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BORN FREE, WANDER WILD

Created with Sketch. Meru, Il Ngwesi & Lewa
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Duration

8 nights / 9 days

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

2 - 6 persons

Languages

English

Overview

OVERVIEW

Acclimatize in Nairobi. Then get ready to fly the next day to Meru National Park – an area near Mt. Kenya covering 1800 sq kms, and the core part of an ecosystem covering over 5000 sq kms of wilderness.

This is the same area in which the book “Born Free” was written by Joy & George Adamson. They wrote about reintroducing their beloved lioness ‘Elsa’ into the wild, and the book was later made into a feature film starring Virginia McKenna & Bill Travers. This experience had a profound effect on both Virginia & Bill and eventually led to the start of The Born Free Foundation founded by both, together with Will Travers.

Return to Nairobi for a night, where you will stay inside Nairobi National Park before flying the following day to Lewa Conservancy. Spend the first couple of nights at Il Ngwesi Lodge. This is the only upmarket lodge that is both owned and run by the local community, combining eco-tourism with sustainable environmental management and community development.

The last two nights will be spent at Lewa Wilderness. By staying here, you are automatically supporting the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, renowned for its pioneering conservation initiatives and community & education programs. Go beyond the traditional game drive – take guided walks, breathtaking scenic flights, unforgettable horse-riding safaris, camel safaris and fly camping.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Meru National Park has an 84 sq kms rhino sanctuary housing over 60 black and white Rhino, and is famous for large elephant herds, hippo and lion.
  • Meru National Park is also recognized as having more diversity of animal species than any other park in East Africa.
  • All of Elsa’s Kopje guides are either Bronze or Silver level Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA) certified.
  • The 10-roomed Emakoko is located within Nairobi National Park and by staying here, you are directly contributing to the protection and conservation of the Park and its wildlife.
  • Il Ngwesi Lodge is the only tourist facility within Il Ngwesi Group Ranch, and is owned and run by the Maasai community.
  • In Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, a maximum of 3 vehicles are allowed at a wildlife sighting, ensuring an exclusive game viewing experience.
  • Lewa Wilderness leads the way in wildlife and environment-friendly game viewing with their new electric game drive viewing vehicles.
  • Take a scenic flight to get a clear view of Mt. Kenya’s snowcapped peaks.
  • Swim and enjoy a picnic lunch at Ngare Ndare Forest & Waterfalls, which also has a treetop canopy walk.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival Nairobi and acclimatize
Day 01: Arrival Nairobi and acclimatize

On arrival into Nairobi from your international flight, use this day to rest and prepare physically and mentally for your onward safari over the next week or so.

No meals. Overnight and breakfast at Tamarind Tree Hotel.

Day 02: Fly to a birder’s paradise
Day 02: Fly to a birder’s paradise

Today after breakfast, you will be transferred to nearby Wilson Airport for your short flight to Meru National Park. Here you will stay at only 1 of the 2 places in this entire Park; Elsa’s Kopje. This Lodge has been sculpted into Mughwango Hill, above the site of George Adamson’s original camp where he raised and released orphan lions. Later in the day, go on game drives through forests, past giant baobab trees, and through clear spring fed streams lined with palms. Or go on guided walks – you could climb to the top of Mughwango Hill, and enjoy a 360-degree view of Mt. Kenya in the west, to the vast Meru plains in the east. Or just enjoy river fishing with your rod, an afternoon tipple, canapes and a good book. You could just laze around the swimming pool taking in all the rugged & remote scenery.

All inclusive accommodation at Elsa’s Kopje.

Day 03: Visit the rhino sanctuary
Day 03: Visit the rhino sanctuary

Start your day with a bush breakfast and if you want, continue your game drive looking for rhinos – this will be challenging due to the relatively large size of the sanctuary. Or go on a day excursion to the Tana River with a picnic lunch. Sundowners are mandatory, and are done in true safari-style, after a game drive, watching the sun quickly slip beyond the horizon and the air becomes cooler. Even though this Park is lion & elephant country, it has many rare species such as caracal, the beautiful lesser kudu, aardwolf, and over 400 species of birds.

All inclusive accommodation at Elsa’s Kopje.

Day 04: Hop back to Nairobi for a night
Day 04: Hop back to Nairobi for a night

Take a flight back into Nairobi where you will stay at The Emakoko located inside Nairobi National Park. This is the perfect place to disconnect and reflect on the past couple of days activities. Here, you can visit the Giraffe Centre (entrance fee payable direct), and this is also a good time to pick up those souvenirs or small gifts from the nearby shops.
Enjoy a sundowner game drive in the park.

All inclusive accommodation at The Emakoko

Day 05: Fly to Lewa and stay at Il Ngwesi
Day 05: Fly to Lewa and stay at Il Ngwesi

After breakfast today, take a flight from Wilson Airport to Lewa Airstrip.
Met on arrival by your guide and drive to Il Ngwesi Lodge.
Il Ngwesi Group Ranch covers 16,500 hectares and neighbors Lewa, Borana and Lekurruki and is home to the Il Lakipiak Maasai – ‘people of wildlife’.
Il Ngwesi became the 1st Maasai Group Ranch to join Lewa on a conservation and community development journey. Back in 1996 with funding from USAID through the Kenya Wildlife Service, community elders set aside 8675 hectares of their grazing land for conservation, and together they built the eco-lodge.
At the lodge you can spend time by the swimming pool, or you can watch the waterhole from the main house or hide. You can also walk accompanied to the rhino sanctuary, visit a local Maasai Cultural Boma or learn about traditional hunting techniques & honey collecting, and enjoy local music and dancing.

All inclusive accommodation at Il Ngwesi Lodge

Day 06: A day filled with activity
Day 06: A day filled with activity

Enjoy a bush breakfast along Ngare Ndare River, go on game drives, and visit the Mukogodo Forest. If you are interested in community projects, spend time with local women to learn about beading techniques (beading workshops at an extra cost), or visit a local school or health clinic. These encounters are dignified and respectful, and not commercialized as could be the case in other community visits in other parts around Kenya.
Il Ngwesi plays a significant role in conserving wildlife in northern Kenya. There are a number of endangered species one can see here including the white rhino, grevy zebra, African wild dog, leopard and lion. Commonly seen animals here include elephant, impala, waterbuck, greater & lesser kudu, dik dik, gerenuk, eland, common zebra, reticulated giraffe, warthog, cheetah, jackal, spotted and striped hyena.

All inclusive accommodation at Il Ngwesi Lodge

Day 07: A home-away-from-home experience
Day 07: A home-away-from-home experience

After breakfast today, check-out and drive to Lewa Airstrip, where you will be met by your guide from Lewa Wilderness, who will take over your safari for the next couple of days. Lewa Wilderness takes great pride in having many guests return year after year, arriving as friends – and leaving as family.
Here you can decide to go on a traditional day game drive – possibly in their newly converted electric Landcruiser or a night game drive. Lewa Conservancy is one of the only Conservancies where you are almost guaranteed to see the endangered black & white rhinos on a game drive.
If you want to explore different game viewing options, you can opt to go on a walking safari, or even go on a horseback or camel safari.
Alternatively, you can hit the bush gym that comes complete with incredible views, use the yoga deck, tennis court & table tennis, or cool off in the salt water infinity pool.

All inclusive accommodation at Lewa Wilderness.

Day 08: Mt. Kenya scenic flight
Day 08: Mt. Kenya scenic flight

Today you will have an early start, drive to the airstrip at sunrise. At 6.45 a.m. you and maximum 3 other guests, will take off and fly up to 15,000 feet to view the majestic peaks of Mt. Kenya. You will not only have clear views of the snowcapped peaks, but will also see wildlife roaming the savannah as the light aircraft gains altitude, and on your return, get a small aerial tour of some of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy before landing. This scenic flight will be approximately an hour long and once you land, you will be met and driven back to the Lodge for a sumptuous breakfast.
For the rest of the day, you can pick up a picnic lunch from the Lodge and drive to the nearby Ngare Ndare Forest. There’s a treetop canopy walk and spectacular waterfalls where you can swim and enjoy your lunch.

All-inclusive accommodation at Lewa Wilderness.

Day 09: Back to the city

After breakfast, drive to Lewa Airstrip to pick up your flight back to Nairobi.
Upon arrival, you will be met and driven to your city hotel where you can rest and relax. Lunch within the area, and then return to your hotel where you can stay until it’s time for you to catch your international flight back home. You will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Take home with you sweet everlasting memories.

Included/Excluded

  • All airport and road transfers
  • All internal flights
  • Bed & breakfast accommodation for the 1st night at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Nairobi.
  • Full-board accommodation, all drinks (except champagne, private cellar wines & spirits), shared game drives, guided walking safari, sundowners, and laundry at Elsa’s Kopje.
  • Full-Board accommodation, soft drinks, local beers, non-premium wines & spirits, laundry, game drives in Nairobi National Park, excursions to the Giraffe Centre (time permitting) and park fees at The Emakoko.
  • Full-board accommodation, drinks, 1 cultural Manyatta visit, 1 bush walk, 1 game drive within Il Ngwesi Conservancy, and conservation fees at Il Ngwesi Lodge.
  • Full-board accommodation, soft drinks, beer, spirits, non-premium wine, laundry, shared day & night game drives, aerial walkway at Ngare Ndare Forest and conservancy fees at Lewa Wilderness.
  • Mt. Kenya scenic flight (based on minimum 2 persons) at Lewa Wilderness
  • Lunch in Nairobi on the last day
  • Day room at Tamarind Tree Hotel, Nairobi on the last day
  • International flights
  • Visa fees
  • Insurance
  • Porterage
  • Gratuities
  • No meals included on the 1st day
  • Entrance fees at the Giraffe Centre in Nairobi
  • Spa treatments, beading workshops and additional activities at Il Ngwesi Lodge

Languages

English

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Meru, Il Ngwesi & Lewa
Created with Sketch.
from $6,335.00

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