Dreaming of Africa? Experienced her beauty before and want to venture a little further?
This small group tour veers off the beaten track into the heart of Kenya’s lesser known parks for a more authentic experience. Encompassing vast grassy savannahs, mingle with Samburu tribes, bask in the sheer size and beauty of Mt Kilimanjaro peering down on you, be overwhelmed with the vast number of elephants and tick the big five off your bucket list. Discover the less visited game parks and uncover Africa’s inner soul.
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya, the heart of Africa. You will be met on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to your hotel for check in. Time permitting, our representative will go over the full itinerary or if not possible due to late arrivals, the following day before departing on safari. Dinner is included this evening. (D)
Overnight at Tamarind Tree Hotel or similar
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before checking out. We will proceed to Samburu Game Reserve with a lunch stop at Trout Tree Restaurant. After lunch we head northwards and enter the reserve.
Located in the arid and rugged part of the country, north of Mount Kenya and the equator, the park is watered by river Uaso Nyiro which apart from supporting life in this dry area, is home to an impressive population of crocodiles, usually seen sunning themselves on the banks.
Along the riverbed the rare Doum Palms which dot the otherwise scrubby, dry landscape adding to the beauty of the scenery. Rolling hills form a stunning backdrop to the landscape making this a photographer’s paradise.
There are rare species of animals found only in this region and these include the reticulated Giraffe, the Somali Ostrich and the Grevy’s Zebra.
Other game include Elephant, Buffalo, Impala, Gazelle, the long necked Gerenuk, the beautiful Kudu, Dik Dik, Lion, Cheetah, Leopard and Oryx. It was in Samburu National Reserve that a Lioness adopted an Oryx baby three times protecting it from other predators and seemingly affording it motherly love. Scientists have since been investigating this strange and abnormal behaviour by this majestic beast. Birdlife in this area is prolific. Over 300 species have been identified.
Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as we proceed to the camp with a game drive enroute.
Check in and dinner will be served. (B,L,D)
2 nights at Ashnil Samburu Tented Camp or similar
Distances and journey time: Nairobi – Samburu (330km): 5.5hrs
Full day in Samburu Game Reserve to experience the thrills of game driving and the beauty that is Africa. (B,L,D)
Breakfast is at the camp this morning before we check out. We head onto Olpejeta Private Sanctuary to arrive in time for lunch.
This is a 24,000 acre private game ranch near the Mount Kenya National Park and sitting astride the Equator. Guests to Sweetwaters enjoy magnificent views across the plains to the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya. In the ranch there is also a Chimpanzee Sanctuary and a sanctuary for the endangered black Rhino. The ranch boasts all the “Big 5” game – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo. It is also home to over 400 species of birds and a host of plains game.
In this private reserve, guests enjoy many special activities not permitted in most other National Parks and Reserves such as game walks, night game drives, horseback game viewing and meals in the bush.
This afternoon we enjoy a game drive in the park which includes a visit to the Chimps and a visit to “Baraka” the tame Rhino. (B,L,D)
Overnight at Sweetwaters Tented Camp or similar
Distances and journey time: Samburu – Olpejeta Private Sanctuary (138km): 3.5hrs
This morning enjoy breakfast before we check out. With packed lunch boxes, we head to Amboseli National Park. As we enter the park we have an enroute game drive to your lodge.
Situated 250 km south-east of Nairobi, this 392 sq km park is famous for its big game and its beauty. Open plains, areas of yellow barbed acacia woodland, rocky patches, lava streams, thorn bushes, swamps and marshes are some of the different eco-systems found here. Majestically dominating the area, rising above a saucer of clouds, is “Africa’s rooftop,” the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 metres).
Here the pastoral and proud Masaai people herding their cattle have lived in harmony with the wildlife since days of the past. This was the beloved local place of Earnest Hemmingway and Robert Ruark, where the sparkling white snows of Kilimanjaro have been a picturesque backdrop to one of Kenya’s most spectacular displays of wildlife – lion, elephant, leopard, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains game – making a perfect photographer’s paradise. Swamps and springs fed by underground rivers from the melting snows of the mountain provide permanent watering places for the game while a nearby dried up lake bed produces a shimmering image in the day’s heat.
Following check in, dinner will be served. (B,L,D)
2 nights at Amboseli Serena Lodge or similar
Distances and journey time: Ol Pejeta Private Sanctuary – Amboseli (approx. 458km): 7-8hrs
Full day in Amboseli National Park with game drives. (B,L,D)
Breakfast is at the lodge this morning before we check out. Today we proceed to Tsavo East National Park and arrive in time for lunch inside the park. This afternoon, enjoy a game drive.
With 20,700 square kilometres, this park, divided by the Mombasa-Nairobi highway into two blocks – East and West, is one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries. While considerable portions of the park have been opened and developed for tourism, a great tract to the north is still inaccessible and closed to ordinary tourist traffic.
Tsavo is an interesting mixture of extensive plains, steep rocky hills rising abruptly, a few river valleys with their fringes of tall green acacia and palm trees. Altitudes range from 300 metres in the Eastern section to 1,800 metres in the highest peaks of the Ngulia Hills.
Most of Kenya’s wildlife is represented in the two blocks of Tsavo, but the dominant one is elephant. Over 20,000 of these giants roam the area, which also happens to be a black rhino stronghold. The park is famous for its lions, descendants of the dreaded Man eaters during the construction of the Mombasa-Kampala railway at the end of the last century.
There is network of over 800kms of game viewing roads. Bird life is legion in the park and new species are often discovered. Sunbirds, hornbills, parrot, weavers, starlings, bustards and birds of prey are present in great numbers among the many species. (B,L,D)
Overnight at Ashnil Aruba Lodge or similar
Distances and journey time: Amboseli – Tsavo National Park (170km): 5hrs
Our final breakfast together before it is time to depart for Nairobi. We return to Nairobi and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or Wilson airport for your onwards flight connections.
Distances and journey time: Tsavo – Nairobi (approx. 425km): 6hr
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**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures.
* Pricing is subject to change at anytime until full payment has been received.
* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.
A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.