No need to choose between wildlife safari or beach vacation—on this diverse 9-day Kenyan itinerary you'll get the best of both worlds. After landing in Nairobi, you'll spot hippos and flamingos on a boat tour of Lake Naivasha, embark on an unforgettable safari into the Maasai Mara National Reserve, and experience life in a traditional Maasai village. End your adventure by heading to the coast, where you can relax and recharge on the white sands of Diani Beach.

Highlights

  • Meet orphaned elephants & rare giraffes
  • Explore Lake Naivasha by boat
  • Stay with the Maasai at the Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp
  • Spot the "big five" & much more at the Maasai Mara Reserve
  • Chill out on the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi Nairobi
Day 2 Visit an Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Center Nairobi
Day 3 Tour Lake Naivasha by Boat Naivasha
Day 4 Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp Maji Moto
Days 5-6 Explore Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai Mara
Days 7-8 Relax on Diani Beach  Diani Beach
Day 9 Return to Nairobi & Depart Kenya  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

Nairobi skyline
Nairobi's skyline as seen from a wildlife area

Welcome to Kenya! Upon arrival at the international airport in Nairobi, you'll be transferred to your hotel, where you can spend the afternoon getting oriented and adjusting to the time difference. 

Day 2: Visit an Elephant Orphanage & Giraffe Center

Nairobi city
An elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage

Today you'll head out of Nairobi to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Orphanage. The project rescues and nurtures orphaned elephants from potential poachers. When they're old enough, they'll be returned to their natural habitat in the jungle. It's an excellent place to learn about elephants; you'll even have the chance to interact with them.

Next on the itinerary is a visit to the Giraffe Center, offering a hands-on giraffe encounter and an educational experience. Onsite, you'll learn about giraffe conservation and the highly endangered Rothschild's giraffe. Take advantage of a one-of-a-kind opportunity to observe and feed these towering animals. If there's time, make sure to check out the walking trail through the nearby Gogo River Bird Sanctuary

Day 3: Tour Lake Naivasha by Boat

Boating on Lake Naivasha

Leave Nairobi behind today for Lake Naivasha, arriving in time for lunch. Spend the afternoon on a boat tour of the lake with close-up views of hippo, waterbuck (a kind of antelope), and a wide variety of birds. Take a walk on Crescent Island, where you might spot a giraffe or some zebras.

Several optional activities are available in the afternoon, including horseback riding on lakeside conservancy land, meeting a local farmer to learn about subsistence farming, and visiting nearby Hell's Gate National Park to explore the canyons and wildlife.

In the evening, relax at Camp Carnelley's, a campground on the lakefront. Enjoy an evening on your private deck, taking in views of the lake as monkeys swing from the trees and wild animals emerge to graze. 

Day 4: Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp

Warriors in training at Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp

After breakfast, you'll travel to Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp to learn about Maasai traditions. Located in the Loita Hills, on the western edge of the Great Rift Valley close to the border of Tanzania, the hills and nearby plains have been the territory of the Maasai people since the 19th century, and it's a great place to get some insight into the culture. Activities today include warrior training, learning about natural medicine, and witnessing tribal ceremonies. You'll experience daily life in a Maasai village, visit a local school, walk in the surrounding landscapes, and go for a dip in natural hot springs. At night, after songs and stories around the campfire, you'll sleep in a cottage constructed of traditional materials.

Days 5-6: Explore Maasai Mara National Reserve

A pair of lions in the Maasai Mara

Today starts your two-day safari experience at Maasai Mara National Reserve. If you're traveling between July and September, the Great Migration will be well underway, giving you the opportunity to see abundant wildlife on the plains, including elephants, zebras, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, buffalo, and rhinos. At night, you'll sleep under the stars at a camp near the reserve. The camp features well-equipped tents along the banks of the Talek River, the natural border to the Maasai Mara. The dense riverbed foliage allows for privacy, comfort, and wonderful views of the surrounding landscapes. 

Days 7-8: Relax on Diani Beach 

 Relax on the white sands of Diani Beach

Today you'll make your way to Diani Beach. With long stretches of white sand, a lush forest, and surfable waves, this resort is popular with families, honeymooners, backpackers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Doze in a hammock, swim in the sea, go for long walks in the forest, and visit a monkey sanctuary. It's an idyllic place to spend the last part of the trip.

There are many activities to choose from in the area. Ride on a traditional sailboat to Wasini Island and Kisite Marine Park, where you can see dolphins in their natural habitat. Go diving, snorkeling, or boating offshore, and visit Chale Island, with a spectacular white beach beautifully fringed by coral reefs. You could also arrange a camel ride on the beach or detour to Rivas in the evening to spot shy bushbabies (also known as lesser galagos) in the forest. You'll relax at Diani Sea Lodge, just off a white sandy beach, at night. 

Day 9: Return to Nairobi & Depart Kenya

A rainbow over Diani Beach

It's time to say goodbye to Kenya! Enjoy your last morning at the beach before transferring to the airport for a flight back to Nairobi. From here, connect with your departure flight home or to your next destination. Safe travels!

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