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NAHNK 001, 8 Days Turkana and Northern Kenya Budget Camping Safari

NAHNK 001, 8 Days Turkana and Northern Kenya Budget Camping Safari

Trip highlights : Northern Kenya is lightly populated, untamed and often barren. Setting foot in these parts is like leaving the 21st century; it is an explorer’s heaven, and the variety of tribes that live here are some of the most captivating people in the world. They include the Samburu, Turkana, Rendille, Boran, Gabbra and El – Molo. This rugged 1,800-km expedition is run in land cruiser. You will traverse along some of Africa’s worst roads; see beautiful mountain forest surrounded on all sides by hot dusty deserts, eventually arriving at Oasis Lodge (Lake Turkana).

Day 1: Nairobi – Samburu National Reserve

After Breakfast, depart at 0730 for Samburu, passing through hush farmlands, cross the Equator where you can stop for pictures. Proceed to Samburu to a rugged semi desert region. It is noted for game not found to the more lush parks to the south e.g. unusual reticulated giraffe, Gravy’s zebra, Oryx and many more. Have lunch at the lodge followed by an afternoon game drive.

The Samburu People are semi-nomadic pastoralists with amazing cultures; their dressing to start with is fascinating, they dress in very traditional clothing of bright red material used as skirts and multi-beaded necklaces, bracelets and earring. Following closely is their special relationship with cattle, sheep, camels and goats thus milk is their staple food. At times they mix it with blood. Meat is only eaten on special occasions.  The Samburu, whose language is also called Samburu, are known to make soups from roots and barks and eat vegetables if they grow within their vicinity.

Dinner and overnight at Samburu Lodge or Similar

Day 2: Samburu National Reserve

Full day in Samburu with morning and afternoon game drives.

Samburu game reserve is the spectacular scenic beauty, rivers and forests. It is an area where the local people have a rich and colorful heritage. The reserves have numerous permanent springs and a wealth of wildlife which includes leopard, hippo, elephant, lion, reticulated giraffe, gravy’s zebra and crocodile in the Ewaso Nyiro River. Over 365 species of birds have been identified in the sanctuaries

All Meals and overnight at Samburu Lodge or Similar

Day 3: Samburu – Marsabit National Park

You will head north again along the Trans-African highway to Marsabit (meaning place of cold), an astonishingly cool, green and hilly oasis rising high above the dry heat of the surrounding desert lands. The local Rendille and Samburu people in their bright red outfits, beads and earrings make it a vibrant place. Lunch at Marsabit Lodge inside the National park and as long as the roads are dry we drive to Lake Paradise and Little Lake. Here, an indigenous forest and a desert come together to create the most compelling landscape on earth. Elephants and greater kudu abound. The dense forest in the park is also home to a variety of birds.

The Marsabit National park lies in northern Kenya, about 560 km north of Nairobi in Marsabit district. The park comprises of densely forested mountain and three crater lakes that are the only permanent surface of water in the region and that provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. Major wildlife species include the African elephant, the endangered Gravy’s zebra, lion, leopard, buffalo, bushbuck, large herds of greater and lesser kudus, common zebra, grant gazelles and many other small antelopes. The park is famous for its elephant named Ahmed that was provided with 24 hr security surveillance by presidential decree in the 70's, to demonstrate Kenya's commitment to wildlife conservation.

Lunch and Dinner and overnight stay at Marsabit Lodge

Day 4: Marsabit – Kalacha (Chalbi desert)

We depart the Lodge after an early breakfast through the scenic landscape of the arid north with views of picturesque hills. We arrive and camp at Kalacha, a small Gabbra settlement on the edge of the Chalbi Desert.

The Gabbra are an Eastern Cushitic people related to the Somali-Rendille in their historical origins in the southern Ethiopian highlands about AD 1000. The men wear traditional shorts and a blanket-cloak and the women wear a wrap-around and head cloth. They are pastoralists, particularly attached to their camels.

Dinner and Overnight stay at Kalacha Campsite

Day 5: Kalacha – Loiyangalani (Turkana)

We depart early crossing the Chalbi Desert to Lake Turkana which is the largest desert lake in the world and extends for 288 kilometers up to the Ethiopian / Kenyan border. It is surrounded by volcanic rock and desert. We arrive at Oasis Lodge where we spend the night.

Packed lunch, Dinner and overnight stay at Oasis Lodge or Campsite

Day 6: Loiyangalani (Turkana)

The day is spent relaxing and you may visit the local lodge to swim or hire a boat to visit the surrounding area (at an extra cost).

In addition, we may visit Loiyangalani and the community settled there while in the evening visiting one of the Turkana Manyattas for traditional dances at an extra cost if clients wish. An unforgettable experience under a star studded sky so close you can almost touch it. Turkana, formerly L. Rudolf is now named after one of the tribes who live on its shores and it is in this area that Richard Leakey uncovered the three million year old fossils of ‘Homo Erectus.’ This pre historic site is now known as the “Cradle of Mankind”. The Lake is also known as the “Jade Sea” because of its remarkable blue – green color. This is a result of algae particles, which shift with changes of the wind and light, so that the water surface shifts from blue to grey to fabulous jade. The lake is home to the largest population of Nile crocodiles in the world. If the weather permits we take a short sunset boat ride to the surrounding areas.

All meals and overnight stay at Oasis Lodge or Campsite

Day 7: Turkana – Maralal

We depart the lodge early in the morning and proceed to Maralal .We journey via the Horr Valley situated between Mount Nyiro and Ol Donyo Mara viewing the breath taking scenery as we continue to climb on torturous, rocky hills to Maralal. Near Maralal is one of the most breathe taking scenes in all of Kenya – the Losiolo escarpment, an endless stretch as land drops down to the Suguta valley.

Maralal is a small hillside market town in northern Kenya, lying east of the Loroghi Plateau within the Samburu District. It is the administrative headquarters of the Samburu people. The town has an urban population of 16,281 (1999 census [1]). The market was pioneered by some Somali settlers in the 1920s. Nearby is the Maralal Game Sanctuary. Maralal is also home to Kenyatta House, the location where Jomo Kenyatta was detained prior to his release. The town also serves as a base for tourist activities such as bush walking, whitewater rafting and camel riding. It is also known for camel racing and is surrounded by the Maralal National Sanctuary. The famous Maralal camel derby hosted by Yare Safaris is held here. This is a tourist friendly town with many cheap hotels and friendly people.

All meals and overnight stay at Yare Camp or Similar

Day 8: Maralal – Nairobi

Heading south again via Laikipia Plains and Nyahururu we may stop at the Thomson falls named after Joseph Thomson who walked from Mombasa to Lake Victoria in the early 1880s. Shaped by the waters of the Ewaso Narok River, the falls plunge over 72m into a rift, spraying the dark forest below. After lunch we drive back into Nairobi by mid-afternoon.

End of Safari

Cost includes:

- Accommodation in lodges on full board basis while on safari

- Transport in a private safari minivan with open roof for better game viewing and photography

- All park entry fees and game drives

- Services of a professional English-speaking tour guide/driver

- Picnic lunches as indicated in itinerary

- Applicable government taxes and levies

Cost excludes:

- All items of personal nature e.g. telephone call bills, fax / email bills etc.

- Optional cultural visit to Maasai villages

- Tips and gratuities lodge staff and driver-guide

- Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks

- Any local or international flight and departure taxes

- Laundry services

- Personal travel insurance

- Any other item not included in our itinerary including extra excursions

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