- Spot the "Big Five" on safari, including lions, leopards, and rhinos
- Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Great Rift Valley
- Meet the local Maasai people and experience their way of life
- See elephants in the wild at the bottom of Mt. Kilimanjaro
|Arrive in Nairobi
|Explore Lake Nakuru National Park
|Meet Locals in a Maasai Village
|Explore Maasai Mara National Reserve
|Travel from the National Reserve to Naivasha
|Day Trip to Hell’s Gate National Park
|Hike to the Top of Mt. Longonot
|Spot Elephants Near Mt. Kilimanjaro
|Tour Amboseli National Park
|Transfer to Nairobi & Depart
Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi
Welcome to Kenya! You'll arrive in Nairobi, the capital city, and spend the afternoon getting oriented. The country is home to dozens of wildlife parks and reserves, hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, millions of awe-inspiring animals, fascinating prehistoric sites, and a range of local tribes, each with their own language and culture.
A word you'll likely already know is "safari." It's Swahili for "journey," originally from the Arabic safar. While the word used to refer to pioneers hunting wild animals for prizes, the hunting safari has since been banned, and visitors' guns replaced by cameras. Today, the safari is a trip to observe and photograph wildlife in their natural habitat. The experience also provides the chance to hike and sightsee in national reserves. Make sure your hiking boots and camera are ready, then get some rest before the adventure begins.
Day 2: Explore Lake Nakuru National Park
The adventure starts when you leave Nairobi after an early breakfast. You'll drive to a viewpoint over the Great Rift Valley for excellent views over a series of contiguous geographic trenches. The valley, dotted with lakes and mountains, measures thousands of miles in length, running from the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon to Mozambique in southeastern Africa.
You will arrive at a hotel in Nakuru in time for lunch. Enjoy your first safari experience in the afternoon as you drive inside Lake Nakuru National Park, playing a game of peek-a-boo with local wildlife. Nothing is guaranteed, but be prepared for wildlife sightings!
Day 3: Meet Locals in a Maasai Village
Buckle up: today’s roads will be rough and bumpy with dust, and the drive will take five to six hours! The trip is worth it to Maasai Mara National Reserve, one of Kenya's top attractions. The name derives from the landscape—the word mara means "'spotted with shrubs" in the local language. The Mara River and Talek River carve into a landscape with a vast population of wildlife and birds.
Spend part of the afternoon in a Maasai village. You'll see a performance of a traditional welcome dance, then your guide will take you around, showing you how the Maasai live and explaining some of their beliefs and traditions. You'll see demonstrations of how they build fires using sticks and animal dung. You'll also have the chance to meet some morans, the young Maasai men trained as soldiers to protect the Maasai communities. Though they no longer practice this rite of passage, they used to have to kill a lion to graduate from boys to men.
Finally, you will be invited into a local home to see how a family lives, then spend some time in the marketplace to buy handcrafted products made in the village.
Day 4: Explore Maasai Mara National Reserve
Your safari continues before sunrise. Wildlife is most active in the early and late hours of the day. Lucky travelers might even witness animals hunting during these hours—a lion hunting and killing a wildebeest, or a cheetah chasing and knocking down a gazelle, for example. You'll have a picnic lunch and plenty of drinking water available so you can properly enjoy a full day of adventure.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Travel from the National Reserve to Naivasha
You'll depart after breakfast to drive the five to six hours to your next destination, making two or three stops along the way for sightseeing and possible animal spotting. Arrive in Naivasha in time for lunch. After hours of traveling on dusty roads, enjoy a free afternoon to relax.
Day 6: Day Trip to Hell’s Gate National Park
After breakfast, a short drive will bring you to Hell’s Gate National Park. Don't let the name fool you: it's a peaceful park that's home to a range of wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, warthogs, gazelles, and many more. You'll have the option to hike, cycle, or drive several miles to the gorge, scanning the scenery for creatures along the way. Later, you'll stop for a dip in a naturally heated swimming pool.
Day 7: Hike to the Top of Mt. Longonot
Get an early start to beat the heat today. You'll be hiking to the top of Mt. Longonot, a stratovolcano located at the bottom of the Great Rift Valley. Its name is derived from the Maasai word Oloonong'ot, meaning "steep ridges," and while it's not that high, it offers a great view. It last erupted in the 1860s. Return to your camp in the late afternoon and enjoy a relaxing evening.
Day 8: Spot Elephants Near Mt. Kilimanjaro
Today you'll enter Amboseli National Park and see Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain on the continent. It's nicknamed "the rooftop of Africa.” On a clear day, you'll enjoy wonderful views and gorgeous photo ops of elephants at the foot of the mountain.
Day 9: Tour Amboseli National Park
Discover the highlights of Amboseli National Park today. Animals tend to congregate in the park's swamps, one of the destinations on your wildlife photography expedition. Keep an eye out for elephant herds and flocks of flamingoes. You'll enjoy a scenic picnic lunch in the park before heading back to camp, where you'll have unforgettable views of a star-filled sky on your last night in Kenya.
Day 10: Transfer to Nairobi & Depart
Circle back to Nairobi, where the trip comes to an end. Safe travels!
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