Day 1 – The Nairobi Serena Hotel – Nairobi
Day 2 – Samburu Sopa Lodge – Samburu Nat. Reserve
Day 3 – Samburu Sopa Lodge – Samburu Nat. Reserve
Day 4 – Serena Mountain Lodge – Mt. Kenya Nat. Park
Day 5 – Sarova Lion Hill Lodge – Lake Nakuru Nat. Park.
Day 6 – Mara Serena Lodge – Masai Mara Nat. Reserve.
Day 7 – Mara Serena Lodge – Masai Mara Nat. Reserve.
Day 8 – Nairobi and departure.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Kenya money is called Kenya Shillings, abbreviated as Kshs. 100 cents makes 1 shilling. 1 US$ is equivalent to about Kshs. 70/= but this may change from more to less from bank to bank and lodge to lodge depending on the percentage of the commission taken.
Most banks in Kenya open between 09:00hrs and 15:00hrs. There are however bureau de change in every urban center and the open as earlier as 08:00hrs and close at 17:00hrs. Hotels and lodges change currencies as well.
Most lodges and hotels included shops accept the use of Visa/Master cards.
On the whole safari, it is recommended that you use only mineral water for drinking. Tap water may be used for shower and brushing of teeth, but we do not recommend that you drink it. The hotels and lodges have enough mineral water and you may also purchase this en-route when you make short breaks between the destinations.
July is the cold in Nairobi with little or no rains at all. South Eastern Kenya and Northern Tanzania would have cool evenings and a spell of sun during the day. Temperatures would range from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius during the night and as high as 27 degrees Celsius during the day. You will require warm clothing during the evenings i.e. jackets, long sleeved blouses and shirts, trousers etc. For the day, you may need casual clothing as t-shirts and shorts.
Generally, photography is allowed in Kenya and Tanzania. The animals get a monthly wage for posing for the photos, so you are encouraged to take a much as you wish. Do not take photos of strangers, police officers, military personnel, presidential motorcade, masai herdsmen and women or any other traditionally dresses persons. You may seek permission first before taking shots of strangers and masai people. Your driver will be at your service for any assistance that you may need.
All regions in Kenya and Tanzania are supplied with 240 volts. Almost all sockets you will find on safari are those that take in the rectangular prongs plug. You may however need to carry an adaptor just in case the two bottom holes are too wide apart for the charger prongs to go in. Most lodges and hotels will provide you with an adaptor if you do not have one. It will be very rare to find sockets with rounded prongs.
As a sign of appreciation, you may offer some tips to those who offer services at the hotels on the entire safari. However, tipping remains entirely on you. Should you feel like tipping for services rendered, we recommend that porters and waiters be given at least US$ 1.- For the driver-guide, we recommend a tip of between US$ 5.- to US$ 7.- per person per day.
Travel Connections Ltd wishes you an unforgettable African safari.
Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – Nairobi on board flight…… at ……hrs, go through the passport control then down to the luggage collection hall. Collect your luggage from the conveyor belt and walk out to the arrival concourse. Someone shall be waiting for you holding a folder written ‘TRAVEL CONNECTIONS’.
Drive from the airport to Nairobi Serena Hotel and check in. Rest of the day at leisure.
The Nairobi Serena is a beautiful garden hotel. The hotel’s clean white silhouette rises at the edge of Nairobi’s extensive Central Park. Surrounded by its own tropical garden, the hotel’s rather stark lines are softened by cascades of plants and flowers growing on terrace areas and individual balconies. From the gardens, terraces, swimming pool, and many of the rooms, there is a striking view of modern Nairobi’s distinctive skyline, especially beautiful at night.
The Mandhari is one of Nairobi’s finest a la carte restaurants. The elegance of the food, fine linens and silver is perfectly complemented by the inspired use of Kisii stone from western Kenya. The popular and more informal Café Maghreb is North African in style with arched recesses displaying pieces of brass and copper, and colourful tapestry screens separating tables. The Kisima Bar is decorated to reflect the importance of water themes in Swahili coastal life. ‘Kisima’ means watering hole in Swahili. There are low divans and stools, Swahili implements and murals on the walls.
Overnight at Nairobi Serena Hotel – bed and breakfast.
After a sumptuous breakfast at the Thorn Tree Café drive north. Drive past the densely populated central province. Cross the equator at Nanyuki, drive by the western side of Mt. Kenya, then down to Isiolo and further to Samburu Nat. Reserve.
Arrive at Samburu Sopa Lodge for lunch.
Samburu Sopa Lodge has thirty cottages forming buffalo horn pattern converge at the public facilities area, leaving the open end to free movement of the wildlife to access the waterhole. The architecture blends in with the area, to keep up with the style of the housing by the local Samburu people. Each cottage has two tastefully appointed bedrooms, each with two queen size beds, shower and private verandah. Local material has been used in the construction, furnishings and interior decoration. High ceilings and space ensure that the rooms are airy and comfortable.
Two rooms next to the reception and public areas are designed for the physically challenged.
The bar is located next to the lobby, it has a an uninterrupted view of the surrounding area.
The dining room has a beautiful view and once again the same theme is carried through, including the furniture which is unusually carved, and the chairs have a cow horn shape on the back rest. Local stones and materials are tastefully displayed bringing nature into the lodge.
Depart on an afternoon game drive.
Dinner and overnight Samburu Sopa Lodge – fullboard.
This day is dedicated to game viewing in Samburu National Game Reserve.
The Samburu National Game Reserve extends for an area of 105 square kilometers north of the meandering Ewaso Ngiro or ‘Brown’ river. It is part of a lava plain that includes a varied landscape of red dirt, thorn scrub, broken volcanic rock, dried river beds, steep hills, and rocky outcroppings, some large enough to be called mesas. Following the river curves, a riverine forest of doum palms, acacia, and tamarind is a magical contrast of cool green. It is attractive to the region’s wildlife and visitors alike. There are elephants, hippos, crocodiles and leopards, as well as plains game, other small mammals and birdlife. The region is home to the rare Grevy Zebra with large furry ears, gerenuk antelope standing on hind legs to feed, Somali ostriches with their distinctive blue legs, and the shy oryx beisa.
Lunch and dinner at the club. Overnight at Samburu Sopa Lodge – fullboard.
After breakfast drive to Isiolo which is 40kms away on the rough dirt road. Head back towards Mount Kenya passing by large wheat farms before arriving at Nanyuki town. Continue to the foot of Mount Kenya arriving at Serena Mountain Lodge for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon at the lodge.
Serena Mountain Lodge is located in the indigenous forest 7200 feet up in the foot hills of the Mount Kenya National Reserve. The lodge is a four storey boxlike structure built in 1970. It overlooks a natural waterhole and salt lick surrounded by dense forest. On a clear day, you can see the jagged peaks of Mt. Kenya’s summit through the trees. Each of the bedrooms faces directly over the waterhole. This is what makes Mountain Lodge appealing. You can view the game in the comfort and privacy of your own room – no need for a midnight dash to a public are in order to see the animals. Each room has a private bathroom and either an open balcony or a large picture window.
Game most frequently seen include: buffalo, elephant, rhino, forest hogs, suni, red duiker, spotted hyena, genet cat, and if you are lucky, a leopard or the big male lion who makes his appearance every now and then. Since the lodge was deliberately located beside a route animals travel between Mt. Kenya and the lowlands, it is not uncommon to see very large herds of animals. At night the waterhole area is lit by floodlights.
Dinner and overnight at Serena Mountain Lodge – fullboard.
Drive along the Aberdares Ranges to Thompson’s falls at Nyahururu for a short break. Continue down the Great Rift Valley to arrive at Lake Nakuru Lodge for lunch inside the Lake Nakuru National Park.
Depart on an afternoon game drive.
Created as a bird sanctuary, Lake Nakuru National Park features more than 400 species of birds, many from Europe and East Asia. The park includes a large savanna area to the south. A shallow blue-green alkaline lake famous for its flocks of pink lesser and greater flamingoes. The tilapia grahami fish has been introduced to provide food for the pelicans who also call Lake Nakuru home. The blue-green color is because of the presence of blue-green algae called spirulinga. The level of the lake goes up and down with the amount of rainfall and the color is dependent on the conditions for the growth of algae. There have been up to two million flamingoes on the lake at one time. When disturbed the birds lift gracefully into the air in a solid moving pink carpet.
Nakuru has proven to be an excellent and safe sight for the Rothschild giraffe and black rhino. It is an excellent spot also to photograph the hippo, reedbuck and defassa waterbuck.
Dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge – fullboard.
After an early breakfast drive via Narok to Masai Mara Nat. Reserve to arrive in time for lunch at the Sarova Mara Camp. Continue in the afternoon with a leisurely game drive to arrive at the Mara Serena Lodge late in the afternoon.
This popular lodge is set high on a ridge within the reserve. It commands magnificent uninterrupted views down across the Mara plains and over two water holes. The Mara Serena’s unique architecture and décor suggest a fantasy Masai manyatta – rounded spaces, earth tones, natural furnishings and tribal touches. A swimming pool has been positioned to take advantage of the wonderful view.
Dinner and overnight at Mara Serena Lodge – fullboard.
This day is solely reserved for game viewing in the vast Masai Mara National Reserve.
The Masai Mara is the most popular game reserve in Kenya. It is an extension of the SerengetiPlains in Tanzania, and offers the best game viewing in Kenya. On these wide open rolling grasslands you can often see an incredible variety of different animals at one time. Perhaps a cheetah mother sits on a termite mound with her punky-looking cubs, while beyond, gazelle, antelope and zebra placidly graze. Giraffe might peer curiously through the trees, while elephants pass on silent feet and vultures circle above. Every year millions of wildebeests migrate north from the Serengeti to the green grass of the Mara. This exciting spectacle usually occurs sometime between July and August.
Even when animals are not highlighting the scene, the views by themselves are worth the trip. Visits to a Masai manyatta can be arranged between you and the driver. Another popular ‘excursion’ is a romantic hot air balloon trip where you view animals from above and then touch down for an extravagant breakfast in the bush. Pricey but memorable, at a cost of USD 425.- per person this can be arranged directly before or upon arrival with Travel Connections.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Mara Serena Lodge – fullboard.
After breakfast drive back to Nairobi to arrive around 13:00hrs.
In the afternoon depart on a sightseeing tour of Nairobi city.
Nairobi is the largest city in East Africa. It began as a shantytown depot of the East Africa Railroad in 1899. In a little over 100 years it has become on of the major cities of modern Africa and a headquarters of the United Nations. It is a vibrant and growing city – a mosaic of many races and cultures.
Shopping in Nairobi is vast and wide. There are soapstone carvings, wonderful ethnic jewelry, many wooden carvings and colourful coth Kanga and Kikoi.
Farewell dinner then final transfer to the airport.
Departure as per your flight details.