Day 1: Home to Nairobi
Depart the home land on your flight to Nairobi. On arrival, transfer to the Nairobi Serena Hotel for a good night’s sleep ahead of your safari. Stay: Nairobi Serena Hotel.
Day 2: Nairobi to Tsavo West
Set off this morning, driving south to Tsavo West National Park. After lunch you’ll head out on your first game drive and also visit Mzima Springs – if you’re lucky you might spot hippo and crocodiles. There’s also the chance to descend to an underground viewing chamber to see colourful fish close-up. Tonight you’ll stay at the Kilaguni Serena Lodge; one of Kenya’s first ever lodges, with a tranquil atmosphere and uninterrupted views of Kilimanjaro. Tonight there’ll be a welcome dinner for you and your group. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: Kilaguni Serena Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 3: Tsavo West to Amboseli
After breakfast, drive to one of the most popular parks in Kenya – Amboseli National Park, known for its huge elephant herds and dramatic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Following an afternoon game drive you’ll head to the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. This is a traditional lodge, where the dining area is reached by a timbered bridge over a meltwater stream and rooms are housed in single-storey buildings. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 4: Amboseli
Head out on early morning and afternoon game drives in Amboseli. The low vegetation makes for excellent wildlife spotting. Look out for lion, buffalo and zebra, as well as hippo in the swamplands. The park’s dry and dusty form is due to the volcanic ash that came from Mount Kilimanjaro on its last eruption, yet the lush green areas are a result of a continuous water supply from the mountain’s melting snow. Stay: Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 5: Amboseli to Aberdares
After breakfast travel back to Nairobi and then out towards the Aberdare Mountain Range, with lunch en route at the Safari Park Hotel. Once you reach Aberdare you’ll check in at the Aberdare Country Club in order to transfer to its unique sister property, The Ark, which will be your viewing perch for the night. In the heart of the Aberdare National Park, The Ark’s design is based on Noah’s Ark. It overlooks a floodlit waterhole and salt lick, attracting a whole host of game both day and night. Four viewing decks with balconies allow up-close wildlife viewing without even leaving your accommodation. There’s also a ground-level photo hide and an on-call viewing service to ensure that you don’t miss a thing. Rooms are known as ‘cabins’ and are set over three ‘decks’. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Stay: The Ark. B, L, D.
Day 6: Aberdares to Samburu
Travel back to the Aberdare Country Club for check-out and continue north to the Samburu National Reserve where you’ll spend the next two nights at the comfortable Samburu Game Lodge on the western banks of the Uaso Nyiro River. Experience the African desert at its best – as a lesser known park, Samburu is less crowded, with game drives giving you the opportunity to spot leopard, lion and cheetah. This is the dry north of Kenya and the reserve attracts wildlife not often seen elsewhere. Look out for the gerenuk – a rare gazelle with a long neck that stands on its hind legs to feed. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Samburu Game Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 7: Samburu
Make the most of a full day in Samburu with early morning and afternoon game drives with your group offering further chances to seek out the Samburu ‘special five’: the gerenuk, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and Somali ostrich. Stay: Samburu Game Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 8: Samburu to Ol Pejeta
Drive south to Sweetwaters Serena Camp for lunch and an afternoon game drive, then visit the remarkable Chimpanzee and Rhino Sanctuaries. Incorporated within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy – one of only four private game conservancies to have been founded in Kenya – the sanctuary is the only place in Kenya where the endangered chimpanzee can be seen. It also houses the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, where you can see the world’s three remaining northern white rhino. Head back to Sweetwaters for dinner and to experience the charm of under-canvas living. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Sweetwaters Serena Camp. B, L, D.
Day 9: Ol Pejeta to Lake Nakuru
Drive via a photo stop at Thomson’s Falls to Lake Nakuru for lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge. Lake Nakuru National Park offers one of the best chances to see herds of rhino as well as migratory birds. Enjoy an afternoon game drive and take in the views from the park’s viewpoints. You’ll stay at the Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge which has stunning far-reaching views. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 10: Lake Nakuru to Maasai Mara
Drive to the Maasai Mara and explore the rolling plains on an afternoon game drive. Have your camera at the ready for spectacular wildlife viewing. You’re likely to spot prides of lion basking in the shade, and may even be able to seek out an elusive solo leopard and other species including cheetah and hyena. Stay at the Sarova Mara Game Camp – a classic bush camp with traditionally-furnished canvas tents housed under tiled roofs. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Stay: Sarova Mara Game Camp. B, L, D.
Day 11: Maasai Mara
Today there’s the option of a thrilling hot-air balloon safari over the Mara at sunrise. Then head out on early morning, mid-morning and afternoon game drives in the Maasai Mara. Stay: Sarova Mara Camp. B, L, D.
Day 12: Maasai Mara to Nairobi
If you’re travelling on to Kenya’s coast, you’ll fly directly from the Mara to Mombasa in the afternoon. Otherwise, return to Nairobi. Approx. journey time: 5 hours. Spend the afternoon at the convenient Eka Hotel where you might like to prebook a day room to freshen up before your return flight to the home land, arriving the following day. B.