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Day 1 Nairobi
Overnight at your Nairobi hotel.
Day 2 Aberdares National Park (B,L,D)
After breakfast drive north towards Kenya highlands
The Aberdares is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100 km north-south between Nairobi and Thomson’s Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter.
There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999 metres) and Kinangop (3,906 metres) separated by a long saddle of Alpine moorland at over 3,000 metres. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls.
The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 metres) contour.
The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park.
Among spectacular features include Lesatima Peak, Kinangop Peak, waterfalls, walks in the moorlands, Twin Hills, Elephant Hills and Table Mountains. Second largest population of black rhinos in Salient and northern Aberdare. Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession to the British throne at Treetops lodge. The Kimathi Hideout/Mau Mau caves. The park is home to most of the larger mammals, having a large population of black rhino. The park has endangered species including the rare bongo, giant forest hog, packs of the now very rare wild dogs and endemic mole-rate and mole shrew. Other game includes leopard, serval cat , endemic bird species, reptiles and insects.
Overnight at your lodge
Day 3 Nakuru National Park (B,L,D)
After breakfast descend into the Great Rift Valley enjoying stunning views of the escarpment on the way, arriving in time for lunch. Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake, renowned for its huge concentration of flamingos and over 460 species of birds. After setting up camp, embark on an afternoon safari within Lake Nakuru National Park, a beautiful environment of woodlands and grasslands, in search of the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard.
Lake Nakuru National Park began in 1961 as a small protected territory, only encompassing the famous lake of the same name, and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the area’s grassland savannahs and woodland slopes, and covers an area of roughly 188 km sq.
The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide the sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again translocated for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, many buffalo, and even at times leopard.
Overnight at your lodge
Day 4: Masai Mara National Reserve (B,L,D)
After breakfast and a brief gamedrive as you head out of the park, you will drive through the Great Rift Valley on to Kenya's premier wildlife reserve. In the afternoon we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari lodge, our base for our time here. Then we head out for a late afternoon game viewing drive, with excellent chances of seeing the "Big 5" - lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. The varied wildlife and natural environment come together to provide a spectacular safari experience.
The Masai Mara is perhaps most famous for its lions, though the other members of the "Big 5" are as well found. Hippo are found in large groups in the Masai Mara and Talek Rivers, and many cheetah, zebra, impala, gazelles, hartebeest, warthog, ostrich, topi and the Masai giraffe, among other mammals, all consider the “Mara” their home territory. As well, the large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders. Like in the Serengeti in Tanzania, the wildebeest are the dominant inhabitant of the Masai Mara, and their numbers are estimated in the millions. Around July of each year these ungainly animals migrate in a vast ensemble north from the Serengeti plains in search of fresh pasture, and return to the south around October. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by an entourage of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena.
Overnight and meals at your lodge
Day 5 Masai Mara Game Reserve (B,L,D)
We set off early this morning in order to witness the animal kingdom at its most active hour. Continue your safari in search for the park's large populations of wildebeest, buffalo, lion, elephants, and giraffes. Marvel at gazelles, impala and ostrich from wonderful vistas along the EsoitOloololo Escarpment. Before returning to your lodge, you may stop at a Masai village to learn about, and interact with, the local Masai people. You will also have a chance today or tomorrow to try the optional balloon safari, a fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Overnight and meals at your lodge
Day 6 Masai Mara Game Reserve- Nairobi (B)
Breathe in the fresh morning air as you enjoy the African sun as it rises over the savannah of the "Mara". Visit a watering hole while on a morning game drive, a perfect time and place for wildlife photography. Return to Nairobi in the afternoon, tour ends upon arrival.
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