Kenya: Wild and Luxurious
Kenya is a country the size of Texas, straddling the Equator, which holds the greatest variety of geography, fauna and flora on earth. Habitat ranges from the year round snowcapped peaks of Mt Kenya, at 17,000 feet, through tropical forest, vast fertile plains, the spectacular Great Rift Valley, arid deserts, plentiful rivers and a spectacular coastline. This, coupled with plentiful wildlife, birdlife, and the still colorful ethnic traditional people, make it a must to visit. Kenya’s main parks are well known: Amboselli, Tsavo, Samburu, and the Masai Mara. There are many more in which you will find few other tourists.
The famous traditional safaris of days gone by originated here in Kenya, and although the main game parks are known to be fairly crowded, it is STILL possible to get away from the beaten track, and see Africa much as it once was. Because at least 50% of Kenya’s game lives outside the Parks, safaris to private or land leased from the local peoples, which host few visitors, and where one can walk and ride horses, make a thrilling alternative.
The weather year round is superb, but the rainy seasons in April, May and November probably should be avoided. The temperature in the game viewing areas seldom gets above 90F at the hottest time of the year. The people are warm and friendly everywhere you go. We recommend flying between the destinations as the roads are very bad, and the standard of driving? Not much better!! The following illustrates a little of what is available out there off the beaten track if you know where to go.
Lewa Downs is a 55,000 acre rhino breeding sanctuary on the Northern slopes of Mt Kenya. There are several excellent places to stay there, and I was privileged to have lived there as a family for 3 months every summer while my kids were growing up, hosting groups of my clients there. I founded the Lewa 501(c)3 in the USA to enable them to move forward with their essential community development.
Rekero-Masai Mara: This unique 5 legged elephant is seen passing the home of Ron and Pauline Beaton original founders of Rekero! The camp is now located on in a quiet grove of trees on the Talek River, and your Maasai guides and hosts will steer you away from other tourists as much as is possible. The Mara, part of the giant Serengeti ecosystem, is home to more wildlife than anywhere else on earth. Here a typical day will be spent game viewing both by car and on foot, learning the bush firsthand from some of Kenya’s most knowledgeable guides.
Ol Malo – Eastern Laikipia: Colin and Rocky Francombe’s spectacular clifftop home can sleep up to 8 people, and so one lives with them enjoying their unique family atmosphere. Their property is bordered on the East by the Uaso Njiro river. Here you will spend quite a lot of time out walking, examining both the big and small things that nature has to offer. Colin has a unique relationship with the local Samburu people, and due to this, one is able to visit their unspoiled and unchanged manyattas with him.No photos can do justice to the warmth and quality of some of our “off the beaten track homes”, but these two photos give an idea of the style of construction used.
Maasai Moran – Laikipia: The Maasai, Samburu, Ndorobo, Rendille and Turkana tribes all share a linguistic bond, with subtle differences in appearance. These Nilotic peoples arrived in Eastern Africa sometime in the first centuries AD, and have been nomadic pastoralists ever since. Their culture and traditions have changed little over the centuries and one of the highlights of your safari will be to spend time amongst these people. Particularly further to the North, away from the beaten tourist tracks, you will find them unchanged, living their everyday lives as they have done for centuries. You should see this before the tide of Western trappings overtakes them for good.
Lake Turkana: This extraordinary 180 mile long lake in the far North of Kenya, known as the Jade Sea because of its startling colour, is also the Cradle of Mankind. Close to its shores Richard and Meave Leakey have unearthed 3.2 million year old hominid fossils. There are ways to make a comfortable base for interacting with the Turkana tribes people, cross the lake to explore Central Island and the fossil digs at Koobi Fora. Turkana is surrounded by hot, parched dry country, broken by volcanic activity, where ancient blackened lava flows and endless thorn trees stretch from horizon to horizon. Life here is limited to the hardiest species of wildlife and people.Returning from here leaves you with the feeling on having been on the moon.
Call us to start the planning of your safari: +1 435-649-4655 or email@example.com