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8 DAYS MARA AND SERENGETI SAFARIS

Day     1    Nairobi – Masai Mara Game Reserve

 Pick up Drive via Narok to the Masai Mara National Reserve offering wonderful scenery and plenty of game. It is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. Arrive for lunch at your lodge. Enjoy an afternoon game viewing drive in this vast and expansive reserve teaming with game. Be on the look-out for the ‘big five’ Mara is famous for and the most sought after in the early 20th century when Kenya was a hunters’ paradise. Killing any of them game one some class, pride, heroism. These include the lion, Cape buffalo, the savannah elephant, black rhino and the elusive leopard. The vast savannah grasslands stretch as far as the eye can see is home to impalas, maasai giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, Thompson & grants gazelles, topis, resident wildbeestes among many others. Later in the evening return for dinner and overnight at your lodge.

Mara Leisure Camp-Mara Leisure Camp LDBB

 Day     2      Masai Mara Game Reserve

 Enjoy breakfast then proceed on a full day of game viewing drives & adventure. Be on the look-out for the big five that Maasai Mara is famous for. These include the lion, savannah (African) elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the black rhino. We may even be so lucky to witness a leopard or a cheetah sprint and make a kill! We return back to the camp for dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Balloon Safari over the Mara plains followed by a champagne breakfast or visit a traditional MasaiManyatta (off the beaten track) and experience the culture of this world famous community. The Masai still live as they did for centuries -interact with these nomadic people and experience their way of life as you learn about their customs and traditions.

 Day     3    Masai Mara Game Reserve

 Enjoy breakfast then proceed on a full day of game viewing drives & adventure. Be on the look-out for the big five that Maasai Mara is famous for. These include the lion, savannah (African) elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the black rhino. We may even be so lucky to witness a leopard or a cheetah sprint and make a kill! We return back to the camp for dinner and overnight.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Balloon Safari over the Mara plains followed by a champagne breakfast or visit a traditional MasaiManyatta (off the beaten track) and experience the culture of this world famous community. The Masai still live as they did for centuries -interact with these nomadic people and experience their way of life as you learn about their customs and traditions.

Mara Leisure Camp-Mara Leisure Camp LDBB

Day  4  Masai Mara Game Reserve – Serengeti National Park

We enjoy a hearty breakfast then depart with picnic lunch boxes via the Isebania & Sirari border where our guide drivers will help you through the immigration procedures then continue into Tanzania. Covering an area of 14,763 square kilometres, the world famous Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s oldest park, and one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. The Serengeti ecosystem supports the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, including more than three million large mammals. We arrive at our lodge for check-in, dinner and overnight.

Serengeti Kati Kati-Serengeti Kati Kati LDBB

Serengeti National Park

This morning after breakfast, we depart with picnic lunch boxes for a full day of game viewing drives on the vast Serengeti plains. In the early morning and evening light, the Serengeti landscape is stunningly beautiful. The Rolling plains and grasslands, stretching far into the horizons as far as the eye can see is home to the black-manned lion, the savannah elephant, the Cape buffalo, wildebeetes,the elusive leopard,cheetah,the spotted & stripped hyena, the rhino,topi,burchelle’s zebra, the Maasai giraffe among many others. Serengeti National Park is one that can never disappoint. One is spoilt by the variety of bird and wildlife species in this game reserve with game-viewing drives. Enjoy dinner and overnight at our lodge.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Dawn Balloon Safari over the Serengeti Plains ending with a champagne breakfast.

Serengeti Kati Kati-Serengeti Kati Kati LDBB

 Day     6   Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Conservation Area

 After breakfast, we depart to Ngorongoro. We stop at the Oldupai Gorge, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world to learn on human evolution. We will enjoy an on-site talk on the interpretation of the gorge by the resident guide. We arrive at our lodge to a warm welcome, check-in then lunch. This afternoon we relax and from our lodge enjoy the breath-taking spectacular views of the crater below. Ngorongoro Crater has the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It has been described as one of the great natural wonders of the world. Eight million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater was an active volcano but its cone collapsed, forming the crater that is 610 meters deep, 20 kilometres in diameter, and covers an area of 311 sq. km. Spectacular as it is, the crater accounts for just a tenth of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater is home to many species of wild game and birds. With the exception of impala and topi (due to fierce competition with the wildebeest) and the giraffe (because there is not much to eat at tree level), almost every species of African plains mammal lives in the crater, including the endangered black rhino, and the densest population of predators in Africa. The birdlife, which includes the flamingo, is mainly seasonal, and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor. Dinner and overnight at crater lodge.

NOTE: Warm jacket/cardigan is highly recommended.

Ngorongoro Farm House-Standard Room LDBB

Day     7   Ngorongoro Conservation Area

After breakfast we descend some 610 metres into the crater, which is home to an abundance of wildlife and a photogenic paradise, for a full day of game-viewing drive with picnic lunch. Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world teams with an abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor. Prides of lions, herds of Cape buffalo, rhino, giraffes, golden & black-backed jackal, zebra, cheetah, leopard and the spotted hyena freely roam on the crater floor plains. Unmatched for its natural variety & breath-taking beauty, there are few places on earth where such a tremendous diversity of landscapes exist inside a region this size. Apart from its wildlife riches, the crater is also of great archaeological importance, with the remains of some of mankind’s earliest ancestors discovered in the area, also a home to hundreds of bird species, refreshing in the small lakes in the crater floor. Return late afternoon to your lodge. Enjoy dinner and overnight.

Ngorongoro Farm House-Standard Room LDBB

Day     8  Ngorongoro Conservation Area – Nairobi

An early morning game drive is followed by breakfast and departure to Arusha airport for flight home

Price per Pax

 Prices in US Dollar (USD)

Date                                      Per Person Twin Sharing

                                                              (Based on number of pax per vehicle)

 

2                                                                                                                              Single

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sup.

 

01/07/2017-31/10/2017     3,000.00                                                                                              419.00

 

Inclusions:

  • Arrival transferfrom/ to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
  • Met in our unique style with wet towels and ‘bubbly’
  • Complimentary Authentic Branded Safari Hat and safari essentials pack
  • Full Board accommodation while on safari.
  • Park entry fees
  • Unlimited supply of bottled, drinking water in the vehicle while on safari
  • Unlimited mileage on game viewing drives.
  • Use of a custom designed pop-up roof Safari Land Cruiserwhile on safari
  • Flying Doctors Cover while on safari

Exclusions:

  • International flight, passport & visa fees
  • Comprehensive travel insurance cover.
  • Balloon Safari ride in Masai Mara/Serengeti
  • All personal expenses – laundry, telephones, soft & alcoholic drinks, tips to Camp Staff and gratuity to Guide/Driver

Location and park information

 Masai Mara Game Reserve

Probably the most famous of the reserves, the Masai Mara, in Kenya’s south western corner, boasts an astonishing amount of game. Unfenced, the Mara is bounded in the east by the Ngama Hills and in the west by the Oloololo or Siria Escarpment. Gazelle, wildebeest and zebra graze in large numbers and where prey is found so are predators. Not only is this a great place in which to find game, but the wide greeny-gold savannahs spotted with thorn trees make it ideal for photography. The Mara, as it is known in Kenya, is ravishingly beautiful and also offers long, undisturbed views and utterly dramatic panoramas. The weather really means something here. The sun may beat down unforgivingly, huge clouds in fabulous shapes may sweep across the widest of skies, the wind ripples the grasses as though they are stroked by a giant hand. The landscape is stunning.

The famously black-manned Mara lions are possibly the stars of the Mara show, but cheetah, elephant, kongoni, topi, Thompson’s gazelle, waterbuck, hyena, and primates are all here too. As with the rest of Kenya, the birding is good. There is no settlement within the reserve however; the Mara is in theory owned by the Maasai, pastoralists and, in earlier times, renowned lion-killers. Lodges and hotels offer the opportunity to buy their beadwork, checked cloths and copies of their spears. It is said that if lions scent approaching Maasai on the breeze they move swiftly in the opposite direction.

Famously, the Mara is the northerly end of the Great Migration, that great primeval surge of wildebeest, zebra and antelope that sweeps in from Tanzania’s Serengeti to Kenya’s Masai Mara as the Tanzanian grass starts to fail. They are tracked by the large predators who pick off the weak, the stragglers and the young. The great herds, nearing their destination by July, mass along the Mara River, pushing, shoving and fantastically noisy, just waiting for the first animal to cross so that they can all follow, lemming-like, on the final leg of the journey. However, crocodiles lie in wait, sluggishly cruising the waters, fully prepared for their best meal of the year. Many fail in the life-and-death struggle – drowned, eaten by the crocodiles or, made careless or weak by their stressful swim, brought down by lions. The Masai Mara is terrible yet wonderful, and not to be missed.

Serengeti National Park

A vast expanse of flat savannah grasses stretching from horizon to horizon, broken only by an occasional gnarled acacia and rocky kopje, the Serengeti has some of the highest wildlife concentrations in the whole of Africa. Year round it is one of the best safari holiday destinations to see the “big five”; elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo, whilst the central Seronera area of the Serengeti has one of the continent’s densest populations of the elusive leopard.The short grasses on the Serengeti plains make it easier to see many of the smaller animals that are always present in the African bush but seldom observed. Fascinating creatures such as aardwolf, porcupines, badgers, jackals, mongooses, meerkats and pangolins can all be sighted.

Adding to the resident wildlife is the annual migration of the wildebeest. Their journey starts in December in the southern Serengeti and finally leaves the northern Serengeti in early August, heading into Kenya. Vast numbers of zebra, giraffe, buffalo, eland and gazelle species also get caught up in the wildebeest throng. Keeping them company is a travelling band of predators and scavengers taking full advantage of the extra food on offer.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Popularly known as the eighth wonder of the world, the Ngorongoro crater is a spectacular micro-ecosystem that boasts almost all of East Africa’s famous wildlife species. The Ngorongoro crater is 16 kilometres in diameter and with walls 610 metre high, it is the largest intact crater in the world. More remarkable still, its confines are home to over 25,000 large mammals.

Hemmed in by the forested walls, the crater floor has a combination of soda lakes, acacia forests, lush marshes, and dry savannah. These diverse habitats support the full cast of East Africa’s brilliant animal and bird life; lions, elephants, hippos, buffalo, leopard, ostriches, flamingos, eagles, vultures… to name but a few. The teeming bird population includes more than 100 species not found in the Serengeti.

The Ngorongoro is a conservation area that is owned by the Masai – and in this part of Tanzania the Masai, in their striking traditional dress, are as much a part of the scene as the huge population of wild animals.

Nairobi

It is impossible to believe that just over 100 years ago the only visitors to the area which is now Nairobi were the Maasai tribe, who used to water their cattle at a “boggy waterhole”. They called it EnkareNyarobi – literally ‘the place of cold water’. In the dying years of the 19th century as the Uganga railway forged its way through Kenya, the area became a railhead for the assault on the eastern wall of the escarpment. Because of the swampy surroundings, the railway workers camps rapidly turned into a shanty town, inhabited by rats which brought the plague, and it is doubtful if anyone could envisage that one day this would become the ‘City in the Sun’

Between the 1903 and 1908 potential settlers arrived in Kenya responding to the promise of cheap agricultural land (which did not strictly belong to the government to give away) and many wealthy sportsmen arrived to hunt the game. Hotels sprang up to cater for the visitors and the base for the valuable tourist industry was laid during those early years.

In 1950 Nairobi became a City by Royal Charter, the streets ablaze with flowering trees and shrubs and to this day the flowering jacaranda trees in the later months of the year are one of Nairobi’s great attractions.

Nairobi is now a city of around 3 million people and the heart of the commerce and industry for the whole of East Africa. Over the years the city has developed with modern infrastructure, the expected high rise buildings, tourist hotels and many places of entertainment. Additionally Nairobi has a near perfect climate, lying 144 km south of the equator at an altitude of 5451ft (1662m) and 494 km from the shores of the Indian Ocean. The city has maintained its cosmopolitan ambience which is apparent, not only in the different races and communities who work in and around the city, but also in the architecture and variety of religious buildings, churches, temples, mosques, synagogues.

The range of attractions and places to visit are amazing. A typical day could perhaps start with a tour of the city, including visits to the excellent Railway Museum with its records of the history of the railway (which is also the history of the country). Here visitors may see the carriage from which an unfortunate Superintendent for the Railway was dragged by a man-eating lion in the year 1900.

The National Museum of Kenya has fine exhibits of East African fauna, birds, fish and reptiles as well as collection of cultural merit. An organised tour may also include visits to the City Hall and Law Courts, the bazaars and the markets with their colourful displays of locally grown fruit and flowers as well as handicrafts and many different centres of worship, including the spectacular Jamia Mosque. A visit should be paid to the Memorial Park, created in memory of the many victims of the inhumane bombing of the American Embassy and nearby buildings on 7 August 1998. This is the only city in the world which has a National Park on its doorstep, and within a short drive visitors enter completely a different world – the Nairobi National Park. Lion, cheetah, buffalo and rhino as well as more common plains game like gazelles, zebra, ostrich and giraffe live within the park.

Many will have heard of the film ‘Out of Africa’ which starred Meryl Streep as Karen Blixen and Robert Redford as her lover, Denys Finch Hatton. The well-developed suburb of Karen takes its name from the author, and any visit to this area should include a visit to her old home set ‘in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills’.

A short distance away, the Giraffe Centre, where the history of the endangered Rothschild Giraffe (which include the famous “Daisy Rothschild”) can be studied and the descendants of the family can be fed, will also appeal.

A morning visit can be paid to the famous Daphne Sheldrake orphans, tiny elephant, rhino and occasionally a kudu which have been rescued from the wilds and are brought up until they are capable of returning to the bush.

Within the environs of Nairobi there are several excellent golf courses (one running alongside the main highway opposite the city centre); a proliferation of social clubs offering facilities for cricket, tennis, field hockey, squash, rugby and swimming and a popular race course set alongside the indigenous forest.

The unique and popular Carnivore spit roast complex on the edge of the game park offers game meat as a speciality, in addition to the more normal roasts expected by dedicated meat-eaters.

As a ‘Safari capital’ of East Africa, Nairobi has more than enough to entertain any visitor for several days, either before of after their planned safari.

 

 

 

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