Highlights of Kenya
An 11-day Exploration of Kenya's Diverse Parks & Wildlife
Kenya is the birthplace of the safari and on this private 11-day journey, you'll experience the safari tradition along with abundant wildlife in spectacular settings.
Your adventure begins in Amboseli National Park at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. The mountain dominates every aspect of the park and you can get the best views of the snow-capped peak from Amboseli. With an excellent variety of wildlife, Amboseli is a great place to get close to large herds of elephant. You'll return back north to Aberdare National Park in central Kenya. Along with mountainous scenery and forested landscape cut by deep ravines and crystal-clear streams, the Aberdare's are a good place to see rhinos, antelopes, various primates, and 250 species of birds.
Continue to the Samburu National Reserve, an arid region with rare species such as the reticulated giraffe and long necked gerenuk. You'll also witness colorful Samburu herders bringing their cattle to the river. Sitting in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park is your next stop. The lake is home to flamingos, hippos, buffalo, and many types of birds.
Finally, your journey concludes with a visit to the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, one of Africa's greatest wildlife refuges. Game viewing is spectacular year-round but after the rains, millions of wildebeest arrive for the fresh grazing. Large prides of lions, elephants, giraffes, and cheetah can all be spotted in the reserve.
This is a sample itinerary and we're happy to work with you to customize this safari to your interests and budget. Please contact us with any questions.
Days 1-2 | Amboseli National Park | Ol Tukai Lodge
On arrival in Narirobi, you will be met by your driver guide. After a short safari briefing, you will head straight out on safari towards Amboseli National Park arriving at the Amboseli Ol Tukai Lodge in time for a late lunch. Amboseli National Park lies at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340ft). The mountain dominates every aspect of the park and you can get the best views of its snow-capped peak from Amboseli. The parks fragile ecosystem supports a variety of game and is famous for its large herds of elephant. Swamps and springs, fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro’s melting snow, offer a watering place for the wildlife and birds during the dry season. There is plenty to do, including game viewing, walking, visit a Maasai village or visit the Amboseli Research Center, the longest study of wild elephants in the world. Writers have described Ol Tukai and the surrounding Amboseli National Park as 'a home for the gods’. A place of rugged beauty, abundant water, lush green grass and forest, set like an oasis in the surrounding savannah shrubland. To crown it all, this is where you get one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights –dawn breaks and the sunsets over the 19,000-foot snow-capped dome of Africa’s highest mountain!
Located in the heart of the Amboseli National Park and offering stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Ol Tukai Lodge Amboseli offers a pool, restaurant and guest lounge. It is is one of the best spots in the world to watch elephants with the backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount KilimanjaroElegantly furnished and well-appointed, all rooms have fans and mosquito nets and offer great views of Mount Kilimanjaro or the wetlands. With luck, guests can view elephants from the comfort of their own terrace. Ol Tukai Lodge Amboseli offers a restaurant and 2 bars for snacks and drinks. The dining room opens onto a veranda in the garden. Overnights at Ol Tukai Lodge (Full Board)
Day 3 | Aberdare National Park | The Ark Lodge Tree Hotel
After an early breakfast, you will check out and head off North towards Mt Kenya. A UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, Mount Kenya was formed some three and half million years ago and is considered sacred by the Kikuyu people, who believe it is the abode of their god Ngai. You will arrive at Aberdare Country Club, the base hotel for the Ark, where you will have lunch before proceeding to the Ark located inside the park.
Aberdare National Park, with an area of 767 Km2 covers the higher areas of the Aberdare Mountain Ranges of Central Kenya. The scenery is quite diverse with deep ravines cutting through the forested eastern and western slopes. Animals easily observed in the park include the Black Rhino, leopard, baboon, black and white Colobus monkeys and Sykes. Rarer sightings include lions, the golden cat and the bongo, an elusive forest antelope that lives in the bamboo forest. You will arrive at the tree hotel with only a small overnight bag - having deposited your main luggage at the base hotel. The afternoon is spent comfortably watching the stream of animals that come to the floodlit waterhole and salt lick. The smaller animals will come earlier, perhaps to avoid larger animals that come later and throw their weight around, particularly the elephant. The Ark (Full Board)
Days 4-5 | Samburu National Reserve | Elephant Bedroom
This morning after breakfast, drive to the Northern area of Samburu arriving at your lodge in time for a late lunch. As you enter the reserve, you will be able to see two beautiful mountains, Koitogor and Ololokwe, which form the perfect background to your safari. You will arrive at Elephant Bedroom in the late afternoon and enjoy your lunch before you a short briefing at the reception and check in into your rooms. Thereafter, familiarize yourself with the lodge that has been inspired by the architecture of the indigenous Samburu tribe and blends into its natural environment by making full use of the local building materials.
In the evening, jump into your safari vehicle for a game drive in the reserve. Samburu National Reserve is situated alongside the Ewaso Nyiro River which attracts plenty of animals from the surrounding plains and various other habitats such as acacia, river forest, thorn trees and grasslands. The reserve spans over 165 square kilometers of spectacularly scenic landscape featuring rugged hills, undulating plains and riverine forests. The park is home to abundant wildlife including a variety of rare species such as the reticulated giraffe, the long necked gerenuk, Somali ostrich, Grevy's Zebra and Beisa Oryx. Visitors can enjoy viewing over 900 elephants, a variety of predators, and over 450 bird species. Large herds of elephants, buffalo and frequent spotting of big cats form part of the reserve’s large and diverse wildlife population. You will also be privileged to see the red –robed Samburu tribesmen bringing their cattle down to the river to drink. The lives of the Samburu like the Masai are centered on their livestock, their traditional source of wealth. After initiation, boys become morans and it becomes their job to protect both the humans and the livestock from predators.
On Day 5 continue with your game drive through this wildlife rich reserve, watch out for the unique species only found north of the equator which include the helmeted guinea fowl, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra and Beisa oryx. Seek relief from the hot African sun back at the lodge where you will spend the remainder of afternoon relaxing. As the day cools, you can return to the reserve for one last game drive and enjoy a sundowner at a beautiful location, before returning to Samburu Lodge for an opulent dinner before retiring to your room.
Set on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve surrounded by doum palms and other beautiful indigenous trees and shrubs sits The Elephant Bedroom. this small and exclusive camp has only 12 luxury tents - all furnished in rustic African style while offering all the comforts expected of a luxury camp (hot & cold running water, electricity and herbal products). Overnight at Elephant Bedroom (Full Board)
Days 6-7 | Lake Nakuru National Park | Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge
After a hearty breakfast, you will leave the unique species and landscapes of Samburu behind you as you set out to one of the great Rift Valley Lakes. You will arrive at the park entrance of Lake Nakuru National Park in the late afternoon and after clearing paper work, you will head straight to the Lodge for Lunch. Late in the afternoon you will go for a game drive in the park. The lake is situated in the middle of the national park to which it gives its name. Teeming with wildlife the park has so much to offer. Lions, buffaloes as well as many rhinos call this corner of Kenya home and a game drive around the park is always rewarding. If you are lucky you may even spot a leopard relaxing in a tree beside the lake.
Located in the Great Rift Valley surrounded by yellow acacia woodlands and bushy shrublands, the Lake Nakuru National Park was created to protect the Lake and its large flocks of Lesser Flamingo, which are drawn to the algae that flourish in the saline waters of this soda lake. The national park is inhabited by over 50 mammal species including hippo, black and white rhino, Rothschild giraffe, buffalo and eland. Known as a bird watcher’s paradise, the park is home to over 450 bird species. Visitors can look forward to hiking through the scenic landscape, picnicking next to this magnificent lake, and spotting an array of wildlife on a game drive. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Makalia Waterfall.
Day 7 will be spent in the park with morning and afternoon game viewing drives. Lake Nakuru National Park is a world heritage site renowned for its amazing birdlife, with over 450 bird species. The waters of the lake also draw a great variety of game to its shores and the picturesque landscape of marshes, woodland, grassland and large euphorbia forests. The Park boasts a rhino sanctuary and regular sightings of the elusive leopard. After a game-packed game drive, you will drive back to the Lodge in time to enjoy the sun set over the lake, before sitting down for dinner and toasting to the day’s adventures.
The Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge is 20km from the park main gate and 15 minute’s drive from Naishi airstrip. Lodge accommodation consist of 60 rooms which include 2 inter-connecting rooms, 2 rooms accessible on wheel chair. Rooms are grouped into single, twin or triple rooms. All rooms have a clear view of the lake and you are able to view the sun rise from the balcony. All rooms have safe box, tea and coffee making facilities, mini bar is stocked on request and telephone extensions are also provided in all rooms. Overnight at Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge (Full Board)
Days 8-10 | Masai Mara National Reserve | Ilkeliani Camp
After breakfast drive across the Mara plains in search of the big five and other plains game or engage in the optional activities on offer at the Masai Mara. The early mornings are one of the best times to view the animals as this is when they are their most active before the heat of the day sets in. After a mid-morning of relaxation and lunch, head out into the reserve for a chance to tick off some more animals on your “must see” list. Keep your eyes peeled as you hunt for the last members on your list. Visit the Mara River and ask your guide to show you the regular river crossing routes.
No trip to Kenya would be complete without a visit to the Masai Mara Reserve - the jewel in Kenya`s crown. is iconic game reserve is Kenya’s biggest draw card, instantly recognizable from films and nature documentaries, with its vast open plains and large herds of animals which can be found here. The Mara connects with Tanzania's Serengeti Park and they share a similar ecosystem. At the right time of year the huge wildebeest and zebra herds cross the Mara River and fill the endless plains of the Reserve.
Ilkeliani Camp is nestled in a river glade in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and the area is a favorite for elephants coming to drink from the Talek River. The camp has been designed to combine the old traditional safari style with a modern and fresh feel. Ilkeliani Camp offers only 17 tents and each commanding views of the plains and the wildlife action throughout the day. It is a permanent camp designed along ecofriendly principles. The ethos is to leave a minimum foot print on nature. Each well-equipped tents are stylish with en suite bathroom. They are sited under its own cluster of shady indigenous trees and you do feel that you are out in the wilderness. The interiors are spacious and comfortable featuring a front verandah with a day bed and canvas safari chairs. Home cooked meals combined with personal service contribute to an unforgettable safari experience. Overnights Ileliani Camp (Full Board)
Day 11 | Return to Nairobi
After breakfast and check out, you will be driven back to Nairobi, stopping beside the Rift Valley for one last photo opportunity. After lunch at the aptly named Carnivore Restaurant, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) for your outbound travel.
End of Services
As our Highlights of Kenya is a private, tailor-made safari, there are no specific departure dates. Just let us know your potential travel dates and we will check on availability of all services.
PAYMENT: A non-refundable, 20% deposit is required within 7 days of receipt of invoice to confirm booking. Balance is due 45 days before departure. If booking is within 45 days of departure date, entire balance is due upon receipt of invoice.
Other terms & conditions apply.
- Full board accommodation while on safari
- Transfers to and from the airport
- A safari briefing at the start
- All game drives and site seeing as per the itinerary in private safari minibus driven by a professional English speaking guide Excursions and scheduled activities as per the itinerary
- Park Entrance fees throughout
- Lunch on last day
- Flying doctors medical evacuation cover
- 1 liter of water per person per day while in an safari vehicle
- Current Government taxes and levies
- International Airfares
- International and domestic departure tax
- Laundry services
- Meals and excursions not described in the itinerary above
- Entry Visas to the country
- Travel and health insurance
- Balloon flight in the Masai Mara (additional charge USD450 per person)
- Any optional tours or excursions not mentioned in the itinerary above
- Gratuities (tips) to your guide, hotel staff and porters
- Any other items of a personal nature, such as drinks, laundry, telephone and postage.
*Rate is per person sharing based on 4 guests. Contact us for rates with 2 or 6 guests. Single supplement applies
Length: 11 days/10 nights
Route: Starts & ends in Nairobi.