Kenya offers a feast for the senses and this action packed safari itinerary will reveal it all. In six days you’ll visit five national parks, exploring the breathtaking beauty and diversity of Kenya’s unique landscapes. Dramatic scenes are combined with serene panoramas and unbeatable safari moments. Visit the Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, Tsavo East, and Tsavo West. Each park offers unforgettable experiences and unexplored wilderness. Great tailor-made safaris best for all holiday makers combing the best aspect of a great holiday in Kenya ranging from wildlife, nature, culture and scenery.
- Visit five very different national parks, each teeming with wildlife and offering a distinct safari experience
- Marvel at the great herds of the Maasai Mara, and then watch magnificent big cats roam across the plains
- Find black and white rhinos in the savannahs that surround flamingo covered Lake Nakuru
- Watch elephants roam beneath the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro in the compact Amboseli National Park
- Find the full Big Five in Tsavo West, then weave through the park to the Mzima Springs where hippo pods and sunbathing crocodiles await
- Enjoy a thrilling adventure in the vast Tsavo East, a park that’s home to a phenomenal cast of Africa’s unique mammals
Day 1 The Majestic Maasai Mara
Your Kenyan adventure begins on the vast plains of the Maasai Mara. Grass stretches beyond the horizon, the landscape dotted with large herds of zebra and wildebeest. Thompson’s gazelle join the animal party, tentatively grazing on the vivid lands of the Mara. During the summer months over two million mammals migrate to the Mara, humongous herds thundering north from the neighboring Serengeti. This influx is only an addition to the permanent residents. At all times of the year, the Maasai Mara holds one of the greatest concentrations of wild game on the planet. The grass disappears under a moving trail of four hooves and swirling dust, an evocative scene that marks your first day on safari.
From Nairobi you’ll be driven to the Maasai Mara. Enjoy a long afternoon game drive before spending the night at either Oloshaiki Camp or Fig Tree. Both options offer a personal experience and superb accommodation that’s surrounded by nature. And what nature! Out on the plains a cheetah carefully stalks its prey, camouflaging itself before accelerating towards the impala with unrivaled speed. A lion pride approaches the safari truck. Mouths fall silent and jaws drop open. Everybody instinctively makes a small move away from the window. But the lions aren’t hunting for food, they’ve come to lounge in the shade created by the truck. Leopards are often the most elusive of the big cats, but their abundance means that most people get more than just a glimpse. These predators might look cuddly or cute in photos, but there is something solemn and absolute about their meticulous movements through the grass.
Day 2 A Full Day Exploring the Maasai Mara
A park like the Maasai Mara must be savored. Your first game drive is a whirlwind of sights and stimulations. Eyes scan and are never quite sure where to settle, and the sheer concentration of mammals leaves everyone in an adrenalin fueled fever. On your second day in the Mara, there’s plenty of time to relax and fully appreciate the rich landscape. See the giant herds, but take time to admire the enchanting interplays that are eternally being played out. Boisterous young males fight for mating rights. Tiny zebra foals are adoringly nurtured by vigilant mothers. Bull elephants flap their ears in pride defiance, refusing to leave the waterhole before their extended family has had enough to drink. In some parks there is a preoccupation with spotting the Big Five. In the Maasai Mara there is so much going on that any tick-list goes out of the window.
Each day here is different and your guides’ intimate knowledge brings you closer than you could imagine. They know about the hippo pools, isolated spots where large pods wade in the shallows and roll around the escarpments. Parts of the Mara River are infested with Nile Crocodiles, and any four legged animal making the crossing does so with serious risk. Black rhinos are critically endangered, and the Maasai Mara is one of few parks where they can still be found. These imperious creatures always draw dramatic gasps, especially when mother and youngster slowly plod past the safari truck. But for all the individual sights, it’s often the boundless beauty of the Maasai that becomes deeply ingrained in the memory. This is a raw animal world where people are merely visitors. Reveling in every little sight and sound offers a truly unique experience.
Day 3 The Magical Beauty of Lake Nakuru
Flamingos provide a dramatic welcome to Lake Nakuru, over a million of them wading in the shallows and turning the lake shore a vivid pink. Imperious clifftops look down on this national park, the colorful flamingos juxtaposed with a rich blue lake and vibrant stretches of savannah. Survey the panoramas from above, and make sure your eyes are pealed for the eagles that effortlessly soar through the skies. After breakfast you’ll head north from the Maasai Mara, driving towards Lake Nakuru, arguably Kenya’s most beautiful national reserve. Over 400 species of bird offer a meandering soundtrack; kingfishers and hamerkops sing from the treetops, while cormorants and heron squawk from the shallows. Down besides the lakeshore the sheer numbers of flamingos defy your eyes, and their brilliant pink finds another contrast; this time the sharp black and white stripes of zebra herds.
Lake Nakuru is far more than a bird lover’s paradise. The big cats will need no introduction after the Maasai Mara, nor will the large antelope herds. But out in the forest something is stirring. It emerges from the trees, its great horn blazing a trail towards the lake. As the white rhino passes, it takes a moment to stop and glare at the safari truck. When it wanders on, your eyes follow every movement, and your camera eagerly captures this unequivocal sight. Black rhinos can also be found here, and numbers of both endangered species are steadily rising. Weaving out of the trees you also spot giraffes, elegant browsers feeding from the treetops. They wait silently, their distinct markings providing another magical safari moment. Flamingo Hill Camp provides your accommodation inside the national reserve, and it’s famed for the buffalos that come right up to the perimeter of the camp.
Day 4 Elephants and Kilimanjaro at Amboseli National Park
Africa’s highest mountain provides the backdrop to Amboseli, the snow-capped Uhuru Peak clearly visible above the flat savannah. Great elephant herds roam across this land, their distinct shapes providing a wonderful contrast on any photo of Mount Kilimanjaro. On one hand Amboseli offers a small and compact safari experience, the bountiful wildlife easily found congregating around swamps and dried out lake beds. Yet it’s also a spacious place of serene beauty. Little compares to relaxing on a verandah and watching the elephants roam beneath Mount Kilimanjaro. After an early breakfast you’ll drive towards Amboseli where your night’s accommodation is at the Amboseli Serena.
On your afternoon game drive the elephants are going to come thick and fast. Some wander lonely, like the melancholy old bulls who’ve been cast out from the herd. At the other end of the scale, adorable babies try and keep up as they take their first steps across the savannah. Growing youngsters are still getting used to their power, boastfully chasing away warthogs who dared to approach the same waterhole. It’s not just about the elephants, though, as a whole smorgasbord of Africa’s great mammals dig for water and graze on the long grass. Hyena and impala aren’t exactly the best of friends, the latter providing a tempting meal for the scavenging cat. Lions can also provide a tasty dinner, although the hyena must wait until the pride blissfully sleeps with bloated stomachs. Cape buffalo are the Big Five member that most people aren’t aware of. While their shabby hair and comically protruding ears won’t win any prizes for beauty, these one-ton beasts are as dangerous as any other mammal on Kenya’s savannahs.
Day 5 The Big Five and Quarreling Hippos at Tsavo West National Park
Heading east towards Mombassa, your next safari stop is the dusty landscapes of Tsavo West. Areas of high grassland make this an ideal spot for predators, the big cats able to easily approach without being spotted. Elephants and giraffe wander across large red swathes of arid rock. Hartebeest and kudu drink from withering waterholes, while the daily sightings of buffalo and giraffe continue. You will spend the night at the sumptuous Kilaguni Serena Lodge, another lodge that combines a personal touch with a careful attention to detail.
Water is more abundant at the nearby Mzima Springs. Frolicking in this area are hippos and crocodiles, two animals with very different daily routines. When the afternoon sun beats down, crocodiles are found sunbathing beside the shore, often asleep with wide open jaws and ferocious looking teeth. Hippos like to stay cool. They can barely swim or float. But they’re capable of sleeping underwater, and then emerging every few minutes to breath without waking up. They’re waddlers, walking along the lake floor or rolling in the mud. Admire their interactions as males quarrel over mating rights. The largest bull controls a harem of females, and the bachelor males must either fight to reproduce or submissively back down from the commanding bull. Your game drive will wind through the park towards these unforgettable springs.
Day 6 The Vast Savannahs of Tsavo East National Park
Parts of Tsavo East can be spookily quiet. As you wind through the sparse trees it seems that this is a desolate landscape. There is as much wildlife in this national park as is anywhere else in Kenya. Yet Tsavo East covers a huge area and searching for these inimitable sightings is a thrilling experience. An hour can pass with only sightings of elephants, giraffe, and zebra. Even when the savannah gives way to open grassland, there doesn’t appear to be anything else to find. But turn another corner and a large lion pride is busily feasting on an impala carcass. An elusive jackal waits nearby hoping to scavenge some leftovers. Driving away you spot scattered footprints. Reedbuck and oryx are among the frightened herd beating a quick retreat from the cats.
Tsavo East is home to a phenomenal cast of Africa’s great animals. They range from obvious predators to rare antelopes, and swinging primates to bizarre nocturnal rodents. Guides never like to predict or promise what might be seen on a game drive, even if they’re 99% certain of particular sights. In Tsavo East it’s impossible to suggest what might be found. And this unpredictability makes it an ideal final safari stop. After the four previous parks there shouldn’t be any lingering desperation for an animal that hasn’t been seen. Tsavo East becomes a thrilling adventure, a roller coaster ride that will reveal an assorted collection of special sights. Tsavo West and Tsavo East neighbor each other. With no transfer time between the parks, pretty much this whole day will be spent on a game drive. Your final overnight accommodation is in the wonderful Voi Wildlife
Day 7 A Final Game Drive and Transfer to Mombasa
Enjoy your final morning waking up surrounded by Kenya’s beautiful wildernesses. An early morning game drive is an added bonus, a last chance to savor the charms of an untamed animal world. Return to the lodge for a filling breakfast before departing to Mombasa. You can be dropped off at either a hotel or the Mombasa Airport. This one way itinerary is easy to combine with a few days soaking up the sun on the glorious Indian Ocean beaches of Mombasa.