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Lewa and the Mara: Tassia Lodge and Serian Camp

Days 1 / 2 / 3 ~ Lewa ~ Tassia Lodge

After arriving in Nairobi you will board a short flight to Lewa. You will be greeted on the other side by an Extraordinary Journey’s representative who will drive you to your accommodation, Tassia Lodge.

Tassia Lodge is set located in the Il Ngwesi Vally in a stunning wilderness area within the 60,000 acre Lekurruki Community Ranch, adjoining the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The area is raw scrub, sometimes green after the rains, often brown between the bushes and trees. When it is green, thousands of elephants converge to eat the succulent new grass. The ranch is effectively a private wilderness and there will be very few other tourists making it the perfect setting for travelers seeking an outdoorsy and walking focused safari experience.

Tassia Lodge is owned by Martin Wheeler and Antonia Hall and sits on land leased from the Mokogodo people of northeastern Kenya. The Mokogodo are a Cushitic (of Ethiopian origin) people who over time have married into and largely adopted the Maasai culture, traditions and language.

The lodge itself is dramatically perched on the edge of a rocky bluff that overlooks a valley filled with Acacia and Newtonia trees, with spectacular mountain views. Tassia’s rooms are open and airy with vistas in every direction. To the north is the Mathews Range and snow-capped Mt. Kenya lies to the south. Sitting in your room at midday, the silence is pierced by the call of a hornbill, the rustling of the cool breeze, and the constant chirping of finches and weavers.

Walking is the major activity here where exploration on foot takes you along rivers and gorges, across open plains, and into the forest. Explore the caves and pools used by the Makogodo people, stroll thru a village as the goats and cattle are brought in for the evening, or take a longer trek in the wilderness area where you will encounter everything from lion to elephant. This is real adventure, far from any tourist route. The knowledge and experience of Martin and his excellent trackers make the walks a fascinating experience. Return in the evening to amazing home cooked food and perhaps a little rest by the pool.

Overnights at TASSIA LODGE. Includes: All meals daily, drinks other than premium wines or spirits, game drives and walks, village visit.

Days 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 ~ Maasai Mara ~ Serian Camp

Today you will fly back to Nairobi in time for your flight to the Masai Mara. When you arrive at the Mara airstrip, your driver will meet you and take you to Serian Camp.

The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most famous nature reserve, and one of the settings for the film Out of Africa. In this classic savannah grassland the animals are plentiful and the vistas breathtaking. The Mara covers 700 square miles and is part of the Serengeti ecosystem. Each year it hosts the world famous spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million wildebeest, thousands of zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains, following the rains and new grass. Whether or not you are in the Maasai Mara during the migration, your wildlife viewing will be spectacular, as the resident population of zebra and wildebeest will be there, along with the predators. The reserve is known for lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo and over 500 species of birds including ostrich, lark and sunbird. The area around the reserve is home to the Maasai, a pastoral tribe whose traditional boma-style villages dot the landscape.

Serian is the private camp of Alex Walker. A fourth generation Kenyan and child of a professional hunter, Alex spent his childhood in the bush learning from local trackers. A highly respected guide and wildlife documentary filmmaker, Alex has made Serian his home, and you will feel that you are his private guests. The tents are huge, white and tastefully decorated. Each has an outdoor bathing area a short distance away with flush toilets and hot water. In the evening your tent is softly lit by kerosene lanterns.

In addition to the included daily game drives you may wish to indulge in a hot air balloon ride (at additional cost). As the sun rises, float over the plains and the Mara River. Check out hippos, crocodiles and elephants from above before landing for a champagne breakfast in the reserve. Other exciting optional activities include nature walks in a private reserve that is accessible only on foot, honey gathering with the Maasai, or fishing. Serian is also the base for the Mara Predator Project and if you like, you can learn how to identify lions and submit your photos to contribute to the project.

Overnights at SERIAN MARA CAMP. Includes: All meals, house wines, soft drinks and beer, laundry, game drives in open 4X4 vehicles and laundry.

Day 8 ~ Depart Nairobi

Today you will bid farewell to Africa for now as you fly from the Maasai Mara back to Nairobi in time for your international flight home.

The price for this trip is between $5000 and $6000 per person depending on season (2012 prices).

Inclusions

  • Flights within Kenya as described in the itinerary.
  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • All meals, drinks and laundry while on safari and as indicated.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4 X 4 open roof vehicle shared with other guests, driven by a highly qualified naturalist guide.
  • Complimentary soft drinks and water in vehicles.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes.
  • All game park entry fees.

Exclusions

  • International Flights
  • Foreign airport taxes.
  • Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas.
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
  • Meals and beverages, other than specified.
  • Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants.
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature.
  • Personal and baggage insurance.
  • Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.
  • Gratuities.

For more more information email [email protected]

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Lara Ray