A true back to basics wilderness experience, this eight day itinerary allows you to experience first hand some of the conservation projects we support. Not only will you be going on game drives in conservancies untouched by other tourists but you will also be truly making a difference by helping build infrastructures or assisting the team whilst they vaccinate wild dogs. The itinerary is for a safari to Kenya but we can organise conservation safaris in other destinations. Contact us for further information.
Depart on a scheduled flight or private Charter to Borana Conservancy and meet up with your guide. Enjoy the day by famiarlizing yourself with your surroundings and settle into your accommodation.
Borana Conservancy lies at the foot of Mt Kenya, a few miles north of the equator at 6,500 feet (almost 2,000 meters) above sea level. This 32,000 acre private conservancy forms part of a larger eco-system which combines Lewa Conservancy, Il Ngwezi and the Ngare Ndare Forest expanding the land to over 100,000 acres. Borana realized the importance of protecting natural habitat in particular for the black rhino which was fast on the road to extinction. In 1970 there were an estimated 65,000 animals left and in 2020 it is less than 2,500. Spend the day either on foot, on horseback or in the vehicle tracking and learning about the wildlife and challenges that face modern day conservation.
Drive down to Il Ngwezi, the neighbouring community owned conservancy where wildlife numbers have increased dramatically since its inception in 1996. A pioneering project and first of its kind whereby the leaders of the Laikipia Masai agreed to set aside 10,000 acres for conservation and (with help from Lewa and additional funding) built an eco lodge. This achievement was a massive leap of faith. Profits from the lodge and conservancy fees for those camping in the conservancy all support a range of community projects while at the same time ensuring that the environment is sustainably managed. The model helps to foster communities that value wildlife and see purpose in acting as custodians of the land. Crucially, Il Ngwesi is one of 33 conservancies that are supported by the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) and which collectively cover 440,000 square kilometers. As well as providing a large and secure environment for wildlife populations to live and migrate to and from, the NRT supports communities to develop and benefit from tourism.
Il Ngwezi lies below the slopes of Mt. Kenya in the low country, which extends all the way from Mt. Kenya to the Ethiopian border. Enjoy a drive in the afternoon to see the Reticulated giraffe, generuk, Grevy Zebra, warthog, waterbuck, elephant, eland, grants gazelle, Lesser kudu and a variety of exotic and noisy birds. Visit the homesteads of the Il Ngwezi community, and learn about their culture and beliefs. The women are key in generating income through crafting beaded jewellery, belts and ornaments. In the afternoon, take a walk with a local guide to learn so much more than spotting animals from the car.
Depart on an early morning flight north marveling at the stunning scenery. Arrive in camp in time for lunch and take a walk up a dry river bed to a scenic sundown spot and enjoy some drinks and stories before heading to camp for hot showers and drinks around the camp fire.
Head out for an early morning excursion to see the Sandgrouse come in to water on a waterhole and then track on foot some of the rhinos with the rangers. Sera is a vast 865,000 acre conservation area, that was set aside for wildlife by community group ranch members in 2001. Sera operates under the umbrella of the Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), who provide support and security. In 2015, ten black rhinos were re-introduced to this area and have since started to breed. This is the first time in more than 30 years that rhino have been able to return to some of their original stamping grounds in northern Kenya. In May 2020, twenty-four Grevy zebras were translocated from Lewa Conservancy to Sera to add to the existing population. This will diversify the gene pool and expand the current population which lies at a critically low number of 2,500 animals in their natural habitat.
Fly to Namunyak Conservancy and arrive in time to feed the elephants at Reteti. Designed to rescue and release orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, whilst creating much needed benefits to the local people who live alongside them. The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, is the representation of the communities coming together to protect wildlife. Fly across to Sarara and overnight in the lodge and enjoy an evening watching the animals come into the waterhole. Well known for leopard sightings, an evening drive might prove rewarding.
Sarara has established itself as one of the ‘hot spots’ for quality leopard viewing in Africa and equally, for close-up sightings of the normally extremely shy lesser kudu antelope. The African wild dogs are frequently encountered in the Sarara valley too. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe, gerenuk, impala and warthogs are now regularly seen on our game drives and bush walks and are very much on the increase in numbers. Unusual sightings include striped hyena, aardwolf, civet cat, African wild cat, greater kudu, grevy zebra and cheetah. Spend the day trying to spot these animals on a morning and evening game drive or a guided walk if you would prefer to stretch the legs.
Fly into Nairobi and transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your onward journey home.
“We did an elephant study and conservation based trip in Kenya for almost three weeks. We were with the most interesting people throughout the journey. Saw and learned so much, incredible!”
Mindy Slovick, June 2019