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THE BEST 10 ATTRACTIONS IN TSAVO EAST AND WEST NATIONAL PARKS, KENYA

The Best 10 Attractions In Tsavo

East And West National Parks, Kenya

mzima-springs-tsavo-west-hippos-crocodiles-underwater-observation-blind

 

Tsavo National Park is the oldest and most famous park in Kenya. It covers an

area of more than 21,000 square kilometers and is located between Mombasa

and Nairobi in the southernmost part of the country. The park consists of two

separate wildlife regions, namely Tsavo West and Tsavo East. It is the largest

park in Kenya and is home to a wide variety of wildlife. Tsavo East and Tsavo

West National Parks are iconic destinations in Kenya, which are also known for

their eye-catching landscapes. Below are the Best 10 Attractions in Tsavo East

and West National Parks, Kenya.

Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Tsavo West National Park

At the pinnacle of the Best 10 Attractions in Tsavo East and West National Parks,

Kenya, lies the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary nestled within Tsavo West National

Park. The sanctuary derives its name from the encompassing clusters of hills and

is an integral component of the Eastern Arc forests, recognized as a biodiversity

hotspot. Encompassing 28,000 acres of diverse habitat, including riverine forest,

savanna wood, and grassland, the conservancy boasts a rich plant physiognomy.

Characterized by dense and stratified vegetation dominated by Acacia/Commiphora

trees, the sanctuary exhibits an evergreen appearance in wet areas, particularly in

the central lowlands. Positioned between Tsavo East National Park and Tsavo West

National Park, the sanctuary serves as a vital dispersal area and migratory corridor

for wildlife, enhancing its value as a tourism destination and ecological asset.

Its mountainous terrain affords breathtaking views of Kilimanjaro, Pare, and

Uluguru mountains, adding to its allure. All these attributes make it the best

attraction between the two parks.

Lake Jipe, Tsavo West National Park

Following closely behind is Lake Jipe, situated within Tsavo West National Park.

This inter-territorial lake straddles the border of Tanzania and Kenya. It lies in

Mwanga District, within the Kilimanjaro region on the Tanzanian side of the

mountain, while on the Kenyan side, it is located south of Nghoji village.

Positioned on the leeward side, the lake primarily receives its water from the

Lumi River, originating from Mount Kilimanjaro, and streams from the north

Pare Mountains. A section of the lake’s northern shore is protected by Kenya’s

Tsavo West National Park, which remains unfenced. Lake Jipe is renowned for

being home to endemic fish species. Various activities can be enjoyed on and

around the lake, including fishing, picnicking, nature walks, sunrise and sunset

watching, boat safaris, and birdwatching. However, swimming in the lake is strictly

prohibited due to the presence of crocodiles and hippos.

 

Shetani Lava Flow, Tsavo West National Park

Following on the list is the Shetani Lava Flow, an ancient expanse of lava fields

distinguished by its unique geological formations and which also offers opportunities

for wildlife sightings. Local superstition surrounds this lava flow, stemming from

accounts of molten flow witnessed by members of the local community, hence

earning it the name “Shetani,” meaning devil in Swahili. The stark contrast between

the black lava flow and the surrounding vegetation adds to its allure, drawing

tourists to the site for both educational and recreational purposes, making it one

of the key attractions within the two parks.

Yatta Plateau, Tsavo East National Park

Ranked as the fourth attraction is Yatta Plateau in Tsavo East National Park. The

plateau holds the distinction of being the world’s longest lava flow, stretching

approximately 300 kilometers. Formed from volcanic activity, it is primarily

composed of black lava rock. Offering panoramic views of the surrounding plains,

the plateau is also home to diverse wildlife. Among the activities to indulge in on

the plateau are hiking the rocky terrain of Table Mountain, stargazing at night,

nature walks, picnicking, and exploring the geological features of the plateau.

Yatta Plateau is a must-visit site for tourists exploring Tsavo National Park

Mzima Springs, Tsavo West National Park

Mzima Springs occupies the fifth position. It stands as one of the most captivating

attractions within Tsavo National Park. These springs form a series of natural

wonders, originating from underground aquifers sourced from the nearby Chyulu

Hills. Visitors to Mzima Springs are treated to a diverse array of wildlife sightings,

including hippos, crocodiles, and various fish species. These springs owe their

existence to rainfall on the Chyulu Hills, a volcanic mountain range. Rainwater

seeps into the ground, filtering through volcanic rocks and crevices, ultimately

emerging as crystal-clear springs. The underwater viewing chamber offers a

unique perspective, allowing visitors to observe hippos and fish gracefully

navigating the pristine waters. Mzima Springs also boasts several scenic walking

trails, providing opportunities for visitors to immerse themselves in the

surrounding wilderness and encounter additional wildlife such as baboons and birds.

Chaimu Crater, Tsavo West National Park

Following closely behind in the sixth position of the Best 10 Attractions in Tsavo

East and West National Park is Chaimu Crater. It is one of Tsavo West National

Park’s most beloved volcanoes, surrounded by native grassland and wildlife.

This volcanic mountain is a must-see for adventurers and nature lovers alike,

offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape from its extinct volcanic

crater.

Lugard Falls, Tsavo East National Park

Lugard Falls, located on the Galana River in Tsavo East, is next in line. It is one of

the most picturesque sites in the area. These breathtaking waterfalls can be found

near the well-established Rhino Sanctuary and are worthy of a visit. The falls are

characterized by white water cascading over rocks. The captivating natural beauty

and outstanding geological features of Lugard Falls attract travelers, making it a key

attraction of Tsavo East National Park.

Athi River, Tsavo East National Park

The Athi River courses through Tsavo East National Park, enriching its diverse

ecosystem. Serving as a crucial water source, it attracts a wide range of wildlife,

notably large herds of elephants. The presence of the Athi River further enhances

the park’s natural beauty, adding to the overall allure of Tsavo East.

Galana River, Tsavo East National Park

In the penultimate position lies the Galana River in Tsavo East National Park.

It plays a crucial role in supporting the diverse wildlife in the area. Renowned

for its picturesque landscapes and serving as a habitat for hippos and crocodiles,

the river acts as a lifeline for wildlife. Here, visitors can spot elephants, crocodiles,

and hippos thriving in their natural habitat.

Mudanda Rock, Tsavo East National Park

Mudanda Rock, located in Tsavo East, occupies the final position on the list.

This remarkable rock formation provides sweeping views of the park and serves

as a watering hole, attracting various animals. It stands out as a prominent

landmark within Tsavo East National Park, renowned for its distinctive shape

amidst the expansive landscape. Acting as a natural barrier along the seasonal

Voi River, the rock forms a reservoir, serving as a vital water source

In conclusion, Tsavo East and West National Parks offer a wealth of diverse

attractions that showcase the stunning natural beauty and rich wildlife of this

region. From the iconic red elephants to the breathtaking landscapes and unique

geological formations. Our list of the Best 10 Attractions in Tsavo East and West

National Park, Kenya gives us a clear picture of the two stunning worlds.

Contact Robert for more details on a Tsavo East and Tsavo West Attractions and Tours

on whatsapp: +254 722 661 827 or email us on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

 

TOP 12 CHURCH MISSION TOUR ACTIVITIES IN KENYA

The Top 12 Church Mission Tour Activities in Kenya

kenya-church-mission-tour-activities-baptist-methodist-catholic-churches

 

The history of mission churches in Kenya dates back to the period before Kenya gained independence.

Mission churches in Kenya were primarily introduced by Europeans from Britain. Rabai Mission was

the first mission church in Kenya, established in 1846. Mission churches have played a great role in

Kenya’s rich history. Today, mission churches are pivotal in Kenyan societies. Kenya is a land filled

with mission churches and the churches have run numerous different programmes in an attempt to

make the society better. Below is a comprehensive list of the Top 12 Church Mission Tour Activities

in Kenya that travelers can indulge in.

1. Conserving the Environment 

At the forefront of our list of the Top 12 Church Mission Tour Activities in Kenya, we have conserving

the environment. Churches in Kenya play a big role in conserving the environment. They organise

specific days to give back to the community in efforts to conserve the environment through activities

like planting trees, organising cleaning-up campaigns, water conservation, advocacy, creating

awareness about the importance of conserving the environment and educating the community on

renewable energy, waste management and sustainable farming. This is an activity that is common

among travellers who visit Kenya.

2. Creating Awareness on Social Issues

Secondly, mission churches organise rallies, workshops, open-air meetings and seminars to create

awareness about some of the emerging issues in the communities. They create awareness about

mental health and offer support in terms of guidance and counselling. Further, they foster awareness

about child abuse and gender-based violence and they go ahead and offer hospitality and counselling

to the victims. Lastly, they raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS and go the extra mile by providing

treatment, counselling and testing. This is an activity that a traveler can easily indulge in.

3. Outreach Programmes  

Third on the list, we have outreach programmes. Outreach programmes are acts of sharing love, hope

and compassion as one serves the community. Mission churches in Kenya spearhead outreach programs.

Through participation, one can be part of this programme by offering medical aid to underserved

communities, visiting the local children’s home and helping the staff in the day-to-day running of the

facility, disaster relief, emergency assistance and providing humanitarian aid such as food, shelter

and clothing donations.

4. Community Development Projects

Community development projects are key in mission churches in Kenya. They spearhead development

projects such as general infrastructure development like building and renovating hospitals, community

centres, orphanages and schools, roads and bridges. Apart from infrastructure development, they also

provide clean water, microfinance initiatives, housing projects and improving the local livestock

through establishing a breeding farm. The mission churches are open to volunteers from travelers to

help them with their cause.

5. Educational Initiatives  

Coming in fifth is educational initiatives. Mission churches double as education centres. One can

volunteer in the local churches to teach basic skills such as pottery, computer, reading, writing, problem

solving, mathematics and interpersonal skills to the children in the communities. Mission churches

also have libraries with resources such as videos, books and other educational materials.

6. Engaging in interfaith dialogue

 Communities comprises of people from different religions. The diversity has led to the need of interfaith

dialogue which is championed for by mission churches. This is an activity that has recently gained

popularity. It involves cooperative, constructive and positive interactions between individuals from

different religions. It exists in two levels; institutional and individual level. It aids in fostering understanding,

tolerance and acceptance between the involved religions. One can take part by attending organized interfaith

dialogue and airing their views.

7. Legal Aid

Mission churches offer legal aid to immigrants, victims of land disputes, child abuse and gender-based

violence and individuals in the community who cannot afford to hire legal representation. Legal expert

travelers can offer their expertise in pursuit of justice to members of the affected members of the community

through the legal aid program. Legal aid exists in many forms such as legal clinics, advocacy, legal education

and partnerships with legal societies. Also, non-expert travelers can aid the legal cause through referrals.

8. Cultural Events and Cultural Exchange

Cultural events and exchange programs are organized by mission churches so as to provide an individual

with an opportunity to learn about the way of life of the local community and Kenya at large. As a result, it

leads to respect and appreciation for one another. This is a fun activity for travelers as they learn and

appreciate the different cultures. Our list of Top 12 Church Mission Tour Activities in Kenya would not be

complete without this activity. 

9. Mentorship Programmes 

Mission churches provide mentorship and support to the people in the local community. This includes

offering teachings and guidance on how to be disciple-like by following in the footsteps of Christ. The

mentorship programmes also involve teachings on enhancing skills, self-development, career development,

leadership skills, mentoring households on money management and motivating mentees on how to improve

their social networks as well as encouraging them to reach and surpass their set goals. One can participate

in this program by volunteering in any way.

10. Evangelism

Evangelism is the act of spreading the Word of God through preaching, serving, testimonials, Bible studies,

open-air gatherings and praise and worship. This is a top activity for travelers, as they are able to spread

the Lord’s word as they render their service to the church and community at large.

11. Fundraisers

To be able to facilitate most of the activities run by the church, mission churches require funds. One of the

many ways they seek funding is through fundraisers. One can volunteer in this activity through direct

funding or indirect which is through spreading the word to family, peers and colleagues.

12. Conflict Resolution

To close our list of Top 12 Church Mission Tour Activities we have conflict resolution. This is an underrated

activity, but worth mentioning. Mission churches play a significant role in conflict resolution in the Kenyan

society. They offer mediation and arbitration through the leaders in the church so as to maintain order in

the community. Expert and non-expert travelers can take part in this fulfilling activity.

This list of the Top 12 Church Mission Tours Activities in Kenya comprises activities that offer meaningful

experiences to travelers who are interested in rendering service to the community, community outreach

and cultural immersion as they learn about the Kenyan culture.

Contact Robert to Get more info on Kenya Mission tour Activities in Kenya, Whatsapp him on +254 722 661 827

or email us on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

masai-mara-wildebeest-migration-mara-river-crossing

TOP 10 SAFARI ATTRACTIONS IN MASAI MARA & SERENGETI

The Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara & Serengeti

masai-mara-andbeyond-bateleur-luxury-camp

Maasai Mara and Serengeti are highly rated National Parks that are situated in Kenya and

Tanzania respectively, East of Africa. They are consistently in the top 10 must-visit National

Parks in Africa. They gain their remarkable reputation because they give tourists an alluring

safari experience. Let’s dive in and see what the fuss is about. Below is a well thought out list of

Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park.

 

1. Wildebeest Migration

The wildebeest migration is recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. The

members of the antelope family traverse between the savannah and woodland vegetation of

Serengeti and Masai Mara National Parks in search of greener pastures. This phenomenal

event often happens between July and November. It is estimated that slightly over 2 million of

these herbivores make the trek.

Their journey is of course filled with a lot of obstacles, particularly as they cross the various

rivers that are infested by crocodiles. They are also preyed upon in the savannah and open

woodlands by members of the cat family. This action-packed journey is interesting to watch.

This wonder of the natural world attracts a lot of tourists, local and foreign; thus, it has

gained recognition at the helm of the Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai  Mara and Serengeti National Park.

 

2. Big Five

Coming in second in the list of Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara and Serengeti National

Park is the Big Five. If you want a good chance of spotting the infamous Big Five, look no

further than Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park. The two parks are known to be the home

of the Big Five. Chances are, nine of out of ten you will spot all of them. The big 5 comprising of

the lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant are a great attraction as they lure tourists from all

over the world thus being featured among the list of the Top 10 Safari Attractions in Maasai

Mara and Serengeti National Parks.

 

3. Luxury Travel

Maasai Mara and Serengeti National Parks offer epitomes of Luxury travel. From the

transportation which is either by well kitted land cruisers/vans or even planes as the parks are

equipped with runways, to state-of-the-art camps, cottages and hotels. There are also

numerous travel agencies which offer great deals on safari and stay in the parks at exceptional

prices. This gives convenience to tourists thus makes planning for a safari much easier.

 

4. Hot Air Balloon Safari 

Watch the sunrise at 1000ft above sea level over a hot air ballon ride as you tour the park and

watch the animals from a bird-eyes view. Be sure to get good pictures from an aerial point of

view. This activity is more interesting during the great wildebeest migration. The activity is

concluded with breakfast or lunch in the wild!

 

5. Maasai Community

The Maasai community resides within the two national parks. The semi-nomadic patriotists

community is known for their rich culture, i.e., high jump dances, unique dressing in bright red

robes and are known for being fearless warriors. They live in huts made from cow dung, sticks

and grass roofing called manyattas. They are amiable and will teach you many skills, like how to

hunt, milk domestic animals, prepare traditional meals, and much more. Their way of life is

tourists’ major attraction. A trip to either Maasai Mara or Serengeti National Parks is not

complete without taking a detour to one of the villages of the Maasai community. The Maasai

community is a major attraction thus being recognized as one of the Top 10 Safari Attractions in

Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park.

 

6. Breathtaking Landscapes

The two national parks are blessed with breathtaking landscapes such as the savannah plains,

open woodlands, escarpments, rivers that are filled with crocodiles and the rugged terrain which

is always exciting to offroad on.

 

7. Diverse Wildlife 

Other than the big 5, the two National parks are blessed with a wide variety of wild animals. It is

estimated that over 90 species of mammals 470 species birds reside in the parks.  The parks

which mainly comprises of savannah vegetation create the perfect habitat for the animals.

 

8. Guided Nature Walks 

Who said you have to be in a Landcruiser or tour van to enjoy a safari? One can explore the

parks on foot while being guided by guides who are often skilled Maasai warriors in their ever-

vibrant look of red robes, a spear and a club. During the walk, one will a get a good chance of

spotting wide variety birds, animals and indigenous plants.

 

9. Camping and Meals in the Bush

Talk about thinking out of the box! Hotels in Serengeti and Maasai Mara National Park offer

packages of camping and meals in the bush in various designated areas in the park. This is a

fun activity for tourists who come in groups. You will be in the company of bird chirps and

groans from hungry carnivores.  It has gained popularity over the years hence making an

appearance in the list of Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara and Serengeti National Parks.

 

10. Night Game Drives

To close the list of The Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara and Serengeti National Parks is

night game drives. The wilderness doesn’t sleep. It is argued that the wilderness comes to life

as the night creeps in. Go out of the norm by exploring the national parks at night creeps in.

This is an exciting activity, particularly for adrenaline junkies, as the wild is unpredictable. Masai

Mara and Serengeti National Parks have an array of nocturnal animals like bush babies, civets

and nightjars. At night, it is the best time to spot them. It is also the perfect time to catch the

carnivores engaging their prey, as they are more active at night.

Masai Mara and Serengeti National Parks are two safari destinations blessed with an array of

attractions as summarized in the above list of Top 10 Safari Attractions in Masai Mara and

Serengeti National Parks.

Contact Robert for more details on Planning a Masai mara and Serengeti safari on

whatsapp: +254 722 661 827 or email us on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

paradise lost-caving-day-trip-cave-viewing-tours-from-nairobi

TOP 10 CAVING DESTINATIONS IN KENYA

The Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya

Shimoni-Caves-tour-caving-places-in-kenya

 

Caving is an activity that has recently gained popularity in Kenya. Kenya is a land blessed with numerous caves.

The caves are rich in history, as most were used by local communities as religious centres, mineral mines,

cemeteries and places to seek refuge. This has attracted a lot of caving enthusiasts, both local and foreign,

for recreational and educational purposes. Below is a comprehensive list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

 

 

1. Hell’s Gate National Park

At the top of our list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Hell’s Gate National Park. The infamous National

Park is located 101 kilometres from Nairobi, south-east of Lake Naivasha in Nakuru County.

It lies on the floor of The Great Rift Valley.

Hell’s Gate National Park is popular because it is home to a wide variety of wildlife and ultimately,

it is known for its breathtaking scenery, which consists of caves, star-rock towers, tower cliffs, water-gouged gorges,

scrub-clad volcanoes and belching plumes of geothermal steam.

Along the buffalo circuit, on the eastern side of Hell’s Gate National Park, lies a string of Obsidian Caves

characterised by their glassy black look, which is a result of lava cooling as it comes into contact

with the lake’s water. These caves are intriguing to explore!

 

 

2. Mau Mau Caves, Aberdare Ranges

Located 200 kilometres east of Nairobi City in Nyanyuki County, we have Mau Mau Caves. As history

has it, Mau Mau Caves, found in the Aberdare Ranges, were used as hide-out spots by the Kenyan

Freedom Fighters as they fought with the British Colonial Army between 1952 and 1960.

Mau Mau is a Kiswahili phrase that says, ‘Mzungu Arudi Ulaya, Mwafrika Apate Uhuru.’ Translated to English,

it means that the colonisers ought to go back to Europe so that Africans can get freedom. 

Mau Mau Caves hold true historical significance.

 

 

3. Paradise Lost Cave, Kiambu

In 1966, a group of coffee farmers in Kiambu County discovered Paradise Lost Cave.

The cave is famous because it hosts the largest underground lake ever discovered.

It is a cave system made up of numerous chambers. To add to its attributes, it holds

historic value as it has stone-age artifacts made from obsidian rocks found in the cave.

The walls of the cave are composed of fish fossils, stalactites, crystals and stalagmites.

Other activities within Paradise Lost include camping, horse riding, fishing and coffee farm visits.

Paradise Lost Cave is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Kenya and it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

 

 

4. Shimoni Caves, Diani

Shimoni Caves comes in fourth on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

This hidden gem is located on the south coast of Kenya, 50 kilometres from Diani. Shimoni is a Kiswahili

word meaning inside the hole or the location of the hole. The caves range about 5 kilometers.

Shimoni Caves have a great historical value as they were used as docking bays for boats and to

hold and load captured slaves to be shipped to Zanzibar.

There are iron rings on the rocks, which are evidence of slaves being held here. The caves were also

used for rituals by the locals long before the slave trade.

The historical nature of Shimoni Caves makes it a top caving destination.

 

 

5. Kitum Cave, Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano mountain located west of Kenya in the border of Kenya and

The Pearl of Africa, Uganda. Kitum Cave lies within the borders of Mount Elgon National Park.

The cave extends approximately 600 meters into the mountain; the walls are rich in salt, which

attracts animals like the elephant. The cave gained popularity in the 1980s when two visitors

contracted a deadly virus called the Marburg virus after a trip to the cave. The bats in the cave

are believed to be the carriers of the virus.

Kitum Caves is equally rich in history and it is also among the most important bat hibernation

sites in Africa. It is also home to a wide variety of animals.

 

 

6. Suswa Caves, Mount Suswa

Sixth on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Suswa Caves on Mount Suswa,

which lies on the floor of the Great Valley. Mount Suswa is popular as a result of the lava

caves that are situated on the outer crater. One outstanding attraction in the caves is a section

called the ‘Baboons Parliament’, which is inhabited by baboons, as the name suggests.

They seek refuge in the cave at night to hide from potential predators. Also inhabiting the caves

are the nocturnal mammals, bats. Be sure to see them hanging on the cave’s roof. Suswa Caves

are also used by the Maasai community as a place to perform rituals. This is evident because

of the writing on the wall.

 

 

7. Chyulu Hills Caves, Makueni

Located in the southeastern part of Kenya, in Makueni County, is a mountain range

called the Chyulu Hills.

The mountain is famous because it has lava tube caves, which are arguably the deepest

in the world. The caves are frequently visited by volcanologists and geologists for educational purposes.

 

 

8. Oloolua Caves, Nairobi

Next on the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya is Oloolua Caves. It is located within the

city under the sun, in Oloolua Forest Reserve. The cave spans about 37 meters. It is accessible through

a nature trail.

Like the Mau Mau Caves, Oloolua Caves were also used by Mau Mau Fighters as hiding spots.

Various species of birds inhabit the caves, as do mammals like bats.

 

 

9. Njoro River Cave, Nakuru

This archaeological site is situated on the Mau Escarpment. The cave was the first place radiocarbon

dating was put to use in East Africa. The cave was excavated in 1938 which unearthed ancient

artifacts like beads, pottery and tools.

The excavation also revealed a mass cremation site that is believed to have been used by the

Elementeitan pastoralists during the Pastoral Neolithic.

Njoro River Cave has significant historical value, which attracts both local and foreign caving

enthusiasts, thus making it worthy of a mention on our list of the top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

 

 

10. Three Sister Caves of Fikirini

To close the list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya, is Three Sister Caves located in Fikirini

village in Tswaka, Kwale County. The caves in the system include Pangani Cave, Mdenyenye Cave and

Kisimani Cave, thus being referred to as ‘Three Sister Caves’. It is arguably the most beautiful

cave system in Kenya and the second-largest cave system in all of East Africa.

The caves were used by the local community as a hideout spot during the peak of the slave trade.

Several animals inhabit the cave system, including seven species of bats. It is every caving

enthusiast’s dream destination.

Kenya has a wide variety of caves, each unique in its own way, as illustrated in the above

list of the Top 10 Caving Destinations in Kenya.

Each cave comes with its own exhilarating experience!

Find out how you can plan a caving safari or day trip from Nairobi from Robert on

whatsapp: +254 722 661 827 or email info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

 

Best 10 safari packages in africa

TOP 10 SAFARI TOUR PACKAGES IN AFRICA-OUR BEST PICK

The Top 10 Safari Tour Packages in Africa – Our Best Picks

10 Top safari tours in Africa

Africa is regarded as one of the best travel destinations in the world. It offers an array of

spectacular Experiences, from eventful safaris, sightseeing, breathtaking landscapes,

and diverse cultures. It is not a walk in the park picking a safari destination because there is

no wrong pick. To make your work easier, below is an astute list of the

Top 10 Safari Tour Packages in Africa—our best pick.

1. Maasai Mara and Serengeti Migration Safari Package (Kenya and Tanzania)

On top of the list, we have the Masai Mara and Serengeti Migration National Park Safari

Package. The Migration safari majorly features the movement of the wildebeest from Serengeti

National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Park in Kenya through the savannah and

woodland vegetation. This migration is recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural

World. This phenomenal event often happens between the months of July and November.

It is estimated that slightly over 2 million of these herbivores make the trek. Their journey is

filled with a lot of obstacles, particularly as they cross the various rivers that are infested by

crocodiles and as they traverse the plains where they are preyed upon.

This action-packed journey is interesting to watch. The two parks also offer a wide variety

of accommodation and transportation packages tailored to one’s personal preference,

desired experience and budget. This package clearly predominates the other packages,

thus being featured as our very best pick of the Top 10 Safari Tour Packages in Africa.

 

2.  Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Safari Package (South Africa)

Second on our list of the Top 10 Safari Tour Packages in Africa-our best pick is the Kruger

National Park and Sabi Sands Safari in South Africa Safari Package. Kruger National Park

is the largest known national Park in Africa. It has a magnificent road network, making it

among the few game parks in Africa that can easily be accessed by personal cars. It is known

to be home to over 500 species of birds. Half the world’s population of black and white

rhino, which is an endangered species, inhabits Kruger National Park. Sabi Sand Game

Reserve is a private reserve just adjacent to Kruger National Park. It’s been recognised as

the best place for intimate game reserve as it offers state-of-the-art suites, close-up game

sightings, professional guides and impeccable hospitality. Most tours and travel companies

in South Africa offer visits to both parks in one package for an ultimate safari experience.

 

3.  Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve Safari Package

Coming in third is Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve Safari Package. The duo is

situated in the heart of Botswana. The Okavango Delta is one of the Wonders of Africa

because it is among the largest inland deltas in the world and because of the unique feature

of River Okavango emptying into open land, contrary to the natural nature of rivers

emptying into water bodies. Located within the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve is

one place where you can be sure to get an exhilarating safari adventure all year round. It

hosts 130 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds, numerous species of fish, reptiles

and thousands of species of plants. This package should be every tourist’s dream safari package.

 

4.  Chobe National Park and Victoria Falls Safari (Botswana, Zimbabwe,

Zambia and Namibia)

Chobe National Park is strategically situated in the northern part of Botswana as it borders

Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Enjoy a boat safari and game drive as you sight wildlife along

the Chobe River that flows through the park. Animals often come to quench their thirst in the river,

particularly during the dry seasons. Chobe National Parks offers various packages, including

houseboat stays. Complete your safari by taking an hour-long trip to the world’s largest waterfall.

Victoria Falls is on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The fall possesses an outstanding beauty

characterized by breathtaking landscapes, rainbows and mist. This package allows you to enjoy

safari experiences in four African countries, each with its own unique experience. This attribute

earns it the fourth position on our well-thought-out list of the Top 10 Safari Tour Packages in Africa.

 

5.  Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park Safari Package (Tanzania)

Ngorongoro Crater, known for its breathtaking landscapes, is one of the world’s most famous

wonders of the natural world as it is the largest known intact volcanic caldera. That aside, it is

also home to a lot of animals, including the famous ‘Big Five’. To spice up the package, a safari

in Tarangire National Park is recommended. Tarangire National Park is the best destination for

bird watching, game sighting, particularly large elephant herds that inhabit the park and mini-wild

animals’ migration during the dry seasons. This is the perfect package, particularly if you are

looking for a safari experience in Tanzania, thus placing it fifth in our list of the Top 10 Safari Tour

Packages in Africa.

 

6.  Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei Desert Safari (Namibia)

Estosha is situated in the middle of a desert north of Namibia. Despite Namibia being largely

composed of desserts, Estosha is located in an area that is moist, which attracts wildlife. It is home

to a variety of Wild animals, including the renowned Big Five, except the buffalo. To add to the fun

of exploring Africa, this package comes with a desert safari in the Sossulvei Desert with the option

to spend a night in a Luxury camp with a rare 360-degree view that overlooks the landscape of the

desert, like red dunes and Mountains. This package is worthy of a mention in our list of the Top 10

Safari Tour Packages.

 

7.  Masai Mara and Amboseli National Park Safari Package (Kenya)

Who said your safari in Kenya has to end after experiencing the wildebeest migration in Masai Mara?

Seek yet another safari adventure by heading south of Kenya to Amboseli National Park. The two

parks offer different yet exciting safari experiences. This package is customised to make sure you get

the best safari adventure while in Kenya, based on the two worlds.

 

8.  South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi Safari Package (Zambia)

South Luangwa National Park lies on the floor of the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. The park is popular

because it offers a cocktail of breathtaking woodlands, spectacular green plains, the Luangwa River,

rare Wildlife and it is also the home of walking safari. End your adventure with a more intimate safari

by heading to Lower Zambezi National Park. Enjoy an adrenaline-packed adventure by taking a safari

on a Canoe and game viewing in the unfenced camps.

 

9.  Hwange National Park, Victoria Falls and Mana Pools Safari Package

(Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana)

Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, is the country’s oldest national park. The park lies on the border

of Zimbabwe and Botswana. Hwange is famous because it is home to the largest elephant population.

Just an hour from the park, you can visit the prominent Victoria Falls. To wrap up this safari, head to

Mana Pools National Park. It is the home of canoeing and walking safaris. Be sure to spot hippos,

crocodiles, elephants among other wildlife animals and thousands of plant species.

 

10.  Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park Safari Package (Tanzania)

Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park Safari Package closes the list of Top 10 Safari Tour

Packages-our best pick. Both parks are located in Tanzania. Selous National Park possesses one of the

greatest wildlife volumes in East Africa. The black rhinos, an endangered species, also inhabit the park.

Perk up your safari by heading to Ruaha National Park, which is more intimate because it gets fewer

visitors and offers impeccable game drives and high wildlife spotting chances.

This list of Top 10 Safari Tour Packages-our best pick, offers packages that are

unique yet exciting, with

priority given to coming up with a combination that gives you a mind-blowing experience.

Get more details on how to book a Top 10 safari tour package in africa from Robert on

whatsapp +254 722 661 827 or email us at info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya & Tanzania East Africa

10 BEST FAMILY SAFARI LODGES IN KENYA AND TANZANIA

The 10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya & Tanzania East Africa

Top 10 Family Safari Lodges in Kenya & Tanzania East Africa

Planning a luxury family safari is a once-in-a life-time experience for many families.

There are many stunning and breathtaking natural landscapes to explore and a vast

array of rare and elusive wildlife to catch sight of. Safari is truly an unforgettable adventure.

To make the safari experience even better for you and your family, a good family safari

lodge is key.

 

Kenya and Tanzania have numerous family safari lodges to choose from.

They offer outstanding services, top-of-the range African hospitality, well-manicured

facilities, and different family packages to choose from and surrounded by breathtaking natural

landscapes and wildlife. Below are the 10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya and Tanzania.

 

1. Angama Mara, Kenya

Angama Mara is a safari lodge in Masai Mara, Kenya. It is strategically positioned on an

escarpment overlooking the Mara triangle. Angama Mara derives its name from the

Swahili phrase ‘Anga’ meaning the sky. It truly describes the lodge, given its superlative position.

 

Angama Mara comprises two separate camps of 15 tents each, a restaurant and a common

family lounge area. Each camp has its own guest area, kitchen and staff. The suites in the

south camp have better panoramic views, although a steeper drop-off in the north camp

can make this feel quite dramatic.

 

The three walls on the roof of the suite are canvas;

they feel more like modern open-plan apartments than safari tents. The most striking

feature of Angama Mara is the splendid terrace and baraza, meaning meeting place.

There is also a telescope at Angama Mara so that guests can sight wildlife in the Mara

triangle. All these attributes make it the best family safari lodge in Kenya and Tanzania.

 

2. Sasaab Samburu, Kenya

Second on the list of the 10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya and Tanzania is a

stunning luxury tented camp in the heart of Samburu, Kenya. Sasaab is in the wilderness,

perched on the edge of a river valley. The aesthetics of the family lodge are inspired

by Moroccan design.

 

Each of the nine-sided rooms is over 100 square meters, with

private plunge pools and breathtaking views across the Laikipia plateau towards

the jagged peaks of Mount Kenya. Its position above the river naturally facilitates

watching the herds of elephants and other wildlife who come to quench their thirst

as well as take a bath.

 

3. andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania

Coming in third is a luxury boutique safari lodge located on the western rim of the

spectacular Ngongoro Crater. andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is an opulent

property designed for travelers, particularly families seeking five-star accommodation

and world-class service.

 

No family safari lodge in Tanzania stands a chance to compete with the comfort

levels and sophisticated service offered by this family safari lodge. andBeyond

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is split into three sections: North 12 Suites, South 12 Suites

and Tree Camp 6 Suites, each of which has its own lounge, dining room, kitchen, bar

and Terrace. The main purpose of staying in andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

is to explore the Crater itself, which is usually on shared four-wheel-drive vehicles.

 

This is a great family activity. andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge reputation speaks

for itself. It is the best family lodge in Tanzania, thus being featured on our list of the

10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya and Tanzania.

 

4. Singita Sasakwa Lodge, Tanzania

Singita Sasakwa Lodge in Tanzania oozes an elegant century-style house manner steeped

in the grandeur of bygone age located on the unlined slopes of Sasakwa Hill Reserve.

It enjoys sweeping views over the endless plains of the Serengeti to the Blue Hills on

the distant horizon.

 

The Serengeti is the scene of nature’s greatest spectacles and is home

to in excess of a million wildebeests. There are 10 private cottages at the Singita Sasakwa

lodge in 1, 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms, each with its own infinity plunge pool overlooking the

plain, which are perfect for small and large families.

 

5. andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, Kenya

Well, not as spectacular as its sister lodge in Tanzania, andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented

Camp in Kenya takes fifth place on the 10 Best Family Safari Lodges in Kenya and Tanzania.

 

The tented camp has 40 luxury tents, 12 of which are classic tents, 20 superior tents and 8

superior view tents. andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, a small private concession

that borders the Masai Mara triangle.

 

6. Azura Selous, Tanzania

The Selous Wildlife Reserve is Africa’s oldest and largest game reserve, as well as one of the

continent’s last significant wilderness areas. This is well known for having more wild dogs,

elephants, lions, hippopotamus and buffalos than any other wildlife reserve in the world.

 

Azura Selous is situated on the banks of the Great Raha River, allowing you to see wildlife

from your bed, terrace, and private outdoor shower. The resorts possess 12 enormously

vented villas with private plunge pools, which are ideal for large families.

 

7. Ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya

Located between Tsavo East and Amboseli National Park, Ol donyo Lodge is owned by a

community of 4000 Maasai. With a wide variety of luxury accommodations options and

activities, including twice-daily game drives, horseback safaris, star bed experiences,

conservation and community outreach programmes, Ol donyo Lodge provides an

immersive experience on luxury Kenya safari for families.

 

8. Singita Sabora Tented Camp, Tanzania

In eight position, we have Singita Sabora Tented Camp in Tanzania. It was established

on a 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserve wilderness area just adjacent to Serengeti National

Park. It is authentic and luxurious without being excessive; thanks to its new look which

was unveiled in 2021.

 

This gives the tented camps a modern fee. On it are nine ensuite-tented

camps designed for families. Each tent is currently styled in an earthly palette that

complements its bushland setting with a touch of classic finishing’s and furniture.

It is an epitome of beauty and biodiversity at their best.

 

9. Sanctuary Olanana, Kenya

Second last, we have Sanctuary Olanana, which borders the world-renowned Masai Mara

National Park in Kenya. Sanctuary Olanana offers spectacular waterfall views of the Mara

River and Masai Mara at large.

 

Its strategic position makes it easy to spot wildlife from

the comfort of the lodge. It is indeed a top family safari lodge.

 

10. Mahali Mazuri, Kenya

Last but not least, we have Mahali Mazuri in Kenya. Mahali Mazuri is a Kiswahili phrase

meaning ‘a good place’, which perfectly describes this family lodge. Mahali Mzuri, Kenya,

lies on a 33,000-acre land of Olare Motorogi Conservancy.

 

Mahali Mzuri is a hidden gem

that was in 2021 awarded as the world’s best hotel for leisure and travel. The bush camp

provides a front-row seat to the great migration, in which approximately 2 million animals,

including wilder beasts, zebras and gazelles, migrate annually between Masai Mara and Tanzania Serengeti.

 

 Find out more or Book a safari with Robert via whatsapp on +254 722 661 827 or email us at info@sojournsafaris.co.ke 

masai-mara-mara-game-drive-jeep

The 10 Best National Parks in Kenya that are a must See

The 10 Best National Parks in Kenya that are A must see

The very best of Kenya national parks and game parks are spread Kenya is blessed with some of the best national parks ideal for 1 or 2- week family safari. If you love watching wildlife in the wilderness and love to see scenic areas with majestic plains, mountains, rivers and lake, then these 10 parks in Kenya are your best for a family holiday safari.

1. Masai Mara

One of the greatest places to watch amazing numbers of wildlife in Africa is undoubtedly the Masai mara national reserve. This park boasts the widest open grasslands with the highest abundance of game. The mara is estimated to be home to over 5 million animals.

In what looks like unending undulating plains filled with thousands of animals, the Masai mara hosts the highest numbers of big cat predators. This 1510 square kilometers national park is located south west of Nairobi city along the border with Tanzania.

Masai mara is also home to more than 500 species of birds. The annual wildebeest migration that happens every July to November brings along 1.5 million wildebeests, zebras and antelopes. This great wildebeest migration climaxes at the mara river crossing when thousand cross the swollen river full of crocodiles.

This park remains to be the most visited national park in Kenya due to its large numbers of animals, scenic sites and the Masai people.

Best Time to Go: July – October

Top Attractions: Mara River crossing, The undulating Pains, The big Five, The ugly Five, Wildebeest Migration

Best Experiences: Hot air Balloon ride, game driving, migration tracking, Luxury Camping, Relaxing Sunsets

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Governors camp, mara Serena lodge, Sarova mara, mara Sopa lodge,

How to Get There: You can take scheduled flight from Wilson airport Nairobi and land at airstrip near your lodge. A 4×4 jeep drive from Nairobi takes 5-6 hours.

2. Amboseli National Park

Known for its largest herds of wild African elephants, the Amboseli national park is located some 238km south east of Nairobi city. This park is one of the top national parks in Kenya for a family vacation. With an area of only 392 sq km, Amboseli national park is among the smaller parks in the country.

Its location below Africa’s highest mountain, the Mt Kilimanjaro, Amboseli also benefits from some of the most iconic backgrounds from wildlife photography. There are also more than 1700 elephants which can be seen all over the park.

Amboseli national park is one of the best game parks in Kenya due to its best views of Mt Kilimanjaro and the wildlife that include hippos, elephants, lions, buffalos, giraffes, gazelles, wildebeest, hyenas, impalas, cheetahs, leopards and many more.

For visitors in Nairobi who have a day to spare or a long layover at Nairobi international JKIA airport, Amboseli is a great choice for a day trip from Nairobi. The park also has some of the most scenic swamps that are fed from millions of gallons of meted ice waters from the Kilimanjaro.

Best Time to Go: July to October and December to March

Top Attractions: View of Mt Kilimanjaro, 1700 Herds of elephants, Big Four, Hippos, Masai Villages,

Best Experiences: Game drives, Dawn and sunset views of Kilimanjaro peak, Camping, Masai Dances

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Amboseli Serena lodge, Amboseli Sopa, Ol Tukai Lodge

How to Get There: Take a 45 minute flight from Wilson airport to the amboseli airstrip, A drive in a 4×4 jeep takes 3 and a half hours via Mombasa road.

3. Tsavo National Park

Red-elephants-tsavo-east-national-park

Due to its proximity to the Kenyan coast, Tsavo receives the highest number of tourists per year. Most of Kenya’s tourism happens at the coast and these volumes trickle down into Tsavo east national parks. Visitors at the coast will usually do a day trip, 2 days or a 3-day safari to the Tsavo. This park is divided into Tsavo west and Tsavo east national parks for administrative purposes.

Tsavo east national park is 13,747 sq km in size and is the largest park. The biggest attractions in Tsavo east are the Mudanda rock, the Galana river and the red-coloured elephants. Their colour comes from the red soil of this park with which they cover themselves

Tsavo West has a land area of 9,065 sq km is most popular for the crystal-clear water ponds that are home to crocodiles and hippos. The park also has a lava flow and caves and some of the most scenic forested areas. In terms of vegetation, tsavo west is denser than Tsavo east which is abit drier in vegetation.

Best Time to Go: June to October and January to March

Top Attractions: Mudanda rock, Galana River, Red elephants, Aruba waterhole, Big Five, Mzima Springs, Shetani lava Flows, Ngulia mountains, Ngulia rhino sanctuary, 

Best Experiences: Long game drives, Luxury camping, underwater glass observation chamber

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Kilaguni Serena lodge, voi wildlife lodge, voi safari lodge, Ashnil Aruba

How to Get There: Take a chartered 1 hr flight from Wilson airport Nairobi and land on tsavo east or tsavo west airstrips. A 4×4 landcruiser tour van takes you 5 hours to get there.

4. Mt Kenya National Park

Mt-kenya-national-park-hiking-safari-in-kenya

Host to Africa’s second highest mountain, Mt Kenya national park is among the top 10 national parks in Kenya. This park is located some 175km North of Nairobi city in the lush green kikuyu people highlands. It is centrally located in the middle of Kenya and is frequented by visitors visiting the Kenyan North from Masai mara or Nakuru.

The mountain stands at 5199meteres above sea level and is only second from Kilimanjaro at 5895m asl. Mount Kenya national park is the most visited park for mountain climbing in Kenya since it’s the highest in the country. It offers technical and leisure climbing routes with each of varying difficulty levels.

The hike to the Batian summit can be done from Sirimon, Chogoria and Naro Moru hiking routes. Naro Moru is the most challenging and Chogoria route is the most scenic. A full hiking trip to mt Kenya takes 6-7 days inclusive of an acclimatization day before the hike.

The park is also a popular day trip destination for hiking excursions from Nairobi city.

Best Time to Go: January to March and June to October

Top Attractions: Views of Peak Nelion, Lenana and Batian, Rain forest, Elephants, leopards, hogs, waterbucks, rhinos, alpine savannah, rock and ice.

Best Experiences: Hiking to peak Batian, fresh mountain air, majestic views, camping on the mountain, game viewing and bird watching.

Accommodations to Stay at & Eat: Fairmont Mt Kenya safari club, Meru Bandas, Mt Kenya Lodge, Serena Mountain Lodge, Old Moses mountain hut, Met Station Cabins, 

How to Get There: You can connect by flight from Wilson airport to Nanyuki airstrip and then drive to the park. A 3hour drive from Nairobi is also more scenic.

5. Samburu National Reserve

samburu-national-reserve-ewaso-ngiro-river-elephants

An absolute marvel of a park with its contrasting landscapes and unique species of wildlife from those found in the south. Samburu national reserve holds the mantle for the most dramatic park in terms of variety of landscapes. The park has blue mountain ranges and yellow and white dry sandy ground with scattered acacia shrubs.

The river Ewaso Ngiro provides a welcome relief of the dry vegetation with its green riverine trees and bushes that snakes around the middle of the dry valleys. This river cuts deep and artistic rock formations as it flows south east into Shaba national park.

Wildlife here can be found at midday as they come to take their daily drink of the water. Crocodiles are always hiding in crevices on the river bank ready to pound on inattentive antelopes.

Samburu is however known for its unique wildlife referred to as the unique five. These include the Bigger and round eared Grevy zebra, the Blue necked Somali ostrich, the beautifully coated reticulated giraffe, the long-necked gerenuk antelope, the Beisa Oryx with its long horns.

Samburu has some of the absolutely beautiful luxury tented camps along the Ewaso Ngiro river where elephants occasionally come to say hi.

Best Time to Go: July – October

Top Attractions: Special five wildlife (Beisa oryx, Somali Ostrich, Gerenuk, Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy Zebra), Scenic contrasting landscapes, ewaso ngiro river, Samburu culture, river game drives,

Best Experiences: Game drives by river ewaso, Camping and lodge relaxation, walking safaris, birding tour, river beach breakfasts and dinners, Samburu village visits.

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Serena Samburu, Sarova Shaba, Samburu lodge, Samburu Sopa, Ashnil samburu, 

How to Get There: Fly into samburu  airstrip from Nairobi Wilson airport, a flight of 1hr 8 minutes. You can also drive the 221km from Nairobi to samburu by 4×4 jeep for 6 hours.

6. Lake Nakuru National Park

lake-nakuru-national-park-pink-flamingo-safari

Located on the floor of the great rift valley, lake Nakuru national park is among the 10 best game parks in Kenya. This 177 sq km wildlife park is located on the floor of the great rift valley and is home to a large lake that takes two thirds of the area.

This park is home to over 400 species of birds among them the flagship flamingo which number in excess of 2 million individuals. The flamingos are so many that they form a wide pink ribbon around the shores of the lake where they feed on algae.

This park’s close proximity to Nairobi city at only 160km (2.5hrs) makes it very attractive and one of the most visited national parks in Kenya. The lake forms a great game drive circuit where you will see the hippos, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, lions, buffalos, stripped hyenas, klipspringers (type of rock dwelling antelope) and many more.

Nakuru has the best sightings for the white and black rhinos and leopards that love to walk along the game drive tracks. You may drive side by side with the leopards or find it perched in an acacia tree just next to the game drive track.

Lions of lake Nakuru are known for climbing trees for God knows what reason.

Best Time to Go: June to March

Top Attractions: Lake Nakuru, Big four animals, Baboon cliff, Makalia falls, Millions of flamingos, over 500 species of birds, great lodges and camps,

Best Experiences: Game drives, exciting views of the lake and bird life, panoramic views from baboon cliff, 

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Sarova lion hill, nakuru Sopa lodge, lake nakuru lodge, The cliff

How to Get There: You can take a flight from Wilson airport to the parks airstrip. Alternatively drive the 2 and a half hours by road.

7. Nairobi National Park

nairobi-national-park-half-day-game-drive

One of the most convenient parks in Kenya is the Nairobi national park. Located only 7km from the Nairobi city CBD, the park is only 10 minutes away from most hotels in the city. This 117sqkm park is the only national park located inside the boundaries of a capital city in the world.

Nairobi Park makes Nairobi to be known as the wildlife capital of the world. This park shares space with the city’s buildings that occasionally you have lions roaming the major outbound highways. A local university next to the park is famous for its nightly alarms of a prowling lion or leopard at night.

Besides the elephants, Nairobi national park has most of the big five animals. The elephants are however such destructive feeders that they cannot be sustained in this park. However, the park is home to lions, rhinos, buffalos, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, impalas, elands, wildebeests, hartebeests, leopards, cheetahs, gazelles, jackals, zebras, hyenas, baboons and many others.

One of the greatest shots is a giraffe or a rhino in the foreground and the city’s skyscrapers forming your background. It’s the only park in the world that you can strike a shot that is a mix of nature in its rawest form and modernity.

The biggest advantage of Nairobi national park however is its ability to provide you with an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and experience the silence and peace of nature only 10 minutes away.

Best Time to Go: July to October

Top Attractions: Ivory burning monument, hyena dam, view point, Mokoiyet valley, Mbagathi river trail, Athi dam, big four animals, 

Best Experiences: 4 hour game drive in the morning or evening, Bird watching, walking trail by the river

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Most hotels in Nairobi city, Ololo, masai lodge, Nairobi tented camp

How to Get There: Drive for 10 minutes from most of the hotels in Nairobi city. Park is only 7km from Nairobi CBD.

8. Aberdare National Park

aberdare-national-park-the-ark-water-hole-elephants

For the nature walk lovers, this park is your best bet for hiking and camping. The Aberdare national park is the space around a range of mountains that stretch through 4 counties. The Aberdare range park is famous for its scenic alcoves, alpine streams and deep rain forest with cool breeze and wet weather.

Measuring 767sqkm in area, the Aberdare is composed of dense rain forest from the gates up to the bamboo forest level. This gives way to the alpine moorland or alpine savannah. This is where most of the streams emanate from before joining up to become larger rivers by the time they exit the park.

The most common activity in Aberdare include hiking, camping, trout fishing and game viewing. Due to the forested nature of the park viewing of wildlife is best done from lodge terraces. Most lodges here have water holes where animals come to drink water and guests can watch them from observation decks and terraces.

The ark lodge for example has an underground tunnel that goes closer to the watering hole where you can watch the animals from close up and at the ground level as they drink water. The lodge also offers a night wakeup call and alert service that wakes you whenever rare animals comes to drink water for example a leopard or rhino.

So if you are in the mood for a weekend getaway for hiking and nature sightseeing, Aberdare is only two and a half hours away.

Best Time to Go: June to September

Top Attractions: Karuru water falls, moorland rivers, Chania waterfall, Gura waterfall, rain forest, wildlife including leopards, rhinos, buffalos, giant hogs, Ol donyo Le Satima peak,

Best Experiences: Hiking the rain forest or the moorlands, bird watching, fly fishing rainbow trout, Game watching at water holes,

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: The ark, aberdare fishing lodge, treetops lodge (now closed), Aberdare country club.

How to Get There: Take a 1 hour flight from Wilson airport to the airstrip and then transfer to lodge. You can also drive from Nairobi in a 4×4 Landcruiser safari van for 3hours.

9. Hells Gate National Park

1-day-hells-gate-national-park-tour-from-nairobi

Renowned for its great hiking trails and biking among wildlife, Hellsgate is one of the favorite destinations for a weekend getaway. This 68sqkm park is only 101km from Nairobi city and sits right at the base of the Great Rift Valley.

The biggest attraction in Hells gate national park are the volcanic activities including hot geysers, hot springs and deep gorges. Although the gorges have been closed for a while now, they were the most scenic and awe-inspiring gulley’s that you could walk through. The devils kitchen was the highlight of these hikes deep into the bowels of the earth.

Angelina Jolie shot the tomb raiders- cradle of man-kind at these gorges while the lion king movie got its landscape inspiration from the cliffs and savannahs of the park.

Recently they have built the biggest spa pool in Africa in this park. The spa pool is fed with warm water from underground springs, which is therapeutic to swim in.

Best Time to Go: June to March

Top Attractions: Deep gorges, devils bedroom, red cliffs, hot springs, wildlife, bird watching, Mvuke geothermal spa pool,

Best Experiences: Hiking and wildlife, biking, swimming in therapeutic waters, 

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Naivasha Sopa lodge, Naivasha country club, Sawela lodge, Enashipai lodge, kongoni lodge, crayfish camp, Fisherman’s camp,

How to Get There: 20 minutes Flight from Nairobi r drive the 2 hours on naivasha road.

10. Mt Longonot National Park

Mount-Longonot-day-hike-from-nairobi

If you are into hiking steep slopes, then Mt Longonot is along your alley. Longonot National Park is located only 74km from Nairobi city. The park is famous for its challenging but short hiking trails and the most scenic crater views from the rim.

The full hike up to the rim, around the crater rim and back to gate is 9 km and takes 4-6 hours. Maximum elevation is 2780m above sea level and maximum elevation gain is 996m.

The view into Mt Longonot is so spectacular its worth all the effort to climb on all your fours to get there. The climb is steep in places but it’s generally a very doable hike. Most primary school kids have climbed the Mt Longonot so it’s of minimal difficulty.

Best Time to Go: July to February

Top Attractions: Mt longonot crater, hiking trail, buffalos and zebras on the trail, majestic views of the surrounding from the rim of the crater

Best Experiences: Hiking the 2776m mountain, Viewing the crater from the rim

Accommodations to Stay & Eat: Accommodations lodges in Naivasha or Nairobi city.

How to Get There: Drive the 1hr 30 minutes to the great rift valley floor where the mountain is located.

Find out more details about the top 10 national parks in Kenya, by WhatsApp on +254722661827 or email us on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

Top 10 Game Parks in Africa that are a Must Go To

These are the Top 10 game parks in Africa to visit in your next safari. Some of the best in scenic appeal, big five animals and majestic views with hundreds of bird species. Engage in walking safaris, birding tours, Hiking, gorilla tracking, mobile camping and sight seeing in some of Africa’s top national parks

amboseli-national-park-elephants

Day Trip from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park

 

Number of Pax

Hours

Cost per person

Amount

1 pax

10 Hours

$330

$330

2 Pax

10 Hours

$180

$360

3 Pax

10 Hours

$170

$510

4 Pax

10 Hours

$160

$640

5 Pax

10 Hours

$150

$750

6 Pax and above

10 Hours

$130

$780

The prices of a day trip to Amboseli from Nairobi are as below and depend on the number of persons joining the trip.

Amboseli day trip agency in Nairobi

Driving to Amboseli National Park from Nairobi Route

Your Amboseli 1 day trip departs from Nairobi at 0500hrs and drives Southeast wards along the Mombasa –Nairobi highway. Two hours into the drive, you get to Emali town where you can have a quick no frills breakfast before your branch off South onto the Oloitokitok road. This is the road that goes all the way to the border of Kenya and Tanzania at Oloitokitok town.

Distance from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park

Further up this road to Amboseli, you will start to see the clear peak Kibo with its snow covered bald top. Stop the car and step outside, take several photos of the clear peak before it decides to play peek-a-boo with you. Now you can continue with your drive to the park which is another 1 hour and a half away. Its takes almost 3 ½ hours from Nairobi to Amboseli national park. But the 5 hour game drive in Amboseli day trip is worth the time on the road.

Amboseli Day Trip from Nairobi Itinerary

0500hrs: Your Amboseli day trip starts with a Pick up from your Nairobi hotel.

07:00hrs: Breakfast at a small town called Emali. Alternative is to carry a packed breakfast from your Nairobi hotel to save on time.

0830hrs: Arrive at the Erimito gate to Amboseli national park and start your game drive in the park. Start to see the elephants, buffalos, gerenuks, hippos, gazelles, lions, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests and many other animals in the plains. You will be spoilt for choice especially at the swamp area where most of the animals congregate.

1000hrs: Continue with your game drive in the park visiting the observation hill and viewing Mt. Kilimanjaro up close. The best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro are seen from Amboseli national park. This is why an Amboseli day trip from Nairobi is the most interesting of all the day trips.

1300hrs: Lunch at Ol Tukai lodge inside the park and with a view into the swampy green lands outside. The area is cool due to the water and has the best views of wildlife from the terrace restaurant under the giant acacia trees and neatly mowed grass. The Amboseli lunch experience is also a highlight in your 1 day Amboseli tour from Nairobi.

1400hrs: An afternoon game drive as you exit Amboseli national park for Nairobi. You will get a chance to look out for the elusive animals like leopards and cheetahs. Drive back to Nairobi after taking the most exciting picture of wildlife with the background of the highest mountain in Africa Mt Kilimanjaro at 5895m above sea level.

1830hrs: Arrive back in Nairobi and drop off in your hotel after an exciting 1-day Amboseli trip from Nairobi city.

End of Services.

The cost of the Amboseli Day Trip from Nairobi tour includes:

  • Transport in a standard safari minivan
  • Breakfast at Emali (Take a hot breakfast from your hotel if you can)
  • Lunch at Ol Tukai lodge
  • Services of a professional driver guide
  • Bottled Drinking water

Cost of the Day Trip to Amboseli from Nairobi Excludes

  • Park entrance fees at $60 per person payable at gate by credit card (Register for an e-citizen account in advance to avoid gate delays www.ecitizen.go.ke)
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Personal travel insurance.

Contact for Amboseli National park day trip from Nairobi.

To book your 1 day Amboseli trip, you can contact Robert from Sojourn safaris ltd on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke or whatsapp him on +254 722 661 827

masai-mara-budget-travel-tips-kenya

Top 13 Travel Tips for a Masai Mara

Top 13 Travel Tips for a Masai Mara Budget Safari in Kenya | Blog | Sojourn Safaris Ltd| Travel Tips

Get Best Masai Mara travel tips before your go. The Masai Mara budget lodge safari packages are offered in the vast Maasai mara game reserve located some 240km southwest of Nairobi in Kenya. Immerse yourself in an intriguing adventure through the most densely populated masai mara game reserve with all sorts of wildlife. The mara is famous for the large numbers of the big five, the ugly five animals and the millions of grazers and apex predators. Nothing prepares you for the thrill of the few days you will have in the mara in terms of viewing animals and seeing the local cultures and friendly guides. The drive to Masai mara by road from Nairobi takes anywhere between 5 to 6 hours but the roads are all tarmacked. Here are 13 things to know before going on a Masai mara budget safari.

  • Masai Mara, the Top Wildlife Cauldron of the World- Your Budget Safari Climax
  • Masai Mara the Most Popular Natural Game Viewing Amphitheatre of the World on a Budget
  • Places to Stay in Masai Mara on budget Shared Package
  • The Masai People of the Mara – Make a Budget tour to a Masai Village in the Mara
  • Bird Watching in Masai Mara on Budget or Lodge Safari
  • What to Wear for Masai Mara
  • Bugs and Insects in Masai Mara
  • How Much Is The Tip To Give to Driver Guides in Masai Mara Safari
  • Where To Change Money To Local Currency
  • Local Currency To Carry Around For Expenses On Mara Safari
  • Yellow Fever, Covid 19 and Malaria Prevention on Safari
  • Visa Application for a Safari to Masai Mara Kenya
  • Transport

1.   Masai Mara, the Top Wildlife Cauldron of the World- Your Budget Safari Climax

The mara is known for its great abundance in wildlife. It is estimated that there are more than 5 million animals in this 1510sqkm area of land. In comparison to the Serengeti, which is 13 times bigger, the Masai mara has way higher density of wildlife per square mile. This means that you are surrounded by wildlife in every direction you look, literary. Staying in a budget tented safari camp in mara means, that wildlife get to roam freely in your camp and you sometime may see a rhino right outside your tent.

The grazers including the elephants, zebras, antelopes, gazelles and buffalos form the vast majority of wildlife in the mara. Their vast numbers ensure that they can support a larger population of big cat predators like lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and jackals. Nowhere in Africa will you see more than 4 prides of lions in a single day other than the mara. The prides are sometimes so large that they have over 20 individuals. The leopards are easier to see and the rhinos though rare are relatively easier to spot with some little effort. An affordable budget safari in Masai mara might present to you over 25 lions and a couple of leopards.

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You are more likely to see a lion chase or a cheetah run in Masai mara than you are in the Serengeti, its next-door neighbor in Tanzania. The fact that so many animals are located in a smaller area earns that your game drives are rich in wildlife. In the mara, you will see the big five animals (lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant, rhino) in a single day, guaranteed. The ugly five are also common including the wildebeest, common warthog, spotted hyena, marabou stork and the vulture. You would be so unlucky to end a 3 day Masai mara budget safari without see in the big five animals and others like giraffes, zebras, Thompson gazelles, hippos, hyenas, jackals, topis, waterbucks, grants gazelles, elands, crocodiles, aardvark and many more.

As if that was not enough, add into that mix, the great wildebeest migration where more than 1.5 Million animals move in and out of Tanzania and Kenya in a circular exodus 300 mile loop. This event happens between July and October in Kenya. The migration consists of 1.1million wildebeests forming the majority in the group. They are followed closely by the zebras which number around 250,000 and the rest are gazelles. The great wildebeest migration route is cyclic in a clockwise direction. The wildebeests start the migration starts from Ngorongoro plains shortly after the February breeding season. During the 1-month breeding season, over 250,000 calves are born. These calves are born to run and within an hour can outrun a leopard. The calves have a brown coat as compared to the mother’s grey and black coat. This makes them distinct and very colourful among the green plains of Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Unfortunately, it also attracts the largest party of predators from lions, cheetahs, leopards to hyenas. It is a feeding frenzy before the animals can out run them and head north for the migration. Such wanton killing of young ones might look calamitous, but it is also natures way to keep a balance on the populations of these nature’s lawn mowers of the plains.

The herds move into the Seronera area of Serengeti as they move northeastwards towards Masai mara. By July, they are entering the mara where they will feed and move around for 3-4 months before the large herds return back home to Serengeti.  

Any river they cross presents an opportunity to the big cats on the opposite riverbank. They, the predators will sit for days in a welcoming committee waiting for the beasts to cross. The Mara river crossing is your ultimate safari experience when thousands of the wary wildebeests literally pour into the overflowing river with a lot of drama.

On your second day of a 3-day Masai mara budget migration safari, the driver will take you to the mara river crossing to join part of the predators welcoming committee. Here, drama at high noon unfolds right in front of your eyes as thousands of wildebeests push and jostle for the river frontage. For hours, they will bleat neee neee neeh neeh but none will want to take the first jump. Down, below the sharp embankment is a raging flooded Mara river, in the water several small rock islands seem to float in the raging river. But Alas! These are no islands but 18feet long Nile crocodiles ready to snap their jaws on any unlucky soul. Such are the stakes of crossing the mara river that the wildebeests will stand their ground for hours before unwillingly making the jump.

New arrivals at the rear of the herd keep building the pressure on the now almost solid block of grey wildebeest and zebra brawn. They jostle and wriggle at the riverbank until the pressure on the front-runners is too much to bear. It only takes one mad individual to make the leap of faith into the water and the wall of wildebeest bodies is jumping, falling and tripping into the water like a breached dam wall. In their attempt to distract the crocodiles, they will jump 10 feet high into the air to land into the water with a great splash, sometimes on the backs of their friends who then suffer broken limbs and spines….it’s a carnage.

The mara river wildebeest-crossing stampede causes such a melee that the splash on the water is heard from the opposite bank. Thousands and thousands pour into the water and swim as fast as possible to the opposite bank. Crocodiles start to drift along the edges of the swimming wildebeest and zebra’s profile. Some are grabbed and drowned but most make their way across only to be met by the welcoming committee of lions and leopards on the opposite bank. It sure does not pay to be the first arrivals in a wildebeest migration. Many die here but even more survive to come back a year later, sure that their survival on the next exodus will be guaranteed by their sheer numbers…..until it’s your turn to take one for the team…and its curtains! Do not miss the mara river crossing when you go for a 3 days Masai mara shared budget safari whether in a group or solo.

2.   Masai Mara the Most Popular Natural Game Viewing Amphitheatre of the World on a Budget

Your Masai mara private or shared budget safari package will take you to the most scenic and even plains ideal for game viewing. The mara is blessed with thousands of kilometers of undulating and unending plains fraught with millions of all types of wildlife. In what resembles the wheat fields of Ukraine, the Masai mara plains extend to the horizon in some light yellow and brown hues. There is little tree cover in most areas of the Masai mara game drive plains which means your game viewing drives are not interrupted by forests.

The gentle and expansive plains of Masai mara are at midday interspersed with the dark shadows of the small clouds. The shadows cast on these yellow plains resemble a leopard’s rosette coat and creates one of the most symbolic artistry of nature. It’s like the plains are declaring to the world what they are known for- wildlife viewing. Absolutely amazing.

From the early azure of the morning sunrise to the midday shadows on the plains and finally the sinking golden sunrays over the horizon at sunset; the Mara’s drama unfolds like a Chinese face fan. The Masai mara plains, wildlife, the sun and clouds act like a punctual cast in a natural theatric performance that unfolds right in front of your eyes daily. The lumbering dark silhouettes of wildebeests, giraffes and elephants against the downing sun at sunset presents you with the final act of this Masai mara daily theatre concert.

masai-mara-wildebeest-migration-travel-tips

But you have to know how to appreciate the big and little things and happenings in the mara to enjoy a wholesome experience. Let your guide while on an affordable Masai mara private lodge safari package; show you the little insects, the fauna, let him explain the inter-play between the weather, the animals and the Masai people that make the mara ecosystem.

Your best bet to experience the best of the Masai mara plains is to do it in the air, and not in a noisy enclosed aircraft. You need to take a hot air balloon flight at dawn to really enjoy the silence, beauty and expanse of the mara plains. Masai mara group balloon safari rides start at 5.00am with a pick up from your lodge to the airstrip. The basket takes 12 pax and you are in the air just before sunrise. Feel the fresh, cool and crispy early morning air in the open hot air balloon. The only noise is the occasional blast of hot gasses and flame into the colourful balloon over your heads.

Every day, the sun reveals some stunning scenic and golden hue raising the curtain to the daily Masai mara concert. One by one you start to see the wildlife below including the majestic giraffes, the multitudes of wildebeests and the cacophony of gazelles. Startled by the silently moving shadow of your balloon, the animals break into a short run and stop to gaze up nonchalantly.  Soon you see the whole expanse of the ground below, the millions of animals are now clearly visible as they lazily wake up to their daily routines.

This 1-hour balloon ride is your climax for a Masai mara game viewing experience. On descent, the team has a bush champagne breakfast to warm your insides. The breakfast leaves nothing to your imagination as you get to experience a 3-course meal in the bush. A glass of champagne to celebrate your experience is offered on landing. Later the team takes to an hour of game drive enroute back to your lodge for the rest of the day’s game viewing activities. A hot air balloon ride allows you to see the full expanse of the wildebeest migration herds and the lion prides.  You also get a certificate of participation upon landing. It is highly recommended in your Masai mara affordable family lodge safari package or a senior citizen hot air balloon safari. A lot of American family safaris prefer to take the hot air balloon ride safari at the end of their stay in mara.

3.    Places to Stay in Masai Mara on budget Shared Package

The mara has many accommodation options that you can choose from depending on your budget. One thing we agree on is that there is no need to break your bank trying to watch the big five animals. Moreover, the Masai mara safari planner has an option for all kinds of budgets from the high end $1,500 a night luxury camps to the budget tented camps for $40 a night and the basic ground camping options. In between these are hundreds of comfortable lodges.

You can contact a Kenyan Masai mara family safari planner in Nairobi directly and they will advice you on which accommodation options are suitable for you. The vast majority of people visiting the Masai mara usually stay in the budget tented camps, which are comfortable but utilitarian. All of these budget tented camps and camping grounds in Masai mara are located right outside the park boundary. There is no fence however and wildlife are free to move in and out of the reserve. Moreover, all game drives are done inside the Masai mara game reserve even for camp guests located outside the park.

The greatest advantage of using a Masai mara budget shared camp is that you get to share the vehicle and tents with total strangers. Meeting new people and making friends is part of these packages and the only sacrifice you make to enjoy a mara safari on a shoestring budget. The tented camps include a general tent equipped with a comfortable bed and clean beddings, you have a hot water shower area and a private WC toilet at the back of the tent. The furniture is basic safari seats and table and you have a balcony to yourself. All of these camps offer simple but fresh buffet meals at their common restaurant and have a bar that stocks the common spirits and beers in Kenya. An example of popular budget tented camps include Mara Sidai budget camp, Mara Manyatta camp, Enkorok Mara camp, Miti Mingi tourist camp, Mara Hippo camp, Rhino Camp, Talek river camp, Lenchada tourist camp, Wajee camp, Acacia camp, Flamingo camp, Simba and Oryx camp, Jambo safari camp among others.

where-to-stay-in-masai-mara-

Following the budget tented camps are the safari lodges in Masai mara. Most of the luxury family safari lodges in the park are located right inside the Masai mara game reserve. These lodges tend to be sighted in very scenic areas of either deep acacia forest, high on a cliff with a view or around the mara river bends and curves. These Masai mara safari lodges offer the most comfortable and homely stay for an affordable Masai mara family vacation with young children as they have large grounds. These family friendly mara lodges also feature family rooms with interconnecting doors and dinning and seating rooms. They also offer the most secure family safari lodge environment in Kenyan parks. The children friendly Masai mara family lodges also offer nanny services and animators that will keep your kids occupied at the lodge.

Masai mara family lodges also come with business centers, a health spa and sports bars to cater for Dads and Moms that want to be pampered while on an African safari in Kenya. For the senior citizens, a lot of these lodges have provided for ramps in place of stairs in all common areas as well as support bars in washrooms and wet areas. Most of these lodges also provide free Wi-Fi for you to be able to upload your safari pictures in the evenings. You also get camera and phone charging power sockets on the walls in your room to make sure you never run out of power while on a game drive. The food in these mara safari lodges is A+ with most meals being a buffet catering for all dietary regimens including Vegetarians.

These Masai mara wildlife lodges have an average of between 50 to 100 rooms and this means they are very large and can be crowded at peak seasons. The cost of staying in these lodges ranges from $170 a night to $ 350 per night per person. An example of some of the best family and children friendly lodges in Masai Mara include Mara Serena game lodge, Sarova Mara Game camp, Mara Sopa Lodge, Mara Simba Lodge, Keekorok Mara lodge, Ashnil Mara Camp among others.

The most expensive and luxurious accommodation in Masai mara are the high-end exclusive camps. These are few and located in remote areas within the Masai mara game reserve. These are small camps that offer exclusivity and luxury with the largest of them having only 10-12 units. The idea here is to offer the best luxury to a very few couples or individuals who can dine and wine on a single dining table hosted by the resident managing couple. The tents are located great distances from each other to offer privacy.

The furnishing f these tents is high end with rustic beds and architecture reminiscent of the colonial hunting expedition’s luxuries of the early 20th century. You will have open showers or open-air bath tubs with a view to a river and the tents are mostly completely open on the front end. When resting in your tent, you feel like you are in the Masai mara entirely alone. They want you to feel like you are all alone, left to enjoy the Masai mara wildlife, nature and views all by yourself but pampered with extreme luxurious furniture, linen, furnishing and ambience. Some even offer you a personal plunge pool or a Jacuzzi right outside your tent frontage. The price you pay for a night in these high-end luxury camps starts from $700 to over $1800 a night. Most of the safaris organized to these high –end luxury camps in Masai mara are mostly 3, 4,5,6,7 day air safaris by scheduled flights or charter.

An example of top end luxury tented camps in Masai mara Kenya include Governors camp, Mahari pazuri, Ollare Kempinski camp, Batelluer camp, Cottars camp 1920 among others.

4.    The Masai People of the Mara – Make a Budget Tour to a Masai Village in the Mara

You cannot mention Masai mara safari without mentioning the people that have safe guarded this ecosystem for ages. These are the people that have lived side by side with this wildlife and conserved them for us to enjoy. The Masai people are nomadic pastoralists that depend on cattle for their livelihood. It is the predominant community that surrounds the Masai mara game reserve as well as the Serengeti national park in Tanzania.

Masai people have retained their traditions for ages and they still wear the red colored shawls around their body. They have mastered the art of living in the wilderness and among the most dangerous wildlife peacefully. Traditionally, a Masai warrior was inducted to the adulthood through an initiation ceremony that involved killing of a male lion. Although such practices no longer exist, it does show how brave and War some these community has been over the years. The Masai warriors were among the most feared among old Africa communities. They have retained most of the less injurious traditions, which they still practice to date and are more than happy to share with you in your next visit.

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Masai community own and occupy the vast lands that surround Masai mara game reserve. Infact, the land owned by the Masai is many times larger than the actual area of the Mara reserve. Since there are no fences separating the mara and the community lands, the wildlife are free to roam in and out of the park. The Masai lands therefore become dispersal areas for the animals especially in drought seasons. This means that the Masai literally live inside a wildlife area; and that calls for grit.

The community has built settlements called Manyattas and that dot the landscape in their characteristic rounded shapes. The village will usually be fenced with thorny branches of the acacia trees to keep away the lions and other animals at night. Their houses form a circle within the thorny fence and in the middle of the houses is the livestock kraal, which is also surrounded by a thorny fence.

These Masai villages in the mara are open to visitation by tourists that come for game viewing in the park. For a small fee, visitors can come to the villages and learn the traditional Masai culture and traditions. First, to welcome you are Women with their dances and white smiles. The men will show you to do the Ajuma dance, which is some kind of levitational hops, which seem to defy gravity. This jump dance of the Masai and their heavy bass singing is the hallmark of all activities in the village.

They will also teach you how to throw a traditional spear at a target and make fire using just two stick and some dry elephant dung. In some villages, you can even go for a walking safari among the wildlife, although this is offered strictly outside of the park boundaries. Later, you may buy some souvenirs from their village Masai market for some African jewelry, beadwork, carvings and footwear. The mood is merry and fun as you dance and get to learn how they all live among the game with a big smile and warm hearts.

5.    Bird Watching in Masai Mara on Budget or Lodge Safari

The mara is home to more than 400 species of birds and has some wetlands, which form Important Bird Areas. Many birders also visit the park for bird watching as opposed to game viewing. The Masai mara game reserve has 3 main habitats that support different types of birds namely the savannah grasslands, the forest areas and the wetland swamps. Each of these areas supports different types of birds with the bigger birds of prey occupying the savannah grasslands.

The fish, frogs and water organisms eating birds are mostly found wading in the swamps or resting up on trees near the wetlands. The African fish eagle is one such bird that waits patiently with its acute vision trained on the water below. On seeing a fish or snake in the water, it will swoop down at tremendous speed and wing control to grab the it off the water and perch on a tree branch for its meal. The herons and hadada and sacred ibises florick the edges of the swamps looking for the frogs and other water insects.

The tawny eagles are large and scout he savannah in search of antelope fawn, hares, snakes and rats to grab. The secretary bird and kori bustards simply walk the plains in their majestic gait looking for snakes to kill and eat…what a diet.

The-bustard-of-mara

The-bustard-of-mara

In the air making circular motions are the vultures that will circle a carcass and drop to the ground to wait their turn to finish off the remains. The vultures are very patient and will wait on the bit cats and hyenas to finish the meat on bone and they come in in their hundreds to clean off the scene with their sharp curved beaks.

The large ostriches can be seen walking the plains and some with their chicks in tow. They are wonderful to watch and are in plenty throughout the grasslands. The African crested cranes are always in pairs near wetlands as they florick with the bright colors. If you are luck you may form, the audience of a male crested crane doing the dance of his lifetime to woo a female…it doesn’t always end well for the dancer.

Sometimes you will get a blacksmith plover having nested in the middle of the road near a swamp. He makes a lot of noise as you approach as if to alert you that she has her nest right on the road. It will be up to you to respect her right of way and veer off the road to avoid damaging her next.

A small kingfisher is perched on a thorn tree near the swamp with a fish twice its length inside its mouth. You are sure that if it swallows the fish head first, the head is going to come out its rear end before the fish’s tail gets into its mouth…but nature is magical and now you see the fish and next minute you don’t!!!

If you take your time and spend a full day watching birds in Masai mara, you will be amazed at how much you can learn in these plains. You will be astounded at how much you have missed by not giving time to watch the birds and their concert.

As if you haven’t seen enough of birds, you round a corner and you meet this old buffalo male. Nothing is unusual with him as he trots lazily across the plains. All but the fact that there is an ox-pecker bird that is busy building its nest using wet mud, right in the middle of his horns. The buffalo has finally given her the consent to become a tenant on his horns, if that will allow him report to tick picking duty on time. Sort of like taking residency on the company grounds sort of thing. Rent free.

Such is the fun in watching birds in Masai mara in a 3 or 4-day bird watching budget safari itinerary. You will definitely get help from our resident bird guides to identify and tick off over 250 species of birds in the 2 nights birding tour in Mara.

6.    What to Wear for Masai Mara Safari

Masai mara game reserve has a large di-annual temperature range. This means that the nights can be extremely cold and the day can be brutally hot. You will therefore need to be prepared either way for the cold and the heat of the day. You can pack some light t-shirts and shorts for the daytime. A straw hat or cap is advisable for the sun when you have to step out of the vehicle. East African sun has high dose of ultra violet rays, which are harmful. Long sleeves and khaki trousers might actually be advisable if you will going for a walking safari to avoid the sun and cuts from grass and sticks.

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For the morning game drives carry a shawl or buy one of the Masai shukas/kikoi, they are great for covering yourself by creating a layer of warm air around your body in the dawn game drives. It can be extremely chilly. At night, the lodges provide enough warm beddings but tents can become very cold especially in the July winter in Kenya. Carry some warm fleece jacket that you can wear in the evenings and even sleep in at night. If you wish, you can carry an extra blanket just to be sure especially in the months of June-august.

Your footwear need to be flat soled with good grip for walking. Open shoes are discouraged due to injuries and snakes when you have to walk in the tall grass.

7.    Bugs and Insects in Masai Mara

Masai mara is a malaria area and especially during the wet season when mosquitoes are at their breeding time. Yes…it’s the wilderness and bugs and insects are part of the package you will buy into. Most lodges and camps provide you with a mosquito net for your bed but you still need to take care to avoid bites when you are around the camp.

Nairobi supermarkets sell very good pyrethrum based insect repellant in the form of a lotion or spray. So you are able to choose between both. Wearing a short has one advantage in the mara walking safaris in that you can feel as the ticks crawl up your legs. However, at the same time, your legs are exposed to cuts from grass and sticks. A trouser on the other hand protects your legs from cuts but provide the ticks a highway to your upper body.

Let me explain, ticks when fully-grown climb to the tips of grass strands waiting for the next animal to hitch a ride and feed on. If that happens to be you with your trousers, you will be removing ticks from your balls a week after the African safari. Therefore, it’s also advisable to check your Netherlands areas every evening during your shower. Ticks love it there as its warm with lots of blood flow which is their food….suckers!! I once went for a similar walking safari and I removed ticks off my Cajones 2 weeks after the walk…and the only reason you notice they are there is when you start to feel the itch….hahahaha!!

8.    How Much Is The Tip To Give to Driver Guides in Masai Mara Safari

Tips are optional and dependent on the service delivered. Having said that, the salaries that these drivers are paid are hardly enough to make ends meet. Moreover, these guys guy over and beyond their call of duty to make sure that you have the greatest time in Masai mara. So it’s only fair to say thanks in the way of a good tip.

The recommended but by no way the maximum tip is $10 – $20 per day per person. So if you are 4 in a car, you can tip anywhere from $40 -$80 every day of the safari for the entire group. However, as I mentioned, tips are discretionary but recommended.

Tips in restaurants are usually standard as anywhere else around the world where its 10% of the value of the food or drinks consumed. Unless of course one is, a celebrity or a ball player and they can try to knock the waiter/waitress unconscious with a shock of a tip….

Having said that, not all standards of service deserve a tip and the decision is entirely yours to make based on the circumstances. You can decide to carry some local cash for the tips to make your work easier.

9.     Where To Change Money To Local Currency

There are foreign exchange bureaus right at the airport where you can change dollars to Kshs but the rate is afew shillings less than the ones in the CBD. Therefore, you can ask your driver to take you to a forex exchange bureau for some change before the safari. This will give you some local currency to spend for your local expenses.

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The exchange rate changes frequently and sometimes drastically, you can check the current Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) exchange Rates on google. The CBK rates are however estimates of the market rates and may vary by a shilling or 2. It is also fare to mention that rates at hotels are very low and you should avoid changed large amounts of money at your hotel. Your best bet are the foreign exchange bureaus which are everywhere on the streets of Nairobi.

Alternatively, you can get to an ATM and withdrawal money in local currency to spend. This is convenient but again the exchange rates you get are bank rates and they are not known to be very friendly. Your last point where you can access an ATM before going to the Masai mara is the last major town known as Narok Town. Narok is located about 100km from Masai Mara.

10.    Local Currency To Carry Around For Expenses On Mara Safari

A safari package mostly includes the major elements like park fees, accommodation, meals and transport to and flo. The meals included are the buffets and rarely are drinks covered in the cost of the tour. This means that you will need extra cash to buy drinks as well as any other souvenirs that might interest you along the way. Please note that the local traders are unable to process card payments, buy can accept both Kenya shillings and us dollars. You are at an advantage if you are buying in Kenya shillings nonetheless.

On average, you can spend anywhere between Kshs 1,000 – Kshs 3,000 if you are entertaining friends. That is about $20 a day. Of course you can use much less than this if you wish. For buying souvenirs, the amount you will need will depend on what type and quantity of items you want to buy. You could budget anywhere between usd 30 – usd 100 per day if you want to do piecemeal purchases. You could opt to buy at the end of your safari on a single location but you would lose the choice of buying cheaply from vendors in rural areas like the local Masai markets in Masai mara area.

11.    Yellow Fever, Covid and Malaria Prevention on Safari

Entry to Kenya requires you to have a yellow fever injection at least 2 weeks before date of travel. Kenya is classified as a yellow fever area and you are advised to check with your doctor about vaccination jab. You will be issued with a yellow fever vaccination card, which you will present on entry.

Recommended immunizations before coming to Kenya include the below. By no means do you need all of them:

  • Malaria
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
  • Diptheria
  • Yellow fever
  • Cholera

Covid 19 travel restrictions have since been lifted for visitors to Kenya. You therefore do not need Covid vaccine certification prior to travel to Kenya. Precautions on safari like wearing of masks and use of hand sanitizer have also been relaxed since. However, it is best to practice hand hygiene while on safari like frequent watching of hands to avoid other surface borne ailments.

In the case of malaria, you are advised to make sure you start prophylactic or preventive treatment at least 1 week before travel. You should continue with the dosage during travel and a few days after return home. There is a dose given for preventive malaria treatment and your doctor is best suited to give you that advice. In the event that you arrive in Kenya and have not started the treatment, some pharmacists in Nairobi will help you start the right dose.

12.    Visa Application for a Safari to Masai Mara Kenya

You will need a tourist visa if you are coming from a country that has not waivered visas with Kenya for their citizens. You can access the full list of which countries that do not need a visa to Kenya from the Kenya immigration website here: https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=6

 

masai-mara-online-visa-application-in-kenya

Luckily, visa application can now be done online using the government’s portal at https://evisa.go.ke You will need to submit copies of your passport for the application and pay the requisite fee for a tourist visa at $51. (see: https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=7 )

Make sure to apply at least a week or more before departure to help you with your planning. Visas are processed depending on its urgency. This means that visas whose arrival dates are close will get priority. This means, that if you apply late for your visa, it will also be approved late and close to your travel date, which can cause uncertainty to your travel plans.

13.   Transport

There are several airports and airstrips in the major cities and towns in Kenya including Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Isiolo. There are also tens of bush airstrips in the national parks, which serve the tourists visiting parks and staying in lodges in Masai mara, Amboseli, Samburu, Tsavo etc. Local or civil air services are extensive with scheduled and chattered services offered from major towns.

There is now a very reliable train service between Nairobi and Mombasa with the Standard Gauge Railway or SGR. The SGR Mombasa train takes 4 hours from Nairobi to Mombasa and is quite prompt. The western end of the railway line to Kisumu and Kampala in Uganda is still work in progress and is frequently ceased until an SGR line is built. Train travel to Mombasa through the SGR is however a lot of fun. Most of the locals use the cheaper economy class for $8 while tourists usually use the first class for $26 a ticket.

sgr-train-ride-to-mombasa-from-nairobi

The public road transport is by means of privately owned taxis, minibuses and buses that ply the city routes as well as upcountry areas of Kenya. All routes of Kenya are well covered and these taxis can take you to any end of the country. However, make sure to negotiate the prices before boarding the vehicle as prices can be jerked at any time the conductor feels like it.

Get more details on how to book a 3 days Masai mara safari package on whatsapp +254 722 661 827 or email us on info@sojournsafaris.co.ke

 

 

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