Sample Trip

Kenya’s Wild North and Beach Adventure

“Serious adventure for intrepid travellers in the remotest corners of Kenya”

Budget level: Affordable
Country
Kenya
When to Go
All year
Duration
13 Nights
Safari Type
Lodge and Canvas, Mobile Safari

This safari is for intrepid travellers that want to experience WILD northern Kenya, including the wilderness areas of Laikipia & Meru and remote Lake Turkana, as well as spend time at a rustic camp on an island in the Lamu Archipelago. The accommodation is basic, but the experience is the LUXURY, just as it should be! The ‘adventure level’ can be scaled up or down, making the safari ideal for couples, groups of friends, or families.

On arrival into Nairobi spend the night in one of the many wonderful accommodation options on offer here. After a hearty breakfast transfer to Wilson Airport for the short flight north to the Laikipia plateau, destination Laikipia Wilderness!

Laikipia Wilderness is a basic but comfortable camp in a remote wilderness section of Laikipia and is owned and run by Steve and Annabel Carey. Steve is one of Africa’s legendary guides and Laikipia is his back yard! Steve and Annabelle offer you a stay in their ‘bush home’ and access to the vast wilderness and adventures that this remote part of Laikipia offer. Steve’s legendary bush skills and instinct guarantees an adventure second to none…. it is highly recommended! Spent 4 glorious days exploring this vast wilderness on day and night game drives, but more importantly proper bushwalks, from a few hours to full days including a fly camping sleepout. There are many varied activities on offer too, so an action-packed time is guaranteed for young and old.

On the last morning and after a proper bush breakfast served in camp, Steve and the Team will transfer you by road to their sister camp Meru Wilderness, in Kenya’s north. The scenic road trip takes a five hours, so a packed lunch will be enjoyed along the way.

Meru Wilderness is a mobile camp set up in Meru National Park, arguably Kenya’s prettiest national park. Laikipia and Meru combine perfectly, as they are so very different, but both are real wilderness areas. Meru is tropical and full of rivers and palm trees, glades of magnificent fig trees, mahogany trees and many more.

Back in the old days, going on safari was a journey (safari means journey in Swahili) and there were no lodges or permanent camps. Everything was carried into the bush. This is what Meru Wilderness is, a small camp for small groups set up just for your safari. Simplicity is the essence and if you love wilderness, and want to feel close to it, this is the best way to do it. Spend another 4 days exploring this gem of a park with Steve, great wildlife, fishing and birding guaranteed!

Sadly, the time with Steve will come to an end and you will continue onto the next adventure by flying further north to Lake Turkana, destination Lobolo Camp! The flight to Turkana is an amazing experience in itself, as you will be flying over some of the most dramatic and varied landscapes anywhere in Africa!

Lake Turkana, lying within The Great Rift Valley, is the world’s largest desert lake. Situated in an ancient landscape, the harsh but hauntingly beautiful lake has always been an intrepid travellers’ destination. With a whole lake to explore, the expedition possibilities are endless. Lake Turkana is not your typical wildlife destination, rather a panacea for bird watchers, fishermen, archaeological enthusiasts and adventure seekers in the expeditionary sense. The camp offers multiple activities from sports fishing to fly fishing, guided walks, fly camping, bird watching, helicopter and boat safaris, visits to Central Island and the list goes on!

At the end of the 3-night stay at Lobolo board a flight back to Nairobi and connect straight to Lamu on Kenya’s north coast. The flight can either be to Lamu town, or straight to Kiwayu airstrip with Mike’s Camp close by. Should you fly into Lamu town Kiwayu Island can be reached by speed boat (an hour and a half) or by dhow sailing a 6-hour transfer, both are exciting options.

Mikes Camp is located on Kiwayu Island, one of the many unspoiled idyllic islands of the Lamu archipelago. It offers one of the only beaches in Kenya, on which you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul. With many caves and coves to explore there is again the spectacular snorkelling over a myriad of coral. There are 7 comfortable and spacious bandas (rooms) on top of the sand dunes under the tortilis trees. All have magnificent panoramic views of the mangrove creek, or Indian Ocean and are set in total privacy from each other.

Mikes Camp is situated in a location that offers a huge array of activities. It stretches from being ideally romantic and relaxed, to action packed family holidays with more than enough activity to keep kids and adults fully entertained. The constant change of the tides throughout the month opens up different opportunities each day, exposing different reefs, beaches, ancient ruins, and natural caves all offering a new adventure. The winds and sea currents change throughout the year too, which offer different activities whether you’re a keen fisherman, diver or kite boarder. Every day satisfy those looking for a perfect empty beach, sunshine and warm blue sea, or those simply choosing to relax in a hanging bed under a shady tree and absorb this gentle heaven.

The 5-days at Mike’s Camp will not be enough and you won’t want to leave, but unfortunately the time will come for the flight heading back to Nairobi. The adventures of this safari will however stay with you for a very, very long time!

Itinerary in Brief

3 Nights Laikipia Wilderness
3 Nights Meru Wilderness
3 Nights Lobolo Camp
4 Nights Mike’s Camp

Safari Rating

adventure
wilderness
wildlife
comfort
photographic
guiding

detailed itinerary

Laikipia is fast becoming one of the most popular safari destinations in Kenya and for good reason. It offers family-owned camps with great hospitality and a real sense of adventure, and an unrivalled variety of activities all in a great climate!

Laikipia Wilderness is in the Ol Doinyo Lemboro Ranch in the central area of Laikipia, a two hour drive north from Nanyuki. Blending into a hillside above the Ewaso Narok river, there are 6 tents with open air bathrooms allowing you to shower under the stars. Two of these are standard rooms and there are 4 family tents which are a double room, with interconnecting twin for smaller children. One of the family tents is extra-large and designed for families with up to four children who are in an interconnecting quadruple room, next door to the double and with a bathroom at the rear.

The freedom of this area means you can discover Africa in a more connected way than just witnessing it out of a moving vehicle. Explore rocky outcrops, walk along the river that carves it way through this part of Laikipia with an experienced guide. Venture through valleys and on top of escarpments with endless views of wilderness. Stop and listen and watch for a while, just magic!

This area in Laikipia has some of Kenya’s most stunning landscapes. No better way to explore it than on foot led by a professional walking guide. Steve is one of the best and most experienced walking safari guides in Africa and offer a number of different walking experiences. With 25 years of experience they offer morning and afternoon walks, or you can walk to a fly-camp set up just for you, and sleep under the stars before walking back to camp the next morning, or you can do a multi-day sleep-out walk.

The area has large permanent herds of elephants all year round, lions, leopards, spotted hyena, common and Grevy’s zebra, warthog, hippo in the river, buffalo, and many different antelope species. Over 350 different species of birds have been recorded and the guides are highly trained in helping you spot and identify them.

Off the beaten tourist path, Meru is often cited as a secret gem. A thriving rhino sanctuary means all of the Big Five are here and the contrast of habitats makes it one of the most spectacular parks in Kenya.

Along with neighbouring Kora National Park, it was here that George and Joy Adamson hand-raised and released Elsa the lioness and subsequently the lions used in the creation of the Born Free movie. Guests here can visit George’s grave, next to that of some of his lions. Numerous streams of crystal-clear water emanate here and tumble down to create ribbons of palm-fringed oases in what is otherwise a harsh ‘thorn-veld’. Naturally, these conditions attract wildlife and it was for this reason that Meru National Park was created.

Meru Wilderness camp comprises of the following:

Light weight tents with proper beds and carpets, shelves for clothes and a side table and solar lighting.
En-suite toilet set over a hole in the ground, known as a short drop loo.
Bucket shower in a tent near your tent. When you would like a shower, water is heated in a metal drum on an open fire and poured into the bucket which is then raised using a rope.

All the food is freshly cooked in the kitchen which is set up under the shade of a glade of trees. Delicious pizzas, quiches, home-made bread, and lots of healthy salads are produced daily, as well as unhealthy treats such as chocolate fondant, sticky toffee pudding and lemon, heaven!

Meru is tropical and full of rivers and palm trees, glades of magnificent fig trees, mahogany trees and many more. The vegetation can be thick meaning you have to work to see wildlife a bit, but the park is full of lions, giraffes, buffalo, elephant, lesser kudu, gerenuk, hippos, crocodiles, cheetah and leopard. Inside a rhino sanctuary are white and black rhino. With a huge range of habitats it is no wonder it has the greatest diversity of mammal species of any park in Kenya.

Fishing in the clear rivers of Meru usually produces enough tilapia for dinner one night, and you can fish with a fly here as the water is clear enough. Spinning rods and worms are provided.

To the far north west lies the “Jade Sea” – Lake Turkana. The largest alkaline lake in the world, it is also the planet’s largest permanent desert lake. It sits in the floor of the Great Rift Valley and is surrounded by fascinating geological and anthropological history. The shores of the lake continue to reveal hominid fossils and stone tools, searched for by the Turkana Basin Institute, set up by the famous paleoanthropologist family, the Leakey’s.

Midway along the western shore of Lake Turkana sheltered in the hollow of a spit lies Lobolo Camp, which in the local Turkana language means a place of abundant water, indeed it is an area of natural springs whose waters have given rise to a verdant oasis of foliage and distinct animal and birdlife. It is a discreet oasis with a special atmosphere of tranquillity and a halcyon spirit, “far from the maddening crowds.”

Adeptly integrated into this milieu are Lobolo’s eight ensuite safari-genre tents, with spring water showers, flushing toilets and washbasins, nestled within the extensive palm grove. Each tent has its unique remarkable varied view of the sandy beach, the lake, Central Island and the distant shoreline. The tents are elevated to give a vantage view level and are well sealed against insects or any unwelcome intruder.

Lobolo boasts the biggest swimming pool ever – Lake Turkana. The Lake’s jade colour and calm waters “when the lake is at peace” is irresistible and a swim is a must, it is so soothing and refreshing…you may not want to leave Turkana at all!

The camp offers multiple activities from sports fishing to fly fishing, guided walks, fly camping, bird watching, helicopter and boat safaris, visits to Central Island and the list goes on. With your fishing gear, all you need to do is to choose your destination and a dedicated fishing boat will be ready waiting for action.

Helicopter safaris with the feel of being close to the sky and above everything else, is another ideal and exciting way of travel to Lake Turkana and around Lake Turkana.

Right in the northern corner of the Kenyan coastline, is an archipelago of islands, seemingly stuck in time. Lamu island and its neighbor, Manda, are becoming more popular with tourists, decades after they were ‘discovered’ by Hollywood stars and European royalty. Many consider it a great alternative to Zanzibar, which some claim has lost some of its charm.

Mike’s Camp is located on Kiwayu Island, one of the many unspoilt, idyllic islands of the Lamu Archipelago, on the Kenyan Coast. You are offered your own private island where you are safe and undisturbed. Surrounded by miles of soft white sand, turquoise waters and gorgeous coral gardens, it offers one of the only beaches in Kenya on which you can walk for miles without seeing a single soul.

There are 7 comfortable and spacious bandas (rooms) on top of the sand dunes under the tortilis trees blending harmoniously into the environment. All have magnificent panoramic views of the mangrove creek, or Indian Ocean and are set in total privacy from each other. They all come with king size beds, towels, toiletries, mosquito nets, ensuite bathrooms with hand painted bucket shower and flushing toilets, and a daily laundry service. The rooms are all very spacious, extra beds can be added to accommodate families and friends.

Mikes camp is situated in a location that offers a huge array of activities. It stretches from being ideally romantic and relaxed, to action packed family holidays with more than enough activity to keep kids and adults fully entertained. The constant change of the tides throughout the month opens up different opportunities each day, exposing different reefs, beaches, ancient ruins, and natural caves all offering a new adventure. This satisfies different activities whether you’re a keen fisherman, diver or kite boarder.

Diving is fantastic from mid-October to mid-December and again from mid-January through to the end of March. In these months the wind drops and water clears offering very adventuress dives. Dive sites include a wreck dive, creek drift dives, coral garden dives and offshore dives on the knolls.

Some of the best fishing on the Kenyan coast takes place a mile offshore from Kiwayu island. This is a huge attraction to those serious fishermen. Mikes Camp has two smaller fishing boats at the camp that will take you out for a fun days fishing for sailfish, tuna, dorado, skip jack, wahoo, marlin, or creek fishing for snapper, rock cod, trevally, bone fish (rare) and many more species.

when to go

janfebmaraprmayjunjulaugsepoctnovdec
Kenyan Coast BestBestGoodMixedMixedGoodBestBestBestGoodGoodGood
Laikipia GoodGoodGoodMixedMixedGoodBestBestBestBestGoodGood
Northern Kenya BestBestGoodMixedMixedGoodBestBestBestBestMixedGood
Best = Best Good = Good Mixed = Mixed

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