Day 1 - Nairobi
On arrival in Nairobi, you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel by our Intrepid representative. You may wish to speak to our representative regarding any additional tours or activities that you might wish to do while you’re in Nairobi. There will be a trip briefing at the hotel at approximately 6.00pm this evening. The rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
Please note this is an arrival day – you can arrive at any time. Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, was established at the turn of the 20th century by Europeans as a stores depot during the construction of the East African Railway. Without plan or design, it established itself as the capital of the British protectorate, and today has a population of around three million.
Day 2 - Lake Nakuru National Park
Depart Nairobi and head north-west towards Lake Nakuru National Park (approximately 4 hours), arriving in time for lunch. Afterwards climb into our truck for an afternoon game drive and watch as hundreds of pink flamingos converge on Lake Nakuru, all under the watchful eye of nearby rhinos and zebras. Lake Nakuru is a soda lake which is home to massive numbers of flamingos - up to two million on occasion - and thousands of other birds. It has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle and, at times, the lake is literally a sea of pink. There is quite a good chance of seeing white rhinos, whilst black rhinos may prove to be more elusive. After spending the day in the park, we return to our private lodge. Perched on natural cliffs skirted with giant fig trees, the lodge grounds are home to numerous reptiles species, rock hyraxes and birds.
Day 3 - Lake Naivasha
Enjoy a scenic drive across Kenya, travelling south along a road sandwiched between two impressive natural reserves, to Lake Naivasha (approximately 3 hrs). One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is bordered with flat-topped acacias and has floating islands of papyrus reeds. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds. There is an option to venture out on a boat ride through the crater lake.
Day 4 - Lake Naivasha
Today is free to explore at your leisure. See all that this vast lake has to offer on a waterside bike ride or opt for time on the water instead and head out on a boat trip. If hiking is more to your tastes then there are two spectacular walks to consider – the first through the leafy hills and mountains of the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, and the second to Hell's Gate National Park. Hell's Gate is a dry trail compared to the Crater Lake path, winding its way along scenic paths through narrow cliff breaks, and is home to rare bearded vultures. Return to the Camp at Lake Naivasha.
Day 5 - Masai Mara National Reserve
We head south-west to our next destination, the Masai Mara - arguably one of the finest game reserves in Africa (300kms, approx 8-9hrs). The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, we may be lucky to observe black-maned lion, leopard and cheetah. These predators find an abundant food supply in the massive herds of wildebeest, zebra, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle that roam the grasslands.
On the way pass by the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the traditional Maasai people. Here you will make a stop to visit the Maasai, known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African Community. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture, from a local elder. Enjoy being shown around a traditional Maasai home and their cattle enclosures.
Afterwards we make way to our permanent tented camp. The camp is situated within the Masai Mara Eco-system and on the banks of Ololaimutia River. If you're lucky you will find Elephants, buffalos, and antelop stopping by for a drink.
All tents have hot showers, toilet, built-in fly screens, and a private front verandah.
Day 6 - Masai Mara National Reserve
Today we wake before dawn to start our morning game drive when the sun comes up, one of the times of the day when most animals tend to be more active. After what is hopefully an exciting morning's drive we return to camp for lunch and to relax during the heat of the day. We set off again in the afternoon and expect to return to camp around sunset. However, depending on wildlife movements, we may on occasion do a full day's game drive and in this instance we'll stop en-route for a picnic lunch.
Day 7 - Masai Mara National Reserve
If you missed out on seeing one of the Big 5 (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards, and rhinoceros) yesterday, never fear! This morning is free to head out on an optional 4x4 game drive, a safari balloon ride or to just relax before the included afternoon game drive. Each day on the reserve is a shifting narrative, with new encounters and stories to be found as you cruise across the plains.
An optional balloon ride over the Masai Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see 'Important Notes') you will be picked up and driven to the launch site, receive a safety briefing from your pilot and help inflate the balloon. You then glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, providing amazing wildlife photography opportunities; sometimes ascending to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. Upon landing you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before being returned to your vehicle. Please note if you are taking a balloon ride over the Mara you will be taken to the launch place from our camp before dawn and returned to the group when you have finished your ride.
Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
Day 8 - Nairobi
After breakfast, we return to Nairobi, arriving in the late afternoon, where our safari ends (240 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
If you are departing from Nairobi this evening, please do not book a flight to depart prior to 8pm. To reduce your travelling time back to Nairobi, you may wish to consider a flight from Masai Mara to Nairobi (additional cost). This gives you the chance to catch a late afternoon international flight out of Nairobi. Please note that the flight from Masai Mara arrives at Wilson Airport (Nairobi). International flights leave from Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). If staying on in Nairobi, you may require a transfer from Wilson Airport back to our Nairobi hotel. We are able to book the flight and also the transfer to our Nairobi hotel (additional costs involved).
Accommodation, Food (as stated), Transport, Selected Activities
Flights, Travel Insurance, Visa, Vaccinations or Personal Spending Money