Kenya Budget Camping Safari Over View
This package incorporates some of the Great Rift Valley lakes namely Lake Bogoria, Lake Baringo, Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru. This lakes are perfect spots for bird watching lovers. Other activities include boating and walking safaris.
The highlight of this tour is a visit to the jewel of Kenya's parks, the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve is the best game-viewing park in Kenya. It has been voted two years consecutively as the best game reserve in Africa at the world travel awards. This reserve offers you the best chance to view the big five.The "Big Five" (lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants and rhinos) may be spotted here, and more than a million wildebeests and zebras migrate annually to Masai Mara from the parched Serengeti plains of neighboring Tanzania (The Great Migration).
They camp at the river bank for weeks just waiting for one of them to have the courage to jump into the river and cross over and they all follow suit. The river is infested with crocodiles where many wildebeest perish and also big cats place themselves strategically so that they can pounce on young and weak wildebeest and make a kill. You can also opt to visit a Masai village, where you can interact with local cattle-herders.
Pick up on the departure day can be organized from any hotel within the city. The tour van capacity is seven pax and every tour member is assured of a window seat. The safari can either be a joining safari subject to availability or a private safari.
Rift Valley Budget Safari visiting the lakes & Masai Mara
Six Days Lake Baringo, Lake Bagoria, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha Camping Safari
Day One: Lake Baringo
A representative from goshawk tours will meet you at your hotel or pick you up from the airport and after briefing you he or she will introduce you to your safari guide and other members of the tour. You will be driven north, a brief stopover at the Great Rift Valley view point where by we get to see part of the valley and take some photos. The valley runs from Jordan in israel to Mozambique a distance of 8,000 miles. Proceed on arriving Lake Baringo in time for lunch. On arrival the camp staff will assist you to check into respective tents. Lake Baringo is a world famous bird sanctuary and a walk around the lake offers bird lovers a chance to spot different bird species. Evening boat ride to njemps island, the lake has schools of hippos and crocodiles. Dinner and overnight at the Robert's Camp.
Day Two: Lake Baringo - Lake Bogoria - Lake Nakuru
Depart after breakfast and have a short drive to Lake Bogoria the nesting ground for flamingos. Flamingos migrate anually from Lake Nakuru to Lake Bogoria to nest due to alkalinity of the lake. The main attractions are the hot springs and geysers. One unique mammal to encounter in the park is the greater Kudu which can only be found here. After lunch proceed to Lake Nakuru arriving in good time for an evening game drive. Lake Nakuru is often referred to as a birds paradise because of the millions of pink flamingos found here. The lakes view from the baboon cliff depicts a pink colour due to the feather colouring of the flamingos hence the name "Pink Lake". The park hosts 450 million different bird species both migratory and terrestrial. The park is a world heritage site and recognized as a wet land of international importance. Lake Nakuru has over 50 mammal species and also serves as Black and white rhino sanctuary. The park is home to the highest population of black rhino in Kenya along with white rhinos introduced from south Africa. There are no elephants at Lake Nakuru simply because of the size of the park, elephants require a large area with lots of vegetation to feed on. Dinner and overnight at the Chester Hotel.
Day Three: Lake Nakuru - Masai Mara
Depart after breakfast and head to Masai mara, Lunch en route at Narok town. Shortly afterward continue on arriving Masai Mara late afternoon. The world re known Masai Mara is famed for the millions of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras that cross the Mara river forming the wildebeest migration spectacle. You will be assisted to check into your respective tents and then head out for your evening game drive. Dinner and overnight at either (Mara sidai, Enchoro, Manyatta, Mara Springs, acacia campsites).
Day Four: Masai Mara
Today we will have a full day game drive; after waking up you will converge at the dinning area for your full breakfast. Your safari guide will liaise with the cook so as to organize for your picnic lunches. Head out in search of game. Masai Mara has an exceptional population of big cats, herds of elephants, zebras, resident wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles can be encountered among others, bird life is also plenty. Masai Mara game reserve offers a very high chance of spotting all the big five. Spend the whole day game viewing which includes a visit to the Mara river where you will find crocodiles lazing around. One has the option to visit the Masai village or go for an early balloon ride at an extra cost. Another option is to return to the camp by four o'clock and after having a cup of coffee or tea head out for an escorted walking safari with a masai warrior. Dinner and overnight at either (Mara sidai, Enchoro, Manyatta, Mara Springs, acacia campsite)
Day Five: Masai Mara - Lake Naivasha
Pre breakfast game drive; depart the lodge by 6:30 A.M and this will give you the opportunity to view the African sun rise and you will also get the chance to spot any game species you might have missed on our previous game drives. Return to the camp around mid-morning; your full breakfast will be served and afterwards bid farewell to camp staff and any friends you might have made. You will be driven to Lake Naivasha arriving in good time for an evening boat ride. The lake is at the highest point off all the lakes within the Rift Valley. The lake stand at 1800 meters above sea level and it is a fresh water lake. The lake has schools of hippos and abundant bird life most notably the fish eagle. Dinner and over night at Fish Eagle Camp.
Day Six: Lake Naivasha - Nairobi
Have an early breakfast and depart camp with picnic lunch. Transfer to hell's gate park on arrival your driver guide will introduce you to your adventure guide. Your guides will hire mountain bikes and after park formalities begin cycling a midst game, notably there no predators. We will have a stop over at Fitcher's tower for rock climbing. The rock is 500 meters high. Continue cycling up to the ranger's post where we will have our lunch. After lunch at the rangers post you leave the bike and start a walking safari. Enjoy the spectacular views of the gorge including the central tower. The volcanic activity is very evident from the hot water streaming on the walls of the gorge. The guided gorge walk takes two hours. The hot springs and a fabulous scenic landscape besides the diverse wildlife are just incredible. Walk back to pick your bikes and cycle back to the park entrance. You will be driven back to Nairobi where your safari ends.
End of services.
Safari Pricing Includes:
- Transport in a custom safari minibus with pop up roof.
- All park entrance fees.
- Meals as described in the itinerary.
- Game drives and other activities as described in the itinerary
- Services of an English speaking driver guide.
- Complimentary Bottled water 1 Litre per person per day.
- All government taxes.
Safari Pricing Excludes:
- International airfares.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance.
Lake Baringo budget accommodation comes in form of bandas, family cottages or budget hotels. Robert's camp is built on the shores of lake baringo and has many different options of accommodation i.e. 3 cottages namely coots cottage, little heron and heron house; 4 double thatched bandas. Towels, mosquito nets and linen are provided. Each Banda has an electrical socket. There is a camping area spread out over 5 acres of lush garden leading down to the lake shore. There are well maintained lavatory facilities, bar-b-que areas, and campers are welcome at the Thirsty Goat Pub & Restaurant. Apart from pitching tent Roberts camp has permanent erected tents with beddings.
Lake Nakuru has a guest house called Naishi guest house which has accomodation in dormitory kind of sharing and bandas. Meals are prepared by our cook. There are two public campsites namely Makalia and Backpackers where one can pitch tent. Another type of accommodation is budget hotels in Nakuru town which is a five minutes drive to the park.
Masai mara camping offers accommodation in form of permanent erected tents, which have beds, beddings, mosquito nets, flush toilets and hot showers. Beddings are changed every morning and you also provided with a towel. A tent can accommodate one, two or three people. We also have family tents. There is a common dining area where meals are served and a bar. Fresh food is prepared in a buffet style by our cook. We also cater for special dietaries. In the evening there is a bonfire and the masai warriors entertain you as you relax.
Most campsites use generators as the source of lighting and the generators are turned off at 1000 - 1100 hrs. Some of the camps are located right outside the boundary of the Masai Mara though there isn't a clear demarcation or fence of the game reserve. Animals some time wonder in the camps but the camps are very safe and Maasai warriours are always on the look out.
Lake Naivasha budget accommodation comes in form of campsites, bandas, cottages or budget hotels at Naivasha town which is about 20 minutes drive to lake Naivasha. We recommend Cray fish camp, Fish Eagle cottages, Fishermans camp and Camp Carnelley's. All this facilities are at a close proximity to the lake.
Lake Baringo National Reserve
Lake Baringo is one of the Rift Valley lakes located north of Lake Nakuru, The lake has a surface area of about 130 square kilometres (50 sq miles) and an elevation of about 970 metres (3,180 ft). The lake is fed by several rivers, El Molo, Perkerra and Ol Arabel, and has no obvious outlet; the waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It is one of the two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley in Kenya, the other being Lake Naivasha.
The acacia woodland has a lot of bird species. The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for seven fresh water fish species including the Nile Tilapia, which is endemic to the lake. Lake fishing is important to local social and economic development. Additionally the area is a habitat for many species of animals including the hippopotamus, crocodile and many other mammals, amphibians, reptiles and the invertebrate. The lake used to boast of a large Goliath Heron nesting colony which has disappeared although Goliath Herons are still breeding around the lake.
In addition to bird watching walks and boat trips, with the guidance of a professional ornithologist, the lake offers a range of activities which include fishing, water sports (ski, wind-surfing), camel rides, day trips to the nearby Lake Bogoria National Reserve or visiting a Njemps village, where you can get to sample the local handcrafts and dances.
Lake Bogoria National Reserve
Lake Bogoria covers an area of 32 square kilometres (12 sq miles) and lies in a trough below the Ngendelel Escarpment, a sheer wall 600 metres (2,000 ft) high. The lake is geothermically active on the western shore, with geysers and hot springs. The geologist J.W. Gregory described the lake in 1892 as "the most beautiful view in Africa". Lake Bogoria was formerly known as Lake Hannington.
Lake Bogoria is dominated by the countless hot springs which pour boiling water into the sterile lake. Sterile, except for the massive flocks of Lesser Flamingos that flood into Bogoria each year. Millions of them have been recorded at peak times of the year and hundreds of thousands is common. The lake is alkaline, feeding blue-green algae which in turn feed flamingoes. Raptors such as Tawny Eagles prey on the flamingoes. The reserve has a herd of the relatively uncommon Greater Kudu. Other large mammals include buffalo, zebra, cheetah, baboon, warthog, caracal, spotted hyena, impala and dik dik.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru is one of the alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru is also known as "Pink Lake" or Africa Bird's Paradise. The lake is ideally located in central Kenya within Lake Nakuru National park. The park occupies an area of 188 km2 while the lake occupies an area of 62 km2. The lake is famous for the millions of flamingos that flock the lake although flamingos are unpredictable birds and are not always to be found in the lake is such vast numbers. From a distance i.e. the baboon cliff the lake looks pink in color due to the flamingos.
The topography at Lake Nakuru is comprised of grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, acacia woodlands and a forest made up euphorbia trees. In the early 1960's tilapia grahami was introduced to the lake and it flourished despite the alkaline nature of the lake.
There are two species of flamingos namely lesser flamingo and greater flamingos, they feed on algae, which flourishes due to the warm alkaline waters of Lake Nakuru. It is believed that flamingos consume about 250,000 kg of algae per hectare of surface area per year. The abundance of algae in the lake is what attracts millions of flamingos to Lake Nakuru. Apart from flamingos other bird species include ducks, pelicans, cormorants, plovers, vultures, eagles, and buzzards. Lake Nakuru has over 50 animal species which include hippos, reed bucks, water bucks, rothschild giraffe's, baboons, black and white columbus monkey, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, lions, gazelles and impalas among others.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
The world re known masai mara game reserve is a northern extension of the serengeti national park which is located in Tanzania. Masai mara covers an area of 1510km². The masai mara ecosystem is composed of rivers i.e talek river and mara river which are the main water supply for the ecosystem. The mara river is a huddle to the wildebeest migration as the wildebeests have to cross the river from serengeti most of them perishing in the jaws of crocodiles and big cats. The western part of masai mara lies the siria escarpment, loita plains and the rest is the masai pastoral land.
The masai mara game reserve is owned and run by the county council of Narok which is the richest county council in Kenya due to the revenue collected as park entrance fee. Part of the masai mara which is called the mara triangle is contracted out and privately run. Park fees are paid by the number of nights one spends in the mara conservancy.
The masai mara lies at an altitude of 1500 meters to 2100 meters. It rains twice a year in the game reserve that is during the long rains that fall between the month of March and May and during the short rains that fall on the month of October, November and part of December. June and July are the coldest months and January and February the hottest months. Temperatures during the day rarely exceed 85°F (30°C) and during the night it hardly drops below 60°F (15°C). Masai mara is a mosquito prone area but camp site are sprayed with mosquito repellants and the tents have treated mosquito nets.
Masai mara has a big population of wildlife. All members of the big five can be seen in this reserve, a large number of ungulates are also easily visible they include the wildebeest , thomson gazelles, grant gazelles, buffalos, rhinos, impalas, topis, elands, zebras, giraffes and duikers. The common predators include the lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals and foxes. Masai mara has over 450 identified species. Some common birds include the common ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, hornbills, storks, eagles and vultures.
The wildebeest migration happens annually, this spectacle is considered as one of the 7th wonder of the world. More than a million wildebeest, accompanied by topis, zebras, gazelles and elands make their journey from serengeti national park to masai mara game reserve. Many of them perish while crossing the mara river where crocodiles and big cats make a kill on the vulnerable ungulates. The migration happens every year during the month of July after the long rains. The grass is big and plenty and for the next three months the wildebeests clear the lush grass of the masai mara. The migration varies annually due to the climate change. If the climate changes and it doesn't rain as usual the wildebeest may delay to cross over or cross over and go back since there isn't grass to feed on.
The masai people whom by definition speak the maa language hence the name masai have held on to their culture even in these times of modernization. A masai's home is called a manyatta where he lives with his wives and children. From childhood boys are obligated to look after their fathers cows while girls are obligated to doing house chores, fetching water and milking the cows. After every fifteen years there is an initiation where boys are circumcised and they become young morans and the existing morans graduate to junior elders. The masai enjoy eating meat, milk mixed with blood during rituals such initiation and marriage. The use of herbs as medicine. Their culture is still embedded in their day to day life. The masai are a big attraction in Kenya.
Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of all the Kenyan Rift valley lakes standing at 1,890 metres (6,200 ft). The lake is fed by two river namely malewa and gilgil rivers, and has no visible outlet. The lake covers an area of 140 km² but this varies annually due to the rainfall. The lake has an average depth of 8 meters and it is a fresh water lake.
Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree. These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination. The lake habits schools of hippos and many bird species. The most common is the fish eagle. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon or morning is to take a boat ride.
Do's And Don'ts In The Game Reserves & National Park.
- Do not Litter the reserve/park.
- Do not feed the animals, i.e. monkeys or baboons.
- Do give the animals the right of way and do not disturb wildlife.
- Do not take any plant or animals remains, dead or alive.
- Do not start fires or throw cigarettes in the reserve.
- Do stay in your vehicle except at designated viewing points.
- Do not shout, laugh loudly, play radio or cassettes as this will keep away the animals.
- Do not provoke any animals its dangerous.