Itineraries ‘Essence of Africa’
Itinerary for ‘Essence of Africa’ Luxury Safaris:
As we are constantly striving to make our Luxury Safaris even more spectacular, we have recently updated our itinerary for this safari. It includes some new and exciting locations, superb luxury accommodation and a flight between the Masai Mara and Nairobi.
Please note: ‘Essence of Africa’ Luxury Safaris commence upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, on Day 1 (Friday). Safaris are concluded upon departure on Day 13 (Wednesday). Total package consists of 13 days/12 nights (but allow one extra day for air travel to Nairobi, and two additional days for the return flights to Australia). Airfares not included unless otherwise stated. (Please refer to our ‘Terms and Conditions’ for all inclusions and specific details of travel.)
Day 1, Friday Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
Guests will be met by private drivers and transported in our two safari Landcruisers to the Fairview Hotel Nairobi for their first night.The Fairview has superb gardens and water features, with an excellent outdoor cafe. There is also a choice of top quality restaurants.
Accommodation here is on a bed and breakfast basis but you will find that the cost of the other meals is very reasonable, even by Australian standards, and the menu is very extensive. The facility employs top international chefs, so lunches and dinners are excellent. There is also a great coffee shop for light meals.
After an early buffet breakfast, we drive to Emali on the Mombasa highway and continue east to the town of Voi. Here we enter Tsavo East National Park, which is one of Kenya’s largest and oldest National Parks, covering an area of 11,700km2. There is a wide variety of animals to be seen here— lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, serval cats, antelope, kongoni, lesser kudu, oryx, klipspringer, impala, striped hyena, gazelle, buffalo and elephant… and more. Some 500 bird species have been recorded in the area, including ostrich and some migratory kestrels, while buzzards often stop at Tsavo East during their long flight south.
This famous National Park is home to some of the largest herds in Kenya — with elephants that glow red after dust baths, blowing the vivid red dust through their trunks and over their bodies; and large prides of lion are sighted regularly. Another great sight is the spectacular herds of up to 1,000 buffalo.
After driving past the Aruba dam and airstrip, we make our way to Satao Camp. Nestled amongst trees and surrounding a central waterhole, the semicircular layout of the camp provides an excellent viewing point for each of our guests. Satao Camp has twenty tents, all with full size en-suite bathrooms and their own elevated verandahs, thoughtfully positioned to ensure a full view of the camp’s ‘own’ watering hole. There is also a viewing tower for those who would like to see a little further.
During dry spells, hundreds of elephants and other animals make a daily trek to the waterhole on the edge of the camp, where we can watch them from our own luxury tent verandahs.
Day 3, Sunday Tsavo East
An early morning game drive starts the day, followed by showers and an incredible buffet breakfast in the beautiful African-style dining area. Browsing in the gift shop, or just sitting on our verandas and gazing at the animals will probably be enough until lunch in the open air, where a chef in full whites is ready to serve our meals. From our tables we will be able to watch the elephants play at the waterhole while we eat.
Mid to late afternoon will probably find us once again relaxing at our tents, cup of coffee or a drink in hand, watching or filming the elephants coming and going at the waterhole, as well as zebra, baboon, monkey, and maybe even lions. Around the camp, between the tents, the local Impala come to graze and the resident Masai giraffe browses on the acacias. During very dry weather, the kwila bird experience is unforgettable! This is where literally millions of these tiny birds flock from tree to tree, skimming the surface of the waterhole for droplets before returning to the branches. The noise they make is incredible!
Then it’s time to head over to the African Bar for sundowners and dinner, and after dinner guests can gather around the bonfire for a relaxing evening.
Day 4, Monday Amboseli
After an early breakfast at Satao Camp, we make a quick stop for bottled water in Voi and then drive in our safari vehicles west towards Nairobi. Our route takes us along the Mombasa Highway to Emali before turning south to the Elerai Conservancy and Satao Elerai Tented Camp.
Unlike its sister camp in Tsavo East National Park, Satao Elerai is located in a quiet, unspoilt unique setting on a 2,000 hectare (5,000 acre) private conservation area twelve kilometres south east of Amboseli National Park and at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Satao Elerai Safari Camp is small — with just twelve spacious luxury guest tents and five lodge-style suite rooms — and so retains all the charm and feel of the traditional luxury camps of days gone by. Tents are tastefully furnished and have solar-powered electric lighting; the en-suite bathrooms include shower, washbasin and flush toilet. Large balconies with relaxing day beds offer the perfect place to relax as you absorb the ambience. The camp provides an exclusive yet friendly experience. It is fully inclusive of all meals and includes a guided walk and sundowner. Mid afternoon, we will visit a Maasai village, escorted by the local Maasai landowners. This is a rare opportunity to meet and see the Maasai people at close hand and learn about their lifestyle and culture.
Day 5, Tuesday Amboseli
Starting with an early breakfast, we will game drive out of the conservancy and into Amboseli National Park for the day. We will take with us a picnic lunch. This park covers 392 km2, only a small portion of the surrounding 3,000km2 eco-system.
Amboseli National Park is renowned for its elephants, which may be seen in herds over 100-strong, drinking from the surface springs. Also happily roaming the grasslands are buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala and warthog. Attendant carnivores include lion, leopard, caracal, cheetah, jackal, hyena and serval cat. A bush sundowner is planned for the end of this amazing day.
Day 6, Wednesday Nairobi
The day starts with an early game drive, followed by breakfast, before taking a walk with the Maasai guides in the general area of the camp. Departing for Nairobi with a picnic lunch, we follow the road back out to Emali, turning west to Nairobi along the Mombasa Highway, arriving at the Fairview Hotel late afternoon.
Day 7, Thursday Lake Nakuru
After an early buffet breakfast at the Fairview Hotel, we depart west from Nairobi and drive through to Naivasha, where we descend to the floor of the Rift Valley, then follow the tarmac road through Naivasha and Elmenteita to Lake Nakuru National Park. After entering the park, we will check in to the Lion Hill Sarova Lodge in time for lunch.
Late afternoon we will game drive around the shores of the lake. The Lake Nakuru Park is famous for its bird spectacle featuring over a million flamingos, more than 400 migratory bird species from around the world and large flotillas of pelicans. The flamingos feed on blue-green algae, created from their droppings mixing in the warm alkaline waters, and planktons. At least 56 different species of mammals have been identified here, including the black rhino and white rhino, Rothschild’s giraffe, Cape buffalo, Deffassa waterbuck, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, impala, lion, leopard, warthog, olive baboon, black-backed jackal, reedbuck, dik-dik and eland.
Day 8 to 11, Fri, Sat, Sun & Mon Masai Mara
With another early breakfast behind us, we game drive out of Lake Nakuru National Park, then follow the highway back to Naivasha before turning off across the Rift Valley floor in the direction of Narok, passing the extinct volcanoes of Logonot and Suswa.
After Narok, we continue to Ewaso Ngiro, then to the Talek gate, where we briefly leave and re-enter the reserve as we make our way across to the Olkiombo Airstrip.
Not far from Olkiombo, hidden in the riverine forest, is Mara Bush Camp. It is situated on the oxbow of the river, and hippopotamus can be seen during the day and heard during the night!
After a brief rest, we will depart on the first of our game drives around 3.00pm.
We are here for four nights on a full board basis. Pre-dinner nibbles and drinks will be served in the ‘lounge’ tent, which is comfortably furnished and a great place to socialise. Dinner will be under the trees or in the large mess tent, and the food is superb.
We will be doing game drives in the local area of the Masai Mara. We can expect to see (sometimes in large numbers) almost every species of African wildlife. Most days we will take breakfast with us. Along the river, we will stop to photograph the hippos and the massive Nile crocodiles.
Day 12, Tuesday Nairobi
Our last day in the Mara is at a more leisurely pace, with the vehicles and drivers departing early for Nairobi and Wilson Airport. After another fantastic breakfast, the emphasis will be on relaxing through the day until mid afternoon, when you will be taken to Olkiombo airstrip for a flight back to Nairobi with Air Kenya. Here is an opportunity to savour the views enjoyed in the safari scenes of the movie ‘Out of Africa’, which were filmed in the Mara. The Great Rift Valley is spectacular from the air, with Masai Manyattas dotted across the landscape. The Ngong Hills are your indicator that all too soon you will be on final approach to Wilson Airport, where Landcruisers and drivers are waiting to transport you to the Fairview Hotel.
Day 13, Wednesday Nairobi
This is our final day in Kenya. We will aim to be packed and meet in the hotel car park by 8.00 am.
Then we’ll drive out along Ngong Road to Langata and the AFEW Giraffe Centre. Here will be a good opportunity to learn about the breeding program that is gradually bringing the Rothschild’s Giraffe back from extinction, and also a chance to hand feed the giraffes. Great photo opportunity!
From here, we drive a short distance to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage alongside the Nairobi Game Park. Elephant calves orphaned by poaching are brought here from all over the country. They receive extremely specialised treatment and personal care from highly dedicated staff who become surrogate mothers to the calves. Eventually the calves are moved to Tsavo National Park, where they are carefully reintroduced into wild herds. The centre is only open between 11.00am and midday each day.
Lunch will be at the Galleria Shopping Centre, followed by a visit to the Utamaduni Craft Centre.
Mid to late afternoon we will call in to the Aero Club of East Africa at Wilson Airport. As our flight check-in time is generally around 8.00pm, we will be relaxing around the Aero Club for the rest of the day, having a light meal and heading to the airport after 6.30pm. For those flying Emirates, Flight EK722 departs at 11.15pm, arriving in Dubai at 5.15am the following morning. Guests flying via Johannesburg will require an extra night in Nairobi.
- Fairview Hotel (3 nights total): Breakfast only
- Satao Camp (2 nights total) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Satao Elerai Camp (2 nights) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Sarova Lion Hill: (1 night) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Mara Bush Camp: (4 nights) Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
- Aero Club of East Africa Light Bistro Meal late afternoon
SafariKenya Pty Ltd reserves the right to make changes to the sequence of this itinerary
and to substitute accommodation of equal or better quality
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