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Travel Matters Ltd

25th June 2021

Kenya – Insights of a safari guide & coastal exploration from £3,561 per person

This small group holiday offers the best 5 day eco-guiding course in the beautiful surrounds of the Masai Mara followed by time on the coast with a plastic recycling clean up project called the Flipflopi Project. Whilst not learning new skills on safari or supporting the Flipflopi, there is plenty of time for game viewing and enjoying a magnificent historical part of the stunning Kenyan coast.

On Safari you will learn bush skills such as animal tracking; Bird and animal identification; basic ecology and geology as well as navigation and orienteering and astronomy. You will do all of this in a private concession on the border with the world famous Masai Mara with highly experienced guide and rangers. Part of your experience will include game viewing as you work through these skills. You will then fly back to Nairobi and onto Lamu Island to stay at the world famous Peponi Hotel to have a few days R&R as well as visit the Flipflopi workshop and join in a beach clean up with some local residents as well as having time on the world’s first and, as yet, only boat made from recycled plastic waste.

Itinerary departing 01 February 2022
 

Day 1:

We suggest the British Airways flight from London Heathrow – departing 10h20 and arriving at 21h40. This can be booked with us or independently. The trip can accommodate other flights but they must land early on the morning of departure to The Masai Mara so as not to hold the group up. On arrival in Nairobi at 21h40 you will be met by one of our representatives in arrivals who will drive you the short distance to The Eka Hotel where you are staying overnight with breakfast included in a standard room.

Day 2:

This morning you will be picked up and driven to The Masai Mara. You are staying the next 5 nights at ‘Bandas in the Wild’ which is Eco-Guiding’s HQ in Kenya. The drive will be about 5 hours and you will stop en-route for lunch. All meals and safari conservation fees are included. Welcome to the Masai Mara! On arrival in the early afternoon you will be given a short orientation briefing before being shown to your accommodation to unpack and settle in. An afternoon game drive and night drive will offer a great introduction to the Masai Mara and the night sky. Bandas in the Wild Every guest visiting is helping in conserving this fragile edge of the Mara Serengeti Ecosystem. All guests that stay with contribute to the Enonkishu Conservancy and have the opportunity to not only enjoy a fantastic safari seeing the incredible wildlife that lives in this area, but also to get involved in conservation and community development projects. The Mara Training Centre, part of the Wild Hub, was created in 2016 aiming to work with the surrounding community on creating a sustainable rangeland management program and raising revenue for the surrounding landowners through conservation fees.

Day 3:

Navigation and Orientation Morning Activity: • Trail from camp focusing on Navigation and Orientation and how to use nature as a tool to navigate and orientate yourself in the bush and make your way to your midday picnic spot. Noon Discussion and Practical Experience out in the field: • Interactive discussion by instructor based on Navigation and Orientation as well as Bush Skills. • Discussion topics and practical experiments to include basic practical skills including use of landmarks, sun, compass and maps for Navigation and Orientation. Afternoon Activity: • Game drive, combining with a walk if there are interests, and incorporating general game drive viewing, with emphasis on Navigation and Orientation.

Day 4:

Animal identification and behaviour Morning Activity: • A morning activity which will either be in the form of a game drive or bush walk. • Trail from camp focusing on Animal Identification and Behaviour. Emphasis on Mammals, Amphibians, Reptile, Fish and Arthropods. Noon Discussion and Practical Experience: • Interactive discussion by instructor based on Animal Identification and Behaviour. • Discussion topics and practical experiments to include: Introduction to Mammals, Amphibians, Reptiles, Fish and Arthropods Afternoon Activity: • Game drive, combining with a walk if there are interests, and incorporating general game drive viewing, with emphasis on Animal Identification and Behaviour and extra focus on Big Game Animals

Day 5:

Tracks, sign & trailing Morning Activity: • Morning activities which will be in the form of a bush walk focusing on Animal Track Identification. Noon Discussion and Practical Experience: • Interactive discussion by instructor based on Introduction to Animal Tracks and Tracking. • Discussion topics and practical experiments to include: o Introduction to basic Tracks, basic Track Identification as well as basic Animal Trailing Skills Afternoon Activity: • Afternoon activity which will be in the form of a bush walk focusing on the topics covered during the midday lecture and incorporating Animal Tracks and Trailing.

Day 6:

Dangerous game and how to approach on foot Morning Activity: • Morning activities which will be in the form of a bush walk focusing on the basics of Trails Guiding. • Discussions on danger zones and reading mammal behaviour. Noon Practical Experience: • Interactive discussion by instructor based on Trails Guiding. • Discussion topics to include: Rifle Handling and ballistics. How to stop a charging animal on foot, escape routes and planning your walking safari. Afternoon Activity: • Interactive discussion by instructor based on Walking and approaching dangerous game on foot – Trails Guiding. A walking safari focusing on how to approach animals on foot with emphasis on dangerous animals. How to use different mammal & birds calls and their behaviour when walking in the Meeting elephants bush.

Day 7:

Farewell Masai Mara, Hello Lamu!

All good things come to an end but a new adventure on the coast awaits. You depart this morning after a final game drive and head to the local airstrip where you will be flown by light aircraft back to Nairobi where you will change planes and head off to Lamu Island the UNESCO World Heritage site and home to the Flipflopi Project. You will arrive in Lamu late afternoon where you will be met by a representative of your hotel and transferred the short journey to your accommodation. You are staying at The Peponi Hotel for the next 3 nights with breakfast included.

Day 8:

Today you have a free day to roam around Shela Town or head further to Lamu Old Town. Take in the sights, smells and hustle and bustle of this city that was originally founded in the 12th Century. Shela is a small place so come and go from the hotel as you please. Alternatively, put your feet up and watch the world go by from the terrace at the hotel which overlooks the Lamu Channel. Lamu Old Town Lamu Old Town, the principal inhabited part of the island, is one of the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlements in East Africa.. This city has had civilians living in it for over seven hundred years, while most of the other East African settlements along the coast do not have inhabitants. Due to Lamu’s history in trading gold, spices, and slaves, Lamu is truly a melting pot of different cultures and Arabic, Persian, Indian, European, and Swahili traditions that are evidently on display in Lamu’s Architecture.

Day 9:

Today you will be picked up and taken to the Flipflopi Project work shop where you will get a tour, talk and Q&A on the project, by the builder & captain Ali Skanda. Work should be underway on the second larger boat. If the boat is in Lamu you will be able to board and have a sail, with the ultimate goal of meeting the local community and learning more about this innovative enterprise.

The Flipflopi.

We are a circular economy movement based in East Africa whose vision is a world without single-use plastic. We showcase alternate uses of waste plastic and the viability of a circular economy in Africa through our education programmes, our innovation hubs and our advocacy and governance programmes. Building a boat from this plastic waste would be an effective way to celebrate the centuries old traditional craft of dhow building that is a cornerstone of the Swahili culture of our coastal region, while also sharing a positive message about the need for change.

Day 10:

Homeward bound You have the morning to catch the last swim or the last equatorial sunshine and after lunch you are transferred to Lamu Airport in time for your light aircraft back to Wilson Airport departing at 15h30. On arrival at 17h10 you are met by one of our representatives who will drive you to the The Talisman Restaurant (own account) in order to enjoy an early dinner before you are driven across to the airport at about 20h00. YourBritishAirways flight departs at 23h50. 11 Feb Arrive into London Heathrow at 06h30

Included within the trip: all domestic flights, all air taxes, and all accommodation, conservation fees, entrance fees, transfers by road, all meals as per board basis, safari activities as quoted. As well as offsetting the holiday carbon footprint of 281 CO2Kge per person. International flights are not included and can be purchased from £755 per person or can be booked direct with the airline. Recommended flight in BA return to Nairobi. (International flight adds 1995 CO2Kge (£35 carbon offset)

Not included:

Travel insurance – Highly Recommended

International Airfare

Anything not explicitly listed as included

Places are limited, get in touch to book yours! Email: info@travelmatters.co.uk, Tel: 0208 675 7878

 

By Karen Simmonds
25th June 2021