(Nairobi, Chyulu Hills, Laikipia, Masai Mara)
Imagine looking out over the bush as the wonders of Africa awaken to the sunrise while you enjoy the tranquility of a morning yoga session.
An intoxicating fusion of cultural experiences, wild safaris, and a whole lot of rejuvenation, this is an all new take on Kenya’s National Parks and exclusive private game reserves. Visit local villages, enjoy safaris by foot, horseback, bike, and 4x4, relax with spa treatments, start the day with a morning yoga session, eat meals under the stars, and receive blessings from the chief of a local Masai tribe. Led by expert private guide, experience the legends of Chyulu Hills, Laikipia, and the Masai Mara. Listen to the rush of the wind as you mountain bike through Ol Donyo in search of lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, and more. Hike through a mist forest in search of leopards lurking in the trees. For those looking for an intense test of endurance, tackle a high altitude, long distance run with the manager of your hotel.
From adrenaline-pumping adventure to complete relaxation in the spa and tribal blessings, this is a safari for mind, body, and soul. Take part in traditional Kenyan customs and ceremonies, visit local homes, and trek through the bush with Masai warriors. Learn the secrets to honey harvesting, soar during an optional hot air balloon flight, head out on a camelback safari, visit a stargazing camp, and so much more. Spend evenings relaxing in exclusive tented camps and lodges that offer an intimate experience with the natural world around you. Don’t be surprised if you have to remind yourself that you’re not dreaming; you’re in Africa.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer to and from the airport.
Daily scheduled "air-taxi" flights between Wilson Airport in Nairobi & Ol Donyo Wuas. Flights depart both in the early morning and mid afternoon.
Join on this exploratory activity on the plains, where you'll bike across the savannahs with an armed guide and enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of adventure. In addition to the tracking and walking associated specifically with wildlife viewing, the Mbirikani Group Ranch features an incredible diversity of habitats. Perhaps the most unique is the high-altitude mist forest, where leopard and rhino lurk, and an incredible amount of biodiversity is present. It is a microcosm, unlike any other area of the ranch. A hike to this area, from the lodge, is very rewarding.
Ol Donyo is one of the most luxurious small lodges in East Africa, set against the slopes of the Chyulu Hill. It presents the perfect setting for an adventurous, yet revitalizing safari experience. Start your mornings with bush yoga practiced on your private veranda, with a view over the open plains. An incredibly unique experience, placing traditional wellness in a contemporary setting. Throughout your day, between safaris by foot, 4x4, and horseback, indulge in your private swimming pool, hot bath, or indoor/outdoor shower. The lodge also offers sublime spa services for those wishing to unwind and relax at the end of a busy day, enjoy expert massages, or other treatments, in the comfort of your own room. Ol Donyo Lodge is a holistic experience not to be missed.
The Chyulu Hills and its diverse ecosystem lend itself perfectly to horseback safaris. From the mist forests, to the open plains, to the dense woodland, a horse navigates the landscape gracefully. To come along for the ride, and experience wildlife on horseback, is an experience not to be missed. Our team of 20 horses – ranging in size, and for different riders – takes you safely through the ranch with excellent prowess. Many people who are familiar with excellent horseback safaris elsewhere in Africa have stated, "This is the best horse riding country in Africa." We take pride in the training and care of our horses and have safaris for all levels. For guests of the lodge, horseback safaris are a full or half-day activity.
Daily flights depart Ol Donyo Wuas at approximately 8:30am and arrive Nairobi at 9:40am The aircraft serving this route is a 10-seater Cessna Caravan.
This morning you'll meet up with your guide and head off to Laikipia. The drive from the urban center of Nairobi, through the fertile highlands, the semi-arid frontier of Kenya is breath-taking and great way to see the countryside. The drive will be about 3 hours.
A representative from your lodge will pick you up and transfer you between the lodge and airstrip.
During your stay at Lemartis Camp you are considered a guest of the local community. You may find that you develop a special friendship with one of our staff who invites you to see his homestead and visit with his family. You will be in invited to attend any ongoing ceremonies as well as partake in activities such as the hunter gatherer (Ndorobo) and methods of honey harvesting from local bee hives hung in trees along the river. Should your stay fall on local market day, this is a wonderful visit.
Days can get hot, so most activities are planned for early to mid morning and then again mid afternoon. Lemartis Camp places its emphasis on walking in the bush as the indigenous people do. You will walk with warriors, safe in their care and actually be in the African bush rather than simply observing it from a vehicle. Whilst walking your guides have a breadth of knowledge to share with you; tracks and signs of wildlife, flora and fauna, as well as a vast knowledge of traditional herbal medicine. Every walk comes with its own surprises, and depending on the season there is a varied amount of wildlife in the area.
Activities on site include walking safaris with local warriors and camel safaris. For the very energetic enjoy mountain biking to local markets. For the exceptionally well trained and fit there is high altitude running with the lodge manager, Lemarti. Being a good rift valley Kenyan, Lemarti is a keen runner, tackling fast and long distances at high altitude. Anyone wishing to join, good luck!
Aside from the many activities, enjoy peaceful sunset on top of some beautiful rock outcroppings or under a tree with spectacular views. Here the focus is on nature, on the local tribes and rare glimpse into a more simple life. Enjoy walking, driving or camel safari. Bush breakfast, picnics or dinner under the stars. For those who want to spend the night out, enjoy the Nomadic and Stargazing camps. Nothing at Lemartis Camp is staged in anyway.
When relaxing in camp there is always plenty going on. First and foremost, the area is an ornithological paradise. The river and its abundant trees offer an oasis in the semi-arid landscape, so bird life is exceptional. When in the mess your hosts and staff of the camp are usually paying “Mbao’ (a traditional board game, which is exciting to learn). There are often other spontaneous games and competitions amongst the warriors, anything from spear throwing to games played by the fire that reduce everyone to fits of laughter. Here the focus is interactive as you get to know the local communities, wildlife, fauna and tribes.
Enjoy this short flight departing Loisaba, Laikipia and arriving in Masai Mara, Kenya today. The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes.
Head out in the afternoon on a game drive with others at the lodge. Drives typically head out around 4 p.m. when the game is becoming more active and emerging out from shade as the hot sun descends. See if you can spot a herd of elephants as they approach watering holes and rivers to cool down with a drink and mud bath.
Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today. When pregnant, an elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth, an elephant calf typically weighs 105 kilograms (230 lb)!! They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete. Aristotle once said the elephant was "the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind." The word "elephant" has its origins in the Greek word ἐλέφας, meaning "ivory" or "elephant". Today African elephants are the largest of their species. Healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, although lions may take calves or weak individuals. They are, however, threatened by human intrusion and poaching.
Today you will set out on the early morning game drive with your expert guide from your lodge. The Masai Mara Park will offer you a diverse range of animals. The park is home to the Big Five (Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard) and numerous other antelopes including Thomson's and Grant's Gazelles, Impalas, Topics, Hartebeest, Zebra and Masai Giraffe. It's also home to over 450 species of birdlife; among them are vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles and African pygmy-falcons.
Sign up for optional activities (not included in tour price); guided nature walk, hot air balloon ride, cultural tours and more. You can also arrange to volunteer for the day at Mara West and pay any associated fees directly on-site. Volunteer activities range from individual to community projects.
This afternoon's game viewing will be exciting as you are searching for game with your guide and others from the lodge. Today keep your eyes open for giraffe.
The giraffe is the tallest living terrestrial animal in the world. Its specific name refers to its camel-like face and patches of color on a light background, which bears a vague resemblance to a leopard's spots. The giraffe is also noted for its extremely long neck and legs and prominent horns. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 f) tall and has an average weight of 1,200 kg (2,600 lb) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb) for females. The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia trees, which are important food sources, and can browse at heights that most other herbivores cannot reach. While adults are nearly invulnerable to predation, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and wild dogs prey on baby calves. Giraffes commonly gather together to eat or socialize for a few hours and then roam off to graze separately. Males establish social hierarchies through "neckings," which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon and they butt their necks against each other. Dominant males gain mating access to females, who bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.
Early this morning you will meet up with others at the lodge for your game drive. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30 a.m. for a few hours. See if you can spot the elusive leopard.
The smallest of the four "big cats," the leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now chiefly found in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a "Near Threatened" species. Compared to other members of the Felidae family, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. The species' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth. The leopard consumes virtually any animal that it can hunt down and catch. These stealthy animals are one of the prized sightings you may see in Masai Mara.
Maasai culture is an important and deep-rooted part of any visit to Cottars Camp. The Camp maintains close ties to the neighboring Maasai community, and a stay at Cottars provides guests with insight into this unique and vibrant society. Through Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust, the camp has been able to assist in various successful projects. During your stay, you can visit the local market and shop for beadwork and traditional handicrafts. The Cottar's do not believe in owning large tracks of land in Africa, but rather manage land on behalf of the Maasai community partners, and this makes for an enriching safari experience.
Your expert guide will meet you and other guests at your lodge for an afternoon game viewing drive in and around Masai Mara. See if you can spot lions in the park today. Lions live for 10-14 years in the wild. They typically inhabit savannah and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together. Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats, 3 of which are found in Africa - lion, leopard, cheetah. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, lions are the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Until about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from Western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. However, the lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of thirty to fifty percent over the past two decades in its African range. Outside of designated reserves and national parks, you will rarely, if ever, see a lion. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Reserves have helped to boost the lion population and help to bring back their numbers.
This short domestic flight departs from Masai Mara and arrives at Wilson Airport in Nairoba, Kenya today. The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes. On all services, the luggage allowance is 15 kilos in soft bags. This allowance shall include all hand baggage.
Stop by Palacina's Moonflower Restaurant and Lounge for a three-course a'la carte meal. Take advantage of the free wireless internet connection and lounge before catching your flight tonight. Consistently rated among the top dining establishments in Nairobi, The Moonflower embodies the finest of Kenyan cuisine & hospitality. The subtle fusion of Mediterranean & Swahili cultures is evident in the contemporary menu featuring the very best of Kenyan produce. The Moonflower is a 50-seat a' la Carte restaurant featuring a live Jazz band as well as background Jazz music. You will receive a transfer to the airport after dinner.
The Fairmont Norfolk Hotel is situated in the centre of the bustling city of Nairobi, in Kenya, and has grown over time with the city. Surrounded by private tropical gardens, the 165 guest rooms and suites are comfortable and with all the necessities of home. Dining is offered at a number of onsite restaurants, and the breakfast buffet is especially delightful. Spend some time getting to know the city, and then escape to the tranquility of the hotel. At your pleasure enjoy the wonderful swimming pool facilities, the health club and a relaxing spa.
Ol Donyo Lodge is located in one of the most spectacular and scenic locations in all of East Africa, with Mount Kilimanjaro visible from end-to-end, the 275, 000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch offers the Amboseli National Park experience without the crowds, and in utter privacy. Imagine traveling across the archetypal savannahs of East Africa in an open 4x4 guided by the best professional guides, or feeling the rhythm of Africa beneath your feet as you walk with expert trackers, or horseback riding with Mt. Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. Explore this paradise and return to one of the most luxurious small lodges in East Africa where a hot bath or shower, a private swimming pool wait – all with inspiring views of Africa – plus delicious food, charming hosts and world-class service. Does this sound like fantasy? It is real and it is called… Ol Donyo Wuas.
Lemarti’s Camp is in an oasis surrounded by palm groves and fig trees, and run by Samburu and Maasai tribesmen. The five large and luxurious tents are located on platforms overlooking a river bend and were designed and furnished by interior designer Anna Trzebinski. The tents have huge en suite bathrooms with bucket showers and old colonial-style bathtubs.
Cottar’s Camp is an intimate family built camp located in a private reserve near the Masai Mara National Park, in Kenya. With eighty years of Safari service, the Cottar family leads you by the hand in exploring this diverse landscape. The camp provides tents guests in a relaxing setting built with a 1920's antique charm. Dining consists of local bush cuisine, often taken beside the waterfalls or on game drives. The outdoor veranda offers a stunning view of the surroundings and the opportunity to take a bush bath and perhaps a massage on the doorstep of this backdrop is swoon-worthy. This area has been untouched by any kind of tourism and offers privacy and an abundance of wildlife.
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
Justin Yax ,
April 21, 2014
"Once again, a perfect trip. From Elizabeth's planning to Godfrey's guiding, we could not have asked for a more thorough and well planned safari. I can't wait to come back and do it again, this time with a Kilimanjaro climb added onto the trip!"
Nancy Frierson ,
April 21, 2014
"The entire trip was superb - all the transfers, the lodging and the food, the safari experience and the knowledgeable guides. The guide's ability to spot an animal and identify it at a great distance allowed us to see and photograph all the animals on our list and then some. The lodgings were even better than we had hoped and the staff could not possibly have been better. Our trip of a lifetime turned out to be just that."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - the best gift of all!
Ebony Hoskins ,
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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