Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Cradle of Mankind

Turkana Basin, Omo River Valley, and the Masai Mara

Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Cradle of Mankind route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $11,295  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Nairobi, Kenya
Depart: Nairobi, Kenya
Lodging: 3 nights hotels, 6 nights fly camp, 3 nights permanent tented camp
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners
Activity: Safaris, Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History
Trip Level: Cultural explorations, 4WD gameviewing, easy walks


  • Three-day symposium at historic Mt. Kenya Safari Club featuring five of the world’s top wildlife researchers, conservationists, and paleontologists
  • Visit Sibiloi National Park on the shores of Lake Turkana, where important archaeological discoveries are still being made
  • Four days to enjoy a variety of the fascinating tribal people of the Omo River Valley
  • Masai Mara National Reserve, the perfect embodiment of an African wildlife paradise

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

This itinerary is part of the Perspectives on East Africa Symposium & Safari Program, which offers the special opportunity to learn from and mingle with a remarkable group of world-renowned wildlife experts and conservationists.
The safari described on this page is one of six special journeys which are being offered in conjunction with the symposium. For information on the other symposium safaris click on these links: Hemingway’s Africa, Kenya Photo Safari, Out of Africa, Serengeti Wildlife Safari, and Mountain Gorilla Safari.

Kenya has been called the “Cradle of Mankind” since the discovery of archaeological evidence supporting the earliest origins of mankind, with the Leakey family’s research center in Koobi Fora still making headline news in fossil finds today. Our journey brings us from this world-renowned center, based at Lake Turkana, to Ethiopia’s Omo River, one of the last great tribal lands left in the world today, where we enjoy cultural interactions with a kaleidoscope of intriguing cultures. Our grand finale is in the Masai Mara, one of Africa’s most sublime game reserves, where we experience phenomenal Big Five gameviewing in an unimaginably beautiful setting.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Perspectives on East Africa Symposium

Presentations, excursions, and other activities with our guest speakers at the Mount Kenya Safari Club.

Days 4-5
Sibiloi National Park, Lake Turkana, Kenya

Fly to an airstrip on the shores of Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world and the northernmost of Kenya’s Rift Valley lakes. Its shimmering waters contrast sharply with the surrounding lunar landscape of extinct volcanoes and lava beds. At Koobi Fora, where Richard Leakey’s team of anthropologists discovered some of the oldest human remains, and where our Guest Speaker Louise Leakey works, we explore this incredible fossil-rich research center and enjoy informal presentations from local archaeologists who are working at uncovering yet more clues to man’s early origins (dependent on availability of archaeologists currently on site).

Days 6-9
Omo River Valley, Ethiopia

We head to our camp on the banks of the Omo River where we encounter a fascinating mix of semi-nomadic tribes who coexist in a harsh land isolated by the rest of the world. Among the people we meet are the Karo, who excel in body painting and use red and yellow minerals to create elaborate face and body decorations, and the Mursi, whose men practice scarification and shave their heads in geometric patterns, and whose women wear huge clay plates in their lower lips. We also visit the Nyangatom tribal people, pastoralists and honey gatherers who are also legendary warriors.

Days 10-13
Masai Mara National Reserve

We return to the Lake Turkana airstrip and fly to the Masai Mara for two full days of incredible gameviewing and game walks on the rolling grass plains, woodlands, and riverine forests of this fabled reserve, the northern extension of the Serengeti. Overnights are at Governor’s Camp, a luxury tented camp nestled in the forest along the banks of the Mara River, whose waters teem with birdlife, hippos, and crocodiles. Depart via Nairobi on Day 13.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Perspectives on East Africa 2014 Brochure

A Symposium & Safari Program in East Africa, June 2014
Enjoy a rare opportunity to meet the leading experts on East Africa’s wildlife, photography, and the origins of mankind, all in the magnificent setting of Kenya’s Central Highlands. Guest experts include Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Dr. Louise Leakey, and wildlife photographer Frans Lanting. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience of East Africa. Space is limited, call soon!

View our Perspectives on East Africa 2014 Brochure brochure in three ways!

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is Level 2+, moderate, according to our trip grading system. This is a rugged trip in a very remote region. Participants should be fit, healthy, and have no mobility restrictions. Medical facilities on the trip will be far away and often non-existent. Trip members must be prepared for some walking and some long days of rugged vehicle travel. On our safari in the Masai Mara, we enjoy gameviewing by 4WD vehicle and nature walks. Accommodations at Lake Turkana and the Omo River Valley are in tented “fly camps” that are simple but comfortable, but temperatures at these locations can be extremely hot - please be prepared!

Any African safari is an adventure, and the traveler to Africa should bring along flexibility, a sense of humor, curiosity about new peoples and places, and an openness to the unexpected.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Jun 25-Jul 7, 2014  Steve Turner

Program Cost

Prices are for 2014
$11295 (10-11 members)
$12295 (8-9 members)
$13445 (6-7 members)
Single supplement: $1035
Internal airfare: $2620 (subject to change)
Park fees: $330
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans
   from: $1995
Lamu Extension
   from: $2595

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Program of presentations by Guest Speakers and symposium excursions
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy, including one night in Nairobi and two nights at the Mount Kenya Safari Club during the symposium, and hotels, lodges, and camps on safari
  • Meals from breakfast on June 26 through lunch on June 28 during symposium, and as designated in the detailed itineraries on safari
  • Charter flights during symposium
  • Land transportation during symposium and on safari, with guaranteed window seating on game drives
  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides on safari
  • Camp staff and group camping and cooking equipment on camping safaris
  • Group airport transfers on scheduled arrival and departure dates
  • Beverages and laundry service at designated camps on safari

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare to and from Africa, internal airfare within Africa, meals not specified after each day in the detailed trip itinerary, park fees and permits, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.). Extensions and any optional side trips and excursions such as balloon safaris are at your own expense. Beverages and laundry service are included at certain camps on safari but not at all locations.

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $1000
Due December 27, 2013: 25%
Due March 27, 2014: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum cancellation fee: $500 per person
365-181 days prior to departure): $1000 non-refundable
180-91 days prior to departure): All deposits to date non-refundable
90 days prior to departure: 100% of trip costs, internal airfares, park fees, and permits non-refundable

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Nairobi Hotel

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 13, Nairobi, Kenya

In Nairobi, we stay at one of the following properties:

Mount Kenya Safari Club

Mount Kenya Safari Club

Days 2 to 3 (2 nights), Nanyuki, Kenya

Nestled in the foothills of snow-capped Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest mountain, the Mount Kenya Safari Club is an ideal base for our ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Fly Camp, Lake Turkana

Fly Camp, Lake Turkana

Days 4 to 5 (2 nights), Lake Turkana, Kenya

Remote Lake Turkana offers few facilities, so for these two nights we stay in a lightweight “fly” camp that is basic but comfortable. ...
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Fly Camp, Omo River Valley

Fly Camp, Omo River Valley

Days 6 to 9 (4 nights), Omo River Valley, Ethiopia

Our seasonal fly camp in the Omo River Valley is simple but comfortable, given the remote nature of the location. Walk-in tents are insect proof and ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Governors' Camp

Governors' Camp

Days 10 to 12 (3 nights), Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Set along the forested banks of the Mara River in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve, Governors’ Camp is a delightful permanent ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Steve Turner

Steve’s family has a long and established history in Africa, having ventured to the continent more than a century ago (they were among the first western explorers to discover the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba). His upbringing in the wildernesses of East Africa fostered a dedicated interest and extensive knowledge in not only natural history, but also the communities who live within these rich environments. Steve’s passion for culture, wildlife, and nature has taken him throughout the African continent, including a six-month, 25,000-kilometer photographic expedition across north, west, and central Africa, and as far afield as Australia, Asia, the Amazon, Himalayas, Arctic, and Antarctica. He has received awards for his in-depth photography of endangered mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Zaire, and his extensive collection of photographs of Africa’s disappearing wildlife and tribal people have been published worldwide. Steve was a founding Trustee of the Kasigau Conservation Trust, an organization dedicated to the development of community-based environmental enterprises in Tsavo, Kenya’s largest wilderness. He was also the Chairman of The Kenya Professional Guides Association, which promotes greater qualification for tour guides (he is still one of only fifteen guides in all of East Africa to achieve the coveted Gold certification). And as the Chairman of Campfire Kenya, he led a consortium of conservationists working to promote greater conservation among Africa’s pastoralist peoples. When not traveling, Steve lives in a leafy suburb of Nairobi, Kenya, with his wife, Jayne.

Upcoming Trips:

Perspectives on East Africa Symposium: Cradle of Mankind, June 25-July 7, 2014

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:


Lamu Extension

Relaxing on Kenya's Indian Ocean Coast

Cultural Adventures, Snorkeling
4 days  -  Level 1


mountain gorillas silverback rwanda parc des volcans

Gorilla Tracking In Rwanda's Parc Des Volcans

One of the World’s Most Thrilling Wildlife Experiences

Hiking / Trekking, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 4