Kenyan Safari – For the Love of Elephants

12 days

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On this epic East African safari, travel to the far corners of Kenya to come eye-to-eye with amazing elephants in their habitats. Visit Amboseli National Park, where large herds of elephants thrive in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Connect with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Tsavo East National Park where you will learn about the important work they are doing to save African elephants and release them back into the wild. Then head into Kenya’s great northern frontier where a community sanctuary protects orphan elephants. End your Safari with three nights in the Masai Mara, home to the greatest concentration and density of wildlife in all of Kenya.

Highlights

  • Cultural immersion with Maasai & Samburu tribes
  • Guided bush walks through the rolling Chyulu Hills
  • Excursions to witness & learn about rescued elephants
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari over the Masai Mara
  • Big Cat Experience and education
  • Horse Riding
Two children on walking safari with masai warrior

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Nairobi, Kenya

Welcome to Kenya. As you begin your safari, keep your eyes open for your first wildlife sighting as you fly directly over Nairobi National Park into Nairobi. After clearing customs, you’ll be transferred to the lush green suburbs where you will be accommodated at the Tamarind Tree Hotel, a luxury property near world-class shopping and restaurants. Settle in and enjoy a delicious dinner before drifting off to sleep.

DAY 2

Amboseli National Park – Game Drive and Sundowners

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Wilson Airport, where you will hop on a bush flight to the private conservancy bordering the Amboseli National Park, home to some of the largest and most beautiful elephants in Africa. Arrive at Tortilis Camp which offers the most magnificent views of Mount Kilimanjaro. After lunch, a siesta and high tea, it’s time to head out in an open game drive vehicle to explore the wonders of the bush with your local Maasai guide. Return to camp for sundowners around the fire pit, followed by dinner with fellow travelers.

DAY 3

Amboseli National Park – Bush Walk, Afternoon Cultural and Community Visit

After your morning coffee head out on a guided walking safari through the bush. Having grown up in the local community, your Maasai guide shares insight into the terrain and smaller creatures that are missed from a vehicle. Enjoy a delicious bush breakfast on the vast plains before being transferred back to camp. This afternoon visit a local Maasai homestead, where you interact with families and hear fascinating traditional stories. Return to Tortilis Camp for dinner, drinks and a good night’s rest.

DAY 4

Fly to Tsavo East National Park – Meet the Elephants and Game Drive

Indulge in breakfast and then depart for the airstrip and your shared charter to Tsavo East National Park. A guide from Ithumba Camp will collect you and drive you to camp. Arrive in time for lunch and settle into your tent. In the late afternoon, visit the enclosures where the orphans sleep and meet some of the individuals waiting to be reintroduced into the wild. Then venture into the wilderness of the Yatta Plateau and game drive through this magnificent park. Return to the camp for dinner and retire for the evening.

DAY 5

Tsavo East National Park – Elephant Reintroduction Center and Afternoon Walk

This morning you spend time with the caretakers at the Reintroduction Center and observe the elephant orphans taking their mud bath. Spend some time in camp lingering over lunch and looking for birds nearby. In the afternoon, join your guide and armed ranger on a walk up Ithumba Mountain which offers spectacular views from the summit. Head back to camp for sundowners, dinner, and contemplation under a velvety star-filled sky.

DAY 6

Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy – Swimming and Game Drive

This morning, transfer to the airstrip for a flight to the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy and Sarara Camp. Perched in far northern Kenya, this is a conservation success story and one of the most private safari experiences in Kenya. Arrive into camp for a late lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing by the infinity swimming pool, watching elephant and other game as they come to the watering hole below. After high tea, set out with your guide for an early evening game drive, enjoying elephant and giraffe in great numbers. As the sun sets look for the resident leopard near the river. Return to camp for dinner and your overnight stay.

DAY 7

Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy – The Singing Wells, Reteti Elephant Sanctuary and Cultural Experience

Today you will experience one of the most sacred cultural experiences in Kenya; the Singing Wells. Drive a short distance to the dry riverbed. Here, permanent wells are maintained by families and passed down from generation to generation. This water gives life to cattle and goats on which these local communities survive. You’ll watch the men and boys sing to their herds, who know each unique song and only drink when called for.

Next, game drive to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, a pioneering community project which rescues orphan elephants and uplifts the local people. You will have the chance to meet the Samburu people invested in this wildlife initiative and spend time in their communities. The day comes full circle as you watch the cattle from the singing wells return to the boma for the evening. Return to camp for an in-room massage and relaxing evening.

DAY 8

Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy – Game Drive and Forest Hike

A cheerful greeting and hot drink await you this morning before you depart on a short morning game drive pausing to appreciate the breathtaking views over Mount Uarges. This afternoon set off on a hike through the montane forest of the Mathews Mountains, a perfect way to become one with nature. Return to camp for a traditional dinner under the stars and your overnight stay.

DAY 9

Flight to Masai Mara – High Tea and Afternoon Game Drive

After breakfast, hop on a bush flight to one of the most iconic wildlife destinations on the planet; the Masai Mara. Arrive at Hemingways Ol Seki Camp an intimate camp, built on a small outcrop which commands views of the surrounding savanna. After lunch, a siesta and high tea, it’s time to head into the Mara for some incredible wildlife viewing. Return to camp for sundowners around the fire pit, followed by dinner with fellow travelers.

DAY 10

Masai Mara – Bush Walk and Afternoon Cultural Excursion

Wake up early to lace up your shoes and step out into the bush in search of the little things that make the circle of life complete. Birds, plants, tracks, and scat are all up for discussion in addition to hopefully seeing some big game on foot—it’s thrilling! You will be escorted by your experienced guide and an armed ranger. Circle back to camp for a full hot breakfast. This afternoon visit a neighboring village for a glimpse into daily life in this part of the world, all done with sensitivity ensuring it remains both unobtrusive and intimate. Return to camp for dinner, drinks and your overnight stay.

DAY 11

Masai Mara – Hot Air Balloon Ride and Horseback Riding

This morning wake early for a once in a lifetime experience; a hot air balloon ride over the plains and the wildebeest migration. After silently gliding over Africa’s big game for an hour, enjoy a champagne breakfast in the bush. Spend the afternoon relaxing, reading and resting in camp before heading out on an afternoon horseback ride. Stride across the savanna from a different perspective on wildlife and stop for sundowners on your final evening in Kenya. Return to Hemingways Ol Seki for dinner and your overnight stay.

DAY 12

Flight to Nairobi – Begin Your Journey Home

Fly back to Nairobi to connect with your onward flight home. Take some time to reflect on the magical encounters you had with elephants and all of the wildlife on your Kenyan safari.