African Safari Kenya | Fly-in Holiday

Days

10

Journey Type

African Safari Kenya | Fly-in Holiday

Cities and Landmarks

Nairobi, Amboseli, Laikipia, Masa Mara

Days

10

Journey Type

African Safari Kenya | Fly-in Holiday

Cities and Landmarks

Nairobi, Amboseli, Laikipia, Masa Mara

Overview

When asked to name an African country, most Americans will reply with Kenya – such is her reputation as one of the worlds’ most iconic safari destinations.  For those that can visit, this is the same land that enthralled such historical figures as Theodore Roosevelt and  Ernest Hemingway.  Even today, international celebrities regard Kenya as a must-see destination.

One of Hollywoods’ most beloved romances, “Out of Africa”, opens with the line, “I had a farm in Africa at the foot of the Ngong Hills…” and it is here that your own love affair with Africa will begin, at an elegant hotel resplendent in manicured gardens and reminiscent of Kenya’s colonial past.

Yet even such comfort might seem a necessary evil when you anticipate what lies ahead – for Africa’s star attraction is its’ wildlife, and throughout this bespoke itinerary, you will be flown from scene to scene in luxurious comfort, as you are introduced to the Big 5 –  her celebrity species – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, and leopard.  

A supporting cast of indigenous wildlife play parts no less important, as each has its own story waiting to be told in costumes ranging from the drab to the flamboyant.  Their stories, interwoven by skilled narrators, will draw you into a life and death drama of the ages.

The soundtrack reflects every mood and emotion through the song of birds, accompanied by humming insects, and baritone frogs.  The crackle of campfires, exotic tongues, and rhythmic drum beats over the savannah seduce you with the essence of Africa. 

The lighting too is spectacularly memorable.  From dawn when the sun first warms the landscape in a dozen shades of gold, piercing the mist and scattering through the trees, until the sparkling dome of the African night heralds the days’ final curtain, your eyes will feast on the rich palette of hues that paint the landscape.

All this plays out on sets as spectacular as they are diverse – from towering snow-capped volcanoes to undulating plains that stretch to infinity.  Throughout, you will be accommodated in luxurious surroundings, your only task being to savor every moment and plan your return – for, in this timeless drama, there will always be a sequel.

Highlights

Arrive Nairobi, Keyna

Arriving at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, you will be met by our representative who will escort you to your lodgings for the first evening of your stay – the elegant Hemingways Nairobi hotel – set in a quiet, leafy neighborhood at the foot of the Ngong Hills.  The manicured gardens are home to a proliferation of birdlife whose song welcomes you to this plantation-style gem of the city’s hotels.  With giraffes and zebras known to roam the neighborhood, your transition to safari-mode is gentle and refined.

The hotel evokes both Kenya’s colonial past and its own proud heritage, as revealed in the décor and furnishings.  The hotel features various public spaces both welcoming and comfortable.  Convivial chatter in an array of exotic tongues is heard in the lounge, safari tales are swapped over gin & tonics in the bar, and appetites of all sizes are appeased in the elegant restaurant.  Feel free to book from a range of wellness treatments in the spa, have a workout in the gym, or simply laze by the pool.  

Your spacious suite is a sanctuary for your restoration, bedecked in a contemporary palette of earth tones and grandly furnished for your comfort.  Modern amenities and services are at your fingertips, while a pleasing view of the gardens and surrounding hills can be enjoyed from your terrace.  Your en-suite bathroom is an extravagant marble ensemble with a separate bath, shower, WC, and a walk-in closet.

Hemingways Nairobi

Amboseli National Park

Today you will be chauffeured directly to an awaiting aircraft, ready to carry you to your first safari camp, and – Tortilis Camp Amboseli, home for the next two nights.  The camp is situated in a quiet corner of the Amboseli National Park, in an area to which only a limited number of visitors are granted access.  This means that you are unlikely to encounter other vehicles and will have most sightings to yourselves.  Perched on a hill overlooking the savannah and the magnificent Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance, the camp also enjoys exclusive access to a private concession thanks to a partnership with the local people.  This means that you can venture off-road, do game-drives after dark, and go on walking safaris – all in the company of expert guides.

‘Amboseli’ means salty dust in the Maasai dialect, a name derived from the dust devils that dance across the dried surface of the central salt marsh in the dry season.  Aside from the monolithic presence of Kilimanjaro, the reserves’ other larger-than-life boast is its vast herds of African elephants.  

Tortilis Camp is named after the flat-topped, umbrella thorn tree (Acacia Tortilis), and several of these iconic African trees dot the site.  The central hub, built of locally sourced timber and thatch houses a lounge, bar, and dining room – lively spaces to socialize with the staff and your fellow adventurers.  Outside, a crystal clear swimming pool beckons.

Accommodation is provided in spacious tented suites, each comfortably furnished and decorated with traditional artworks and bold African prints.  An en-suite bathroom, lounge, and veranda offer privacy, while complimentary wifi ensures connectivity.  

A typical day on safari begins at dawn, taking advantage of the cooler hours when wildlife is most active.  You will set off in a customized open-sided safari vehicle in the company of an experienced guide, whose knowledge of the local wildlife all but ensures excellent sighting.  

Aside from a reputation for a large elephant population, Amboseli’s plains are also home to abundant plains game, such as Cape buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, and numerous antelope species.  The plenitude of prey and generally open habitats make the reserve an ideal place to spot lions, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, and leopards.  Smaller predators such as servals, genets, and wildcats might also be spotted after dark in the 30,000-acre Kitura conservancy.  For bird-watchers, Amboseli’s 600 recorded species are sure to keep you happy, particularly the pink flamingos wading the shallows of the Pleistocene lake.

Elegant in their deep red dress, local Maasai guides will lead you on foot to teach you about their special relationship with the land, pointing out various animal tracks and plants used for traditional medicines.  You may also take the opportunity to visit their ‘manyatta’ – a temporary residence where life continues according to age-old traditions.  

No game drive is complete without sundowners and no sundowner is complete without a gin and tonic (or G&T as they’re affectionately known).  The equatorial sun appears to be so much larger as it dips below the horizon, and the colors defy description.

Tortilis Camp Amboseli

Laikipia - Loisaba Conservancy

Today you depart from Tortilis in your light aircraft, destined for the highlands where you will stay at Kenya’s most exciting conservation success story – the sublime Loisaba Tented Camp in the privately-owned Loisaba Conservancy.  Perched on the edge of an escarpment, overlooking verdant plains that stretch out to Mt. Kenya, the camp is the centerpiece of a progressive collaboration between conservationists and cattle ranchers, where protection of the environment and the pastoral way of life is of paramount importance.  

The main lodge structure comprises an expansive pavilion-style tent that houses a separate dining room, bar, and lounge.  Leading out from the cover, a wooden deck has space for outdoor dining and leads on to possibly Africa’s most scenic infinity pool.  The decor carries a strong African theme, celebrating Kenya’s cultural and artistic heritage.  Sumptuous meals are the order of the day, where familiar dishes receive an African twist.

Your accommodation for the next three nights is a tent in name only.  Beneath tautly stretched canvas, your suite is an enclave of relaxation, enhanced by panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows.  Here the decor is chic-Africana, with modern furnishings, an en-suite bathroom, and a private veranda.

Africa’s most endangered carnivore, the painted wolf, whose survival requires vast tracts of land, has made the Loisaba Conservancy home – so the chance of seeing these fascinating gregarious creatures up close is very good.  Lions are also commonly sighted.  Unusual species such as endangered Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, and Somali ostrich are also found in the area.  Elephants also traverse the conservancy as they follow ancient migratory routes.

Unusual for a safari destination, much of the emphasis on the conservancy is on fostering better relations between human activities and wildlife.  The land is a functioning cattle ranch, so you may well see zebra grazing alongside indigenous Boran cattle.  Surprisingly, this is the Africa of our ancestors, where man and beast lived in harmony.

Aside from the usual safari activities – game drives and walks – Loisaba offers a host of other activities suited to both the energetic and more sedentary among us.  For experienced horse riders, 2-hour outrides amongst the herds of game are a thrilling experience.  The horses are specially trained and are accepted as belonging by the game, allowing unusually close interactions.  For something similar but more sedate join a camel trek along the river or across the plains.  Camels are synonymous with the local Samburu people who have worked with them for eons.  Please enquire at the lodge for more details about these activities.

Included in your package is the option to go mountain biking over the rugged landscape in the company of a guide.  Or, you could visit a Samburu village and learn more about their culture and colorful dress (a community entry fee is payable).  A donation to the conservancy’s anti-poaching projects will grant you an audience with Loisaba’s most conscientious employees.  Four specially trained bloodhounds help keep the area’s cattle and wildlife safe.  But like all dogs, they love to have their bellies scratched.

Loisaba Tented Camp

Masia Mara National Reserve

Today you take off from Loisaba destined for your final destination, and perhaps the one for which Kenya is most widely recognized among wildlife enthusiasts.  

Annually, a super-herd of herbivores – 1,5 million wildebeest, 400,000 zebra, 12,000 eland, and 300,000 Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles – driven by their eternal search for grazing, migrate between the Serengeti of Tanzania and the lush plains of the Masai Mara.

The Mara leg of the migration typically peaks between July and October.  The wildlife spectacular that kicks off with the chaotic Mara River crossings in July, culminates with the scent of rain luring the herds back to the Serengeti in October.  It is a time of plenty for both predators and prey.  All that said, the region offers plentiful wildlife for the rest of the year, and reduced visitor activity also means that there is less congestion at sightings

Your home for your three-night stay is the elegant Sand River Masai Mara tented camp – recently voted one of the worlds’ top 50 resorts – situated in a secluded corner of the reserve.  The overriding theme of the camp pays homage to the safari traditions of the 1920s when lumbering caravans brought with them everything they would need for extended stays  (including the kitchen sink).  Grand campsites, complete with silver candlesticks, were erected and it is in this spirit that the camp welcomes you.

The central pavilion houses the bar and dining room, the latter of which extends outdoors onto a broad deck overlooking the bubbling Sand River.  None will forget delicious meals taken under the stars, with a crackling fire and the whoop of hyenas in the distance.  Sweeping views of the gently undulating landscape lead the eye from grazing herds dotted here and there, to flat-topped acacias, to soaring vultures above.  The friendly staff will happily deliver drinks to you at the swimming pool from which you can keep a  lookout for passing wildlife. 

The tents are grandly furnished with magnificent four-poster beds, evocative furnishings, and en-suite bathrooms that include a shower open to the elements.  A viewing deck completes the setup – and many are tempted to “safari from their sun-lounger”, uploading images of the experience to social media on the complimentary wifi.

The pleasures of the camp are all good and well but no one pretends that the wildlife is not the main attraction.  And of the wildlife, the predators seem to attract the most demand.  In this respect, the Masai Mara is truly special.  

For eons, the various predators have evolved hunting strategies to ensure the survival of their kind.  Cheetahs hunt mainly during the day when other carnivores rest, hoping to gulp down as much as they can before scavengers chase them off.  Sociable lions form large prides, enabling them to bring down even the biggest buffalo.  And leopards are masters of ambush, using their camouflage to stalk until they explode onto unsuspecting prey.  Even hyenas, wrongly maligned as cowardly scavengers, capture more prey than they steal and have complex social structures headed by an all-powerful matriarch, and are arguably the most successful large predator on the planet.  

The chances are extremely high that you will encounter all of the above in the course of your twice-daily game drives.  Predators aside, the plains teem with game – elephants, buffalo, giraffe, kudu, impala, waterbuck, warthog, the list goes on and we haven’t even mentioned the 500 species of birds.  Please note that since this is a national game reserve, walks and night drives are not permitted.

For a little cultural immersion, a visit to a local Maasai village can be arranged, where you can interact with these nomadic people, whose proud heritage is as noble as their deep red robes.

Sand River Masai Mara

Nairobi & Homeward Bound

Today your safari culminates after breakfast and your light aircraft is standing by to return you to Nairobi.  Rather than endure a wait at the airport, we have arranged a day room back at the Hemingway, where you can freshen up in preparation for your return home.  At the appointed hour, you will be returned to the airport for your onward flight.  

We take this opportunity to bid you a fond farewell, with an open invitation to return.  Magical Africa Awaits!

Options & Extensions

A gorilla sitting in the woods, surrounded by tall trees and lush greenery. It looks calm and peaceful in its natural habitat.

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Without exception, those who have been privileged to spend time with gorillas report a near-mythical experience, as if glancing into our ancestral past.  Sharing upwards of 98% of DNA, the link between our species is undeniable.  While they are massively powerful creatures – with males weighing over 400 pounds – they are by nature shy and placid.  Primarily herbivores, they spend much of their day alternating between foraging and rest.

A picturesque beach setting under a vibrant blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.

Zanzibar Beach Retreat

For those wishing to enjoy a little pure downtime, perhaps following an action-packed safari, our Zanzibar itinerary offers the perfect blend of luxury, simplicity and all the idyllic pleasures of beach life. We have chosen from among Zanzibar’s best beach lodges options which are suitable for either families or those seeking an intimate, sophisticated retreat surrounded by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean

With table mountain in the background with blue skies, the vibrant Cape Town bay with different ships docked

In & Around Cape Town

With its spectacular landscape, diverse activities and well-developed infrastructure, Cape Town offers the modern traveler the ideal destination for leisure and adventure.  It is frequently voted among the best cities to visit on vacation by noteworthy publications – and much of the local economy thrives thanks to a robust tourist industry.  Visitors from across the spectrum are sure to find the range of accommodation, cuisine and places of cultural and historical interest highly appealing.

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Feel free to get in touch with us to begin planning your personalized dream safari today. Our team specializes in crafting bespoke safari experiences that cater to your specific preferences. Whether you’ve always dreamed of witnessing the Big Five in their natural habitat, marveling at the mesmerizing Great Migration, or simply savoring the enchanting African sunsets, we’re here to turn your safari dreams into reality.

Address

16531 Misty Hill Dr Chino Hills CA 91709

Phone

+1-855-8-AFRICA
+1-855-823-7422

Email

safaris@magicalafrica.com