Kenya for a truly life changing experience that you can only dream about. As one of the most amazing countries in Africa, Kenya is blessed with very rich and historical Catholic heritage dating back many years ago when the first Catholic Missionaries first arrived here at the turn of the last century. This Safari Pilgrimage tour offers Catholic faithful, their families, fellow parishioners, priests and friends chance to experience spiritual rebirth and deepen their faith as they visit and pray at various holy shrines, sacred places and mystical sites in Kenya. Participants will get a chance to learn from other Christian communities how Gospel is taught here in very different challenging circumstances. Finally meet Kenyan people of diverse cultural backgrounds and at the same time view African wildlife “the big five” in its true and natural habitats.
Meet and Greet upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi and transfer to Crown Plaza Hotel for check in and refreshments. In the afternoon transfer to St Austin’s Catholic Church, the oldest and first Catholic Church to be established in Kenya for evening Mass. St. Austin Catholic Church, located in Lavington, Nairobi was founded by a small group of Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (The Spiritans) in 1899. They were the first Catholic missionaries in East Africa, arriving in Zanzibar in 1860, and quickly moving to the mainland Tanzania and to Kenya thereafter. Overnight Crown Plaza Hotel Nairobi BB Crown Plaza is a new and stylish hotel strategically located in UpperHill Commercial Area of Nairobi. The hotel rooms are superbly appointed, very spacious and offer the very best in comfort and convenience. The hotel facilities included four food and beverage outlets, serving delicious food and drinks and leisure facilities include an outdoor heated swimming pool and a delightfully relaxing spa.
Breakfast and proceed for a Nairobi City Tour that will include a visit of The Holy Family Basilica the biggest Catholic Church in Kenya, the nearby Catholic Parochial Primary School and The Catholic Bookshop founded and managed by The Congregation of The Daughters of Saint Paul. The Basilica of the Holy Family is a Roman Catholic Cathedral dedicated to the Holy Family located in the centre of Nairobi. The Basilica is the seat of the Archdiocese of Nairobi. Proceed for lunch at Tamambo Karen Blixen Restaurant. Later visit Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Beads and Giraffe Centre for afternoon giraffe feeding. Later visit Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Beads and Giraffe Centre for afternoon giraffe feeding. Evening Mass will be at Apostles of Christ Shrine in Karen where just recently the Replica of the Biblical “Ark of the Covenant” was installed. The Ark is a wooden chest clad with gold containing the two stone tablets of the Ten Commandments as given to Moses by God. This Shrine is now the only “home” in Africa for “The Ark of the Covenant” . Overnight Crown Plaza Hotel Nairobi BB
Breakfast and depart for safari and head to Komarock Sacred Shrine, located 50 Kilometres East of Nairobi. Since time immemorial, Komarock because of its mysteries, miracles and magic was the natural place of worship, prayer and sacrifice where local people would ask God for protection, health, wealth and rain. Komarock Shrine is home to very powerful forces that stopped Government engineers from constructing a new road. When the Catholic Church was established here, it is said that, people begun to see an image of a woman apparently consoling a young man. And according to the story, these looked like white people. To the White Catholic Priest who was in charge of the area, this was a familiar story. In Europe, there were many such sightings and shrines that had been constructed wherever they were seen because it was assumed that the sighting was related to the 13th station of the Way of the Cross. At Komarock Shrine, there are 14 stations that signify the trials of Jesus as he walked carrying the cross to Calvary where he was crucified. At the Shrine, pilgrims move round the stations to commemorate the “Passions of Christ”. Today, Komarock Shrine has become one of the most respected places of pilgrimage in Kenya and beyond. Pilgrims from all over the world converge here annually for prayers and meditation. Proceed on with your journey to the “White Highlands” and Mount Kenya region arriving for late lunch at Aberdare Country Club. Later in the afternoon, you will be transferred to The Ark Forest Lodge for overnight game viewing. The Ark Forest Lodge which is tucked into the thick, verdant forests of Aberdares National Park and is set on an Elephant migratory route between The Aberdares and Mount Kenya and is strategically located right in front of a natural watering hole and salt lick.
Breakfast at The Ark and drive to Our Lady of Consolata Catholic Cathedral in Nyeri where the remains of Blessed Sister Irene Stefano are interred. Blessed Sister Irene a Consolata Missionaries Italian nun was popularly known as “The Mother of Mercy” was recently put on the road to Sainthood by Pope Francis, during the first beatification ceremony ever in the African continent. Make a brief visit to her monument located in Nyeri town. Thereafter depart for Samburu National Reserve in the Northern Frontier District. Drive past Isiolo town which is the headquarters of the Catholic Apostolic Vicariate of Isiolo which has a population of 30,100 Catholics of mixed nomadic tribes of Borana, Somali, Rendille and Meru and is subdivided into 12 parishes. Enjoy lunch at Samburu Lodge and later afternoon game drive. Overnight
Full day in Samburu with game drives. Samburu Game Reserve is situated in the hot and arid fringes of Kenya’s vast Northern Frontier District. The area is home to the Samburu tribe, pastoral relatives of the Maasai. The landscape is rugged and dramatic – against a backdrop of volcanic mountains, gaunt hills and withered scrub tree punctuate the sparse and dry terrain. The Ewaso Nyiro River, lifeline of the area, runs along the southern boundary dividing Samburu from Buffalo Springs Reserve. Crocodile and hippo share the river with the many small herds of elephant which bathe and frolic in the muddy brown waters during the heat of the day before returning later to browse on the lush vegetation of the riverine forest. This afternoon make a visit to Archers Post Catholic Mission. Here you will get to hear how the local Catholic Priests teach the gospel to an illiterate and nomadic population who move from one area to another in search of new grazing lands for their livestock and the challenges facing them every day. Overnight
Breakfast and drive into the Great Rift Valley arriving for lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge. Enjoy afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park. Lake Nakuru is world famous its enormous flocks of flamingos and over 400 species of birds found there. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley and at times the flamingos number in the millions, which is quite a spectacular sight. They are so numerous that from a distance the lake appears to be ringed in pink. The lake has also earned a reputation as an important haven for endangered species, particularly the Rothschild giraffe and the Black and White rhino, lions, water-buck, buffalo and baboons are all residents here. Overnight
Lake Nakuru Lodge
Early morning game drive before breakfast. With packed lunch, proceed for whole day visit to The National Marian Shrine of Kenya which is located under the hilly landscape overlooking the fertile Subukia Valley. The shrine, commonly known as “Village of Mary Mother of God” stands on the Equator — the meeting point of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The Catholic Church in Kenya set it up and blessed “Mji Wa Maria” designating it as a holy place in honour of Virgin Mary. There is a chapel with a statue of Mary holding baby Jesus and spring water that is believed to have miracle cures. According to the history of the shrine, the spring is widely believed to produce water with healing powers started flowing since December 1991 on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary and has since never dried up.The National Marian Shrine is the biggest Catholic shrine and attracts thousands of pilgrims every year. More than 300,000 pilgrims, including foreigners, have visited Mji Wa Maria in the last three years. Kenya’s Catholic Church bishops have held liturgical celebrations there. Buried at the foot of the cross is a piece of rock from the Grotto at Lourdes in France, a stone from River Jordan in Israel and another from the Marian Shrine at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The footpath leading to the spring is steep and one has to take all steps of the cross. The steps symbolize the suffering Jesus underwent before crucifixion. Late afternoon, return back to Lake Nakuru National Park Lodge with a game drive enroute to
Lake Nakuru Lodge.
After breakfast, enjoy gorgeous views of the Great Rift Valley as you drive to Maasai Mara Game Reserve arriving for lunch at Mara Leisure Camp which overlooks a dramatic bend on the banks of the Talek, a tributary of the Mara River, gently blending into the surrounding wilderness. There will be afternoon game drive before dusk in the Mara which is a magnificent landscape of open plains bisected by the Mara River and its tributaries and punctuated by marshes and forests. The Mara offers wildlife in such variety and abundance that it is difficult to believe. Over 450 species of animals have been recorded here. You will easily see lions, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, wildebeests, zebras, buffalo, warthogs, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, buffalo, leopard, many kinds of antelopes and elephant. Overnight
Mara Leisure Camp
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya- Africa. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland. The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino). Enjoy whole day game drive in the Mara where perhaps the most spectacular event of the natural world takes place. This is the annual migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya in search of water and pasture. Following on their heels are the predators of the savannah, lion, cheetah, wild dog, jackal, hyena and vultures. On the way back to the camp, there will be a brief visit to Sekenani Catholic Church and a Traditional Maasai homestead. Overnight :
Mara Leisure Camp
Breakfast and drive back to Nairobi arriving for lunch at Talisman Restaurant. Proceed to The Resurrection Garden in Karen for an afternoon visit. This garden offers a perfect spiritual atmosphere for meditation and prayer following steps of Jesus before crucifixion. There is a chapel for prayer and meditation and many biblical verses along the walkways. Farewell Mass will be celebrated at The Resurrection Garden Chapel before heading to The Carnivore Restaurant for the farewell dinner. Thereafter you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your departure flight home.