Join Holden Safaris for a unique and exclusive safari, with an in-depth look at conservation in Africa, visiting conservation experts, accompanied by an expert and in a small and personal group atmosphere. During this safari, you can make contribution to help Big 5 who are threatened by extinction due to man’s encroachment on their habitat and thirst for ivory and rhino horn.
The maximum participants in the group is 6.
Throughout this conservation safari, your overnight stay will be at:
Hemingways Nairobi is located in the quiet and exclusive suburb of Karen. The elegant architecture fits discreetly into the rolling landscape, optimizing the views over the forested valley and the famous Ngong Hills.
Your junior suite opens out onto a balcony with views of The Green Hills of two of which are penthouse style Presidential Suites, include a valet service. There is a wellness center on site, along with a pool, gym and spa. Enjoy dinner at the hotel tonight.
Tawi Lodge is located in a private conservancy of 6,000 acres, just five minutes from the eastern entrance to Amboseli National Park. The lodge offers stylish cottage accommodations with en-suite bathrooms outfitted with bath and shower, fireplaces, and mini bars. Each cottage has its own wooden-deck veranda with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Mara Ngenche Safari Camp is located on the banks of the Mara and Talek Rivers, in the heart of the Masai Mara. The spacious guest tents are all en-suite with a bath tub and outside shower and decorated with a fusion of modern African decor. Each tent has a four-poster king-sized bed with views of the Mara River and is partially enclosed in its own boma. The camps dining and lounge area have an open-sided design with views of the river where pods of hippo and crocodiles can often be seen relaxing on the banks.
Please arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi and after clearing immigration and customs formalities, proceed to the international arrivals, where you will be met by Pat Awori, your tour director. Meet your driver guide and transfer to your luxury boutique hotel - Hemingways Nairobi.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then depart for a day of excursions in the beautiful Karen area. You'll begin with a visit to the giraffe center which offers the unique experience of hand-feeding these gentle giants at eye level from a raised platform, while watching the warthogs below snuffle around looking for tidbits. The center is the headquarters of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), which was set up to raise money to relocate the endangered Rothschild giraffe to safe areas.
Enjoy a delightful lunch at the Talisman, a popular restaurant in Nairobi that serves up a delicious fusion of European, Pan-Asian and African cuisines. The deco features carved wooden pillars from Pakistan, elegant Afghan rugs, charming fireplaces a sprawling terrace and a beautiful garden. After lunch visit the Ocean Sole Foundation’s shop.
If you're passionate about the ocean, its ecosystems and marine wildlife, you can see Ocean Sole recycle flip-flops that are found littered on beaches and in the waterways of Kenya. As a bizarre and yet very real phenomenon, thousands of flip-flops are washed up onto the East African coast creating an environmental disaster. The discarded flip-flops are transformed into elephant, giraffe, lion, rhino, dolphin and other attractive pieces and each piece comes with an important message about marine conservation.
After that, you’ll visit Kazuri Beads which was started to help women around Nairobi with regular employment so that they could support their families and educate their children. Meet the women and chat with them about their lives as they work. The jewelry also makes great gifts.
The rest of the afternoon is devoted to a private visit of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage. Here, you will be able to interact with the young elephants and talk to their keepers to learn more about this worthwhile project and the importance of the elephant in Africa’s conservation efforts. Spend time with the elephants as they get ready to settle down for the night before returning to Hemingways Nairobi for dinner.
This morning, set out on your full-day journey by road to Ithumba, a total immersion elephant camp run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, located in Tsavo East National Park. Ithumba is available only to ‘Foster Parents’ who come to see the orphaned elephants which have been brought to the area to start the process of integration into the wild.
Behind the camp is Ithumba Hill which one can climb to get an amazing view of the expansive wilderness of the northern area of Tsavo. From the lounge area upstairs, one can enjoy the spectacular sunsets and sunrises for which Tsavo is known, often with Kilimanjaro visible above the distant southern horizon.
Settle in to your comfortable tent accommodation and keep a lookout for the variety of birdlife and several species of antelope, baboons and even lion that often come to drink in the small fresh water pond.
Rise early for a morning visit with the elephants as they leave the stockades. Return to your camp for a leisurely breakfast followed by some relaxing time in one of the many viewing areas.
Late morning, you’ll have an opportunity to spend time with the orphaned elephants as they play in the mud, trumpeting and rumbling as they mingle with each other and wild elephants that often join them for a drink and a mud bath.
Back at the camp, a delicious lunch awaits followed by leisure time to enjoy the ambience and serenity of the area. Relax on the deck overlooking the pond and watch for birds and wildlife, socialize with your traveling companions, or perhaps, take an afternoon nap.
In the late afternoon, meet the orphans and their keepers as they return to the stockades for the night.
After breakfast, depart for Amboseli National Park, arriving at Tawi Lodge in time for lunch. This afternoon, pick up your camera and hat and head out for a thrilling wildlife drive and visit to the Amboseli Elephant Research Project.
Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) research arm, the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, has made many important contributions to elephant research over the years. Cynthia Moss, a renowned conservationist, started this project in 1972 with her colleague Harvey Croze. She and her research associates have identified and recorded more than 1,400 Elephants. The knowledge gained from this research has profoundly altered the way people think about, conserve, and manage elephant populations. Learn about the African elephant family structure, life cycle, behaviors and much more from your encounter with the research team, and discover how this important research has contributed to the conservation of the precious and dwindling African Elephant population.
This morning, you will set off on an exciting wildlife viewing drive and exploration of Amboseli National Park. The beautiful snowcapped peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro tower in the background, while elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and leopards roam wild and free.
Return to the lodge for a delicious lunch and some rest. Late this afternoon, gain a different perspective of the landscape on a nature walk with your expert guide.
Rise early for breakfast and then transfer to the airstrip for a short flight to Nairobi. Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver guide at Wilson Airport (WIL) for your drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The journey will take you through rich agricultural land with a stop at the Equator. Ol Pejeta Conservancy lies in Central Kenya’s Laikipia County, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. Arrive at Ol Pejeta House in time for lunch.
Once was the exclusive ranch house of multi-millionaire Adnan Kashoggi, the magnificently presented Ol Pejeta House stands at the center of the private conservancy. Set in extensive grounds with glorious view of Mount Kenya, the mansion features an elegant drawing room with fireplace, and scenic verandas surrounding the building. Rest up after lunch and then get ready for your late afternoon game drive in the conservancy.
Enjoy exploring more of the conservancy today. There is a small wildlife educational center which is interesting for both children and adults alike and a chimpanzee sanctuary for orphaned chimps offers the opportunity to learn about the perils facing chimpanzees in the wild. Late this afternoon, visit the Northern White rhinos of Ol Pejeta, the only three left in the world. Najin, Fatu, and Sudan were moved to Kenya from the Czech Republic in 2009.
Since Ol Pejeta is one of East Africa’s largest Black rhino sanctuaries, with well qualified and experienced staff, it was assessed to provide the best home for their continued survival. It is hoped that the climatic, dietary and security conditions that the rhinos enjoy at Ol Pejeta will provide them with a higher chance of reproducing and reviving the population.
This morning, you’ll be transferred to Nanyuki airstrip for a scheduled flight to Masai Mara. Upon arrival at the airstrip, you will be met by a camp driver guide and transferred to Mara Ngenche Safari Camp, arriving in time for lunch. There is time to relax after lunch, before your afternoon game drive to seek Africa’s Big 5.
Return to the camp to freshen-up after the game drive. This evening, there will be a talk on the Mara Lion Project. The project was started by the Kenya Wildlife Trust to try and ensure the future conservation of Kenya’s lions in the Greater Mara Ecosystem. The African lion population has been reduced by almost half in the last three decades and continues to decline.
You’ll awake to morning tea or coffee and head into the reserve on an early morning game drive with your expert driver guide. Just as the sun is rising, you’ll see the nocturnal animals just turning in and the grasslands come alive with wildlife beginning their day. Return to camp with an appetite for the delicious hearty breakfast. On one of the days, Maasai Chief Ole Nairuko, who is one of the camp guides and cultural ambassador, will organize a special welcome ceremony for you at a traditional Maasai village.
The Maasai are proud pastoralists and warriors. Spend time in the “Manyatta” and immerse yourself in one of earth’s oldest cultures. The ladies and children will entertain with traditional songs and while at the village, see how they go about their daily lives in a very traditional way, like making fire with sticks! You will also visit a nearby school. Spend time singing with the children, meet the teachers and learn about the school and the challenges they face.
In the late afternoon, you will have the chance to venture out for another wildlife viewing encounter. Each game drive offers a different experience. The richness of the wildlife is breathtaking. A network of streams provides water for the elephant, buffalo, cheetah, leopard, lion, antelope, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, and crocodile to live here in balance with the environment. You never know what you’ll see when you turn a corner. You may also opt for a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari ending with a champagne breakfast in the bush for an additional cost.
Enjoy breakfast at the camp and then transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport. On arrival, you will be met and transferred to Tamambo Karen Blixen Coffee Garden for lunch.
Tamambo Karen Blixen Coffee Garden is located in a beautiful tranquil garden setting and offers a wide variety of dishes. After a leisurely lunch, you will have a transfer to Hemingway’s Nairobi, where day rooms have been reserved for you. Later, transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your international departure flight will also be prepared for you.
Pat Awori was born and raised in Nairobi. She was educated in the USA and holds a B.A. degree in International Relations, with a minor in the Behavioral Sciences. Her devotion and expertise in history and wildlife conservation programs along with her passion for Kenyan folklore, ancient traditions, and music contribute to making this safari an unforgettable experience.
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Elephant Orphanage is a small charity, established in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick to honor the memory of her husband, famous naturalist, David Sheldrick, the founder warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya.
For over 25 years, Kenya-born Daphne lived and worked alongside her late husband and during that time she raised and rehabilitated back into the wild orphans of misfortune from many different wild species, including elephants aged two and upwards.
She is a recognized international authority on the rearing of wild creatures and is the first person to have perfected the milk formula and necessary husbandry for both infant milk dependent elephants and rhinos. For her work in this field, Daphne has received several prestigious awards.
The elephant orphans raised by the Trust are gradually rehabilitated back into the wild elephant community of Tsavo National Park when grown, a transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually takes eight to ten years. Adopting one of these special animals gives it a second chance at living freely in the wild.
Ol Pejeta is a private 90,000 acres wildlife conservancy and home to Kenya's largest population of Black Rhino, a large number of elephant, cheetah, lion, leopard and plains game, including rarer game found in the North, such as Grevys zebra, Jacksons hartebeest and Beisa oryx.
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. Acacia dotted plains, tree-lined rivers, and woodlands are abundant with wildlife and an array of birdlife. Game viewing is spectacular all year round; you may see a pride of lions stalking their prey, observe a herd of elephant and their fascinating social structure, or see pods of hippo wallowing in the rivers.
"Dear Jim, our experience in Southern Africa was nothing short of spectacular! Thank you so much for your knowledgeable advice and guidance. The arrangements provided by Holden Safaris were everything we could have hoped for, and more! Our friends are so enthralled by our photos and reports that they will be calling you soon to book their trip. Thank you so very much."
Holden Safaris website, edited