Kenya

Kenya straddles the equator and boasts a 300-mile Indian Ocean coastline, verdant forests, acacia-studded savannas, and shimmering deserts.  Over the years, films like “Out of Africa,” “Born Free” and “Milking the Rhino” have touted the scenic beauty, abundant wildlife, and rich cultural diversity of Kenya.  This is where our idea of "safari" really began in the early days of the 20th century when Kenya was a colony of the British Empire.   Those were the days of the “Big Five” safaris where lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo were hunted.   Since 1977 Kenya has banned hunting so today, the only shooting is with your camera! Many safari operations here are managed by third and fourth generations of families who are committed to conservation and providing the best photographic safaris in East Africa.  About 12% of Kenya is currently allocated to national parks, reserves and community-owned conservancies where wildlife is protected.

Our earliest ancestors may have originated in Northern Kenya about five million years ago.  There have been some important archaeological discoveries made near Lake Turkana near the northern border.  And today the country’s 40 ethnic groups make it one of the most diverse countries in Africa. 

Kenya gained independence in 1963 and currently has a population of 45 million people of varying cultural origins -- the result of a long history of migration and intermingling of indigenous tribes with Arab and Persian traders, Indian laborers and European settlers. 

English and Kiswahili are the official languages of Kenya.  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi serves as a major hub for international travelers to East Africa destinations.  Wilson Airport is the small, domestic airport serving safari-goers with daily flights to camps and lodges throughout the country.

Kenya Tanzania Ethiopia Uganda South Sudan Democratic Republicof the Congo Rwanda Burundi Somalia KoraNational Park MeruNational Park Mount KenyaNational Park AberdareNational Park Lake NakuruNational Park Masai MaraGame Reserve SerengetiNational Park Mfangano Island NairobiNational Park AmboseliNational Park Chyulu HillsNational Park ● Funzi ● Manda ● Lamu Malinda Mombasa Diani Beach Tsavo EastNational Park Tsavo WestNational Park Shimba HillsNational Reserve MkomaziNational Park Mt. KilimanjaroNational Park Nairobi ShabaNational Park Buffalo SpringsNational Reserve Lake Baringo Lake Bogoria Lake Nakuru Lake Magadi Mara River Mara River Talek River Tana River Lake Naivasha SamburuNational Reserve LaikipaNational Reserve Lewa Mount Nyiru Mathews Range Lake Turkana Lake Victoria Ewaso Nyiro River Equator Indian Ocean Siana Conservation Olkinyei Conservancy Lemek Conservancy Ol Chorro Conservancy Koiyaki Conservancy Trans Mara Conservation Mara Triangle Aitong Conservancy Mara North Conservancy Motorogi Conservancy Olare Orok Conservancy Great Rift Valley
Kenya Highlights

Itineraries

Kenya itineraries usually combine a stay at several different camps to give you a sense of the wide diversity of animal habitat and cultural experiences.  You have a good chance of seeing the Great Wildebeest migration if you travel during late July through October.  Walking and horseback safaris are popular in Kenya.  A few days on the beach could be a perfect finish to your safari. 

Adamson’s Footsteps

Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi
You will be met upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to the House of Waine, a boutique hotel in the quiet suburb of Karen.  Each bedroom has a large marble bathroom, and there is a heated swimming pool in the gardens.  If you have time you can visit the nearby Giraffe Centre, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and Nairobi National Park. 
1 Night at the House of Waine

Day 2: Meru National Park
This morning you will be transferred to Wilson Airport to catch the scheduled flight to Elsa’s Kopje.The camp is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson's biographical book and film Born Free.  The guest cottages blend into the rocky crags of the kopje just above the site of George Adamson’s original campsite.  There is an open bar, sitting and dining room with an infinity pool. Activities include day & night game drives, guided bush walks, bush meals, cultural visits, sundowners, fishing and massage. This untamed wilderness is renowned for its rhino sightings and the rare northern species. 
3 Nights at Elsa’s Kopje

Day 5:  Shaba National Reserve
Today you will fly to Joy’s Camp, the site where Joy Adamson reintroduced Penny the leopard into the wild. This beautiful tented lodge is built on the site of Joy’s original camp, and has a small museum with many of Joy’s artifacts. Shaba’s arid country is home to many rare species, and the lodge is famous for its night game drives. There are ten chic canvas bedrooms raised off the ground with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and overlooking a large natural spring. Each sumptuous tent is uniquely decorated with Boran/Somali cloth, handmade glass and vibrant fabrics of the local tribes. 
3 Nights at Joy’s Camp

Day 8: Masai Mara, Mara North Conservancy
A safari isn’t complete without a visit to one of the natural wonders of the world; the Masai Mara.  You fly to Elephant Pepper Camp which sits in the pristine wilderness of the Mara North Conservancy.  This exclusive camp is located away from other lodges in the heart of the African bush.  Activities include day and night game drives, bush walks, bush meals and sundowners. 
3 Nights at Elephant Pepper Camp

Day 11
After a last game drive in the Masai Mara, you will take a. scheduled flight back to Nairobi. You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your Nairobi hotel or to the international airport for your journey home.

2017 Prices
Contact Duffle & Compass for 2017 prices. 

Price Includes:
- All scheduled and charter flights and  land transportation as specified in the itinerary, driver/professional guide services, park fees, accommodation
- All meals (except lunch and dinner in Nairobi) and drinks (soft drinks, beer and house wine at Elephant Pepper)
- Laundry (except in Nairobi)
- Flying Doctors Society Membership, departure taxes.

Price Excludes:
- Airfare (other than what is specified in the safari itinerary)
- Drinks and meals other than breakfast in Nairobi, all drinks at Elsa’s Kopje and Joy’s camp, champagne, spirits and luxury wines,
- Gratuities, travel insurance, visa fees, any personal purchases, phone calls, optional activities, day room in Nairobi on the last day
- Pre or post-safari plans

Private Departures:
This itinerary can be custom tailored for groups of four to twelve guests for flexible dates.

Baggage Limit:
This flying safari requires travelers to use a soft-sided duffle bag with a weight limitation of 15kgs/33lbs to fit in the luggage compartments of the small planes.

Kenya Flying Safari

Itinerary

Day 1              

You will be met upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to the leafy suburb of Karen.  This area was once the coffee farm of Karen Blixen, the Danish author of Out of Africa

2 Nights at Giraffe Manor

 

Day 2

Start your day by having breakfast with the resident and endangered Rothschild’s giraffes! 

Then it’s off to see the sights including visits to Daphne Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, Karen Blixen Museum and shopping stops at Utamaduni Craft Centre, Matbronze and others.

 

Day 3  

You will fly north to Laikipia to begin your safari in a 45,000 acre private wildlife sanctuary tucked in the valley between the lofty slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains.  The Solio Reserve has the most successful private rhino breeding reserve in Kenya and you will find that sightings of up to 40 rhinoceros at a time are not uncommon.

3 Nights at Solio Lodge

 

Day 6

Depart this morning by private charter aircraft for Samburu.  Your lodge sits on a rocky ridge above the banks of the mighty Ewaso Nyiro River where the elephant herds come to bathe.  Your days will be spent on game drives, camel safaris, quad biking, guided walks, and cultural visits with the Samburu.  Fly camping under the stars is not to be missed.

3 Nights at Sasaab

 

Day 9

Today you will wing your way to the Masai Mara, Kenya’s best known game area and home to the “Big 5” all year-round.  The annual “Great Wildebeest Migration” is generally found in the Masai Mara from June through October depending on the rains.  The spectacle of these enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra along with their predators – lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and the massive crocodiles that wait in the rivers for crossings -- provide a front row seat for the cycle of life. 

3 Nights at Sala’s Camp

 

Day 11

This morning begins early as you rise before dawn to get to the launch site for your hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara.  Of course, if you’d rather sleep in, that’s ok too! 

 

Day 12

You will bid the Mara goodbye and fly back to Nairobi.  Day rooms can be arranged for evening international departures.

Private Departures - This itinerary can be custom tailored for you, other accommodation choices and activities.

 

 

Discover Kenya

Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi
You will be met upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to an area hotel. 
1 Night in Nairobi

Day 2: Lewa Conservancy
Fly to the Lewa Conservancy, well-known as one of the leading models for conservation on private land, providing benefits to local communities.The 65,000-acre conservancy is home to about 10 percent of Kenya’s black rhino population and the single largest population of Grevy’s zebra in the world.  There are good elephant numbers and regular sightings of the illusive African wild dogs, as well as all your favorite predators.  Go out for day and night game drives and explore the area on foot with your experienced guide and host, Calum to discover the little things you often miss from the vehicle.  Horseback and camel safari activities are also on offer.  We suggest an afternoon to visit a school and a few inspiring community projects.  You will be hosted by Sophie and Calum Macfarlane whose connections to Lewa go back five generations.  Cottage style rooms are spread out along the hillside and breakfast and lunch are served in the garden.  The swimming pool overlooks a waterhole where animals come to drink. 
3 Nights at Lewa House

Day 5: Laikipia
This morning you will say goodbye to Sophie and Calum and head to the airstrip to board your private charter and wing your way to Ol Malo.

Ol Malo is a privately owned game sanctuary bordering the tribal heartlands of the nomadic Samburu people.  Built in rock and olive wood with a thatched roof, Ol Malo House was inspired by the area’s wild landscape, local flora and the Samburu culture.  The house features spacious, en-suite accommodations, large sitting and dining area, infinity pool and al fresco dining area. You will be hosted by the Francombe family and their Samburu neighbors giving you a rare opportunity for an authentic Kenya experience.   You will see a wide range of wildlife on game drives in open vehicles, and learn about the "little five" on guided walking safaris.  You will have the opportunity for horse or camel riding on the plains, a wonderful way to get close to game. We suggest an afternoon to visit the local nursery school and the women's beading workshop. And bring your bathing suit for tire-tubing down the river rapids which is quite popular here! 
3 Nights at Ol Malo House

Day 8: Masai Mara
This morning you will fly to the Masai Mara.  Rekero Camp is where old-time hospitality, a diverse concentration of game and unsurpassed guiding come together to provide an authentic East African safari experience.  This seasonal tented camp on the Talek River is ideally situated for the annual migration, which is the movement of over one million wildebeest and two hundred thousand zebra from the Serengeti through the Mara in Kenya.  Disney’s wildlife movie, “African Cats” was filmed in this area.

The Beaton family, owners of Rekero, settled in Kenya more than a century ago and helped pioneer the country's conservation movement.  Today, Rekero is managed by experienced second generation Kenyans and continues to be overseen by Gerard Beaton, ensuring the legacy of the family founders.   The expert guiding team was recently recognized as one of the best in Africa by the Good Safari Guide.

The spacious tents have en-suite bathrooms, a large verandah with a day bed for relaxing and each tent is attended by a personal butler.  Days here will be spent exploring the area on game drives, enjoying picnics in the bush, with some walking and a cultural visit to round out our time here. 
3 Nights at Rekero Camp

Day 11: Nairobi
Bid farewell to the Mara and fly back to Nairobi.  You will be met on arrival at Wilson Airport and transferred to The Emakoko.

The Emakoko is a twenty-bed luxury lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, which borders the Nairobi National Park. All the rooms look straight over the river and into the Park.  All rooms feature bath tubs and showers with views and an outside deck and fireplace.  The Emakoko is a family owned and run lodge.  Emma and Anthony Childs have run lodges in some of the wildest and most beautiful parts of Kenya. 
1 Night at Emakoko

Day 12: Nairobi
Today you can visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Center, the Karen Blixen Museum and visit various shops and craft markets.  Your guides here are wildlife specialists who understand shopping behavior as well as animal behavior!  Later you'll have dinner before departing for the airport to check in for your evening international flight. 
1 Day Room at Emakoko

Private Departures:
Contact us to custom-tailor this itinerary for you. 

 

 

 

Family Safari in Kenya

Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi
You will be met upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to an area hotel. 
2 Nights in Nairobi

Day 2: Nairobi
You can choose to relax and let your body clocks adjust, or we will arrange a guide to take you to visit the historical home of Out of Africa author Karen Blixen, The Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where you can get close to young elephants and rhinos, and the Giraffe Center where you can hand feed a giraffe.  Make time for shopping for African art, crafts, jewelry and souvenirs.

Day 3: Lewa Conservancy
After an early breakfast you’ll head to Wilson Airport for your flight to Lewa, which sits at the foot of Mt. Kenya.  The Lewa Conservancy is the model for successful wildlife conservation in Kenya.  You will be introduced to their programs to protect rhino, the threatened Grevy’s zebra as well as the many community-based initiatives that are supported by tourism.  The game viewing is excellent and you can chose to do horseback riding, camel riding, and guided bush walks in addition to game drives.  And there are many opportunities to visit schools and local business projects.A variety of accommodations are available, from private homes, lodges and permanent tented camps. 
4 Nights in the Lewa Conservancy

Day 7: Masai Mara Private Reserves
You will be transferred back to the airstrip for your flight to the Masai Mara where you will be met upon arrival and transferred to your camp or private bush house.  You will spend your days exploring the best known area for safari-goers in Kenya. Today, more than 75% of the Mara ecosystem in Kenya lies on community land beyond the park borders.  This is where the most exclusive wildlife viewing is offered, and where most of our preferred accommodations are located. 
4 Nights in the Masai Mara

Day 11
Bid the Mara goodbye and wing your way back to Nairobi and connect with your international flight home.

Private Departures:
Contact us to custom-tailor this itinerary for your family’s interests, budget, travel dates and accommodation preferences.  

Walking Wild

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive at Lewa airstrip. Begin your walk through Lewa’s riverine woodland and savannah.  Camp will be in the central part of the Lewa Conservancy.

Day 2
Walk through Lewa savannah and bushveld.  Camp will be set on the northwestern edge of Lewa tonight.

Day 3 
Walk to Il Ngwesi lowland bush and river ecosystems.  Camp by Ngare Ndare River.

Day 4
Meet local Laikipiak Maasai and explore the surrounding area.  Camp by Ngare Ndare River.

Day 5
Walk from Il Ngwesi to Lekurruki bushveld.  Tonight you will camp in the hills.

Day 6
You will walk to the Lekurruki airstrip and bid goodbye to your guides and crew.  You will continue on to your next destination.

Private Departures:
Contact us to custom-tailor this itinerary for you for three to six days. We suggest making this part of longer East Africa itinerary.  There is a minimum of two travelers required and a maximum of eight who can be accommodated.

Accommodations

There are many third and fourth generation Kenyan families who host guests at their homes, safari camps and guest houses.  They enjoy sharing their enthusiasm and commitment to conservation and the local community with you.  Exclusive use beach villas or homes set in wilderness areas are perfect for families and small groups who desire privacy and the ability to customize activities.  Accommodations in Kenya range from fly camping to award-winning lodges and Indian Ocean beach retreats. 

Masai Mara

The northern reaches of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem includes his reserve and the adjacent private conservancies which combine to become a vast area with abundant wildlife year-round.  The Great Wildebeest Migration generally moves into this area beginning in July until they return to Tanzania in October.  Start your day by watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon floating over the savanna.    

Photo: Virgin Limited

Mahali Mzuri

The northern reaches of the greater Serengeti-Mara ecosystem includes his reserve and the adjacent private conservancies which combine to become a vast area with abundant wildlife year-round.  The Great Wildebeest Migration generally moves into this area beginning in July until they return to Tanzania in October.  Start your day by watching the sunrise from a hot air balloon floating over the savanna.    

Photo: Cottar's

Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp

Olderikesi Group Ranch
For almost a century, the Cottar family has made a tradition of the “golden age” safari experience here in this exclusive concession bordering the southeast boundary of the Masai Mara Reserve. The camp has 10 tents in total (one unique honeymoon tent, five double tents and four family suites), all with en suite bathrooms.  Activities include day and night game drives, guided bush walks, cultural visits, line-fishing and swimming in the spring-fed pool.  Cottar’s Bush Villa is a 10,000 sq. ft. home for exclusive use and features five en-suite bedrooms, and a staff of eight to take care of your every need.

Photo: Great Plains Conservation

Mara Plains Camp

Olare Motorogi Conservancy 
The camp was completely renovated in 2013 to be one of the greenest camps ever built to date.  There are seven tents.  The philosophy here is to tailor the day’s activities and meals around the guest’s preferences and the wildlife activities of the moment.  There are very few camps in this area giving guests the experience of being some of the few humans in these 100,000 acres of wildlife habitat.  

Photo: Great Plains Conservation

Mara Expedition Camp

Mara North Conservancy
Set squarely in the heart of magnificent predator country, where the savannah meets the dense riverine forest, this is a prime location for game drives in this camp’s custom designed open-sided vehicles.  Mara Expedition Camp is an intimate 5 tented camp found on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River where forest meets savannah in the north-central area of the Masai Mara.   The camp décor reflects the style of early explorers with an eclectic yet coordinated assembly of brass chandeliers, old Indian chests, and local handicrafts all handpicked from markets throughout Africa.  The camp is closed April to mid-June.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Elephant Pepper Camp

Mara North Conservancy
Extensively re-done in 2014, this seasonal camp features eight tents, two of which are larger for families or honeymooners.  Experienced silver and bronze qualified guides show guests how to reconnect with nature in the African bush. In addition to safari activities, you can visit a local Maasai village and school giving you direct contact with the people of this area.

Photo: Saruni

Saruni

Mara North Conservancy
There are five elegant cottages, one family villa and one private villa all with verandahs to enjoy the views.  Masai warriors guide you throughout your days, sharing their ancient wisdom of the area and animals and their fascinating way of life.  In addition to cultural visits, guided bush walks and daily game drives, the Warrior Academy offers training on bush skills, animal tracking, and survival skills.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Ol Seki Hemingways

Naboisho Conservancy 
The rounded architecture of the tents offers a 270-degree panoramic view of the famous Masai Mara. Two bedroom suites have a private kitchen, with a dedicated team of staff for each unit.   Your days can be tailored to suit whatever suits you.  Meet the local Masai, hike, watch birds, photograph the sunset, dine under the stars,  or soar above the plains in a hot air balloon.

Photo: The Safari Collection

Angama Mara

Mara Triangle 
Balanced on the rim of Africa’s Great Rift Valley is the owner-operated Angama Mara, inspired by the Swahili word meaning ‘suspended in mid-air.’ Here, where scenes from the movie ‘Out of Africa’ were filmed, you will find an incredible sense of seclusion and romance.  Days are tailor made for you with game drives, hot air ballooning, walking safaris and cultural visits to the nearby Maasai village.  The lodge consists of two totally separate camps of 15 luxury tented suites with magnificent 180° views. Families with children of 6 years and older are welcome and accommodated in the interconnecting suites.  

Photo: &Beyond

Bateleur Camp

Western Masai Mara
Commanding sweeping views of the plains, this camp reflects the ambiance of the Kenyan explorers from the 20's and 30's. Bateleur sits just outside the western border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve and lies directly in the path of what is considered to be the greatest spectacle of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. There are two camps of nine tented suites and each has private butler service.  

Photo: &Beyond

Kichwa Tembo

Western Masai Mara
This camp was completely rebuilt in 2014 to better showcase its panoramic Masai Mara views. There are 40 tents making it a good place for families or groups.  There is a large reception area and safari shop, bar and sitting area, indoor and outdoor dining area, a large swimming pool and grounds with leisurely groups of warthogs feeding.  

Photo: The Safari Collection

Sala’s Camp

Masai Mara
Sala’s Camp rests on the banks of the Sand and KeeKorok rivers and camp looks out to the Northern Corridor of Tanzania’s Serengeti, the route generally taken by the wildebeest migration. This seasonal camp is open during the dry season from June to October and from mid-November to mid-April.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Rekero Camp

Masai Mara
This camp sits on the shady banks of the Talek River, making it an idea place to watch the annual wildebeest migration. Walt Disney’s ‘African Cats’ movie was filmed in this stunning wilderness area.  The luxury nine-tented camp is set up from June to October, and again December to March. 

Central Kenya

The snowcapped peaks of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain, provide the centerpiece of the Central Highlands.  Blessed with rich, volcanic soil, this is the country’s breadbasket and home to the Kikuyu people.  Laikipia, a 3,670 square mile plateau extending northwest from Mount Kenya, is where you will find private conservancies and Samburu tribal lands rich in wildlife.  Meru National Park lies to the east of Mount Kenya

Photo: Bush & Beyond

Lewa Wilderness

Laikipia
This is the home of Will and Emma Craig on the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.  The lodge has nine exclusive rooms: six thatched cottages tucked into the hillside overlooking Lewa’s Eastern Marania Valley, and three thatched garden cottages—perfect for families—set in the beautiful green lawns.  Guests can enjoy game viewing on horseback, camel walks and escorted bush walks to game drives in open 4x4 vehicles and scenic flights in a 1930’sopen cockpit biplane. Enjoy organically grown, ranch style meals along with farm and craft tours.

Photo: Lewa Safari Camp

Lewa Safari Camp

Laikipia
There are 11 en-suite safari tents, and two family tented suites with spectacular views south to Mt. Kenya.  The main guest area features a lounge with fireplace, terrace dining and a garden with a swimming pool. You can view wildlife from a blind situated at the edge of a waterhole. Wildlife viewing is spectacular here in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Photo: Bush & Beyond

Lewa House

Families always feel like they are visiting friends at Lewa House. You are hosted by owners Sophie and Calum Macfarlane who are raising their children here.  Sophie’s connection to Lewa goes back over five generations providing an added perspective on the history of what is now the Lewa Conservancy.   The three cottage-style family rooms are spread out along the hillside and there are also four single cottages.  The main building has a lounge and dining area with a fireplace and terrace.  There is a swimming pool overlooking the waterhole. Calum leads walks to experience the sights, smells and sounds of the African bush.

Photo: Sikori House

Sirikoi

Laikipia
Situated on private land surrounded by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Sirikoi overlooks extensive lawns, scattered acacia trees and a waterhole frequently visited by a variety of animals.  There are four luxury tented rooms and the cottage which has two en-suite bedrooms.  Sirikoi House is for exclusive use.  Activities include game drives and walks; visits with the local Maasai, horse riding, lion tracking or scenic helicopter flights. Sirikoi is closed in April and November.

Photo: Bush & Beyond

Ol Malo & Ol Malo House

Laikipia
Ol Malo sits on the northern edge of the Laikipia plateau and is owned and hosted by the Francombe family.  There are four cottages with en-suite bathrooms and private verandas.  Ol Malo House has six bedrooms for private groups.  Adventure down the rapids on tube, fish for catfish along the river, view local game from atop a horse or camel, or spend the night on a bunk in the leopard blind in the hope of catching a glimpse of the elusive leopard. Ol Malo and Ol Malo House are closed in April, May and November.

Photo: Loisaba

Loisaba

Loisaba is a 56,000-acre private game conservancy in the heart of Laikipia with the Ewaso Nyiro River on its southern boundary, dramatic escarpments and wildlife plains in the north.  Loisaba Tented Camp has six stylish double, three family tents and an exclusive family residence with a private infinity pool.   The four Kiboko Star Beds, one is a family “skybed,” are designed on a raised, handcrafted wooden platforms for stargazing and feature a dining area too. 

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp

Laikipia
This six-tented, traditional bush camp is hosted by Alex Hunter in the 100,000-acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy. In addition to the usual safari activities, you can meet researchers and participate in monitoring elephant, lion or rhino, take part in training walks with the tracker bloodhounds, learn about conservation agriculture or Boran and Ankole cattle pastoral care and integration with wildlife, or visit a local school or clinic.

Photo: Bush & Beyond

The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille

Laikipia
This innovative conservation tourism partnership between the Maasai community, donors and private investors is located just 45 miles north of Mount Kenya.  It is a collection of four private, full-service, fully staffed houses for the discerning client.  All guests have access to the horizon pool, library and the craft manyatta where they can learn about  the Maasai culture.   

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Elsa’s Kopje

Meru National Park
The camp is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson's biographical book and film Born Free.  The guest cottages blend into the rocky crags of the kopje (small hill) just above the site of George Adamson’s original campsite.  Guests can enjoy day or night game drives, walking safaris and fishing along the Tana River.

Photo: The Safari Collection

Solio Lodge

Mount Kenya
Nestled in the valley between the dramatic slopes of Mount Kenya and the rolling peaks of the Aberdare Mountains, the 45,000-acre Solio Game Reserve is home to a diverse population of wildlife, and known for the most successful private rhino breeding program in Kenya. There are five luxurious cottages with fireplaces, and an additional two-bedroom cottage for families.  Solio Lodge is closed in November.

Southeast Kenya

The Amboseli ecosystem is best known for its unrivalled views of Kilimanjaro and the local elephant population which number more than 1,000 and feature some of the largest and most studied elephants in Africa. Chyulu Hills National Park sits between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks in the path of traditional wildlife migration routes.  Tsavo East is Kenya’s largest park, a remote and pristine wilderness area.

Photo: Great Plains Conservation

Ol Donyo Lodge

Chyulu Hills
Perched on a hillside in the private 275,000-acre Mbirikani Group Ranch owned by 4,000 Maasai,  this luxury lodge offers guests a holistic experience.  A wide range of activities is available – from cultural visits, “Big Five” wildlife viewing and tracking, horseback riding, mountain biking, conservation and community programs.  

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Tortilis Camp

Amboseli
Named after the flat-topped, umbrella thorn tree, the Acacia Tortilis, the camp sits in Acacia woodland with a majestic backdrop of Africa's highest mountain, the snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro.  Game drives and guided walks both inside the park and within a private 30,000-acre game concession are featured activities.

Northern Kenya

The Shaba, Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves make up about 200 square miles of semi-arid savanna along the Ewaso Nyiro River.  The Mathews Mountain Range runs for more than 90 miles from north to south and a significant portion is now protected by Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust. The Northern Frontier District is considered Kenya’s last great frontier.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Joy’s Camp

Shaba National Reserve
Joy’s is an ideal destination for Kenya literary and history buffs and those who desire luxury accommodations in a secluded idyll. Built on the site of Born Free author Joy Adamson’s tented home, this elegant oasis overlooks a large natural spring where elephant and lion jostle for watering rights, alongside herds of buffalo, giraffe and Grevy’s zebra. Activities include game drives, guided bush walks along the Ewaso Nyiro River and Gorge, cultural visits to a Boran Village and visits to the Joy Adamson Museum.

Photo: Saruni Samburu Lodge

Saruni Samburu

Samburu National Reserve
Saruni is perched high in the Kalama Conservancy, a 95,000 hectare private wildlife reserve, just north of Samburu National Reserve. There are six spacious villas and three family villas, each with two en-suite bedrooms. Professional Samburu guides show guests this unspoiled wilderness teeming with wildlife and offer a glimpse into their traditions and semi-nomadic heritage.

Photo: The Safari Collection

Sasaab

Northern Frontier District
Sasaab sits on the high banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River, commanding breathtaking views across the Laikipia Plateau toward Mount Kenya. Each of the nine Moroccan-styled rooms has an enormous open-air bathroom and private plunge pool. You can safari by vehicle, on foot, on camel, or by air through this critical habitat for the endangered Grevy’s Zebra. The fiercely proud Samburu delight in sharing their customs with guests, making interaction with locals a major highlight here. Sasaab is closed in November.

Photo: Bush & Beyond

Sarara Camp

Mathews Mountains
Sarara is found within the lands of the Namunyak Wildlife Conversation Trust, 850,000 acres which lies folded around the southern corner of the fabled Mathews Mountain Range. In addition to game drives, bush walks, mountain hikes and camel treks, guests can visit the famous “Sarara” Singing Wells.  Samburu warriors bring their cattle to these watering holes on a daily basis during the dry season and carry out a fascinating ritual.  Sarara Camp is a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World for its commitment to sustainable tourism, authenticity and excellence in service.

Photo: Bush & Beyond

Sarara Star Camp

Mathews Mountains 
This bush camp is only accessible by foot and is a two and a half hour journey through the forest from Sarara. Camels carry all the equipment, led by their Samburu keepers. Guests enjoy the unique flora and fauna, including the rare Colobus and De Brazza monkeys, wild dogs and prehistoric Cycad palms.  Spend a night under the stars in your mosquito net tent.  

Indian Ocean Coast & Islands

The pearly-white sands blend into the warm, turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean all along the Kenya coast.  Diani Beach, south of Mombasa, is one of the most exclusive locations for beach retreats.  The 15-mile strip includes Tiwi Beach, Galu Beach, Chale Island, Funzi Island and Kinondo. On the northern coast, is the Lamu Archipelago which is more remote and steeped in Swahili tradition.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Alfajiri Villas

Diani Beach
The three private villas are owned and hosted by Fabrizio Molinaro and his wife Marika, All overlook the Indian Ocean and are surrounded by meticulously maintained gardens ensuring privacy.  Alfajiri is the perfect place for families and English speaking ayahs, or nannies, are available.

Photo: Almanara

Almanara

Diani Beach
Tucked amidst the towering palms and tropical gardens, Almanara has fully inclusive three bedroom villas along with Casa Bella, which has ocean view rooms and suites. This all-inclusive resort provides guests with the chance to enjoy 5-star luxury and activities including kite surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Guests can also relax at the pool, or the Cloud Nine Health Spa.

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Kinondo Kwetu

Galu Beach
This family-owned boutique property is on a tranquil private beach south of Diani. This is a protected area due to its surrounding holy forests and sacred land.  There is a first class scuba diving facility suitable for beginners and experienced divers and a horse stable.  Guests can enjoy many activities ranging from snorkeling, swimming, deep sea fishing, wind surfing, water skiing, sailing canoeing and tennis. 

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

Manda Bay

Lamu Archipelago
Manda Bay offers barefoot luxury and informal pampering at this beachfront property on the northwestern tip of Manda Island.  The cottages overlook the Indian Ocean and are constructed with local materials in traditional coastal style and carefully sited to catch the sea breeze.

Nairobi

Nairobi is a major gateway for international travelers visiting East Africa. Those who are looking to spend a little time here while their body clock catches up will find lovely places to stay in the leafy suburbs like Karen, named for Karen Blixen, or in the city itself or even in Nairobi National Park which is located next to the international airport.

Photo: Duffle & Compass

Giraffe Manor

Langata
Built in the 1930s, this charming 12-acre estate is now famous for its resident herd of Rothschild Giraffe who visit for breakfast through the tall manor windows and on the large veranda and terraces for guests to hand feed them.  The elegant interiors make you feel like you are walking into the film Out of Africa.  Because of its location within a 140-acre indigenous forest, Giraffe Manor is also home to warthogs, bushbuck, dik dik and more than 180 species of birds.  

Photo: Cheli & Peacock

House of Waine

 Karen
This is a family owned and operated boutique property with 11 en-suite rooms.  Formerly a private residence, the gardens now have a heated swimming pool. The staff provides personal attention in a relaxed setting.

Photo: Hemingway's Nairobi

Hemingway’s Nairobi

Karen
This 45-room, 5-star luxury hotel is set in a quiet, residential neighborhood, with aspirations of being the first Michelin-starred venue in Nairobi.  The plantation-style property is airy and spacious and all bedrooms have a private balcony overlooking the Ngong Hills. There is a spa, full service salon, fitness center and pool.  

Photo: Bush & Beyond

The Emakoko

Nairobi National Park
Ideally located for those who want to start their safari upon arrival, the Emakoko is a mere 25-minute game drive from all important locations – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport and all the main city attractions.  Entrance to it is through the park, which is an ideal way to escape the Nairobi traffic. This luxury safari lodge is artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, which borders Nairobi National Park. 

Photo: The Fairview

The Fairview

Situated close to Nairobi’s vibrant city center, the 4-star classic country hotel is owned and managed by three generations of one family since 1946. There are 100 rooms of varying sizes and a number of dining options including Pango, a brasserie that is a member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.  Set on five acres of tropical gardens, there is also a pool, gym and business center.

Photo: Ololo Lodge

Ololo Lodge

Nairobi National Park
This owner-operated lodge is set on 20 acres at the southern edge of Nairobi National Park offering personalized attention and wonderful meals sourced from the on-site garden.  Originally built as a family home, Ololo now offers a variety of rooms, tented cottages, stable rooms and a three-bedroom stable cottage which has its own kitchen.  Guests relax in the large open living room with a fireplace, or the library or around the swimming pool.

Photo: OneFortyEight

OneFortyEight

Langata
Newly opened in 2017, this former private residence has been converted into a luxury boutique property complete with warthogs, parrots, peacocks and monkeys in the garden.  The main house features three en-suite bedrooms and a children’s loft. The common living area has a large fireplace, seating areas and dining area.  In another structure are three double story apartment and two artist studios, all have views of the grounds.  OneFortyEight features the former owners' paintings along with a stylish mix of tribal accessories throughout.   

Travel Information

When to go to Kenya
Sitting on the equator means that Kenya doesn’t have dramatic weather variations.  It is cooler in the Central Highlands, warm and humid at the coast and warm in the arid North. The long rains occur from late March to early June.  The short rains come in late October and last through November.  December through March is the warmest time of year with daytime temperatures reaching 90F and overnight lows of 70F. 

Passport & Visa for Kenya
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of your return from Kenya.  Travelers must make sure that their passport contains at least two blank pages for visa and immigration stamps.  A visa is required for all U.S. citizens who are who are 17 years or older to visit Kenya.  You must obtain your entry visa in advance using eCitizen; an online portal.  The cost is $21 for a transit visa, which is valid for three days or $51 for a single journey visa which is valid for 90 days.

If you are traveling beyond Kenya, you can get an East Africa Visa (EAC) which is a joint tourist visa for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The cost is $100 and the multiple entry visa is valid for 90 days.  Currently this visa is only available on arrival.

For further information: The Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Washington, D.C. & U.S. State Department

Medical Information for Kenya
Before traveling to Africa, please consult with your physician. An International Certificate of Vaccination for Yellow Fever is required for travelers arriving in Kenya from countries where yellow fever is present. The certificate must be obtained no less than ten days prior to your arrival into Kenya. You will also need a malaria prophylaxis unless you are only visiting Nairobi or one of the malaria-free areas.

For further information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Kenya