2020 Covid-19 Road Trip Day 3Wyoming USA August 25 – September 5, 2020 Lincoln, Nebraska to Saratoga, Wyoming Day 3: Arrival at
All journeys can be customized to fit your dreams.
Nairobi is a charming, cosmopolitan city, blessed with the most wildlife, making it a great safari destination. Known as the ‘Green City in the Sun’, Nairobi is the largest city as well as the capital of Kenya.
The city got its name from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi meaning ‘the place of cool waters. The province of Nairobi is located on the Nairobi River in the south of the country. Furthermore, it is the most populated city in East Africa and the fourth largest city in Africa.
Hemingways Nairobi is a premium 5-star hotel at the foot of the Ngong Hills in the historical suburb of Karen. With many tourist attractions in close proximity – such as the Giraffe Sanctuary, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (which does incredible work with orphaned elephants), the Karen Blixen Museum, and the Nairobi National Park – the hotel is perfect as a base from which to explore this bustling capital city. Imbued with an airy plantation architectural design, each of the 45 elegant suites have private balconies, endless views, and a personal butler to cater to your every need. Fine dining and a stylish bar offer international flavors for the most discerning of palates.
A Non-Profit making organization whose main objective is to provide conservation education for school children of Kenya. Founded in 1979 as a core breeding center of the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe, it further escalated its conservation efforts in 1983, opening up an outstanding environmental education center for the Kenyan youth and travelers alike.
Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honor of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the SWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation. The SWT has remained true to its principles and ideals, remaining a sustainable and flexible organization. Guided by experienced and dedicated Trustees and assisted by an Advisory Committee of proactive naturalists with a lifetime of wildlife and environmental experience, the Trust takes effective action and achieves long-lasting results. Enjoy a visit to the foundation, specifically curated for ROAR AFRICA, that promises to be one of the most endearing, joyful encounters you could ever dream of having.
Samburu National Reserves lies to the north of the region where Kenya’s savannah gives way to desert scrub and mountains. The scenery is dramatic, and besides a familiar cast of classic African animals, you’ll find species here that don’t occur in Kenya’s more popular parks, making it one of Kenya’s most appealing places of interest.
Samburu National Reserve is one of the 56 protected areas in Kenya. It is famous North of the equator because of the richness of flora and fauna. It was established in 1948 as part of the enormous Marsabit National Reserve under the national park ordinance.
Located adjacent to the Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya, lies the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy, home to large numbers of Grevy’s zebra, elephant, African Wild Dog, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, and leopard. Built into the rock, with views across the Kalama Conservancy and Mount Kenya, you’ll find Saruni Samburu, the only lodge in more than 120 000 hectares of concession. Six exceptional villas are scattered along a ridge, each with the most phenomenal vantage point – creating the feeling of floating above the plains.
The impressive indoor-outdoor design and seamless integration into the environment create a living experience like no other. We like it that the traditions and heritage of the local Samburu people are an important part of the experience here and professional guides from the community will introduce you to all that this vast area has to offer, whether on walking safaris, day or night drives, or simply watching the animals at the watering hole below the lodge. Facilities include two infinity pools, a photographic hide alongside the watering hole, exceptional dining at the restaurant, and spa treatments at the Samburu Wellbeing Space.
The word “safari” means to be out and away, to be on a journey, or to travel in remote areas. It is both a physical and spiritual journey that can be undertaken in many ways.
For safaris at Saruni Samburu they use comfortable, fully-open Land Rovers, specially designed to give you maximum visibility over the landscape and the animals of Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve, and Kalama Conservancy, three fantastic habitats for African wildlife.
On foot safaris, you will explore the Kalama Mountains, among the most spectacular in Northern Kenya. In the Land Rover, you are accompanied by your professional guide and by a tracker, a team that will help you to read the book of nature. They don’t rush while on safari and there will be time to observe the wild animals, to see how they interact, and to study their behavior and their habitats.
Saruni Samburu offers an exciting and varied range of unique activities, (Optional)
Walking safaris are individually tailored to your interests and are set in a breath-taking landscape. Walking with the Samburu warriors out in the African bush is a fantastic experience and you will learn from their authentic local knowledge of the plants, animals, and landscape, about their traditions, and about their lives. Having discovered Samburu rock art in several caves nearby the lodge, we include a visit to these extraordinary archaeological sites during our bush walks.
You can enjoy morning, afternoon and all-day game drives through renowned and teeming conservation areas; Kalama Conservancy, in Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve; three fantastic habitats for African wildlife. Saruni also highly recommends night game drives in Kalama Conservancy when nocturnal species can be encountered. This is a unique activity not permitted in the National Reserve.
The sundowner is a well-deserved drink at the end of a long day on safari to ‘salute’ the African sun as it is setting. You will be driven to an unforgettable panoramic viewpoint, where your favorite drink along with a selection of scrumptious ‘bitings’ (small snacks to whet your appetite) is served, ahead of the delicious dinner which awaits.
If you are passionate about birds, Samburu is the perfect place to visit; not only are the species abundant but the birds can be easily spotted and photographed. Our guides are birdwatchers by instinct and training and share your love for birds. We always carry field guides in our vehicles.
Saruni Samburu offers guests a unique experience: access to an elephant-proof, open ground level hide based at a waterhole, from where both novice and professional photographers can photograph animals and elephants from ground level.
Designed with the needs of photographers in mind, buried underground, and covered with earth on three sides as well as on the roof, located a few steps from the waterhole, it is ‘painted’ with Samburu red earth and covered with shrubs and bushes: the perfect spot for ‘stealing’ amazing images of what occurs at the well-frequented waterhole. It has maps and books available, and bean bags for photographers.
The waterhole at Saruni Samburu offers a unique opportunity to spot from very close up, the elephants that come and drink its water, the fantastic bird species, and the ‘Samburu Five’; reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, gerenuk, Somali ostrich, and Grevy’s zebra. Being in the middle of an arid area, the hide also provides excellent opportunities to photograph from ground level and from very close up the predators of Samburu, especially lions and leopards.
Mara North Conservancy is a beautiful private wilderness area of more than 30,000 hectares. It is a vital part of the Maasai Mara ecosystem as it forms the northwestern zone, bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve in the south of Kenya. The Maasai Mara is famous for its unique concentration of wildlife, birds, rich vegetation, and open savannas. It has been classified among one the Seven Wonders of the World. Professional wildlife and tourism management ensure you have a truly exclusive and private safari experience with a very low vehicle density.
This is the only small, boutique lodge in the Mara, with five elegant cottages, one family villa, and one private villa. The beautiful rooms are each decorated to a unique theme with a classic safari feel. The lodge is nestled in a secluded valley in the heart of the most exciting wilderness in Africa: Mara North Conservancy – an exclusive, private wildlife concession bordering the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve.
Enjoy a leisurely game drive through renowned and teeming conservation areas – Mara North Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve, and surrounding conservancies. Night drives on Mara North Conservancy are a unique activity not permitted in the National Parks.
Walking safaris are individually tailored to your interests and are set in a breath-taking landscape. Walking with the Maasai warriors through the valleys and plains around Saruni Mara, accompanied by a vehicle, is a fantastic experience.
The night skies above Saruni Mara are among some of the brightest and most beautiful in the world. The air is unpolluted and offers unobscured, clear star-gazing opportunities – a unique and deeply fulfilling activity. Every evening provides you with an alternative ‘playground’.
Float in whichever direction the winds guide you while your pilot controls the altitude of the balloon – sometimes at treetop height, at other times ascending to 1000 feet to see the enormity of the reserve. It has to be the most beautiful balloon flight in the world, a celebration of the best Africa has to offer.
The Masai Mara is world-renowned for its pride of lions, as well as the other members of Africa’s iconic species – leopard, elephant, buffalo, and black rhino – regularly sighted together with the hyena, jackal, cheetah, and the bat-eared fox, and as you would expect the Mara River is home to numerous pods of hippo and some of the continent’s largest crocodiles.
Hone your photographic skills with the perfectly placed topi, standing perched on anthills, Masai giraffe moving gracefully across the plains, and both Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle’s grazing peacefully amongst Coke’s hartebeest, impala, and herds of lovely eland, Africa’s largest antelope. The area is also home to more than 470 bird species, including almost 60 raptors such as vultures and martial eagles.
Tsavo West National Park is located in the Coast Province of Kenya. The park covers an area of 5,632 square miles. The Nairobi-Mombasa road and a railway divide it from the adjoining Tsavo East National Park. Together with adjoining ranches and protected areas, they comprise the Tsavo Conservation Area.
Tsavo West is a more popular destination on account of its magnificent scenery, Mzima Springs, rich and varied wildlife, good road system, rhino reserve, rock climbing potential, and guided walks along the Tsavo River. The park is operated by Kenya Wildlife Service. Tsavo West National Park has a variety of wildlife, such as eastern black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, and Maasai lion. There are also other smaller animals that can be spotted in the park, such as the bushbaby, hartebeest, lesser kudu, and Maasai giraffe.
Reminiscent of the early days of safari travel, Finch Hatton’s tented camp is something special. Wildlife is abundant, from leopard and lion to buffalo and giraffe, as well as one of the largest populations of red elephants – named after their habit of taking regular dust baths in the ochre-colored soil of Tsavo – in East Africa.
Seventeen suites, each featuring an elevated deck overlooking the hippo pools, come equipped with every comfort imaginable, yet ensure minimal environmental impact through the use of sustainable materials and practices. Freestanding copper baths, indoor and outdoor showers, and the haunting sounds of animals after dark are the stuff of indelible memories.
Echoing the high standards of Denys Finch Hatton’s era, an exceptional dining experience is accompanied by classical music under the stars. Various dining options, a cigar lounge, spa, wellness, and fitness center ensure optimum enjoyment. Spring-fed pools are the focal point of the camp, tempting guests to wallow in the cool water while taking in the resident wildlife.
Tsavo game drives are done any time and typically last two-three hours. The best advised time is either early in the morning or late afternoon, which is when the wildlife is most active. Game drives take place in open game viewing vehicles, allowing you to experience the quintessential African landscape and wide range of birds, flora & fauna, and wildlife that thrive in the surrounding area.
Eating at Finch Hattons isn’t just about exceptional food that uses only the best fresh, locally sourced, and organically grown ingredients. It isn’t just about the smells and flavors that combine to create meals you will remember long after you have put your knife and fork together and leaned back with a contented sigh. It’s also about their out-of-this-world dining locations, and the views and vistas, the landscapes and starscapes, and the unparalleled service that accompanies every bite.
In the company of an experienced guide, learn about the flora and fauna of Tsavo National Park, and begin to understand how nature lives and thrives.
Other than the typical bush experiences, Finch Hatton’s has a number of additional activities available – on request and at an additional cost. These include the Maasai Lifestyle – offering a visit to a Maasai Homestead; private yoga lessons practiced at the lodges open deck yoga studio overlooking the Chyulu Hills, and various hikes to some of the world’s most spectacular natural scenery, with the finest natural backdrops rich with local history & culture.
The rapidly growing city of Kigali is not only the capital of Rwanda but also the country’s most important business center and main port of entry. It is a city that has prevailed and grown into a modern metropolitan – the heart of the emerging Rwandan economy.
Among the safest and friendliest of African capitals, Kigali has a tropical savannah climate with a pronounced dry season. It is conveniently located within three hours drive of the main tourist sites, so is an ideal springboard from which to explore the rest of the magical country.
In 2018 Town & Country and The New York Times called The Retreat one of the top new hotels in the world. It is Kigali’s first eco-friendly resort and features solar electricity, organic toiletries, locally crafted furniture from a Tanzanian sustainable teak farm, outdoor showers, private terraces, a yoga and meditation room, spa, large heated saltwater swimming pool with jacuzzi and diving rocks, and an open-air fitness center. All rooms feature a separate sitting area, wifi, television with premium channels, coffee/tea making facilities, mini-bar, refrigerator, air-conditioning, safes and are en-suite.
Heaven is helping Rwanda develop its most important resource: its people. Prosperity creation is one of Rwanda’s many challenges, and Heaven provides employment that sets a national standard for service excellence and food quality.
Heaven is located in Kigali’s city center with breathtaking views and incredible food. Proud to be ‘Made in Rwanda’, the restaurant was custom-built by local craftspeople and showcases Rwandan arts & crafts that support artisan cooperatives throughout the country. The international menu features Rwandan-influenced recipes, and they regularly host cultural events for all to enjoy.
The history of Rwanda dates back centuries, Kigali has been a part of it for a hundred years. Founded in 1907 as a German settlement, Kigali did not become the capital until Rwanda’s independence in 1962 when it replaced the colonial seat of power in Butare. Your customized tour of the city will include visting art galleries, meeting up and coming designers, eating in local restaurants and coffee tasting in the old city.
The Kigali Genocide Memorial, in Kigali, Rwanda, commemorates the Rwandan genocide in 1994. In the span of 100 days, an estimated one million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were systematically butchered by the Interahamwe and army. This memorial honors the estimated 250,000 people buried here in mass graves and tries to explain how it was that the world watched as the genocide unfolded.
The Aegis Trust, the UK-based genocide prevention organization, was invited to establish the Kigali Genocide Memorial in partnership with the Kigali City Council and the Rwandan National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG). It was opened in April 2004, the tenth anniversary of the start of Rwanda’s genocide. It is now the hub of the Aegis Trust’s ongoing work in Rwanda.
The Virunga Volcanoes are a chain of 15,000 ft volcanoes stretching through Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Volcanoes National Park (Parc National des Volcans) in Rwanda has ten families of mountain gorillas living on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. Guests trek on foot to see the magnificent mountain gorilla which is considered to be one of the most dramatic, thrilling, and poignant wildlife experiences.
Comprising just ten spacious bandas, each with a large verandah and cozy fireplace, Virunga Lodge offers up dramatic sunrises each morning from the privacy of your suite. The breathtaking views will leave you hard-pressed to head out, but head out you must – the activities on offer range from tracking gorillas and golden monkeys, to climbing volcanoes; visiting Dian Fossey’s memorial, or taking a gentle stroll through the picturesque villages.
Returning at day’s end you can share stories on the stone terrace overlooking Lake Ruhondo and Lake Bulera surrounded by lush gardens. There is a family cottage, built specifically with children in mind (although one is only allowed to visit the gorillas if you are over the age of 15). Along with a spectacular location, Virunga Lodge also prides itself on its eco-credentials, using solar power and limiting its water consumption.
In the afternoon visit the twin lakes of Bulera & Ruhondo. These beautiful lakes located at the base of the volcano Muhabura are close to the Uganda border. They are surrounded by steep hills and large waterfalls with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. Their deep blue waters ringed by steep hills and tall waterfalls with the outlines of the nearby Virunga Volcanoes provide a spectacular backdrop.
Gorilla trekking takes place from Volcanoes National Park where you will be allocated to one of the ten habituated gorilla groups for a one-hour encounter. Mountain gorillas are social and gregarious, intelligent, and curious. They live in groups led by one or more adult male silverbacks and each gorilla group has unique characteristics making them quite different from one another.
The very beautiful Golden Monkey has a golden body, cheeks, and tail with contrasting black limbs, crown, and tail-end. Not much is known about their behavior; other than they live in groups of up to 30 individuals and their diet consists mainly of leaves and fruit – it is believed they eat insects too.
Restricted to the highland forest of the Virungas especially near bamboo, they share this habitat with their big Brother the Mountain Gorilla, inhabiting a small area that overlaps the territory of one of the Gorilla families. Trekking usually takes from 2 to 4 hours. Once you come to the habituated families, you will spend the allowed one hour with them as they go about their daily life.
All journeys can be customized to your wishes.
Day 2 of my Road Trip to Wyoming! What a great experience. We traveled from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Lincoln, Nebraska, and found the most luxurious boutique hotel and had drinks at one of the most famous Olympic figure skaters of all time!!