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Hiking in the Footsteps of the Maasai

A Custom Private Trek With Maasai Guides in Kenya's Wild Loita Hills
Please Note: This is a sample itinerary and can be customized for your own special needs and interests.

Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya
Arrive in Kenya’s capital where you are met at the airport and transferred to your boutique hotel in a quiet Nairobi suburb.

Day 2: Nairobi / Loita Hills
Depart after breakfast in 4x4 vehicles for the drive across the broad expanse of the Rift Valley, enjoying magnificent views en route. After approximately four hours we reach Morijo, where we meet our Maasai guide, porters and donkeys that will transport our camping gear. Day packs are provided, and we will pack only what we need for our hike—all other luggage will be transported to Leleshwa Camp to await us at the end of the trek. We commence our walking safari for 3-4 hours this afternoon, hiking through Maasai farmland and broken bush toward the hills. As villages become increasingly remote and dirt tracks diminish into footpaths, we eventually leave the last settlements behind and enter the forest. Our first camp is in a clearing on the forest edge, overlooking a natural waterhole with wildlife visitors. [Hiking time is 3-4 hours, +/- 7 miles]

Days 3-5: Loita Hills—Maasai Walking Trail
The next few days are a peerless adventure as we discover the Kenya wilderness on foot. Guided by local Maasai who know this territory intimately, we follow elephant and buffalo trails through the forest, shaded by cedar and strangler fig trees. Monkeys swing through the branches, and we look for wildlife that frequents the massive swamp on the floor of the Sergei Valley. Our second camp is near a natural waterhole that often sees nocturnal animal visitors. Our route continues up Miguu ya Mbwa Hill to a fabulous viewpoint: on a clear day we can see the soda lakes of Magadi and Natron, where Africa’s famous pink flamingos breed, and 6,600-foot Ol Donyo Lengai, Tanzania’s only active volcano. Our third camp is along a clear spring-fed stream that courses through the wide Enchipai Valley. A spectacular side hike to 300-foot Alarsu waterfall is worth the challenge as we’re rewarded with a chance to cool off in the huge plunge pool at the base. On our final night we’ll enjoy a special celebration as the Maasai crew, who have by now become our friends, provide traditional entertainment with music and dance—and invite us to participate! [Hiking time is 3-4 hours each morning and 2-3 hours each afternoon, 6-7 miles total each day]

Day 6: Loita Hills / Siana Conservancy
After a last breakfast in the bush, it’s time to begin the 2-hour walk back to the civilized world. More adventures lie ahead as we travel by 4x4 truck to Leleshwa Camp. Leleshwa is an intimate tented safari camp within the private Siana Conservancy bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The conservancy offers a rare experience of the “hidden” Mara, unsullied by crowds, which we discover today on a wildlife drive. Wildlife is prolific: resident predators include three lion prides, numerous leopards, and cheetah in pursuit of large herds of plains game. This afternoon we visit a Maasai village and market. The rich culture of these traditional pastoral herders is one of the most famous in Africa. As we learn more about the lifestyle and traditions of the local people, we come away enriched by getting to know these community members who benefit from our visit. [Hiking time is approximately 2 hours, 4.5 miles]

Days 7 & 8: Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s most legendary wildlife reserves, renowned for its annual wildebeest migration, prides of lion and huge herds of hoofed wildlife. As the northern portion of Tanzania’s Serengeti Plains, the Mara offers excellent wildlife viewing year-round. From our base at Leleshwa Camp, we spend two days on game drives within a remote sector of the reserve where wildlife viewing is superb. Home to nearly 100 species of mammals and 570 bird species, the Mara offers a chance to see the classic Big Five— lephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard—while cheetah, giraffe and varied antelope are also common sights. Back at camp, gather around the campfire under the stars, listening for the roar of lions in the distance.

Day 9: Nairobi / Depart
Fly to Nairobi this morning and transfer to a hotel where a day room awaits, before connecting with homeward flights this evening.

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