- Visit remote Kenyan conservancies and tribal communities.
- Learn firsthand about the issues facing the future of Kenya conservation from an expert.
- Stay in beautiful luxury lodges and private mobile camps in remote areas.
- Spot rare species, including elephants, gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, grant’s gazelle, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, lesser and greater kudu, desert warthog, leopard, striped and spotted hyena, lion, cheetah, reptiles, and all manner of smaller nocturnal life.
- Bird watching is incredible in this region: Watch sand grouse watering in the mornings – tens of thousands flock in to the remote permanent water sources every day to water themselves and to take water back to their babies often over 20 kilometres away. The spectacle has to be seen to be believed.
Day 1: Arrival
Upon arrival into Nairobi, you will be met off your plane by a representative and provided with VIP service into the arrivals terminal. Enjoy the beginning of your stay at the beautiful Hemingways Hotel before your early departure for the bush tomorrow.
Day 2: Visit to the Northern Rangelands Trust HQ
Early this morning you will be transferred to Wilson airport to catch a flight out to Lewa Airstrip. You will be met on arrival by a car and driver, and transferred from the airstrip to Sirikoi Lodge (20 minute game drive). Today you will have a unique opportunity to visit to the Northern Rangelands Trust Headquarters, which allows you to understand how both Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (privately owned) and the Northern Rangelands Trust (community-based NGO) function.
This is a wonderful experience and a great way to learn how NRT initially evolved from Lewa, in order to ensure community buy-in around Lewa’s borders, which worked to protect key wildlife migration corridors into, and out of, Lewa.
This visit will also expose you to the JOCC (joint operations and command centre), which is where all incidences of human-wildlife conflict — poaching, stock theft, etc. — from the Northern Rangelands Trust landscape and surrounding private ranches are reported and responded to. The JOCC is a unique and state-of-the-art security asset, working hand-in-hand with the Kenyan government (police department and Kenya Wildlife Service). During the visit you will meet the superb team of Lewa sniffer dogs and have a chance to see other NRT and Lewa assets, including the fleet of choppers and airplanes, which are key players in the security project of this vast region.
This evening, enjoy your stay at the beautiful Sirikoi Lodge.
Day 3: Ngare Ndare Forest
Today is an opportunity to visit the Ngare Ndare Forest, one of the first NRT supported community conservancies. Located on the boundary of Lewa, a complete contrast to the wide-open plains of the conservancy, Ngare Ndare is one of the only forests within Kenya to expand since independence, which beautifully illustrates the potential of coordinated community conservation.
Walking through the forest canopy of enormous indigenous trees on the elevated walkway and diving into blue glacial pools and waterfalls is an exceptional experience of a very different wilderness. Depart in the morning after breakfast, and drive for 40 minutes, through a few small Kenyan rural communities, to reach the forest. The elevated canopy walkway is about 10m high and 400m long, ending at a beautiful lookout deck. You may take lunch to the forest and enjoy it on the deck. Pack your swimsuits, and Sirikoi will pack towels.
Enjoy another evening at Sirikoi Lodge.
Day 4: Venturing Off Grid
Latitude Safari Camp
Begin a rare adventure into a very remote bush camp. Locations are chosen closer to the time, based on wildlife movements, weather, etc. Camps are generally positioned slightly set back on the ‘luggas,’ so that you can watch the action of wildlife coming in to drink. At sunset, it is lovely to sit quietly, hoping for the elephants to come in and give you a show. With a small safari team and being hundreds of miles from the next tourist, the experience is wonderfully intimate and off-grid.
Each day is flexible, and the day’s adventures will be discussed with Kieran, based on wildlife movements and herders locations, for example. One morning you might jump in the Landcruiser to find collared giraffes in remote bushland. The next, you go for a beautiful walk along a truly wild stretch of river, and try out fly-fishing for Barbel. There are endless opportunities for walking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, camel safaris, ATV quad biking and relaxing.
Day 5: Rhino Tracking on Foot, Sera Rhino Sanctuary
Latitude Safari Camp
Track wild black rhino in the Sera Rhino Sanctuary, the first community conservancy in East Africa to operate a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation and breeding of the critically endangered black rhino.
Northern Kenya was once the stronghold for black rhino — a landscape in which they thrived until the poaching of the 70s and 80s. The reintroduction of black rhino into the Sera Sanctuary has been a great success with a growing population, which currently stands at 16 individuals. There is a unique opportunity here to track them up close on foot, relaxing in the heat of the day, and watching the wildlife come and go.
The other day’s activities will be accessible based on the current conditions and activity in the wild, and this group is poised to take advantage of them by plane, helicopter, 4×4, or foot.
Day 6: Off-grid Magic
Latitude Safari Camp
Today’s activities will be based upon traveler’s proclivities and current conditions. During this wonderfully off grid experience you will be poised to take advantage of any adventure that awaits.
Day 7: Venture to Sarara Lodge, Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy
Today you will venture to the magical Sarara Lodge. Nomadic Samburu tribes coexist alongside livestock and wildlife in this 850,000 acre conservancy. Days are spent exploring on game drives in search of elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, and giraffe.
Time can also be spent walking through the montane cloud forest, riding bush ponies, settling into the hide to watch animals up-close at the watering hole, visiting local manyattas (villages), learning beading from Samburu women, and relaxing by the rock swimming pool.
Day 8: Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Today we have included a private visit (exclusive access) to Reteti Elephant Orphanage, 45 minutes’ drive from Sarara, including a picnic.
Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is found in the remote Mathews Mountain Range, among the second largest elephant population in Kenya. It is the first community owned and run elephant sanctuary in the world. The orphanage rescues and takes in abandoned elephant calves with the aim to raise them and release them back into the wild herds adjoining the Sanctuary.
During your visit, you will be paired with a keeper who will accompany you the entire time to tell you about their work and answer any questions. From a special viewing platform, you will watch the elephants come in from their walk to receive their bottles and then have mud hole playtime. Afterwards, you will be given a behind the scenes tour of the sanctuary.
Day 9: Sarara Lodge and Singing Wells
Today will be another day of exploration. Perhaps you will watch the ‘Singing Wells’ ritual as the Samburu warriors bring their cattle to the wells to drink during the dry season. This ritual is fascinating. Samburu warriors descend deep into the wells, forming a human chain, and chanting traditional songs to a mesmerizing rhythm, passing water up by hand for the cattle. It is a site to behold.
This evening enjoy a beautiful performance by Samburu dancers, who will show the traditional songs and dances of their tribe. The bright colors of their traditional tribal dress, stunning beaded jewelery and elaborate headdresses are spectacular to behold. The Samburu people have a rich history and strong culture, which you will learn about, surrounded by the landscape that they call home.
Day 10: Departure
This morning you will be privately transferred by road from Sarara Lodge to Samburu Kalama Airstrip (approx. 1.5 hours drive). Fly from Samburu Kalama Airstrip to Nairobi Wilson Domestic Airport. You will be greeted with a VIP Private Transfer from Nairobi Wilson Domestic Airport and transferred to a day room.
You can take the rest of the afternoon to freshen up before your international departure. You will be collected from your hotel for your VIP private road transfer to Nairobi International Airport in time for your flight home.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a trip to Kenya? Get in touch with a private travel designer!