The Masai Heartlands

The Masai Heartlands


Overview

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Watch the wonders of Kenya and Tanzania unfold before you on this incredible overland adventure, which goes deep into the heartland of the Maasai tribespeople and the finest game parks in eastern Africa. While travelling through the world-renowned Masai Mara and the vast  Serengeti plains and on to the stunning lakes of the Great Rift Valley and the dramatic scenery of the Ngorongoro Crater, you'll spot a wealth of exotic predators and peaceful herbivores. Heading off the beaten track to walk in the footsteps of the Maasai will leave you with memories of Africa that will last a lifetime.

Day 1: Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed at an outdoor village.

Day 2: Lake Nakuru National Park
Drive north-west past splendid views of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park (approximately 3–4 hours). Situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area makes a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five game, Lake Nakuru is home to rhinos, and there will be a good chance of spotting and photographing one of these magnificent beasts. Your exclusive camp, outside the park, is well situated and has flush toilets and showers. Accommodation upgrades and Wi-Fi are not available.

Day 3: Lake Naivasha
Head to a nearby village with your guide. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the local folk and get a feel for everyday life here. Then you'll drive from Lake Nakuru to your camp near Lake Naivasha (approximately 3 hours). One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha has floating islands of papyrus reeds and a border of flat-topped acacias. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds. There will be an opportunity to access an ATM and visit a market today to stock up for the remainder of the trip. Your campsite tonight is basic, with showers and flush toilets. Depending on availability, there may be the option to upgrade to a room. Wi-Fi is available at the bar.

Day 4: Lake Naivasha
Enjoy some free time today. There are various optional activities to choose from. Perhaps venture to Hell's Gate National Park, which boasts beautiful cliffs, gorges, rock towers, volcanoes and a range of geothermal phenomena. Another great choice is to take a boat trip across Lake Naivasha – perhaps the best way to take in the atmosphere of this lush area. If you're looking for something active, perhaps hire a bike for the day and make some of your own discoveries, venturing beyond the cacti and olive trees.

Day 5: Loita Hills Maasai Village
Depart Lake Naivasha, making a short stop in Narok to do a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), stopping for lunch en route. Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide, and takes you into the remote region of Loita Hills. This is the home of the traditional Maasai people. You will visit the Maasai, who are known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture of this East African community. After setting up your tent, meet your Maasai hosts. A local elder will deliver a fascinating talk about the Maasai and their history and culture. You'll be shown around a traditional Maasai home and see where the resident cattle are kept. Showers, upgrades and Wi-Fi are not available at tonight's bush camp.

Day 6: Masai Mara National Reserve
Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours). The road is dusty when dry, and could be slippery and soft when wet, so the going may be slow. The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most tremendous animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it's time to jump in 4WDs and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. You campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. W-iFi is not available here however.

Day 7: Masai Mara National Reserve
Venture into the Masai Mara National Reserve for a full day's game drive in 4WDs. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a multitude of wildlife. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and of the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite.

Day 8: Nairobi
Today, we head back to Nairobi. Take a break from pitching tents and relax at a hotel. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and enjoy a cool drink or go for a walk around the town and meet some local people.

Day 9: Kisii
Board your safari truck and travel west (approximately 8–9 hours). Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, which will be the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on your way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the landscapes of Kenya. You will pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai. Keep a look out for these tall tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes as they tend to their prized herds of cattle. The roads on the way are pretty rough, but there will be chances to stop and stretch your legs, including a local homestead lunch in the town of Kaprong. The food for the lunch is grown and sourced locally, plus the lunch is a great way to learn from and interact with the women from the local village.You will be accommodated in either very simple shared rooms (with bedding provided) or in a camp which will be set up for the night. There is no WiFi available at the camp.

Day 10: Lake Victoria
Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's largest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The guided bike excursion is a great activity to stretch the legs, learn about the town, visit a local marketplace and meet some locals (you'll need to bring your own helmet if you want to wear one). Or you can simply chill out on the lakeside sand with a cold drink. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of adventuring in the wilderness. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room. No Wi-Fi is available tonight.

Day 11: Serengeti National Park
Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours). Enter the Serengeti and take a game drive en route to your campsite. The wide open plains of the Serengeti – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, these plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'. Enjoy a picnic lunch on your way to camp within the awesome surrounds of the park. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. The camp is basic with limited running water and no upgrades or Wi-Fi available.

Day 12: Serengeti National Park
Start the day with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp.

Day 13: Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy a leisurely game drive and picnic lunch on your way out of the park today. Soak up final views of the animals and landscapes that make the national park such an incredible spot before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater about 3 hours away. Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below – you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this! The campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no Wi-Fi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, particularly during the winter months (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so be sure to bring some warm clothes.

Day 14: Ngorongoro Crater / Mto Wa Mbu
A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for an guided afternoon stroll around the farming areas, milling machine and local homes before enjoying a traditional meal. Your campsite this evening is located in Mto wa Mbu with upgrades possible (subject to availability).

Day 15: Nairobi
Set off early this morning (around 7.30 am), heading for the border with Kenya and then on to Nairobi (approximately 7–8 hours). On arrival in Nairobi, you'll be dropped at the finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. You can also choose to finish your trip in Arusha this morning. Notes: It's important not to book any flights departing Nairobi earlier than 8 pm (or 11 am if you're departing Arusha).

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Inclusions

  • Lake Nakuru - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Lake Nakuru - Village walk
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
  • Masai Mara - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Masai Mara - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Kisii - Soapstone carving cooperative
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & local dinner

Meals
14 Breakfast(s) Included
14 Lunch(es) Included
12 Dinner(s) Included

Style: Basix

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Accommodations

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Camping (with facilities) (8 nights), Hotel (2 nights), Basic Hotel (1 night)

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Intrepid Tours Customer Reviews

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Itinerary
Professional Staff
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Value for Money

Ratings based off 105 reviews about Intrepid Tours. Currently showing 6 reviews with comments only.
By Sabera W on Aug 19, 2019

The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.

By Laurie T on Jan 19, 2019

The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations

By Justine F on Aug 18, 2018

Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.

By Patricia P on Mar 15, 2018

Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.

By Ian A on Feb 20, 2018

Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.

By Michelle W on Jan 26, 2018

Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.


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