The Republic of Kenya occupies an area of 582,644sq.kms. Kenya is bisected width-wise by the Equator and lengthwise by the Great Rift Valley and shares common borders with five other nations namely: – Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the east. The Indian Ocean coastline forms the eastern border and stretches for 400km.
The variation in altitude and terrain creates contrast in climate. The coast is hot and often humid. Mornings at the central highlands are cool while in the north and northeastern, the days are dry and very hot. There are two rainy seasons, the short rains occur from late October through November and the long rains from late March through early June. July and August are the coolest months.
“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows…
One only feels really free when one can go in whatever direction one pleases over the plains, to get to the river at sundown and pitch one’s camp.”
– Karen Blixen From Out Of Africa
Covering an area of 1500sq.kms in the southwestern Kenya, the Masai Mara is bordered in the west by the Oloololo Escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and in the east by the Ngama Hills. The Masai Mara is predominantly a vast open savanna but there are actually seven distinct habitats including permanent marshes, riverine gallery forest, and dense shrubland. Lying to the north of, and forming part of the Great Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, abundant with Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Black Rhino, Elephant, Giraffe, Hippo and Cape Buffalo as well as vast herds of Wildebeest, Kongoni, Zebra and Topi. The Mara is also home to six species of primates, and over 400 species of bird. En route to Masai Mara you will pass via many small-scale farms and then down the steep eastern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.
The Great Migration
Originating on Tanzania’s short-grass plains of Ngorongoro and the southeastern Serengeti, the dwindling of available grass is the impetus for this primal trek. The horizon fills with 1 ½ million Wildebeest, 200000 Zebra, 18000 Eland and 500000 Thompson’s gazelle.
The great herds move north towards the lush long-grassed Masai Mara plains. By July, they have massed along the swollen Mara River. They have no choice but to cross the crocodile-studded waters, resulting in many drowning, ambushed by Crocodiles, or falling prey to opportunistic Lions. This dramatic life-and-death struggle is nature at her most theatrical – a once-in-a-lifetime experience for travelers to the Masai Mara.
IN MASAI MARA we offer accommodation at any of the following
THE MARA SOPA LODGE
The Masai Mara Sopa Lodge is a first-class lodge built in African architecture and with a lovely swimming pool and other amenities. Positioned just outside the Masai Mara Reserve by the Ololaimutiek Gate.
FIG TREE CAMP
Located by the Talek River just outside the Masai Mara Reserve, offering both tents and cabins.
KICHWA TEMBO CAMP
Found on the north-west border of the Masai Mara Reserve. The camps fall directly in the path of the famous annual Great Migration of the wildebeest and zebra from the Serengati National Park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya.
MARA SAROVA CAMP
A luxury tented camp opened in 1984. The camp has 75 tents and is set amidst lush extensive gardens. Hot air balloon safaris from the camp are followed by champagne breakfast in the wilderness.
Lake Nakuru National Park
The Lake Nakuru National Park is world renowned for its large population of the Pink Flamingos, which sometimes number over a million. You will see large number of Waterbuck, Warthog, Impala, Buffalo, Cheetah and now Rhino, as Lake Nakuru National Park has been made into one of Kenya’s Rhino Sanctuary.
Three major rivers, the njoro, makalia and enderit drain into the lake, together with treated water from the town’s sewage works and the outflow from several springs along the shore.
LION HILL LODGE
# Rift Valley Bar with a spectacular view of the lake.
# Acacia bush lunches.
# Lawn dining on our well manicured gardens.
# Newly renovated deluxe rooms.
# Luxurious suites providing in-suite dining.
# Well appointed conference facilities boasting of the largest capacity in the park.
# Curio shop sporting branded Sarova souvenirs.
# Game drives.
# Massage parlour.
Mt Kenya Safari Club
Mt. Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, sits on the equator at an elevation of 5199m (17,058ft). An invaluable natural resource for Kenya as the source of all of its major rivers, it is one of the most exotic, dangerous and frequently accepted mountaineering challenges on the planet.
Situated on the lush, lower slopes of Mt. Kenya, The Mount Kenya Safari Club offers a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. The Club has an unparalleled view of Mount Kenya. This club was started by film star William Holden and eccentric American Ray Ryan.
The ABERDARES NATIONAL PARK
The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls. There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) and Kinangop (3,906m) separated by a long saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m. The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.
Lion Hill Lodge
The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000ft contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7000ft contour.
Set in the heart of the Aberdare National Park, The Ark comprises three decks from which numerous balconies and lounges provide superb vantage points for game viewing. This unique game lodge overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of wildlife; Elephant, Rhino, Leopard, Bushbuck and occasionally an elusive Bongo Orgiant Forest Hog.
THE ABERDARE COUNTRY CLUB
The Club’s 1,300-Acre wildlife sanctuary abounds with Thomson and Grant’s Gazelle, Zebra, Giraffe and the more elusive Leopard.
# 48 En Suite Rooms
# Swimming Pool
# 9-Hole Golf Course
# Walking Safaris
# Horse Riding
# 2 Tennis Courts
# Game Drives in the Salient or Solio Ranch
# Trout Fishing
# Night Game Drives
# Gift Shop
SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK
Samburu National Park is located 325 kms north of Nairobi in the hot and arid northern region of Kenya and is 165 sq. km in extent. Altitude: 800 – 1200 meters. The reserve is placed within the ancestral lands of the Samburu, who are close relatives of the Masai. Among these are Grevy’s zebra, the reticulated giraffe and the beisa oryx, all of which are only found north of the equator. Game in the reserve includes elephant, cheetah, reticulated giraffe, oryx, vervet monkey, zebra, and crocodile.
The Samburu river has a large population of crocodiles which can be seen at virtually every bend on the river’s sandbanks. At its lower reaches, where permanent pools have formed, hippos are a common sight. Elephants roam the gaunt hills which punctuate the scrubland.
SAROVA SHABA LODGE
Located on high above the Samburu river in the Shaba Game Reserve, this lodge offers the perfect base from which to explore the Shaba Reserve, as well as its sister reserve-Buffalo Springs to the west.