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Surfing the Great Rift

Trip Length

Trip Code

15 days GAEA

Maximum Passengers

22 people
Minimum Age
18

Countries Visited

Kenya, Tanzania

Start City

End City

Nairobi Nairobi
Surfing the Great Rift

Don’t cry when you leave Nairobi – you’ll be back here in two weeks. Perve at the pretty pink flamingos in Lake Nakuru, loiter in the Loita Hills and rub shoulders with warriors in the Masai Mara. Lake Victoria’s mad big – look at it and you’ll see. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are a paradise for both animals and animal wannabes alike.

Don't leave East Africa with trying: chipsi mayai (omlette stuffed with chips), nyama choma (barbecue) or ugali na mchicha (starchy stuff with spinach). Wash it down with a Kili or Serengeti beer or maybe a shot of konyagi (local gin) if you're brave.

Surfing the Great Rift


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi

No activities planned, so head to the Kenyatta market and grab some choma from one of the little stalls at the entrance.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm.

Perhaps explore the bars, restaurants, markets and shops during any free time you have
Optional visits to the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya

Day 2: Lake Nakuru

Settle in for a full day of game drives. This means wildlife. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake (not that kind of soda) which is usually full of flamingos. These creatures aren't born fabulous, they actually start life a boring grey but gradually turn pink from all the plankton.

Drive north-west past great views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park

Visit the New Hope Children's Centre - an orphanage that assists the less fortunate in society and gives them hope
Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours many rhinos and will be the best chance to get a great picture of these beasts
Camp just outside the park

Day 3-4: Lake Naivasha

Drive to Lake Naivasha for a boat cruise and a wander with zebras and giraffes. Meet the locals and camp by the lake. It's the stuff dreams are made of.

Head off to a nearby village with a local guide - a great opportunity to interact with local villagers
Drive from Lake Nakuru to your camp near Lake Naivasha (110 km, approx 3-4 hrs)
Perhaps hire bikes or visit the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary or Hell's Gate National Park near Lake Naivasha

 

Day 5: Loita Hills

Head across the Great Rift Valley floor to Loita Hills. Camp with the friendly and semi-nomadic Masai people and learn about their ancient culture from a local elder. He's like the wise African grandfather you never knew you wanted.

Depart Lake Naivasha and stop in town to do a spot of food shopping, taking a lunch break en route to the camp site at Loita Hills (220 km, approx. 5-6 hours)

Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley and journeys into the remote region of Loita Hills

Visit the Maasai people and gain an insight into their ancient culture

Receive a talk from a local local elder and be shown around a traditional Maasai home and cattle enclosures,
Spend the night in a bush camp

Day 6-7: Masai Mara National Reserve

After passing the Masai mamas selling their goods at the gate ("mzungu, mzungu" means "foreigner, foreigner", by the way), it won't take long for your first wildlife sighting.

Drive from Loita to Masai Mara (approx. 1-2 hours)

Set camp (outside the park) and have lunch before reboarding the truck

Enjoy an entire day to explore the surrounds and view a multitude of wildlife

Perhaps embark on an optional balloon ride over the Masai Mara at sunrise

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.
 
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.
 
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
 
Stay in a simple hotel with swimming pool, restaurant and en suite bathrooms.

Day 9: Kisii

Head through the Great Rift Valley and stop for supplies in Kisii before the safari excursion. You can't prepare yourself for the amount of awesome you're about to be subjected to. So just sit back and let it happen.

Board your safari truck and travel west

Cross the scenic Great Rift Valley on the way to the tea-growing highlands

Pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai, keeping a look out for the tall, graceful tribesmen

Stop for a picnic lunch in the town of Narok

Make a final stop near the hilltop town of Kisii, your last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into the wilderness

Today's drive will take about 8-9 hours (310 km) and the roads are pretty rough

Day 10: Lake Victoria

Camp on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. It's just like camping beside other lakes, only better.

Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and the shores of Lake Victoria (250 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
Spend time at a soapstone carving cooperative
Perhaps hire bicycles or even a boat - on which you can visit a local island
Stop by an African market place and interact with the locals, or just relax by the lakeside
Spend the night camping on the shores of the lake
 

Day 11-12: Serengeti National Park

Don't be that person who is constantly shoving and elbowing their way into the prime wildlife position, just wait your turn. If you forgot to bring your binoculars you'll be kicking yourself by now.

Rise early and leave the truck behind to head out for your excursion into the Serengeti

View plenty of animals and birdlife, from members the Big Five to perhaps some creatures you don't expect

Camp out at night and perhaps hear lions off in the distance
An optional sunrise balloon ride makes for an unforgettable memory
 
You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. While it's of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as tourism businesses offering somewhat contrived performances of their traditional ways. You'll be charged an entry fee of approx US$20-35 and the Maasai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We recommend our travellers bypass this activity as our Kenyan colleagues observe that it negatively impacts the Maasai culture and travellers' perception of this culture.

Day 13: Ngorongoro Crater

Your big truck gets a rest today as we take 4WDs down to the crater floor. With pop-top roofs and easy access to your driver (and all their stories), you'll love this change for the day.

Rise with the sun and leave the Serengeti for Ngorongoro Crater, home to some 30,000 animals (approx 3 hrs drive)

After a picnic lunch, descend onto the floor of the crater for a safari lasting four-five hours

Depart the crater in the afternoon and relive the safari experience at the bar

Day 14: Meserani

Take a final 4WD excursion across the Ngorongoro Crater. Press on to Mto Wa Mbu, browse the markets and camp in Meserani.

Drive out of the crater and head to Mto Wa Mbu for a look around the town
Continue on to your campsite (140 km, approx 5-6 hrs)
Get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail

Camp overnight in Meserani

Day 15: Nairobi

Head back to Nairobi, travelling through Arusha en route. Nyama Choma Place on Milimani Road is the perfect spot for a final group barbecue.

S
et off early, heading for the border with Kenya and on to Nairobi (390 km, approx 7-8 hrs)
 
This is a transport day to Nairobi. You can finish your trip in Arusha this morning if you wish to travel further in Tanzania or catch a flight.
On arrival in Nairobi you'll be dropped at your finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but we are able to book you additional accommodation in Nairobi. Please ask at time of booking.
 

Important: Please don't book any flights until after 6pm this evening.


**This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**


Your Trip

Nuts and Bolts

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Not Included

International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.


Important Information

HOT AIR BALLOONING:

An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara or Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see Days 6-7 and 11-12 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.

COMBINATION TRIP:

This is a combination trip made up of 2 or more shorter trips. This means the composition of your group may change in Nairobi as some group members leave and new ones join you.

FINISH TIME:

This trip finishes upon arrival in Nairobi on Day 15. Please do not book any flights until after 6pm this evening.

**This trip is operated by our sister company Intrepid**

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

5 October 2014


General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4853
E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
Web: Visit Geckos