The Masai Mara Nature Reserve forms part of one of the most incredible and well known ecosystems in the world. Spreading south into Tanzania and the neighbouring Serengeti National Park the rolling plains are home to some of the largest numbers of animals on the planet. This safari holiday takes you into the heart of the Mara and on the trail of Africa’s famous big five and much much more. Kenya is without a doubt the most wildlife watching and safari destination in the world and rightly so. With millions of individual animals living in the wide and largely open spaces, seeing nature on a grand scale is easier and more enjoyable here than anywhere else on earth. From the Mara you will also visit the equally famous Amboseli, whilst the name may not be as famous as the Mara the iconic image of impressive mount Kilimanjaro rising above the plains is one of the most iconic images of East Africa and it is here where you can experience it.
On arrival at Nairobi airport you will be met by your local guide and taken to a nearby hotel for your first night, you will be briefed on the departure time tomorrow as you will head to the Masai Mara in the morning.
This morning you will be collected at the hotel and driven out of the hustling and bustling city of Nairobi in a southwest direction towards the Kenyan border with Tanzania. On leaving Nairobi the amount of human development will fade away until the vast and wild plains of the Mara come into view. We will check into our lodge located deep inside the prk, and then head straight out into the park for our first game drive. We have timed this safari to coincide with what is widely regarded as the best season for game viewing. A great combination of low numbers of tourists, short grasses and the fact that the migration is still going on all contribute to this time of year being wonderful for safari goers. We will be looking for all wildlife but as the sun gets lower in the sky we will of course be looking for lions, leopards and spotted hyena which all come out in the evening for a night of hunting. You will return after the game drive to your lodge for your first night under the African stars and relax amid the sounds of the African wilderness all around you.
You will now spend the next 3 full days exploring the park, sometimes we will have lunch out in the vehicle and sometimes return to the lodge. However you can rest assured that we will be spending our time looking for as much wonderful wildlife as possible. In October the Mara still has around 1.7 million blue wildebeest, 260,000 plains zebra and 470,000 Thompsons gazelles residing in it as they end of their dry season wanderings and spend the end of the dry season in the Mara. The rains are due in November and with the onset of the rains the huge herds begin to move off again towards the Serengeti. On each day you will head out at the crack of dawn and then in the evenings come back as it goes dark. These two windows of time are the best parts of the day to look for predators. But also many of the other species are also more active at these times. Our guides know the lion pride territories as well as which den sites are currently being used by leopards and also the areas of the park where the cheetahs are more easily seen. So we will not be driving blind in our attempts to see wildlife, we will have the collective knowledge of many years of wildlife watching in the Mara to help us. As October is the end of the dry season there could be the occasional rain shower and there should be lots of hippos and crocodiles all vying for the last remaining spots of water in the drying up rivers, which makes the rivers a very good place to look for wildlife. The rivers also attract a huge array of bird life, more than 470 species of birds have been recorded from the Mara. It is also a very good time to look for raptors, with 60 species recorded from the park we are likely to see a few carcasses and aggregations of vultures, marabou storks and eagles as they mop up the dead and dying. There is a rich wealth of wildlife here and it would be amiss to try and list what we could see here, instead we will spend as much time as possible exploring the park and all of its habitats and aim to showcase the vast and wonderful range of wildlife that the famous Masai Mara has to offer.
Amboseli National Park
This morning after breakfast we will leave the Mara and start our journey eastwards across the country. First we will head back north-east toward Nairobi where we will pickup the highway and head due east. Our next destination will come into view long before we are due to reach there as the iconic and imposing Mt. Kilimanjaro looms large out of the haze and begins to dominate the horizon. The mountain itself is over the border in Tanzania but the shadow it casts falls over the next park on our trip, Amboseli. We will arrive at the lodge and have the rest of the day to rest after the long journey getting here.
Amboseli National Park
For the next 2 full days you will be feel like you are in the land of the giants. Whilst elephants are commonly seen in the Mara it is here that the vast numbers of them can be seen easily, with some herds coming very close to the vehicles. Amboseli was famous for its elephant herds and whilst poaching decimated the elephant populations here and in other parks in Kenya during the 80’s and 90’s the numbers are back to near historical levels again. You will be taken out at dawn and then again in the afternoon (as in the Mara) to go in search of wildlife and hopefully get the iconic photograph of a herd of elephants moving in single file at the foot of Kilimanjaro. Many of the same species can be found here as in the Mara but it is the elephant herds that make this park so species and we will be on the look out for some of the last remaining great tuskers of Africa during these two full days on safari in Amboseli.
Today we will depart Amboseli after breakfast and drive back north-west to the capital and your hotel for the night. The rest of the day is free for you to relax and prepare for your departure tomorrow.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
Kenya’s climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The area receives a great deal of sunshine every month, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations. Expect temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s during the day. But the mornings and evenings can be much cooler.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner – expect when in cities) and the meals will be cooked by your camp cook. There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private vehicle with an excellent driver and naturalist for all transfers and game drives. Zoologists are available on request as well. Camping (instead of lodges) is available on this itinerary and in this case the tent, beds, sleeping bags and all other camping equipment will be included.
All our excursions including guided walks, sunrise, morning, evening, sunset and night drives rides and park entrance fees are also included as per the itinerary.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be light and airy clothes as well as comfortable walking shoes. As the nights can be chilly we recommend you bring a fleece, long trousers, scarf and a woolly hat. A water proof coat is also a good idea. A sleeping bag is also needed as this is the only camping equipment not included. Insect repellent is handy as there can be mosquitoes about during the evenings and nights. Andy medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be strong here during the day.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport.
We recommend Emirates or KML as good airlines for flights to Nairobi. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is for both flights is www.opodo.co.uk. They are an IATA accredited agent and this provides all the securities related to ATOL protection. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Kenya. However these are given out on arrival at the airport. Usually 30 days is granted but please confirm this as less if sometimes given. The easiest way to find information is by visiting www.southafrica.info (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Kenya, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus, Yellow Fever and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Kenya as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Joe & Rhoda, Michigan
Ms. T. Cotton, London
The Bateman family, Kent
Mr & Mrs. Carruthers, London