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8 Days Intimate and Hosted Rustic and Wonderful Safari in Kenya

Nairobi Tented Camp, Nairobi, Nairobi County, Kenya

Awesome Safari Kenya

The Safari Company invites you to join this safari. This safari is for a group of friends looking for a personalized experience in some of Kenya's most intimate locations. You will experience intimate and hosted nights on safari staying in some of the best yet affordable small lodges and camps in Kenya while visiting Nairobi, Laikipia, and the Maasai Mara. So, if you are looking for such a personalized safari experience in Kenya, you are in the right place.

Highlights

  • Guided game drives and walks
  • Birding, dog tracking, or fishing and rafting
  • A chance to see Grévy's zebra, aardwolf, and aardvark
  • Samburu village, farm, boma, and garden visits
  • Professional English-speaking guides
  • 7 nights' accommodation

Styles


7 activity days
Group size: Maximum of 4 participants
Airport transfer included: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
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Accommodation

Your accommodation will be Nairobi Tented Camp for one night (bed and breakfast), Laikipia Wilderness Camp for two nights (fully inclusive), El Karama Eco-Lodge for two nights (full board), and Sentinel Mara Camp for two nights (full board).

Nairobi Tented Camp

Nairobi Tented Camp has plenty of its own attractions and part of the joy of the place is just enjoying the seclusion of the wilderness. However, of course, its unique location offers a whole wealth of things to do during your stay.

It has spacious tent set overlooking the forested valley. Tent contains king-size double or two single beds, ensuite shower and loo, writing desk, soft LED lighting, and comfortable verandah seating. It is possible to add child bed to the tent.

Laikipia Wilderness Camp

Laikipia Wilderness is aimed at small groups of people with special interests such as photography, walking, tracking game, and watching animal behavior, and small family groups looking for a more in-depth wilderness experience at a reasonable cost combined with warm hospitality, good food, and a beautiful setting. The camp consists of a thatched mess building with dining room, bar, and sitting room / library overlooking the river.

Laikipia Wilderness Camp is eco-friendly. The room facilities are en-suite, outside shower, shower, and verandah. The services are laundry service, room service, and 24-hour room service.

El Karama Eco-Lodge

El Karama is situated centrally within Laikipia district, in the 40,000-square-kilometer Ewaso ecosystem that boasts more diversity of fauna and flora than any other region in Kenya. El Karama Eco-Lodge is based on a private 14,000-acre ranch where conservation is a primary concern. They offer an intimate wilderness experience for the wildlife connoisseur.

El Karama bandas offer accommodation for up to 20 people. The choice of accommodation ranges from stone / canvas 'bandas' and slightly larger cottages for couples with children or small groups. The bandas are situated at a safe distance from the river's edge and look across to a salt lick where wildlife often congregates in the early morning and evening. Each banda has its own veranda for reading and stargazing. All guests are provided with storm lanterns to complement the fixed eco-friendly LED lighting. There is a catered and self-catered option available to guests.

All the bandas have a spacious central room with a double bed (one is a twin), covering in mozzie nets, a seating area with a small table for writing, furniture for storing / hanging clothes and an ensuite bathroom with a large stone bath (and overhead shower) that you can sink into after a long day out.

The property facilities are eco-friendly, malaria-free, 24-hour security, activity desk, bar, barbeque facilities, battery charging facilities, communal dining, disability services, gym (nearby), internet access (complimentary), kiddies club, laundry service (available), laundry service (complimentary), library, meal on request, pool, private vehicle available, restaurant, and secure parking. The room facilities are wheelchair friendly, bath, complimentary Wi-Fi, dressing gowns, electrical outlets, en-suite, internet access (complimentary), laundry service (available), laundry service (complimentary), lounge area, mosquito nets, pure cotton linen, shower, tea / coffee, and verandah. The services are airport shuttle (available), babysitting service, room service, 24-hour room service, and travel desk.

Sentinel Mara Camp

Sentinel Mara Camp is an owner run luxury seasonal camp along the banks of the Mara River within the Maasai Mara National Reserve. It is well-hidden within the riverine forest so that you don't know that you are approaching until you are actually in this gorgeous little camp.

The feel is deliciously old-fashioned with only seven en-suite tents together with the lounge and dining tents along the river in the forest offering excellent privacy. Specially-designed campaign furniture adorns the camp creating the atmosphere of the traditional East African safari while at the same time affording a significant measure of luxury to guests.

Cuisine is always in keeping with Sentinel's very high standards, attention to detail, and warm hospitality. The all-inclusive rate means you can simply relax and enjoy all that is on offer in terms of snacks, drinks, guided nature walks, game drives, starlit dinners, and champagne bush breakfasts during your stay.

The excellent standard of guiding will have guests gripped and entertained whether on a game drive or a one-hour walk in the region of the camp. Their bespoke approach ensures the daily agenda of each group of visitors is tailor-made and flexible taking their personal preferences into account.

The seasonal aspect of the camp with no permanent structures offers guests an experience of being authentically close to nature and its location in the less visited Musiara Marsh area of the reserve ensures excellent game viewing. They are fortunate to have four different ecozones on their doorstep, with both the BBC's Big Cat Diary and Disney's African Cats being filmed here. In keeping with their environmental values, the camp has minimum impact on the environment.

They will gladly arrange a balloon safari or a visit to a Masai village as well as a half or full day walk along the escarpment overlooking the reserve.

The dining and lounge tents are at the center of the camp with its amazing view well-appointed with an area where you can sit around the campfire in the evenings. Whether in the dining tent watching hippo and crocodile in the river below, soaking up the untamed vistas during a bush breakfast or enjoying the romance of a starlit four-course dinner, you will have a fine dining experience. Delicious and varied meals from fresh food are prepared daily by their chefs.

Sentinel Mara Camp has seven sleeper tents tucked away in the forest, each with a great view of the Mara River below. The well-spaced guest tents ensure privacy and afford the opportunity of watching the hippo and crocodile in the river below. Each large tent has en-suite shower, dressing room, and toilet. The mahogany and brass campaign furniture captures the romance of traditional East African safari life.

The property facilities are eco-friendly, 24-hour security, bar, internet access, library, mobile connectivity, restaurant, and secure parking. The room facilities are en-suite, pure cotton linen, shower, and verandah. The services are airport shuttle, chauffeur service, credit card, laundry service, and room service.

Program

Day 1: Nairobi Tented Camp, Nairobi National Park

Assuming you arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in the evening, you will be met by The Safari Company's driver and vehicle and transferred to Nairobi Tented Camp for the night.

Deep within a riverine forest minute from the airport, Nairobi Tented Camp is the first and only accommodation of any sort to be allowed in this unique safari destination.

Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only seven kilometers from Nairobi city center.

  • Included: Transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) to Nairobi Tented Camp; one night at Nairobi Tented Camp including bed and breakfast accommodation and soft drinks; park / conservation fees
  • Excluded: Dinner; any extras not mentioned in the inclusions

Day 2 to 3: Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Laikipia

After breakfast, you will be collected by a representative of Laikipia Wilderness Camp. Driving north for approximately five hours through the fertile lands and coffee plantations of the Kikuyu tribe, past the Aberdare Range and around the foothills of Mount Kenya into the Laikipia region, you will arrive at the camp just in time for lunch.

The Laikipia area is fantastic for large numbers of elephants, giraffe, hippo, Grévy's zebra, leopard, wild dog, lion, striped and spotted hyena, aardwolf, aardvark, and over 280 species of birds. They work closely with the Laikipia Predator Project collecting data from sightings of wild dogs and lions, some of whom are fitted with radio collars for this research and guests are able to participate in this.

Laikipia Wilderness also run walking safaris enabling you to follow the wildlife and adventure on foot, rather than in a vehicle. Starting at Laikipia Wilderness Camp, these can be day trips or you can take advantage of their light-weight mobile camp and stay out a few nights, finishing at one of Laikipia's luxury lodges which offer a whole different aspect to a safari from quad biking to horse riding, camel safaris, spa treatments, and infinity pools.

  • Activities: Walking; day and night game drives; swimming, tubing, and fishing in the river; Samburu village visits; birding and fly camping
  • Included: Transfer from Nairobi Tented Camp to Laikipia Wilderness Camp in a safari equipped 4x4 Land Cruiser; two nights' accommodation at Laikipia Wilderness Camp on full board basis (lunch, dinner, and breakfast), local drinks, and laundry; shared game drives, dog tracking, fly camping, fishing and rafting (water levels permitting), and bush meals
  • Excluded: All drinks; extra activities not mentioned in the inclusions and village visits

Day 4 to 5: El Karama Eco-Lodge, Laikipia

After a good night's sleep and breakfast in the camp, you will be transferred by road to El Karama Eco-Lodge.

Described as the "Hidden Gem of Laikipia", this is the perfect option for families and small groups looking for an affordable and private lodge with a 'bush home' feel.

With six dams / water holes on the property, you can sit quietly birdwatching, wait patiently for predators or photograph elephant families at play - every day is different. Keen fishermen can throw a line in and test their patience, cattle enthusiasts can visit the bomas, and active guests can take long walks tracking wildlife with the guides. The really intrepid guests can camp on roll mats under the African sky listening to the calls of the night.

  • Included: Road transfer from Laikipia Wilderness Camp to El Karama Eco-Lodge in a 4x4 Land Cruiser; two nights' accommodation at El Karama Eco-Lodge on full board basis (lunch, dinner, and breakfast) including house drinks: juice, sodas, house wine, and beer; a guide and shared vehicle for game drives and night drives; sundowners, accompanied game walks, adventure fly camping, farm, boma, and garden visits
  • Excluded: Premium spirits, champagne, and sparkling wines; activities and any extras not mentioned in the inclusions

Day 6 to 7: Sentinel Mara Camp, Maasai Mara

After a good night's sleep, you will have breakfast and be transferred to Nanyuki Airport for your scheduled flight to Mara. Arriving just over an hour later, you will be met by a representative of Sentinel Mara Camp and take a short game drive through the Musiara Marsh to the camp where you will arrive just in time to be shown your tent and tidy up before lunch.

The next three days in the Mara can be spent as you wish and your driver / guide will discuss each day with you as you go along. The norm is an early wake up with coffee / tea around 06:00 to depart on a pre-breakfast game drive at about 06:30. Being so close to the equator, Kenya's sunrise and sunset vary by an hour at most throughout the year, the temperature can also be comparatively cold in the early mornings and evenings, so it is a good idea to dress in layers when you go out on a drive as the middle of the day will be hot and dry.

After a sumptuous breakfast, the middle of the day is yours to do with as you please. Many people go back to their tents and have a shower, perhaps read and take a nap before lunch or play board games in the main mess / lounge area of the camp. After lunch, you have a few hours to relax again before heading out around 15:30 / 16:00 on an afternoon game drive - perhaps follow up on the pride of lion you saw in the morning or head out to look for an elusive leopard or cheetah. After the game drive is time for a well-deserved pre-dinner drink around the campfire and a chance to swap stories with other guests.

  • Included: Transfer from El Karama Eco-Lodge to Nanyuki Airport in a 4x4 Land Cruiser; scheduled flight Nanyuki Airport to Musiara Airstrip on AirKenya; return airstrip transfers; two nights' accommodation at Sentinel Mara Camp on full board basis (lunch, dinner, and breakfast), teas, coffees, local beers, quality wines, spirits, soft drinks, and laundry; shared game drives and guided walks
  • Excluded: All premium drinks; any extras not mentioned in the inclusions; exclusive use of the vehicle; balloon safaris; fly camping

Day 8: End of itinerary

Enjoy breakfast at the camp before being transferred to Musiara Airstrip for your scheduled flight to Wilson Airport (WIL) on AirKenya. On arrival, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) for your flight back home.

  • Included: Breakfast only; scheduled flight to Wilson Airport (WIL) from Musiara Airstrip; transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Excluded: Any extras not mentioned in the inclusions

Location

This safari will take place in Kenya including Nairobi National Park, Laikipia, and Maasai Mara.

Kenya

Kenya is the most famous destination for safaris in the world for endless reasons, the scenery, the incredible opportunity for viewing all African wildlife, in particular, the ease in which to see the big five. It is still the best country for adventure travel in Africa; it offers high levels of service; it still offers 'Out of Africa' scenic beauty, diverse cultures, and abundant wildlife.

Kenya is home to the famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, Mount Kenya, and Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake). The Great Rift Valley, which runs from northern Syria in Southwest Asia to central Mozambique in East Africa, bisects the country from north to south and is dotted with lakes and extinct volcanoes, is one of Kenya's most fascinating physical features. Kenya's natural vegetation is diverse, truly a 'world within one country'; tropical rainforests, sandy beaches, snow-capped mountains, desert, wide savannah plains teeming with wildlife, freshwater lakes, and salt lakes.

Nairobi National Park

Bordering the capital city of Nairobi, in beautiful Kenya, Nairobi National Park is one of Africa's smallest parks and one of the only parks on earth to be in such close proximity to a city center. It boasts a large and varied wildlife population, amid wide open grass plains against a backdrop of city scrapers. It is home to one of Kenya's most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries with the world's highest concentration of black rhinoceros. Its wetland areas are abundant with birdlife boasting over 400 bird species.

Visitors can enjoy many facilities the park has to offer such as scenic picnic sites, well-positioned campsites, and hiking trails. Commonly spotted species include lion, hyena, warthog, zebra, giraffe, ostrich, gazelle, buffalo, and sometimes if you're lucky, leopard and cheetah.

Laikipia

Set against the backdrop of Mount Kenya, Laikipia offers dramatic rocky scenery, open grasslands, basalt hills, and dense forests; it is indeed physically diverse and holds the second largest density of wildlife in Kenya after the Maasai Mara. The majority of the conservation occurs on privately and community-owned ranches centered around the Laikipia National Reserve.

Many of the ranches run cattle as well as wildlife safaris and you can experience conservation that includes, rather than excludes, people going about their day-to-day lives. Many of the lodges are family homes and despite this domesticity, the wildlife includes spectacular games like lion, leopard, buffalo, and elephant as well as terribly rare species such as the black rhino and Grévy's zebra.

The private lodges in this area offer amazing activities as well as the usual game drives and walks i.e., horse, camel, and quad bike riding; river swimming and fishing, kayaking, honey collecting, etc.

Maasai Mara

The Maasai Mara together with Tanzania's Serengeti form Africa's most famous wildlife area. The image of acacia trees on an endless grass plain epitomizes Africa for many and then add a Maasai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara is the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet with more than a million animals following the rains. However, that is not where the game viewing ends; large pride of lions, elephants and giraffes in grasslands as well as gazelles and eland to mention but a few. Aside from traditional vehicle safaris, game walks and hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential.

Food

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Balloon safari
  • Honey collecting
  • Horse, camel, and quad bike riding
  • Kayaking
  • Maasai village visit
  • River swimming and fishing

What's included

  • All activities as indicated
  • Professional English-speaking driver guides
  • All game drives and internal transfers and 4x4 safari vehicle
  • Flying Doctors medical emergency evacuation
  • All applicable taxes and administrative fees
  • All scheduled flights as indicated
  • 7 nights' accommodation
  • All meals and drinks as indicated

What's not included

  • All activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Hot-air balloon ride in the Maasai Mara
  • Expenses of personal nature and tips
  • Selected drinks (champagne, select spirits, and wines) on safari
  • International flights and visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Bank fees for USD and KES payments

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Airport transfer included: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 30% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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