13 days Kenya overland camping
Leaving Nairobi in the morning you drive north, along the foothills of Mount Kenya and across the equator. After stopping for a picnic lunch, you continue into Samburu for an afternoon game drive with dinner and overnight at your campsite.
Samburu is home to various species of game generally only found in these northern areas- Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffes, Beisa Oryxes, the long-necked gerenuks and blue-shanked Somali Ostriches. Lion prides, cheetahs and leopards roam the savannahs in search of the next meals.
The mix of wood and grassland with riverine forest and swamp is home to a wide variety of animal and birdlife. Buffalo Springs records over 365 species of bird. Game viewing and visibility is excellent. Reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, elephant, oryx, Somali ostrich, hippo, crocodile, gerenuk, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.
Samburu covers an area of 104 Sq. Kms and is 343 Kms from Nairobi at an altitude of 2,500 Ft. Buffalo Springs covers 131 Sq.Kms and both were opened in 1985. Both lies in the same ecosystem. There are three lodges in Samburu, one lodge in Shaba and one tented lodge. There are a number of special campsites in each park, favored by the mobile tented safari operators, which have to be pre-booked. Shaba also has an airstrip.
The world famous Lake Nakuru was created in June 1968 to protect the stunning flocks of lesser flaming. It covers and area of 188 Sq. Kms and the flamingoes literally turns the shores into a magnificent pink colour. The bird-life of Lake Nakuru is astounding, giving it the title’Ornithological Paradise’. It is famous in the ornithological arena for scientists and nature-film photography. A wide range of wood-vegetation, bush and grassland exists around the Lake with a numerous ecological diversity among them rocky escarpments and rocky ridges. It is 157 Kilometers from Nairobi through beautiful Rift Valley sceneries and is at an altitude of 4,000 -5,767 Ft. On the shores you can view Bohors Reedbuck, waterbucks, Zebra among other plains game. Only two black rhinos remained as a result of poaching. Luckily, efforts by K.W.S has now successfully re-established by creation of rhino sanctuary within the park from Laikipia. It is now home to both black and white rhinos. Other wildlife in Lake Nakuru Park includes hippos and clawless otters, buffalos, leopards, lions, Rothschild’s giraffe, Black and White Colobus monkey. In the bush lands of the vicinity within the park you can view elands, steinbok, impalas, Chandler’s reedbuck and dik dik, whilst rock hyrax and klipspringer occupy the cliffs and escarpment
At an altitude of 3.200Ft. and covering 107 Sq.Kms is 260 Kms from Nairobi is Lake Bogoria. A spectacular
sight with blue skies above it for canopy. The alkaline waters
support the rose-pink flamingoes by growing blue-green algae, food for them. Though the flamingoes are seasonal the beauty and magnificence of the pink-populations covering the lake makes it one of the famous birding and family vacation destinations. The surrounding bushed grasslands are home to a number of species. The reserve’s herd of the rare Greater Kudu makes it unique and other game to view includes: buffalo, zebra, impala, dik dik and many small mammals. The south shore has acacia-ficus woodland and to the north is a papyrus swamp.
Lake Baringo is at the threshold of Northern Kenya, and its freshwaters are an oasis in the arid plains. It is the traditional home of the Njemps tribe, a unique people who are the only pastoral, cattle herding tribe who also fish. Among other pastoral tribes such as the Maasai, eating fish is a taboo. Dinner and overnight at the campsite
The 129 sq km lake is well stocked with fish, and attracts many Pelicans, Cormorants and Fish Eagles. Crocodile. The Lake itself is truly beautiful, surrounded by volcanic ranges that stretch as far as the eye can see. At the lakes heart is Ol Kokwe Island, a stark rocky island that is home to Njemps villages and a well appointed camp. This is an excellent base for exploring the lake, with boat trips ideal for bird and hippo spotting. Baringo is an ideal stopover on a safari to Northern Kenya and is one of the famous birding destinations in Kenya.
Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. The lake is almost 13kms across, but its waters are shallow with an average depth of five metres. Lake area varies greatly according to rainfall, with an average range between 114 and 991 sq kms.
At the beginning of the 20th Century, Naivasha completely dried up and effectively disappeared. The resulting open land was farmed, until heavy rains a few years later caused the lake to return to existence, swallowing up the newly established estates.
This is one of the most famous Parks in the world and the most visited park in Kenya. Standing
at an altitude of 5,000 Ft, 275 Kms from Nairobi down the Great Rift Valley with magnificent views in the distance is Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Reserve itself offers the famous ‘Out of Africa’ breathtaking views and covers an area of 1,510 Sq. Km. Famous also for the Out of Africa film which was mostly filmed here, this Reserve holds an extraordinary density of animals including “the Big Five” (lions, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros). You will be amazed by the populations and species of plains game.
Also an extension of Serengeti, it is home to the ’National Geographic’ nature movies recorded each year as the impressive feature of annual migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles from the plains of Serengeti. They cross the Tanzanian border and rivers to reach the Mara’s grasslands from late June, tracked by predators among them lions, leopard’s cheetahs, and hyenas, numerous circling vultures as their journey unfolds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in early July-August. Though the migration is world famous, Masai Mara has excellent game viewing all year round and is abundant. Game includes elephant, blackrhino, buffalo, plains zebra, hartebeest and big cats. The rivers are home to hippos and crocodiles. Its share of the ‘Ornithological paradese’ stands at an astounding 452 species including a couple of vulture species. Established in 1974, the Reserve hasAccommodations ranging from safari lodges and luxury tented camps and budget camping site. Other activities include game walks, night games, Hot-air balloon flights (recommended especially during the migrations). Some Safari operators do set up private camps for small groups seeking exclusive and traditional safaris out of the Reserve.
135 Kms from Nairobi is Amboseli National Reserve covering 392 Sq.Kms. Amboseli
Means “a place of water” in masai. This is in reference to the underground streams from Kilimanjaro’s Snow Belt. The springs converge into two clear water streams in the park. Amboseli sometimes looks dry but to the surprise of many, the park has alot of water supply filtered through thousands of feet of volcanic rock. Amboseli lies at an altitude of 3,900-4,500 Ft and the dust is volcanic ash which spread from Kilimanjaro millennia ago. During the dry seasons, a curious feature is the shimmering dry lake bed where false mirages of populated horizons, punctuated by real herds of zebras and wildebeests hover in front of visitors. The principal attraction in Amboseli is its vast herds of elephants within the park. Amboseli is also famous for long-tusked elephant bulls and Plentiful plains game that includes zebras, wildebeests, giraffe, impalas and leopard. Smaller cats can be spotted also. Birdwatchers can see pelicans, bee-eaters, kingfishers, African fish eagles, martial eagles and pygmy falcons. Opened in 1948, it an important land in the masai culture who still hold on to their traditions thousands of years old. The ranch areas outside the park offer a wealth of game viewing and walking safaris. The Kenya Wildlife Community Service works closely with the local elders to develop eco-tourism attractions which benefit the indigenous communities and protect this fragile eco-system.