Every now and again your Civilized Agents are sent on a familiarization tour of some of the most incredible countries around the globe. This October Karen and Katie will depart on an African Adventure scouting out the best places to eat, sleep, safari and explore in Kenya. This blog will chronicle the adventures these two agents get into along the way and give some tips and tricks from what they learn.
Karen and Katie will stay one night in Dubai before going off to explore Nairobi for two days and visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Kalama Conservancy and the Lewa Conservancy.
Where They’ll Stay
Dubai – Moevenpick Hotel Apartments
Nairobi – Boma Hotel Nairobi
Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Ol Pejeta Sweet Water Tented Camp
Samburu National Reserve – Samburu Intrepids Camp
Kalama Conservancy – Samburu Saruni
Mara North Conservancy – Kichwa Tembo Camp & The Bateleur Camp
Masai Mara National Reserve – Governors Tented Camp
Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.
Nairobi is Africa’s 4th largest city and is a vibrant and exciting place and although it has developed a reputation which keeps tourist visits brief there are some fascinating attractions: its café culture, unbridled nightlife, the National Museum, the Karen Blixen Museum and most notably just 20 minutes from the city centre wild lions and buffalo roam in the world’s only urban game reserve.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Resting at the foothills of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountain Range, in central Kenya’s Laikipia County, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is also home to the last three remaining northern white rhino in the world.
Originally a working cattle ranch in colonial Kenya and now a pioneering wildlife conservancy, Ol Pejeta works to protect wildlife and provide a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees. The Conservancy is a popular safari destination and is home to the renowned ‘Big Five’ as well as a wide selection of other African animals including: zebra, giraffe, hippo, cheetah, jackal, serval, hyena, vervet monkey and many more. Visitors can enjoy an assortment of outdoor activities such as horse rides, game walks, and nocturnal game drives.
Samburu National Reserve
Samburu is remote, hot and arid with rugged hills and undulating plains. And like most wildlife areas in such environments Samburu’s life blood is the Ewaso Ngiro River, and its riverine forests, which forms its boundary with the Buffalo Springs National Park. This is one of the few areas in Kenya where you can spot southern and northern dwelling species together with highlights being reticulated giraffe, the long necked gerenuk, Somali ostrich and Grevy’s Zebra.
Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy, an exclusive and collectively-owned 95,000 hectare-large wildlife Conservancy, borders the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya. It also borders Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch to the west, Namunyak Community Conservation Trust to the north and Sera Community Wildlife Conservation to the north east. The Samburu ecosystem is a well-known area in central Kenya comprising of Buffalo Springs National Reserve, Samburu National Reserve and Kalama Conservancy. The natural environment is arid and semi-arid; open scrub and grasslands with significant environmental variation based on altitude. Highlands of the Leroghi Plateau (Ldonyo) are relatively cool and well-watered. Lowlands (Lpurkel) are quite dry and hot, semi-desert. The area is home to the ‘Samburu Special Five’ – indigenous species only found in this area namely the Beisa oryx, the gerenuk, the Somali ostrich, the Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe. Guests visiting this pristine conservancy can encounter the abundant wildlife away from the crowds and uninterrupted by other vehicles as only the lodges and camps situated in the conservancy have the right to game drive in this area.
Mara North Conservancy
Situated in southwest Kenya, the Mara North Conservancy is a beautiful private wilderness area spanning more than 30 000 hectares. It is home to a spectacular array of plants, reptiles, birds and mammals; including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and large concentrations of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other migratory wildlife. Neighbouring the well-known Maasai Mara National Reserve, this conservancy is vital for sustaining the famous Serengeti wildebeest migrations as well as the highly threatened African wild dog and black rhino.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The Masai Mara together with Tanzania’s Serengeti form Africa’s most famous wildlife park, the Masai Mara National Reserve. The image of acacia trees dotting endless grass plains epitomises Africa for many, then add a Maasai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further.
The undeniable highlight of the Masai Mara National Reserve is undoubtedly the annual wildebeest migration traversing the vast plains of the Serengeti and the Masai Mara. It is known as the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. Large prides of lions, elephants, giraffes, gazelles and eland can also be spotted in the reserve. Aside from horse riding safaris and traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.