African Safari Itinerary
Wednesday, June 29th 2011 - ARRIVAL IN NAIROBI, THE NAIROBI SERENA HOTEL. 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.
THURSDAY 30TH JUNE 2011 - NAIROBI TO SERENA MOUNTAIN LODGE (BY ROAD - 4 HRS) After breakfast drive north to 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.
FRIDAY 01ST JULY 2011 – MOUNT KENYA TO SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK (BY ROAD – 4 HR). After breakfast drive to Samburu Nat. Reserve. Lunch shall be awaiting you at the Larsens Tented Camp. After lunch, have a short siesta then depart on your afternoon game drive. There are 20 free standing luxurious tented accomodations each with a private balcony. All tents are discreetly sited along the west bank of the Uaso Nyiro River with the result that the tents are bathed with light at sunrise. Each tent stands on a plinth of natural stone and all have en suite private bathrooms stocked with a range of Molton Brown toiletries, flushing toilets, constant hot water and 24 hour electricity (240 volts). Each tent features 1 king or 2 twin beds designed in chic safari style. Dinner and overnight Larsens Tented Camp - fullboard.
SATURDAY 02ND JULY 2011 - SAMBURU NATIONAL GAME RESERVE. 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 Larsens Tented Camp - fullboard.
SUNDAY 03RD JULY 2011 - SAMBURU NATIONAL PARK TO SWEETWATERS TENTED CAMP (BY ROAD - 4 HRS) 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. This town is located right at the equator. Lunch at the Sweetwaters Tented Camp. Sweetwaters Tented Camp managed by Serena hotels has been expanded with the addition of nine new luxury tents. The camp is located in the expansive Ol Pejeta ranch in Nanyuki, Laikipia district. A new wing in the restaurant has also been added; with the resident lounge and the bar area redone with new furnishing that will allow travelers great ease and elegance to enjoy a truly personal service. A massage and beauty room has also been introduced with direct game view and a stunning scenic backdrop of Mt. Kenya. Depart on a game drive in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Sweetwaters Tented Camp - fullboard.
MONDAY 04TH JULY 2011 – SWEETWATERS CAMP TO SAROVA LION HILL LODGE (BY ROAD - 4 HRS) After breakfast drive along the Aberdares Ranges to Thompson's falls at Nyahururu for a short break. Continue down the Great Rift Valley to arrive at Sarova Lion Hill 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 photograhp the hippo, reedbuck and defassa waterbuck. Dinner and overnight at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge - fullboard.
TUESDAY 05TH JULY 2011 - LAKE NAKURU TO MASAI MARA NAT. PARK (BY ROAD-5HRS). After an early breakfast drive via Narok to Masai Mara Nat. Reserve to arrive in time for lunch at the Mara Sarova Tented Camp. Sarova Mara Camp is an established tented camp inside the reserve. The entrance is impressive with exotic gardens and high thatched lobby with ethnic décor. The lodge buildings are attractive and airy, a big dinning area includes an outdoor terrace with wide-angle views and there is a free-form swimming pool with pool-side bar and barbecue/buffet area. Many paths wind through lawns and gardens, and there are wooden walkways over wide lily ponds. Depart in the afternoon on game hunting. Dinner and overnight at Mara Sarova Tented Camp - fullboard.
WEDNESDAY 06TH JULY 2011 - MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE.
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 Serengeti Plains 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 from July. 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. Balloon ride costs USD 450.- per person. I would recommend you book this in advance due to limited space.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Mara Sarova Tented Camp - fullboard.
THURSDAY 07TH JULY 2011 - MASAI MARA TO NARIOBI (BY FLIGHT – 45 MINS) THEN TO ARUSHA (BY FLIGHT – 1 HR) THEN TO LAKE MANYAR NAT. PARK (BY ROAD – 3 HOURS).
After breakfast take your schedule flight back to Nairobi then connect to your schedule flight to Arusha.
Meet and greet at Kilimanjaro Int. Airport then drive to Lake Manyara National Park. Do afternoon game drive en-route to lodge. Lake Manyara Serena Lodge in the evening.
It is difficult to imagine a more spectacular setting for Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - on the edge of the Mto Wa Mbu (mosquito river) escarpment, overlooking the Great Rift Valley and the stunning Manyara soda lake. Tree-climbing lions are but one lure. The extraordinary birdlife has made this place world renowned among ornithologists, who come to observe the masses of pink flamingoes and great birds of prey. The abundant birdlife inspired the design of Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - swooping curves are complemented by soft, geometric patterns, stylish murals depict bird migration patterns. The circular shape of the buildings is a tribute to indigenous architectural traditions. Beyond the superb standards of hospitality offered, there is a spirit of tranquility that prevails.
Depart for an afternoon game drive.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - fullboard.
FRIDAY 08TH JULY 2011 – LAKE MANYARA NAT. PARK.
This day is solely reserved for game drives at Lake Manyara Nat. Park.
This unusual park lies in the shadow of the Great Rift Valley whose reddish brown escarpment wall looms 1,950 feet high (600 metres) on the eastern horizon. Waterfalls spill over the cliff and hot springs bubble to the surface in the south. Much of the park often appears to be in a heat haze created by the soda lake - Lake Manyara. The lake attracts considerable birdlife, and its surrounding terrain contains such a rich mosaic of different habitats that it supports a large number of animals. The park is accessed by road via the village of Mto wa Mbu, an eclectic market town where several tribes have converged to form a linguistic mix like nowhere else in Africa. Such diverse surroundings attract equally diverse species such as monkeys, antelopes, zebras, hippos and crocodiles, buffalo, giraffe and a high density of elephants. The park is particularly known for its tree-climbing lions, who may be seen sleeping off the heat of the day on a branch instead of a shady spot on the ground like most other lions. Fish-eating birds inhabiting the lake include pelicans, storks, cormorants and Egyptian geese. Flamingoes colour the lake pink as they arrive to feed at the lake during their migration. One unforgettable sight is a giant flock of red billed quelea who gather in their thousands and waft over the water like a giant swarm of insects.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge - fullboard.
SATURDAY 09TH JULY 2011 – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK TO NGORONGORO CRATER (BY ROAD – 3HRS). After breakfast take picnic lunch and depart on a whole day game drive that will take you from Tarangire Nat. Park to Ngorongoro Crater. You will visit Olduvai Gorge en-route. As if in a land before time, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is built into the rim of a dormant volcano, the plant and ivy-covered native stone blending masterfully with its surroundings. Close by lies the Olduvai Gorge, the 'birthplace of man'. Today the volcano and surrounding landscape are part of a vast conservation area inhabited by the masai tribe, as well as an extra-ordinary variety of big game and birdlife. Most guest rooms have private terraces with views of the crater floor where countless animals make their home. At Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, visitors co-exist in perfect harmony with the natural environment and wildlife that inhabits it. Arrive at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge late in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge - fullboard.
SUNDAY 10TH JULY 2011 - NGORONGORO NATIONAL PARK.
This day is solely reserved for a full day game viewing of the crater with picnic lunch.
Ngorongoro crater is without doubt one of the most outstanding natural features in the world and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1978. Stunningly beautiful, the 18 km wide and 600 meter deep caldera is teeming with wildlife and one of the best places to see black rhino. On a full day crater tour to this garden of Eden, with a picnic in a shady grove, most large mammals can be seen.
Lunch, dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge - fullboard.
MONDAY 11TH JULY 2011 - NGORONGORO CRATER TO SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK. After breakfast take picnic lunch and depart for Serengeti National Park. Arrive at Soroi Serengeti Lodge late in the afternoon. With its unique architecture and design elements, Soroi Serengeti lodge is a luxury African experience. Twenty- five magnificent thatched chalets complete with hardwood floors, Turkish baths and outdoor showers, are tucked away amongst the thorn Acacia trees, and are linked to the main lodge by timber walkways. The main lounge and dining area, a masterpiece of thatch and wood, intricately designed around the large rocks and fig trees, add to the delight of this tranquil spot overlooking the plains. Soroi Serengeti lodge sets the trends with its open-plan kitchen, where tantalizing meals can be savoured either in the dining room or on the open-air deck. View the great Wildebeest migration twice a year from the spacious main viewing decks or from the comfort of your private balcony, as you experience an Africa few have been privileged to see. Alternatively simply relax and unwind around the infinity rock pool and pamper yourself with a Nomadic African Spa treatment. With a fine tradition of African hospitality visitors are guaranteed a safari experience of a lifetime. Dinner and overnight at Soroi Serengeti Lodge - fullboard.
TUESDAY 12TH JULY 2011 - SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK. These days are solely reserved for game viewing in the park. Serengeti is the most famous of Tanzania's national parks and is one of the world's last great wildlife refuges. On the seemingly endless and almost treeless plains, there are an estimated three million large animals in constant search of food and water. Most take part in a seasonal migration that is unparallel in nature. Driven by the rains, over one million wildebeest and a few hundred thousand zebra and gazelles move to fresh grazing lands, in columns of several kilometers length and crossing crocodile infested rivers without regard to losses. Lunch, dinner and overnight at Soroi Serengeti Lodge - fullboard.
WEDNESDAY 13TH JULY 2011 – SERENGETI NAT. PARK TO ARUSHA (BY FLIGHT – 1 HR) THEN TO NAIROBI (BY FLIGHT – 1 HR) THEN TO GIRAFFE MANOR HOTEL.
After breakfast take your schedule flight to Arusha. Connect to your flight to Nairobi.
Pick up a Wilson Airport in Nairobi and transfer to Giraffe Manor Hotel.
Staying at the exclusive Giraffe Manor is a unique and special experience. This mellow old stone house has an appealing history which is kept alive today. It was home to Daisy, the famous Rothschild giraffe. Today her grandchildren eat from the flowers in the manor's extensive gardens.
The manor house was built in 1932 in Langata, part of the Karen suburban area of Nairobi. It became the home of Jock Leslie-Melville and his wife Betty in 1974. They founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) and moved five babies of the endangered Rothschild giraffe to this property. They were successful at raising these giraffe, who have since grown and had their own offspring. Now your hosts at the Giraffe Manor are Betty's son, Rick Anderson, and his wife Bryony.
The manor has been visited by host of famous people - Margaret Mead, Bobby Kennedy, Brooke Shields, Hal Prince, Mick Jagger and Johnny Carson, just to name a few.
Overight at Giraffe Manor Hotel – bed and breakfast.