An extraordinary wildlife adventure in Kenya - Africa's most famous safari destination.
At the start of this Kenya Camping Safari we travel into the lush central highlands to visit scenic Aberdare National Park. Not your typical safari setting, Aberdare covers mountainous terrain featuring bamboo and tropical forests and unusual fauna, including the rare bongo antelope. Next we journey to Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley to see rhinos, giraffes, other wildlife and an incredible array of birds. Then, head into Hell's Gate National Park for a hike in the narrow canyon and dip in the hot springs, before camping on the shores of Lake Naivasha, where hippos can be spotted.
This budget camping safari ends off with game viewing in the world-renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve, one of Africa's very best wildlife parks. Explore the open plains of Masai Mara and stop at the Mara River, encountering an abundance of wild animals, the Big Five included. Famous for its big cats (lion, cheetah and leopard), the spectacular Wildebeest Migration and large herds of game, Mara offers an incredible wildlife experience year-round!
This Kenya Camping Adventure begins with collection from your pre-tour hotel in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, this morning. After a quick tour briefing we leave the megacity, travelling north to Aberdare National Park.
Located in the central highlands of Kenya, Aberdare is unlike the typical safari landscape of open savannahs, incorporating densely forested mountains and a plateau of moorlands. Although this scenic park features tropical vegetation, bamboo woodlands and rainforests, it lies at high altitudes and can thus get cold, so bring warm layers.
The compact Aberdare National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, with sightings including elephants, rhinos, buffalos, leopards, spotted hyenas, baboons, colobus monkeys, warthogs and bushbuck. We may even come across the rare bongo antelopes in this lush game park, from where Mount Kenya can be seen on clear days.
On our first night we camp in Aberdare National Park, surrounded by the picturesque wilderness.
Begin the day with a tasty breakfast at camp before we make our way out of Aberdare National Park, game viewing en route. First, we drive northwest to the tallest waterfall in Kenya, called Nyahururu. We stop to marvel at the 72 metre tall waterfall and then drive southwest into the Great Rift Valley of East Africa.
Our next destination: Lake Nakuru, is one of the most famous Great Rift Valley Lakes of Kenya. This shallow soda lake is surrounded by a small protected area, first established as a bird sanctuary. Lake Nakuru National Park is still known for the massive flamingo flocks that can at times gather here, as well as the variety of other migratory species drawn to the alkaline lake. Entering Lake Nakuru we head to our overnight camp, looking out for wildlife and birds as we go. Game viewing highlights include endangered black and white rhinos, endangered Rothschild's giraffe, lion, leopard, hippo and zebra, along with over 400 bird species.
We overnight at a campsite inside Lake Nakuru National Park in the East African Rift Valley.
This morning we embark on a game drive in Lake Nakuru Park, after breakfast at camp. Keep a look out for rhinos, hippos, other animals and birds, as we exit the park.
From Lake Nakuru we drive south to Hell's Gate National Park, where we set off on a hike into the narrow Hell's Gate gorge. Walking through the steep-sided gorge we marvel at the towering red-orange cliffs and layers of rock, exposed through water erosion over many years. Take a soothing dip in the hot springs of the gorge after the hike.
A variety of wild animals inhabit the grasslands of Hell's Gate Park, of which baboon, buffalo, eland, giraffe, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle and zebra are regularly spotted. We may also encounter klipspringer and Chandler’s mountain reedbuck. The park is rich in birdlife with over 100 species, including vultures, rare Verreaux's eagles, Ruppel's griffons, swifts and augur buzzards.
After exploring Hell's Gate we proceed to our campsite amid the fever trees, on the shores of nearby Lake Naivasha. At an altitude of 1884 metres above sea level, this is the most elevated of the Great Rift Valley lakes, and also one of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley.
As evening falls we watch for hippos emerging from Lake Naivasha to graze in the darkness. Falls asleep to the distant grunting of these massive mammals.
Waking up early today, we have breakfast and pack up camp. Leaving tranquil Lake Naivasha behind we head southwest to the legendary Masai Mara Game Reserve. Our route takes us via scenic rural landscapes and the inactive volcanoes of Mount Longonot and Mount Suswa.
This afternoon we venture into the world-famous Masai Mara Reserve. Our exhilarating game drive takes us across the savannah plains and rolling hills in search of Mara's abundant wildlife. This classical African safari habitat hosts healthy numbers of the Big Five. Masai Mara is best known for the seasonal Wildebeest Migration, also known as the Great Migration. This ancient mass migration of herbivores moving between Masai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania is hailed as one of the finest wildlife events on earth. About two million antelopes - mostly wildebeest, as well as Thomson's gazelle, topi, eland and zebra can be seen stampeding across the plains in season (around July to October).
The Masai Mara is also renowned for its large big cat populations, offering exceptional sightings of lions, cheetahs and leopards. One of Africa's top wildlife reserves, Mara is phenomenal year-round. After our beautiful game drive we proceed to our overnight camp, on the fringes of Masai Mara, just outside of the reserve. We camp in the remote Mara Triangle area where wildlife from the reserve can be seen roaming beyond the park borders.
The whole of day five is spent exploring the acacia-studded grasslands of Masai Mara. We make our way to the Mara River, where great drama unfolds as herbivores and predators converge. Large numbers of massive crocodiles lurk in the waters here, snapping up wildebeest and other grazers as they dare to cross the river. The huge herds of antelopes and other plains game make easy prey for the predators, of which lions and hyenas are most commonly sighted.
The Mara ecosystem is home to an incredible abundance of wildlife, thus we are sure to encounter plenty of animals, frequently including giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, warthogs, lions, cheetahs, elephants, hyenas and all kinds of antelopes. Other predators include bat-eared foxes, black-backed jackals, serval, side-striped jackals and leopards.
After our action-packed day of game viewing in Masai Mara, we return to our camp in the secluded western region.
On our final morning we have breakfast at our camp in the Kenyan wilderness, before leaving the wild Masai Mara ecosystem.
As we draw closer to Nairobi the rough roads of the bushveld make way for tarred surfaces leading us into the bustling city. Arriving in the city early this afternoon you are transferred to the airport or your post-tour hotel, bringing our unforgettable Kenya Camping Adventure to a close.
This Kenya Camping Safari Adventure can easily be combined with our 7-Day Tanzania Wildlife Camping Safari to create an extended camping safari, exploring both of East Africa's top destination countries.