Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the historic 5-star Sarova Stanley Hotel. One of Nairobi's oldest and best renowned city hotels, it stands in the city centre within easy reach of both shops and tourist attractions, and offering a health club, roof-top swimming pool and a wide selection of restaurants and bars. Optional dinner at the Stanley Hotel. Overnight Sarova Stanley Hotel.
Day 2: Nairobi to Samburu (Distance/drive time: 380 km / 5.5 hours)
After an early breakfast, drive north of Nairobi up the Great Rift Valley to the Samburu / Buffalo Springs National Reserve arriving in time for a late lunch at the Samburu Sopa Lodge. Built on raised ground allowing for panoramic views of the distant Samburu Hills and Mount Kenya, the lodge stands in the centre of this pristine reserve and features a curve of cottages clustered around a waterhole that attracts a wide range of wildlife both day and night. After lunch, take a game drive in the twin Samburu and Buffalo Springs Reserves, which provide one of the few sanctuaries in Kenya for the endangered Grevy's zebra, the rare beisa oryx and the blue-shanked Somali ostrich. Overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
Day 3: On safari in Samburu
Enjoy a full day on safari in Samburu (morning and afternoon game drives). In the evening, enjoy sundowners before dinner in the central dining room. Overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
About the Samburu National Reserve
A place of endless skies, dust-red plains and palm-fringed rivers, Samburu National Reserve lies on the fringes of the vast and arid desert once known as the Northern Frontier District, whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana and beyond. Physically dramatic, the 104 sq km landscape of the Reserve features rocky battlements, craggy scarps, dry riverbeds and fallen boulders rising out of the thorn scrub against a backdrop of the far-distant hills and the great red table mountain known as Ololokwe.
Day 4: Samburu to Mt Kenya (Distance/drive time: 220km / 3 hours)
Leave the lodge after breakfast and travel south along the flanks of Mount Kenya to enter the Serena Mountain Lodge. Sailing like an ark amid the primeval forests of Kenya’s highest mountain, Mount Kenya, this timbered tree hotel offers champagne‐clear mountain air, sweeping views across the tree‐canopy, sparkling trout streams, and gentle forest walks. Cool, tranquil and hushed for optimum game‐sightings, the open‐air viewing‐deck looks down onto its own water hole, which attracts numerous herds of elephant and buffalo. The panoramic tree‐level dining room offers both local and international cuisine, while the central bar offers a blazing fire and its own private game‐viewing terrace. Overnight Serena Mountain Lodge. (BLD)
About Mt Kenya National Park
One of the world’s highest National Parks, Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano some three and a half million years old. Straddling the equator, the mountain offers a unique mosaic of forest, moorland, rock and ice and is crowned by the glittering twin peaks of Batian (5,199 m) and Nelion (5,188 m). The sacred home of Ngai, God of the Kikuyu people, Mount Kenya is Kenya’s highest mountain, a national icon, a climbers’ Mecca, the nation’s namesake, a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, and a wildlife stronghold. Anyone in reasonable health can attempt the steep trek to Point Lenana (4, 985 M), which is the highest point for trekkers. Of the approximately 500 climbers who attempt to scale Nelion each year, around 200 make the summit. Around 50 experienced climbers achieve the summit of Batian annually.
Day 5: Mt Kenya to Lake Nakuru (Distance/drive time: 240 km / 3.5 hours)
After breakfast, drive south to Lake Nakuru National Park in time for a late lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge. In the afternoon enjoy your first glimpse of the Lake's fabled 1.2 million flamingos, perhaps find rhinos grazing on the lakeshore (this park is the nation's largest rhino sanctuary), and arrive back at the Lodge in time for a swim, cocktails and a sumptuous buffet supper. Overnight Lake Nakuru Lodge. (BLD)
About Lake Nakuru
Entitled ‘the greatest bird spectacle on earth' thanks to the millions of fuchsia-pink flamingo that flock to feed on the teeming algae of its alkaline waters, the pink-frosted shores and sky-mirrored waters of Lake Nakuru yield some of the most evocatively beautiful photo-images in Africa. As Kenya's first and largest rhino sanctuary, sightings of both black and white rhino are almost guaranteed, while plentiful waterbuck, warthog, zebra, gazelle and buffalo graze the shoreline. Echoing to the haunting cries of the numerous fish eagles, this is also the park in which you have the best chance of seeing a leopard.
Day 6: Lake Nakuru to the Masai Mara (Distance/drive time: 320 km / 4.5 hours)
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, continue up the floor of Rift to arrive in the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, and at the Masai Mara Sopa Lodge in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy your first game-drive in the Mara. Returning to the lodge, enjoy a swim, relaxation on your private veranda, sundowners at one of the lodge's many bars and dinner in the central restaurant. Overnight Mara Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
About the Masai Mara National Reserve
Offering an abundance of herbivores, the Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya's famous ‘big cats' and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Historically teaming with wildlife, the Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke's hartebeest, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk's dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet; blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax. There are over 550 resident and migratory species of birds.
Day 7: On Safari in the Mara
Spend all day on safari in the reserve with morning and afternoon game drives and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the lodge. When it comes to game-viewing, there is nowhere in Africa richer in wildlife or more eventful in encounters than the Mara. A pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, it promises its visitors a profusion of wildlife, prolific bird life and the unprecedented opportunity of catching up with all the members of the ‘Big Five' in one morning. Overnight Mara Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
Day 8: The Mara to Nairobi to the Kenyan Coast (Distance/drive time: 265 km / 4 hours)
After breakfast at the lodge, drive to Nairobi and take lunch at the world famous Carnivore Restaurant, rated among the top 500 restaurants in the world.This afternoon you will fly to the Kenyan Coast at Mombasa. You are met at Moi airport and transferred to Diani Beach on the South Coast, a vast uninterrupted stretch of white sandy beach, lapped by fascinating opal lagoons. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight Southern Palms Beach Resort. (BLD)
Days 9 - 11: Kenyan Coast
Three days of leisure on the coast to enjoy the white sand beaches or watersports including big game fishing, snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing and water skiing. You will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight on Day 11. Overnight Southern Palms Beach Resort. (3B 2D)
More information from The Safari Partners: