10 days from £3600pp plus international flights.
If you love elephants - and who doesn't - this is a trip which gets you closer to them, and which supports Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi.
This wonderful 10 day safari is focussed on elephants, but certainly not to the exclusion of other wildlife. The specifically elephant-related activities you will enjoy are no fewer than three visits to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (twice at times when the public are not allowed in), and visits to an elephant release site in Tsavo.
In Tsavo you will be staying at a simple camp owned by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, primarily used by people supporting the David Elephant Trust or a related charity, which includes you taking part on this special holiday.
Each day you're here you will visit the nearby Ithumba stockades from where the release of elephants is managed. There is daily mud-bathing for these charges and the younger orphans are bottle fed. Elephants from miles around often come back here to say hello to friends and drink at the waterhole. You really will be in the thick of elephant action here! It will be an amazing experience.
You also stay at Umani Springs, another lodge run by the Sheldricks, which also has elephant stockades you can visit. When you're not ele-watching, you'll have time to enjoy game drives in Tsavo East and Chyulu Hills national parks. You have 4 nights in the Masai Mara and of course plenty of time in Tsavo.
There is only a limited number of departures each year, each with a maximum of 6 places (because the Sheldrick camp in Tsavo is very small) so you need to act quickly if you want to join one of these very special experiences. You won't regret it!
NOTE: Please note that the itinerary for each departure can be slightly different, so do check with us for each specific departure.
You'll be met at Nairobi airport once you've cleared customs, and driven the short distance to Fairview Hotel for your first night in Kenya. This is a modern hotel ha 2 hectares of gardens, perfect for stretching your legs after a long flight. There's also a pool and a wine bar. There are 4 restaurants on site so plenty of choice for your evening meal.
You have time for breakfast before being collected from the hotel at 10.00 for the drive to Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. You meet staff who look after the elephants, and can tell about the different individuals in their care and about the wider work of the orphanage, as well as seeing the elephants. You are driven to the famous Carnivore restaurant for lunch (at own expense), and have a brief stop at a supermarket to pick up any drinks and snacks you may need for the next few days. At around 17:00 you go back to the elephant orphanage, closed to the general public at this hour, making this a very special and exclusive visit. Having spent precious time with the elephants you return to Fairview Hotel. Breakfast, lunch
After breakfast you are met by your driver-guide at the hotel for the journey to Tsavo East, with opportunities for wildlife viewing on the way. Your destination is Ithumba Camp, which belongs to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The accommodation here is simple, but comfy, and this is a self-catering camp but your group includes a chef who provides all meals during your stay. 2 visits to the wallow hole are planned in the afternoon where you can watch elephants, many of them orphans, enjoying mud baths. It's a very uplifting experience sure to leave you with a wide grin on your face! Full board.
You have 2 more days to enjoy elephant fun and frolicks at Ithumba, as they feed and bathe. The older elephants (8 years and over) live in the wild, with the younger ones overnighting in the stockades for extra protection. Interacting with elephants in the wild is a rare privilege and treat. You also have time for game drives with your driver-guide to explore the wider wildlife of the park, which includes giraffe, buffalo, rhino, lion, leopard and cheetah. Full board
Your chef prepares an early breakfast so you can get underway in good time. The drive to Voi Safari Lodge takes several hours and you should in time for lunch, after which there's time to relax and enjoy a swim in the pool. Replete and rested, you set out in the late afternoon to explore the area on a game drive. This includes a visit to a release station for orphaned elephants. Full board
You have a choice of activities today. Visits to the elephants are certain to be high on the list, and you can also enjoy an exciting 4x4 safari with your driver-guide. Time permitting you can drive to Lugard Falls on the Galana River where you can walk to the rapids and enjoy a picnic lunch. Later you return to Voi Safari Lodge to freshen up before dinner. Full board
You're on the move once more. You depart Voi for the conservation area in Kibwezi Forest, operated jointly by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and the Kenya Forest Service, with the active involvement of local communities. It's a heartening example of forest management and education. You have time to observe the flora and fauna, and visit the elephant release station before arriving at Umani Springs, run by the Sheldricks. This is another self-catering property where you can enjoy the culinary creations of your chef. There should be time to see elephants at the nearby stockades this afternoon. Full board
A full day out in then Chyulu Hills National Park is planned for today. This is a scenic area of lush, rolling hills, volcanic craters, forests, wide valleys and panoramic views including the magnificent sight of Mount Kilimanjaro. Resident wildlife includes giraffe, bushbuck, eland, buffalo, leopard and, of course, elephant. Your guide will find a suitable spot where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. The drive back to Umani Springs includes a stop at the stockades to observe the young orphaned elephants. Full board
After breakfast you pack your bags for the drive back to the capital. This will take most of the day, with several stops and wildlife watching en-route. You should arrive in the city in the late afternoon, in time for another private visit to the elephant orphanage. You then have dinner at a local restaurant (at own expense) before you are transferred to the international airport for your overnight flight home. Breakfast
Guide price from (pp sharing): £3600 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing is from £3600. In 2019 the first date available is 1st February. More dates to come, so please ask.
2 nights Fairview Hotel B&B; 3 nights Ithumba Cam FB, 2 nights Voi Safari Lodge FB, 2nts Umani Springs FB; park fees as per itinerary; English-speaking driver/guide on safari; 4x4 safari vehicle; return airport transfers in Nairobi; mineral water on game drives; lunch at Carnivores on day 2; services of a chef at Ithumba Camp and Umani Springs; 3 visits to Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi; Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens on day 7; evacuation insurance
International flights and taxes (we can arrange these); visa; vaccinations; travel insurance; drinks and meals not mentioned; (Note: if you are paying a single supplement this will not apply to Ithumba Camp as there are no single rooms here).
Getting there: This trip departs from Nairobi. Many airlines fly into Nairobi and we can look at flights for you with whatever airline you prefer. As an example, an economy flight with Kenyan Airways will cost from about £700 up to around £1000 in high season.
Departure dates: The price of this trip depends on how many people join the departure. If it is full (6 people) it is £3600. If the group is smaller the price will increase. The single supplement is £220 - but a single room will probably be unlikely at Ithumba due to the lack of tents.
How this holiday helps
African elephants are threatened by ivory poachers, habitat loss and human-elephant conflict. They are a hugely important species in the African ecosystem but are currently classed as ’vulnerable’ due to the vast numbers being lost each year. This trip is for anyone wanting to help conserve these wonderful animals.
The trip not includes you sponsoring your own elephant at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi (which you visit a few times on the trip, including outside of normal public hours), but you can stay at the camps in Tsavo and Chyuklu Hills where Sheldricks release the elephant into the wild. Not many people get this chance!
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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.