Kenya Family Safari
Experience the ultimate African adventure of a safari in Kenya!
To kick off your family holiday you will visit the Sheldricks Wildlife Trust and the Giraffe Centre, where you will be able to get close to some of these amazing animals and find out about the work that these organisations do, to look after those that have been orphaned or injured. Then you visit Lake Nakuru National Park, home of the famous flamingos and there is time to relax and explore Lake Naivasha with water-based game viewing and maybe a bike ride around the shores.
You finish on a high in the Masai Mara, a continuation of Tanzania’s renowned Serengeti, with the same prolific fauna. During your stay you’ll hopefully see an array of wildlife: the big nine - lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, rhino, zebra, giraffe, hippo, plus wildebeest and many species of antelope – in addition to some of East Africa’s splendid bird life. There is also a meeting with local Masai people and a chance to learn something about their fascinating culture.
This trip combines the excitement of camping out under the Africa stars for some nights with comfortable accommodation for other nights so you have the best of both.
Following your flight to Naorobi you will be met and transferred to your starting point - the Nairobi hotel. You will receive full details of exactly where to meet your Group Leader on the joining Instructions, which will be sent to you 2-3 weeks before your trip starts.
The Kenyan capital stands 1670m above sea level on an elevated plain at the heart of the country, surrounded by fertile land that yields coffee and maize.
You meet your Group Leader for a tour briefing in the morning, before heading off to visit Sheldricks Elephant Orphanage and the giraffe centre. These conservation projects allow you to view the animals up close, while learning more about them and their plight in the modern world.
The David Sheldricks Wildlife Trust was established in 1977 in Memory of David Sheldricks, a founding warden of the Tsavo East National Park. The Trust takes in and cares for orphaned elephants and rhinos, who are ultimately released back into the wild. You can meet The Adventure Company's own sponsored elephant orphan, named Shukuru. Shukuru arrived at the Trust after a herdsman found her trapped down a manhole. She was only a few days old! Having been rescued and taken to the nursery in Nairobi she has since settled in well and now enjoys playing games and taking mudbaths with all the other orphans. It is possible to sponsor your own elephant; add an extra dimension to your visit by meeting your own orphan and following its progress – a charming addition to any family!
The Heron Court Hotel (AAA) - 1 night - Swimming Pool
This morning you drive 250 km (approx. 4-5 hours) on good roads to Lake Nakuru, arriving in time for lunch.
Pitch tents alongside glistening Lake Nakuru then head out on an afternoon game drive.
Fringed by acacia trees, Nakuru Lake is transformed into a shimmering pink haze as hundreds of flamingos descend upon it. Keep an eye out for other wildlife - the savanna area also boasts a wide variety of animals including giraffes and lions.
The alkaline waters of this lake once supported an extremely large colony of flamingos - reckoned to be up to two million strong! Over the course of the year the lake changes size considerably, shrinking to its minimum in March at the end of the dry season, changing the type of birdlife and wildlife that inhabit this area, and what you will see on your visit. Changes in water level and chemical concentration caused the permanent population of flamingos to move elsewhere in the 1970s - they now reappear periodically, but never stay for long. The lush area around the lake is well known for its bird life.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a game drive around the shore of the lake, and look for the white rhinos that can usually be found around the shores.
Camping with Facilities - 1 night - (BLD)
Encounter friendly locals on a village visit before reaching Lake Naivasha - a birdwatcher's paradise with floating islands of papyrus reeds. Afternoon wind and storms can cause the lake to become suddenly rough and produce high waves. For this reason, the local Masai christened the lake Nai'posha meaning 'rough water’, which the British later misspelt as Naivasha. The waters of the lake draw a great range of game; giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and colobus monkeys call from the treetops, while the lake’s large hippo population while away the day in the shallows. Spend the next two nights in simply but neatly furnished Cottages by the lake and explore this beautiful area independently.
Fish Eagle Cottages - 2 nights - (BLD)
You depart Lake Naivasha making a short stop in the town to do a spot of food shopping, taking our lunch break en route to our camp site at Loita Hills (220 km, approx. 5-6 hours).
Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide, and takes us into the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the traditional Maasai people. Here you visit the Maasai, known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African Community.
The remote region of Loita Hills is home to the traditional Maasai people. Here you visit the Maasai, known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African community.
After setting up our tents, it is time to meet our Maasai hosts as you receive a fascinating talk offering insights into this remarkable and ancient culture from a local elder. Enjoy being shown around a traditional Maasai home and cattle enclosures, and you may even have the opportunity to participate in the milking of the precious cattle.
The local Masai warriors will even show you how to throw a spear – careful mum, stand well clear please!
This is invariably one of the highlights of the trip. The Masai are probably the best known of Kenya’s tribal peoples - largely due to their highly photogenic appearance. The young males in particular wear a striking costume of bright red cloth, with a cape slung from one shoulder, beads and jewellery, and carry a spear, sword and club. Originally nomadic herders, the Masai used to live on a diet of fresh and curdled milk. Live cattle represent wealth, so much energy was devoted to cattle raiding. They have a fearsome reputation as warriors and hunters, but in the face of immense pressure are gradually - if reluctantly - starting to accept a more settled lifestyle.
Camping with Facilities - 1 night - (BLD)
Your destination today is the finest of Kenya’s reserves, the Masai Mara (150 km, approximately 5 hours drive). The Mara is effectively a northern extension of the Serengeti, the most famous of neighbouring Tanzania's national parks, which lies just across the border.
Animals, of course, recognise no border and immense herds of blue wildebeest migrate across the savannah, driven by the innate urge to find new grazing land on which to feed. They arrive here each July and August; then in October start to head south again! At these times the plains teem with animals on the move, and the photographic opportunities are unrivalled.
You should arrive at your lodge in time for lunch. Then jump into 4x4's for an afternoon Game Drive. You’ll explore the extensive grassy plains where elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, and various gazelles - with attendant predators of lion, cheetah, jackal and hyena, can be seen.
The next day wake before dawn to start our morning game drive when the sun comes up, one of the times of the day when most animals tend to be more active. After what is hopefully an exciting morning's drive you return to camp for lunch and to relax during the heat of the day. You set off again in the afternoon and expect to return to camp around sunset. However, depending on wildlife movements, you may on occasion do a full day's game drive and in this instance you'll stop en-route for a picnic lunch.
Explore this diverse environment and view a multitude of wildlife. Spend an entire day on a wildlife spotting quest in the reserve and take brunch/lunch by the side of the Mara River - a great chance to spot crocs and hippos.
Mara Springs Tented Camp (AA) – 2 nights (Bx2,Lx2,Dx2)
Nairobi; tour ends
This morning we set off to recross the plains of the Mara. Climb the Rift Valley’s eastern wall past Mount Suswa to make your way back to Nairobi (300 km, approximately 6 hours drive). En route there may be opportunities to stop and make some final purchases. Once back in Nairobi you have time to go for dinner (not included) in a local restaurant and reflect on the enjoyable trip..
Take an overnight flight home.
Please note - It is necessary to leave the Masai Mara in the morning in order to get to Nairobi in daylight, as travelling after dark is not allowed.
Meet semi-nomadic Masai tribesmen on this family holiday and learn about their fascinating culture - including a lesson in how to throw a Masai hunting spear. Stand well back, please!
Masai Mara Game Reserve
Descend into the Great Rift Valley and rolling grasslands of the world-famous Masai Mara Game Reserve. Sightings of the ‘Big Nine’ (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and hippo) are common, as are herds of wildebeest which roam across the plains.
Rift Valley Lakes
Onwards to the Rift Valley Lakes - Nakuru to see crowds of pink flamingos and mighty lone rhinos. With a two night stay at Lake Naivash there is plenty of time for relaxing and family fun, you can take to bikes and cycle around the lake or view hippos from a cruise boat (optional, additional charge).
Our Land of the Masai trip is just one of our many Africa Family tours. To find out more visit our Africa holidays page.
Transport - Overland Vehicle, 4x4 safari vehicle
Accommodation - Lodge (2 nts), Permanent tented camp (2 nts), Camping (with facilities) (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
Meals - 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches & 6 dinners.