MASAI MARA / LAKE NAKURU / LAKE NAIVASHA / AMBOSELI / TSAVO WEST / TSAVO EAST CAMPING SAFARI
Travel to Africa and embark on masai mara / lake nakuru / lake naivasha / amboseli / tsavo west / tsavo east camping safari which takes a duration of nine days. This tour package begins in Nairobi and ends in Nairobi. We organize pickups anywhere within the city centre or the suburbs. This tour departs every day with a minimum of two pax and a maximum of six pax in the tour van. We also organize private safaris on request.
NAIROBI – MASAI MARA
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 up to Narok town where you will have your lunch and 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)
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)
MASAI MARA – LAKE NAKURU
Pre breakfast game drive, depart and drive to Lake Nakuru arriving in the after noon; lunch en route. On arrival you will head directly to the park for your 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 guest house or budget hotel in Nakuru town
LAKE NAKURU – LAKE NAIVASHA
Depart Lake Nakuru after breakfast and drive to Lake Naivasha arriving mid morning. On arrival at fish eagle camp you will be assisted into your respective tents. The driver will pick up your picnic lunches and shortly after 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 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.
LAKE NAIVASHA – AMBOSELI
Have breakfast early morning and depart. You will be driven to Amboseli via Nairobi arriving Kimana Camp in time for lunch. On arrival you will be assisted to check into your respective tents. Afterwards head out for the evening game drive. Amboseli has a wide variety of wildlife ranging from the Big five, cats, plains game and birdlife. Dinner and overnight at Kimana Camp.
Wake up early enough to the most intoxicating view of Mt. Kilimanjaro which seats majestically as the back drop of this amazing park, on a clear day the snow peaks are visible. After breakfast head out for the morning game drive which provides the opportunity to see the most since wild game come out to hunt or browse/graze very early before the sun becomes to hot. Amboseli has the highest population of elephants and has been the centre for elephant research for the last thirty years with each individual known by name. The game drive will include a visit to the outlook post which gives you the opportunity to have an aerial view of the Amboseli plains. Return to the campsite for lunch and spend the afternoon at leisure or take a walk around the camp making friends. Head out for the evening game drive; large herds of elephants can be encountered. Amboseli has a variety of bird life both migratory and terrestrial. All meals and overnight at Kimana Camp.
AMBOSELI – TSAVO WEST
Pre breakfast game drive before departure; you will be driven to Tsavo West following a convoy arriving at the camp well in time for lunch. You will be assisted to pitch tent while the cook prepeares lunch. Spend the afternoon at leisure and later go for the evening game drive. Tsavo west which is also known as “Land of lava, Man eaters & Springs” is famous for the man eating lions that preyed on workers building the railway line to Uganda. Tsavo is equivalent in size to Israel covering 4% of Kenya land mass. Mzima springs a wet land is so lush and green and serves as a water tower that gushes out 450 million litres of clean water every day. The walk around the banks springs of mzima offers the opportunity to marvel at schools of hippos lazing around. The observation Chamber sank below the waters enable tourist to view marine life. The game drive includes visit to the shetani lava flow and the five sister hills. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
TSAVO WEST – TSAVO EAST
An early breakfast followed by a game drive. Depart and head to Tsavo East N/P arriving in time for lunch. Tsavo west and Tsavo east combined are the biggest parks in Kenya. Tsavo East is also known as the “Theatre of Wild”. Spend the afternoon at leisure and later go for the evening game drive. Visit the Galana River and Rhino sanctuary created to protect rhinos from poachers. Tsavo is a vast flat plain broken by the long length of the galana river. This is one of the areas elephants have been able to follow ancient migratory route as they have for a millennium. Elephants of tsavo have a distinctive brick red colour shade of dust that elephants like to wallow and bath in. Tsavo East has vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred bird. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.
TSAVO EAST – NAIROBI
Pre breakfast game drive; depart the camp 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 your 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 Nairobi; lunch en route. Drop off at the airport or hotel.
- 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.
- International airfares.
- All expenditure of personal nature such as telephone calls, hard drinks, soft drinks and laundry.
- Travel Insurance
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 Maasai 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 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.
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.
Amboseli accommodation is in form of budget campsites or guest houses. The tents are permanently erected and are furnished, they have beds with flush toilets and hot showers. Kindly note that some campsites have toilets and bathrooms outside the tent. The campsite has a common dinning area where guest take their meals. In the evening there is a bonfire and the Maasai warriors entertain you as you relax. Fresh foods are prepared by our cook.
Tsavo West accommodation includes self catering bandas, guest houses, public campsites or budget hotels near the Mtito Andei Gate. Public campsite include Kamboyo campsite 8 km from Mtito Andei Gate, Chyulu Campsite 1 km from Chyulu Gate and Lake Jipe Campsite on the lake shore.
Tsavo East accommodation includes ndololo public campsites or budget hotels near Voi Gate.
Parks & Reserve Facts
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 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.
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.
Amboseli National Park is located south of Nairobi 140 kilometers which is a four hours drive from Nairobi. The park occupies an area of 392 km2. The ecosystem is made up of a seasonal lake called Lake Amboseli where the park derives its name from, swamps, open plains, acacia woodland, rocky out crops, thorn bushes and marches. The landscape is dominated by the backdrop of the majestic snow-cap of Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa. The snow capes are visible when the clouds are clear mainly early morning and late evenings and this scene gives one the opportunity to capture wonderful memories on camera for friends and loved ones back at home.
Amboseli national park is considered Kenya second best after Masai Mara game reserve by many tourist and is the only national park in Kenya that has the highest population of elephants. The ecosystem of Amboseli though small compared to other parks sustain a large number of bird species and game. Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African animals because its vegetation is sparse due to the long dry months. The park is considered most ideal for writers, filmmakers and researchers.
The Maasai are the local habitant of this area, which they call Empusel meaning “Dusty place”. Other community tribes have moved to Amboseli in search of greener pastures. Beside game viewing and the ecstatic views of Mount Kilimanjaro one can visit a local Masai village to learn their way of life and to interact with the locals.
Tsavo West National Park covers an area of 9065 Km2 and is located South Eastern Kenya, 240 km from Nairobi or 250km from Mombasa to Mtito Andei Gate. The park has magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing at Kichwa Tembo Cliffs and guided walks along the Tsavo River. Tsavo West National Park has a variety of wildlife, such as black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant, leopard and masai lion. There are also other smaller animals that can be spotted in the park, such as the bushbaby, hippo, hartebeast, lesser kudu and masai giraffe.
Mzima springs is a natural reservoir under the chyulu hills to the north. The Chyulu range is composed of volcanic lava rock and ash, which is too porous to allow rivers to flow. Instead, rain water percolates through the rock, and may spend 25 years underground before emerging 50 kilometres away at Mzima Springs. The spring produces 450 million liters of water in a day that serves the Tsavo eco system and some of the water serves the coastal region through a pipe. At the spring you will find schools of hippos, crocodiles, fish and water birds like cormorants. During the night hippos come out to grave and during the day they just laze in the fully or half submerged.
The Shetani Lava flow, a black lava flow of 8 km long, 1.6 km wide and 5 meters deep, is the remain of volcanic eruptions which were subject of tales among local communities who named the flow “shetani” meaning evil in Kiswahili after it spewed from the earth 240 years ago. Climbing the flow is not an easy task as the thick black soil is composed of uneven chunks of solid magma. The cave, located near the center of the outflow, has two large opening and one ancient tree is growing between them. Although the cave is only few meters long, the exit is not accessible (although it can be seen) as the place is too narrow.
The Roaring Rocks will give you magnificent panoramic views, usually only seen by the eagles and buzzards that fly around these cliffs, over the plain called Rhino valley and the Ngulia Hills (1,821 m – 5,975 ft.). The Roaring rocks, located near the Rhino Sanctuary, has been for long an observation point for the protection of black rhinoceros and the fight against poaching. The eerie Roaring Rocks are named after the buzz of cicadas that inhabit them and the howl of wind that hits the bare rocks by producing a roaring sound.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya covering an area of 11,747 square kilometers. The park is located near the village of Voi in the Taita-Taveta District of Coast Province and is divided into east and west sections by the A109 road and a railway. The park borders the Chyulu Hills National Park, and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in Tanzania. The climate in this area is warm and dry. One requires a smart card to access the park and the card can be topped up at Voi gate.
Attractions of Tsavo East National Park include “The Red Elephants”. This effect is achieved from the wallowing and rolling in the galena river and spraying of the red soils of tsavo.
The beautiful Aruba dam located on the north bank of the seasonal Voi River, is visited by thousands of animals and a great game viewing point.
The Mudanda Rock
The Mudanda Rock is a 1.6 km inselberg of stratified rock that acts as a water catchment that supplies a natural dam below. It offers an excellent vantage point for the hundreds of elephants and other wildlife that come to drink during the dry season.
The Yatta Plateau, the world’s longest lava flow, runs along the western boundary of the park above the Athi River. Its 290 km length was formed by lava from Ol Doinyo Sabuk Mountain.
Lugard Falls, named after Frederick Lugard, is actually a series of white water rapids on the Galana River
Tsavo East has vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous ‘big five’ consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park also is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred bird.
- 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.