Incorporating two of Kenya’s finest national reserves – the remote Samburu and the legendary Masai Mara - this itinerary allows you to experience the abundant wildlife of the Great Rift Valley.
The trip begins in Samburu National Reserve, where several large mammal species common to Kenya’s northern plains can be found, including long-necked gerenuk, Grevy’s zebra, beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe and magnificent herds of elephant. Spend two nights here, exploring the semi-arid landscapes on a combination of bush walks and game drives.
The next four nights are spent in the outstanding wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve, where over 450 species of bird have been recorded. Aside from the fantastic birdlife, you may also encounter the Mara’s dominant predators – lion, leopard and cheetah - as well as their prey: Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, topi and eland.
Day1: Depart UK
Depart London on an overnight flight to Nairobi.
Day2: Arrive Nairobi & fly to Samburu
On arrival at Nairobi airport, you will be met and transferred to Wilson domestic airport in time for a scheduled flight by light aircraft north to Samburu. On disembarking at the airstrip you will be met by the camp staff and transferred to your accommodation. After settling in and having lunch, you head out on your first game drive in the early evening, accompanied by a naturalist guide. You return as the light is fading, making a stop for a welcome sundowner, with time to relax before dinner.
Today, you have a full day to explore Samburu National Reserve. Before or after breakfast (depending on your preference), depart on a two hour game drive. Return to the camp for a relaxing lunch, before heading back out on an evening game drive. As darkness falls, head back to the camp for dinner.
Day4: Fly to the Masai Mara
After breakfast, transfer to Samburu airstrip for a flight to the Masai Mara. On arrival you will be met and transferred to the camp and enjoy your first game drive.
Following a similar itinerary to your stay in Samburu National Reserve, enjoy early morning game drives or bush walks in search of wildlife. Return to the camp for lunch, with a little free time to relax by the pool, before an early evening game drive. Late evening, return to the camp for dinner.
Days6-7: Masai Mara National Reserve
Enjoy an early morning game drive or bush walk in the reserve to observe the incredible populations of game. After breakfast, check out for your transfer to your next camp in the Mara, where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch before a taking a late afternoon game drive. As the sun begins to set, enjoy a sundowner in a scenic location selected by your guide, before returning to the camp for dinner.
The following day follows a similar pattern - an early morning game drive or bush walk, followed by lunch at the camp. Late afternoon, take another game drive looking for any species you have may have previously missed, before returning to the camp for your final dinner in the Mara.
This morning, after a final game drive in the Masai Mara, your stay comes to an end when it is time to head back to the airstrip in time for the scheduled light aircraft flight back to Nairobi's Wilson Airport. On arrival in Nairobi, you will be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation.
In the afternoon, visit the Daphne Sheldrick Orphanage – an elephant rescue and rehabilitation project, where you can learn about the ongoing conservation work in East Africa.
Accommodation: Hotel or tented camp in Nairobi, 1-night
Day9: Fly back to the UK
This morning transfer to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to check in for a daytime flight to London.
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 9 daysfrom £3,995 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 daysfrom £3,195 pp
Single supplement: From £970
When to go: Jan-Mar; Jun-Oct; Dec
Samburu is a remote, arid wilderness of scrub desert and scorched savannah coloured with sandy creams, muted greens and earthen ochre; perfect camouflage for its wildlife and bird species rarely found elsewhere. Large herds of elephant are attracted by the Ewaso Ng'iro River, which bisects the reserve.
Where: Northern Province
Ideal for viewing: beisa oryx, gerenuk, Grévy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Nile crocodile
Kenya’s finest wildlife sanctuary, the Masai Mara is a paradise of gently rolling grasslands studded with acacia trees. Remaining as the ancestral homelands of the Masai, a curious harmony between man and wildlife exists that allows a route for the large migrations and a home for predators and plains wildlife.
Where: Rift Valley Province
Ideal for viewing: cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, leopard, lion, Thompson’s gazelle
Kenya’s bustling capital is more than just a starting point for your wildlife safari. Places to visit in the city include the Karen Blixen Museum, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and the Giraffe Centre. For those staying longer, nearby Nairobi National Park has a wide diversity of wildlife.
Where: Nairobi Province
Excellent for: City stopover
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
Set in the spectacular Samburu National Reserve, the luxurious Elephant Bedroom Camp accommodates 12 guests in spacious tents along the banks of the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Decorated with rustic yet colourful African touches, each tent has a private plunge pool where guests can relax between safaris.
In the heart of the Masai Mara, on the confluence of the Mara and Talek Rivers, lies the elegant Mara Ngenche Safari Camp. With just ten spacious and well-appointed tents, this intimate and unfenced camp offers a spectacular wildlife experience, and overlooks a busy hippo pool.
Situated on the banks of the wildlife-rich Talek River, the luxury Tipilikwani Mara Camp boasts a unique location, combined with excellent food, personalised service and traditional Kenyan hospitality. Each of the well-appointed tents enjoy river frontage and is decorated with warm Masai colours.