Glass of Milk

From USD 3 675 pp

Into the Northern Frontier

Explore the rugged Sera Conservancy, in Kenya’s wild and truly unspoilt Northern Frontier landscapes on this adventure that combines walking, wild sleepouts, rhino tracking and authentic cultural encounters. Wildlife exists alongside people here. It’s not uncommon to see a gerenuk or giraffe browsing and turn the corner moments later to meet a herdsman with his goats or camels. 

Each adds pressure on the other for grazing, water and space, offering visitors a real-life insight into the challenges in balancing wildlife and habitat conservation with human needs — a balance that the Sera Conservancy and Northern Rangeland Trust are working tirelessly to find, to enable both to thrive. Your guide, Alex, was one of the founders of Sera and his history here offers a unique insight into this land and its people.

On this adventure, you will learn first-hand about wildlife conservation at the community-run Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and the Sera rhino sanctuary. You’ll also get to sleep out on a bedroll on a rock,  explore this wild landscape on walking safaris and watch an age-old tradition as Samburu and Rendille herdsmen bring their cattle to water at ancient wells. 

Witness a congregation of tens of thousands of sandgrouse collecting water in their feathers before flying up to 40 kilometres back to their nests. Seasoned travellers looking for an authentic adventure, digital detox and the chance to witness sights that few travellers have had the privilege will not be disappointed here.

Night 1 Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Arrive at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp today and enjoy an afternoon game drive in this wildlife-rich conservancy, home to Kenya’s largest population of black rhino, as well as southern white rhino, lion, elephant, buffalo and much more. 

Visits to the last two remaining northern white rhino in the world, who live in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, can also be arranged (at additional cost) and is highly recommended. This evening, meet Alex to discuss the adventure ahead over dinner.

Night 2 Sera Conservancy, Kenya

Depart in the early morning with a packed breakfast, leaving Ol Pejeta Bush Camp at first light and driving north in a 4×4 vehicle. You’ll have a packed breakfast with you and will drive as the sun comes up behind the jagged peak of Mt Kenya. Your journey takes you north on tarmac roads, passing alongside the dramatic granitic monolith of Mt Ololokwe on the way.

After the small town of Sereolipi you’ll head off-road to visit the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary for the 12 o’clock feeding time. This remote sanctuary is owned and staffed by the local community who work night and day to rehabilitate injured and orphaned young elephants, eventually returning them to their home territories. Watch from a raised platform as the youngsters arrive for their midday milk bottles and a splash in the muddy waterhole to cool off. Enjoy a packed lunch in the shade before you drive northward toward the Sera Conservancy.

After approximately an hour, you will reach one of the wide, sandy, dry rivers which are typical of this arid region, fringed with doum palm trees. Drive for a couple of hours up the river until you reach tonight’s fly camp spot on the river bank. Enjoy a well-earned bucket shower behind the trees and a cool drink as the sun goes down before enjoying a hearty dinner around the campfire. Tonight, you’ll sleep in mosquito net cube tents, with the sights and sounds of the wild coming alive around you.

Night 3 Sera Conservancy, Kenya

Wake as the sun’s first rays creep across the horizon and, after a coffee, head out on a morning walking safari before the heat of the day sets in. As with all safaris on foot, what you see depends on luck and timing but your guide, will be looking out for trails in the sandy floor, listening for alarm calls and pointing out fascinating birdlife and plants along the way. Sera is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including the elegant longnecked gerenuk, reticulated giraffe and Somali ostrich, as well as leopard.

Stop during the heat of the day for a rest in the shade and some lunch, before driving onward to Kisima Hamsini where you will stop for the night. Each day they bring large herds of cattle to water at the wells. This cultural tradition has not changed in decades and has been witnessed by very few tourists, making it as genuine and unspoilt as you can get. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of keeping the integrity and unobtrusive nature of this visit, so photographs of the herdsmen and cattle are not  permitted under any circumstance. It is a rare opportunity to put your camera or phone away and simply observe and be part of the scene.

Tonight’s fly camp will be on simple bedrolls on top of a rock nearby or in fly camp tents if you prefer, with the chance for a bucket shower before the light fades.

Night 4 Sera Conservancy, Kenya

Another spectacular sunrise will awaken you, followed by a campfire-cooked breakfast. This morning, the 50 wells take on an entirely new purpose and you are perfectly positioned to enjoy the magic. Each day, up to 40,000 sandgrouse flock to the wells as their first source of water in up to 40 kilometres, collecting in large squadrons to protect themselves from the raptors. Clouds of birds form and swoop down to collect water in their feathers, before flying up and away in the flash of an eye, transporting the precious water to their partners and chicks many kilometres away. Whether or not you consider yourself a birder, this is a thrilling experience, sitting quietly and soaking up the sounds and sights of this sandgrouse gathering. Look out for predators such as tawny eagles who soar in wait of this influx of birdlife.

Depart in the mid-morning on an exploratory game drive, reaching Saruni Rhino, a small permanent camp in the heart of the Sera Conservancy in time for lunch. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool this afternoon before setting off to the rhino sanctuary within the conservancy, accompanied by the rhino rangers, where you can track black rhino on foot — the only place to do this in East Africa.  The distance and visibility of the rhinos very much depend on the day,  but it is a heart racing and exhilarating experience however it unfolds. 

What's Included

  • Professional guiding by Alex Hunter, one of Kenya’s most experienced safari and walking guides

  • A full camp crew who will set up tents, cook meals, etc. 

  • All meals and house drinks (selected soft drinks, beer and house wine) throughout, from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 5

  • Transfer from Nanyuki Airstrip to Ol Pejeta Bush Camp at the start

  • All logistics as described

  • Travelling in a 4×4 vehicle throughout the adventure until drop-off at Kalama Airstrip on Day 5

  • All conservancy fees

  • Camping fees for Ol Pejeta and Sera

  • Rhino tracking experience in Sera and visit to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

  • *The timings/presence of the cattle herders cannot be guaranteed, although they visit the wells most days in the afternoon. If they are not present, you can enjoy walks around nearby kopjes, to take in the  spectacular scenery stretching across the whole of Kenya’s Northern Frontier.

Your Tour Details...

  • Safari Lodge

    Ol Pejeta Bush Camp

    Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Your Tour Accommodation

    Alternate Accommodation...

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