Jade Sea Explorer Tour

Kenya – Jade Sea Explorer Tour – a 14 day Small Group Tour.

Kenya was a safari pioneer, and for a time a victim of its own success. Tales of tourist minibuses chasing each other, surrounding an unimpressed solitary lion in a cloud of dust and clicking camera shutters were not uncommon. However, Kenya’s vision has evolved. On this tour harsh deserts, mountains, soda lakes, and game parks combine with tribal villages, towns and big cities in a diverse appreciation of a country synonymous with East Africa. Travellers are guaranteed an African experience with a genuine Kenyan identity, and not just a game lodge fantasy.

Kenya has long been one of the most established safari destinations in Africa, a country rich in wildlife that offers some of the best game viewing on the planet. What few people know is that the country is also incredibly diverse, both ethnically and geographically, with landscapes ranging from lush forest to searing desert.

On this trip we venture to the little visited northern regions, an arid land home to a number of different ethnic groups including the Samburu, Gabbra, El Moro and Rendille, all of whom adhere to very traditional and unique ways of life. We explore the haunting Chalbi Desert, an ocean of volcanic sand where only the toughest species survive, and continue to Sibiloi National Park and the mighty Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world. Here we find the El Molo, who hunt the hippos and giant crocodiles that they share their home with.

On our return south we visit the stunning Rift Valley lakes with their superb wildlife. This tour offers travellers the chance to explore parts of Kenya which see very few visitors, giving a glimpse into ways of life that have disappeared in most parts of the world.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


(approx. driving time 20 mins, 25km)

Arrive in Nairobi where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax after your flight. Overnight at Hotel Boulevard or similar. No meals are included.

(350 kms, approx. 6-7 hours driving time)

Begin the journey north to Isiolo village where you will encounter the colourful nomadic tribes who reside in the area. We will arrive in time for lunch at our camp, before beginning our first evening game drive in search of the wildlife commonly seen in this region, including Reticulated Giraffe, Oryx, and Gerenuk. Overnight at Samburu Sopa Lodge or similar. (BLD)

An early morning start finds us on a game drive, with great opportunities for photographs and tracking rare wildlife. We enjoy a further game drive in the afternoon on the dry ochre plains, hopefully encountering herds of dusty elephants drinking at waterholes, crocodiles lurking in the shadows, and tracking paw prints of lion, leopard and cheetah amidst dramatic bushveld. Overnight at Samburu Sopa Lodge or similar. (BLD)

(250 kms, approx. driving time 6-7 hours)

Our journey takes us along a rough road towards the extinct volcano of Marsabit, the peak of which is surrounded by lush forested hills, forming a welcoming oasis rising high above the dry heat of the surrounding desert lands. This afternoon we will visit Marsabit National Park and the viewing point, before later making our way to our hotel. Overnight at Jirime Hotel or similar. (BLD)

(135 kms, approx. driving time 4-5 hours)

This morning we will visit Marsabit town where nomadic Rendille warriors, roam the land wearing their traditional dress of purple and red robes, combined with feathers, beads and goat skins. We continue our journey through the land of crater lakes and volcanoes and enter the Chalbi desert, a flat plain formed by an age old crater lake which fills up to form a shallow body of water during heavy rainfall. Kalacha Dida is an oasis on the edge of the desert and a nourishing watering place for nomadic tribes, mostly Gabbras who are constantly on the move. We set out on a guided walk to meet the various tribes living in this harsh but abundant environment. Overnight at Missionary Guest House or similar. (BLD)

(150 kms, approx. driving time 5 hours)

Today we pass through the shifting landscapes of the north, on the journey to Sibiloi National Park, with the beauty of the remote and wild plains all around. Enjoy an evening game drive before returning to your guesthouse for dinner. Overnight at Allia Bay Guesthouse or similar. (BLD)

Please note that accommodation here may be a mixture of camping and rooms, as the guesthouse has a limited number of rooms. Those camping will have shared facilities.

The day is spent exploring the national park which is home to a large variety of species including Gerenuk, Oryx, the rare Lesser Kudu and Grevy’s and Burchell’s Zebra. In addition carnivores such as Hyena, Golden Jackal, Cheetah, Lion and other small cats including Caracal can be found here. Overnight at Allia Bay Guesthouse or similar. (BLD)

(165 kms, approx. driving time 5-6 hours)

From the northernmost point of our trip we head south to the shimmering blue-green hues of Lake Turkana. On arrival at the oasis of Loyangalani, we can explore the crystal shores, searching for exceptionally large Nile Crocodiles and meeting the smallest tribe in Kenya, the El Molo, Kenya’s last remaining hunters. Overnight at Palm Shade Camp or similar. (BLD)

(235 kms, approx. driving time 5 hours)

We continue heading south to the jagged peaks of Mount Nyiru as we traverse lava flows and sand fields. Despite being surrounded by dry desert the peaks of Mount Nyiru are forested. We will pass the small hillside market town of Maralal, pioneered by Somali settlers in the 1920’s, and this afternoon take a walk in the nearby park with a chance to view Gazelle, Zebra and Antelope. Overnight at Ngari Hill Guesthouse or similar. (BLD)

(255 kms, approx. driving time 5 hours)

We continue our journey south following the shores of Lake Baringo in its hot and dusty setting. The scenic lake is fed by several converging rivers and has some small islands. We will take an afternoon walk in search of a variety of bird life. Overnight at Baringo Soi Safari Lodge or similar. (BLD)

The route may change subject to road conditions.

There will be the opportunity to take an optional boat ride.

(50 kms, approx. driving time 1 hour)

We continue our journey alongside Lake Bogoria, arriving at our hotel around lunch time. This afternoon we take a game drive to look for Kudu, Impala, Grant’s Gazelle, Cheetah and Waterbuck, as well as a host of flamingos which have migrated from Lake Nakuru. Overnight at Lake Bogoria Resort or similar. (BLD)

(125 kms, approx. 2 hrs total driving time)

The morning finds us exploring the surrounds of Lake Bogoria and admiring the thousands of pink flamingos which congregate on the lake during the season, before driving to Lake Nakuru. Lake Nakuru is renowned for large concentrations of flamingos and is also a sanctuary for the endangered black and white rhinos. This reserve has one of the highest densities of wildlife to be found on the continent and our chance of spotting Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant and Buffalo are excellent during an afternoon game drive. Overnight at Elementaita Sentrim Lodge or similar. (BLD)

(165 kms, approx. 3 hrs driving time)

Today we return to Nairobi via Lake Naivasha, an area of spectacular scenery with good opportunities for game and bird watching. We take a boat cruise, searching for Hippos, Fish Eagles and thirsty Antelope. In the afternoon we visit Joy Adamson´s famous Elsamere farm house. We leave Lake Naivasha at around 3.30pm for the drive directly to Nairobi’s international airport to catch your onward flight. (BL)

 Please note you should book a flight to depart from Nairobi no earlier than 10pm

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Please note that tour dates for 2022 and 2023 are still provisional and may change by a day or so.

Single supplement from £475.

Return flights from London to Nairobi start from around £500 per person. Please contact us for a quotation.

Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Nairobi costs from £57 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £83 per person in a solo occupancy room.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Kenya - Jade Sea Explorer Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Transport throughout in 4WD
  • All accommodation
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Services of English speaking guide
  • Entrance/park fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)

For me, this trip to northern Kenya was a real adventure. The section between Marsabit and Maralal was especially exhilarating, driving through desert and semi-desert, past huge rock outcrops and extinct volcanoes, across great spreads of ancient lava, passing almost no other vehicles, and then to see, through the dust, the shimmering expanse of Lake Turkana. with its cratered islands, innumerable birdlife, and grazing zebra and topi. Add to this the range of local groups who survive in so harsh an environment, and you have a really memorable experience.


C. Buckle, UK