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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Lake Nakuru a favorite place for weekend gateway

There is no denying that the rise of lakes poses a great risk to the tourism industry, the famous hot springs and jets at Lake Bogoria have subsided, and the number of flamingoes in Lake Nakuru has reduced significantly. This has had a direct impact on the aesthetics of the area and visitors that fancy such attractions. Other rift valley lakes that have experienced rising water level include Naivasha, Elementaita and Baringo.

Water level in the park has been rising since 2011, to levels not seen in the last 50 years. It has remained high even when it isn’t raining making navigating the park almost impossible. Water levels have risen by as much as 2 metres, submerging sections of acacia forest and reducing the salinity of the water, thereby rendering the aquatic habitat unsuitable for flamingos. The lake is now less saline which isn’t conducive for algae as it thrives well in alkaline water. Flamingos have temporarily moved from Lake Nakuru to Lake Bogoria 100 kilomtres away leaving behind just a few hundreds.

Various government agencies have advanced different hypotheses to explain the high rise. The Meteorological department has reported that the rainfall patterns in the rift and its catchment areas are normal while the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources has blamed the rise in levels to siltation of the lakes due to degradation of the catchment areas.

However, scientifically, the rise in the water level of the lakes in Rift Valley is due to effects of regional tectonics influenced by the movements of global earth’s plate tectonics.

Lake Nakuru National Park still remains one of the most attractive parks in Kenya despite the reduction of flamingoes. The population of over 450 bird species found in Lake Nakuru has increased tremendously, these includes pelicans, storks and gulls as well numerous species of migratory birds. The previously elusive hippos are now easier to see.

The reduction in grasslands by the rising water levels has made it easier to view the rest of the thriving rich diversity of mammalian population in the park. These include buffalos, baboons, impalas, bushbacks, Waterbucks, Lions, leopards, warthogs, pythons, and white rhinos among others. The landscapes range from sweeping grasslands bordering the lake to rocky cliffs and woodland to the largest euphorbia candelabrum forest in Africa. These tall branching succulents are endemic to the region and provide an interesting textural element to the arid landscapes.

The high water levels mean that much of the plains game has become easier to see. Seasonal rivers including Njoro, Makalia, Nderit, Naishi and Larmudiak have flowed continuously for the last year due to improved hydrology as a result of conservation efforts in the Mau Complex.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Rimoi Game Reserve

Tucked away in the scenic Elgeyo Marakwet County is the little-known Rimoi Game Reserve, home to East and Central Africa’s largest herd of elephants. The reserve is 40 kilometers from Iten town. To access the reserve, one uses the meandering Iten-Kabarnet road that offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside.
The elephants at the reserve move together in a group of about 100, compared to other elephant herds that move in pairs, or in a group of three or five. Also found in the park are smaller mammals such as dik dik, impala, bush pig, warthog, monkeys, baboons, civet, genet, and pangolin. Reptiles include tortoise, variety of lizards and many snakes, there are also huge variety of bird species.
Rimoi Reserve is also home to other unique wildlife that includes the world’s rare white crocodile at the campsite along Kerio River. The crocodile witnessed a decline in population due to interference in the habitat by human activity.
 The reserve has been established by wildlife scientists as a breeding ground for elephants that trout to the sanctuary from neighboring Turkana and Samburu counties. The Elephants found in Rimoi graze mainly at night and shelter under riverine bushes because of the sweltering heat in Kerio Valley. A visitor to the reserve should look out for the elephants in these bushes along the rivers, or at night when they roam freely in the reserve. However, one must be cautious as any slightest provocation sparks ire from these wild animals.
The County Government of Elgeyo Marakwet and Kenya Wildlife Service have moved in to rehabilitate the reserve and restocked with buffalos, giraffes, water bucks, zebras, gazelles and impalas. Rangers and a warden to increase security surveillance and the infrastructural development completed. The Reserve has been fence to ward off poachers and also reduce human wildlife conflict

View of Rimoi Game Reserve

Friday, 11 October 2013

Tour Africa's Upcoming Solar Eclipse in Lake Turkana

Kenya is a great natural beauty country in Africa. It is a safari destination where holidays are enjoyable, memorable and lifetime experience. It offers magnificent National Parks & Reserves with different species of wildlife living in their natural habitat; there are areas not fully explored and the opportunity to get off the beaten track away from the crowds.

The wide open spaces that stretch as far as the eye can see are breath-taking. The variety of wilderness areas including, National Parks & Reserves and private ranches & conservation areas offer you the freedom to step out of your safari vehicle and enjoy a variety of activities. The opulent forests, majestic mountains, breath-taking scenery, birdlife, ethnic cultures, fresh water lakes, beach holidays, favourable climate and warm hospitality of the people, all add up to make our country the best holiday destination.

At Kenya’s far Northern frontier lies one of the natural wonders of the world. Lake Turkana is a massive inland sea, the largest desert lake in the world; it is widely known as the Jade Sea, because of the remarkable, almost luminous, colour of its waters. Turkana has one of the longest living histories on earth its unique geographical features, the richness of the surrounding traditional peoples and their cultures, notwithstanding the abundance of fossils especially hominid fossils, that earned it the name 'The `Cradle of Mankind' which has contributed more to the understanding of paleo-environments than any other site on the continent.

On November 3rd 2013, few countries will experience the viewing of the total solar eclipse, Kenya being one of them.  The umbral path of totality will traverse over equatorial Gabon in Western Africa, Congo, Uganda, Kenya and finally Ethiopia in the Northern part of Kenya in Turkana. One will witness a 14- 22 seconds sunset total eclipse of the Sun by the shores of Lake Turkana in a desert landscape. This will be the prime location to capture this wonderful display of nature in her magnificence. The largely conducive atmospheric conditions and meteorological records indicate a high percentage of clear skies during this event with the total eclipse expected late afternoon when both sun and moon are approaching the horizon. Turkana has been the site of past eclipses and the skies have always been clear.

The identified location for the best view in Kenya is at the heart of the Koobi Fora situated within Sibiloi National Park a World Heritage Site, and known as the Cradle of Mankind the best chance of clear skies along the entire eclipse track through Africa from which to experience this amazing phenomenon. Tourists‐ both local and international will have the chance to experience world‐class desert safaris while visiting the Cradle of Humankind (Northern Tourist Circuit).

To witness such an event is a singularly memorable experience which cannot be conveyed adequately through words or photographs and combined with this unique safari touching the most beautiful parks of Kenya and the rich culture of pokot, Samburu and finally the Turkana people and the El Molo the country’s smallest tribe, live as hunter-gatherer existence on the shores, in villages of distinctive rounded thatched huts, it’s a once in a life time travel adventure! 
 Some of the attractions include;
  • An elephant fossil dating 1.7 million year 
  • Archaic Kenyan forest that has been fortified for preservations – 12.8 million years old, among other things.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Maasai Mara the Seventh Wonder of the World

Maasai Mara is known as Africa’s Greatest Wildlife Reserve, situated in southwest Kenya. It lies in the Great Rift Valley, breath taking scenery which stretches through Kenya, Tanzania, and Malawi and into Mozambique. Here the valley is wide and a towering escarpment can be seen in the obscure distance. Famous for the abundance of lion, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people; well known for their distinctive custom and dress; it is without a doubt that one of Africa’s most famous safari destinations.
The Maasai Mara is magnificent, home to Kenya's richest concentration of wildlife, and regarded by many travelers as an essential stop on any tour of Africa and often admits that the Masai Mara is one of their favorite places.  When westerners think of Africa and safari, this is the place they imagine - golden grassland plains pocked with acacia, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and jackals bound together by the cycle of life and death.
Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq. km (580 sq. miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. The terrain of the reserve is primarily grassland and riverine forest with clumps of the distinctive acacia trees. It’s about 270 km from the capital city Nairobi and takes about 5-6 hours by road and 40-45 minutes by flight.

The Maasai Mara Ecosystem holds one of the highest lion densities in the world and this is where over two million Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually. Its hosts over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds. Perhaps it is because of the 'big skies', the open savannahs, the romance of films like 'Out of Africa' and certainly because of the annual wildebeest migration, the density of game, the variety of birdlife and the chance of a hot air balloon ride. A combination of all these things plus something to do with the spirit of the place - which is hard to put into words - is what attracts people to the Mara over and over. 
There are four types of topography in the Maasai Mara
  • Mara Triangle bordering the Mara River with lush grassland and acacia woodlands supporting masses of game especially migrating wildebeest. 
  • Ngama Hills to the east with sandy soil and leafy bushes liked by black rhino. 
  • Central Plains forming the largest part of the reserve, with scattered bushes and boulders on rolling grasslands favoured by the plains game. 
  • Oloololo Escarpment forming the western boundary and rising to a magnificent plateau.
Best time to visit Maasai Mara
The months of December - March and July - October have very pleasant weather and are by far the best months to visit the Masai Mara National Reserve. April through June is also good months but might be rainy or cool. July to October is dry and the grass is long and lush after the rains. This is a good time to come and see the huge herds of migratory herbivores.

The Great Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara

Monday, 14 January 2013

North Rift Tourist circuit - Alltime Safaris welcomes you to the beauty and culture of Keiyo People

Welcome to Keiyo! The land of ravine, the landscape is breathtaking stretching from Metkei to Iten. Waterfalls cascade over the gigantic escarpment and provide beautiful scenery viewed from the roads that meander across the valley, from Kabarnet in Baringo to Iten in high bird’s eye view. You will be in a position to see the escarpment from top of the hill.
The lavish canopy of acacia trees around the Kerio Valley, chirping birds, wildlife and three different weather patterns combines beauty with a rich agricultural and cultural heritage.
The climate ranges from the cold of Iten to heat of Cheplooch and the moderate temperatures in the valley itself. Elgeyo-Marakwet County is a major attraction site in North rift that everyone is invited to visit throughout the year.
The weather around the valley can be cool and breezy in the mornings and evenings but often turns hot and windy for most of the afternoons.
Kerio Valley, one of the landmark features of the Great Rift, descends 4,000 ft, and is near the towns of Kabarnet, Fluorspar. (Kenya Fluorspar Mining Company, which has been operating in the region for years, is the only one in East and Central Africa exporting fluoride minerals to Europe and the Far East), Eldoret and Iten, about 500km from Nairobi.
Tourists will experience an aesthetic beauty and sporting heritage which have made the county a cut above the rest of tourists’ sites. There is a very beautiful landscape and historical sites like the natural caves where the people used to hide during cattle rustling, beautiful camping sites, and athletic training sites because of the high altitude in Kamariny areas adjacent to Keiyo view hotel. Athletes have exhibited in seeking training opportunities in the high altitude areas. The windy weather between January and March make the region one of the world’s favourite paragliding zones.
Kerio Valley is where world class runners live and train, but it also attracts townspeople who go camping. Because of the topography and altitude, sports have found the place ideal for bicycle racing, watching the safari rally and for paragliding; the best spots in the world and it will be harnessed soon
One can choose to look to areas other than the Coast where white sandy beaches, sunshine and warm temperatures are the main attractions; tourists will have every reason to visit into this striking vicinity.
The region is conducive for the sport because the skies are clear and we do not have many aircraft flying over the valley, and gliders can ascend thousands of feet without a worry
Tourists lounging in the breezy gardens sit for hours watching paragliders take to the skies and try out some daring stunts. Besides the valley’s scenic grandeur, the region also offers the cultural heritage of the Kalenjin sub tribes of the Keiyo and Marakwet. Cultural tourists get a chance to taste traditional delicacies such as mursik (sour milk), boiled and peppered meat, and the community’s special honey beer.
For visitors, resorts such as Kerio View, Lelin Camp, Sego Lodge, AIC Cheptebo Conference Centre. A tour of the county would be incomplete without a visit to the Rimoi Game Reserve home to thousands of species of Rift Valley’s flora and fauna; the reserve boasts a variety of animals including elephants, buffalos and dikdiks. There are also impalas, monkeys, baboons, and different birds alongside crocodiles in the Kerio River.

Keiyo Valley stretches to the Hills of Cherangani along
Rimoi Game Reserve