- Sample Nairobi's food scene with a visit to local markets and restaurants
- Spot endangered white rhino and giraffes at Lake Nakuru National Park
- Learn about Maasai culture and observe the game species migration (seasonal)
- Get up close to unique bird species during a boat tour on Lake Naivasha
- Ride a bike (or hike) through park trails while looking for non-predatory wildlife
|Day 1||Arrive in Nairobi, Free Time||Nairobi|
|Day 2||Transfer to Lake Nakuru National Park, Afternoon Exploration||Nakuru|
|Day 3||Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve||Maasai Mara|
|Day 4||Culture & Big Five in Maasai Mara||Maasai Mara|
|Day 5||Transfer to Naivasha, Boat Tour||Naivasha|
|Day 6||Explore Hell's Gate National Park||Naivasha|
|Day 7||Transfer to Nairobi, School Tour, Depart Kenya|
Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi
Welcome to the capital of Kenya! If you have a window seat on the flight, you'll likely see Nairobi National Park before touching down on the runway. One of the many aspects of what makes this city unique is the closeness of its 73-square-mile (117 km) park. This area is not a zoo, but rather a vast protected space where many of Africa's wild animal species roam happily and free.
Upon landing at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you'll be picked up by a private driver and transferred to your hotel. Nairobi is the largest city in Kenya, with over six million residents, and it was founded in the late 19th century by colonial authorities in British East Africa as a rail depot on the Uganda Railway. The name originated from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nairobi (cold water), referring to the Nairobi River, which flows through the city.
The rest of the day is free time to explore any way you'd like. You might want to rest after the journey or visit some of the city's produce and flea markets. Cap off the day by eating a meal at an authentic Kenyan café or restaurant.
Day 2: Transfer to Lake Nakuru National Park, Afternoon Exploration
After breakfast in Nairobi, you will make the journey to Nakuru (101 miles/163 km). Along the way, you'll stop at a magnificent view of the Great Rift Valley, where you can stretch your legs at one of the natural wonders of the world. The geographically- and geologically-vast area stretches along East Africa and offers lakes, hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes (some that are active), to name a few.
You will arrive at the hotel in Nakuru in time for lunch. The afternoon is free time to explore Lake Nakuru National Park. This remarkable park offers beautiful landscapes and is internationally known for its animal sanctuary, which includes both black and white rhino species. You'll also find herds of waterbuck, leopards, and the endangered Rothschild giraffe. While exploring the park, you can also discover many different bird species, including the spectacular greater and lesser flamingoes. Lake Nakuru is also home to large flocks of pelicans, so there's plenty to see!
Day 3: Transfer to Masai Mara Park
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
After breakfast in Nakuru, you'll transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve (157 miles/242 km) near the Tanzanian border. Teeming with wildlife and bird species, Maasai Mara is known as "the jewel of Kenya's parks." You will arrive at your accommodations in the late afternoon with some time to rest before dinner. Don't worry, you'll have the chance to get out and explore tomorrow! The park is an extension of the vast Serengeti ecosystem, which is known for some of the most spectacular game migrations in the world.
Every year, over a million animals, including wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania across the Mara River and into Kenya in search of fresh feeding grounds. The migration typically takes place between late June and September. During this crossing, hundreds of wildebeests are swept away by the fast-moving Mara River while crocodiles kill others, hence the saying: Only the fittest and luckiest make it to the other side.
Day 4: Culture & Big Five in Maasai Mara
After breakfast, you'll have the entire day to discover Maasai Mara! Before you see some wildlife, consider an optional tour to a Maasai village where you'll discover the incredible culture of the indigenous natives. This visit includes personal interactions with "the Morans," young Maasai men trained as soldiers to protect the Maasai communities. The Morans once had to kill a lion as a rite of passage into manhood.
The visit begins with a traditional dance performed by men and women. From here, a guide will lead you through the village as you learn about their beliefs, traditions, and daily rituals, including demonstrations of how to make fire using sticks and animal dung. You will also get the unique opportunity to go into Maasai villagers' homes and witness the family living arrangement. At the end of the guided tour, there will be a chance to buy some gift items and curios made by the villagers—a chance to give back to the community.
After lunch, join a safari and get up close to some wildlife. Maasai Mara is an international conservation destination and one of the seven new wonders of the world. A safari offers a unique opportunity to fully experience Africa's endless plains, an abundance of wildlife, and incredible vistas. Travelers will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience to observe the "Big Five"—lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffaloes—in their natural habitat.
In the late afternoon, return to the hotel where you can enjoy a hot shower and a relaxing evening.
Day 5: Transfer to Lake Naivasha, Boat Tour
After breakfast at Maasai Mara, you will make the drive to Naivasha (152 miles/244 km) situated in the Great Rift Valley and famous for the spectacular freshwater Lake Naivasha.
Upon arrival at your accommodation, you can take some time to relax or get out and explore this picturesque area. An excellent way to spend your afternoon: Join a guided boat tour in the lake for close-up views of hippos, waterbucks, and countless species of birds.
Day 6: Explore Hell's Gate National Park
After breakfast in Naivasha, you will spend the day visiting the nearby Hell's Gate National Park (22 miles/35km), where you can expect an exciting day interacting with wild Kenyan animals in their natural habitat.
The park offers several spectacular walking trails filled with wildlife, or you can opt to ride a bicycle along the park's gravel roads and enjoy the scenic landscapes. You can also climb some of the park's cliffs and visit a geothermal hot spring called Devil's Shower (there's also a natural wonder called the Devil's Kitchen and Devil's Bedroom).
In the afternoon, return to your accommodation in Naivasha for some relaxation and dinner.
Day 7: Transfer to Nairobi, School Tour, Depart Kenya
It's time to say goodbye to Kenya! After breakfast in Naivasha, you drive back to Nairobi (59 miles/95 km). Here, you can spend your day exploring the bustling city or relaxing as you wait for your flight. There is also the option to visit a local Kenyan school on the outskirts of the city—an educational experience that offers you a chance to give back to the community. From here, transfer to the airport in time for your departure flight. Safe travels!
More Great 7-Day Kenya Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your Kenya trip? Check out these other 7-day Kenya itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.