Explore Kenya on a 10-day safari packed with wildlife and unforgettable activities. Your journey includes the Rift Valley lakes and their vast flocks of flamingoes, a visit to Kenya's only chimpanzee sanctuary, the unusual wildlife and warrior culture of Samburu, and Big 5 game drives on the Masai Mara plains. The option of bush walks, village visits and a hot-air balloon flight round off this incredible itinerary.
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport you’ll be met by our representative and assisted through customs and immigration. Formalities out of the way you’re shown to your waiting transfer vehicle for the 20-minute drive (depending on traffic) to Fairmont The Norfolk Hotel.
Since opening its doors in 1904 this charming colonial-style hotel has become a celebrated city landmark and the traditional start or end point for a luxury Kenya safari. This is hardly surprising since Fairmont The Norfolk has everything you could possibly want for a comfortable stay: spacious and quiet rooms, courteous staff, a choice of restaurants, an outdoor heated swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room.
If you’re tired after your international flight there is 24-hour room service so you can easily order in. If not we’d recommend dinner at the hotel’s award-winning restaurant, a contemporary steakhouse called Tatu.
After breakfast, a spread that includes waffles, pastries and pancakes, you’re driven down to the eastern escarpment of the magnificent Great Rift Valley. From there it’s a short and scenic drive to the shores of the lake, arriving at Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp in time for lunch.
Your home for the next two nights, Lake Elmenteita Serea has wonderfully spacious tented suites set on the shore of a sapphire-blue Rift Valley lake. Spend the afternoon relaxing on your private verandah enjoying the peaceful lake views, or take a guided walk around the pretty, tree-filled grounds where waterbuck and monkeys are often seen.
The following day set off for Lake Nakuru, just a half hour away, for a morning game drive in this small national park famous for its flocks of flamingos. As you drive through the park keep an eye out for warthog, black rhino and Rothschild’s giraffe, but the lake is the true highlight with thousands of birds feeding in the alkaline water. Also worth noting is the sweeping view from the top of Baboon Rocks, and the picnic lunch served in the park before returning to Lake Elementaita in the late afternoon.
After breakfast depart from Lake Elementaita and cross the equator on your way to the southern foothills of snow-capped Mount Kenya. You arrive at Sweetwaters Serena in time for lunch, presented buffet-style in the camp’s restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an active waterhole.
Set off on your afternoon game drive, with a real highlight being a visit to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. This is the only place in Kenya where you can see these highly endangered animals, most having been rescued from captivity in Burundi.
Back at camp you can easily spend a few relaxing hours watching and photographing the stream of wildlife that come to drink at the waterhole. White rhino, zebra, giraffe, Thomson’s gazelles, jackals and waterbuck are all regularly seen. By night the waterhole is floodlit, so it’s well worth staying in a front-row tent and continuing your game viewing from the comfort of your private verandah.
Leave Sweetwaters with a packed picnic lunch to enjoy en route to Samburu. The game viewing begins as soon as you enter this national park; keep an eye out for herds of impala, Grant’s gazelle and buffalo on your drive to Samburu Intrepids Camp with its spacious luxury tents overlooking the Ewaso Niyo River.
Early the next morning you’re woken by a discrete ‘knock’ with coffee and cookies brought to your tent before setting off on your dawn game drive. Samburu National Park is home to four of Africa’s Big 5 (there are no rhino) along with animals you aren't likely to see anywhere else including the rare Grevy’s zebra, long-necked gerenuk and reticulated giraffe with its striking checkered pattern.
An afternoon game drive through this starkly beautiful landscape offers up more big game sightings, and includes a visit to a Samburu village and local school. Then it’s back to camp, where one of the members of staff delivers a really interesting talk on Samburu culture and wildlife, after which a full five-course dinner is served.
After breakfast you board your flight to the Masai Mara Game Reserve where you’ll be met at the airstrip and transferred to camp. Located on the edge of a riverine forest, Kichwa Tembo has 40 tents laid out in neat grounds (each tent stands at least eight metres apart from the next) with hammocks strung between the trees and a lovely swimming pool overlooking the Mara’s vast grassy plains.
The Masai Mara is Kenya’s top reserve for good reason! Any time of the year you’re guaranteed excellent game viewing with healthy populations of elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, hyena and giraffe, regular sightings of leopard and serval, and the endangered black rhino occasionally spotted in dense thickets. This number of resident animals swells from July through to October, when the huge wildebeest and zebra herds of the Great Migration travel up from the parched Serengeti plains.
Along with game drives, there is also the option of an early morning hot air balloon safari for a bird’s eye view of this incredible landscape (additional cost). And between game viewing activities it’s lovely just to relax on the private verandah of your tent watching the resident warthog graze the camp lawns.
A final game drive on the Masai Mara plains completes your list of Kenyan sightings. Return to camp for breakfast before your transfer to the Kichwa Tembo airstrip and your one-hour flight back to Nairobi.
You land at Wilson Airport (Nairobi) at around midday, and are transferred to the Ole-Sereni Hotel were you have a room reserved for the day. The hotel has a rooftop swimming pool overlooking the Nairobi National Park, a spa and wellness centre, free WiFi and a 24-hour business centre for catching up with friends and family back home.
In the evening enjoy a farewell dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant which – as the name suggests – specialised in all kinds of meat from the more exotic crocodile, ostrich and camel, to pork ribs and lamb chops. After dinner you’re transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your international flight.
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