At the present time EcoQuest Travel does not have a trip to Kenya scheduled. The following itinerary is an example of trips we have conducted in the past and is similar to trips we intend to offer in the future. If you are interested in Kenya as a destination please contact us for further information.
The Wildlife Wonders of East Africa
Day 1, Thursday, August 9: Home Cities to US Gateway City and on to Europe and Africa
This morning we will depart from our home cities and travel to our US gateway city – likely New York or Chicago. Once in our US gateway city we will transfer to our flights to our European gateway city – likely London, Amsterdam or Brussels. After our arrival in Europe, likely on August 10th, we will transfer to our departure gate for Nairobi, Kenya.
Day 2, Friday, August 10: European Gateway City to Nairobi, Kenya
We are likely to arrive in Europe this morning and will then transfer to our flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Once we arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi we will clear customs and immigration before we will transfer to our overnight accommodations at the Macushla House. Macushla House is a small secluded boutique hotel that will be a most welcome retreat after our long journey! They have a swimming pool, beautiful gardens, comfortable rooms and excellent dining.
Day 3, Saturday, August 11: Nairobi
Today we will have a full day in Nairobi to help us recover from our flights and to reset our biological clocks. After breakfast we will visit the National Museum of Kenya. This Museum has an extensive ethnography gallery that exhibits the material culture of many of Kenya’s tribal groups. There are also displays of fossils, birds, rock art, and perhaps best of all, a collection of Joy Adamson’s (of Born Free Fame) portraits of the Peoples of Kenya. After the Museum we will travel just outside Nairobi to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. David and his wife Daphne pioneered the techniques of raising orphaned elephants and rhinos and eventually reintroducing them back into the wild. David died in 1977 and Daphne established this trust in his name and continues to lead the trust today. Daphne is credited for developing the first milk formula for elephant calves and the trust’s conservation efforts have been very successful. We will visit the trust and have a chance to see the elephants, rhinos and other animals that are being reared onsite. We will also learn about their conservation projects and if we’re lucky we will learn about them from Daphne Sheldrick herself. After a full day we will eat dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant before returning to the comfort of the Macushla House for the night. (B,L,D)
Day 4, Sunday, August 12: Aberdare National Park
After breakfast our safari begins as we drive north of Nairobi to Aberdare National Park. Located high in the Aberdare Mountains this beautiful park is made up of two very different habitats – the low Salient foothills of the east and the moorland and high altitude forests of the Kinangop Plateau. Once we arrive we will check into our accommodations at The Ark. The Ark is a rustic, basic hotel, but is comfortable and uniquely located next to a floodlit waterhole/saltlick. Huge viewing windows over the waterhole will give us great looks at any wildlife attracted to the area. After we check in we will have lunch and then have our first afternoon game drive. Our drive will take place in the Salient region of the park through the forested hills and valleys of the eastern slopes. Elephant and African buffalo are very common in this area of the park, but we will also be on the lookout for waterbuck, bushbuck, giant forest hog, black-and-white colobus monkey, leopard and, with luck, black rhino. After our game drive we will return to The Ark for dinner and, hopefully, some nocturnal game viewing at the floodlit waterhole. (B,L,D)
Day 5, Monday, August 13: Aberdare NP to Lewa Downs Wildlife Conservancy
Today we will have a morning game drive that takes us high into the moorland and forests of the Kinangop Plateau. We will search for mountain reedbuck, eland, bushpig, suni and the rare black serval – Aberdare is the only place where the melanistic form of this cat can be found. Aberdare is also the only place outside the forests of the Congo Basin to see the incredibly beautiful bongo, but these nocturnal antelope are rarely seen. Birds are plentiful in Aberdare and our drive this morning will provide many opportunities to see special highland species such as Jackson’s and moorland francolin, Cape eagle-owl, Aberdare cisticola and a variety of dazzling sunbirds. After our morning game drive we will travel around the majestic peak of Mount Kenya to the wildlife conservancy of Lewa Downs. Along the way we will make a brief stop in the town of Nanyuki for a visit with the Nanyuki Weavers. This is an organization set up to teach single mothers how to weave attractive woolen products. This is an opportunity to buy some great weavings and to benefit the local economy at the same time. Lewa Downs is private 45,000 acre reserve has been fenced like many of South Africa’s parks. This helped protect Lewa’s wildlife during the worst of Kenya’s poaching problem. As a result Lewa has one of the healthiest black rhino populations in Africa. It also protects other rare species like white rhino, Grevy’s zebra, African wild dog and sitatunga (an antelope adapted to an aquatic environment). We will spend the afternoon looking for rhino and other wildlife and have a chance to visit the swamp to search for sitatunga. One of the advantages of staying at this private conservancy is the opportunity to conduct night game drives. After dinner we will have our first night drive to search for seldom seen nocturnal animals like: porcupine, aardvark, civets, bushbabies, owls and perhaps predators on the hunt. The accommodations at Lewa Safari Camp are first class with superb service and excellent food. (B,L,D)
Day 6, Tuesday, August 14: Lewa Downs Wildlife Conservancy
Today we will have another full day to explore Lewa with morning, afternoon and night game drives. In addition to all the rare species Lewa protects it is also home to many more common species like elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, hartebeest and Somali ostrich. We can try again for sitatunga if we missed them yesterday. We will have some free time between morning and afternoon game drives which can be used to rest, relax by the pool or do a little birding around camp. Lewa Safari Camp can also arrange bush walks, horseback and camel rides and even a ride over the conservancy in an open-seat biplane. Regardless of how we choose to experience Lewa we should gather plenty of memories from this extraordinary place. (B,L,D)
Day 7, Wednesday, August 15: Lewa Downs to Samburu National Park
After breakfast we will depart Lewa for the journey into Kenya’s great northern frontier and Samburu National Park. We should arrive at Samburu Intrepids Camp in time for lunch. Samburu Intrepids Camp is located along the Ewaso Ngiro River and will be a luxurious retreat in the bush for the next three nights. Each of our luxury tents has ensuite facilities, very comfortable beds and a private terrace. Staying under canvas also gives our safari a more historical feel and allows us to hear all the sounds of an African night. After lunch we will have an afternoon game drive to begin our exploration of this beautiful semi-arid park. (B,L,D)
Days 8 & 9, Thursday & Friday, August 16 & 17: Samburu NP
We will have two full days to experience the grandeur of Samburu. This, mostly, arid park is made up of scrub desert, thornbush, riverine forest and swamps all of which contain a great variety of wildlife. While on game drives we hope to see many species that are adapted to this dry environment and unique to Northern Kenya like reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, gerenuk (a very long-necked antelope), beisa oryx and the blue-legged Somali ostrich. Elephant, waterbuck, dikdik, lion, leopard and dwarf mongoose are common, and large Nile crocodiles sun themselves on the river banks. Birdlife is rich and abundant and could include many species we won’t see elsewhere like vulturine guineafowl, Egyptian vulture, golden-breasted starling, white-headed mousebird and sulphur-breasted bushshrike. Our days at Samburu Intrepids Camp will follow the typical safari schedule with an early morning game drive, some time to relax during the midday and another late afternoon game drive. After dinner, due to very little light pollution and low humidity, Samburu is a great place to gaze at the stars. At times the night sky can appear almost three dimensional. (B,L,D)
Day 10, Saturday, August 18: Samburu to Lake Baringo
Today we will travel west from the northern frontier to the Great Rift Valley. This gigantic gash in the African continent stretches 4,000 miles from the Zambezi River to the Red Sea. As a result of all the geological activity, the Rift Valley is home to many volcanic mountains and, in Kenya, a chain of beautiful lakes were formed. These lakes coupled with sheer cliffs and acacia-studded flats make for a stunning landscape. The lakes in the Rift Valley are either freshwater or alkaline/saline depending on the influence of the geothermal activity below. Our destination today is Lake Baringo – a beautiful freshwater lake encircled by mountains. Once we arrive we will transfer by boat to our accommodations at Island Camp Baringo. This luxury tented camp is beautifully situated on the southern tip of Ol Kokwa Island in the middle of Lake Baringo. We should arrive in time for lunch and have some relaxation time before we take a bird watching walk along the dramatic cliffs along the lake’s edge. There are over 480 species of birds here making for an exciting and colorful afternoon. There are also plenty of hippo and crocodiles in the lake. After a long day will have dinner and overnight at Island Camp Baringo. (B,L,D)
Day 11, Sunday, August 19: More Rift Valley Lakes: Bogoria and Nakuru
This morning we will take a packed breakfast with us on our boat ride along the lakeshore to look for wildlife and birds. After our boat trip we will pack up and depart south through the Rift Valley. Our next stop is only 20 miles away at Lake Bogoria. Lake Bogoria is an alkaline or soda lake and this alkalinity creates perfect conditions for brine shrimp. These brine shrimp in turn provide food for one of the greatest spectacles in all of Africa as over a million flamingos gather to feed and breed. Both greater and lesser flamingos are found at Bogoria and the sight of this many birds together is incredible. The blue of the lake shimmers with pink reflections and if the flock is spooked by a predator and takes flight the scene is beyond description. Lake Bogoria is also home to geysers, hot springs and surprising numbers of mammals including African buffalo, greater kudu, Thomson’s gazelle, warthog and klipspringers bouncing across the rocks. After our visit to Bogoria we will travel farther south to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is another alkaline lake that sometimes hosts flamingos. We will have the rest of the day to explore the lake and the areas surrounding the lake. The lake draws a huge variety of birds and both black and white rhinos are found in the park. Baboon, waterbuck, reedbuck and hippo are also common and more rarely a leopard is spotted. Tonight we will have dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge – a comfortable lodge that is located within the park. (B,L,D)
Day 12, Monday, August 20: Lake Nakuru to the Masai Mara Game Reserve
After breakfast we will depart for one of the greatest wildlife experiences in Africa, the Masai Mara, for two climatic days of outstanding game viewing. Linked with the famous Serengeti Plains to the south in Tanzania, the Masai Mara is home to vast herds of herbivores and their associated predators. We will arrive in time for lunch at Mara Serena Lodge and have a full afternoon to begin our game drives. This remote and beautiful lodge, perched on top of a hill overlooking the vast plains, will be our accommodation for the next three nights. Mara Serena Lodge also overlooks the Mara River and with luck we could witness the wildebeest and zebra migration crossing the river. If we are fortunate enough to witness the river crossing it is one of nature’s most awesome spectacles with staggering numbers of wildebeest urged by instinct into the muddy waters in spite of the huge crocodiles awaiting the annual feast. Even if we miss the river crossing the sheer numbers of wildlife make the Masai Mara an unforgettable experience. (B,L,D)
Days 13, & 14, Tuesday & Wednesday, August 21 & 22: Masai Mara Game Reserve
At this time of year the Serengeti Plains have completely dried up and the huge herds of wildebeest and zebra will have migrated to the rolling savannas of the Masai Mara. The Mara still has rainfall this time of year and the great migration from the south takes place to take advantage of the nutrient-rich grasses. Up to two million wildebeest and half a million zebra flood the Mara during this time of year to graze, court, fight and mate. This saturation of herbivores provides an abundant food supply for large prides of lions, clans of hyenas, packs of African wild dogs as well as leopard, cheetah and jackal. Herds of buffalo, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi, impala and small numbers of roan antelope are also common in the Mara. We will have two full days of morning and afternoon game drives to maximize this fantastic wildlife bonanza. The Masai Mara is a rare place and certainly provides a special end to the trip! (B,L,D)
Day 15, Thursday, August 23: Masai Mara to Lake Naivasha, Nairobi and on to Europe
We depart early this morning for Nairobi. Along the way we have a picnic lunch stop at Lake Naivasha. Once in Nairobi we will settle into our day rooms at Macushla House. The rest of the afternoon is free to pack, freshen up and relax before the long flights home. We will have our farewell dinner tonight before transferring to the airport and our overnight flight to Europe. (B,L,D)
Day 16, Friday, August 24: European Gateway City to the US and Home
Today we will fly from Europe back to the US and, after clearing immigration and customs in our US gateway city, we will transfer to our flights home.
* Please note that EcoQuest Travel, Inc. will make every effort to adhere to this itinerary, but dates, times, activities and prices are subject to change depending on scheduling and availability.