A walking safari in unspoilt wilderness, escorted by local guides with an intimate knowledge of the wildlife, people and landscapes, is a memorable, and very special, experience. Walks take place in a stunning landscape starting from Tumaren Ranch, owned by Kerry Glenn and James Christian, who run Karisia Walking Safaris. The 3,000 acres of land is dedicated to the management and conservation of wildlife, and has good numbers of plains game and predators.
The walking safaris iary in length from 3 to 14 days, range from easy to moderately difficult and can be tailored to suit your needs. Classic walking safaris use 2-person Kodiak tents, while the luxury safaris stay in larger canvas tents, and a have a greater degree of comfort.
On all safaris supplies and equipment are carried by camels, and the staff team make and break camp and look after you throughout the expedition. During your safari you can expect to see a variety of wildlife including a number of antelope, zebra, giraffe, mongoose, aardvark, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dog. There's a good range of bird life, too. Sleeping under the African stars, listening to animals calling, or the singing of Samburu warriors in the distance, you feel truly close to nature. Indeed, a walking safari is the best way to feel in touch with the bush and experience real Africa. Hear, see and smell the land and natural history around you and learn about the local culture and tribes people while you talk to your Maasai, Samburu and Turkana guides along the way.
Open: Karisia camping and walking safaris operate all year.
Location: Karisia Walking Safaris operates in eastern Laikipia, north of Mount Kenya, a 2 hour drive (80kms) from Nanyuki town. There is an airstrip for private charter flights.
Rooms: The precise style of tent varies according to the type of walking trip you are taking. AirBnC (air bed and camel) safaris use 4-man dome tents with shared ablutions. Classic safaris use cosy 2-person Kodiak tents, tall enough for guests to stand up in, with shared showers and long drop toilets. Luxury safaris use larger tents, each with its own bucket shower and toilet. Water for showers is heated over the campfire. Mattresses and bedding are provided for both types of tent, with bathrobes also provided on luxury safaris. There is a basin for washing your hands and face. Tents have a supply of drinking water, and there is solar-powered lighting. It would be useful to bring a headtorch.
Activities: There are several durations of walks, taking in different areas and varying from easy to moderately difficult, with some suitable for children. You carry a daypack, with the main luggage transported by camels. Walks are led by a guide and accompanied by a Maasai tracker. On a typical day you are woken before sunrise, to have a light breakfast and then set off before the heat is too intense. You stop for a snack en-route, then continue to the next camp arriving in time for lunch. The distance walked generally ranges between 8 and 14 kilometres, and walking time is about 4-5 hours including stops for refreshments and to watch wildlife. The afternoon is spent relaxing and there is usually a walk to a sundowner spot, returning to camp for dinner. There are some riding camels for people wanting a break from a walking. These camels carry water, juice and snacks, too, and can sometime carry daypacks.
Facilities: Camps are set up and dismantled by staff. The camp gear and luggage is carried by the camel train led by the staff team, who travel directly between campsites, so arrive ahead of the group with time to set up the camp before the group’s arrival. Bedding and towels are provided.
Dining: All meals are prepared by the camp staff. Breakfast consists of yoghurt, muesli, fruit and cooked eggs, lunch is usually a mix of salads, pizzas, cheese and fruit, and dinner is a 3-course meal (2 courses on AirBnC). Food is freshly made each day. Drinks served include beer, wine, gin, vodka and mixers.
Children: Children from 4 years are accepted on easy walks, with more difficult walks suitable for older children and adults.
Health: This is a malarial area. Communication: Guides carry mobile phones and radios to contact their security team, and there are satellite phones to call emergency services where there is no mobile network.
Notes: The staff are made up of local Maasai, Samburu and Turkana people, who know the region, and its flora and fauna in detail.
The walking safaris are dedicated to conservation in Kenya and specifically in the particular areas where they operate. Since conservation and people are directly linked, the safaris actively support the communities, by employing local people, paying conservation fees to the communities, providing grazing grounds for local people's animals and providing support for education. The ranch's land has been dedicated to wildlife conservation, and wildlife numbers have increased. The owners of the ranch have supported and encouraged sustainable, traditional honey production since 1995, buying raw honey from the local Samburu amd Laikipia Maasai people and processing it, employing many local people. The locally produced honey is then delivered to markets in Nairobi, allowing the honey gatherers to sell their product to a much larger market.
"The walking safari - fantastic. We can only thank you for offering this option. The crew was outstanding , the food excellent and our head guide Gabriel , very knowledgeable and really added a sense of security to the adventure. A special thanks to whole camp crew and especially to Gabriel, Boniface, the chef, the person attending our table most of the time (he gave me a bottle of honey) and our very colourful camel attendant."