Join us for 5 days in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park as we follow the wise old elephant herds over an 80km walking route along the Galana River as it winds through the park, from Tabangunji Camp to the park boundary and then onwards by vehicle to the Indian Ocean shore of Malindi.
Sharing the elephants’ home on equal footing surely supersedes any previous game viewing experience you may have had, and of course we’ll also encounter other wildlife such as the famous maneless lions of Tsavo, rare Peter’s gazelle (Hirola), range-restricted fringe-eared oryx, the long-necked gerenuk and many of the over 500 bird species.
Lead by Kenya’s top walking guides, and an expert camp team that will work tirelessly to set up three beautiful colonial camps along the way, plus the support of specially-designed 4×4 vehicles to explore our surroundings in the afternoons, this walking expedition ensures the perfect balance between comfort and adventure.
This is a true safari – from a bygone era!
Our expedition kicks off once everybody has arrived in Nairobi. Those arriving the day before should arrange board and lodging for that night (we can manage that for you). We take an afternoon road transfer to Wilson Airport for our one-hour flight to Tsavo East National Park. Upon arrival at Tsavo we will take a two-hour game drive through the park to our camp on one of the wide, palm-fringed beaches of the Galana River.
No walking today.
Tsavo East is semi-desert country, bordered to the north by the Yatta Escarpment (the longest lava flow on earth, at 320 km). Wildlife and birds are prolific and the wide-open areas make for easy game viewing. The wide lazy Galana River has wide sandy beaches and palm trees, offering wonderful walking and rest areas.
The area sports one of the largest remaining Lion populations in East Africa, as well as a wealth of plains game, including the very rare Peter’s gazelle / hirola, big herds of zebra, hartebeest, impala, the range-restricted fringe-eared oryx, strange long-necked gerenuk and masses of Cape buffalo. The park also hosts the largest elephant populations in Kenya. Our camp is located below the point of
the Yatta Escarpment. Today’s walk is 16 km.
Afternoon game drive.
This is one of the most remote wilderness areas of East Africa, in a world of stunning beauty, and we’ll spend the day walking in search of elephants and spending time with them. To see the large herds and groups of male elephants silently loping across the sand to the rivers edge, then wading through the blue water to the further shore is a sight that will stay with you forever. You will soon feel a part of the wilderness in which you are walking, as your body assumes a more natural rhythm. Today’s walk is 16 km.
Afternoon game drive.
We will in all probability be the only people walking in the area, a rare privilege. During our wanderings we are likely to encounter the famous maneless Lions and spend time to develop a better understanding of these truly wild predators. We will also have plenty of time to engage in bird watching, photography and whatever else takes our fancy.
Today’s walk is 14 km.
Afternoon game drive.
Our primary reason for being here is to see and get to know the African elephant, and getting close to them on foot is the best way. Checking the winds, we are able to move in as close as 60 meters from them, and as they stroll across the plain, oblivious to our presence, we take the time to study the unique social behaviour of this magnificently intelligent animal. Today’s walk is 16 km.
Afternoon game drive.
This is a two-part walking day as we move down river into ever increasing elephant and lion country. Lunch today is a picnic in an atmospheric grove of palm trees. We begin the second section of our walk in the mid-afternoon, arriving at Sala Gate by 6.00 pm. This is the end of our walk. Today’s walk is 18km.
After breakfast we make the three-hour drive to Malindi on the Indian Ocean, and transfer to the airport for our return flight to Nairobi. Some members of our group will connect today to their coastal extension holiday.
There is nothing like a few days on the Indian Ocean beaches afterwalking in Tsavo, to soothe the souls and soles. We will happily arrange this extension for you.
Climate: June through October is Kenya’s long dry season, it generally does not rain, and when it does it may just be a mere thunderstorm that will not last long or disrupt our activities. It is cloudy and cool with daytime temperatures ranging between the 16° and 27° excellent for walking, cooling down to 10° or lower at night time.
Difficulty: This is a walking safari, and we will hike on average seven to ten miles (11 – 16 kilometres) each day across country that is generally flat. An average-good level of fitness is required. We recommend that you undertake some moderate aerobic activities (hiking, jogging, fast-walking, bicycling) for at least 30 minutes a session three or four times a week for at least a month before you come.
Accommodation: For your night’s accommodation in Nairobi we can suggest quaint, small, family-run hotels outside the city centre, to avoid the traffic, hustle and bustle of Nairobi. On safari, we sleep on beds in well-ventilated, fully netted, bug-proof, two-person tents that are tall enough to walk in and out of. Foam mattresses and comfortable bedding are provided. The food served at the safari camps is abundant, fresh, and delicious. The staff will bring you hot water basins for daily washing. Toilet and shower tents are set up close to your sleeping tent, the water for the showers is heated and the toilet tent has a sit-down pit toilet.
Price Includes: Internal flights to Tsavo East and back to Nairobi from the coast, all transfers to airports, on safari accommodation with fully equipped private camps, game drives on 4×4’s whilst on safari, professional walking guide meals, a complimentary camp bar of sodas, mineral water, beers and evening wines, snacks, access to all parks and reserves as well as park, camping and permit fees.
24/7 office support.
Price Excludes: International flights, accommodation in Nairobi prior to the start of the trip, visas, excess baggage charges, telephone calls, laundry, items of personal nature, travel and medical insurance, tips (ca.100 USD for camp staff) and any activities not specified in the itinerary.
Booking and payment details: Once you have decided to join one of our safaris, you will need to contact us for a booking form, which will include details relating to deposit and final payments etc. As our groups are small they fill up quickly.
See this blog post to find out what others have had to say about this trip.