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The Kenya Conservation Experience Safari
Behind-the-Scenes With Heroes in Conservation
9 Days Departs Sunday, Returns Friday
Day 1 Nairobi
Arrive in Narobi. Karibu! Welcome to Kenya! A Micato Safaris representative will greet you on arrival in Nairobi, Kenya and escort you to your hotel. The largest city between Cairo and Johannesburg, Nairobi is a cosmopolitan capital city. Graceful jacaranda and bougainvillea line the main streets, and parks and gardens occupy large areas in the centre. Located in the fertile highlands at 5,000 feet, it has a delightful climate, with warm sunny days and cool nights. The city has undergone a dramatic expansion in its recent past. Today you will see a thriving business centre, with the modern Kenyatta Conference Centre and Parliament Building, first-class restaurants and hotels. Traditional architecture still survives in colorful wooden buildings with tiled roofs, and arcades from the colonial era.
Rarely do travelers have an opportunity to discuss meaningful issues with a Maasai elder due to the language barrier, which is why meeting a forward-thinking, English-speaking elder, Simon Lenini Ole Kassi, in Nairobi is such an exceptional experience. Simon will spend time with you discussing the history of the Maasai and the many ways their culture is adapting to modern changes while striving to maintain their centuries-old traditions and values.
Day 2 David Sheldrick Animal Trust
After breakfast and a briefing on the adventure to come, you’re off to visit the David Sheldrick Animal Trust. From her home in Nairobi National Park, Dame Daphne Sheldrick operates Kenya's foremost animal orphanage and conservation foundation. An engaging world class figure, her late husband David was the first Game Warden of Tsavo National Park. In his memory she founded a wildlife foundation and animal orphanage, and is the recognized authority on the successful raising of infant elephant and rhinoceros orphans and re-integrating them into the wild. Recently featured on CBS’s show, 60 Minutes, Dame Daphne will personally brief the group and tell them about her lifelong commitment to conservation.
Enjoy lunch followed by a visit to the National Museum and its noted exhibits on the wildlife, cultures, and early human history of East Africa. Its specimen collection of 1000 species of birds is unparalleled. Of special interest is the exhibit dealing with the research and discoveries of Dr. Louis Leakey, internationally renowned anthropologist.
This evening you are invited to cocktails and dinner at Lavington, the home of Felix and Jane Pinto, your Kenya hosts and owners of Micato Safaris. The house, high atop Lavington Hill, offers spectacular views of Nairobi. The food is superb, with all meats, vegetables and fruit arriving fresh from the Pinto farms. This is a unique opportunity to experience Kenyan hospitality at its best.
Day 3 Nanyuki
Board plane for flight to Nanyuki, transfer to Ol Pejeta Bush Camp. Arrive in camp for lunch, after which there will be a briefing on the program for the following days. Afternoon game drive in the Conservancy. There will be an evening presentation from and discussion with a member of the Ol Pejeta management before dinner, which will give guests a real insight into the complexities of running a modern wildlife conservancy in Africa.
Day 4 Nanyuki
Wake up at sunrise with hot water brought to your tent washstand. Then it’s a light breakfast, and out into the Conservancy to observe some of the wildlife: all of the big five (elephant, black and white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard) are residents on Ol Pejeta. This morning you will familiarize yourselves with the ecology and landscape of the Conservacy comprised of 360 square kilometers, and how it plays a vital role in the greater 30,000 square kilometer Laikipia region. For example, guests will view a specially constructed game corridor.
Return to camp for lunch. In the afternoon you will meet some of the research and monitoring team at the Ol Pejeta Research Centre, which monitor the wildlife and compile data on the rhino, elephant, lion, zebra, etc.
Day 5 Nanyuki
Today you will see how cattle are utilized as a new and significant wildlife management tool, and how methods are being pioneered by Ol Pejeta to enhance the production and conservation of both, for example, with the design of predator-proof bomas. This innovation has become of interest throughout East Africa. You will visit two neighboring ranches, with whom the Ol Pejeta management partners: part of the government-owned Mutara Ranch and Eland Downs. Both areas have formerly been intensive cattle ranches which have now adopted a much more positive management policy towards wildlife thanks to input from Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Guests will be able to observe the problems and pressures that a government ranch has in trying to manage wildlife and cattle at the same time. This is a full day out in the field, with a picnic lunch under a shady acacia tree, before heading back for showers in camp and cold drinks round the campfire.
Day 6 Nanyuki
This morning you will drive across the ranch to visit the 4,000-acre wheat growing area, which plays an important financial part of the Conservancy as a whole. The special techniques of Conservation Agriculture, originally from Australia, are used here, and also taught to the local farmers to make the most of this specific climate. You will also meet with the Community Projects and Development Officer, and visit one or more community projects that Micato is involved in, from primary and secondary schools and local health dispensaries.
Day 7 Chimpanzee Program
Today you will meet the head of the Chimpanzee Program and hear how this sanctuary, unique in Kenya, plays such an important role not only within the Conservancy but also how they facilitate the education of visitors about the environment, bushmeat trade, and international smuggling of chimps and wildlife in general. This should include a river walk and a behind-the-scenes visit to the house where the newer chimps live. In the afternoon you will meet Dr. Anthony King from the Laikipia Wildlife Forum. Dr. King will present and explain some of the many challenges that this area and Kenya as a whole face today, and how LWF helps to resolve them.
Overnight in a secure hide for those who would like to spend a night out and use night vision monoculars to view animals visiting a waterhole.
Day 8 Solio Game Reserve
After breakfast you will visit the last conservancy in the region: the world-renowned Solio Game Reserve, established in the 1970’s. Solio has become one of the most successful sanctuaries for breeding black and white rhino, some of which have been translocated to other conservancies and parks in Kenya as part of the national breeding program for black rhino. It is a conservancy which has restricted the entry of elephant from the very start, and it is fascinating to observe the differences (to Ol Pejeta and other areas) that these pachyderms can make on an environment.
Day 9 Nairobi
Board early morning flight to Nairobi. Enjoy breakfast with long-necked friends before heading out for a day spent visiting an AmericaShare project. Over 20 years ago, Micato founded AmericaShare, a nonprofit foundation dedicated to helping populations affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nairobi, Kenya. Through education, community outreach and economic empowerment program, AmericaShare provides hundreds of disadvantaged children and women with access to basic services in order to facilitate sustainable change.
You will spend the day in an impoverished area of Nairobi where AmericaShare is working to better the lives of the people there. This is a unique chance to witness everyday life in Africa, and see firsthand how a community is improving itself against daunting odds. You can begin with a stop at the local mega-shop for supplies – a fascinating errand in and of itself – all of which will be heartily welcomed with open arms upon your arrival. You will continue on to the Mukuru slum where you will visit Harambee Centre, a multi-purpose facility built by Micato Safaris and AmericaShare with the generous donations of Micato travelers. Here you will learn about the projects, share a meal with community members or even enjoy a game of soccer with youngsters. Seeing the bright smiles and indomitable spirit of the neighboring people is inspiring—in fact, many Micato guests mark the AmericaShare visit as the highlight of their safari.
This afternoon, return to Nairobi where a day room is reserved at Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel. After dinner, transfer to the international airport for your evening departure. Bid farewell knowing this has been a journey you will remember for the rest of your lives.
Intrigued? Give us a call at 1-800-MICATO-1 or email us.