Kenya – 12 days
Watch herds of elephant with babies come to the river to drink. See Rhino and warthog grazing side by side. See cheetah and ride camels through herds of curious giraffe and zebra. Visit the Il Ingwesi Masai whose semi-nomadic lifestyle remains the same as it was centuries ago. Experience private tented camps with luxury that harks back to the first colonial days. Watch herds of plains game and the big cats who prey on them in the Maasai Mara Reserve.
You will be met upon arrival by our ground staff and transferred to your hotel.
We offer an optional day tour to Daphne Sheldrick’s Orphan Elephant and Giraffe Manor with shopping and lunch should your flight arrive early this morning. (We can arrange your international flights, please call for competitive pricing and availability).
Today you will depart Nairobi on a scheduled flight north past the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya, the wheat growing farmlands of Nanyuki and the drier cattle ranching areas of Loldaiga. Land on a small airstrip and met by camp vehicles for your first game drive to Joy’s Camp, your home for the next 3 nights.
Joy’s Camp sits within site of a wetland area that attracts a variety of wildlife which walk past the camp on their way to drink. The camp is made up of 10 very spacious tented rooms spread apart under a grove of acacia trees each within sight of one another.
The camp has open game viewing vehicles especially equipped for maximum visibility which seat 6 and 7 people.
You will leave at around 3:00 pm for your afternoon game drive. Return to camp for evening drinks and dinner.
An early morning game drive leaving as the dawn breaks, followed by a bush breakfast set up in a secret place. This region of Kenya has lion, leopard and cheetah as well as many elephant.
Return to camp mid-morning and rest up and enjoy the camp surroundings, alive with activity from insects, birds, monkeys and mongeese. There is a swimming pool at this camp to cool off in before lunch and watch animals meander past camp as you sit out by the pool.
After a short afternoon nap you’ll meet for tea and head out on your evening game drive. At the end of the evening drive we may decide to stop and have sundowners and snacks and watch the sun set over the African plains.
You have an option to visit the very colorful and culturally rich local african village today, or go visit a remote school. Both activities offer wonderful cultural exchanges and photo opportunities. These are optional and can be arranged upon request.
Cheetah can be seen in Shaba but it is not guaranteed although your naturalist guides make every effort to get you to see as many of the wildlife endemic to this area as possible. Each day is a surprise scripted by nature.
We may pack a picnic lunch for you today if you want to remain out of camp for a longer period. Or return to camp for a late lunch and rest up for your afternoon game drive.
Return to camp late afternoon. Evening drinks and dinner in camp.
Depart by scheduled flight to Lewa Safari Camp. The lodge is at an altitude of 6,500ft and is located on a 55,000-acre private conservancy. The snow capped peaks of 17,000ft Mount Kenya can be seen from in the distance.
Each tent has a thatched roof, veranda and full bathroom. The tents are luxurious and spacious and easily reached from the main lodge. The main lodge has a bar and large sitting room with games and a cosy log fire at night. There are gardens with a sunny veranda and swimming pool to enjoy during the day.
The special sightings at Lewa are of rhino and cheetah. Lewa also supports the endangered Grevy Zebra, oryx, kudu, giraffe and elephant. Lewa is a world re knowned Rhino and Grevy Zebra Conservancy. Your children will have an opportunity to learn about animal conservation from the highly trained naturalist guides, and visit a local Il Ngwesi tribal village where you can take photographs of the wonderfully colorful decorated people. Lewa also offers horse back and camel riding. Nearby there is an opportunity to visit a stone age archaeological site.
For the adults massages are available while the young go for a bush walk to find dung beetles, see how to bake bread in a termite nest and find Stone Age arrowheads.
A visit to the Il Ngwesi cultural village is a thoroughly unique experience that is sure to amaze even the most seasoned travelers. The Il Ngwesi Maasai continue to live in the ways of their ancestors, a pastoral livelihood consisting of living in a community as part of a larger family. At the cultural village you are party to glimpses of this lifestyle from the villagers that continue to live in the ways of the Maasai.
“Our culture has evolved through centuries of interaction with our land. In our journeys, we encounter the lives and behaviors of numerous species. This has provoked an instinct for interconnectedness with all life forms and a cultural value of tolerance & co-existence. We are a pastoral people, and are sensitive to the provisions of the earth. What is now fashionably known as “conservation” is the ethos we have lived, breathed & expressed for generations.”
After breakfast you will be driven to the airstrip. Your private charter flight will take you south over the Great Rift Valley to the unique and game rich Maasai Mara Reserve.
You will be met upon arrival and taken on a game drive back to camp. Cottars 1920’s Safari Camp is a tented camp in the style of the grand old wildlife safaris of the 1920’s. The present owner is a descendant of the original Cottar Family who started the camp in 1919. It offers quality and luxury reminiscent of the golden era of professional guiding and a Hemingway type safari experience.
Cottars is situated in a private conservancy adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and the Maasai Mara National Reserve, on Olderikesi Group Ranch. This ranch is immense and full of wildlife and allows for guided walks, and pre-dawn and night game drives.
The area is home to the largest concentration of terrestrial wildlife on earth with the immense wildebeest, Zebra and plains game migration that numbers over 2.5 million animals. The landscape is rolling savannah of high altitude (6000ft), with no fences or mad made structures for hundreds of kilometres.
Your group will have family villa tents. Each family villa includes 2 tented rooms and a central sitting/dining tent per villa. The villas are located close to the swimming area of the camp. This camp will have other visitors in camp but the rest of the camp is slightly away from the family villa tents.
Today we offer some very exciting activities. Rise well before dawn and drive to the Mara Triangle in time for a balloon ride across the Savanna. You may see lion on a kill or elephant who look at you in wonder. Land and have a champagne breakfast in a remote secret location.
Then continue on to the Mara River. July to September is the time of the Migration. Vast herds of wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River to move to better feeding grounds. This is one of the last remaining natural wonders and not to be missed. We stay out for the day to make sure you make the most of witnessing this game rich area.
Return to camp in time for sunset drinks. Dinner under the stars.
The Mara is possibly the most prolific wildlife reserve in East Africa and famous for the annual migration. Wildebeast and Zebra start amassing in late June to form huge herds by mid-July. These herds feed off the rich grasslands of the Maasai Mara. They attract predators of all kinds including huge prides of lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and crocodile which in turn attract jackal and vultures. The herds move around this vast area and it is not uncommon to have them come right past camp. Each day in the Mara is spent game viewing close to camp and farther afield.
An early morning wake up call and last game drive before checking out and departing to catch your scheduled flight back to Nairobi. You will have a day room at Karen Cottage next door to Karen Blixen’s original home and now a museum. Time to shower and rest up before leaving for the airport to catch your International Flight back to the United States.