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Essential data

Group size:

Min. 3 max. 12
Age >12yrs (younger by prior arrangement)

Grade:

[3] - Reasonably fit (18km walking per day)

Duration:

9 days including 2 days 4WD, 5 days walking, 7 nights camping.

Depart dates:

8,29 January
10 March
2 April
22 June
11 July
1,22 August
16 September
5 Octtober
12 November
7,24 December.

Departure point:

Nairobi, Kenya.

Finish point:

Nairobi, Kenya,
Trails for Africa Loita Hills Trek
  Take me now!

We donít walk to break physical records but rather to harmonise with nature appreciating the peace and beauty of the African bushland with a feeling of remoteness. Regular halts are made to discuss points of interest whether it be an insect, a mountain range, or some trees of interest. Families are welcome and special arrangents can be made for a donkey (with saddle) to carry younger children.

Game viewing in Masai Mara Game Reserve and then walking safari with a team of Masai guides in their homeland progressing through a variety of fast changing landscapes, forest, plains and summits reaching 2400m. Rich cultural contact with the Masai on our journey up to the edge of the Rift Valley and then down onto the hot valley floor

Any fit person will cope with the average 18 km per day walk. You are only expected to carry your personal daypack.

Local guides accompany us during our walks and the local communities are involved in providing camping locations, guides, as well as donkeys and camels for transporting luggage.

Price includes: Transport in 4WD Landcruiser or Landrover with roof hatches for game viewing; English speaking Masai Guide during the trek; Full board except meals in Nairobi; Treated drinking water; All camping equipment including tables, chairs, cutlery & crockery, igloo-type tents, mattresses, wash bowls, bush toilet, safari shower (water permitting). Cook & drivers who assist with the camp; First aid kit is available for use by group participants.

Price excludes: National park entry & camping fees USD 80 & USD 40 for children (subject to change); Alcoholic drinks - we suggest that you bring a bottle of spirits to share for the evening sundowners; Sleeping bag, torch light & personal toiletries; Tips & extras of a personal nature.


Detailed intinerary

Day 1 & 2 Masai Mara : We leave Nairobi and head towards the Ngong Hills that were made famous by Karen Blixen and her book "Out of Africa". The Ngong Hills tower over the edge of the Rift Valley, and our first vision of this magnificent fault in the earth's crust is certainly the most impressive. Several hundred metres below us the African savannah stretches into infinity, and within half an hours drive from Nairobi we plunge suddenly into Hemingway's Africa.

We make our way through Masai land to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Although these people of Nilotic origin were feared by the first explorers to the region, the proud warriors of today spend most of their time herding cattle in search of fresh pasturage. Masai Mara Game Reserve was established in 1961 and covers a surface of 1812 square km which is divided into 2 zones. The Masai are permittted to graze their cattle in the exterior section, but the interior park of 518 square km is reserved strictly for the fauna.

Masai Mara is a succession of undulating plains and rivers lined with acacia trees, where we can observe an exceptionally rich variety of wildlife. Here we find the largest lion population in Kenya, but even more spectacular is the enormous concentration of antelopes, zebras, and wildebest. During the migration period the number of animals can reach the millions. In 1982 when the last survey was taken, there were recorded to be 1,200,000 wildebeest, 700,000 zebra, 400,000 gazelle, and of course all the hyenas, lions, cheetah and other predators that follow these herds and hunt the more feeble. Game driving in the reserve.

Day 3 Masai Mara - Olasur : Leaving the game reserve on our last day in vehicles, we head for the Loita Hills. Even outside the park boundary the wildlife is abundant. The Masai are not hunters, as they don't appreciate the taste of game meat. So it's not unusual to pass a herd of Thompson's gazelle or wildebeest close to the Masai dwellings. At Olasur we meet our Masai guides.

Day 4 Olasur - Engare Nanyuki : Leaving our vehicles we head into the hills on foot. The surrounding landscape is magnificent. The forest with green grassy clearings reminds us somehow of the English countryside. But not for long however, as we are brought back to reality and Africa by the sight of a Masai armed with his spear. Our day's walk takes us through the forest where we discover giant trees covered in moss and native orchids. We set up camp overlooking a stream where crested crane and sacred ibis search for insects amongst the long grass. We must beware of walking in the dark however as the nearby swamp is frequented by buffalo and elephant live in the surrounding forest. Leaving our vehicles we head into the hills on foot. The surrounding landscape is magnificent. The forest with green grassy clearings reminds us somehow of the English countryside. But not for long however, as we are brought back to reality and Africa by the sight of a Masai armed with his spear. Our day's walk takes us through the forest where we discover giant trees covered in moss and native orchids. We set up camp overlooking a stream where crested crane and sacred ibis search for insects amongst the long grass. We must beware of walking in the dark however as the nearby swamp is frequented by buffalo and elephant live in the surrounding forest.

Day 5 & 6 Olasur - Tiamanagen : We follow the edge of the Nguruman forest for 5 to 6 hours. There are many colobus monkeys with their long black and white fur coats, as well as Hartlaubs turaco. We pass many waterholes on our passage and with a bit of luck can catch a glimpse of some antelope or buffalo. We are now very close to the Tanzanian border and the forest has given way to open fields. There are many Masai villages in the area and we frequently meet with herdsmen and warriors. We have joined an important track that is used by the Masai to herd their cattle to the highlands for grazing during the dry season. And the Masai who live on the escarpment use the track to take their cattle down to Lakes Magadi and Natron for the salt and minerals. On this high open plateau we stroll easily whilst appreciating rock formations and the magnificent view of the Loliondo Hills in Tanzania. The surrounding hills are now much more populated. On our way we visit several Masai villages many colobus monkeys with their long black and white fur coats, as well as Hartlaubs turaco. We pass many waterholes on our passage and with a bit of luck can catch a glimpse of some antelope or buffalo.

We are now very close to the Tanzanian border and the forest has given way to open fields. There are many Masai villages in the area and we frequently meet with herdsmen and warriors. We have joined an important track that is used by the Masai to herd their cattle to the highlands for grazing during the dry season. And the Masai who live on the escarpment use the track to take their cattle down to Lakes Magadi and Natron for the salt and minerals. On this high open plateau we stroll easily whilst appreciating rock formations and the impressive view of the Loliondo Hills in Tanzania. The surrounding hills are now much more populated. On our way we visit several Masai villages. We set up our tents under the protection of huge granite boulders

Day 7 Tiamanagen - Oldoro Oibor : A short walking day takes us to the edge of the Rift Valley. The view is magnificent. Lakes Magadi and Natron lie 1000 metres below us and to the south the Gelai and Lengai volcanoes which are the sacred home of the Masai God "Ngei". And a few hundred kilometres to the north on the other side of the Rift Valley we can discern the Ngong Hills. We spend a leisurely afternoon feeling on top of the world.

Day 8 Oldoro Oibor - Pakasi river : Passing through Mima we descend the escarpment heading toward Lake Natron and into the Rift Valley. The path is sometimes a little difficult and the vegetation changes rapidly. Growing on the side of the mountain we find one of the most ancient plants of East Africa, the cycad "Encephalartos Bibalensis". And very soon we find ourselves in the open savanna at only 600 metres altitude. There is much more game on the plains such as gazelle, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra.

Day 9 Ole Siniaye - Natron - Nairobi At Ole Siniaye the Pakasi River feeds an unexpected zone of agriculture before disappearing into swampland on the edge of Lake Natron. Here we find fields of millet and plantations of bananas and papayas. The Pakasi River has attracted various tribes of Bantu origin whose traditions lie in agriculture. Confronted by villages of round huts with thatched roofs we suddenly find ourselves in another part of Africa. The waters of the Pakasi river flow clear and rapidly.

Our departure from the luxurious paradise of the Pakasi River to enter the vast open plains of Natron is a brutal shock. To get to the massive rock "Shompole" on the edge of Lake Natron, we must cross a flat surface of 10 or so kilometres of clay and white soda. Our feet sink and slide on the spongy surface as we walk in the oppressive heat and the blinding reflection. Outline of acacias on the horizon hide the Uaso Nyiro River. Upon reaching it the more reckless will throw themselves into its chocolatey waters whilst the others simply relish the shade of the acacia trees.

Lake Natron was discovered by English geologist Gregory, and is certainly the most spectacular in the Rift Valley. An enormous pan of pink soda stretches into the horizon. Around the edge of the lake hot springs bubble from the ground at temperatures exceeding 50į. These springs produce microscopic aquatic life that feed a variety of local bird species, along with a number of migratory birds. A species of perch, "Tilapia Grahami" survive in these extreme conditions, reproducing in puddles of fresh water. Areas more concentrated in soda are favourable for the reproduction of an algae which flamingos feed upon. It's not unusual for the flocks to number in the hundreds of thousands.

Our vehicles are await us at the Uaso Nyiro River. Weather conditions permitting, access to the edge of Lake Natron allows us to approach the immense flocks of flamingo that nest in colonies here. We return to Nairobi on a very good road arriving by the Ngong Hills. After our last vision of Hemmingways Africa we return to the hustle and bustle of city life.


Please Note:Terms and conditions apply. We reserve the right to change prices if necessary.

File images
Transfering luggage to donkeys
Transfering luggage to donkeys

Solitary Hyena on Masai Mara
Solitary Hyena on Masai Mara

Lioness and her cubs
Lioness and her cubs

A Masai warrior
A Masai warrior

Planning the day's route
Planning the day's route

A Sonjo woman
A Sonjo woman

Your tent with Masai gaurd
Your tent with Masai gaurd

Setting off for the day
Setting off for the day

 
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