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Salt Lakes & Lava Plains in Kenya

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  • We've been doing this for over 35 years and we think we're pretty good at it!
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  • We explore the wilder side of East Africa
  • Hassle Free Adventure - we take care of it all for you.
  • Join our diverse community bound by a shared love of adventure.
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  • Free AMREF Cover - Air ambulance evacuation service in the event of a medical emergency.

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8 days
Availability : All Year
Nairobi
Nairobi
Min Age : 12
Max People : 4

Camping Kenyan Style – from the remote town of Maralal, home to the Samburu people, upwards towards Lake Turkana, the largest permanent desert lake in the world. This tour offers amazing scenery, boat rides, and visits to local villages. The Chalbi Desert is next and here we visit the rock paintings and murals before enjoying Sundowners watching the sun setting over the desert. From here we head to Lake Paradise and Little Lake in Marsabit, where indigenous forest and desert come together to create an unbelievable landscape. Our final stop is the Samburu Game Reserve which is home to some unique animals only found in the North of Kenya.

Tour Details

Views of Mt Longonot and Suswa rising from the Rift Valley floor are just a couple of the vistas you will see on your journey towards Maralal. Maralal is the unofficial capital of the Samburu people and is also home of the Maralal International Camel Derby that happens once a year between July and October.

Next stop is the Malasso viewpoint on Losiolo Escarpment, one of the most dramatic views of the Great Rift Valley, the horizon is etched with gorges, peaks and plains. And on a clear day you will also see the valley of Suguta and beyond Lake Turkana, the largest alkaline desert lake in the world. We continue from here towards South Horr and Lake Turkana.

Next stop is the Chalbi Desert towards Kalacha, a small settlement inhabited by the Gabbra people. We visit the local church with its interesting murals, a local Gabbra Village and at the end of our day enjoy Sundowners looking out over this surrealistic Desert vista. The following day we head south to Marsabit, an astonishingly cool oasis rising high above the dry heat of the surrounding Desert. In the dry season we drive up to Lake Paradise and Little Lake, where you can see how an indigenous Forest and a Desert come together to create the most surrealistic landscape on earth.

Final Stop is the Samburu National Reserve, a lava plain that includes a diverse landscape of thorn scrub, red dirt, dried river beds, volcanic rock and rocky outcroppings. Here we go on a afternoon game drive and/or a visit to a local Samburu Village before sleeping under a canopy of trees near the Ewaso Nyiro River.  Our trip ends here and we head back to Nairobi via the Central Highlands making sure that we make a photo stop at the equator sign.

Tour Type

Camping

Departure & Return Location

Nairobi Kenya

Departure Time

8.00 am

Price Includes

  • 7 nights’ accommodation as per meal plan indicated
  • Camp & cooking gear
  • Your driver/guide & safari chef
  • Game drives and activities
  • All Transportation
  • Mineral water on duration of tour

Price Excludes

  • International Flights
  • Sleeping bags/ travel pillow
  • Optional Activities
  • Any other beverages
  • Upgraded accommodation
  • Park Fees

Complimentaries

  • AMREF Air Ambulance cover
  • Water Bottles
What To Bring

Cameras and Camcorders

To Capture these wonderful memories

Binoculars

Make sure you don’t miss a thing! 

Head Torch

Its always great to have – there are no street lights on safari

A good book or cards

For relaxation between Safaris

Wind Jacket ( light weight or poncho)

For those chilly mornings

Footwear

Comfortable hiking boots and/or sturdy footwear for walking safaris and sandals whilst in camp

Fleece Jacket

For chilly nights around the campfire

Comfortable clothing

Bring light clothing but avoid white because of the dust from the savannah

Sunhat and Glasses

To protect you from this strong sun

Swimwear

For those cool pools & river rafting

Sunscreen

To protect you from being burnt

Sleeping Bags (Season 3) & Camping Pillow

For those ‘comfortable’ nights under the stars

A Solid Bag or Rucksack

Remember 15kgs limit for domestic flights and is easier to stack in safari jeeps and small planes

Insect repellant

We want to protect your delicate skin from being munched on by the little insects.

Itinerary

Day 1Nairobi to Maralal

Departing in the early morning, we stop at the Escarpment outside Nairobi, to see Mt Longonot and Suswa in the distance rising up from the Rift Valley floor. We continue northwards making a brief stop at Nyahururu & Thompson Falls. Approaching Maralal, we drive alongside The Mugie Conservancy where you have your first game sightings (look out for Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe and Zebra). Arriving in the campsite in the late afternoon; we pitch tents for the night ahead. (Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activity: Animal “Viewing”

Optional activities: Thompson Falls Viewing Platform

Day 2Maralal to Lake Turkana

After breaking camp we begin the long but scenic drive towards the “Jade Sea”, stopping at Malasso Viewpoint on Losiolo Escarpment to enjoy the stunning scenery. You will see that you are at the brow of one of the most dramatic views of the Great Rift Valley; etched with gorges, peaks and plains, a barren sun-bleached patch on the horizon is the valley of Suguta and beyond Lake Turkana. We continue towards South Horr and Baragoi arriving at Loiyangalani late afternoon. After pitching tents we use this time to relax, protected from the scorching sun and heat of this remote area. (There is the option to upgrade to cool traditional “bandas” complete with beds/ private washrooms). (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activities: Dramatic Scenery, Star Gazing, Sundowners

Day 3Lake Turkana

Today we relax and take time to explore the area and enjoy the number of different experiences available. Lake Turkana is the largest Desert Lake in the world and extends for 288 kms up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border surrounded by volcanic rock and desert. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activities: Cultural experience & Scenery

Optional activities include: Visiting the Desert Museum; Swim at the nearby lodge; Hire a boat to explore the lake in search of crocodiles; Visit el Molo/Turkana Villages; Explore Loiyangalani town on foot. There is a longer boat ride available to South Island National Park can be organised.

Day 4Kalacha

After an early breakfast we cross the Chalbi Desert, via North Horr towards Kalacha. Kalacha, a small settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert inhabited by the Gabbra pastoralists who are particularly attached to their camels. For those interested there is a visit to the Catholic Church with its biblical murals painted by an Ethiopian artist. Overnight we stay in basic “Banda” style accommodation. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activities: Scenery; Sundowners watching the sun setting over the desert; Visit to local church.

Optional Activities: Visit a Gabbra village in the evening; Guided tour to view Rock Paintings and Carvings.

Day 5Marsabit

After breaking camp, we head south towards Marsabit, stopping en route to enjoy views of the massive Gof Redo Crater and desert landscape and you may be lucky to see some of the pastoralists walking with their herds of camels. This area is home to a number of different tribes people and you will be able to spot the local Samburu people in their bright red outfits, beads and earrings.

After setting up camp, we drive to Lake Paradise and Little Lake, an indigenous forest and a desert that have come together to create the most compelling landscape on earth. The dense forest in the park is also home to Elephants, Kudu, Water Buck and a variety of birds. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activity: Scenery & Culture.

Optional activities: Walk around Marsabit, market day is particularly vibrant

Day 6Samburu

We head along the Trans African Highway towards the Samburu National Reserve, arriving in time for an afternoon game drive.

Main activity: Scenery; Game Drive in Samburu National Reserve

Day 7Samburu

Today take a picnic and some cold drinks and go on an all day Game Drive in the Samburu National Reserve. Samburu is part of a Lava Plain that includes a diverse landscape of thorn scrub, red dirt, dried river beds, steep hills and rocky outcroppings. The region is home to the uncommon Grevy’s Zebra, Gerenuk Antelope, Somali Ostriches, Lions and Oryx, Elephant, Crocodile and numerous bird. There is also the option at some stage to visit the lodge for a swim and cold drink, though the more adventurous you may enjoy swimming at Buffalo Springs. There is also visit a nearby Samburu Village for a cultural experience if you so choose. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included)

Main activity: Game Drive

Optional Activities: Visit a Samburu Village; Local lodge for a Swim; Swim at Buffalo Springs

Day 8Nairobi via Nanyuki

We leave this beautiful place after breakfast, do game viewing en route as we head back to Nairobi via the Central highlands. We make a short stop at the equator sign for a photo opportunity just before crossing back into the southern frontier. (Breakfast & Lunch included)

Map

Photos
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