Hot and Cold Running Water
- Flush Toilets
- Bar with Viewing Deck
- Dinning Tent overlooking the Plains of Masa Mara.
2. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp.
This popular Safari Lodge is situated on the Oloololo escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, with spectacular views of the open plains of the Masa Mara. The accommodation is in Safari Tents, each with a private bathroom, shower and terrace. The food is Pan-African cuisine.
Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is a popular safari lodge, situated on the spur of the Oloololo escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, with spectacular views across the open plains of the Maasai Mara national Reserve with its many wild animals.
3. Mara Safari Club
The Mara Safari Club in considered the finest accommodation in the Masa Mara National Park. The property is surrounded on 3 sides by the Mara River, the main Lodge is in the center of the camp, with an indoor restaurant, bar, library. Off the dek, is a swimming pool with another bar and private massage tents.
The accommodation is in luxury tents, each with 4 poster beds, private bathrooms, as well as outdoor showers. Each tent is equipped with a veranda for wildlife viewing.
- Indoor and Outdoor Restaruants and Bars
- Swimming Pool
- Champagne breakfasts
4. Mara Explorer Camp
This accommodation is a budget alternative for adventure travelers; offering basic camping to cottages. There are hot showers offered, a bar and restaurant. The power is Solar and is an option for those travelling with pets.
The Camp is 3 kilometers outside the Sekenani Gate of Masa Mara National Reserve, 300 meters from the main road.
- Campsite with hot showers
- Bar and Restaurant
- Solar power
LAKE NAKURU LODGE:
The Lodge offers a choice of accommodation; family rooms, cottages and suites are available. In addition to the restaurant fare, there are Bush barbecues to give the guests an opportunity to feed on unusual meats. The lodge offers views of Lake Nakuru and the flamingo population.
The hotel was established some 100 years ago and has traditionally been considered the best accommodation in the area.
FLAMINGO HILL TENTED CAMP:
There are 30 luxury tents at the camp, all with modern conveniences. They have a bar and restaurant; both highly recommended by tourists and locals. The camp is very close to the main gate of Lake Nakuru National Park.
- Fire Pit,
- Bar & Restaurant Other National Park Trips.