Touchdown in Nairobi – the buzzling capital of Kenya and amongst other the business as well as financial hot spot of East Africa. Nairobi started out as a rail depot for the Ugandan Railway in 1899 but became capital of Kenya already in 1907 replacing the hot shot Mombasa. Today the city books African fourth-largest turnover handling a volume with an average of 10 million per day – what a spectacular career!
We recommend you get friendly with your van starting from the very first minute - you will spend a lot of time together during the next days!
Day 1: Start with the sunrise and get on the journey from Nairobi to the gates of Masai Mara. You will be picked up by the agency at your hotel and after all the paperwork is sorted out you are good to hit the bumpy and tiring 4 hours drive to Masai Mara. On the way you will be able to catch a glance at the countryside of Kenya with authentic villages passing by your van window.
After checking in into your lodge and the first caution encounter with the local cuisine at lunch which you will definitely not regret, you start your first journey through the mighty national park. By this time your ranger removed the roof of your van so you can stand and witness the presence of the animals vividly.
Enjoy the numerous highlights of the first day: giraffes walking into the sunset on their wobbly legs. Elephants migrating slowly with no evident target in mind. Hundreds of different herbivorous animals you never ever heart of checking you out from a safe distance. And the best thing is – this is just the first day!
Day 2: The game viewing starts early in the morning since you do not want to miss out to be witness of all the hunting activities going down shortly after dawn. The second day is reserved for meeting all the cute little fluffy fellas which you by all means do not want to encounter in the open field without the protection of your van.
Lions, cheetahs, hyenas and even leopards – there are all here! The moment of witnessing a gang of five cheetahs circling a bunch of zebras ready for the kill will make you shiver and hope for the zebra to have a chance to escape.
Back in the lodge treat yourself with a sundowner at the pool or terrace and listen into the music of the jungle while the night is slowly crawling in.
Day 3: Lake Naivasha is the next destination on the tour. Lake Naivasha sits within the Great Rift Valley where the Arabic and African continental plates are constantly pulling away from each other. So while you will be sitting on your boat you will have the first hand possibility to witness where the world is coming apart slowley with views as old as mankind.
Highly recommended is a walking tour through the Crescent Island Game Sanctuary. Walking will be a nice change after spending endless hours in the van popping over Kenyan overland roads. The island hosting the sanctuary was initially used as set for the movie “Out of Africa” in 1985 and populated with animals from the Masai Mara. After the shootings where over the animals just remained on the island, making it nowadays the best spot for walking safaris with a 100% hit rate of coming exceptionally close to the animals as they are not afraid of humans.
Day 4: Just when you thought you have seen it all you find yourself stunned by the Amboseli National Park! Crowned by Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, the Amboseli National Park gives you the most exciting set for game viewing and photography ever. The name "Amboseli" comes from a Maasai word meaning "salty dust", and it is one of the best places in Africa to view large herds of elephants up close.
When the sun starts to set you will be a humble witness of hundreds of elephants migrating to their resting point for the nigh with the sunset and Mount Kilimanjaro as backdrop for this migration. This scene is by far the most breathtaking and unforgettable moment of them all and brings back all the childhood feelings we associate with wildlife in Africa.
Day 5: Return back to Nairobi with your ranger or depending on your further travelling plans arrange to be dropped of at your next destination. For our onward journey to Tanzania we decided to say goodbye to our dearest friend Francis at the Namanga border crossing point. Namanga is approximately 70 km away from Amboseli national park main gate with a very exciting road connecting this two spots. Francis earned all of our respect by navigating through this rollercoaster road safe and fast while our stomachs where challenged in the most unpleasant ways.
Cross the Kenyan / Tanzanian boarder by foot and have your yellow fever documentation ready. On the other side take one of the long-distance busses (there are no official schedules but you can find your way by asking around) or agree to take a ride in one of the many Daladalas waiting at the border. We decided to go for the last option which we did not regret the choice considering the comfortability of the mini-van for a bargain of 10 USD per person for the journey of 110 km to Arusha. The negotiation should happen prior to you boarding the vehicle so don’t get overwhelmed by the many options available.
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