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
Upon arrival at Nairobi airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel, a 10-bed luxury lodge artfully built into the side of a hill on the Mbagathi River, which borders the Nairobi National Park. After the long flight, your family won’t have to wait long to be rewarded. You drive through the park, and may see rhino, lion, giraffe, zebra and eland – all before you arrive at the lodge! Overlooking the valley, the lodge blends into its surrounding, the majestic fig trees that play an important role in Kenya’s traditions. All rooms look straight over the river and into the park. The lodge has a children’s play area so they can burn off some energy after being on cooped up in a plane for a long flight. A large variety of bird life can be seen around the lodge, including green wood pigeons and two resident eagle owls who keep a beady eye on the other residents. Emakoko Lodge – Family Unit
Day 2: Nairobi
Nairobi National Park is managed by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), who, along with the Kitengela Landowners Association (KLA), distribute some of the park’s revenues for community projects in the area. There are many issues with wildlife predation on domestic livestock, and the KLA and KWS have an enormous task of managing human-wildlife conflicts. By visiting the lodge, you contribute directly to this revenue, which is instrumental in looking after the community, the wildlife and the park. The Emakoko has supported the local community with the 'lion lighting scheme,’ one way in which predators have been deterred from attacking the community bomas. The lodge is situated on the Nairobi Park boundary. This morning you relax at the hotel. In the afternoon, you visit Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where you will meet and hear some of the touching stories about these intelligent animals. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a small flexible charity, established in memory of David Sheldrick, famous naturalist and founder warden of Kenya's giant Tsavo East National Park, where he served from 1948 until 1976. The trust works to save the lives of orphaned elephants and rhinos that are ultimately returned to the wild in Tsavo. Big Five supports the goals of the orphanage, and will “adopt” a young elephant or rhino in the name of your family. Emakoko Lodge – Family Unit (B,L,D)
Day 3: Nairobi / Masai Mara Game Reserve
Today you enjoy fabulous panoramas of the Great Rift Valley from the window of your plane as you wing your way to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya's most precious wildlife sanctuary. On arrival, you are transferred to your camp. Kenya and Tanzania are famous for the annual wildebeest and zebra migration in East Africa, with the peak viewing time in late summer. Thousands of wildebeest and zebra migrate between the Tanzania’s Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. These enormous herds are closely followed by large predators – lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah, easily visible in this rolling landscape. The Masai Mara Reserve is inextricably linked with 80,000 acres of the select and private Mara North Conservancy, where your camp is located. Even when its off season for the migration, game viewing in the Mara has outstanding throughout the year. Simply put, it is the finest game viewing in the world, and that includes some 453 recorded bird species in the Mara, 53 of which are raptors. Serian Camp – Family Tent (B,L,D)
Day 4: Masai Mara
During early morning and late afternoon game drives, you explore savannas spotted with herds of buffalo, wildebeest, hartebeest, impala and gazelle. Dense thorn bush may hide browsing black rhino, while large numbers of giraffe and elephant patrol the edge of the woods. Hippos gather in the Mara River. Here, lion prides may be up to 20 strong. If your family enjoys being active in the outdoors, you have the option to walk through the African savannah with a Maasai tracker. The walk will be tailored to your family’s abilities and interests such as walking in the bush or to a local village. Walking adds an entire different dimension to the safari experience. Senses that may have been a little dulled in a car will strain to perceive indications of the wild game that surrounds you. Walking with Masai Warriors, you experience the bush in much the same way that our pre-historic ancestors did. There is also an opportunity to fly camp. At night, you camp under the stars enjoying meals with the voice of the land around you. Serian Camp – Family Tent (B,L,D)
Day 5: Masai Mara
Spend the day enjoying game activities. Today a special excursion awaits, a night in the Nest! Out on a limb high up in a lone Warburgia (Elephant Pepper) tree overlooking the Mara River sits “The Nest.” Who doesn’t love a tree house? With two double nests and space for a couple more bedrolls, the Nest is fitted with state-of-the-art, night vision cameras to monitor what happens after dark using infrared technology. The Nest offers an amazing nighttime experience for the adventurous family with kids, or as a perfect chill out spot after a bush walk with a picnic breakfast or lunch. Imagine hot soup under a brilliant night sky with the sound of grunting hippo or a lion roar in the distance. Serian Camp – The Nest (B,L,D)
Day 6: Masai Mara / Chyulu Hills
This morning, transfer to airport for a chartered flight to Campi Ya Kanzi, an exclusive, award-winning, boutique eco-lodge that sets a new standard for the experience of true luxury that is also truly ecologically low-impact. In partnership with the Maasai community of Kuku Group Ranch, they set out to prove that you can have the romance of the great safaris of earlier days, the comfort and service of a top hotel, the fine dining of an Italian palazzo…and that they can give it all to you without damaging the very environment you’ve come to immerse yourself in. Savor a tailor-make safari to meet your family’s needs, making this once-in-a-lifetime, authentic safari experience. Campi Ya Kanzi (B,L,D)
Days 7/8: Chyulu Hills
Life on safari moves at its own pace. Imagine Kilimanjaro with the snow sparkling with the first sun of the morning or listening to the dawn soundtrack of the African bushveld. Savor the cacophony of birds singing, the impala coming to the camp’s waterhole and hartebeest grazing the plains… And you in the middle of it, with your Maasai guide… on horseback! Or, your family visits your Maasai tracker’s home in his village to meet his family and learn about what is it like to be Maasai in the world of cell phones and laptops. Campi Ya Kanzi (B,L,D)
Day 9: Chyulu Hills / Ithumba
Today is one that you will treasure for the years to come. You will spend time in the company of elephants! Take a short flight to Ithumba, arriving in time for the morning “mud bath”, where you will assist the keeper giving milk to the elephants and enjoy watching them splashing and playing in the water. The private Ithumba Camp belongs to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, and has only four large safari tents. An open building for meals with a small roof terrace and view into the bush is the heart of this camp. Your family will have the place to yourselves exclusively. There are no other camps nearby. Here, you walk among elephants in the wilderness of Tsavo East National Park. In the late afternoon you will meet the young elephants going back to their shelters. It’s no unusual to encounter wild elephants coming for a drink and the nearby waterhole. Your family will learn about the vital work being carried out by David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and others to save these magnificent and intelligent animals. Spend the night at the camp. Ithumba Sheldrick Wilidlife Orphanage Camp (B,L,D)
Day 10: Ithumba / Chyulu Hills
At 5:30 am this morning, you will be awaken with tea, coffee or juice brought to your tent. You will drive to the stockades, where you assist the keepers giving milk before you go on a walk with them outside of the stockades. It often happens that rescued orphans, now young adults, will join the group. You will be among the privileged few who have walked among elephants. After lunch, you fly back to Campi ya Kanzi, passing over the Tiva River and the Tsavo wilderness. Campi Ya Kanzi (B,L,D)
Day 11: Chyulu Hills / Nairobi / Depart
Fly back to Nairobi, where a dayroom has been reserved for your convenience, before connecting with your evening flight out. Ole Sereni - Dayroom (B)
Land price, per person, triple occupancy: From $14,490 per person adults; $9990 per child under 12 at time of travel, sharing in triple with parents