Western Kenya Eco Tourism and Cultural Safari NH02

13 Days From £0 (2,964 USD)

Explore Kenya off the beaten track by heading west for this wildlife and cultural safari of relatively unknown Western Kenya. This is a lodge based safari.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Private Tour
Start Location: Nairobi, Kenya
End Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Accommodation: Lodges and hotels
Period: All Year Round
Difficulty: Suitable for Most Travelers

About The Operator

Accreditations: Members of KATO (Kenya Association of Tour Operators
Years In Business: 1

Tour Highlights

Lake Naivasha is the highest of all the Rift Valley Lakes at 1880 m above sea level. Being a fresh water lake, it has the greatest number of residents living on its shore. It has become the centre of the booming horticultural export business which is one of Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner. This area is a birdwatcher's paradise with over 450 species of recorded birds in the area, which are attracted by the yellow-barked acacia trees and blue water lilies. A small islet on the lake is home to a number of wildlife. Visitors can enjoy a boat ride safari as they view wildlife and birds from the tranquil lake. A private ranch (Kongoni Game Sanctuary) is located in the area which is a home to lions, leopards, cheetah and some translocated Gravy’s zebras.

Lake Nakuru National Park is a sea of flaming pink as far as the eye can see. These millions of flamingoes are always seeking for their food in the salty deep green waters of Lake Nakuru. The protected area is primarily for birds of which 400 to 500 species can be found here including cormorants and pelicans. Visitors to Lake Nakuru National Park are also sure to catch a glimpse of Thomson gazelles, impala, waterbucks, giraffes, and buffalos, white and black rhino as well as baboons.

There are only two fresh water Lakes in the Rift Valley and Lake Baringo is one of them, surrounded by large arid plains it looks like an oasis in a desert. The lake is also an ornithologist’s paradise since the lake is houses over 450 species of birds including the largest of the heron species, called the goliath heron. Birds are attracted here because it is filled up with a variety of rare fish species. Hippos and crocodiles also find the ecosystem favorable along the shores of the lake. The rock hyrax is another animal that you cannot go without seeing. Also, nearby is a spectacular hot spring which attracts large numbers of visitors annually.

The Kakamega forest is the only remnant in Kenya of the once great tropical rainforest that stretched across Central Africa. It is now famous for being the home to over 330 recorded species of birds, insects, monkeys, snakes and other mammals, as well as a diversity of tree species. Amongst the massive trees, you will find natural streams, colorful butterflies and a bunch of chattering monkeys. The forest is famously known as an important birding area. The most suitable time of the year for bird watching is after the heavy rains when many birds are in breeding and also in the mid morning and late afternoon when the birds are out looking for food. Species of birds such as the flycatcher, chestnut, wattle-eye, cuckoo-shrike, honey guide, black-billed turacos, and the bee-eater are common inhabitants of the forest.

Simbi Nyaima: Simbi Nyaima means the village that sank. Simbi Nyaima is actually a crater lake a few kilometers from the shores of Lake Victoria. The Luo attach great importance to the site because of the legendary story. It is said that the people of Simbi were celebrating their success at the chief’s home. An old woman appeared at the scene looking for shelter and food. But the chief threatened to beat her up if she stayed. She was forced to leave and one lady sympathized with her and gave her food and a warm bath. She advised the kind lady to leave the village with all her children and husband. No sooner had they left than a heavy storm swept the whole village and it sank. The locals believe it happened in the olden days.

Kericho. This town takes its name from the Maasai chief Ole Kericho, who was killed by the Gusii people in the 18th century. Kericho is the tea capital of western Kenya. Kenya is the world's 3rd largest tea exporter (after India and Sri Lanka), while tea accounts for 20-30% of the country’s export income. The town is surrounded by acres of rolling green tea plantations. The bushes are picked on a rotational basis and each bush is picked every 14 days, usually by the same workers and recently the use of tea picking machines was introduced. Good hand tea pickers can collect up to 80kg of leaves a day. A great optional activity here is the tea plantation walk where you are guided around a plantation and given information on all facets of tea growing and picking. The people in this area are predominantly of the Kalenjin tribe.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
- Full board accommodation in lodges or camps depending on your preference
- Transport in a private safari minivan with open roof for better game viewing and photography
- All park entry fees and game drives
- Flying doctors evacuation insurance
- Services of a professional English-speaking tour guide/driver
- Picnic lunches as indicated in itinerary
- Applicable government taxes and levies

Excludes
- All items of personal nature e.g. telephone call bills, fax / email bills etc.
- Any extra excursions
- Tips and gratuities to hotel staff and driver-guide
- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
- Personal travel insurance
- Baggage handling and loss, damage or excess luggage
- Any local or international flight and departure taxes
- Laundry services
- Personal travel insurance
- Any other item not included in our itinerary including extra excursions

Prices per person - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Arrive Nairobi Arrive in Nairobi and be transferred to Nairobi Serena Hotel. A pre departure group meeting will be scheduled with your tour leader. You will then go for Nairobi City Excursion. You will have lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant and dinner at the Nairobi Serena Hotel.
Day 02. Nairobi – Lake Naivasha We head out in the morning after breakfast and drive through the rich Kikuyu farmland to the edge of the Rift Valley. We then ascend the escarpment and drive via Great Rift Valley view point stopping along the way for photographs. You will continue driving towards one of the Great Rift Valley fresh water lakes and at lunch time you will stop at the Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge or lunch. The afternoon will be full of Site seeing around the lake including a visit to the Hell's Gate.
Day 03. Crater Lake Walk After breakfast at 7.00am you will be picked up by our driver at 8.00am. The road to the Crater Lake takes you out of Naivasha and along road down the edge of Lake Naivasha, passing by huge greenhouses where roses and other flowers are grown for the export market. You will arrive at the Crater Lake by mid-morning and begin your game walk. The Crater Lake was formed by volcanic activity. On its shores, you can get up close to giraffes and many varieties of antelope. The guides will answer questions about the animals and point out quaint rocks formed by volcanic activity. At noon you will be taken for lunch to Fisherman's Camp about 20 minutes back down the road toward Naivasha town. This is a lovely game-viewing camp on the shore of Lake Naivasha which has a large resident bird population including the Ibis, Lovebirds, Fish Eagle and Hoopoe, as well as the Black and White Colobus monkey. After lunch you will have some free time. You could sit back at the campsite bar and enjoy a cold drink and a game of pool or participate in some optional activities, like cycling around the village, or hire a small power boat for a trip out on the lake.
Day 04. Lake Naivasha – Nakuru Town After breakfast, depart Naivasha at 9.00am for the Lake Elementaita viewpoint, and then continue into Nakuru. Once checked into the Merica hotel, you will have lunch and then explore the town of Nakuru. There is a great curio market in town, so you will be free to wander around the market and sample local snacks). In the early afternoon, you will be driven to Menengai Crater just 30 minutes away by a bumpy road. The crater's rim is located 2490m above sea level, offering panoramic views of both Lake Nakuru and Lake Bogoria. You can spend as little or as long as you like at the crater before heading back towards Nakuru.
Day 05. Lake Nakuru National Park We will be up early and leave the hotel at around 7.00am so we can arrive at the park's entrance by 7.30am. We will game drive looking for the elusive leopard before enjoying a brunch in the park. We will then continue on in search of black and white rhino, lion, buffalo, impala, Thompson gazelle and warthog. The Nakuru National park is famous for its introduced Rothschild giraffe and a sizeable leopard population, not to mention possibly the most incredible bird spectacle on the planet, the massive numbers of greater and lesser flamingo.
Day 06. Lake Nakuru National Park – Lake Bogoria National Reserve – Lake Baringo After an early breakfast, you will check out from the hotel at 7.30am. You will be driven to Lake Baringo which is famous for abundant bird life. More than 500 of Kenya’s recorded 1300 bird species have been sighted here. The lake also contains crocodile and hippo. Before you reach Baringo, you will stop at Lake Bogoria at around 9.00am. A local guide will show you around for a couple of hours. Bogoria is a popular stopover for its hot, warm and cold geyser springs, which was formed due to volcanic activities. You will have a picnic lunch at noon and then continue on to Lake Baringo, arriving at 2.30pm.
Day 07. Lake Baringo - Kakamega Rainforest After an early breakfast at 6.30am, we board the vehicle and drive towards the western part of the country through the town of Kitale town, enjoying a picnic lunch en-route. We will arrive at Kakamega forest at 2.00 – 3.00pm. Kakamega is a virgin tropical rainforest. It is home to a huge variety of birds (more than 300 species recorded). Casqued hornbills and Ross’s turacos and Great Blue turacos are all found here. It is the only place apart from Mt Elgon where the rare De Brazza’s monkey can be observed. Other monkey species found here are the Blue monkey, red-tailed monkey, the black and white Colobus, butterfly monkey and the blue monkey. At 4.00pm we will go for a guided evening walk. At 6.00pm you will have returned to the campsite for dinner.
Day 08. Kakamega Rainforest Breakfast will be at 6.30am. You will then enjoy a morning walk in the rainforest accompanied by the ranger/guide, returning to camp at 10.00am. After lunch you have the opportunity to relax or check out the many other walks in the rainforest. You will have the afternoon at leisure.
Day 09. Kakamega Rainforest – Kisumu City Breakfast will be at 7.00am. You still have time for another morning walk in the forest with the ranger/guide until 10.00am, or just relax at the campsite. We then pack up and drive to the third largest city in Kenya, Kisumu. Arriving at noon, we start exploring the city. Kisumu is an important port on the shore of Lake Victoria, the third biggest freshwater lake in the world. The group will have time to walk along the shore and sample local food, such as Nyama Choma (roasted meat), Kuku Choma (roasted chicken), and Fish Choma (roasted fish). This area is home to the second largest tribe in the country, the Luo.
Day 10. Kisumu – Kit Mikaye – Maseno Equator Line – Simbi Nyaima – Kendu Bay Breakfast will be at 7.00 am. Depart the hotel at 8.00am and head deep into the more traditional side of Kenya. You will visit the legendary Stone (“Kit Mikaye”). This big rock, sacred to the locals has a unique shape. The locals believe the stone to be a blessing to them, as it is said to be able to cure many diseases. Mothers who have problems breastfeeding are regular worshippers. After about 2 hours at this landmark, you will then travel to Maseno for you to have a picture on the equator line and feel the heat on the equator. You will then return to Kisumu for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to the southern part of Lake Victoria and visit the picturesque village of Kendu bay. On the way to Kendu Bay, you will visit the newly built Sondu Miriu Electric Power Project on Odino Falls Dam. You will then proceed to Kendu Bay and visit Simbi Nyaima Crater where you will find an alkaline crater lake with flamingos eating the algae on it. The water at this lake is not fit for human consumption, although it is a few meters away from the fresh waters of Lake Victoria.
Day 11. Kendu Bay – Pala Village Breakfast will be at 8.00am, followed by a 9.00am departure to Pala village. Here you will visit the local school and homestead. This is your chance to experience the ‘real life’ side of Africa. Feel free to wander amongst the villagers and take in the surrounding rural scenes. Try and strike up a conversation with the locals and enjoy their hospitality. Visit the hot springs of Pala and try to boil eggs at the hot springs which you will be supplied with on this trip, you will also have a walk on the hot springs to feel the heat. Lunch will be at Homa Hills, which is a Norwegian community based development project. Overnight and dinner at a genuine African homestead or alternatively you will be accommodated at the Norwegian HHCDO. Enjoy a home-made meal and see firsthand how the Luo tribesmen live.
Day 12. Pala Village – Kisii – Kericho Breakfast at 7.00am. We then pack our bags and will be driven to Kisii, the land of great coffee and tea farming. Kisii is the center of the region known as the Gusii Highlands, home of the Gusii people. The Gusii people number approx. 1.2 million and are a Bantu-speaking people. Lunch will be at Kisii Hotel. You will arrive in Kisii early afternoon, and then Visit the Tabaka Soap stone Industry then continue to Kericho.
Day 13. Kericho – Nairobi After breakfast, your group will depart the Kericho hotel at 9.00am and proceed to Nairobi. You will enjoy a buffet lunch en-route in Naivasha. After lunch you will continue to Nairobi, arriving late afternoon. You are free to depart this evening.