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 Africa! On arrival in Nairobi, you are greeted by your driver after clearing Customs. Your guide will assist with luggage and escort you to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax. Ole Sereni Hotel
Day 2: Nairobi / Selenkay Conservancy
Leave Nairobi today and fly south to the Selenkay Conservancy. The Selenkay Conservation Area is just north of Amboseli National Park and offers excellent wildlife viewing to a privileged few. This 15,000-acre private game reserve in the heart of Maasai admits no more than 18 visitors per day. Begin your safari adventure with a game drive and a picnic lunch on your way to your first camp. At Porini Camp this afternoon, you have the unique pleasure to go on a walk with Maasai warriors to a nearby village. Learn about their way of life today and gain sight into a culture that dates back through countless generations. Return to camp for dinner. Amboseli Porini Camp (B,L,D)
Day 3: Selenkay Conservancy – Amboseli National Park
Awake to the noisy chatter of birds. After an early breakfast, drive through the bush on a private track into Amboseli National Park for a morning of game viewing, on the lookout for the big five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, as well as a host of antelopes, giraffe, and birds such as the regal crowned crane and the lanky secretary bird. Following a picnic lunch, you return to the camp, scouting for more animals as you go. This evening, you venture into the conservancy, stopping for a sundowner at a scenic spot. Then set out on your night game drive in search of nocturnal animals such as aardvarks, feral cats, caracals, bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, leopard and other species. Return to camp for a delightful dinner and time around the campfire. Amboseli Porini Camp (B,L,D)
Day 4: Selenkay Conservancy / Nairobi / Ol Kinyei Conservancy
After breakfast, fly back to Nairobi and enjoy lunch at the eccentric Carnivore Restaurant. This afternoon, fly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Mara, where you are met at the airstrip by Mara Porini staff. Drive to the camp in the exclusive wildlife conservancy of Ol Kinyei, one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. This is pristine wilderness with savannah plains, riverine forest, springs, streams and rivers, rolling hills and spectacular views across the Mara. Ol Kinyei belongs to the Maasai communities who recently set aside the conservancy as a sanctuary for wildlife. It holds a wide variety of the animals for which the Mara is famous including a large resident pride of lions. Enjoy lunch and some time to relax before setting out on a game drive. Savor a sundowner at a scenic point, and then return to camp for dinner. Mara Porini Camp (B,L,D)
Days 5/6: Ol Kinyei Conservancy & Masai Mara Game Reserve
Each day on safari has its own rhythm, but they all start with an early breakfast before setting out to explore the bush and the amazing wildlife found here. The Masai Mara offers rewarding animals encounters with elephant families, wildebeest and zebra herds, a variety of antelope and some of the 450 bird species, which includes 50 species of vultures. Following a picnic lunch during your games drives, return to Porini Camp in late afternoon with time to relax, read a book or take a nap. The evenings are reserved for night drives in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. You stop for sundowners before setting out to look for nocturnal animals, including the elusive leopard. Mara Porini Camp (B,L,D)
Day 7: Ol Kinyei Conservancy / Nairobi / Lake Manyara, Tanzania
During a morning walk with Maasai warriors, you learn more about life in the bush. The morning excursion ends at the airstrip, where you board the flight to Nairobi and connect with your onward flight to Kilimanjaro. After clearing Immigration and Customs formalities, you are met by your Big Five representative who will transfer you to Lake Manyara and the Manyara Ranch, a 35,000-acre wildlife conservancy situated in the corridor between Tarangire and Manyara National Park. Originally established as a cattle ranch during Tanzania's colonial period, Manyara Ranch remains an operating ranch with a relatively small herd of beef cattle and black-headed sheep. In 2000, the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) obtained management and conservation rights to the ranch to protect the vital wildlife corridors. In so doing, they established a working relationship with the local Maasai, developing community conservation projects and rehabilitating the ranch itself. The ranch is held in trust by the Tanzania Land Conservation Trust (TLCT) for the benefit of the local communities and Tanzania. As in Kenya, the conservancy model here is working to preserve the priceless lands and wildlife of the country. The conservancy provides guided game walks, night game drives in 4x4 open safari vehicles’ game viewing from hides overlooking waterholes and horseback riding with big game. Manyara Ranch Conservancy (B,L,D)
Days 8/9: Manyara Ranch Conservancy
Enjoy activities at the ranch today. Your experience here will be like none other, the conservancy provides guided game walks, day and night drives, visits to partner villages in authentic settings and activities including horseback riding with big game, bush breakfast and dinners and participative research activities to promote on-going conservation projects in collaboration with the African Wildlife Foundation. There are several large dams on the ranch that attract and retain the wildlife within the conservancy area. There is a significant resident population of wildlife including groups of large bull elephants, breeding herds of giraffe, many lesser kudu, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, oryx and eland. There are also predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal and bat-eared foxes. For many years, the rare African wild dogs have denned on the ranch. The resident game population is continually being increased by wildlife moving through the migratory corridors. There is a large number of species of birds including many raptors. Manyara Ranch has a variety of habitats that encompass open savannah, acacia woodland, bush and riverine forest, and support a large diversity of wildlife and birdlife. Manyara Ranch Conservancy (B,L,D)
Day 10: Manyara Ranch Conservancy / Nairobi, Kenya / Depart
This morning, you are transferred to Arusha. After lunch, board your flight back to Nairobi, where you are met and escorted to the Ole Sereni hotel. A dayroom has been reserved for your convenience. Then it’s a warm welcome from the long-legged beauties at authoress Bette Melville’s exclusive Giraffe Centre. Here you’ll have a close up chance to photograph the Rothschild giraffe. In the afternoon, visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust overlooking Nairobi National Park. The late David Sheldrick stands out, even today, as one of Africa's most famous and proficient Pioneer National Park Wardens of all time. With just one vehicle, and a handful of laborers, he was given the task of transforming a huge chunk of inhospitable arid land, previously known only as the Taru Desert, into what today is one of Kenya's largest and most famous parks, Tsavo National Park. His wife, Daphne Sheldrick, was the first person ever to successfully hand rear newborn fully milk dependent African elephant orphans, which took 28 years of trial and error to achieve. By 2008, the Trust had successfully saved and hand-reared over 82 infant African elephant calves. When a tiny newborn elephant is orphaned, often because its mother and family have been gunned down to serve the ivory trade, its life support is gone. Any survivors flee in terror. Unless rescued, its is left to die in hopeless and lonely isolation that it cannot understand. Big Five works very closely with the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and is emotionally connected to their mission. Therefore, we will foster an orphan in your name, which allows you to visit when the general public is not permitted. Enjoy your time at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage where you will be joined by other foster donors. The trust also takes in endangered black rhinos. This evening bid Kwaheri, Swahili goodbye, as you transfer to the airport for your late evening flight. Ole Sereni Hotel - Dayroom (B,L,D)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: From $9990