Share This Tour
- 8 nights
- From $4995 USD
- Departing 6 September 2012
- Gay men and Lesbians
The Great Migration in Kenya
Romanticised in wide-screen adventures and immortalised by Ernest Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Kenya is a place for safaris in game parks such as Amboseli, the Maasai Mara, and the Great Rift Valley. Here you find wildebeest, elephant, buffalo, hippo, zebra, leopard, cheetah, lion, giraffe, monkey, baboon, rhino, jackal, gazelle, and many exotic bird species. Extend to the remote island of Madagascar to see more of the world's rarest animals. Grab your khakis and cameras, and let’s go on Safari!
• Snow-capped Mount Kenya
• The "Big Five" of wildlife: rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion
• Luxury tented camps and thrilling game drives
• Lake Nakuru, home to millions of flamingos
• Maasai Mara, premier wildlife reserve to see the great migration
• Optional sunrise hot air balloon to see the migration
• Kiss a giraffe
• World-famous lemurs and other wildlife of Madagascar
• Baobabs of Andasibe National Forest
• Blue iguanas of Nosy Be beach
• Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar
Where the wild things are
Kenya is a startlingly beautiful land, from its low-lying coastal region to the lofty heights of its most prominent geographical feature. Above all, Kenya is a place for safaris. Between these two extremes is the rolling savannah that is home to game parks such as Amboseli, and the Maasai Mara; the lush, agricultural highlands with their sleek green coat of coffee and tea plantations; and the most spectacular stretch of the Great Rift Valley, the giant scar across the face of Africa. One-tenth of all land in Kenya is designated as national parks and reserves.
This region of Africa has dozens of ecosystems that give rise to a host of different species of mammals and birds. Here you can find everything you hope to see on Safari, including wildebeest, elephant, buffalo, hippo, zebra, leopard, cheetah, lion, giraffe, impala, oryx, monkey, baboon, rhino, dik-dik, waterbuck, jackal, gazelle, hartebeest, topi, ostrich, flamingo, heron, kingfisher, egret, ibis, stork, crested hawk eagle, and many more.
The countryside itself is part of the drama: bulbous baobab trees with their massive trunks, kopjes (granite outcrops) that stand alone on vast plains, the Great Rift Valley punctuated with soda lakes covered white with salt, golden savannah to volcanic highlands, and lush, green hills. The altitude ranges from sea level to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at a lofty 19,340 feet, which contributes to the startlingly diverse landscape.
Here, you won’t have to share your experience with buses carrying dozens of overexcited tourists. This region has more National Parks and protected land than any place on the continent. It is to this remnant of an Africa that once existed but is quickly vanishing that we take you on a classic Wildlife Photo Safari. We are going to do it in style, giving up none of the comforts of home by staying in beautiful lodges erected in the most striking settings to be found on earth.
Our days are spent enjoying close-up game viewing from the comfort of our four-wheel drive vehicles. Every passenger has a window seat, and the pop-up roof allows one to stand for unimpeded views in every direction. Awake to the gentle cooing of the African Dove, marvel at the vast and unspoiled landscape illuminated by the African sun. Witness in awe thousands of wildebeest racing across endless plains, the majesty of an elephant only yards away and the supple strength of a lioness stalking her prey.
Come and enjoy the unsurpassed safari experience only Kenya can promise, and if you wish, continue to explore the mysteries of Madagascar! You will feel like you have been cast in a dramatic episode of The Wild Kingdom. Grab your khakis, your pith helmet, your camera and binoculars, and let’s go on Safari!
Eight (8) nights hotel or lodge accommodations; one group airport transfer at the beginning and end of the tour, timed to accommodate the greatest number of arriving and departing participants; all meals and activities as indicated in the tour itinerary; services of safari guides and drivers in four-wheel drive safari vehicles customised with pop-up roofs, limited to six passengers per vehicle so everyone has a window seat; all guided excursions described in the itinerary (except those listed as “optional”); all park entry fees; and bottled water available in safari vehicles. This is a fully guided and escorted tour.
Round-trip airfare from your home city to Nairobi (NBO), Kenya; visa fees; airport transfers if necessary at times other than the "included" transfers, charged at $30 per transfer for 1-2 persons; beverages other than the bottled water provided during game drives; meals and any optional activities (such as hot-air ballooning) not specifically listed in the itinerary; insurance; laundry; telephone calls; faxes; or any other expenses of a personal nature. Tips to drivers and guides are not included; tipping guidelines for our group tips will be provided prior to departure.
LAND OF THE LEMUR
We are so close, why not hop out to the exotic island of Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world. Separated from the African continent 135 million years ago, the island has become its own cauldron of evolution, serving as the breeding grounds for species of plants and animals found nowhere else on the planet. You may see the world’s largest butterflies, long-nape giraffe beetles, hedgehog-like Tenrecs, vibrant chameleons, and enormous land turtles. However, Madagascar’s most famous residents are the lemurs, which seem to inhabit every nook and cranny of the island. From arid bush in the south to luxuriant forests in the east and northeast to the stocky towering baobab trees, Madagascar also looks like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Conclusion of Kenya Tour / Late Flight to Madagascar
Arriving at the airport after our Farewell Dinner, our flight departs Nairobi at 10:15pm, and arrives in Antanarivo (also known simply as Tana) on the island of Madagascar at 1:35am tomorrow. As soon as possible we arrive at our hotel for a very late check-in. (All meals)
Monday, September 17, 2012
Andasibe National Park
Since we are basically checking into our hotel in the early morning hours this morning, we grab a precious few hours of sleep before launching into a day of excitement in exotic Madagascar.
We transfer to Andasibe National Park, also known as Perinet National Park. The distance from Tana to Andasibe is just 86 miles, but it will be a leisurely four-hour drive over curving tar roads. Along the way we make a stop to visit one of the insect and reptile reserves at Peyrieras. On a guided walk through this quiet reserve hidden in the jungle, our local guide will point out many examples of beautiful butterflies, moths, chameleons, giant centipedes, pill bugs, crocodiles, geckos and frogs. We will take time for lunch at the restaurant here (on your own), before proceeding on our way.
We make another brief stop at the town of Moramanga to see the local open air market. Finally, after reaching our destination of Andasibe, we check into our rooms and enjoy some time for rest and relaxation. In late afternoon our driver and guide accompany us on a game drive to Vakona Reserve, also known as Lemurs’ Island. The evening is free. (All meals)
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Andasibe National Park to Nosy Be Island
After breakfast we check out of our room and pack our luggage in the vehicle. Then we will have a morning tour of Andasibe (Perinet) Park with a local guide. Andasibe hosts 11 species of lemurs, of which the biggest, the Indri Indri, is easily spotted because of its impressive shrieks. Hearing them we can understand why this park is sometimes called "The Music of the Forest." The lemurs cannot bear being in captivity, so they can only be admired only in their natural setting. The park also shelters several species of birds, reptiles, insects and batrachians (amphibious reptiles).
In the afternoon we drive back to Antananarivo (Tana), where we catch a flight Nosy Be, an island just five miles off the northwest coast of Madagascar. This volcanic island is the country’s biggest tourist resort, known for its sandy beaches, warm tropical breezes and spectacularly coloured chameleons. Overnight at Andilana Beach. (All meals)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Nosy Be Island to Tana
After breakfast enjoy a free morning to pack your bags and spend some time relaxing on the beach. In the afternoon we fly from Nosy Be Island back to the Tana on mainland Madagascar and enjoy a city tour. This evening we celebrate the conclusion of our exotic adventures in Africa with a celebratory Farewell Dinner. (All meals)
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Enjoy a free morning before transferring to the Tana airport to catch our flight back to Nairobi. Our flight departs at 12:40pm, and arrives back in Nairobi at 4:00pm. Tour services conclude upon arrival at the Nairobi Airport. You should book your flight out of Kenya to depart late tonight / early morning tomorrow. (Breakfast)
Tana (2 nights - one at beginning and one at end): Mellis Hotel
Andasibe National Park (1 night): Vakona Lodge
Nosy Be Island (1 night): Hotel Andilana Beach
THE BOTTOM LINE (tour prices per person)
Price: $1,995 per person in double occupancy accommodations
Private Room: $200 additional, for a total of $2,195.
|Day 1||Touchdown in Nairobi||Stepping from the plane into the fragrant African air today, you realise you are finally here at the beginning of a long-awaited adventure. The tour price includes one group airport to hotel transfer, which will be timed to accommodate the greatest number of arriving participants. Upon arrival at the hotel, enjoy free time to rest and recover from jet lag. No activities are planned until this evening, when our group gathers for the first time in the hotel bar for a welcome cocktail and introductions all around, followed by our Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of this exciting African adventure. (Dinner included)|
|Day 2||Ol Pejeta Conservancy||After breakfast drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which is situated between the foothills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kenya. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals including all the “Big Five” (the endangered black and white rhino , leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion) as well a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees, the only one in Kenya. Overnight in a tented camp in the Conservancy. (All meals)|
|Day 3||Game Drives at Ol Pejeta||Today we enjoy an early morning game drive, then return to the camp for breakfast and relaxation. During the day we visit a school near the Conservancy, and we will organise items for everyone to pack with them from the States to offer as a donation to the school during this visit. Enjoy a second game drive in the evening, when the animals are more active. Sleep for the second night at our tented camp. (All meals)|
|Day 4||Lake Nakuru National Park||We check out of our rooms at the camp this morning and depart for Lake Nakuru National Park. It is best known for its thousands (sometimes millions) of flamingos nesting along its shores. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognisable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingo's on the lake varies with water and food conditions, and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff. Also of interest is an area of 188 km around the lake fenced off as a sanctuary to protect Rothschild giraffes and black rhino. Overnight at a beautiful lodge at the lake. (All meals)|
|Day 5||Maasai Mara||After breakfast we head for the Maasai Mara, Kenya’s premier wildlife reserve. The Maasai Mara is picture-book Africa; endless plains punctuated by flat-top acacia trees and home to an array of wildlife. Every year the reserve plays host to one of the world’s great wildlife spectacles, the annual wildebeest migration. Over 1.4 million wildebeest and 200,000 zebra and gazelle, relentlessly tracked by Africa’s great predators, migrate over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain-ripened grass from late July until the end of September. We check in at our lodge in the late morning, enjoy lunch, and then have a few hours to relax. Later in the day, we embark on an evening game drive. (All meals)|
|Day 6||Maasai Mara Game Drives||Today is devoted to early morning and afternoon game drives in this spectacular game reserve, all with the most amazing opportunities for photographing the great migration. Blessed with an abundant water supply, the Maasai Mara has a permanent population of plains game, including the Big Five. Wherever you go in the Mara you will see an astonishing amount of wildlife. Of the big cats, lions are found in large prides everywhere. Cheetahs and leopards are harder to spot but are still fairly common. Other common animals include Maasai giraffes, baboons, Warthogs, bat-eared foxes, grey jackals, and matriarchal clans of spotted hyena. (All meals)|
|Day 7||Maasai Village||You have the option (not included) of taking a hot air balloon ride very early this morning before breakfast to float above the landscape, taking in the herds of wild animals as they begin their movement for the day with the rising sun. Afterwards, return to the lodge for breakfast. Let us know if you are interested in taking advantage of this great opportunity by checking the appropriate box on the reservation form. The cost of this thrilling adventure is $500. After breakfast we visit a local village for a cultural tour to learn about the Maasai community. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to indulge in the many amenities of our lodge. In the early evening we take a walking safari escorted by a ranger and our tour guide to see animals from the amazing vantage point of being on foot. (All meals)|
|Day 8||Lake Naivasha||After breakfast we drive to Lake Naivasha, with its commanding setting at the foot of the Rift Valley Escarpment, a vast seismic scar torn across the African continent 20 million years ago. Our destination today is the important horticultural area of Lake Naivasha. Once there we check into our lodge, have lunch and proceed on an afternoon game drive, returning to the lodge for dinner. (All meals)|
|Day 9||Giraffe Centre / Farewell to Kenya||After breakfast we return to Nairobi, arriving in time for lunch at The African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya (A.F.E.W Kenya Ltd), also known as The Giraffe Centre. This non-profit organisation was founded by the late Betty Melville, an American who discovered the sad plight of 120 Rothschild giraffes left on an 18,000 acre ranch in Western Kenya that was scheduled for sub-division and development. After lunch we venture into the city for excursions and shopping. We proceed to our final dinner in Kenya at the Carnivore Restaurant before going to the airport to catch departing homebound flights. Tour services conclude with arrival at the airport in time for those participating in the tour extension to Madagascar, with departure at 10:15pm. (All meals)|