Kenya SAFARI – December 2007
With Howard Saunders - Ker & Downey Safaris Ltd
And Craig Sholley – African Wildlife Foundation
Day 01: Mon 03rd _ December – Arr Nairobi, Ngong House
Day 02: Tue 04th – Drive to Amboseli, Ker & Downey Private Camp
Day 03: Wed 05th – Amboseli, private camp
Day 04: Thu 06th – Amboseli, private camp
Day 05: Fri 07th – Charterfly to Laikipia Conservancy, Loisaba Lodge
Day 06: Sat 08th – Loisaba
Day 07: Sun 09th – Loisaba
Day 08: Mon 10th – Charterfly to Masai Mara, Ker & Downey Private Camp
Day 09: Tue 11th – Masai Mara NR, private camp
Day 10: Wed 12th – Masai Mara NR, private camp
Day 11: Thu 13th – Masai Mara NR, private camp
Day 12: Fri 14th – Charterfly Mara to Nairobi, dpt NBI for USA
Cost: 12 day Safari
US$12,460 per person, based on eight or more people.
Included in safari price: Accommodation in best available twin-bedded tent/rooms at full board; all casual meals detailed in the itinerary and all service charges relating to accommodation and meals, all drinks and alcohol except champagne, bottled mineral water and sodas in camp and on game drives; all park entry, camping and activity fees.
Vehicle running expenses and transportation by 4WD safari vehicle with roof hatches (4 persons maximum to a safari vehicle; the services of a fully trained crew and daily laundry service; and most importantly, the services of a Professional Safari Guide for every vehicle. Air charters and scheduled flights.
Not included in safari price: international flights to and from Kenya, airport departure taxes, entry visas, laundry in hotels, and charges for telephone calls or faxes. Tips and Gratuities.
Celebrating AWF’s 45th Anniversary, and Ker & Downey’s 60th Anniversary
AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION’S CRAIG SHOLLEY, and KER & DOWNEY SAFARIS’ HOWARD SAUNDERS
offers to selected guests
an exceptional 12-day safari in Kenya
For this ‘one-off’ Anniversary safari we have designed an itinerary which takes in our favourite places in Kenya—those which offer the most spectacular wildlife viewing in areas of breathtaking beauty. The wildlife, however, is just one aspect of this country’s magic. Besides the ageless and colourful lifestyle of the Masai and Samburu peoples, there are many AWF conservation programs and research scientists engaged in protecting and studying Kenya’s unique heritage. We have therefore organized several exclusive and personal ‘behind-the-scenes’ interactions with a few of the country’s prominent conservationists and scientific researchers.
Kenya Safari In Detail
Day 1, Arrival in Nairobi, Ngong House
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, your guide will meet you and transfer you to the Ngong House, a private home situated on the outskirts of Langata, approximately 1/2 hour from Nairobi city centre. This is a very peaceful place to relax after your flight.
Secluded on 10 acres of private land, with views of the Ngong Hills, Ngong House offers an exclusive and personalised service with accommodation in five separate "treehouses". Built entirely from wood, the tree houses have two levels with a bedroom upstairs, and a living area on the lower floor. They are raised 15 feet from the ground to gain uninterrupted views of the legendary Ngong Hills and are designed to be rustic with an African theme, yet are furnished with every comfort in mind.
Days 2 - 4: Amboseli National Park
Ker & Downey Private Tented Camp
After a good night’s sleep, we drive south to the private K&D Kitirua Woodlands concession on the western edge of Amboseli National Park. We spend 3 nights in our own private camp, where great views of 19,340' Mt Kilimanjaro, intimate interactions with the local Maasai tribespeople, and unrivalled elephant viewing made famous by several well known books characterise this superb area.
Hemingway's immortalisation of the Amboseli region in "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" establishes the mood of this poetic landscape. The air is usually as clear as a bell in the morning and Kilimanjaro capped with snow and soaring 19,340 feet into blue skies is the most magnificent sight you can imagine. No more than ten miles from where we camp, the mountain’s immense presence adds a special dimension to everything you see in Amboseli. Camped in the Kitirua Woodlands to the west of where other people go, our private concession assures us the peace and quiet one needs to commune with the great mountain. K&D’s Kitirua concession is also Maasailand, but Maasailand with a difference.
These are the Kisongo Maasai that, until Joseph Thompson became the first white explorer to traverse their territory in 1884, were the scourge of all who came in contact with them. Before Thompson, all travel into the heart of Africa passed through central Tanzania well to the south. Thompson marched right across present-day Amboseli, and when one leads a walk across the ancient, now dry lakebed of Amboseli, one can imagine that they are walking along a trail blazed by the intrepid young Scot. The Kisongo Maasai are more friendly today, but they are little changed since Thompson's day and are regarded as by far the most traditionally conservative of all the Maasai. Fellow nomads living near our temporary encampment, we come into regular contact with Maasai in Kitirua, but as we are neighbours, so to speak, our presence is not an invasion of privacy. On these intimate terms, many people regard time here amongst the Maasai and the insights into their way of life, as one the highlights of their safari.
The African Wildlife Foundation has for many years been integrally involved in preserving the Amboseli ecosystem. Working closely with the local Masai community, both AWF and Ker & Downey have forged exceptionally close ties with the people, and AWF’s is working to ensure that the beauty of this area will survive.
Luxury tented camp
Perhaps the greatest highlight of Amboseli is the opportunity to get off the beaten track, whether it is trekking across the ancient lake-bed, or hiking up one of the hills behind camp. In the good hands of Masai warriors, this is an excellent place to do as much or as little as one likes. For those not as active, sitting in camp with a good book, you can watch as the herds of zebra, wildebeest and elephant stroll nearby.
Days 5 - 7: Laikipia Conservancy, Loisaba Lodge
Today we fly to the Laikipia Plateau, and check into Loisaba Lodge. Loisaba is located on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau, just 70 km north of Mount Kenya in a 150 sq km (58 sq m) private wildlife conservancy in the heart of the Ewaso eco-system.
The View from Loisaba Lodge
Incredibly rich in both biodiversity and topography, Loisaba is in the heartland of the Laikipiak Masai community. Loisaba offers a rare insight into the cultures, traditions and a way of life that has stood the test of time. The Lodge is built entirely of local materials, and offers stunning views of Mount Kenya.
Each of the seven rooms has large French windows that open onto a private cantilevered deck. The views are legendary and the waterhole, 1000 ft (305 m) below, draws constant wildlife. All the furniture in the Lodge is handmade. A tennis court and swimming pool are available for guests’ convenience.
The Star Beds, Loisaba's solution to finding comfort in the wild, are constructed on wooden platforms built craftily into boulders on a hillside overlooking a lake. Each platform is reached by a ladder and has a large double bed, loo and camp shower that runs with warm water. The thatched roofs only partly cover the platforms and the beds, on sturdy wheels, can be maneuvered so you slumber sweetly under the African night.
Days 8 - 11: Masai Mara National Reserve
Ker & Downey Private Tented Camp
Flying southwest from Loisaba brings us to our final destination, Kenya's most famous game reserve – the Masai Mara. The Mara’s rolling grassland and riverine forests are the northern extension of Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park. It has more permanent water, a higher rainfall and more wildlife residents than anywhere in East Africa. It is home to the colourful Maasai people who live and graze their cattle on the fringes of the reserve.
Ker & Downey Tented Camp
The Mara is especially noted for its predators with large prides of lions, and smaller carnivores like servals and genets. Cheetah and hyena are all found here and of course so is the elusive leopard. Elephant, Maasai giraffe, buffalo, zebra, topi, hartebeest and large herds of gazelle are found in the Mara year round.
The vast herds of wildebeest that move back and forth from Tanzania supplement the resident herds that opt not to make the trek south. This is a wildlife spectacle unmatched in all of Africa, and is a must for any visit to Kenya.
Hippos and crocodiles are found in secluded pools along the Mara River and its tributaries. The Mara is worth a visit any time of year and is one of the last places in Africa where you can still see the huge herds of game, every corner and every beast great or small merits exploration. Each day we can spend as much time as you like in the field, moving from adventure to adventure.
Day 12: Day Room and connection to Int’l flights
It’s always sad to bid farewell as we fly back to Nairobi in time for lunch. After lunch we can arrange for some shopping, sight seeing, or you may prefer to relax and freshen up.
Our traditional farewell diner is followed by the airport run when we'll make sure your departure goes as smoothly as your arrival!
"Kwaheri ya Kuonana” means "Goodbye for now."
* * * SAFARI ENDS * * *