Highlights: Nairobi - Samburu National Reserve - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Other departures: Glasgow - £6555, Edinburgh - £6555, Birmingham - £6545, Manchester - £6519, Bristol - £6605, Norwich - £6609, Southampton - £6515, Newcastle - £6579, Cardiff - £6599
Nairobi - Solio Lodge Itinerary: Day 01: International arrival at Nairobi Day 02: Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Arrival at JKI Airport where you will be met and transferred to The Giraffe Manor. Giraffe Manor is owned by The Safari Collection and is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. As one of Nairobi’s most iconic buildings, Giraffe Manor has extraordinary appeal, that harks back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa: indeed, one of its six suites is named after the author Karen Blixen.
However, the most fascinating thing about Giraffe Manor is its herd of resident Rothschild giraffe who may visit morning and evening, sometimes poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat, before retreating to their forest sanctuary. Meal plan: Full board basis
Day 03: NAIROBI SOLIO LODGE 07:30 hrs Buffet breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Wilson Airport to catch flight to Nanyuki. 09:15 hrs Scheduled Flight departs from Wilson Airport, Nairobi. 09:50 hrs Flight arrives Nanyuki where you will be met and transferred to Solio Lodge. Solio Lodge is located on a private wildlife sanctuary, tucked in the valley between the lofty slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains, directly north of Nairobi. This intimate and luxurious lodge opened in August 2010 and remains the only guest accommodation on the incredible 45,000-acre Solio Game Reserve. The Solio Reserve is internationally recognized as the most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya and visitors will find that sightings of up to 40 rhinoceros at a time are not uncommon. The wildlife experience here is intense and exclusive with 19,000 acres of conservancy surrounded by 45,000 acres of ranch and just one lodge, Solio Lodge, in the middle of it. 12:30 hrs Enjoy buffet lunch at the lodge. Afternoon spent at leisure. The lodge has five contemporary luxurious cottages with private decks and panoramic views of the nearby hills and Mount Kenya in the distance. Each room has a private lounge area with open fire for cooler evenings, as well as large en-suite bathrooms with a double sink, bath and shower. Solio Lodge takes full advantage of its spectacular surroundings. Vast floor-to-ceiling windows frame distant Mount Kenya and outdoor sundecks afford panoramic views 16:00 hrs Depart for an evening game drive. 18:30 hrs Return to the lodge for dinner and then overnight.
Day 04: Solio - Samburu National Reserve by Road 07:30 hrs Buffet breakfast at the lodge. 08:30 hrs Transfer by road to Sasaab Lodge. Sasaab is close to the Buffalo Springs National Reserves, in Kenya’s Northern Frontier District. It’s a place of rich natural diversity with an astounding number of animals from huge majestic elephant to lion, leopard and cheetah and the ‘Samburu Special Five’: the Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Gerenuk antelope and Somali ostrich. Sasaab prides itself on its hospitality and our friendly and attentive staff strive to make every guests’ experience unforgettable. The architecture of Sasaab follows strong Moroccan design principles, in which African heat is of primary consideration. Each of the nine Moroccan-styled rooms is over 100m² with an enormous open-air bathroom and private plunge pool. From the veranda, guests can take in the remarkable views across the Laikipia Plateau toward the jagged peak of Mount Kenya. Its position on the river naturally facilitates watching the herds of elephant that come to bathe. 13:00 hrs Enjoy buffet lunch at the lodge. Afternoon spent at leisure. 16:00 hrs Depart for an evening game drive. 18:30 hrs Return to the lodge for dinner and then overnight. Day 05: Samburu National Reserve Day spent in Samburu on full board basis. Activities that can be done:
Enjoy guided walks, bird watching, stargazing or a visit to SpaSaab for world-class beauty treatments. For the more adventurous take a game drive, camel ride or spend a night or two in the further reaches of the conservation. The local Samburu guides speak excellent English and will take children under their wing to teach them how to make of a traditional bow and arrow or a toothbrush from the ‘toothbrush tree’. For a special experience guests can spend a night or two fly-camping under mosquito net tents in the wilderness. This amazing trip starts with a 4–5 hour walk along the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of this untamed and romantic part of Kenya.
Day 06: Samburu - Maasai Mara National Reserve 07:30 hrs Enjoy buffet breakfast at Sasaab. Transfer to the airstrip to catch flight to Masai Mara National Reserve. 10:05 hrs Scheduled flight departs from Samburu. 12:35 hrs Flight arrives Masai Mara National Reserve where you will be met and transferred to Sala’s Camp. Sala’s Camp is a tented camp that combines tradition with comfort and it’s a model of understated, intimate luxury. Situated in the southern, wilder corner of Kenya’s mighty Maasai Mara game reserve close to the confluence of the Sand and Keekorok Rivers – an idyllic geographical feature that attracts teeming wildlife. Sala’s Camp location is a big draw, close to Tanzania with wonderful views of the Serengeti National Park, it is one of the first camps in the Mara to witness the legendary annual migration of wildebeest, which thunders by from June to September each year. Sala’s Camp also offers the best of the Maasai Mara’s wildlife and birdlife year round. Sala’s Camp first hosted guests in 2004, it has become renowned for combining an authentic safari experience with hospitality and fine dining. Enjoy buffet lunch at the camp.Afternoon spent at leisure. 16:00 hrs Depart for an evening game drive.
A spectacle worth seeing is the annual migration of millions of wildebeests, zebra, and gazelles from the Serengeti plains across the Tanzania border and Mara River to reach Maasai Mara grazing fields. The dramatic crossing of the river and the preying on the migrants by predators can be viewed early June to August. The Mara has got also thousands of species of bird life and plant life.
18:30 hrs Return to the camp for dinner and then overnight.
Day 07: Maasai Mara National Reserve 06:30 hrs Full buffet breakfast at the lodge.
Depart with picnic lunch boxes for a full day of game viewing in the Mara OR simply have a morning and an afternoon game drive.
While this reserve is home to over 410 species of birds and 60 species of raptors, it is also one of the world’s finest game viewing destinations. This is because it plays host to an abundance of every form of wildlife possible except for those few species which can only be seen north of the Equator.
The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeest’s migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.
There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve.
Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino).
18:00 hrs Return in the evening for dinner and then overnight.
Day 08: Maasai Mara – Nairobi – Departure 07:00 hrs Breakfast at the camp.
Transfer after breakfast to the airstrip to catch flight to Nairobi city.
08:45 hrs Scheduled flight departs Masai Mara.
10:15 hrs Flight arrives Wilson Airport where you will be met and transferred to JKI Airport to catch your home bound flight.
Flight arrives JKI Airport where you will connect with your international flight