December through March are the warmest summer months. July and August are considered their winter and are the coolest months. September and October are springtime and weather again gets a little warmer.
In late July through September, you will see the annual migration of wildebeest into the Masai Mara. Although the sun is intense, early mornings and evenings can get quite cool, especially in the mountain areas.
Kenya is GMT + 3 hours in the winter, and GMT + 2 in the summer
Travel in East Africa normally begins and ends at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi or Kenya Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
Upon arrival, proceed through immigration and baggage claims and customs. Big Five personnel will be waiting for you with a Big Five sign with your name on it. We will help you with baggage and escort you to your hotel and assist with check-in formalities.
Kenyan Shilling (KES)
Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya
Welcome to the safari capital of Africa! On arrival in Nairobi, you are met by your Big Five Tours & Expeditions’ representative after you clear customs. Your guide will assist you with luggage and escort you to the hotel, a peaceful retreat and an icon of Nairobi’s historical landscape. On a 567-square meter/140-acre sanctuary, it offers a unique opportunity to meet the resident giraffe, all of whom are the endangered Rothschild species. Giraffe Manor
Day 2: Nairobi
This morning, relax and, if you like, explore the grounds of the manor, home to an impressive variety of birds. After lunch, you encounter some of the elephants at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage overlooking Nairobi National Park. It is administered by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The late David Sheldrick stands out, even today, as one of Africa's most famous and proficient Pioneer National Park Wardens of all time. His wife Daphne Sheldrick was the first person in the world to successfully hand rear newborn African elephant orphans. It took her 28 years of trail and error to find the right combination to keep these fully milk dependent young elephants alive. By the year 2008, the trust had successfully saved and hand-reared over 82 infant African Elephant calves, two from the day of birth. You will meet some of these infants and learn about the tragic circumstances they have survived. When a tiny newborn elephant is orphaned, often its mother and entire family have been killed to serve the ivory trade. It is utterly traumatized and is often found near death. It often takes years of patient devotion to bring these young elephants back from the brink. And not all make it. Big Five supports the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and is emotionally connected to their mission. Therefore, we have fostered an orphan in your name, which allows you to visit to be when the general public is not permitted. You will long remember your encounter with these incredibly intelligent and intuitive animals. Giraffe Manor (B,L,D)
Day 3: Nairobi / Northern Rangelands
This morning you are transferred to Wilson Airport for your flight to Northern Rangelands. On arrival, you are met by camp representatives and taken to your luxury lodge with its breathtaking views of the arid landscapes of the Northern Frontier District toward the jagged peak of Mt. Kenya. Here, you are privileged to savor an exceptional safari experience while you also have the opportunity to interact with the fiercely proud Samburu people. You are immersed in the northern cultures of the Samburu tribal communities. Your stay here benefits, both directly and indirectly, some 600 local families. Sasaab is situated in Westgate Community Conservancy of Ngutuk Ongiron Group Ranch (NOGR), in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya. The conservancy was established in 2004, and borders Samburu National Reserve to the southeast, Kalama Community Wildlife Conservancy to its east and Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust to the north. The Westgate Community Conservancy (a member of the Northern Rangeland Trust) forms a crucial habitat for the endangered Grevy’s zebra. Above the Ewaso Nyiro River, your lodge is Moroccan inspired in design – each of the nine rooms is luxurious with enormous open-air bathrooms, expansive views and private plunge pools. It also features an outstanding spa, Spasaab. In addition to game drives, there are also bird watching walks, camel treks, guided walks, star gazing. You also savor a Samburu bush dinner and dance and visit a cultural village to introduce you to some of the customs and traditions of the Samburu. Children of all ages are welcome at Sasaab. The local Samburu guides speak excellent English and are delighted to take children under their wing to teach them about Samburu traditions such as the making of a traditional bow and arrow and how to make a toothbrush out of the toothbrush tree. Sasaab (B,L,D)
Day 4: Northern Rangelands
Watching the elephants in the river below while you enjoy morning tea from your balcony is an exceptional beginning to your day. You enjoy game activities from your camp today. Encounter a variety of wildlife on day and night game drives. Discover lion, leopard and cheetah as well as Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Gerenuk and Beisa oryx. Explore the countryside on a camel or hike through the breathtaking vastness of Africa on a guided nature walk. Sasaab (B,L,D)
Day 5: Northern Rangelands
Continue to discover this dramatic land. For those who wish to experience true wilderness, you can spend one or two nights walking and fly camping in the deepest reaches of the conservancy. This safari begins with a four-to-five hour walk along the banks of the river, accompanied by camels carrying a picnic breakfast. You reach the fly camp in the late morning. Dinner is served under the stars and you spend the night in mosquito tents under the magnificent African night sky. Experienced guides find remote spots to set up a simple fly camp with only the bare necessities. You can enjoy walks around the camping area, or just be alone in the African bush far from everyday distractions. After your excursion, enjoy comforts like hot water showers and simple but delicious meals by the fire. It is truly an once-in-a-lifetime adventure. Sasaab (B,L,D)
Day 6: Northern Rangelands / Masai Mara National Reserve
The Great Rift Valley spreads out beneath your small plane as you fly into the heart of big game country – the magnificent Masai Mara National Reserve. This irreplaceable wildlife sanctuary is home to a staggering number of animals, including a large predator population. Gently rolling grasslands stretch to the horizon, intersected by dark green veins of rich acacia woodland. Siome of the 1985 movie "Out of Africa" was filmed here. On arrival, you are transferred to your luxury tented accommodation, a seasonal luxury tented camp that rests in an exclusive location in the Mara. The owners have created complete tranquility by setting up camp in the lesser known southern area of the reserve, which also overlooks the Serengeti and the Northern Corridor. Sala's Camp (B,L,D)
Day 7: Masai Mara National Reserve
During game drives on the Mara, you encounter a wide variety of animals, including herds of buffalo, wildebeest, hartebeest, impala, and gazelle. You may glimpse the enchanting rare roan antelope with its long swept back horns. Dense thorn bush reveal browsing black rhino, and large numbers of giraffe and elephant move along the edge of the riverine woodland. Host to the country's largest predator population, the reserve is renowned for lion prides up to 20 strong. Hippo and crocodile are plentiful in the Mara River. Game viewing here is remarkable throughout the year, but few things on this planet can compare with the Mara during migration season. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebra try to make the dangerous river crossing to complete their 800-mile journey in search of green grass. All thee while, the Mara’s amazing predators – lion, leopard and cheetah, are waiting and watching. Elephant, Cape buffalo and rhinos It is, truly, the greatest show on Earth. Everyone should experience this at least once in a lifetime. Sala's Camp (B,L,D)
Day 8: Masai Mara National Reserve
Each day on safari has its own natural rhythm, beginning early morning, with rest in the high heat of day, followed by more activity in the late afternoon into evening. Discover the Mara’s vast array of birds from the privacy of your tent or as you lounge in one of the hammocks around camp. Balloon rides are a thrilling way to view the animals and enjoy the expanse of the Mara. Balloon rides can be organized at an optional cost (depending on weather). For the bird watchers, more than 450 species of birds inhabit these lands. Sala's Camp (B,L,D)
Day 9: Masai Mara National Reserve / Nairobi / Depart
After breakfast, return to Nairobi, where a day room has been reserved for your use at the Ole Sereni Hotel for your convenience. The remainder of the day is at leisure until this evening, when you enjoy a farewell dinner before being escorted to the airport. After check-in for your onward flight, you have time for last-minute browsing at duty-free shops. (B,L)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From US$1050 per person per day