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Kisumu, Kenya
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Duration

7 Days

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

40 people

Languages

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About this tour

Kisumu and Maasai Mara Safari – On this safari, we will show you what Western Kenya has offer by exploring Kisumu city and its environments. The city is laid back and has the best atmosphere for some light activities amongst the very friendly Luo community.

This is the third-largest city in Kenya after the capital, Nairobi, and the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu is also the only lakeside city by the shores of the world’s largest freshwaters of Lake Victoria.  Being the economic hub of Western Kenya, Kisumu isn’t far from Kogelo, a village known for being the hometown of Barack Obama Sr., the father to the 44th president of the United States.

Culturally, Kisumu serves as the headquarters of the Luo-speaking people of East Africa. It was the most prominent urban center in the pre-colonial, post-colonial, and modern era for natives of the Kavirondo region.

The lakeside city has some of the most significant political events that have shaped the trajectory of Kenya have happened in Kisumu including the famous political spat between the founding president of Kenya Jomo Kenyatta and founding vice president Jaramogi Odinga during the opening of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital in 1969.

Apart from being an important political city, it is one of the premier industrial and commercial centers in Kenya. The city is currently undergoing an urban rejuvenation of the downtown and lower town, which includes modernizing the lakefront, decongesting main streets, and making the streets pedestrian-friendly.

Kenya’s only lakeside city. Kisumu, also known as port Florence is Kenya’s third-largest city with the third biggest metropolis.  We will spend our first two days exploring the city. By undertaking a well-curated excursion, we will enable us to see the attractions of amazing Kenya’s only lakeside city.

We could begin our day by visiting the museum where ethnographic exhibits and a display of the dominant Luo tribe, musical instruments and their traditional culture stands out prominently.  Considered by many to be one of Kenya’s finest collections of artifacts, Kisumu museum will engage us for good reasons.

We will then proceed to Kisumu Impala Wildlife Sanctuary for a leisurely walk. While here, a harem of impalas enjoy this grazing ground with zebras and hippopotamus that live in the lake. Spread over an area of less than 1sq km, this wildlife sanctuary acts as a holding point for problematic animals like baboons, hyenas, and leopards, which all can be seen at a close range.

From the Impala Park, we’ll drive for lunch at Dunga beach followed by a boat ride to get a first-hand experience of the second largest freshwater body in the world, Lake Victoria. After the boat ride, we’ll visit the Dunga Ecotourism boardwalk in the swamp where you can experience some birdlife especially the biome restricted and the papyrus endemics of Lake Victoria.

After enjoying a short walk in the city, we will visit the fishing village where you will encounter the local anglers and fishmongers. From the lakeside, we’ll drive to the imaginary line that splits the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres.

Maseno, the lush institutional center is located northwest of Kisumu and at an altitude of 1503 meters above sea level. We will be here for some photos and enjoy the scenic backdrop of the rugged volcanic hills of the Kavirondo Rift Valley system. With the equator cutting across Kenya almost in the middle, the sun is directly overhead at noon on the two equinoxes in March and September 21st.

For your information, the most intriguing fact is that areas located on the Earth’s equator have the fastest sunrises and sunsets. Therefore, it’s worth noting that the time it takes the sun to set and rise at the equator point is the fastest on Earth hence the transition from day to night surprisingly, takes only a few minutes. From the equator point, we’ll drive back and settle down for dinner and overnight at the well-appointed.

From the calmness and its welcoming atmosphere to its sunsets over the world’s second-largest water body, Lake Victoria, we will continue to the Masai Mara Game Reserve. This is Kenya’s finest, and most outstanding wildlife sanctuary where gentle rolling grassland ensures that wildlife are never out of sight at any time of the year.

The climate is gentle, rarely too hot, and well-spread rainfall year-round. The sensation of the great wildebeest migration between July and October is unparalleled as number of cats that come with it. In the Masai Mara, the wildlife is far from confined within the reserve boundaries and an even larger area extends beyond the game reserve.

Centuries of close association with the wildlife have resulted in an almost symbiotic relationship where wildlife and Masai people live in peace with one another. The first sight of this game reserve is breathtaking. There is nowhere else on earth to compare with this wildlife marvel.

Sustainable Travel - #GoBetterWithOluokos

At Oluokos Signature, we work responsibly hard to weave luxury experiences that improve life for the people and places we visit and takes care of the planet we explore and also call home. You can read more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice at Oluokos Signature. Please, click here, to find out about sustainability.

People

Learn how booking this safari will help to improve lives of the local communities.

  • We use local guides, meaning that our guests will remain well informed about local traditions, the inner secrets of wildlife, and cultural and social interactions.
  • Commerce – This trip brings income and opportunity to the host community through the inclusion of locally owned accommodation and restaurants, the emphasis on eating locally/organically produced food and support of other local enterprise.
  • Our suppliers are trustees of the local conservation trust, which runs several community initiatives which our guests are welcome to visit as an optional extra excursion. These include schools where classrooms have been built, teachers and students have been sponsored and thousands of material and monetary donations have been made.
  • Local community healthcare is also supported by the trust, who have been helping the clinic for several years now. Donations that have been made in the past include medicine, medical books, maternity and dental wards, water pump and tanks, upgrading of the existing solar system, medical training seminars and much more.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who books or travels with Oluokos Signature.
  • By limiting our luxury safaris to small group, led by a local guide, we operate responsibly and ‘tread lightly’. This allows us to minimize our impact on local natural resources and the environment.
  • During our game drives, in the Masai Mara Conservancies where there are strict rules on over-crowding.
  • We also adhere to the Masai Mara National Reserve rules where we maintain our game drives on the designated tracks and not participating in mobbing or crowding wildlife at any time.
  • We’re a signatory to the One Planet network which is a global community of practitioners, policymakers and experts, including governments, businesses, civil society, academia and international organizations, that implements the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production and works towards achieving SDG 12: ensuring sustainable patterns of consumption and production.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively eliminate or reduce waste, for example eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles and other plastics materials. At Oluokos Signature, we provide reusable water bottles to all our guests.
  • We operate a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy that includes separating waste immediately and returning it to the right point for proper disposal.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this luxury safari to its minimum.

  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.
  • We prefer smaller, locally run accommodation facilities that have a much smaller impact on the surrounding environments.
  • Most meals use local ingredients, which have not been transported for long distances.

Find more tips for going sustainably on this safari

  • Here are a few extra steps you could take to minimize your impact when o this holiday with Oluokos Signature.
  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish behind in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you support us by doing the same. If there are no recycling facilities in our remote destinations, we’d ask you to consider bringing recyclable materials back to Nairobi with you so that we may channel them to the right handler.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring your own re-usable water bottle on this trip; alternatively, Oluokos Signature will provide every guest with a re-usable water bottle, filtered water will be provided where tap water is not drinkable.

Highlights

  • Discover the least visited lakeside city, Kisumu with its alluring attractions
  • With a stay in the heart of the world renowned Maasai Mara National Reserve, you will enjoy a thrilling wildlife safari with close encounters.
  • Have the best alfresco dining experience under a star-studded African sky while listening to the distance sounds of wildlife or the Maasai dancers.
  • Treat yourself to a pre-sunup hot air balloon safari for the ultimate bird's eye view game spotting experience and scan the savannah for towering giraffes and a harem of zebras.
  • Enjoy the exhilarating cultural interaction with the nomadic Maasai community

Included/Excluded

  • Conservation fees
  • Experienced safari guide
  • VAT and other related taxes
  • All accommodation including all meals
  • Internal flight to Kisumu from Nairobi
  • Private transport in a 4x4 Landcruiser vehicle
  • Private day game drives in a 4x4 Landcruiser vehicle
  • Full support from Oluokos Signature and concierge before, during and after your trip
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Additional Services
  • Items of a personal nature
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Arrival and departure taxes at the airport
  • International flights and transfers
  • We strongly advise all guests purchase comprehensive travel insurance

Itinerary

Oluokos Signature representative will meet you upon your arrival and assist you with a transfer to the hotel marking the beginning of your safari with a night in Kenya's capital, Nairobi.

Accommodation: House of Waine

Meal Plan: (Dinner, Breakfast)

Beyond the expansive parks and vast savannas, Kenya is a holiday paradise with its numerous parks and wildlife refuges that even extend beyond it protected areas. However, to many visitors the beauty of Kenya in its capital city of Nairobi isn’t well known.  Apart from being an international point of arrival to many guests, Nairobi provides some of the most unique travel experiences in Kenya.

Just 20 minutes from the city center, you can get up close and feed a giraffes at the Giraffe Center, watch baby orphan elephants play in the mud at the Nairobi Elephant Nursery, and visit the legendary home of Karen Blixen, creator of “Out of Africa.” 

There is so much to see and do in this full-day adventure around Nairobi with Oluokos Signature. We will be glad to share with you the many gems that will make your African luxury vacation unforgettable experience.

Made famous by the hit movie “Out of Africa” starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford, this plantation homestead is where that story began. We’ll start our tour visiting this expansive farmhouse and grounds where Karen Blixen established a coffee plantation and spent time with her lover, the English hunter, Denys Finch-Hatton. Set at the foot of the Ngong Hills, the plantation was where Blixen chronicled her time in colonial Africa in her renowned literary works. We’ll visit the rooms where she lived and worked. On display – relics from her life as well as props from the legendary movie. We’ll also learn more about Kenya’s colonial history.

Our next stop is truly the most unique animal care center in the world. Where else can you see dozens of baby elephants being fed from giant milk bottles right before you? And then after the feeding, watch the elephant babies roll about in the mud, playing, frolicking like young children everywhere.

This world-renowned sanctuary rescues orphaned elephants throughout Africa and hand raises them with expertise and love. The Sheldrick Family has been taking in and caring for these

orphaned babies for over forty years. Over 200 have now been rescued and you can experience up close the expressions of compassion and caring in this very special place. But now it’s your feeding time and we’ll have lunch at the beautiful Karen Blixen Coffee Garden. Then it’s on to the Giraffe Centre.

Here at the Giraffe Centre, you can climb up the feeding walkway and hand feed a food pellet to an inquisitive Rothschild’s Giraffe. Some lucky visitors have been known to get a giraffe peck on their cheeks! The centre is a refuge for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. Here we’ll learn about this beautiful species at the special Information Centre.

Kazuri Beads will be our last stop for the day. Kazuri means “small and beautiful” in Swahili, the many beads, and other ornamentation produced here are indeed very beautiful. This handiwork is the creation of hundreds of determined and skilled women who design these ceramic beads, making artistic jewelry that’s seen and sold all over the world.

Kazuri begun in 1975 with just two single mothers, the center quickly grew as an enterprise for disadvantaged women where they could better themselves and their life opportunities. Here, we’ll be able to view the artists at work and visit the gift shop for souvenirs to support this very special noble cause. We’ll wind up our day after doing some social good excursion in the evening.

After an early breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport for onward flight to the lakeside city of Kisumu. You will be welcomed by Oluokos Signature representaive who will take you to the city for an introductory city tour.

We willl begin our city tour at the Kisumu Museum. Here, exhibitions focus on the natural and cultural history of Western Kenya and the lake regions respectively. It features a collection of local flora and fauna, as well as a traditional Luo homestead. There is also a snake park in the museum, traditional Luo homestead where you can learn and experience more about the Luo traditions.

From museum, we will proceed to the Kisumu Municipal Market also well known as the Jubilee Market or Chiro Mbero. The history of Jubilee Market dates back to the colonial era. Its foundation stone was laid in 1935. The market was intended strictly for Africans to prevent them from interacting with the colonialists.

The market would draw people from the Luo, Luhya and Kalenjin communities. And despite their conflicts, Chiro Mbero would unify people from all walks of life regardless to their background ethnicity. From the market, we will drive to Dunga Beach for some Luo traditional cuisine on beach.

Accommodation: Ciala Resort 

Meal Plan:(Lunch, Dinner)

Today, we'll leave the bustling lakeside city and drive to Kenya’s most dramatic cultural site, a vast granite rock tower called Kit Mikayi. The rock, which is about 80 feet tall, is located 30 kilometers to the west of Kisumu city.

While doing the activity we get to learn more about the myth behind Kit Mikayi which in Luo dialect means “the stone of the first wife” is a: Long time ago, there was an old man by the name Ngeso who was in great love with the stone.

Daily, Ngeso would wake up in the morning, walk into the cave inside the stone and spend the whole day there. This would force his wife to bring him breakfast and lunch on a daily basis. Having fallen passionately in love with this stone to the extent that people would ask the wife his whereabouts, she could answer that he has gone to his first wife (Mikayi) hence the stone of the first wife (Kit Mikayi).

From the granite rocks, we’ll drive to the imaginary line that splits the Earth into the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Maseno, the lush institutional center is located northwest of Kisumu and at an altitude of 1503 meters above sea level. We will be here for some photos and enjoy the scenic backdrop of the rugged volcanic hills of the Kavirondo Rift Valley system. With the equator cutting across Kenya almost in the middle, the sun is directly overhead at noon on the two equinoxes in March and September 21st.

For your information, the most intriguing fact is that areas located on the Earth’s equator have the fastest sunrises and sunsets. Therefore, it’s worth noting that the time it takes the sun to set and rise at the equator point is the fastest on Earth hence the transition from day to night surprisingly, takes only a few minutes. From the equator point, we’ll drive back to the hotel for lunch and then spend the afternoon at leisure.

Accommodation: Ciala Resort

Meal Plan: (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

You will this morning leave Kisumu and travel to the premier Maasai Mara National Reserve through the lush Western Kenya highlands will be a memorable journey. Our arrival will be in good time for lunch before heading out for an afternoon safari through vast, acacia-dotted plains, driving past throngs of elands, impalas, zebra, and giraffes; and keep an eye out for lions, elephants, and the rest of the African “big five.” In the evening, relax at the camp and enjoy the scenic sounds of the night at the

Accommodation: Fairmont  Mara Safari Club

Meal Plan: (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast, we depart for a whole day game drive in the reserve. No trip to Kenya would be complete without this traditional experience. Spanning approximately 3,000 square km, the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Greater Mara Concession Areas form the northern section of one of the most astounding animal migrations on the planet. While the region has become busier and busier over the last decade or so, a visit to this stunning area is still well worthwhile.

Often seen as in its prime when the migratory herds arrive, from July to November, a visit out of season can be just as rewarding, and that’s the reason the BBC has based themselves here for the last decade or so. What makes Maasai Mara one of the world’s top safari destinations is its abundance of big cats – cheetahs, leopards, and lions – as well as the two million wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, and zebra that migrate annually across the vast grasslands in search of water. Watching elephants and giraffes grazing, photographing zebras and wildebeest, and with a little luck, you'll even spot animals feasting on a recent kill.

Accommodation: Fairmont  Mara Safari Club

Meal Plan: (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Today, you might choose to take your wildlife experience to new heights by adding a hot air balloon safari experience over the Maasai Mara to your stay in this outstanding area. This will be a great way to appreciate its scale and gain a unique bird's-eye view of the game beneath. After the magnificent flight, a champagne bush breakfast awaits you upon landing.

Alternatively, you may choose to have a morning or afternoon game drive or even head out to the reserve for a long day game excursion with a packed picnic lunch.
Optional activities such as the Maasai Village Visit and Nature Walk below are at additional cost.
During the day you may also choose to be taken to a traditional Maasai tribe village on the outskirts of the reserve. The village visit which lasts an hour will give you a glimpse into the fascinating way of life of the Maasai, a nomadic warrior tribe of Kenya. During the course of the day, if you choose to book a nature walk, subject to availability, you would enjoy an hour long walk with the resident guide based at the camp.

The walk allows you to closely observe and learn about the local flora and fauna within the vicinity of the property. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure as you rekindle your sweet African holiday memories.

Accommodation: Fairmont  Mara Safari Club

Meal Plan: (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Depart the Maasai Mara National Reserve after breakfast with your guide and travel to Nairobi. Your guide will drive you from Maasai Mara to Nairobi, with short stops for refreshments and souvenirs along the way. The drive will take approximately 6 hours.

We will enjoy our last stopover at the Great Rift Valley viewpoint. This will grant you the opportunity to use the washroom and also to explore the local curio shops. Enjoy the moment and interact with the local vendors in search for the perfect handicraft or souvenir for yourself or your loved ones. 

If you so desire, reservations for dinner at a local restaurant can also be arranged. Please speak to your Experience Designer Expert in order to make dining reservations, and also be sure to mention any dietary restrictions or preferences.

Accommodation: Depart (International Airport)

Depart from International Airport. End of itinerary.

Frequently asked questions

In addition to your suitcase, which gets stored separately on the vehicle, you can bring one piece of carry-on bag onto the vehicle with you. This must be small enough to fit either under your seat or on your lap.

Please note that Eastern and Central Africa, our safari vehicles cannot accommodate regular luggage dimensions and weights. We kindly ask our guests to travel with a soft-sided bag or medium-sized daypacks. There are a number of things you may wish to bring on the vehicle with you, including a travel pillow, something to read, sunglasses, your phone, headphones if you'd like to listen to music, etc. Please, learn more on Africa Travel Tips section.

Every itinerary created by Oluokos is based on your specifications and personal taste. With the in depth knowledge of our Experience Designers’ first-hand, local creativity they make sure every little detail is taken care of, while you get to enjoy a personalized safari experience to Kenya.
To answer your question, the number of guests on your tour will be only you and your loved ones. We handle every booking privately and at Oluokos, we strictly adhere to the no mixing group’s policy. Our safari vehicles have a maximum capacity for six guests. The beauty of taking our privately guided tour is that you'll get to enjoy the best that Africa has to offer to you and your group privately.

Airport transfers are included in the price of this tour. Please, let us have you flight details in advance for the purpose of good planning.  In this case Oluokos Signature representative will be at the airport to greet you. To arrange this please contact our customer service team once you have a confirmed booking.

This information is included in the day-by-day itinerary for your trip under what is included.

We can accommodate vegetarian guests and we will be happy to assist with diabetic, gluten-free and other medically recommended diets. Please advise us at the time of booking your trip with us. Unfortunately, we’re unable to supply meals in accordance with strict religious requirements. For example, we can’t provide salt-free, Halal, requests for specific dietary supplements such as soya milk, and high protein or low-carb meals.

Yes. We want to ensure you get all you want out of your African trip Oluokos Signature. Each itinerary offers the perfect balance of downtime and pure value quality discoveries. We also give you the opportunity to tailor your trip with Optional Experiences by Oluokos. Some of our trips offer a more relaxed pace, with later starts and longer stays in each place for your own enjoyment.

If you would like to exclude yourself from an included experience, please ensure you speak with our Experience Directors, so they are aware of your changes. They will make sure you are aware of any necessary times or meeting points. Please note we cannot provide any compensation or refunds, if you decide not to take part in an included activity or meal.

Oluokos itineraries involve a good blend of driving, walking and enjoying sites from the comfort of your safari vehicle. The activity level and amount of walking can vary, so it is important that you bring adequate footwear to ensure your comfort and safety. Our Experience Designers will advise you appropriately before your trip begins.

Tour's Location

Kisumu, Kenya

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