6-Days Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli

Best of Mara, L. Nakuru, Amboseli wildlife-watching in natural habitat, attractions including unlimited game drive, culture and traditions, nature walks.

Maasai Mara

The world re-known Maasai Mara Game Reserve is a northern extension of the Serengeti National Park which is located in Tanzania. Maasai Mara covers an area of 1510km². The Maasai Mara ecosystem is composed of rivers i.e Talek river and the Mara River which is the main water supply for the ecosystem. The Mara river is a hurdle to the wildebeest migration as the wildebeests have to cross the river from Serengeti most of them perishing in the jaws of crocodiles and big cats. In the Western part of Maasai Mara lies the Siria escarpment, Loita plains and the rest is the Maasai pastoral land.

The Maasai Mara game reserve is owned and run by the county council of Narok which is the richest county council in Kenya due to the revenue collected as park entrance fee. Part of the Maasai Mara which is called the Mara triangle is contracted out and privately run. Park fees are paid by the number of nights one spends in the Mara Conservancy.

The Maasai Mara lies at an altitude of 1500 meters to 2100 meters. It rains twice a year in the game reserve that is during the long rains that fall for the month of March and May and during the short rains that fall in the month of October, November and part of December. June and July are the coldest months and January and February are the hottest months. Temperatures during the day rarely exceed 85°F (30°C) and during the night it hardly drops below 60°F (15°C). Maasai Mara is a mosquito-prone area but the campsite is sprayed with mosquito repellents and the tents have treated mosquito nets.

Maasai Mara has a big population of wildlife. All big five can be seen in this reserve, a large number of ungulates are also easily visible they include the wildebeest, Thomson gazelles, grant gazelles, buffalos, rhinos, impalas, topis, elands, zebras, giraffes and duikers. The common predators include lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, jackals and foxes. Maasai Mara has over 450 identified species. Some common birds include the common ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, hornbills, storks, eagles and vultures.

The wildebeest migration happens annually, this spectacle is considered as one of the 7th wonders of the world. More than a million wildebeest, accompanied by topis, zebras, gazelles and elands make their journey from Serengeti National Park to Masai Mara Game reserve. Many of them perish while crossing the Mara River where crocodiles and big cats make a kill on the vulnerable ungulates.

The migration happens every year during the month of July after the long rains. The grass is big and plenty and for the next three months, the wildebeests clear the lush grass of the Maasai Mara. The migration varies annually due to climate change. If the climate changes and it doesn’t rain as usual the wildebeest may delay to cross over or cross over and go back since there isn’t grass to feed on.

The Masai people who by definition speak the Maa language hence the name Maasai have held on to their culture even in these times of modernization. A Maasai’s home is called a manyatta where he lives with his wives and children. From childhood boys are obligated to look after their father’s cows while girls are obligated to doing house chores, fetching water and milking the cows.

After every fifteen years, there is an initiation where boys are circumcised and they become young morans and the existing morans graduate to junior elders. The Maasai enjoy eating meat, milk mixed with blood during rituals such as initiation and marriage. The use of herbs as medicine is still embedded in their day to day life. The Maasai are an attraction in Kenya since they managed to stick to their culture.

Day 1:  Nairobi – Maasai Mara. 

We depart Nairobi after breakfast, stopping at the viewpoint of the Great Rift Valley viewpoint. After checking in at our hotel we are served lunch. As the heat of the day subsides, we proceed for an evening game drive in this park. This is an extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park as an artificial border only separates the two. Dine and overnight at the camp/ lodge.

{Meals plan = Lunch, Dinner}

Day 2:  Maasai Mara –Full Day Game Drive

Early breakfast followed by a full day of game drive within the reserve. The Maasai Mara is famous for its black manned lions, elephants and buffalo that make three out of the ‘big five’ though luck is essential for spotting the other two namely park’s animal concentration and abundance is second to none. We will cater for a picnic lunch at the hippo pool where with luck you may spot crocodiles basking on the rocks.

Numerous plains game including antelopes, wildebeest, zebra and Maasai giraffe can be seen as well as scavengers like hyena and vulture. In the late afternoon (at an extra cost), go for optional activities like having a nature walk, visiting Maasai villages to see the nomadic lifestyle or swimming in the nearby lodges. Rest of meals and overnight at the camp/lodge.

{Meals plan =Breakfast, Picnic lunch, Dinner}

Day 3:  Maasai Mara – Nakuru

We start the day with a pre-breakfast morning game drive at 6:00 am. After a full breakfast, depart the Mara region for Nakuru national park. We embark on the evening game drive. Dine and overnight in WCK house/ lodge.

{Meals plan =Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner}

Lake Nakuru is one of the alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley. Lake Nakuru is also known as “Pink Lake” or Africa Bird’s Paradise. The lake is ideally located in central Kenya within Lake Nakuru National park. The park occupies an area of 188 km2 while the lake occupies an area of 62 km 2. The lake is famous for the millions of flamingos that flock to the lake although flamingos are unpredictable birds and are not always to be found in the lake in such vast numbers.

From a distance i.e. the baboon cliff, the lake looks pink in colour due to the flamingos. The topography at Lake Nakuru is comprised of grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, acacia woodlands and a forest made up of Euphorbia trees. In the early 1960s, Tilapia Grahami was introduced to the lake and it flourished despite the alkaline nature of the lake. There are two species of flamingos namely lesser flamingo and greater flamingos, they feed on algae, which flourishes due to the warm alkaline waters of Lake Nakuru.

It is believed that flamingos consume about 250,000 kg of algae per hectare of surface area per year. The abundance of algae in the lake is what attracts millions of flamingos to Lake Nakuru. Apart from flamingos, other bird species include ducks, pelicans, cormorants, plovers, vultures, eagles, and buzzards. Lake Nakuru has over 50 animal species which include hippos, reedbucks, waterbucks, Rothschild giraffe’s, baboons, black and white Columbus monkey, hyenas, cheetahs, leopards, lions, gazelles and impalas among others.

Day 4:  Nakuru – Amboseli

Start the day with a pre-breakfast morning game drive at 6:00 am. After a full breakfast, depart the Amboseli national park having lunch in Nairobi. We check-in at our camp/ lodge before embarking on the evening game drive. Dine and overnight in the camp/ lodge.

{Meals plan =Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner}

Amboseli National Park is located south of Nairobi 140 kilometres (3 ½ hrs. drive). The park occupies an area of 392 km². The ecosystem is made up of a seasonal lake called Lake Amboseli where the park derives its name from, swamps, open plains, acacia woodland, rocky outcrops, thorn bushes and marches.

The landscape is dominated by the backdrop of the majestic snow-cap of Mount Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa. The snow caps are visible when the clouds are clear mainly early morning and late evenings and this scene give one the opportunity to capture wonderful memories on camera for friends and loved ones back at home. Amboseli national park is considered Kenya second best after Maasai Mara game reserve by many tourists and is the only national park in Kenya that has the biggest population of elephants.

The ecosystem of Amboseli, though small compared to other parks, sustain a large number of bird species and game. Amboseli offers some of the best opportunities to see African animals because its vegetation is sparse due to the long dry months. The park is considered most ideal for writers, filmmakers and researchers.

The Maasai are the local habitat of this area, which they call Empusel meaning “Dusty place”. Other community tribes have moved to Amboseli in search of greener pastures. Besides game viewing and the ecstatic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, one can visit a local Maasai village to learn their way of life and to interact with the locals.

Day 5:  Amboseli – Full day game drive

After breakfast, embark on a full day game drive where plains game namely zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and various antelopes can be seen. You will have a picnic lunch at an observation point. You will have a great sighting of the majestic snow-capped Kilimanjaro in the morning. During a clear day’s weather from the observation hill, the panoramic view of the plains is worth yearning for. Large herds of elephants and hippos can be seen bathing in the swamp grounds whose waters source is Mt. Kilimanjaro.

{Meals plan =Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner}

Day 6:  Amboseli – Nairobi.

We have two options:-

(a) You take a three {3} hours early morning pre-breakfast game drive at 6:00 am. After a late breakfast which is served as brunch, depart Amboseli for Nairobi. Arrive in Nairobi in the early evening.

(b) On condition that the route to Meshanani gate is passable, you traverse the park doing the game drive. You exit through Namanga having done a complete circuit.

{Meal Plan = Breakfast, Lunch}

Options are of course many and varied and in many cases, we can be flexible about the itinerary for accommodation facilities and the extension of the safari destinations.

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