Selenkay Conservation Area and Amboseli National Park
The Selenkay Conservation Area lies in the heart of Maasailand a few miles north of Amboseli National Park. It is an important dispersal area and rangeland for wildlife in the Amboseli eco-system. The local Maasai community has set aside the area for a reserve for wildlife so that the habitat can be protected and wildlife conserved. The community is receiving an income from leasing the area for ecotourism and also receives an entry fee for each tourist visitor. All roads have been constructed using local labour so that the members of the community gain employment from the Conservation Area. In addition to the road maintenance team, Game Scouts have been employed to carry out patrols to see that the wildlife is protected.
Selenkay Conservation Area is well off the beaten track and has not been visited by tourists until recently. The animals are truly wild and not fully habituated to the presence of vehicles, so their behaviour is more natural than in parks where they are accustomed to many visitors. The numbers of tourist visitors are being limited to under thirty per day to retain the wild and unspoilt nature of the area, and to minimise the impact on the environment. Visitors on our camping safari are unlikely to see any other tourist vehicles in the Conservation Area and will have the opportunity to walk with Maasai trackers and to take a night drive to see the nocturnal animals. Within the conservation area there is a greater diversity of species than in Amboseli itself, and the following animals have been seen recently: elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, Thompson's and Grant's gazelles, gerenuk, impala, eland, oryx, lesser kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, warthog, striped hyena, jackal, bat-eared fox, caracal, African wild cat, serval cat, genet cat, honey badger, aardvark, porcupine, zorilla, mongoose, bushbaby and ostrich. Birdlife is prolific, especially birds of prey.
Selenkay is linked to Amboseli National Park by a track through the bush so that we have the opportunity to spend some time in the park. Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is one of Kenya's most popular national parks. It lies 150 miles south-east of Nairobi very close to the Tanzania border. The snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds dominates every aspect of Amboseli. Established as a national park in 1974 it covers 150sq miles and supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species), and birds (over 400 species). Years ago this was the locale around which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spun their stories of big game hunting in the wilds of Africa. The park encompasses dry lake beds, savannah woodland and extensive swamps constantly fed by springs that emanate from the mountain. The water and seasonal lakes attract a wide variety of bird and animal life, in particular herds of elephant. Amboseli is one of the best parks in Africa to observe family groups of elephants and large bull elephants at close quarters.
Congreve Conservancy and Lake Nakuru
The campsite is located on a private conservancy immediately adjacent to Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru, a shallow alkaline lake, lies about 30 miles north of Kigio on a tarmac road. The lake is world famous as the location of the greatest bird spectacle on earth, myriads of lesser flamingo - whose numbers are legion, often more than a million - and which literally turn its shores pink. They feed on the abundant algae which thrive in the warm waters. But flamingos are not the only avian attraction, as the lake environs are rich in other birdlife. There are over 400 resident species on the lake and in the surrounding park. Large numbers of pelicans concentrate by the fresh-water streams that flow into the lake, and thousands of other birds may be seen including African fish eagles, white-winged black terns, stilts, avocets, ducks and in the European winter, the migrant waders.
The national park surrounds the lake, offering a wide ecological diversity, from lakeshore, woodland, grassy plains to rocky escarpments and ridges. It now has one of the largest concentrations of rhinoceros in the country (both black rhino and white rhino), so the chances of spotting these are very good. There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, translocated for safety from western Kenya. Waterbuck, zebra and Cape buffalo are very common. Lion are present in the park and, like the lions of Lake Manyara in Tanzania, are quite often seen in the acacia trees. Leopard are also frequently sighted and Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the places where visitors have the best chance of seeing these elusive big cats. The bushlands offer eland, warthog, impala, mountain reedbuck and dik dik, whilst rock hyrax and klipspringer occupy the cliffs and escarpment.
The campsite is located on land owned by the local Maasai people alongside the Mara Reserve. From our campsite we drive into the Mara Reserve to explore the surrounding savannah plains and to seek out the huge variety of wildlife species for which the Mara is famous, in particular the large population of lions.
Considered by many to be Kenya's finest wildlife area, the 650sq miles of the Masai Mara adjoin Tanzania's well known Serengeti, forming one eco-system. The open rolling savannah grassland of the Mara is the home of numerous animals including elephant, rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal, buffalo, eland, topi, impala, gazelle, warthog and zebra. From June to September, the annual wildebeest migration takes place when thousands of these animals sweep across the plains and seek out new grazing areas.
Duration: 6 nights / 7 days
Day 1 Sunday: Meet and transfer to your safari vehicle to be driven from Nairobi to Selenkay Conservation Area (102 miles, 3 hours), arriving for a late lunch after setting up camp. Evening game drive to explore the Conservation Area. Dinner and overnight in the camp at Selenkay.
Day 2 Monday: Early breakfast and then drive through the bush into Amboseli National Park for good views of Kilimanjaro and close-up observation of elephants, as well as many other species. Return to Selenkay for lunch. Afternoon walk with Maasai trackers. Dinner followed by a night drive to seek out the nocturnal animals. Overnight in the camp at Selenkay.
Day 3 Tuesday: Morning drive back to Nairobi and on to Kigio Conservancy (165 miles), with a picnic lunch en route. Set up camp and then take an evening walk in the Kigio Conservancy. Dinner and overnight in the camp at Kigio.
Day 4 Wednesday: Early morning departure after a continental breakfast for a full day in Lake Nakuru National Park, with a picnic lunch. In addition to the spectacle of the masses of flamingo we expect to see rhino in addition to many other species and have an excellent chance of sighting leopard. Return to camp in the evening for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 Thursday: After breakfast, pack up camp and drive to Siana Springs Group Ranch in the Masai Mara (140miles) to set up camp. After lunch take an afternoon drive into the surrounding area to see some of the wildlife for which the Mara is famous. Return to the camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 Friday: An early breakfast followed by a full morning in the Mara, taking a picnic lunch. Return to the camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 Saturday: Breakfast, then pack up camp and return to Nairobi (180 miles, 5 hours), arriving about 13.00.
CONTACT SAFARI TOUR OPERATOR: Sunsafaris