Kenyan Parks to Southern Ethiopia
9 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, but if you arrive early then why not head out on an Urban Adventure. Not only is Nairobi an energetic capital city, it's also the only major city in the world to contain a game reserve – Nairobi National Park. After you've met your fellow travellers, join them for an optional group dinner at a local restaurant with your leader.
Day 2 Nanyuki (Ol Pejeta Conservancy)
Rise and shine: it's your first morning in Kenya! Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before the group travels to the Mount Kenya region, arriving at the hotel in time for lunch. Mount Kenya is Africa's second-highest mountain, rising to an elevation of 5199 metres, and the national park in which it sits is circled by a number of communities including Nanyuki, where you'll be based. In the afternoon, embark on a game drive in the Ol Pajeta Conservancy, a 24,000-acre rhino sanctuary. Here, among the acacia trees and 'whistling thorn' shrubs, you'll see giraffe, zebra, elephant, jackal, hippo, rhino, baboon and gazelle roam the savannah grasslands and the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River.
Day 3 Nanyuki (Mt Kenya)
Today, after breakfast, you'll set off for hike in Mount Kenya National Park. Begin walking from the park's entrance gate and continue through the forest to Old Moses Camp at an altitude of 3000 metres. If the weather's right you'll have fantastic views of Mount Kenya and the surrounding high country. It's a favourite spot for ornithologists thanks to the opportunities for bird watching, and there'll hopefully be an opportunity to see Grevy's zebras as you walk through the forest. Also known as imperial zebra, they were given the name 'Grevy' after Jules Grevy, the French president in 1882, who was given one as gift. These are the largest and most threatened of the three zebra species, and are found almost exclusively in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia.
Day 4 Samburu NP
Drive north after breakfast to the Samburu National Reserve, where you'll be spending the next two nights, via an optional visit to the Ngare Ndare forest canopy walk and waterfalls. Samburu is a rugged, remote reserve that provides some of the best game-viewing in the entire country. Covering an area of 104 square kilometres, it's home to a number of northern Kenya specialities including Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk and the beisa oryx – known as the Special Five. Have lunch at the lodge on arrival, then take an afternoon game drive through the reserve keeping an eye out for not only the Special Five, but also leopards, elephants, hyenas and an abundance of birdlife.
Day 5 Samburu
Head off in search of the Special Five, this time on a full-day game drive through the reserve. Keep your eyes peeled for lions too, and crocodiles stalking the waters of the Ewaso Nyiro River that flows through the park. This region is home to the Samburu people, semi-nomadic pastoralists who live to the south and the east of Lake Turkana. They're a sub-tribe of the Maasai people and speak the same language, and can often be seen in their colourful dress leading cattle around. Return to the lodge for dinner and a relaxing evening.
Day 6 Marsabit
Pack your bags for a four-hour drive to Marsabit, a small town bordering Marsabit National Park and Marsabit National Reserve. The views of the plains during the drive are phenomenal, and you'll stop by the appropriately named Lake Paradise on the way. Arrive in the late afternoon and, after settling in at the hotel, the rest of the evening is free for you to enjoy. Perhaps take a stroll through the small town.
Day 7 Moyale
Today the group will take a long drive through the highlands, allowing plenty of time to appreciate the beautiful scenery. Your destination is Moyale, a market town on the border of Ethiopia and Kenya that's split between the two countries. The larger section is in Ethiopia, where the hotel is located, so after crossing the border and checking in at the hotel, the evening is free to check out the town, enjoy a farewell dinner with the group and toast this adventure.
Day 8 Konso / Arba Minch
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in Moyale before driving to Konso, a journey of approximately six hours. Stop en route at the beautiful El Sod Crater, which locals have been extracting salt from for centuries. After arriving in Konso, you may wish to join your group for a farewell dinner before saying your final goodbyes tomorrow morning.
Day 9 Konso
Your journey comes to an end today. Post-tour accommodation is available if needed, as well as transfers to Arba Minch. Perhaps leave some some time to check out this World Heritage-listed town, known for its traditional wooden grave markers where the features of deceased warriors are carved then enhanced using teeth made from animal bones. Alternatively, spend some time exploring the hillside villages in the surrounding countryside.
All This Included
This adventure through Kenya is one for the explorers, a journey heading north from Nairobi to the Ethiopian border and beyond to the World Heritage listed town of Konso. Spend time in the high-altitude Mount Kenya region, trekking towards the summit through forests inhabited by the endangered Grevy's zebra and searching for rhinos, elephants and more in the surrounding grasslands. Visit Samburu, a lesser-known but incredible nature reserve known for the Samburu Special Five, which is home to the Samburu people – a sub-tribe of the Maasai. Continue north through the spectacular landscape to the Ethiopian border and through small villages.
Hotel (3 nights)
Lodge (3 nights)
Permanent Tented Camp (2 night)
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