ARRIVAL - DAY 1 & 2 - GREAT RIFT VALLEY (FEATURING LAKE ELEMETAITA, LAKE NAIVASHA & LAKE NAKURU)
Upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, our airport guest relation's officer will personally meet all arriving guests. We will be standing outside the arrival section holding a signboard with your name on it. You are assisted with your luggage and transferred to the secondary airport, Wilson, where you will check in for your outbound flight to Kenya's wilderness parks and reserves.
[OPTIONAL Overnight Note/Recommendations: Should you prefer to rest before your Kenyan safari in Nairobi, Africa’s original and first stepping stone safari destination, the city is modern, sophisticated and cosmopolitan with the big game Nairobi National Park sited at its doorstep serenaded by the various hotels, camps and lodges in the distinct city and suburban pockets of Nairobi, offering a variety of choices and experiences. Historically, Nairobi arose as a midway stop point during the construction of the Mombasa coast to Lake Victoria railway system by the Indian migrant labor during the British Colonial era. Today, Nairobi plays host to the rich cultural icons and spectacular paleo collections from the past at the Nairobi National Museum, conservation and awareness efforts for the protection of elephants at the Sheldricks Elephant Orphanage, European colonial settler experience penned by Karen Blixen and epitomized in the movie Out Of Africa and most enjoyed by all, Giraffe Manor, a hotel lodging where the morning wake up call is the gentle tap on the bay window by the long eyelashed and conserved Rothschild Giraffe. Several flights arrive at all times, in the early morning which helps you start your safaris on the same day to late evening arrivals which allows for a good night sleep in Nairobi. There are several excursions that can be planned when you arrange for additional time in Nairobi. Please review our Nairobi Day Tours section for the list of excursions.]
Drive to the Great Rift Valley. Your stay will provide two unique ecosystems with three different experiences. Resting at an elevation of 1890 meters is the serene freshwater Lake Naivasha, a superb oasis to include on your Kenya safari. Just beyond its shores are papyrus swamps, acacia woodlands, forests and unique geologic features that are remnants of the area’s volcanic past. The lake is also a RAMSAR site, a designation that reflects the ecological importance of the wetlands around the lake. More than 450 distinct birdlife species have been identified, and the resident avi-fauna are joined by migratory species.Lake Naivasha is one of the primary drinking holes for buffalos, zebras, elands, impalas, waterbucks and other grazers, as well as a favorite place for hippos to cool themselves during the day.
Between Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru lies another of Kenya’s alkaline lakes: Lake Elementaita. Set within the eastern portion of the Rift Valley, the lake was produced approximately 12 million years ago, and today much of the lake is part of the private Soysambu Conservancy, a 48,000-acre estate that serves as a sanctuary for nationally threatened colobus monkeys, endangered Rothschild giraffes, elusive predators, plains game, avi-fauna and many other species totaling to over 15,000 animals. The varied terrain offers volcanic hills, acacia woodlands, grassy plains and stands of Warburgia fever trees and Euphorbia candelabra. As part of the UNESCO Kenya Lake System World Heritage Site, Lake Elementaita is globally-recognized as a natural treasure to be preserved, protected and appreciated.
The next morning, proceed to the Lake Nakuru National Park for a contrasting alkaline lake and ecological experience. The most prominent wildlife in the park includes 56 mammals and 450 bird species. Seasonally, see firsthand one to two million lesser and greater flamingos dip their curved bills into the warm, alkaline water of the lake to extract their favorite food – special algae that are found in abundance in this unique water outback. Explore beyond the lake, and you will find a world of forest dwellers, plains game and other creatures – large and small. The white and black rhinos, as well as the Rothschild's giraffes that you will see in the park have been rescued from the threat of poaching in other areas of Africa and also Kenya. Lake Nakuru's most sought-after and elusive predator isthe leopard. Although plenty of luck and efforts are required to locate, these spotted carnivores are most often found lounging in the trees of the acacia forests that are set back from the shores of the lake. Your game drives will also take you into the woodlands where you may catch sight of the colobus and vervet monkeys. Enjoy watching these primates, but be careful not to stand under them as they are known to be quite messy eaters, a habit that helps propagate the forest trees and vegetation. Thomson's gazelles, impalas, Grant's gazelles, waterbucks, reedbucks, buffalos and hippos are just some of the other herbivores found in the park. Keeping a constant watch over some of these prey animals are striped hyenas, lions, the rare wild cats, golden cats and other highly elusive predators.
Lake Elementaita Accommodation
For an authentic Kenyan Great Rift Valley safari experience with Aberslopes, stay at the mid-range Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp. The accommodation features 24 guest tents with beautiful wood furnishings, traditional colonial safari styling and rich color accents that will take you back to a time when the East African bush was first being explored. Just outside your door is the Soysambu Conservancy that was once owned by one of Kenya's early pioneers -- Lord Delamere, and since 2006, the 48,000-acre conservancy has worked as a non-profit to preserve the wilderness and fauna that exists today. Set amongst manicured lawns, tall trees and winding stone paths are 25 impeccably designed guest tents, each featuring a centrally-located bed draped with mosquito netting, sitting area, writing desk and chair, private veranda with safari-style furniture and spectacular views.
Overnight Accommodation: Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp
DAY 3 & 4 - MASAI MARA RESERVE
Fly to the heart of the Masai Mara Reserve arriving at the airstrip where your specialist Masai Mara safari guide will meet you on arrival. Offering superb plains scenery, unmatched safari activities and diverse wildlife, Masai Mara National Reserve is considered Kenya’s best park and one of Africa’s highest wildlife density region for predators. The reserve covers 583 square miles (1510 square kilometers) of outstanding wilderness in southwest Kenya. The location, wildlife, activities and comfortable moderate climate puts Mara at the top of the list, even for the most discerning Aberslopes traveler to Kenya. The Masai Mara is a critical part of the route used by wildebeests and zebras during the Great Migration that traverses the Masai Mara via the Serengeti National Park during late July through late October - approximately. Recognized as one of the most spectacular wildlife events on the planet, the migration is a continuous route that is followed by an over 1.5 million wildebeests and thousands of zebras, gazelles and elands. In their never-ending pursuit for the finest grazing and watering grounds, the gnu relocate on an almost constant basis. The perseverance of these wildebeests is demonstrated in their ability to mate while on the move, and many cows are pregnant during part of the migration. Additionally, even the youngest wildebeest calves are expected to keep up with the herd. Standing and walking within minutes are critical to its survival. Additionally, the Masai Mara offers year-round game viewing. The reserve and surrounding conservancies offer diverse resident species experiences during your safari excursions. You will frequently see impalas, topis, giraffes, elephants, zebras, buffalos, warthogs and other grazing herbivores. With so many prey animals, Masai Mara is a veritable bonanza for large predators, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles and other stealthy, powerful hunters. The abundance of terrestrial animals is enhanced by the presence of more than 450 winged species, including 57 birds of prey.
Masai Mara Reserve Accommodation
Nestled in a woody area, within a bend of the Mara River in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Governor's Camp is a deluxe accommodation for discerning AfricanMecca guests traveling in the wilds of south-western Kenya. The camp has 37 tents and about half of them face the expansive plains and sited amidst lush greenery facing the Mara savannah, the others are riverside tents offering curly views of the river. Some of the rooms come with a double bed while others have twin queen size beds. Spend time in the lounge, bar and dining sections of Governor’s Camp that are all open under a canvas top so you can enjoy the rich ambience of the wilderness all around you while on your authentic safari vacation in Africa. They also have a viewing deck overlooking the river from where you can watch the crocodiles sunning themselves on the sandbanks and hippos cooling in the river water. From time to time, a pair of eyes, ears and snout appears to regard you carefully. While you could have your meals in the dining tent, the camp also arranges for al-fresco meals on the lawns where a warthog or mongoose might visit you to see if it can share your bread. Enjoy tasty buffet meals complemented with vegetarian dishes and desserts with perhaps a couple of elephants grazing not too far away.
Overnight Accommodation: Governors Camp
DAY 5 & 6 - MASAI MARA PRIVATE CONSERVANCY
Proceed to Masai Mara Private Conservancy. The establishment of Kenya’s conservancies that encircle Masai Mara National Reserve advanced wildlife management strategies that are core to Aberslope’s preservation values. The conservancies essentially extend the protected land for flora and fauna. The Mara conservancies are the result of a brilliant approach to wildlife management – work with local Maasai landowners to set aside land and help communities benefit from the generated revenue. Under the conservancy agreements, landowners establish zones that are not to be used for grazing and agriculture. Instead, these zones are allowed to return to a natural and pristine state. Once flora re-establishes in the zone, grazing and foraging herbivores return, along with many species of avifauna. These prey animals, in turn, attract predators, including birds of prey, scavengers and Kenya’s powerful hunters – lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs The conservancies in the greater Mara also offer many advantages to landowners, local communities and Aberslopes guests. Within each conservancy are lodges and camps that offer exclusive access to safari activities. These accommodations generate revenue. Landowners, in turn, receive monies from leasing their land. Portions of the revenue are also dedicated to local community projects in Masai Mara, such as medical facilities, schools, micro-financing and much more. Our guests benefit from spending time in Masai Mara’s pristine wilderness country and partaking of wholesome safari activities. The conservancies offer a more extensive range of activities than what is allowed in the reserve, such as night game drives, safari walks, and off-road game drives, to name a few of the outdoor activities that are unique to the conservancies. Additionally, the conservancies restrict the maximum number of guests and rooms, so seeing many safari vehicles during game drives is lessened compared to the public reserve.
Masai Mara Private Conservancy Accommodation
Siana Springs or "Plentiful Springs" as the Maasai call it is located amidst the Siana Conservancy in the eastern fringes of Masai Mara National Reserve, and nourished by the waters of this natural spring is a beautiful lush forest. This woodland is home to many indigenous species of flora and abounds with many birds and the rare colobus monkeys among other forest mammals. Based on the foot of the Ngama Hills, within the conservancy ranch is the Siana Springs Tented Camp, ideal for budget travelers to East Africa who are looking for a frugal yet comfortable stay with a focus on their wildlife experiences and viewing the Great Migration of the wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and elands, one of nature’s most stunning phenomena. Siana Springs Camp offers 38 tents housed in three sections, the Bamboo wing, the Palm Wing and the Acacia Wing. The canvas tents are erected on a flat concrete platform supplemented by a second canvas roof shelter. Some of the tents have double beds while others come with twin beds and you can also request a third bed if needed. Insect repellents and drinking water are also placed in your room. Each of the tents includes a closet, writing table with colorful, woven rugs adding a homely feel. The attached bathroom comes with a shower cubicle and hot water is provided for your showers. The reception of the camp is a roundish structure with a unique pastoral charm owing to its being built with canvas, stone, and rough wood. The lounge bar and the buffet-style dining area are tented roof structures with stone wall and floor detailing. You will be charmed to see their furniture fashioned out of tree trunks. They also have seats in their lawns for relaxing with a book or board game from the camp’s collection and tree stump seats around the campfire to spend evenings sipping cool cocktails. The camp’s swimming pool adorned with rocks is a lovely nook to sunbathe beside or to cool off. Enjoy every moment of your dream tour in Africa by spending time on the outside patio, watching the antics of monkeys and antelope peacefully grazing while birds and butterflies add harmony to the serene ambiance.
Overnight Accommodation: Siana Springs Camp
DAY 7 - DEPARTURE DAY - AIRPORT TRANSFER OR CONTINUE ON AN OPTIONAL SAFARI EXTENSION WITH ABERSLOPES TOURS
Breakfast. Morning activity. Thereafter, transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival, connect to your international flight back home or continue on with an extension safari, tour or beach trip within Kenya, Africa or the Indian Ocean Islands.