Walking the El Bogoi Valley, Samburu, Kenya

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29th May 2009




Addicted to Travel

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Samburu Walking Safari - Walking the El Bogoi Valley

This is luxury ecotourism! The lucky ones who choose to safari like this are blessed with true, verdant, alive natural luxury. In this age of pollution and population, the opportunity of setting foot to earth and walking in the vast expanses of the African plain really is a rare gem. One like no other.

The walking safari is a journey into the remote and beautiful Samburu region and eastern Great Rift Valley mountain system - one of the last remaining great wilderness areas in Africa. Our route is an adventure safari in the footsteps of Arthur Neumann, a legendary explorer and elephant hunter who visited this remote part of Kenya in the late 1800s - a exquisite walking expedition with a difference! 

As with many walking safaris in Africa, the experience is defined by a subtle combination of adventure and style. The walking safari route traverses the Leroghi Mountains (also known as the Karisia Hills) – following ancient wildlife trails with nights spent in spectacular camps, erected each night for you by our team of local Samburu warrior guides.

 

 

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The walking on safari is easy (about 4-5 hours per day) and the days’ activity is conducted at a pace which suits everyone. This trek is well within the capability of anyone who can manage a good day's hiking in the hills at home.

This is luxury ecotourism! Camps are completely organised for you, with all the comforts possible in the bush – delicious 3-course meals around blazing camp fires, hot showers (even if make-shift), wash hand basins, spacious tents with comfortable mattresses.

This unique safari route has been featured in the UK’s Guardian newspaper and Wanderlust magazine. Clients from around the world consistently report that the combination of remote adventure, incredible views, cultural interaction with the Samburu tribespeople and superb hospitality from our local Samburu hosts, the Faull family, make this trekking safari different from anything else available in Africa.

 

Day  Itinerary Night stop
1 Fly from Nairobi to Kisomo and transfer to Bawa Village Bawa
 

Depart Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and travel north by plane to Kisima airstrip in the beautiful Samburu region of northern Kenya. You will be met upon arrival and driven to your first camp, near the Samburu village of Bawa.
Tonight is spent in a tented camp at the foot of the Leroghi mountains. Here you will meet your guide and hosts, the Faull family, who have lived in Africa all of their lives and pioneered these adventures in the remote Leroghi mountains. Over the embers of the evening’s fire, your guides will explain the walking safari experience ahead of you.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Dinner  
2 Start our walk through the forest to Upper Bawa Camp Upper Bawa
 

This morning you have the chance to meet your local Samburu warrior team and a caravan of mules and donkeys, who will accompany you and carry all of the safari equipment.
The route commences on the forested western side of the Leroghi Range and traverses the slopes through pristine Cedar and Podocarpus forest. Climbing gently upwards, the Bawa stream is followed along thickly forested mountain valleys to Nangaro camp located in the heart of the forest by the upper Bawa stream. Enjoy a nature walk in the evening, exploring the nearby glades.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  
3 Traverse the range to Tilia Rock camp Tilia Rock
 

From the heart of the forest, the route passes through open glades to Tilia Rock, a spectacular cliff top overlooking the eastern face of the range. This beautiful situation looks on to the El Bogoi and Seya River valleys some 3,000 feet below.
Further north and east, the Ndoto and Matthews ranges rise in solid blue masses from the flat country between. Approx 3 hours – again with
afternoon and evening exploration.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  
4 Descend into the El Bogoi Valley El Bogoi Valley
 

Approximately 4 hours of moderately steep descent to the upper reaches of the El Bogoi valley where camp is established by Neumann's cave, set amid thick bush in a small ravine – a beautiful small stream offers some welcome water in which to cool your feet.
The valley is warm, year-round, offering a complete ornithological and botanical contrast to the early part of the route.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  
5 Explore the El Bogoi Valley El Bogoi Valley
 

Approximately 4 hours of walking down through the El Bogoi valley, where a visit can be made to a remote Samburu manyatta. In the early afternoon, the route follows the El Bogoi stream where lunch can be enjoyed in the shade of the steep river banks. From the top of a nearby rocky knoll, it is possible to scan the horizon for elephant and other animals. Today is not strenuous, however this section can be hot nearly all the year round.
Explore a series of green “luggas” (seasonal river beds). These are excellent for sightings of birds and monkeys and if you are lucky, the rare Greater Kudu. At any time, you may have a chance meeting with the nomadic Samburu tribespeople, who often drive their cattle through the valley floor in search of fresh grazing. Return to camp in the late afternoon and enjoy a cooling swim in the stream, which meanders through tall trees, forming a series of small natural rock swimming pools.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  
6 Traverse the range to Naibolo Rock camp Naibolo Rock
 

From El Bogoi, continue your walking safari upwards towards the escarpment and the Leroghi mountains loom above you. Today is
approximately a 5-hour walk, often among stands of pink-canopied Cape Chestnut trees. This leads you back into the mountains of pristine high altitude montane forest and along the spine of the mountains to Naibolo Rock, a stunning geological feature with incredible views across miles of forested valleys below.
Looking westward, the plains of the Laikipia plateau, Lake Kisima and the dramatic conical hill of Naibor Keju draw the eye still further afield. Elephant and buffalo grazing the surrounding glades are a fairly common sight. Other wildlife which may be sighted include the Greater Kudu, Klipspringer, common zebra and Mountain Reedbuck. Sightings of the big cats are extremely rare during the day, however you may see signs on the ground.

  Accommodation: Camping  
  Included Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner  
7 Walking safari ends  
 

On the morning of Day 7 the route descends from the mountains to your waiting private vehicle. After saying your goodbyes to the Faulls and the Samburu, you have the chance to either drive onwards to a safari lodge for a few days of relaxation and game viewing, or fly back south to Nairobi.

  Included Meals: Breakfast   

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