More than just the conventional safaris! In collaboration with the internationally renowned Green Belt Movement, we at Buena Vista Tours & Safaris are happy to introduce our new and exciting eco-friendly and culturally rich product dubbed Community Safaris. Come venture out to understand and appreciate the rich history and culture of the Kenyan people. Community Safaris are aimed at promoting cultural awareness and involvement in a fun, educational and inspirational way for all participants.
Our current 13 Days enriching Community Safari combines a community-based program featuring the Agikuyu community and a conventional safari that features some of Kenya’s most popular game sanctuaries and the breath taking sceneries of the Great Rift Valley.
Optional extensions include beach stay in Mombasa and a safari in Tanzania featuring Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world.The Community-based program consist of tours and home-stays in areas where the GBM has been successful in its reforestation and empowerment campaign and guests participate in field activities like seed collection, nursery preparation, tree planting, food security projects and civic education. Guests will be hosted in local homes and will work, dine and interact with the families and experience the daily village life as it were.
Day 1: Nairobi
Meet on arrival at the airport and transfer to GBM Lang’ata Learning Centre, approximately 25 minutes from the city centre. The Centre is located on a 5 acres property and has a fully furnished 5-bedroomed house and 10 traditionally constructed cottages. The grounds are beautifully covered with gardens and 18 different species of trees and several species of birds. Guests refresh and settle, then gather for a briefing on the Community Safari and a series of talks/information on GBM, communities, politics, and economics of Kenya. Dinner and overnight at the Center
Day 2: Sightseeing in Nairobi
After breakfast, the group will set out on a sightseeing excursion starting with the nearby Giraffe Centre for a short history of the Centre and a talk on wildlife conservation, then the exciting moment of feeding the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. The group will then visit the Karen Blixen Museum situated at the foot of the Ngong hills, the original home of Karen Blixen of the Out of Africa fame. Lunch will be at GBM Langata Learning Centre followed by an afternoon trip around the city of Nairobi and its suburbs. Here, you will get the opportunity of meeting other organizations that are agents of development to learn how they participate in various community development activities. Back at the Learning Center, guests will watch a film “A Quiet revolution” that shows good practices on our environment. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Nairobi/Muranga
Depart Nairobi after breakfast and take a relaxed drive through Kikuyu countryside arriving at the host village in Muranga around mid-day. After introduction and lunch, guests will be taken to their host families to settle down and be acquainted with each other. The homes are in close proximity and each host family welcomes at least 3 guests including a GBM staff member to assist with translation where necessary. On the first evening guests and their host families gather in one place to sing and eat together.
Day 4: Activities with the community
After breakfast in the respective homes, guests, accompanied by some members of the host community gather at a central place for a talk about the history, culture, and present-day status of the community, and the involvement of the GBM. Activities of the day begin, which will include preparing of seedbeds, establishing tree nurseries, and planting of trees on a public land. Other activities include food security, where guests are introduced to indigenous food crops thriving in the area and will participate in planting, harvesting and even cooking some of these foods.
In relation to civic education & advocacy, the community will share an experience or guests attend part of an ongoing seminar. Dinner and overnight in homes.
Day 5: A visit to Aberdare Forest
To understand the extent and dangers of deforestation, guests, in the company of members of the host community will travel to Aberdare Forest, a tropical forest that covers a vast section of the Aberdare Ranges and which has been destroyed through haphazard harvesting of trees for timber and wood fuel. Guests will walk around to enjoy the rich and diverse fauna and flora, before joining members of this community in a tree planting campaign. This is usually a big event involving even the local administration.
Guests drive back to their village home in Muranga for a farewell dinner during which community members are encouraged to display their handicrafts for sale or exhibition.
Day 6: Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga
After breakfast, guests gather together to bid farewell to their “families” and community members, before departing for the nearby Mukurwe wa Nyagathanga, an Agikuyu cultural heritage site. This is a mythical place of origin for Kikuyu community, therefore, honored and maintained as a sacred site. A detailed history of this cultural heritage site which begins with a very interesting creation story will be told by Aramati (elders) who are the caretakers of the site. Guests will undertake a 10 minute walk from the site to Gathambara, the waterhole of the first Agikuyu family – Gikuyu, Mumbi and their children. This hole never dries up and continues to provide clean water for the local community. Back at Mukurwe Wa Nyagathanga, guests will be entertained with several traditional songs as they participate in a food festival of well-cooked Kikuyu indigenous foods. Late afternoon drive back to Nairobi. Dinner and overnight at GBM Langata Learning Center.
Day 7: Nairobi/Amboseli
Depart Nairobi in the morning for Amboseli National Park arriving Amboseli Serena Lodge in time for lunch. The park is famous for its big game and great scenic beauty whose entire landscape is dominated by Mt Kilimanjaro. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at Amboseli Serena Lodge.
Day 8: Amboseli
Early morning pre-breakfast game drive at 6.30am, when you have the best chance to see the majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro. Return to the lodge for late breakfast. The rest of the morning is at leisure. You can opt to take a swim or visit a local Maasai village. Afternoon game drive. All meals and overnight at Amboseli Serena Lodge.
Day 9: Lake Nakuru
Depart Amboseli after breakfast and drive via Nairobi and on to the floor of the Rift Valley making a stop to marvel at the incredible site of the escarpment as you enjoy a picnic lunch.
Arrive Lake Nakuru National Park in time for an afternoon game drive. Besides the flamingos that the lake is famous for, there are approx 400 other species of birds visiting the lake. Also, many species of game can be found in the park including the introduced Rothschild’s giraffe, waterbuck, reedbuck, lion, buffalo, leopard, baboon and many species of plains game. Lake Nakuru National Park was designated as Kenya’s first rhino sanctuary and has both black and white rhino. Dinner and overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.
Day 10: Lake Nakuru/Naivasha
Early morning game drive in Nakuru Park then return to the lodge for late breakfast. Depart shortly after for Lake Naivasha arriving Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge in time for lunch. Afternoon boat excursion to Crescent Island where you will take a guided walking safari – one of the few places in the world where one can walk freely amidst wild animals.
Option: Afternoon visit to Elsamere Conservation Centre, home to the late Joy and George Adamson who were famous for their conservation work. It is named after Elsa, the lioness whose life is recounted in Joy’s book ‘Born Free’. After 16.00hrs tea, guests will be invited to watch a video, “The Joy Adamson Story” and visit the museum and shop at the centre. Return to Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Masai Mara
Depart Naivasha after breakfast and drive further along the floor of the Rift Valley to Masai Mara arriving Mara Sopa Lodge in time for lunch. Take a swim after lunch or just enjoy the scenery of the game reserve before embarking on your first game drive in the park commencing at 16.00hrs and lasting approx 2½ hrs. Dinner and overnight at the Mara Sopa Lodge.
Day 12: Masai Mara
Full day in Masai Mara, Kenya’s most popular game sanctuary where you will have the best opportunity of spotting the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant). Go out with picnic lunch boxes and spend the day in the park, with an optional visit to a local Masai village. All meals and overnight at Mara Sopa Lodge.
Day 13: Back to Nairobi/Out
Depart Masai Mara in the morning and drive back to Nairobi arriving Langata Centre for lunch. Afternoon at leisure/freshen up and park. Farewell dinner at The Carnivore Restaurant then transfer to the airport for onward flight back home. End of our services.
- Peak Season: 16 Dec 2010 – 31 March 2011; 01 July – 15 Dec 2011
- High season: 01 – 30 June 2011
- Low Season: 01 April – 31 May 2011
- All Park entrance fees in the game reserves and National Parks.
- Experienced English Speaking driver-guide.
- 24/7 Flying Doctors emergency evacuation to the nearest hospital.
- All road transportation and Game drives using custom made Safari Minibus fitted with a two way radio communication and a pop-up roof for enhanced photography.
- All meals as specified in our itinerary.
- Full board Accommodation while on safari
- Airport transfer on arrival and departure.
- Bottled drinking water while on game-drive.
- All items of a personal nature such as tobacco, laundry, phone calls etc
- Tips and drinks/beverages.
- Any Other Items not mentioned above
- Medical/Travel Insurance.