Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Great Tour to Kenya

The Aberdares are an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100km north south between Nairobi and Thomsons Falls. The Aberdare National Park was formed in 1950 to protect the forested slopes and moors of the Aberdare Mountains. While the park has elephant, rhino, black leopard, lion and the beautiful but elusive bongo antelope, it is rarely visited by safari companies and individual travelers. Soils are volcanic origin and red. There are two main peaks Kinangop (3,906m) and Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999m) separated by a lengthy saddle of alpine moorland at over 3,000m. The high rainfall turns the roads to mud and you need a 4x4 to get anywhere. The park often closes in the wet season. There are many clear streams and waterfalls.

Shaba National Reserve, which lies east of the road linking Isiolo with Marsabit, form a trio of unusual and attractive game sanctuaries very different from others in Kenya. Shaba National Reserve has a particular place in the history of Kenya game conservation for it was in this reserve that the authoress, Joy Adamson, died; her trilogy of books on the rehabilitation of the compliant leopard to a wild environment remained unfinished. Shaba was one of Joy Adamson's greatest African loves; it was in this tranquil wilderness where she released the first hand-raised leopards Shaba took its name from the Mount Shaba (1525 meters), a volcanic mountain that became extinct around 5,000 years ago. Mount Shaba lies on the border of the reserve.

Mt. Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands, East of the Rift Valley. Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks - Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems. Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 km2 in extent. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland next to Nakuru town. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter.

The Masai Mara is one of the best known and most popular reserves in the whole of Africa. At times and in certain places it can get a little overrun with tourist minibuses, but there is something so special about it that it tempts you back time and again. Serengeti national park in Tanzania occupies 14,763 square km. The park boasts the highest wildlife concentrate in the whole of Africa and one of the best places to see the “big five” elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo. The annual animal immigration led by the thousands of wild best starts in May and lasts until June. Gazelle, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and eland in search of water share the movement. Along side this migration are predators and scavengers such as lions, hyena and vultures. Other common species fond here include hippo, giraffe, eland, impala, baboons, monkeys and a profusion of almost 500 bird species.

Mara Balloon Safari 1-hour Hot air Balloon safari over the game filled plains and riverine forest of the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Champagne type breakfast is served on landing followed by a game drive back to camp. For Information: