SAMBURU / SWEETWATERS/ ABERDARE / LAKE NAKURU / MASAI MARA LODGE SAFARI
Travel to Africa and embark on samburu sweetwaters / aberdare / lake nakuru / masai mara lodge safari which takes a duration of eight 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 cover fourteen game drives where by you can encounter the big five.
Nairobi – Samburu
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 to the northern frontier. This area is a semi desert and thus very dry most of the year. Arrive Samburu Lodge in time for lunch. You will be assisted to check into your respective rooms and after lunch you can spend the afternoon at leisure or take a dip in the pool. Later on head out for the evening game drive. Game to view includes the Big five, antelopes, gazelles, baisa oryx, grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, gerenuk and abundant bird life. Dinner and overnight at Samburu lodge.
On this day you will have morning and evening game drives. A visit to the Ewaso Ngiro river is most rewarding because it’s the only source of water that sustains the wildlife in this reserve. Wild animals converge at the river to quench their thirst. Samburu people and their culture is another attraction and on request the driver guide can take you to the samburu village to experience their culture. All meals and overnight at Samburu Lodge.
Samburu – Sweetwaters
Have an early breakfast then depart with a game drive en route; drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy arriving Sweetwaters serena lodge in time for lunch. You will be assisted to check into your respective rooms and after lunch you can spend the afternoon at leisure. Head out later on for the evening game drive. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a chimpanzee sanctuary and the only one of its kind in Kenya. All five members of the ‘big five’ can be encountered here; lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino, including a healthy breeding population of the highly endangered black rhino. Bird life is also abundant with over 350 different species so far recorded. Dinner and overnight at the Sweetwaters serena lodge.
Sweetwaters – Aberdare
An early breakfast followed by an early game drive exit the park and drive to Aberdare National Park. Check inn at the Aberdare country club for lunch and relaxation. Later you will be transffered to The Ark where you will view game which is attracted by saltlicks and flood lights at the comfort of the tree hotel. Its estimated that 2000 elephants roam the Aberdare forest. The forest is re known for its botanical richness and water falls. The include the gura falls, karuru falls and chania falls. The queens cave pavilion was the site for the 1955 royal picnic lunch for queen Elizabeth the second and her husband prince Philips. Dinner and overnight at the The Ark.
Aberdare – Lake Nakuru
An early light breakfast then transfer to the base hotel for the main breakfast and after wards depart and drive to Lake Nakuru arriving Sarova lion hill lodge in time for lunch. Spend the afternoon at leisure and later go for the 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. Visit makalia falls as well as the baboon cliff to get a stunning view of the lake and its surrounding as the sun sets. Sundowner can be organized on request. Dinner and overnight at Sarova lion hill lodge.
Lake Nakuru – Masai Mara
Depart early morning as you do a game drive, head to Masai Mara arriving in time for lunch. You will be assisted to check into your respective rooms and after lunch you can spend the afternoon at leisure or take a dip in the pool. Later on head out for the evening game drive. 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. Dinner and overnight at Mara Sarova lodge.
Today we will have a morning and evening game drive. After breakfast 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. After lunch you will relax in the lodge and later have an evening game drive. Dinner and overnight at Mara Sarova lodge.
Masai Mara – Nairobi
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 lodge around mid morning; your full breakfast will be served and afterwards bid farewell to the lodge staff and any friends you might have made. You will be driven to Nairobi; lunch en route arriving late afternoon. Drop off at the airport or hotel.
End of Services
- Transport in a custom safari minibus with pop up roof.
- All park entrance fees.
- Fullboard Accommodation.
- 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.
Samburu game reserve has several lodges to chose from, some of them are built near the Ewaso Ngiro river giving superb views of game whioch frequents the river banks to drink water. Amenities include swimming pools, Conference centre, WiFi, Satellite TV and Gift shops. The lodges include Samburu Game Lodge, Larsens Tented Camp, Samburu Sopa Lodge, Elephant Bed Room, Ashnil Samburu Camp, Samburu Intrepids, Saruni Samburu, Sasaab Lodge and Samburu Simba Lodge.
Sweetwater Conservancy accommodation is in form of two lodges owned and managed by Serene Group of hotels. The Sweetwater game lodge and Olpajeta House are the only lodges in this sanctuary. Amenities in the lodges include swimming pools, Conference centre, WiFi, Satellite TV and Gift shops.
Aberdare has unique accommodation in form of tree hotels namely the ark and treetops. The tree hotels are built in the shape of Noah’s Ark. The tree hotels are serviced from their base hotels namely outspan and aberdare country club respectively. The tree hotels attract game using flood lights, salt-lick and waterhole. The tree hotels have balconies and lunges which provide superb views of wildlife. One can place a wake up call in case a rare species is spotted at the salt licks or water holes.
Lake Nakuru has only two lodges and one tented camp due to its size. Accommodation is offered on full board basis and the pricing of the lodges and tented camp is different. Amenities in the lodges & Tented Camp include swimming pools, Conference centre, WiFi, Satellite TV and Gift shops.
Masai Mara Lodge Safari offers accommodation in form of Lodges which are built in different styles and have different level of comfort due to the amenities of each lodge. The lodges are rated differently and are also priced different and this affects the price of the safari. Amenities in the lodges include swimming pools, Conference centre, WiFi, Satellite TV and Gift shops. Luxury tented camps also lie in this category. The Camps are furnished and offer all or more amenities than the lodges. The Lodges include Mara Sarova Lodge, Mara Serena Lodge, Mara Sopa Lodge, Mara Simba Lodge, Keekorok Lodge, Mara Intrepids, Governors Camp, Little Governors Camp, Bateleur Camp, Kichwa Tembo, Mpata Safari Club, Elephant Pepper, Tipilikwani, Leisure Camp And Fig Tree Camp.
Parks & Reserves Facts
Samburu game reserve is the most popular parks of the northern frontier fauna sanctuaries. The game park occupies an area of 165 km2. The driving distance from Nairobi is 350 km and 65km from Isiolo town to achers post gate. The park lies on the northen bank of Uaso Nyiro River, the river serves as the only source of water without which the game in the reserve could not survive in the arid country.
Samburu National Reserve was one of the two areas in which conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Free. The Samburu National Reserve is also home of Kamunyak, a lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.
Samburu’s topography is composed of river Uaso Nyiro which flows from the Kenyan highlands and flows to lorian swamp, scattered acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation. The climate for Samburu is hot dry with cool nights with an average annual maximum temperature of 30ºc (86F) and minimum annual temperature of 20ºc (68F). There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its ts unique dry-country animal life: All three big cats, lion, cheetah and leopard, can be found here, as well as elephants, buffalo and hippos, Olive baboon, gerenuk, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, Kirk’s dik-dik, impala, waterbuck, Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and over 350 bird species.
Samburu is also a masai land, the Masai people whom by definition speak the Maa language hence the name Maasai have held on to their culture even in these times of modernization. A maasai’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 is still embedded in their day to day life. The Maasai are an attraction in Kenya since they managed to stick to their culture.
The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened in 1993 in a negotiated agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute. The facility was initially established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. An initial group of three chimpanzee orphans were brought to the sanctuary from a facility in Bujumbura, Burundi in 1993. This group of chimpanzees needed to be evacuated due to the outbreak of civil war in Burundi. This was followed in 1995 by another group of 9 adult chimpanzees, followed by another 10 in 1996.
Over the last decade Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary has been compelled to keep accepting chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations bringing the total number of chimpanzees in the Sanctuary to 41. At Sweetwaters Sanctuary chimpanzees are being carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure. The chimpanzees live in two large groups separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River. As an integral part of the Laikipia/Samburu ecosystem, Ol Pejeta is also home to the “Big Five” and carries one of the highest wildlife densities in Kenya. In an attempt to ensure some connectivity with the greater Liakipia landscape, there are corridors along the Conservancy’s northern boundary ensuring free movement of all animals, especially the large herbivores such as elephants. Predators are also closely monitored as they play a crucial role in the ecosystem of controlling prey densities.
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the Largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa and home to 87 black rhinos after the single largest rhino translocation ever undertaken in East Africa on February 3, 2007. The translocation was a combined effort between Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. In a period of 2 ½ weeks, 27 more black rhinos were successfully released into the enlarged 75,000 acres of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The black rhinos were moved from adjacent Solio Rhino Sanctuary – which held a surplus of 30 rhinos. This crucial translocation has helped ensure that maximum breeding rates are achieved and adequate food resources maintained. During the translocation, the experienced team equipped each rhino with a transmitter, placed in the horn. Since the release of the animals, these transmitters have allowed complete monitoring of the animals, ensuring their well-being and safety.
The Aberdare National park was established in 1950, it covers an area of 766 square kilometers and is 100 km north of Nairobi. The park has five entry points depending on where you are coming from, the entry points are Kiandongoro gate, queens gate, east gate, treetops gate, ark gate. The park entry fee is paid using a smart card which can be loaded at the main entry point.
The Aberdare Mountains are part of the central highlands Kenya, from north-south between Nairobi and Thomson’s falls. The mountain slopes especially on the eastern and western slopes are covered with thick forest giving way to bamboo zone on the higher levels. Deep ravines cut through the forested inclines through which hidden streams flow and waterfalls cascade down hundreds of open moorlands, broken by lichens covered rocky outcrops, hills and crags, thickets of giant heath and tussock grass.
Wildlife easily observed include the lion, leopard, african elephant, african hunting dog, giant forest hog, bushbuck, mountain reedbuck, waterbuck, cape buffalo, suni, side-striped jackal, eland, duikers olive baboon, black and white Colobus monkey, and sykes monkey. Rarer sightings include those of the golden cat and the bongo – an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. Animals like the eland and spotted and melanistic serval cats can be found higher up in the moorlands.
Recently a project that stated twenty one years ago by conservationist Ken Kuhle’s Rhino Ark to fence the Aberdare national park was finished successfully. In the “olden days,” elephant and other game used to migrate from the Aberdare Mountains towards Mt. Kenya and into the Rift Valley, but the population pressure of modern day Kenya has made migration all but impossible in those parts of the country, as farms and homesteads have now spread around the park, cutting it off from other areas where game is found.
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.
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.
- 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.