On this magnificent vacation to Kenya, visit some of the remarkable game reserves to see giraffe, cheetah, zebra, leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, gazelle, hyena, Cape buffalo, and more—all in their native environments. Imagine the thrill of seeing these majestic animals as they sunbathe on grassy land and roam across the vast savannah grassland. You’ve seen it on TV and now is your chance to see it up close and personal. Among the many highlights of this tour are Samburu National Reserve, with its diverse population of wildlife—including some rare animals not seen in other parts of the country—and over 300 species of birds, and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya’s most famous game area. Also visit Amboseli National Park, where you’ll have the best opportunity to see elephant up close, and look for Cape buffalo, zebra, wild dog, and many bird species. It also offers you views of impressive 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and among the tallest freestanding mountains in the world. Visit a local Maasai village and a local Samburu village to learn more about these semi-nomadic tribes. Also, see Nyahururu Falls, a 243-foot waterfall; Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for its pink flamingos; and Lake Naivasha, where you will take a cruise to view resident hippo. Finally, spend two nights at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, originally the retreat of movie star and club founder, William Holden. Spectacular wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and the chance to learn about new cultures—all are offered on this thrilling Kenya vacation.
Day #1 Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya. Welcome to Africa! Arrive this evening, check in to your hotel, and prepare for your safari adventure!
Day #2 Nairobi-Amboseli National Park. This morning, visit the [LF] KAREN BLIXEN MUSEUM, dedicated to the author of Out of Africa. Next, stop at the GIRAFFE CENTER, a non-profit organization focused on saving the Rothschild’s giraffe. Here you will learn a bit more about this sub-species and have the opportunity to feed them. Enjoy lunch, then continue on to AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK to begin your search for the “Big 5”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo. This evening, enjoy dinner at your lodge. (B,L,D)
Day #3 Amboseli. Rise early this morning for a special [LF] BUSH BREAKFAST. Sip on a mimosa as you savor every moment of this memorable experience. Afterward, enjoy a GAME DRIVE. Amboseli is best known for views of spectacular Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at some 19,341 feet. The park affords you the best opportunity to get close to the mighty elephant. You might also spot Cape buffalo, zebra, wild dog, and others. During the heat of the day, relax at your camp. Later this afternoon, visit a [LF] LOCAL MAASAI VILLAGE, where you will learn about this semi-nomadic tribe, famous for herding cattle and their distinctive red clothing. (B,L,D)
Day #4 Amboseli-Nairobi-Maasai Mara National Reserve. Today, drive to Nairobi for your flight to MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE. Take a GAME DRIVE this afternoon before settling in at your lodge for the evening. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Maasai Mara. Enjoy MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES in Kenya’s most famous game area. The Maasai Mara is part of the Serengeti ecosystem, boasting a strong permanent game population. During July and August, the Great Migration of zebra, gazelle, and wildebeest enlarges the population by almost 2 million. This provides a wonderful food source for predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena. Keep your eyes out for elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo, too. During the heat of the day, enjoy time at your lodge. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Maasai Mara-Lake Naivasha-Lake Nakuru National Park. One last GAME DRIVE in Maasai Mara before heading for the Great Rift Valley, home to some of the oldest and deepest lakes in the world. Lake Naivasha is the highest of all the lakes and features pristine fresh water. Here you will take a CRUISE around the lake to view the resident hippos. If you are lucky, you might even spot a fish eagle. Continue on to LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK, famous for its population of pink flamingos that feeds in the alkaline water of the lake. Other animals you may see on your GAME DRIVE include waterbuck, giraffe, impala, and striped hyena. This is also your best chance to see a white rhinoceros, commonly spotted here. (B,L,D)
Day #7 Lake Nakuru-Nyahururu Falls-Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Leave Lake Nakuru and stop at NYAHURURU FALLS, also known as Thompson’s Falls. Then, continue east toward Mount Kenya to OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY, the largest black rhino sanctuary in all of East Africa. After lunch, enjoy a GAME DRIVE in the conservancy, and stop at the [LF] CHIMP SANCTUARY. In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute, the sanctuary was established to provide a long-term home for orphaned and abused chimpanzees. Here, see the chimps and learn more about their plight. (B,L,D)
Day #8 Ol Pejeta-Samburu National Reserve. Travel to SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE, known for its arid landscape and unique wildlife. Due to the dry climate, grasses are sparse, making animals easier to spot. Meanwhile, the Ewaso Ng’iro River, which borders the reserve, provides a year-round water supply. These two factors make for a great game-viewing experience. After lunch, enjoy an afternoon GAME DRIVE, where you have the chance to see rare animals you will not see in other parts of the country. Commonly referred to as the Samburu “Special 5,” this includes Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx, and the gerenuk, a long-necked antelope that feeds while standing on its hind feet. (B,L,D)
Day #9 Samburu. Today, enjoy MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES. In addition to the Samburu “Special 5,” the reserve is home to an abundance of other species. Large numbers of elephant and Nile crocodile can be seen, as well as waterbuck, Kirk’s dik-dik, and Grant’s gazelle. Where there is prey, predators can be found, so lion, cheetah, and leopard are often spotted. The reserve is also a great place for bird watching, with over 300 species. During your afternoon game drive you will visit a [LF] LOCAL SAMBURU VILLAGE, where you will learn a bit more about their culture and day-to-day life. Between game drives, there’s time to relax at your lodge. (B,L,D)
Day #10 Samburu-Mount Kenya Area.This morning, travel to the Mount Kenya area, where you will spend the next two nights at the world-famous Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. Originally the retreat of movie star William Holden, the club’s founder, illustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind prior to your journey home. (B,L,D)
Day #11 Mount Kenya Area. A full day at your leisure to enjoy the facilities and activities offered. (B,L,D)
Day #12 Mount Kenya Area-Nairobi-Homebound Flight. This morning, transfer to the airstrip and fly back to Nairobi, where your tour ends with lunch. We have secured a day room for you at the Ole Sereni Hotel, before a transfer to the airport for your late-evening flight. Book homebound flights after 5 pm. (B,L)