15 Days Nilotes Classic Cultural Safari.
Amboseli N/P , Samburu G/Re, Marasabit, Chalbi – North Horr , Lake Turkana, South Horr , Marlal , Lake Baringo, and Nairobi. The Nilotes are mainly pastoralists, more often leading semi-nomadic life they are easily noticeable in their unique traditional attire, adornment and facial marks.
Their traditional clothing is red, brown or orchred cloak-like tunics ,get a chance to stay/camp in their homesteads, speak to local people, listen to tribal storytellers, meet traditional healers, greet school children and other such interactions. The excitement of such a visit culminates with touring the attractions of the country.
Arrive -Nairobi Masai Safari Lodge (FB).
Day 1. Arrive this morning or in the evening in the city of Nairobi and transfer to the Lodge which borders Nairobi N/P and a scenic sun –set on the background of the city.
Amboseli N/P Fly Camp Masai Village (FB).
Day2. Depart after early breakfast to Amboseli N/P at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro; Africa’s highest to enter the park by early afternoon. Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination.
It is surrounded by 6 communally owned group ranches. Amboseli is famous for its big game, its great scenic beauty - the landscape is dominated by MT Kilimanjaro and cultural immersion among the Maasai. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Amboseli N/P Mama Africa Eco-Tented Camp (FB).
Day3. Dawn game drives before breakfast. The snows of the mountain forms a majestic backdrop to one of Kenya's most popular spectacular displays of wildlife creating Kenya's most sought after photographer's paradise. Check out and drive to the upper catchment of Amboseli along Mt. Kilimanjaro forest glades. Scenic landscape and cultural dieversity among other tribes that have co-existed with the Maasai and also how the Maasai have adopted modern life. Dinner and overnight.
Samburu G/Re Samburu Village (FB).
Day 4 & 5. Early breakfast and depart to Samburu with stop over in Nanyuki for lunch. Two days of cultural immersion and walking. Usually the Samburu live in small settlements (nkang) of 1-3 families. Each of these families may be composed of a man and two or more wives, since Samburu practice polygynous marriage. Settlements may sometimes be larger, particularly the lorrora, a settlement of 50 or more families coming together for the ritual initiation of a new age set.
Married men (Lpayen) are figures of authority in Samburu culture distinguished between junior elders, firestick elders (lpiroi), senior elders, retired elders. An age set moves together through these stages. Women usually marry between the ages of 15 and 17--often to men 10-40 years their senior. Return to the lodge for lunch. Afternoon extensive visits and cultural dance at age 15-20 young men are initiated into an age set.
This group forms a man's peer group for his entire life. Group moves together through distinctive age grades including while warriors, lmurran, (ages approx. 15-30)may not marry or eat food seen by women (except milk and blood) and are distinguished by their braided hair style. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Samburu Marsabit Lodge (FB).
Day 6. After breakfast depart to Marsabit driving past Wamba into vast wilderness to arrive in time for lunch. Afternoon Visit to the "singing wells' where local people engage in songs while drawing water from deep wells to water livestock. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Marsabit N/P Marsabit Lodge (FB).
Day 7. Depart after breakfast with picnic lunch and armed rangers to the park. Full day of excursions. This is one of Kenya's most remote and least visited national parks. The heart of the park is extensive forest and as such it supports animals that one would not normally find in arid northern Kenya.
There are elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, wart hogs, Grevy's Zebra (which is specific to northern Kenya), reticulated giraffe, hyena and antelope. However, the thick forest does not make for great game viewing unless you have lots of time. Having said that, it is an amazing place - an oasis of forested mountain that rises up out of the surrounding desert. It also has a wealth of rare birds.
Lake Paradise is an enchanting spot and a good place to camp, although there are no facilities here. This is also where most of the reserve's water birds hang out. Return to the hotel late afternoon.
Mt. Kulal Narraioca Supuko Campsite (FB).
Day8. After breakfast descend and drive to Mt. Kulal which dominates Lake Turkana,s eastern horizon. A steep ascent to the north peak leads you through evergreen forest and verdant pasture land on the higher levels, after which you are confronted by the El Kajarata gorge which in effect splits the mountain in two, requiring a second ascent to reach Gatab.
This small Samburu settlement nestled high up near the southern peak of Kulal affords extraordinary panoramic views of the desiccated landscape below, which ultimately you will have to traverse in order to finally reach South Horr.
Chalbi Desert Kalacha Camp (FB).
Day 9. We depart after an early breakfast through the scenic landscape of the arid north with views of picturesque hills. We arrive and camp at Kalacha, a small Gab bra settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert. The Chalbi Desert is the harshest of the entire northwestern section and only the toughest of species survive. Its vast dunes and volcanic mountains are home to traditional tribes, the Rendille and Gabbra, desert nomads who maintain a camel culture.
The Rendille believe that they belong in the desert not by mistake but because its their "promised land". In their popular morning prayers they pray "your people Wakh (God) cannot climb mountains, cross seas but remain in this Promised Land in which you have looked after our fore fathers, us and our children's children.
The Gabbra are an Eastern Cushite people related to the Somali-Rendille in their historical origins in the southern Ethiopian highlands about AD 1000. The Gabbra are closely related both historically and culturally with the Sakuye people. They have exchanged their original language for the Oromo language of the Borana.
Lake Turkana Palm Shade Camp (FB).
Day 10. We depart early crossing the Chalbi Desert to Lake Turkana which is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometres up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border. It is surrounded by volcanic rock and desert. We arrive at our semi - permanent town /village camp where we have our traditional El Molo Huts; making it a perfect place to relax, protected from the scorching sun and heat characteristic of the climate of this remote area.
Lake Turkana Palm Shade Camp (FB).
Day11. The day is spent relaxing and you may visit the local lodge to swim or hire a boat to visit the surrounding area including the El Molo village the least populated tribe in Kenya. In addition in the evening visit o¬ne of the Turkana Manyattas [optional] for traditional dances an unforgettable experience under a star studded sky so close you can almost touch it. (At an extra cost) Turkana, formerly L. Rudolf is now named after one of the tribes who live on its shores and it is in this area that Richard Leakey uncovered the three million year old fossils of ‘Homo Erectus.’ This pre historic site is now known as the “Cradle of Mankind”.
The Lake is also known as the “Jade Sea” because of its remarkable blue – green colour. This is a result of algae particles, which shift with changes of the wind and light, so that the water surface shifts from blue to grey to fabulous jade. The lake is home to the largest population of Nile crocodiles in the world. If the weather permits we take a short sunset boat ride to southern Island N/P.
Maralal Yare Camel Camp (FB).
Day12. After a very early breakfast we journey via the Horr Valley situated between Mount Nyiro and Ol Doinye Mara viewing the breath taking scenery as we continue to climb o¬n torturous, rocky hills to Maralal. Stop over for lunch at South Horr.
Near Maralal is o¬ne of the most breath taking scenes in all of Kenya – the Losiolo escarpment, an endless stretch as land drops down to the Suguta valley.
Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and has a distinctly frontier feel about it, like something out of a ‘wild west’ movie. It boasts a colourful Samburu market and a game sanctuary that lies just outside of town. Maralal is also home of the Maralal International Camel Derby that happens o¬nce a year between July and October and attracts riders and spectators from the four corners of the world.
Lake Baringo Roberts Camp (FB).
Day13 & 14. Depart after breakfast to Lake Baringo via Mugie ranch / Loruk one of the lakes on the floor of the Rift Valley.
Scenic landscape with clear views of the Tugen Escarpment which part of the western Rift Valley escarpment while on the East the Aberdares ranges establish themselves on the horizon.
Arrive in time for lunch, later boat excursions to the central island of the lake home to the Njemps people closely related tribe to the Masai though unlike the Masai who are pastoralists their main activity is fishing using traditional boats made of reeds and palms wood.
The lake host various birdlife including the fantastic Fish eagle and hippos which can be seen grazing early morning and evenings. Visit the Pokot village Pokot a nomadic tribe that live on the hash dry and remote parts of the Rift Valley.
Nairobi Departure (FB).
Day15. After breakfast drive to Nairobi to arrive in time for lunch. Afternoon at leisure, farewell dinner before been transferred to the airport for departure.