(Nairobi, Samburu, Laikipia, Naivasha, Masai Mara, Amboseli)
A fusion of the finest game parks in Kenya and Tanzania, this tour offers unparalleled wildlife viewing in the classic safari style, with evening relaxation at traditional tented safari camps. A trip of contrasts, from the desertscape of Samburu national park to the hills of Laikipia, the lakes of Nakuru and Naivasha and the savannah of Masai Mara, the vast Serengeti and fabled Ngorongoro, to finish with Amboseli's views of Mt Kilimanjaro. This trip showcases the abundance and incredible extremes of Kenya and Tanzania. Photographers will revel in the stark lighting and great wildlife shots in Samburu. Enjoy a luxury tented safari experience at Sweetwaters camp in Laikipia, where you can visit Kenya's only chimpanzee sanctuary. The hippos of Lake Naivasha or the Rhinos of Nakuru. continue onwards to the world's top game park, Masai Mara, famous for its plains of predator and prey, and the annual wildebeest migration. Travel to the Serengeti which offers the most diverse game-viewing in Africa. Explore the Ngorongoro Crater, a Natural Wonder of the World, packed with herds of zebra, buffalo, antelope and wildebeest. Journey through Amboseli, known for its stunning views of Kilimanjaro and large elephant herds, before heading back to Nairobi.
In the unfortunate event of serious illness or injury, all travellers are covered by this “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance policy 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.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer to & from the airport.
The Country Lodge Nairobi is owned and operated by the Fairview Hotel Group and provides guests with excellent accommodations options at a very reasonable price. The property is located in the Upper-hill neighbourhood of Nairobi, an area of the city that is rather lively, boasting a number of picturesque gardens, ethnically inspired restaurants and a wide range of activities. Guests at the Country Lodge can be assured that they will have a safe, clean and quiet place to rest their head during their stay in Nairobi. Throughout the hotel a wireless Internet connection is made available for usage. Guest will always wake up to a quality, hot breakfast before heading out to explore this dynamic Kenyan capital city.
This morning you'll meet up with your guide and head off to Samburu National park. The drive from the urban center of Nairobi, through the fertile highlands, the semi-arid frontier of Kenya is breath-taking and a great way to see the countryside. The drive will be about 5 to 6 hours.
Your skilled guide will take you on an afternoon game-viewing drive through the sandy Samburu desert region.
Samburu Simba Lodge is a relatively new lodge, situated in the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, part of the larger Samburu system. Removed from the beaten path of topical tourist circuit, the lodge is ideally located on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River, the lifeblood of this arid area. All rooms and central areas have views of the river and the nearby waterhole, where large herds of elephants and other wildlife come to drink. The lodge has two luxury swimming pools, a restaurant and bar, curio shop and expansive conference facilities. Enjoy unobstructed views of game along the river banks and the waterhole from either your room terraces, at the lodge, or from restaurant.
Early this morning you'll meet up with your guide for your game drive. One of the amazing things about Samburu is that you'll most likely see species that are unique to this region. The Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi), also known as the imperial zebra, is the largest species of zebra. It is found in the Samburu area as well as parts of Ethiopia. Compared to other zebras, it is taller, has larger ears, and its stripes are narrower. Grévy's zebra is considered endangered, partly due to hunting for its skin, which fetches a high price on the world market. It also suffers habitat destruction, human disturbances at water holes and competition with domestic grazing animals. There are estimated to be 17.000 Grévy's zebra still living in the wild. With luck, you'll see some today!
Another species unique to the Samburu region is the gerenuk. With luck, you'll see some while on your game drive. It's amazing to watch them stand on their hind legs to eat! The gerenuk (also known as Waller's gazelle) is a long-necked species of antelope found in dry bushy shrub and steppe in East Africa. The word gerenuk comes from the Somali language, meaning “giraffe-necked”, and leads to its other common name, the giraffe-necked antelope.
This morning you will leave Samburu and drive to Laikipia. Along the way you will see amazing scenery as you drive through rural Kenya, spot Samburu villages and more as you drive. This drive takes about 2 hours.
You will have the option of visiting the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary today. The sanctuary is the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen.
The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened in 1993 in a negotiated agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute. Here the animals are carefully nursed back to health and integrated into families. The chimpanzees live in two large groups separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River. Watch them romp and play, visit the local shop, or even sponsor a chimp!
Visitors to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy have free access to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, which is open daily from 9:00am to 10:30am and 3pm to 4:30pm.
A sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Tented Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and safari luxury. Located on the plains of Mount Kenya, the camp features39 luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The central Rhino Restaurant is housed in the former manager's house of this once colonial farm, and offers both regional and international cuisine. Also within the house is the Kashoggi Bar and lounge, which centres on a blazing log fire. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game-viewing hide, overlooks the waterhole and offers unrivalled wildlife-watching.
Your guide will drive you from Laikipia to Lake Naivasha, through the rift valley. This drive will take about 5 hours.
Sign up for optional activities on-site. Activities include Crescent Island boat tour, hiking and day trip excursions to Mt Longonot and Hell's Gate, or simply walk along the lakeshore and relax at your lodge.
*Activity fees vary and are paid on-site to the lodge and/or park authority.
Like an African castle in the sky, Sopa Lodge Naivasha spins wondrous safaris from natural treasures below the golden Kenyan sun. It is situated on the southern shores of Naivasha, the largest freshwater lake in the Great Rift Valley. Let this dazzling resort of 21 cottages prepare you for mouth-dropping silence. Feast on the succulent meats and preparations of the hotel’s talented chefs. Allow your eyes to indulge in the scenery and wildlife that draws so many to visit this hotel, built for open views of nature’s activities at their most untouched. Make sure to wander around the compound. You will be enchanted by the fine architecture, cathedral ceilings, and grand windows. Stroll around the gardens, and take a swim. It’s hard to leave this heavenly escape.
Your guide will drive you from Naivasha to Masai Mara. This drive will take about 5 to 6 hours. Drive times may be longer in the rainy season (April to early May and November). Stop for refreshments and souvenir shopping at roadside stands along the way or head straight to the park. Enjoy game viewing as you enter Masai Mara and drive to your camp.
Head out this afternoon, accompanied by an experience tracker-guide, on an exciting game viewing adventure. Search some of the area`s wildlife hot-spots determined by your guide, as they`ve learned and now understand the games daily routines through tracking. Some wildlife is more difficult than others to spot, for instance the Leopard. These spotted cats blends almost seamlessly into the tall grass and shrubbery, and are even more challenging to spot up in their favorite hangout, the trees. Your guide will take you to nearby watering holes, where on a hot day, you`ll spot many bird and wildlife species, including the elusive Leopard.
Perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve giving, Mara West, tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion. This is the authentic Out of Africa experience where much of the original film itself was filmed & produced. The camp borders the remote and beautiful western edge of Masai Mara National Reserve. Kensington Mara West provides nature lovers with deluxe accommodations while experiencing the sights and sounds of an unforgettable African safari. Tents offer rustic charm surrounded by grassy fields. Chalets are perched in secluded spots on an escarpment edge overlooking the vast plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, giving tremendous views and a sense of private exclusion.
The famed Masai Mara Game Reserve was named after the indigenous inhabitants of this land, the Maasai, and the provider of life to the area, the Mara River. Game viewing is almost guaranteed at some point along the Mara River, and your experienced tracker-guide will know all the best spots to go to maximize this chance to see some of the many bird and wildlife species here. Have your camera handy, as some amazing photo opportunities will present themselves from elephants on the river banks to hippos in shallow water.
On today’s afternoon game drive the choice is up to you: search for the Big 5 or expand your horizons to discover something different. Masai Mara not only has a rich mix of animals – it also has an incredible array of bird life with almost 450 different species.
Just like the local wildlife, you`ll head out bright and early this morning, alongside an experienced tracker-guide for the day’s first game drive. The eco-diversity and sheer size of the Masai Mara Game Reserve provides the necessary requirements to house a wide range of animal species. The most recognized are known worldwide as the African Big 5 which includes the African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhinoceros, Leopard, and the King of the beasts, the Lion. The term Big 5 was coined by big-game hunters as these species were the most difficult and dangerous to track and hunt. Subsequently the term was adopted by the tourism industry for marketing purpose, spinning a web of positivity opposed to the negative effect portrait by the original terminology. Numerous other species of bird and wildlife inhabit this dynamic location including Hyenas, Gazelles, Impalas, Giraffes, Zebras, Vultures, Cranes, Eagles, Falcons, and Ostriches.
You`ll depart the Masai Mara Game Reserve today in a privately driven vehicle with guide and travel towards the Isebania border crossing. Upon your arrival, your guide will arrange the necessary documentation for your entry into Tanzania.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please be aware that for portions of this LONG drive, specifically through Kenya, the road may be unfinished and rather rough. Upon entry into Tanzania, you`ll notice an improvement in stability and comfort as roadway heading toward the Serengeti National Park is newly paved. The approximate travel time can range between 6 to 9 hours depending on road conditions, traffic and weather.
When traveling across the Kenyan-Tanzanian border a few things must occur. Upon arrival to the Isebania Border Crossing, you will switch vehicles and guides according to the country you`ll be entering. You will be required to purchase a Visa; for Kenya it’s a per person cost of 50$ USD, for Tanzania it`s a per person cost of 100$ USD for American Citizens and 50$ USD for all other Nationalities.
Please Note: Visas must be paid in USD, and in CASH. No bills can be older than 2006 as a local counterfeiting safeguard. A Single entry Visa is valid for 3 months and can be used for multiple entries into Kenya and Tanzania. It is also required that you have your Yellow Fever certification handy upon crossing.
Upon crossing the Isebania Border from Kenya into Tanzania, you`ll continue in your specialized, Tanzanian guided and driven vehicle towards the Serengeti Game Park. An optional stop at for a boxed lunch by Lake Victoria or cultural visit to a local fishing village can be scheduled. For those whom do not mind the long haul, the option to head straight to the park without stops can be done as well. Have your camera handy, as you enjoy some game viewing upon entry into the park whilst traveling to your Serengeti based lodging.
Mbalageti Serengeti features 24 luxury tented chalets on the slopes of the rising Mwamweni hill and 14 lodge style standard rooms. Each tent is equipped with all the utilities of home, such as an en-suite bathroom and a veranda with a stunning view. Dining takes place both in the bush, privately or with small groups, or in the dining tent, where local and continental cuisine forge new roots. English tea is served in the gardens with pastries daily. Activities range from spending some alone time in the loft reading books or a relaxing float in the tranquility pool, with the Serengeti plains as the backdrop.
This morning’s African adventure begins with an exploratory game drive through Tanzania’s oldest and most recognized National Parks, the Serengeti. This dynamic location offers the most expansive game viewing in Tanzania, and considered by many as the best for game viewing location in all of Africa. From predators to prey, great herds of grazing herbivores to tactically cunning packs carnivores, life on the plains of the Serengeti can best be defined as a complete “circle of life.” A photographic dream will unfold before your eyes as giraffes and elephants feast on tasty shrubbery, whilst impalas, gazelles and buffalos dance carefully through the plains as to not become the latest meal for on-looking lions, cheetahs and hyenas.
Spend today searching out Impala, one of Africa's most beautiful and graceful animals. Previously thought to be part of the gazelle tribe, Impalas have been found to be so different that they are now classified as their own sub-family status. When frightened or startled the whole impala herd starts randomly leaping to confuse their predator. They can jump distances more than 10 meters (33 ft) and 3 meters (9 ft) high. Leopards, cheetah, lions and wild dogs prey on impala. Impala can reach running speeds of approximately 50 to 55 mph (80 to 90 km/h) to escape its predators. See if you can track these incredible animals!
This African journey continues as you board a privately driven vehicle, accompanied by a local tracker-guide for your visit to the overwhelming large Ngorongoro Conversation Area. You’ll depart the Serengeti National Park grounds at a somewhat slower pace as to get in some more game-viewing. An optional stop at the Olduvlai Gorge is highly recommended, where at the Serengeti Welcome Centre you’ll have an opportunity to marvel at a panoramic view of the surrounding area from the lookout point. A stop for a picturesque picnic is also scheduled during this journey. Upon your arrival into the conservation area, you’ll head towards your overnight accommodation whilst taking in the overwhelming size of the Ngorongoro crater. The approximate travel time may vary between 5 to 6 hours depending on weather conditions and accounting for the amount of stops you’ve made along the way. During the heavy rainy season, longer travel times should be expected.
The massive Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge is often referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind.” Beginning in the eastern Serengeti plains, the gorge is roughly some 48 kilometers long. As a result of millions of year of natural erosion, this gorge boasts a steep-sided ravine which cuts and stretches its way through the Great Rift Valley along eastern Africa. The gorge is named after a commonly used plant by the Masai people with the scientific name of Sansevieria-Ehrenbergii, or Oldupai for short.
Enjoy a picnic lunch (included in tour price).
A small and exclusive lodge facing the Oldeani Volcano, only 5 kms. from the Ngorongoro Lolduare gate was built, meant to offer our clients an original experience reminiscent of the atmosphere of the old days.
You are provided with a personalized, experienced tracker-guide and private transportation today whilst exploring around the Ngorongoro National Park grounds.
Explore one of the most recognized wildlife conservation areas in Tanzania today. Depart your camp or lodge in a privately driven vehicle, along with a local expert guide, for approximately 20 to 30 minutes towards the Ngorongoro Crater. To explore the extremes of the crater you’ll have to travel along one of three possible routes. The first route travels from the top of the rim to the crater floor, the second route travels from the crater floor to the top of the crater rim, and the third routing travels both ways. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera. This geological masterpiece was formed as a result of an extremely large volcanic explosion which caused the volcano to collapse in on itself, thus creating a crater. The crater is roughly 20 kilometers wide and some 2000 feet deep, making the trip from crater floor to rim around 45 minutes by 4x4. The extremely fertile crater floor is the reason why there is such a highly concentrated amount of wildlife here. Over 20000 mammals call the crater home, including some of the only remaining black rhinos in the world. The crater floor also boasts one of the highest carnivore densities in the world including large prides of lions, packs of hyenas and solitary predators like cheetahs and jackals. A keen eye, and expertly recommended search patterns from your guide may help you spot some of the less common species like leopards, servals, and bat-eared foxes.
On this journey, you will make a brief stop-over in Arusha for some shopping and refreshments. You will pass over the Namanga border crossing when leaving Tanzania to enter Kenya. Be aware that portions of the road on this drive are unfinished and bumpy. At the Namanga border where you will meet your Kenyan guide.
At the border, switch between your Kenyan and Tanzanian guide, crossing the border and continuing your safari. You will also be switching vehicles.
Visas can be purchased at the border: Kenya $50pp US cash, Tanzania $100pp for Americans, $50pp for other nationalities. Note: Visas are paid for using US cash (no bills older than 2006 due to local counterfeiting safeguards). Single entry visa is valid for 3 months and can be used for multiple entries between Kenya and Tanzania. Please be sure to have your Yellow Fever certificate handy.
Once you're through customs you will switch vehicles and meet up with your Kenyan guide who will take you to Amboseli.
This afternoon you'll meet up with your guide and head out into Amboseli National Park. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. On a clear day, you'll also have spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
In the heart of Amboseli National Park, touching the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli Serena Lodge lays its home. The 92 rooms are all equipped with en suite bathrooms and stunning views. Dining offers local cuisine and a choice of continental dishes, while specialty meals allow guests to get in touch with the environment. Take advantage of the game drives, where incredible beasts such as lions, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, baboons, gazelle hippos and wildebeest spend their day in front of your eyes.
You'll be up early this morning as you meet up with your private guide and driver for your game drive in Amboseli Park. Depending on how lucky you are with your viewing you'll usually be out in the park for a few hours before returning to the lodge.
Take time for an early game drive or head directly to Nairobi before your international flight. The drive will take approximately 4hrs
The opportunity to explore the local markets and shops presents itself today as so you can interact with the local vendors in search for the perfect handicraft or souvenir for yourself or your loved ones.
Before leaving that night, stop by the Kensington office for free use of Internet and lounge. If you like, we can make reservations for dinner at a local restaurant as well. Please let us know in advance and if you are vegetarian.
Depart from Nairobi international airport - end of itinerary.
PASSPORT/VISAA Passport valid for at least six months and visas are required for both Canadian and US citizens. Visa may be purchased on arrival at the airport. Single entry visa is $50 per person, payable in cash, new bills (no credit cards). Visas may also be obtained in advance through a visa service or through the embassy directly. Processing generally takes 5-7 working days.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Kenya for the most up to date visa information.
Nairobi (NBO) (Jomo Kenyatta International) is 16km (10 miles) southeast of the city. Mombasa (MBA) (Moi International) is 13km (8 miles) west of the city. NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/kenya.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital - Nairobi. Language - Swahili is the national language and English is the official language. There are over 42 ethnic languages spoken, including Kikuyu and Luo. Religion - Mostly traditional but there is a sizeable Christian population (both Catholic and Protestant) and a small Muslim community. Time - GMT + 3. Electricity - 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz. Plugs are UK-type square three-pin. Bayonet-type light sockets exist in Kenya. Telephone - Country code: 254 (followed by 20 for Nairobi, 41 for Mombasa and 51 for Nakuru). Mobile phone coverage is widespread. There are Internet cafes in major cities and hotels.
VISA/PASSPORTPassport valid for at least six months, visa and evidence of yellow fever immunization are required for both US and Canadian citizens. Visa may be purchased on arrival at the airport. Single entry visa is $50 per person ($100pp for US citizens), payable in cash (no credit cards). Visas may also be obtained in advance through a visa service. Processing generally takes 5 working days and costs approximately $75.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Tanzania for the most up to date visa information.
NOTE: Only newly printed USD currency and local currency will be accepted in East Africa, any USD currency printed without the new security measures will not be accepted. HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Guests of Kensington Tours are covered by East African Flying Doctor Services included in the tour price. This coverage guarantees that any member injured or ill while on safari will be airlifted back to Nairobi to the international hospital.
We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/tanzania.aspx
A yellow fever shot is NOT required for visitors from US/Canada/UK/EU direct, however if you are travelling through Kenya into Tanzania, you will need the vaccine.
COUNTRY INFOLanguage: Swahili and English are the official languages. Several indigenous languages are also spoken. Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS). Most tourism prices are in US Dollars.ATMs are available in major cities only. Major lodges, some hotels accept credit cards. Time: GMT +3. Electricity: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Rectangular or round three-pin plugs are used. Communications: The international country dialing code for Tanzania, as well as Zanzibar, is +255.
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