This perspective-shifting Kenya safari is filled with unforgettable moments and memorable wildlife encounters. It takes you to Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley. You deepen your understanding of Masai people of Kenya as you experience their way of life, which has remained unchanged for centuries in Loita Hills and visit the Masai Mara – the world’s most famous national reserve.
This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent, occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the Big Five animals of Africa. While the overland trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular photos of the wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/africa/overland In Loita Hills you will stay in a bush camp with no shower facilities. The rewards of experiencing Masai culture, however, should more than make up for the lack of creature comforts. As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or beat the morning traffic on long travel days. You may also want to check out The Masai Heartlands trip if you have more time to explore in East Africa.
Nairobi – Day 1
Jambo! welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive with time to spare before the meeting, consider getting to know the the capital of Kenya on an Urban Adventure like the ‘Nairobi Experience’. This optional 4-hour tour is a great way to get a feel for the city, and includes lunch at a local restaurant. After the welcome meeting, perhaps join your new travel companions for an optional group dinner. Accommodation: Hotel
Lake Nakuru National Park – Day 2
Drive north-west stopping to take in spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley (approximately 3–4 hours). Lake Nakuru National Park is a great destination for spotting wildlife, which you will do during an early morning Kenya safari the following day. But for now, head to a nearby village with your tour guide. A fantastic opportunity to interact with the local folk and get a feel for everyday life here. Enjoy a cooking class and return later in the evening to share the results for dinner. Accommodation: Camping (with facilities)
Lake Naivasha – Day 3
Wake early for breakfast and head into the Lake Nakuru National Park for a Kenya safari in the overland truck. Lake Nakuru National Park is home to all the big five -lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalos with the exception of elephants. Many people will visit the park just for the opportunity to see white rhinos in their natural habitat, an opportunity found in few other places on the continent. Lake Nakuru is also host to many birds species. Other animals that can be seen during a Kenya safari in Lake Nakuru include zebra, giraffe and cheetah.
Return to camp for lunch before driving to your camp near Lake Naivasha – one of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley (roughly 3 hours drive). Lake Naivasha has floating islands of papyrus reeds and a border of flat-topped acacia trees. It’s home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds. Accommodation: Camping (with facilities)
Lake Naivasha – Day 4
Enjoy a free day to choose from a variety of optional activities available around Lake Naivasha. Perhaps venture to Hell’s Gate National Park, which boasts beautiful cliffs, gorges, stark rock towers, scrub clad volcanoes and a range of geothermal phenomena. Another great choice is to take a boat trip across Lake Naivasha – perhaps the best way to take in the atmosphere of this lush area. If you’re looking for something active, why not hire a bike for the day and make some of your own discoveries, venturing beyond the cacti and olive trees. Accommodation: Camping (with facilities)
Loita Hills Maasai Village – Day 5
Depart Lake Naivasha, making a brief stop in Narok town for food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills – roughly 5 hours drive, home of the Masai people of Kenya, stopping for lunch en route. We’ll be camping at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Masai women’s health and education. Arrive and be welcomed by traditional Masai warrior song and dance, then your host will explain the details of Masai warrior training. Take a walk to the community village which was founded to alleviate the poverty of Masai widows, who traditionally are not allowed to inherit property. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Spend the evening around a campfire and learn more about their age-old culture and traditions as you share stories with Masai warriors into the night. Accommodation: Camping (with basic facilities)
Masai Mara National Reserve – Day 6
Travel from Loita Hills to the Masai Mara roughly 1.5 hours drive. The Mara has constantly been voted Africa’s leading wildlife park and is home to all the big five, the classic African wild animals and 550 species of birds. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it’s time to jump in 4WDs and go for a Kenya safari in the park.
Between July and October you can witness the great wildebeest migration as over 1.5 million wildebeests, zebras and antelope migrate from the Serengeti to the park following the rains. Accommodation: Camping (with facilities)
Masai Mara National Reserve – Day 7
Venture into the Masai Mara for a full day Kenya safari in 4WDs. An optional balloon safari is available in this day – an unforgettable experience as you glide over the savannah at dawn with spectacular views of the sunrise and the teeming herd below. After the hot-air balloon safari Champaign breakfast is served under an acacia tree. Kenya balloon safaris cost USD 450. Accommodation: Camping (with facilities)
Nairobi – Day 8
After a morning Kenya safari in the Mara, depart for Nairobi – roughly 5 hours drive arriving in the afternoon. No accommodation is provided today, but can be arranged if required. You’ll be dropped at your hotel in Nairobi.