Chyulu hills- Walking & caving a camping safari on the off-the-beaten-track. Beautiful volcanic scenery, green hills, excellent bird watching and walking alongside the wild game.
Day 1 Nairobi – Chyulu National Park gate
We pick you up from your hotel, brief you on the day’s activities and drive for 3 hours along the busy Mombasa road. As we drive through wide-open ranches with batches of upcoming towns we can see in the far south the snow-covered crater rim of Kilimanjaro. In Emali we stop for an early lunch break. After lunch, drive further to Chyulu hills national park gate where we set our overnight. Watch the sunset over the Chyulu Hills, the volcanic hills stretching from Northwest to Southeast, dividing the Amboseli and Tsavo plains. Dinner and overnight will be at the Chyulu campsite.
Accommodation: Fly Camp in Chyulu campsite,
Meal Plan: L D
Driving time: 3 hours, distance 210KM
Day 2 Chyulu campsite – Kisula Caves
After breakfast, we drive in as the scenic hills rise up to 2188m. Being a National Park, the area is teeming with wildlife therefore an armed ranger provides security. The whole of the Chyulu Hills Mountain Range spans over 60km from one end to the other and offers stunning views of gently rolling hills with groves of trees in the intersections between the hills. Numerous lava tube caves crisscross the depth of the Chyulu Hills and are locally known as the Kisulu caves. With 19.5km in length, the cave is among some of the longest in the world. We either explore the whole tube or part of the section. After this adventure
Accommodation: Fly Camp at Kisula Caves
Meal Plan: B L D
Driving time: 2 hours, distance 70 KM
Day 3 Chyulu Hills
We wake up to an early morning breakfast we drive another 10 km. We use the numerous animal trails crisscrossing the open undulating landscape, which provides convenient routes to hike to the ridge of the mountain range (1900m) where our fly camp will be pitched. Spectacular views of Kilimanjaro and the Amboseli plains await us. As the sun sets we enjoy our dinner which has been well prepared by the camp cook.
Day 4 Chyulu Hills
We take a stroll around the campsite while the crew prepares our breakfast. Today we hike for about 12 km across the ridges with lunch in our back bags as come across curious natural phenomena like hills divided into two halves, one covered with grass and the other a forest, presumably as a result of winds not blowing bush fires to every corner of the hill. As we leave the park and enter the group ranch area of the Ilkisongo Maasai our Maasai guide points out special plants and herbs which the Maasai community uses. The Ilkisongo use the basically uninhabited area as their food reserve for their cattle in the dry season. On our way, we find cattle mingling with gazelles, zebras, elands and giraffes. In the early afternoon, we reach our campsite and find the crew has already set camp. We take a rest and enjoy the views over the Maasai plains below and Kilimanjaro in the North West while the crew prepares our evening meal.
Accommodation: Fly Camp
Meal Plan: B L D
Activities: 5 hours of hike
Day 5. Descend Chyulu to Nairobi
We enjoy the sunrise as we have our early morning tea as the crew prepares breakfast. After breakfast, we embark on a 3 to 4-hour descent to the Maasai Plains. Our walk takes us past giraffes, zebras, gnus, gazelles and herds of Maasai cattle all heading to the same place; a seasonal lake in the middle of this semi-arid land – Lake Arpakai. Along the way, our Maasai guide will explain how the modern way of life is influencing the lifestyle of his people. At Lake Arpakei, we might have a chance of spotting hippos besides watching water birds, while enjoying lunch. After lunch, we drive back to Nairobi. Arriving in Nairobi late in the evening.
Options are obviously numerous and differed and most of the time, we can be flexible to adapt new proposals whilst we are actually on the safari. For instance, one may wish to spend an extra day caving (or cut out a day), thus spending less time (or longer) walking the Chyulus. The itinerary might be shifted from 3 – at least 7 days and is regularly combined with a visit to National Parks – Tsavo/Amboseli. 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.