Day1;Nairobi to Lake Nakuru National Park;Nakuru is arguably the most renowned among Kenya's Rift Valley lakes and one of the best known African parks in all the world, with its alkaline waters fringed at times by more than one million flamingos. American ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson, who pioneered modern environmentalism, defined it as "the greatest bird spectacle on earth", and the sentence has been used as a catchphrase ever since. Sadly, things are no longer like Peterson saw them, since human pressure is very much felt by the lake
ecosystem and the huge flocks of birds are slowly but surely diminishing or fleeing to other more unspoilt soda lakes.
The park was gazetted in 1968, but since 1961 there was a bird sanctuary at the lake's south sector. With the support of the World Wildlife Fund, Kenya's Government launched a scheme to purchase the adjacent grounds in order to widen the protected area. In 1964 the sanctuary included the whole lake, with an area that fluctuates from 5 to 40 km², in addition to a shore strip. Since its gazetting as a national park, both authorities and conservation organisations have kept on winning the battle to private property and human settlings, further broadening the park limits in 1968 and 1974 to its current extension of 188 km².
But yet there is one threat the lake can't get rid of, and this is the populous and industrial Nakuru town, which lies only 4 km from the park. After Nairobi National Park, this is the second most accessible reserve in Kenya, since Nakuru is the fourth largest city in the country and the headtown of the Rift Valley. Therefore the park is one of the most visited both by Kenyans and foreigners, receiving huge numbers of visitors that peaked in 2007 with 346,800, according to the ministry of tourism. This is the reason why usually the park is heavily crowded and the sensation it delivers is more of a safari park than of the real wild Africa.
Day2;Lake Nakuru to Maasai Mara;
Whenever you think of Kenya and you've never been there before, what you're thinking about is Masai Mara (also spelled Maasai Mara). This is THE park of parks in Kenya. Its grass-carpeted smooth rolling hills, the chocolate waters of the Mara boiling with frolicking hippos, and the teeming wildlife, all of it fulfills the expectations of any visitor longing for the African landscapes portraited in "Out of Africa" or "Mogambo".
Except for particular tastes or special requirements, this is the park on top of the 'must' list in the country: no trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit to Masai Mara. It's true that some animals like leopards and rhinos may not be easily found, at least by one's self, and that keen birders may quell their thirst better elsewhere. However, leopards and rhinos are well represented, and with more than 450 bird species, the reserve should not be envious of Samburu or the great Kenyan bird sanctuaries. Albeit, in an area only slightly smaller than the State of Rhode Island and with a diverse ecogeography, getting lost is far easier than spotting a leopard or a particular bird species in its numerous wooded areas.
The reserve, gazetted in 1961, is located west of the Rift Valley and is a natural extension of the Serengeti plains, in Tanzania. The Mara river, the reserve's backbone, travels north to south heading for its westbound way unto lake Victoria, through the Tanzanian park. This course is the natural barrier crossed every year by the large migratory herds of wildebeests and zebras that trek across the two parks. More than one million wildebeests and 200,000 zebras move in a quest for the best pastures, stomping into crocodile-infested riverbanks along their way. When the herds wade across the stream, many animals die trampled or drowned, and their foul-smelling carcasses attract a crowd of vultures and other scavengers that feast on the decaying remains as if there was no tomorrow. From July to October, Masai Mara is in its full wild glory.
The reserve's location and elevation, above 1,500 m, provide a climate that is milder and damper than in other regions. The grassy landscape and the nutrient wealth for the great herds are mantained by the abundant rains, which here last from November through June, merging the two rain seasons (long and short) typical in other areas of the country. Still, even off-season you may get caught by flash showers, and night storms are frequent.
Day3;Full Day Maasai Mara;
The wildlife of the Masai Mara game reserve is plentiful throughout the year but is especially prolific during the dry season, July through October. Masai Mara tour drives are best taken at dawn and dusk since this is when nocturnal and diurnal animals can be seen and wildlife is most active and most visible. Sunrise is an especially busy time when one is more
likely to see a predator kill. The animals make use of the cooler times of day to move around and then seek out shade to siesta through the hotter midday hours when the sun beats down unmercifully on the African savannah. Predators are well represented in the Masai Mara national park with cheetah, leopard and the black manned lion that is found in the area
between the Mara River and Oloololo Escarpment. The Mara has the largest lion population in Kenya which means that the chance...
Day4;Maasai Mara past Lake Victoria to Kakamega Forest;
Day5;Full Day Forest Nature Walk;Kakamega Forest National Reserve is the only tropical rainforest in Kenya, left over from past millenia when dense rain forest stretched from West Africa, across Central Africa and into the highland areas on the west and eastern walls of the Great Rift Valley.
The forest has been a protected area of Kenya since its vital role in the eco-system was first recognised in 1933.
The sheer size and grandeur of these rainforest trees, some over a hundred years old, is impressive. The trees create a complete environment for the birds, insects, butterflies and wildlife, so plentiful in the area.
The forest includes some of Africa's greatest hard
and soft woods: Elgon teak, red and white stink woods and several varieties of Croton and Aniageria Altisima. Splendid orchids sit amongst the branches of the larger trees. Walking beneath the lush forest canopy the deep shade is pierced by flashes of colour, exotic birdcalls, the scents of wood, flower and moss. The best time to visit is during the rainy season, April to July, when the flowers are at their most beautiful.
There are 7 kilometers of trails with a team of ranger guides to escort visitors through the forest. The walk to Buyango Hill, the highest point in the forest, is a must for visitors.
The indigenous trees lining the trails are identified on signs with their local and latin names.
The Reserve is twice the size of Nairobi National Park with 380 species of plants spread in swamps, riverine and hardwood forest areas, glades and the shallow forest around the edge of the reserve. 350 species of bird have been recorded including rare snake-eating birds. Butterflies and snakes normally only found in West Africa can also be seen, although visitors need have no concern about meeting them round every corner. Forest mammals include bushpig, grey duiker, civet, Sunni, clawless otters and some fascinating nocturnal game: Ground Pangolin, porcupines and the occasional leopard.
Kakamega offers excellent primate viewing: Black and White Colobus are plentiful and the De Brazza Monkeys (known as 'Karasinga' in Swahili, thanks to its distinctive white beard) can be found in the adjacent Kisere forest area. Many rare species of primate are common here such as the Blue Monkey, frequently seen near the Ishiuki Falls, the Olive Baboon and the Red Tailed Monkey.
Day6;Kakamega Forest to Jinja Uganda;
Day7;Full Day River Nile Exprore;The Nile leaves Lake Nyanza (Victoria) at Ripon falls near Jinja uganda, as the victoria nile. It flows north for some 130 kilometers
(81 mi), to lake kyoga. The last part of the approximately
200 kilometers (120 mi) river section starts from the western shores of the lake and flows at first to the west until just south of masindi, where the river turns north, then makes a great half circle to the east and north until karuma falls. For the remaining part it flows merely westernly through the Murchison Falls until it reaches the very northern shores of Lake Albert where it forms a significant river delta. The lake it self is on the border of DR.congo but the Nile is not a border river at this point. After leaving Lake Albert, the river continues north through Uganda and is known as the albert nile.
Day8;Jija Uganda to Kericho Tea Farms Kenya
Kericho is home to the world's single largest tea plantation and is home to the first human Kenyaphiticus situated at Fortenan, believed to be the dispersal site for the Kale speaking Kalenjin sub tribes.Other sites include Bagao Caves, Reresik, Kipsigis Museum at Kapkatet and Chebulu.
Kipsigis and the Kalenjin have developed many excellent professional athletes. They include Kipchoge Keino, one of many athletes that have brought great victory during World Athletic Competitions.
A favorite local meal is Maize meal(kimyet), enjoyed with vegetables and beef. An almost constant accompaniment is a glass of sour milk locally known as Mursik. Tea is also widely consumed in the district, taken three times a day; at dawn, at mid-morning and at four o'clock. Tea after the evening meal is also common.
The origin of the town's name has not been established. One theory is that it was home to the region's first public hospital, built by the British at the dawn of the 20th century. Medicine in the local Kipsigis language is referred to as Kerichek. Another theory is that the town was originally home of a medicine man named KipKerich.
ocated 20 kilometers west of Kericho in Kenya’s rift valley highlands are some of the world’s largest tea estates. The vast, well-tended and lush green tea farms are only interrupted by indigenous and eucalyptus forests, well marked tarmac roads and paved foot paths.
The scene is a complete contrast from the cacophony of endless noise, cars and concrete that is Kericho town, a city of 150,000 located 400 kilometers from the East African country’s capital Nairobi.
Here the air changes from cold to cool with a quiet, calm atmosphere, capturing the orderly environment that is complemented by the breathtaking landscape that completes the picture at the James Finlay Tea Estate.
The estate covers 10,000 hectares and produces 30 million kilos of tea annually. It is one of the biggest tea establishments in the White Highlands. Kericho is home to the Kenya Tea Development Authority and headquarters of Kenya’s large-scale tea farming operations that include Finlay, Williamson and Unilever. It is a region known worldwide for its production of high quality black tea prized for its brightness, appealing color, brisk flavor and fragrant leaves.
“Here we practice sustainable agricultural practices that include soil and water conservation and taking care of the environment, and as such a large part of our land is both indigenous and exotic forests,” says Jane Ndirangu, James Finlay Kenya social responsibility liaison manager.
The valleys of this estate stretch as far as the eye can see. Large tracts of the estate are covered by a canopy of age-old indigenous forests with some hilly, elevated parts under eucalyptus plantations, providing a beautiful landscape. From above the tea plantations look like lawns when viewed against a background of forests (satellite photo at right). The estate has 1,500 hectares of indigenous forests and 2,500 hectares of eucalyptus trees and is self-sufficient with sustainable timber.
“The eucalyptus trees feed into our forestry business that meets the local community’s wood and timber needs, with a portion of being used by our factory for processing” adds Jane.- See more at: http://www.worldteanews.com/profiles/james-finlays-kericho-kenya#sthash.xZgB7l9v.dpuf
Day9Kericho Tea Farms to Nairobi;
Note; this itinerary can operate as either, luxury lodge safari or budget camping safari-please enquire;