Kenya | Samburu to Masai Mara | Adult Only
Combining Africa's wildlife, landscape, and culture.
8 days / 7 nights
Activity Level Activity levels are subjective depending on your general level of fitness and your experience; however, all of our trips are self-paced.
Picture Africa in your mind. Grassland stretching to the horizon, dotted with lions resting in the shade of acacia trees while giant herds of wildebeest churn up a cloud of dust on the horizon. That image is quintessential Kenya. Kenya has some of the highest-density wildlife reserves left on the planet, as well as some of the last truly nomadic peoples, like the Samburu and Masai. On this exemplary tour, you will have daily opportunities to experience both. Learn about life on the savannah from the Masai, and take part in their traditions. Head into the bush with expert guides to see large game such as the “special five” of Samburu: Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Gerunuk, and Beisa Oryx. And if that’s not incredible enough, opt to float over the legendary Serengeti at sunrise, where the only sounds are the calls of the elephants and the roars of the lions. This eight-day package takes you into the heart of Africa, where you can experience the soul of this incredible continent.
Africa is considered the last great wilderness, and much of that hinges on Kenya’s incredible protection programs that have helped elephants, rhinos, and other species rebound from being hunted to near extinction. Because of those efforts, some parts of the Serengeti have the same wildlife density as they did a century ago. If you’ve ever yearned to feel the hoof-beats of a million migrating wildebeest, Kenya is the place to go. Kenya’s landscape is made up of more than just wildlife, however. The Masai, Samburu, and other peoples call this harsh landscape home as well, and they are happy to sit down and share their stories and traditions with you. After a long day exploring the Kenyan bush, get a good night’s sleep in one of the luxurious game camps. These camps offer five-star amenities, but don’t be surprised if you see hippos grazing the lawn or zebras kneeling down for a drink at the nearby river. In fact, if there’s one thing that this highlight-packed tour promises, it’s that you will be immersed in quintessential Africa from the second you see your first sunrise over the savannah to the moment your plane lifts off the runway to go home.
- Be greeted at the airport in African style—with wet towels and champagne served in traditional African gourds.
- Expert guides track the annual wildebeest migrations, as well as the locations of lion prides, elephant herds, and rhinos.
- Explore Lake Naivasha by boat along-side hippos, as well as hundreds of species of birds including flamingo.
- Learn Masai traditions passed down from generation to generation as they introduce you to their daily lives on the savannah.
- Explore the Masai Mara Game Preserve, the crown jewel of the continent, where wildlife density has recovered to levels not seen in over one hundred years.
- See elephants, rhinos, and big cats from above the tree-tops in a hot-air balloon.
A few more reasons why you've gotta go:
Here’s your chance to see snow-capped mountains shimmering in the heat rising off the savannah.
Enjoy lavish game camps with amenities that give luxury hotels a run for their money.
Local guides have more than three decades of experience in and around the Kenyan game reserves. They have outstanding knowledge of the cultures and wildlife that populate the region.
Nairobi, Kenya NBO
Nairobi, Kenya NBO
Jambo – Karibu!! Arrive at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. You’ll be met by your hosts eagerly awaiting to greet you in African style – with wet towels and champagne sipped out of traditional African gourds. Transfer to your hotel in Nairobi’s colorful capital city and rest up for the days to come.
About Sarova Stanley Hotel
Sarova Stanley Hotel dates back to 1902, when it became the first luxury hotel in Nairobi. It has since built on that tradition with amenities like restaurants and a spa, earning multiple luxury hotel awards. Located in the center of the business district, the hotel offers easy access to many of Nairobi’s attractions.
Samburu Game Reserve
After breakfast transfer to Samburu Game Reserve in the northern region of Kenya. Venture into the rugged semi-arid landscape on a game drive with your expert guide. Keep your camera ready for Kenya’s diverse wildlife as herds of elephants and gazelle as well as many bird species like Palm Nut Vulture and Vinaceous Dove head to the Ewaso Ngiro River for water. In the dry season, watch elephants use their tusks to dig deep into the riverbank for water and making watering “holes” that other wildlife use to find scarce water. Seek reclusive leopards as they head out on the hunt at dusk.
About Ashnil Samburu Camp
Situated on the south bank of the Ewaso Ngiro River in the Buffalo Springs Game Reserve, Ashnil Samburu Camp offers plenty of open space to explore, as well as a high level of amenities befitting an up-scale lodge. Relax in a private chalet, walk the extensive grounds, or cool down in the pool. The lodge’s location inside the reserve makes it the ideal basecamp for excursions into the bush.
Samburu Game Reserve
Enjoy a full day of game viewing. Search with your expert guide for the “Special five of Samburu”: Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy’s Zebra, Somali Ostrich, Gerunuk and the Beisa Oryx. Stop for a picnic lunch with a great view of the tree-studded savannah punctuated by distant blue mountains. Head into neighboring Buffalo Springs Game Reserve. Visit a Samburu Manyatta to get to know one of the local tribes and see how they live in this harsh landscape.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy / Sweetwaters Game Reserve
After breakfast, drive south toward Mt. Kenya and Sweetwaters Game Reserve. Explore the forested grasslands of the Sweetwaters in search of the “Special Five” and other plains game. Guides will also be on the search for the endangered Chimpanzee and Rhinos.
About Sweetwaters Serena Camp
Its location in a private conservancy with a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any of Kenya’s national parks makes Sweetwaters Serena Camp one of the most exclusive tented safari camps in Kenya. Clustered around an oasis, Sweetwaters Serena Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and Kenyan safari luxury.
Wake up early for a sunrise game drive, followed by a hearty breakfast. Continue traveling south across the equator and into the Great Rift Valley. Relax for the rest of the afternoon exploring Lake Naivasha by boat and by guided hike on Crescent Island.
About Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort
Set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland studded with Acacia bushes and trees, the resort is not only home to their resident giraffe, waterbuck and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a night stop for the hippos when they leave the lake every night to come and trim the grass on the expansive lawns. When not out chasing wildlife (or observing it on the grounds), take a dip in the pools, or refuel in the bar, pizzeria, or spa.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
After breakfast, travel through the Great Rift Valley to Kenya’s richest game reserve, Masai Mara. This northern end of the Serengeti Plains is the only place where a visitor can experience the same abundance of wildlife as they could have a century ago. Be on the lookout for Mara’s ‘big five’: lion, Cape buffalo, savannah elephant, black rhino and leopard. The vast savannah grasslands as far as the eye can see is home to impalas, Maasai giraffes, cheetah, waterbucks, wart hogs, Thompson & grand gazelles, topis, the migrating wildebeests, thundering herds of zebra among many others.
About Ashnil Mara Camp
Dramatically set on the escarpment above Maasai Mara, this very high-end tented lodge offers high quality accommodation, incredible views and a wide range of facilities and dining experiences. It is the perfect hub for walking, driving, or balloon tours.
Masai Mara Game Reserve
Spend the morning tracking large game across the savannah. In addition to elephants and rhino, look for impala, cheetah, waterbuck, topis, and migrating wildebeest. After lunch, head to a Masai Manyatta to learn the culture and traditions of this nomadic community. Interact with the Masai and experience their way of life living in harmony with the wild game for centuries. As an optional activity, fly over herds of elephant and prides of lions in a hot air balloon.
Arrival & Departure
Your trip begins on Day 1 with your arrival into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. On arrival, you will be met by an Austin Adventures representative who will transfer you to your The Sarova Stanley for check-in. On Day 8, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home, approximately three hours prior to your flight departure time.
- Game Drives: Track elephant, rhino, lion, and other large game with an expert guide.
- Hiking: Two-three hour guided sightseeing walks.
- Hot air ballooning: Drift quietly over the acacia trees as herds of wildebeest and elephant make their way across the valley. Extra cost.
- Boating: Take a boat around Lake Naivasha. Extra cost.
Visit with the Samburu and Masai to learn their traditions and culture. Extra cost.
The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.
Included in the Trip Price
- Double occupancy accommodations as stipulated in the itinerary.
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Transportation on safari in a 4×4 land cruiser.
- All activities and game drives as mentioned in itinerary.
- Services of a professional driver-guide.
- All Government taxes and levies.
- Park fees.
- Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
- Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in the Trip Price
- Gratuities to hotel staff and driver(s)/guide(s).
- Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
- Visa fees.
- Optional extra activities: boat ride, Crescent Island visit, balloon safari and Masai Village visits.
- Laundry services.
- Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
- Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
- All types of personal insurance.
- Personal expenses.
Want to know how to fully experience the depth of beauty and culture in a place? Ask Carol Austin. A Montana native who treasures the land and people in her own backyard—be it Yellowstone, the Beartooths, or the family around her dinner table—Carol knows how to embrace any destination she explores, a feat at 40+ countries and counting. And with more than 20 years in the travel industry, she’s really good at helping guests plan—and fully enjoy—their adventure vacation, too. She co-founded Austin Adventures with her husband, Dan Austin.