Lake Elementaita lodge Birdwatching safari - In this ornithological tour you walk in scenic places in the Lake Naivasha, see the flamingoes in Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita and a wildlife safari in Masai Mara. Game viewing is a daily affair with the walks at Crescent Island, Crater Lake, Hell's Gate and in Masai Mara we add culture as we visit a Masai Village guided by Masai Morans.
Day 1 -Nairobi
Arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport and met by African Safaris and Adventures safaris guide. Transfer from the airport to the Serena Hotel in Nairobi.
Day 2 Crescent Island. O/N Lake Naivasha Country Club
After breakfast there is the briefing by our guide about the program. Leave Nairobi via the Nakuru road to the Great Rift Valley. The Nairobi - Nakuru road is on a contour along the rim of the Rift valley and on viewpoints we will be able to see our whole route for the next days.
We arrive at the Lake Naivasha Country Club or Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge our base for three days, in time for lunch.
This lodge opened in 1937 as a staging post for Imperial Airways' flying boat service from Durban to London. The 55-acre property boasts green lawns shaded by mature acacias and spreading fever trees that stretch down to the lake's shore. In the afternoon we do our first African walk at the privately owned Crescent Island, which is a peninsula on the Eastern shore of Lake Naivasha. There is a lot of easy to see game e.g. giraffes, waterbucks, elands, zebras and impalas. It is also a heaven for birds with +200 species recorded. The walk is gentle and satisfying. We return to the Lake Naivasha Country Club Hotel e for afternoon tea.
Day 3 Hell's Gate National Park. Lake Naivasha Country Club
We wake up for breakfast with the sun giving a wonderful effect over the Lake Naivasha morning here should not be missed by anyone with an eye for birds since the lake boasts a wide variety of water and woodland birds. After breakfast we do a short transfer to the gate of the park. This is a unique park where walking is done in the middle of wildlife. Giraffes, zebras, warthogs and many types of gazelles are found here.
The first part of this walk is done in typical flat African savannah in a volcanic area with huge rock boundaries. There are camphor and acacia trees all over and this is where to look for the giraffe as they mainly feed on them. A picnic lunch provided by the hotel will be at the Rangers post.
The last part of the walk is done in the Hell's Gate Gorge by descending into a steep canyon with running water from geysers and wild vegetation. The climax of the day is in walking in the Side Gorge where the rocks have split to leave only a walking path. We climb back to the rangers post for transfer back to the Lake Naivasha Country Club.
Day 4 Crater Lake. O/N Lake Naivasha Country Club
An early rising will ensure that one gets another magical display of the various birds. After breakfast we do a transfer by bus to the nearby Crater Lake Game Sanctuary. It is a lesser lake in the Rift Valley but a place where nature is at its best. We do a walk in the sanctuary followed by a circular trek on the top of the crater from where we see the lake from various angles. Pleasant interruptions on the walks will be from giraffes, black and white Colobus monkeys, zorillas, aardvarks, leopards and a range of gazelles, all which are easily found in the sanctuary. Day 5 visit Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Elementaita Lodge - The nearby Nakuru National Park is the eldest park of Kenya. It's not only known for its thousands of flamingos but also for the vast herds of buffaloes, tens of rhinos and cats like leopard and lion. Of the big five only the elephant is missing.
We make a game drive around the lake and have lunch at the Lake Nakuru Lodge. Afternoon transfer to the Lake Elementaita Lodge where we'll stay for 2 nights.Day 6 Lake Elementaita. Lake Elementaita Lodge - his lake may not have the big name of Lake Nakuru but its scenic beauty is unmatched. We walk up to the shores of the alkaline lake. From there we proceed up to the hot springs and into the Kikopey Hills surrounding the lake.
We walk mainly in open savannah land and occasionally we will stop for a chat with a Masai herdsman. The gentle sloping hills give a good panorama. The walk should be for 4 hrs after which we go back to the lodge in time for lunch. Afternoon is spent in the lodge.
Day 5 & 6 Visit Lake Nakuru National Park. Maili Saba Camp
You may choose to swap the days in Elementaita with Maili Saba camp as below at no extra cost but subject to availability. The only change for easier transfers is that then Maili Saba will be at the beginning of the tour as day 2 and 3 straight after Nairobi. We leave Nairobi and transfer to the Nakuru National Park, the oldest park of Kenya. It's not only known for its thousands of flamingos but also for the vast herds of buffaloes, tens of rhinos and cats like leopard and lion. Of the big five only the elephant is missing. We make a game drive around the lake.
We will be fortunate to escape from the crowded lodges in the park to the very exclusive Maili Saba camp on the dormant Menengai Crater.
The Menengai area is very beautiful with cliff walls and steam jets filling the crater with mist. It is only 10 km from the Nakuru National Park and has not been touched by tourism. This is an easy to explain situation as safari evolves around wildlife with other geographical features being relegated to viewpoints - that is if they happen to be visible from a highway. Fortunately Menengai Crater is off the highway, so it is spared the viewpoint ritual of convoys of tour buses stopping for the mandatory 10 minutes break of photo taking
On the morning of day 3 we will do a nice walk in the crater where we will enjoy the beautiful contrasts of nature. Rocks that have stood the test of time, natural springs with mirror clear water, lava that reminds us that this is the Rift Valley and baboons trooping around with their babies. All this is in an atmosphere that is completely away from mass tourism.
Day 7 Masai Mara. Fig Tree / Sarova Mara / Keekorok
We now take a break from walking to put all our attention to watching wildlife. To see the best of Kenyan wildlife Masai Mara is the place to be. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, buffaloes, gazelles and all the big cats are found here. So, after breakfast we start our journey passing through Narok Town; a colorful Masai town. Our game viewing does not actually start at the park gate. We will be able to see many animals along the way grazing side by side with the Masai livestock. We reach the tented camp or lodge, our home for the next three days, in time for lunch.Day 8 & 9 Masai Mara. O/N Fig Tree / Sarova Mara / Keekorok - These are our cultural and activity days in Masai Mara. We do a morning game drive through the park and hike to a Masai manyatta (=homestead). Here we will see how the typical Masais live. An afternoon game drive makes the day complete.
On day 9 we do a morning and an afternoon game drive. We break from the driving with an optional walk in a natural area with rolling hills and grasslands, out of the park boundaries. Day 10 Transfer to Nairobi
Return to Nairobi in time for lunch. Day rooms are provided at the La Mada hotel for use until 6 p.m