10 days from £3050pp plus international flights.
This holiday makes an ideal introduction to Kenya, taking in iconic destinations, travelling through stunning scenery and spending days on safari, all in the company of your personal driver-guide, whose skill and knowledge is a real asset and helps you gain a genuine insight into the flora, fauna and people of the country.
Your first safari is in Amboseli, home to large herds of elephants. You can't help but enjoy watching the family groups, set against the magnificent backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. What better way to begin your foray into the wonders of Kenya? Next you head to Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park. This lodge has an undeniable cache: it was here that Princess Elizabeth became queen on the death of her father in 1952. The lodge overlooks a waterhole, floodlit at night, attracting a parade of game.
Swap savanna for lakes as you head to the Rift Valley, observing huge numbers of pink flamingos and an abundance of other water birds, as well as both black and white rhino and the rare Rothschild giraffe in Lake Nakuru National Park. You spend a day at Lake Bogoria, another flamingo hot spot, where you can also witness spouting water geysers and bubbling hot springs.
Finally, and arguably saving the best till last, you enter Masai Mara Game Reserve, one of the most famous safari locations on the globe. This is a great place to see all of the Big 5: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino, large herds of plains game plus much more. You have 2 entire days to enjoy its riches and it makes a fittingly splendid finale to your holiday.
This holiday involves some lengthy drives, but these help you appreciate the scale of the country and let you view the changing landscapes. You have your own private 4 x 4 vehicle and driver, with plenty of stops on the way. Travelling by road, as opposed to flying, and using relatively simple but perfectly adequate accommodation, help make this trip excellent value for money.
If your holiday time allows, you can add a beach stay to round off your holiday and enjoy the classic safari and beach combination.
Your flight arrives in Nairobi, where you are met by a local representative and transferred the short distance to your first night hotel. Unwind for the remainder of the day, maybe going for a swim in the pool and checking out the bars and restaurants, all the while full of excitement for the days to come.
After breakfast you are collected by your driver-guide who will be with you for the duration of your holiday. The first stage of your journey takes you south to Amboseli a drive of around 4.5 hours, with stops en-route to stretch your legs. You stop for lunch at Sopa Lodge, where you can enjoy superb views of Mount Kilimanjaro, then resume the journey, keeping a sharp lookout for wildlife, and arrive at Amboseli Serena Lodge, where you spend the next 2 nights. You dine at the lodge tonight and should aim to get a good night's sleep to be up early for your morning safari. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Rise promptly, early morning is one of the best times for wildlife viewing, and your efforts could be rewarded with some excellent sightings. Amboseli National Park is famed for its herds of elephants, and is also home to populations of giraffe, zebra, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah, making for a fascinating and varied safari. You return to the lodge for lunch and a siesta, and, fortified by afternoon tea, you set out again in the 4 x 4 for more safari magic. Alternatively, you can opt for a full day safari with a picnic lunch. Either way, your guide's expertise is a great asset and by the time you arrive back at the lodge you should have encountered a wide range of wildlife and have a greater understanding of the African bush. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Enjoy breakfast at Amboseli Serena and then join your drive-guide for the journey north to Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park. Driving time is around 6 hours, but you should see aspects of Kenyan life on the way, and there is a picnic lunch for you to enjoy en-route. On arrival at Treetops Lodge you can wash away the dust with a shower then head to the lounge for a drink before dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Following breakfast at Treetops you are on the move again. Your destination today is Sunbird Lodge in the Great Rift Valley. You should arrive by lunchtime as the drive takes about 4 hours. Enjoy lunch while taking in the far-reaching views of Lake Elementaita and the Soysambu Conservancy. This afternoon you have a game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is a chance to see both black and white rhinos here, as well as buffalo, zebra and giraffe, and of course flamingos and other aquatic birds on the lake. Return to the lodge for dinner. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
A full day excursion to Lake Bogoria is planned for today. This is a protected wetland area and the saline lake is known for its large flocks of lesser flamingos and attracts plenty of other bird species so ornithologists will be in their element. Though birds are the main draw, during your safari you may also observe greater kudu, impala, zebra and buffalo. This area is rich in geothermal activity with geysers and hot springs much in evidence. Your trip includes a stop to enjoy your packed lunch, and, as ever, you can liaise with your driver-guide to make sure you see all that you want to. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
This morning you are on the move, now heading to the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. Driving time is approximately 4.5 hours, though there are stops en-route and you are sure to pause to admire the scenery. On arrival at Ilkeliani Camp, literally across the river from the national park. You sit down to lunch as you anticipate the afternoon's safari, certain to be packed full of memorable encounters. On your return there's time for a shower and change of clothes before you join other guests by the campfire for sundowner drinks. Dinner is an atmospheric meal eaten by candlelight, as you listen to the sounds of the bush around you, and afterwards an askari (Maasai guide) escorts you back to your tent. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
The Masai Mara is prolific in wildlife year-round and a Big 5 destination, with the added bonus of the wildebeest migration from July to October. At all times of year plains game is plentiful, with excellent chances of seeing zebra and giraffe, plus pursuant predators including lion, cheetah, hyena. Elephant, buffalo and rhino are often seen, and hippo and crocodile are present in the rivers. Birds are abundant, too, with over 550 species on record. All in all, there is plenty to keep you busy on your morning and afternoon drives and by the end of the day you'll understand why this is such a famous safari destination. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
A second full day to enjoy in Masai Mara Game Reserve. You might want to search for a specific species, or sighting. Liaise with your driver-guide to make the best use of your time, maybe electing to spend the full day out on safari and taking in different locations such as the Mara River or Musiara Marsh for a change of scene. With your driver at your disposal there are lots of options. Later, back in camp sitting round the campfire you can recount your favourite moments and exchange stories with fellow travellers as you relax. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Savour breakfast in camp before packing your bags for the drive back to Nairobi. This takes in the region of 5 hours. On arrival in the city you are taken to the airport to check in for your onward flight. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £3050 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2019 guide price pp for 2 sharing: Jul – 15 Oct 2019 from £3525. 16 – 31 Oct 2019 from £3150. Nov – 14 Dec 2019 from £3050.
9 nights twin share accommodation, transport in a 4x4 Land Cruiser with peronal driver-guide throughout, meals shown as included, game drives as per the itinerary, park fees as per the itinerary, flying doctor fees
International flights and taxes, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, meals not shown as included, drinks, optional excursions, personal expenditure, tips
This holiday begins and ends in Nairobi. Return international flights from the UK start from around £750 per person depending on season and availability. We are ATOL-bonded and can book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a tailormade holiday that can begin on the day of your choice, subject to availability
A large lodge set in Amboseli National Park against the backdrop of Kilimanjaro.
A pleasant modern hotel near the international airport with a choice of restaurants and an outdoor swimming pool.
A traditional tented safari tent perfectly located for safaris in the Masai Mara, with chances for nature walks, village visits and balloon rides too.
A small, friendly lodge at Lake Elementaita, 20 minutes from Lake Nakuru in Kenya's Rift Valley.
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Find the best time to visit Kenya
Time: GMT +3 hours
Flight time: Flights from Europe to Nairobi take about 9 hours direct.
Language: Kiswahili and English are the official languages.
Visas: Visas are required for European passport holders.
Health: Malaria is present in most of the country. No vaccinations are compulsory, except yellow fever if coming from an infected area.