If you are traveling to Africa, it is important to make arrangements ahead of time, but if you do not, it is also possible to get a company like Lokenjen to tailor make a safari that suits you. They did the same for my husband and I. A 3 days/ 2 nights safari to Masai Mara National Reserve. The company is run by a married couple Monique and Augustino. Monique manages the office, while Augustino and his team run the safaris.
I got in touch with them through my agent in Uganda, Robert of Cheetah Safaris Uganda Ltd. Within a week of contacting them, they had put together a decent safari package for 3 days/ 2 nights for under $700 per person, excluding park entrance fees. Our package was full board; it included all meals, accommodation, transport to and from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Monique was very good at communicating and making all the last minute changes I requested. We flew in from Entebbe in Uganda on an early morning flight to Nairobi where we were met by Augustino and our guide Bernard. After a briefing and allowing us to settle our bill on arrival, Augustino sent us off on our safari with Bernard.
For the entire journey, Bernard took good care of us,answering all questions we asked and volunteering information he thought we needed. He was gentle, respectful and calm under difficult situations, especially the bad road from the highway through the park to our accommodation. In all, we had a great experience.
I highly recommend using them if you plan a safari to Kenya or Tanzania.
Their contact information:
Lokenjen Tailor Made Adventures
www.lokenjen.info and www.facebook.com/lokenjen
The Safaris to the Mara always includes a stop at the Masai Village which I, highly recommend if you take a trip there). The Masai have such a rich culture that has stood the test of time. Their ancestry originating from 'the cradle of mankind" also known as the Great Rift Valley that crosses through the 3 major East African countries (Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania). The Masai are one of the best-known African tribes although not as politically powerful as the Luo or Kikuyu (despite the Masai being dominant in some respects due to their warrior caste and effective organization). But that is because they prefer to keep their heritages, culture and roots in the more traditional and peaceful ways. They are one of Kenya's tourist attractions as a matter of fact (if you have seen advertisements on African safaris, many times you have a Masai warrior standing right there or racing with a Lion or some crazy stuff like that. They are synonymous with the image of Kenya/Africa.
You will definitely recognize the Masai because they have such a distinctive appearance with their warriors covered in ochre and always holding their spear and wearing bright blood-red shoulder cloaks also known as shuka in Swahili. Their women always wear bangles and strings of colored beads around their neck; both men and women actually wear the beads: Both men and women have pierced ears with huge lobes holding huge metal ear rings. Some of the men will normally have reddish hair - that is because they put a red paste called ochre on their head - part of a tradition from time immemorial, their ancestry. Because they are hunters, the Masai are known to cross the Mara plains with no fear of the wild animals, especially lions.
Some of their clothes are actually mad of lion manes, ostrich feathers and even eagle feathers (the African eagle I must say is not an easy bird to hunt down), you must be a warrior! The Masai have some of the most colorful traditional ceremonies and during these ceremonies to see a culture so rich, and so ancient. I bet you the white man has tried to tell them their culture is wrong or uncouth etc - I guess they failed because the Masai still stand tall (no offense meant to anyone).
Kenya's treasure, and adventurer's travel destination, wilderness adventure.The Masai Mara national Reserve is a world renowned wildlife sanctuary and of recent been considered a wonder in the world because of it's unbelievable Wildebeest Migration. The Wildebeests migrate every year between June and September from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara and back, it is a sight to behold. The Mara reserve is a huge expanse of grassland with undulating hills and acacia woodlands. At the Maasai Mara you are certain to see the BIG FIVE - Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard. of course my husband and I did not see the leopard, we needed more time to be able to see it.
We certainly saw the big four and were excited about it. We look forward to seeing the leopard sometime in the future.
Tsavo East is one of the Kenyan national parks most accessible to tourists who spend time at the coast and want to get a taste of safari as well - Voi, the town where the main gate to the NP is located, is about 150 km away from Mombasa which means you can get to the park in 2.5 - 3 hours aproximately. No wonder the minibusses are lining up at the gate. Given the sheer size of the park, however, it rarely feels crowded (unless it´s late afternoon and dozen of safari operators take a ride to the same elephant swamp). If you have your own transport and skip lunch at your camp or lodge, you can explore farther and not only enjoy a bigger variety of landscape, but will see far less people around.
Tsavo is elephant country - there are a number of big families, and there is a good chance to spot a lot of other wildlofe, too.
The Rift Valley is an area extending from the Red Sea down into Tanzania of a lowland valley created by the slow plate tetonic movement of the eastern part of Africa away from the rest of the continent. The rift valley creates the large grasslands that are the largest national parks in Kenya.
January 1933, he is at 10,000ft on the side of Mt KENYA, looking for a bongo in the bamboo forest. It was freezing on the equat. The bamboo trunks were full of fresh clean water. As he could not hunt a bongo, he heads for Northern Guaso Nyiro River. He gets fever and dysentry and moves to MERU. He is transported to NANYUKI and flown to Nairobi Hospital and told that he has malaria and dysentry. After 3 weeks in hospital, he was back at the bamboo forest, looking for bongo, getting two!
Bamburi is the largest touristy complex at the North Coast of Mombasa, there are number of hotels here, one after another, all over to Shanzu. Bamburi sand beach is several kilometres long and could be perfect resort for the family oriented visitors. The sea-water is pretty clean but unfortunatelly very shallow. The deep water, for real swimming, starts only after passing coral rif, which is around one kilometer far from the shore.
Great majority of Kenyans aren't able to swimm but they like to enjoy in the water font using pneumatic tyres.
"The mission of Lipi-Adventure is to help you in planning a life-time experience. We are not here to simply sell you the highest-priced packaged trip. Rather, we want to know your expectations and preferences and we want to help you craft an itinerary that will be truly YOU."
After reading the above statement from the website of Lipi Adventure, i was convinced to go back with Lipi Adventure again for my safari to Northern circuit of Tanzania
Yes, here we are! We didn't forget about you. We had a fantastic safari 3 weeks ago. We saw so many beautiful animals, and so up close! Cosmas, you will probably remember me (Jacob) closing the roof for a few lions that passed by the jeep ;-) Yes, I know they don't come in the car, but you'll never know! Haha.
We booked our safari only one week before we came to Tanzania. The communication through email went very fast. Maybe to fast sometimes;-) , but Hussein is a very dedicated travelagent who really wants you to have a good time.
Cosmas was a very good driver, kind, funny, honest and he could tell a lot about the animals and the enviroment. We had a great time, thank you again!
We will certainly recommend lipi adventures and especially the driver Cosmas.
Jesco and Lewis, the Netherlands
The Lamu archipelago offers a chance to get a close glance at the traditional Swahili culture, a mix of arab and african influence. While there is a strong muslim culture and you will see many women wearing veils and black bubus, there is also a climate of tolerance - gay travellers are usually harassed far less than in other places in Kenya, at least as long as they behave not too "obvious" - and then, displays of passion among straight couples would be frowned upon on Lamu as well. Zanzibar´s Stone town might be the place to attract more visitors, and while it is bigger, in my opioion Lamu has preserved more of the old style - after all, there are no cars, donkeys and boats being the main means of transport around the islands. There is a bit for everyone on Lamu, from simple backpacker guesthouses to the splendid villas of aristocrats and celebs who discovered Lamu as a place to relax on the jet set circuit.
Gawd.. you are charging around a bit. You will be on the road most of the time with hardly any time to see animals.
Let me explain a bit. Amboseli is amazing for elephant. It's a swampland with good grazing. You can see lechwe (antelope) plenty of birds and small wildlife. Tsavo west is good at Kilaguni Lodge. The lodge is fantastic and if you care to, you can go on a wildlife walk on foot and discover the tracks of the animals. Nairobi has the Nairobi National Park which is basically a day trip. You can see everything (if you are lucky) except elephant. Lake Bogoria is good for flamingos, Stella Sea Eagles and the hot springs. Sweetwaters is a tented camp with amazing birds and if you are lucky, the pygmy mongooses will visit your tent. HOWEVER do NOT leave food in the tents as monkeys will break in and trash your belongings. Nakuru is my favourite park of all. Flamingos around the lake edge like cherry blossom. I spent several brilliant weekends there, easy to find rhino, lion, baboons, cheetahs, all birds and ungulates.
The Masaai Mara is amazing. Be prepared to wear warm clothing for the early morning game drives, it can be very chilly in the wind. You may just catch the last of the big migration. If you are staying at the Mara Serena, say hello to Paul and Gladys, our guides this past November. Do NOT leave your windows open as baboons like to visit you after breakfast!
Listen to the lions roaring, the hyenas laughing and the zebra in the night. Life goes on as you sleep.
I wish you well and an amazing time. If you get the chance, look up at the stars in the Mara, they are so big and bright.
If you need a contact in the future for resident trips, let me know. I lived there for 3 years and have posted lots of tips on my pages.
Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya. The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area (average 350 mm (14 in)) one of the best widlife-viewing experiences in the world. The park protects two of the five main swamps, and includes a dried-up Pleistocene lake and semi-arid vegetation.
Elephants Grazing in Amboseli swamps, north of Kilimanjaro260 kilometres (160 mi) from the capital city Nairobi, Amboseli National Park is the third most visited game area in Kenya after Maasai Mara National Reserve and Nakuru National Park and the visit can easily be done in a weekend.
In 1883, Joseph Thompson was the first European to penetrate the feared Maasai region known as Empusel (meaning 'salty, dusty place' in Maa). He, too, was astonished by the fantastic array of wildlife and the contrast between the arid areas of the dry-lake bed and the oasis of the swamps, a contrast that persists today.
Amboseli was set aside as the 'Southern Reserve' for Maasai in 1906 but returned to local control as a Game Reserve in 1948. Gazetted a National Park in 1974 in order to protect the core this unique ecosystem, it was declared a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1991. The park earned $ 3.5 m (€ 2.9 m) in 2005. On September 29, 2005, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki declared that control of the park should pass from the Kenya Wildlife Service to the Olkejuado County Council and the Maasai tribe. Some observers saw this as a political favor in advance of a vote on a new Kenyan constitution: legal challenges are currently in court. The degazetting would divert park admission fees directly to the County Council with questionable spread of benefits to the Maasai immediately surrounding the park. It would set an unfortunate precedent that could jeopardise the status of other parks in Kenya.
The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
There is a small airport in Amboseli, the Amboseli Airport (HKAM).
Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 7,065 square kilometres. The A109 road Nairobi-Mombasa and a railway divides the park into east and west. The western part is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential and guided walks along the Tsavo River. The park is operated by Kenya Wildlife Service.
Lake Nakuru is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. It lies to the south of Nakuru, in central Kenya and is protected by a small Lake Nakuru National Park.
Flamingo are feeding at Lake NakuruThe lake's abundance of algae attracts the vast quantity of flamingos that famously lines the shore.
Other birds also flourish in the area, as do warthogs, baboons and other large mammals. Black and White rhinos have also been introduced.
The lake's level dropped dramatically in the early 1990s but has since largely recovered.
Nakuru means "Dust or Dusty Place" in Maasai language. Lake Nakuru National Park, close to Nakuru town, was established in 1961. It started off small, only encompassing the famous lake and the surrounding mountainous vicinity. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the savannahs.
Mount Kilimanjaro might be on the other side of the Tanzanian border, but visitors of Amboseli national park are actually at a closer range to it than visitors of the Serengeti, and can hope for stunning views in the mornings and late afternoons especially. Of course everyone craves for THE shot of an East African safari, a group of elephants against the majestic mountain. Alas, the elephants are not aleays conveniently around when you have a mountain view, but it should not be a problem to have some zebras, antelopes or wildebeest at the right spot
Tsavo East and West together form Kenya´s biggest wildlife bark - together they have about the size of Israel. As the landscape is not as flat as in Amboseli and there is more vegetations, spotting the animals can be a bit more difficult than there - but don´t worry, you´ll see plenty of wildlife! Besides, there are different landscapes - volcanic rocks, plains, bushland, and with a bit of luck you will see the "big five". Though rhino spotting can be tricky even in the rhino sanctuary. Like in other parks you will need a smart card to get access, but you can upload it at the main gate in Mtito Andei
The Nairobi Serena is a top quality hotel and our stay was excellant. The staff were polite and...more
After driving through dusty, bumpy roads for hours from Nairobi into the Rift Valley, we arrive at...more
Quite a long way out of Mombasa to the North, this is said to be one of the best hotels on the coast...more
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