Kenya Safari and Friends of Ngong Road Visit
Support the incredible work of the Ngong Road Children Association
Looking to travel with a purpose? Join Friends of Ngong Road and Wilderness Inquiry for a trip that combines seeing Kenyan wildlife at its very best with the opportunity to visit students and their families supported by the Ngong Road Children Association. Many WI staff and donors support Friends of Ngong Road.
In addition to visiting Friends of Ngong Road you will visit a world of grassy steppes, tall mountains, and beautiful people. This adventure safari in East Africa is a blend of natural wonders and local cultural experiences. Watch the sunset over the plains of Maasai Mara, view lion, elephant, giraffe, hyena, and many more from four-wheel drive vehicles. Enjoy great food and spirits as you stay in comfortable lodges. Visit a local school, sample traditional foods, make friends, and go hiking with Maasai warriors.
For standard meeting places and times, see Dates & Fees tab.
Day 1: Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, in Nairobi. Check in for a good night’s sleep at the Amber Hotel, home for the first three nights.
Day 2: Today, you’ll visit the Giraffe Center, run by the Africa Fund for Endangered Wildlife, to see and feed the animals. In the evening, a professor from the University of Nairobi will teach the group about the rich history and culture of Kenya.
Day 3: In the morning, you’ll meet Ngong Road Children Association (NRCA) staff and learn about their program that works to transform children’s lives through education. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the schools in Nairobi where trip participants sponsor many of the students.
Day 4: After breakfast, you’ll visit Lake Nakuru National Park and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in a luxurious game lodge before an evening game drive. Lake Nakuru is renowned for its peaceful setting, plentiful game and lush natural environment. Hordes of flamingos, cape buffalo, giraffe, waterbuck, baboon and white rhino frequent the area. Tonight you will stay at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge.
Day 5: After breakfast, the group will spend the day at the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, the top wildlife attraction in Kenya. Keep a look out for all of the ‘big five’ as many of these animals can be found throughout the reserve. Overnight accommodations at the Keekerok lodge.
Day 6: Today you’ll go on morning and afternoon game drives. As the Maasai people tend to their herds, you will have the opportunity to get close up views of lion, rhino, elephant, cape buffalo and leopards.
Day 7: Partake in one last early morning game drive. After breakfast, the group will travel back to Nairobi and visit small, outlying villages. If time, we will stop at Marathon Weavers and other local shops. You’ll return to the Amber Hotel to stay the next three nights.
Day 8: Spend the day in Nairobi with NRCA. Students who are sponsored by trip participants will join us at the organization’s office before departing for shopping at the local market. After the market, we will take the children out to lunch before joining all students at NRCA’s Saturday program for reading and games. We will end the day by visiting the homes of sponsored students to meet their families.
Day 9: The final day in Kenya will begin with a private craft sale at the NRCA office. Mothers of children in the program make beaded baskets, jewelry and other crafts. You will be able to purchase these handmade goods to support the craftswomen and their children. Later we will visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the premier authority on the successful raising of milk–dependent infant elephant and rhino orphans.
Travel, Terrain, Etc...
TERRAIN/ROUTE: Kenya’s terrain varies from tall mountains to vast plains. On safari, you'll experience some of Kenya's best national parks and visit Maasai communities. The entire trip is vehicle-supported with optional short walks.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: East Africa is a welcoming escape for travelers of all levels of experience. Travel between destinations is provided in four-wheel drive vehicles where everyone has a window seat. For the safari sections, we'll open the roofs of these vehicles for excellent wildlife viewing and photography. No previous hiking experience is necessary.
WEATHER: On safari you’ll experience hot middays and cool nights (50º-95ºF). Mid-March through April is also a season with short rains.
YOUR GROUP: The group size will range from 5 to 12 participants, one Wilderness Inquiry staff member and several local guides. Ngong Road Children Association staff will support the parts of the trip when you are meeting with sponsored students and their families. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities, including people with disabilities.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Throughout the trip, you will stay in safari lodges, small hotels and guesthouses. Most rooms are double occupancy with two beds. Participants will be paired by gender or requests to room together.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone, you will feel at home with a welcoming group. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
MEALS: The tap water in Kenya is not safe to drink, but bottled water is readily available. Typical Kenyan and British meals of beef, chicken, fish, rice and lots of fruit will be prepared for you. All meals are included while on safari; however, in Nairobi please plan on having two meals provided and purchasing one each day. This flexibility allows participants the chance to meet with students, board members, and staff from the Ngong Road Children Association during meal times. Vegetarian options are available, though you may like to bring your own additional protein source. The purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Wilderness Inquiry will provide all group equipment. You will need to provide your personal gear as outlined in the packing list. If you are new to outdoor activities, you do not need to spend a lot of money, Wilderness Inquiry can usually arrange for you to borrow most items.
HEALTH: We encourage you to see a doctor or travel nurse at least 4 weeks prior to traveling. This will allow for adequate time to get any new immunizations needed, and ensure other immunizations are current. The CDC highly recommends Hepatitis A and Typhoid. For the most up-to-date recommendations and requirements, please visit the CDC website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001 Malaria prevention medication may also be recommended. Where we travel malaria is rare, however if you play to visit the coast on your own this medication is highly recommended
PASSPORT/VISA: U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Kenya, and it must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned departure. Two blank passport pages (excluding the Amendments pages) are typically required for entry stamp and visa. Prior to visiting Kenya, all travelers must fill out an online eVisa application via the eCitizen portal, https://www.ecitizen.go.ke/. Cost is about $53 USD. After receiving the eVisa, travelers must download and present a hard copy of the eVisa upon arrival in Kenya. Approval after application and payment takes an estimated seven to ten days. We encourage you to check the State Department website for the most up to date information: https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/kenya.htmlA note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
Kenya lies on the equator, and borders the Indian Ocean, Tanzania, and Uganda, among other countries. It has a warm and humid climate along its coastline on the Indian Ocean that changes to wildlife-rich savanna grasslands as you move inland towards the capital of Nairobi. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder as you move towards Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snowcapped peaks. The warm and humid tropical climate reappears further inland towards Lake Victoria, before giving way to temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region.
Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, lies next to a national park. The country is famous for its safaris and diverse world-famous wildlife reserves such as Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park that attract tourists from all over the world.
Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater lake (after Lake Superior in the U.S. and Canada) and the world’s largest tropical lake, lies in the southwest part of Kenya and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania.
Mount Kenya, an imposing extinct volcano, dominates the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands east of the Rift. Mount Kenya lies about 140 kilometers north-northeast of Nairobi with its northern flanks across the equator. The mountain has three main peaks - Batian (5200 meters), Nelion (5188 meters), and Point Lenana (4985 meters). The mountain slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub, and moorland that give way to rock, ice, and snow as you ascend in altitude.
Designated as both a Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997, Mount Kenya covers 715 square kilometers. This reserve includes the peaks consisting of all the ground above 3200 meters with two small salients extending down to 2450 meters along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve with an area of approximately 2095 square kilometers (517,000 acres).
The tourism sector has exhibited steady growth in most years since independence and by the late 1980s had become the country’s principal source of foreign exchange. Tourists, the largest number from Germany and the United Kingdom, are attracted mainly to the coastal beaches and the game reserves, notably, the expansive Tsavo National Park (20,808 square kilometers, or 5.14 million acres) in the southeast. Tourism has seen a substantial revival over the past several years and is the major contributor to the pick-up in the country's economic growth. Tourism now ranks as Kenya’s largest foreign exchange earning sector, followed by flowers, tea, and coffee.
Kenya’s human population remains quite diverse. About 41 million people live in Kenya, coming from 42 different peoples and cultures, including, Swahili on the coast, pastoralist communities in the north, and many different communities in the central and western regions. The Maasai culture is well known because of tourism, despite being a minor percentage of the Kenyan population. They are renowned for their elaborate upper body adornment and jewelry.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How large are the groups that typically go on the Kenya and Mt Kenya trips? Do these groups include families with kids? Are they mostly couples?
Typically, the group size for this trip is 7-12 people. Most of our trips are geared for adults, both male and female who range in age from 18 and up. These trips may include a couple, but not necessarily. Nor would these trips include a family with children younger than age 18.
What is the main difference between the Kenya and Tanzania trips?
These trips are very similar. In Tanzania you'll get to experience more of a human anthropology aspect and visit one of the last remaining true nomadic tribes in the world, the Hadzabe Bushmen. You'll also visit the world-renowned Serengeti National Park and world heritage site, Ngorongoro Crater, home to the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The Tanzania trip also involves more walking.
In Kenya, we visit many comparable places, including Samburu National Reserve and Masai Mara. Spectacular opportunities abound for wildlife viewing and we also spend time with three different local tribes: the Maasai, Samburu, and Kikuyu.
We suggest reading about some of the following places and deciding based on what piques your interest:
Kenya: Masai Mara, Samburu, Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Mt. Kenya
Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Lake Eyasi, Oldupai Gorge
Why is there a difference in price between the Kenya and Tanzania trips?
Tanzania, generally, is much more expensive then Kenya. The places are harder to get to but at the same time more popular. The park fees (daily entrance) in Tanzanian parks are often double those in Kenya. Due to the economy, geography and a few other factors, lodges, food, vehicles, and petrol also cost in Tanzania and are the main reasons for the difference in price.
What shots do you recommend if one goes to Africa?
We recommend that you check with your doctor as early as possible prior to leaving to ensure you are up to date on your standard immunizations. Your doctor may also recommend immunizations against things like typhoid and yellow fever but we leave that up to you to decide. During the safaris there is the possibility of exposure to malaria carrying mosquitoes and thus you will also need to bring an anti-malarial medication.
What is the policy for tipping in Kenya?
You will not need to tip your drivers and safari guides unless they go out of their way for you personally and you really want to show them you appreciate it. If you do Mt. Kenya you will be expected to tip your guide and porter (anything from $5 to $40 is appropriate).
You will need to tip a very small amount if you order alcoholic beverages at hotels as these are not included in the trip fee.
Do you meet people at Jomo Kenyatta Airport for the Kenya trips? What is the airport like?
We do meet you right outside customs at Jomo Kenyatta airport. Many times, we work with our travel agency to try to get people on the same flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi, but regardless we'll meet you there.
Jomo Kenyatta Airport is not quite as modern or as large as typical major US city airports, but it has almost all the same amenities and good security. The airport is actually near Nairobi National Park and it is not uncommon to see giraffe or zebra from your plane as you are circling in to land.
Is bottled water available on trips to Kenya and Tanzania?
Bottled water is recommended on our trips to Kenya and Tanzania, and is available everywhere we stay throughout the trip.
For more information, visit these links:
No Dates Scheduled
Our Kenya Wildlife Safari and Friends of Ngong Road Visit is a great trip and a great value. Currently we have no trips scheduled. Please contact us if you are interested in a group trip.
Call us to arrange one of these trips for your group: