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: Arrive Nairobi, Kenya
Welcome to the safari capital of the world! After exiting the Customs & Immigrations Hall, please look out for a uniformed Big Five Tours & Expeditions Driver / Guide holding a Big Five Tours sign with your name or tour name on it. Your guide will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your lodge. The Emakoko is a family-owned and run lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, which borders the Nairobi National Park. The beautifully appointed rooms look out over the game park so one can fall asleep to the sounds of Africa, a lion roaring or the cry of a lone hyena, an amazing contrast to the sounds of traffic, ambulances, fire engines and dogs barking which are the normal sounds of any sleeping city. The Emakoko
Day 2: Nairobi - Nairobi National Park
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 Emakoko, you contribute directly to this revenue, which is instrumental in looking after both the community 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 Emakoko is situated on the Nairobi Park boundary and has direct access into the park. The professional guides have a wealth of knowledge on the indigenous flora and fauna. The park is famous for its healthy black rhino population and for its close encounters with lions. In the afternoon, you visit Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. 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 released back into the wild. The Emakoko (B,L,D)
Day 3: Nairobi / Laikipia Plateau
This morning, you catch your flight to Loisaba, where you are met at the airstrip and transferred to Sabuk Lodge, your home for the next three nights. Sabuk straddles the border of Laikipia and Kenya’s rugged Northern Frontier District. Only a few miles away from the equator, this private game ranch is in a country of transcendent beauty where the farm management and the local Laikipia Maasai and Samburu communities work together to preserve the environment and the wildlife that abounds here. The view from your lodge is extends all the way to Mount Kenya, the Lolldaiga Hills and the Mathews Range. The region nurtures exceptional wildlife and is home to many communities including the Laikipiak Maasai and the Samburu tribes. Around the lodge, the area is wild and hilly, with dense acacia bush, where you are apt to find greater kudu, reticulated giraffe, buffalo, impala, elephant, klipspringer, zebra, eland, dikdik, waterbuck, lion, leopard and a rich array of bird life. Sabuk Lodge (B,L,D)
Days 4/5: Laikipia Plateau
Perched high on the river banks, Sabuk's six cottages are open at the front with sweeping views of the river and cliffs. Each thatched rondavel (circular cottage) has its own unique design crafted from local stone and ancient cedar and olivewood, gathered from the local area. Each cottage is a haven in itself, and offers en suite bathrooms, modern flush toilets and a private verandah with a view. Here you get back to nature with walks along the river, accompanied by the local Laikipiak Maasai guides, who share their vast knowledge, including revealing the traditional uses of the flora in the area. You enjoy picnics overlooking the plains, lulled by the sound of the river, a year-round water source. Sabuk is also the base for full walking and camel safaris. Led by a professional safari guide and his team of Laikipiak trekkers, you can opt for a truly authentic fly-camp experience out in the wilderness for one or more nights before returning to the comforts of the lodge. Activities include game drives through the countryside, guided walks with camels to explore the area, horseback riding and river fishing. Enjoy bush breakfasts and sundowners with the added treat of a night game drive back to camp afterwards, looking out for the nocturnal Bushbabies and Aardvark close by. Sabuk Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 6: Laikipia Plateau / Masai Mara Game Reserve
Enjoy the panorama 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. The Wildebeest Migration in East Africa, one of the most famous natural events in the world, takes place between Kenya's Masai Mara and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Thousands of wildebeest and zebra migrate between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. These mega 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. There is no bad time to be in the Mara. Simply put, it is the finest game viewing in the world. For the keen ornithologist, there are some 453 recorded bird species in the Masai Mara, 53 of which are raptors, all vying for space in the clear blue skies. Serian Camp (B,L,D)
Days 7/8: Masai Mara Game Reserve
During morning and 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. Alternatively, walking through the African savannah with a Maasai tracker adds an entire new dimension to game viewing. There is also the chance to fly camp. Serian aims to put some adventure into your safari as you walk with experienced guides into the heart of the wilderness. You will immediately notice the difference between a vehicle tour and one conducted on foot. Senses that may have been a little dulled in a car will strain to perceive indications of the wild game that surrounds you. Your perception of the bush will change until you feel an intimate relationship with the environment through which you trek. Walking with Masai Warriors, you will experience the bush in much the same way that our pre-historic ancestors did. At night, you camp under the stars enjoying meals with the voice of the land around you. Serian Camp (B,L,D)
Day 9: Masai Mara Game Reserve / Nairobi / Depart
A final morning game drive and then fly back to Nairobi where you are met and transferred to the Ol Sereni hotel. The balance of the day is free to pursue our own interests. This evening, enjoy a gala farewell dinner. Day rooms are reserved until your late evening departure. Then say Kwaheri to Africa (Swahili goodbye) as you transfer to the airport for your outbound flight. After check-in, you’ll have some time for last minute shopping at the Duty Free Shops near our departure gate. Ole Sereni Hotel – Dayroom (B,L,D)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From $8995