The Kenya Rock Art and Cultural Safari

The Kenya Rock Art and Cultural Safari


The former UN General Secretary said "The rock art of Africa makes up one of the oldest and most extensive records on Earth of human thought. It shows the very emergence of the human imagination. It is a priceless treasure and irreplaceable. But Africa's rock art is not just about the distant past. It is about toDay and tomorrow as well. Scientists, historians, artists and students must be able to study and understand its significance for decades and centuries to come".

Kenya has a rich history of rock art, ranging over several thousand years with a variety of styles and themes. On this 14 days/13 night’s safari you visit the rock sites in Nairobi’s National park, Lewa Downs, Kakapel and Mfangano Island in western Kenya. You will also enjoy adventure and culture of the Luhyia people. The adventure wil include wildlife adventure, hiking Mt Elgon, a nature walk in the Kakamega forest and the boat rides and fishing on Lake Victoria.

Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi

On arrival at Jommo Kenyatta Airport in Nairobi, you will be met by our representative who will share with you your full itinerary then drive on to Karen to Kazuri Bead Factory.

This factory specializes on production of brightly-colored, handmade ceramic jewelry which are sold all over the world. Kazuri means "small and beautiful" in Swahili and this describes each and every beautifully handmade ceramic bead which is shaped by hand by the women who work at the Kazuri workshop. Other showing their art, Kazuri Beads supports hundreds of disadvantaged Kenyan women, by providing employment and healthcare services for them and their families.

From Kazuri you will head to the Karen Blixen Museum (named after Karen Blixen of the award winning film and book 'Out Of Africa') where you will get a chance to visit this museum too and finally to the Carnivore for lunch and be transferring you to your Nairobi Hotel.

Day 2: Nairobi National Park-Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

After an early morning breakfast, you will depart and drive a few kilometers out of the city center to the World's only Wildlife Capital famously known as Nairobi National Park. The park has an abundant wildlife including lions, buffalo, rhino and giraffe as well as numerous beautiful birds.

You will also explore the cultural heritage in the park which includes rock shelters and overhangs used in the past by Ndorobo hunter-gatherers and Maasai Pastoralists. On one of the overhangs, located in the Mokoiyete Valley, one can find rock paintings, which may be more than 100 years old. These abstract motifs portray painted shields and dwellings are daubed on to the rock in ochre – red white and yellow – and animal fat.

Later at around 0800 hours you will depart Nairobi drive up to Thika Town to Makuyu further up to Nyeri where you will be allowed a short break to have your packed lunch. You will then proceed further to Nanyuki town and finally to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. You will arrive in good time to check in at the lodge and immediately proceed for an afternoon game drive within the conservancy where you will enjoy great game viewing.

You are expected back to the lodge in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.


Day 3: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

You will set out just before sunrise for an early morning game drive as you enjoy the richness of the Park's wildlife and endless savannah. The game drive is outstanding because other than enjoying the backdrop of beautiful views of the snowcapped Mt. Kenya, you will see plenty wildlife like:- the black Rhinos‚ buffaloes‚ Elephants, Lions, Wild dogs, Cheaters, Hyenas, Leopards, bird life and most of all the Northern specialty species – Found exclusively north of the equator, these animals have the ability to thrive in hot, arid areas. Lewa is one of the few places in Kenya where one can see all five of the following Northern specialty species: the reticulated giraffe, the Somali ostrich, the Beisaoryx, the gerenuk and the Grevy's zebra.

You will return to the camp for breakfast then enjoy other activities of your choice at the Camp. The activities include horse riding, hiking, camel safaris, a visit to the local community or just enjoy your stay at the lodge.

You will later take an early evening game drive to explore more of the conversancy. This paradise, other than its wildlife, it is a place with an ancient past including a lakebed where many hand axes have been found dating back several hundred thousand years. The other attraction is the rock art which consists of geometric and abstract rock paintings as well as of rock gongs. Gongs can be recognized for the large numbers of cupules – carved cup-shaped depressions. When struck in different places with a hammer gongs produce different tones just like a musical instrument. Rock gongs were likely used for divining purposes and ritual communication in the past.

You are expected back to the lodge in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure enjoying the amenities at the lodge.

Day 4:Lewa Wildlife Conservancy-Nakuru

After your breakfast, you will embark on a five hours journey to the beautiful wildlife haven, rhino and bird sanctuary well known as Lake Nakuru National Park. You will arrive on time for lunch and immediately proceed for a game drive within the park so see the very best attractions the park has to offer.

The attractions in the park including the Flamingo (Greater and Lesser) and other water birds including a variety of terrestrial birds numbering about 450 species in total, Mammals including white rhinos, waterbuck, Roth's child giraffes, Antelopes among others, View-point that gives you a spectacular view of the lake and the park, Hills, Makalia waterfalls and Unique vegetation including the unique and biggest euphorbia forest in Africa, Picturesque landscape and yellow acacia woodlands.

You are expected back to the lodge in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure enjoying the amenities at the lodge.

Day 5: Nakuru-Kisumu

On this Day, you will take an early morning breakfast and embark on your tour van for yet another adventurous trip to the western side of Kenya which takes about 4 hours. Along the way, you will enjoy spectacular scenery including tea plantation in Kericho area.

Originally Port Florence, it was later named Kisumu, which is a Luo word Sumo meaning butter Trade. In 2001 Kisumu was elevated to a city, becoming third City in Kenya after Nairobi and Mombasa. In 2006 it was declared by the UN as the first millennium city. It is a clear indication that Kisumu has grown from a stopover city to a great tourist destination.

You are expected back to the hotel in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.


Day 6: Kisumu - Kakamega Forest Kisumu

On this day, you will depart immediately after breakfast for about 1.30 hours' drive from Kisumu to the Canopy of Natural Beauty, Kakamega Forest. Before your trip you will pass by the famous west end shopping mall for you to pick anything you require for your trip.

Some of the attractions you will see on the way include the beautiful scenery, the "Crying Stone of Illesi", this consistsof big boulders resting on top of a massive rock column giving it a human figure that is head resting on weary shoulders with tears streaming down the length the crying stone, see craftsmen producing pottery at the Illesi Pottery project and the Nandi escarpments are just a few of the attractions you will see.

You are expected to arrive in good time to take a guided walk within the park and later to the lodge for your lunch. You will again take another walk that will take you to a visit to the local people to enjoy their dance and get to know their culture.

The forest is a remnant of the rain forest that stretched all across Central Africa. There is abundance of birdlife and an important reserve for primate. The attractions include:- Mammals like Bush pig, Giant Forest Hedge Hog, Colobus Monkey, Debrazzar Monkey, Potto, Clawless Offer among others. Birds like Blue Headed Bee Eater, Black Billed Turaco, Turners Eremomela, Grey Parrot just to name a few. Snakes such as Black Lipped Cobra, Rhinoceros Horned Viper, Gabon Viper, Forest Cobra among others and trees such as Prunus Africana, Olea Capensis, MaesopsisEmini.

You are expected back to the lodge in Vihiga in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 7: Kakamega Forest-Kakapel Rock Site

After breakfast you will depart with your packed lunch and drive for about 2 hours to Kakapel Rock Art Site which is in the Chelelemuk hills.

Akakapel is a Teso word meaning a place of white objectsto depict the glittering rock paintings. Kakapel is a National Monument and one of Kenya's premier rock art sites, uniting a variety of styles and artistic traditions over a long period of time in one location. Most of the rock art at Kakapel consists of rock paintings, but also engravings including cupules and grooves can be found. Here several styles of rock art representing different periods of can be seen. Many of the paintings on the main panel are superimposed on other older images, which is very common in rock art. The oldest style consists mainly of red and white geometric images made by Twa (Pygmy) hunter-gatherers. The second style of rock art consists of red and white stylized cattle paintings made by pastoralists. And the third style of painting consists of white geometric designs probably made during the last few hundred years by ancestors of the Iteso people, who habit the Kakapel today.

There is a cultural Centre here where you can get all the needed information. You will enjoy your packed lunch at a picnic site and later can enjoy a hike, bird watching and the scenery that presents Mt. Elgon and Mumias Town.

Later you will drive on for about two and half hours to Mt. Elgon Lodge where you are expected for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.


Day 8: Hiking Mt. Elgon

After breakfast, you will drive to Mt Elgon where you will do a game drive within the park and take a hike up the mountain. You will have your packed lunch at a picnic site.

The attractions in this park include the Mount Elgon which is the second largest mountain in Kenya after Mount Kenya. Other attractions include: Caves formed from ancient lava tubes, the caves are namely Kitum, Making'eny, Chepnyalil ,Ngwarisha and many others some of which are outside the park; Salt-Mining Elephants of Kitum Cave, this Cave is regularly visited by herds of elephants, bushbuck, Red Duiker, Grey Duiker and buffalo, all in search of the salts that abound in the mineral-rich earth of the caves; Spectacular Making'eny Cave' water fall which is located 1.5km from Kitum cave.

You are expected to return to the hotel in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.

Day 9: Mt. Elgon-Mfangano

On this day, you will depart immediately after breakfast and embark on a Five and a half hours safari to Mfangano Island with a stop in Kisumu City for lunch. You will arrive at Mbita gateway in good time for your causeway to Mfangano Island which is about 40 minutes away from Mbita.

On arrival at the Island, you will be transferred you to your lodge where you are expected in good time have dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.


Day 10: Visit to The Rock Site.

After breakfast, you will depart and visit the two main sites on the Island. As you go to the sites you will also enjoy bird watching, the beautiful scenery and yes the Lake Victoria.

Mfangano Island derived its name from the Abasuba term ‘okuwangana' which means to unite or a place where people united. To travelers, the Island is commonly referred to as the Rock Art Island.

The art here shows the very emergence of the human imagination. It is a priceless treasure. And it is irreplaceable. The rock art of Mfangano is comparable to the Nyiro and Kondoa rock art as they tell the story of an early group of hunters and gatherers that may have preceded the present occupants of this region and spread from northern Kenya all the way to southern Africa.

The main sites are Mawanga Cave,Kwitone and the Suba Rock Engraving sites where there are Cupes and Rock Gongs.

You are expected back to the lodge in good time for dinner and have the rest of the evening at leisure.


Day 11: Excursion

After enjoying your breakfast, you will take an axcurtion on the island that will show you other attractions like the Sacred Island of Nzenze, the site of Nyamugondho the lady of the sea and the sacred Forest and peace tree.

You will return to the lodge in good time for dinner and have the rest of the afternoon at leisure where you can take a boat ride, participate in fishing activities or just relax and enjoy yourself.


Day 12: The Day at Leisure

Today you have the entire day at leisure and you can choose activities to participate in or just relax at the lodge.


Day 13: Mfangano-Kisumu

After breakfast, you will be transferred back to the shores of the lake for your boat back to Mbita and drive on to Kisumu. You can take a city tour of Kisumu and later check in at your hotel for dinner and the evening at leisure.


Day 14: Kisumu-Nairobi

On this day, after breakfast you will embark on your tour van for a six hour drive from the Kisumu city to the capital city Nairobi. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.

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