As you seek out the lions that call Masai Mara home, you might appear as a small dot on the vast savannah but you’re definitely part of a big adventure—the ultimate Kenyan safari. In agile 4x4 vehicles, with your naturalist guide, track the Big Five across the spectacular wilderness. At night, retire to comfortable tented safari camps to recount the day’s exploits and really experience this unspoiled wilderness. From the depths of the Great Rift Valley to the highs of capturing reclusive wildlife in your camera’s viewfinder, give your senses a primal overload in the African bush.
- Experiencing outstanding wildlife viewing and daily lectures with an expert naturalist
- Visiting chimpanzee and rhino sanctuaries with a park ranger
- Participating in a unique nighttime game drive in Soysambu Conservancy.
- Duration: 8 days
- Start/Finish City: Nairobi to Nairobi
- Service Level: Upgraded
- All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
- Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
- Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
- More included meals, activities and transfers
- Physical Grading: 2
- There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
- Travel Style: Discovery Adventures
- Say hello to your world.
Engage the extraordinary cultures, wildlife and landscapes through exhilarating, educational and immersive activities while achieving a greater appreciation for our planet. These trips are as much about doing as seeing — all with a comfortable feel.
- Trip Type: Small Group
- Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.
Day 1 Nairobi
Nairobi is a vibrant and busy city with numerous attractions for those who arrive early. The National Museum, home to most of the great prehistoric finds made by the Leakey family in East Africa, from Ethiopia to the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania can be found here. It also has sections on wildlife, art, geology, local history and a snake park.
West of the city, the suburb of Karen is named after Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa. Her house here is now the Karen Blixen Museum, complete with a garden and tea house. Also in Karen is the African Butterfly Research Institute, showcasing native butterflies.
South of Nairobi, in Langata, are a number of the city's most famed attractions such as; The Giraffe Center, where we have the option of hand-feeding the rare Rothschild giraffes, The Sheldrick Trust Animal Orphanage which cares for young elephants and the Bomas of Kenya, a living open-air museum of the tribes of Kenya.
The name Nairobi is derived from the Masai word for cool waters, which the Masai people gave to a water hole known as Ewaso Nyirobi. In modern times, the sprawling, cosmopolitan city of Nairobi combines first-world glass skyscraper buildings with developing-world poverty. Originating in 1899 from a handful of shacks that marked the end of the railhead during the building of the Uganda railway the city expanded dramatically in the early 1900’s, due to big game hunting mostly from Britain. A large number of British nationals settled in the area, prompting more growth and this angered both the Masai and Kikuyu people, as they were losing hunting ground due to the expansion of the city limits. The friction increased and, eventually led to the Mau Mau uprising, which saw Jomo Kenyatta, the future president jailed. Kenya was finally granted independence from Britain in 1963, with Nairobi as the capital.
Apart from being Kenya’s capital and the main center of government and commerce, Nairobi is the most significant city in East Africa and an important player on the pan-African stage. It is the diplomatic base for many counties in Africa, with its broad spectrum of international embassies and headquarters for the United Nations, multi-national companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and press correspondents.
Day 2 Ol Pejeta Conservancy (B,L,D)
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a 90,000 acre private wildlife conservancy, is situated on the equator, in Kenya’s Laikipia District, between the foot hills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kenya. The Conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals, including the Big Five (the endangered black and white rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion), Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, cheetah and chimpanzee. The combination of amazing wildlife and stunning views across the open plains guarantees an unforgettable safari experience.
Baraka, a black rhino, has been transferred to the Morani complex. Baraka was the first rhino to be born in the wild on Ol Pejeta, and his name means blessings in Swahili. He is now completely blind due to a fight with another rhino which lost him an eye and then sadly he developed a crystallized cataract in the other which is beyond repair. His disability has meant that he could not be returned to the wild. Baraka is an Ambassador for his species, and his good nature allows visitors a hands-on experience to interact with him from a feeding platform.
Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is incorporated within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and is the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen. The Sanctuary opened in 1993 in an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute. The facility was initially established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) from West and Central Africa. An initial group of three chimpanzee orphans were brought to the sanctuary from a facility in Bujumbura, Burundi in 1993.
Over the last decade Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary has been compelled to keep accepting chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations bringing the total number of chimpanzees in the sanctuary to 42. The chimpanzees are being carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure. The chimpanzees live in two large groups separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River.
Approximate Distance: 100 miles (160 km)
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hrs
Day 3 Nakuru area / Soysambu Conservancy (B,L,D)
A part of the extensive lands, first owned by one of Kenya’s best-known pioneers, Lord Delamere, the non-profit Soysambu Conservancy is dedicated towards preserving this previously private and still pristine wilderness - for the benefit of its unique wildlife, and for the generations of tomorrow. Long protected from the impact of mass-tourism, the Conservancy provides sanctuary for a wide range of unique wildlife, including the shy and secretive leopard.
Lakes Nakuru, Bogoria and Elementaita has recently been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site is of great ecological significance as part of the Great Rift Valley Lakes system and according to UNESCO “is home to 13 globally threatened bird species and some of the highest bird diversities in the world”.
Approximate Distance: 110 miles (180 km)
Estimated Travel Time: 5-6 hrs
Day 4 Nakuru National Park / Masai Mara Game Reserve (B,L,D)
Lake Nakuru National Park began in 1961 as a small protected territory, only encompassing the famous lake of the same name, and the surrounding mountains. Now it has been extended to include a large part of the area’s grassland savannahs and woodland slopes, and covers an area of roughly 73 square miles (188 km sq).
Lake Nakuru itself is one of the Rift Valley soda lakes. The alkaline lake's abundance of algae attracts the flamingos, estimated in the millions, that famously line the shore. The surface of the shallow lake is often unrecognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. There are two types of flamingo species: the Lesser flamingo can be distinguished by its deep red carmine bill and pink plumage unlike the greater flamingo, which has a bill with a black tip. Also present are two large fish-eating birds, pelicans and cormorants and other birdlife, including; grebes, white winged black, stilts, avocets, ducks, and the migrant waders.
The park has recently been enlarged partly to provide sanctuary for the black rhino. This undertaking has necessitated a fence - to keep out poachers rather than to restrict the movement of wildlife. The park now has more than 25 rhinos, one of the largest concentrations in the country, so the chances of spotting these survivors are better than in other parks.
There are also a number of Rothschild's giraffe, again re-located for safety from western Kenya beginning in 1977. Numerous other mammals can be seen, including zebra, impala, gazelle, waterbuck, lion, warthog, bushbuck, and buffalo.
Approximate Distance: 230 miles (368 km)
Estimated Travel Time: 6 hrs
Day 5-6 Masai Mara Game Reserve (2B,2L,2D)
The Masai Mara (also spelled Maasai Mara) is a game reserve in south-western Kenya, and is the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Named for the Masai tribes people, who are the traditional inhabitants of the area, and the Mara River, which divides it, the reserve is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of the wildebeest every September and October. The migration is so immense it is known as the Great Migration and is considered one of the most impressive natural events in the world. This migration of herbivores include an estimated 1,300,000 million wildebeest, 360,000 thousand Thomson's gazelle, and 191,000 thousand zebra. These numerous migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by a block of hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena.
With an area of 585 square miles (1510 km sq.), the Masai Mara is not the largest game park or reserve in Kenya, but it is the most famous. The entire area of the park is nestled within the enormous Great Rift Valley that extends from the Mediterranean Sea to Mozambique. The terrain of the reserve is primarily open grassland, with clusters of the distinctive acacia tree in the south-east region. The western border is the Esoit Oloololo Escarpment of the Rift Valley, and wildlife tends to be most concentrated here, as the swampy ground means that access to water is always good.
The Masai Mara is perhaps most famous for its lions, though the other members of the Big Five are usually spotted. This said, the population of black rhinoceros is severely threatened, with a population of only 37 recorded in 2000. Hippopotami are found in large groups in the Mara and Talek Rivers, and many cheetah, zebra, impala, gazelles, hartebeest, warthog, topi, and Masai giraffe, all consider the “Mara” their home territory. As well, the large Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox, rarely present elsewhere in Kenya, can be seen within the reserve borders.
The Masai Mara is a also major research center for the spotted hyena. Additionally, over 450 species of bird have been identified in the park, including vulture, marabou, secretary bird, hornbill, crowned crane, ostrich, long-crested eagle, and pygmy falcon.
Day 7 Nairobi (B,L)
Approximate Distance: 180 miles (285 km)
Estimated Travel Time: 7-8hrs
Day 8 Nairobi (B)
Arrival transfer - Welcome gift - Entrances and game drives in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Soysambu Conservancy, Lake Nakuru National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve - Night game drive at Soysambu Conservancy - Park ranger guided visits to the Morani rhino and chimpanzee sanctuaries.
Experiencing outstanding wildlife viewing and daily lectures with an expert naturalist, Visiting chimpanzee and rhino sanctuaries with a park ranger, Participating in a unique nighttime game drive in Soysambu Conservancy.
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1. Discovery Adventures is operated in conjunction with G Adventures, the world leader in sustainable adventure travel. An award winning company with over 800 employees and 17 operational offices worldwide, G Adventures has 20 years experience in creating culturally interactive travel experiences. G Adventures advocates a triple bottom line business philosophy where equal attention is given to the environmental, social and economic impact of tourism to achieve long-term environmentally responsible growth whilst protecting destinations & cultural heritage for future generations.
2. Migration – Tanzania and Kenya
The Seronera Plains, which lie in the southeast of the Serengeti and extend into the western Ngorongoro Conservation Area, form the main ungulate calving grounds of the Serengeti. The wildebeest typically disperse into the Seronera plains (Tanzania) during the short rains, which fall in late November or early December, before calving in January, and staying put until the end of the long rains from January to early May. Towards the end of April the wildebeest start to congregate on the southern plains in the preparation for the 495 mile (800 km) northward migration into Kenya. The major obstacle faced by the wildebeest on this migration is the crossing for the Grumeti River through the western corridor, which typically occurs from June into early July. From July to October, the ungulates disperse again, with about half of them crossing the Mara River into Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve and the remainder spreading out through the northern and western Serengeti. By late October the animals have generally started to plod back southward to the Seronera Plains, to arrive there in late November when the cycle starts all over again.
3. This is not a physically demanding journey; however, traveling can be difficult, as long drives and poor road conditions are the rule, as opposed to the exception in Kenya. A safari is about traveling to see animals, so we cover long distances crossing the country to visit different game parks. Once there, we spend the majority of the time viewing game while driving in the parks. This translates to a lot of driving. Despite this, the diversity and scenery of the African landscape, the local culture and abundant wildlife are all well worth the experience.
4. All lodges/tented camps will have electricity although many work off generators with limited times.
5. A Yellow Fever certificate is required if you are traveling to Kenya from a Yellow Fever endemic country. These certificates are required not only for passengers coming from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission but also those who may have transited through such countries. Incoming passengers who do not have the Certificate and are required to have it will be vaccinated at the Airport if they wish to enter the country. The cost of the vaccination is 1,000 Kenyan Shillings.
6. LUGGAGE COMPLICATIONS: It occasionally happens that luggage on international flights into Nairobi does not arrive, especially with, but not exclusive to, major airlines out of London-Heathrow or Schiphol (Amsterdam). Please be aware that this may happen, especially if you have a tight connection in either of these centers, are flying with different airlines with a connection, have a last minute flight change or re-route, or fly from or connect through another African center. Please be prepared and keep all important documentation and valuables on your person. As well we recommend a change of clothes in your hand luggage. If unfortunately your luggage does not arrive, you should be entitled to a limited initial compensation from your airline. In Nairobi, the arrival of lost luggage normally takes between 48 and 72 hours after the initial plane’s arrival. The airlines technically should be responsible to forward your luggage to you, to your hotel or elsewhere in Kenya. You may find that your tour will begin, and you still have not received your luggage. Considering that the customer service standards in Kenya are different from home, and that sometimes airlines are not always pro-active in helping luggage in its care be reunited with its owner, it is recommended that you purchase locally a few needed items, begin your tour, and hire someone locally to persist with the your airline to retrieve your luggage. Your tour guide or local representative will be able to help you organize this, and once your luggage is retrieved, it should be forwarded to you – depending where you are. Please note that any costs that you may incur for luggage retrieval or sending luggage are not the responsibility of Discovery Adventures, though we will always strive to assist you in any way possible. You should keep all receipts and documentation, and contact your airline or insurance provider for reimbursement.
7. Flying through London-Heathrow to East Africa?
Please note that regardless of the rules in other centers, travelers flying from, or connecting in, London-Heathrow are currently only permitted one carry-on piece of luggage and one small personal bag (purse, laptop-size bag, briefcase) on board all flights to Nairobi. If you arrive to the security gate with 2 pieces, you will be forced to check-in one of them, which may result in complications noted above. This policy is in place as of the time of writing, though local rules and regulations are subject to change. It is advisable to contact your airline directly for the most up-to-date information.
8. Please note that this tour combines with other Discovery Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another Discovery Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
9. Please note all accommodation listed below is not guaranteed and can change at any time without notice, but is indicative of the types of accommodation used.
10. The power supply in Kenya is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected. Internet connections can also be sporadic.
Group Leader Description
All Discovery Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it's the best of both worlds.
Your leader may be from East Africa, or another country outside of the region.
On all Discovery Adventures safaris in East Africa, your Tour guide is a qualified Naturalist, there also is an expert driver/guide who is a skilled and experienced driver and certified safari guide.
Group Size Notes
Max 6, Avg 5
7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 5 Dinners.
Travelling with Discovery Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful foods and flavors that are available in the world. Some meals are included in the trip price in more remote regions or as a highlight where we can share a local specialty or cultural experience. In many places where there is a choice of eating options, we like to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each others company, but there is no obligation to do this. Your CEO will be able to suggest favorite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Meals included on this trip are provided at the hotels or lodges in which you are accommodated. All hotels cater to vegetarians; however, any other dietary requirements need to be specified prior to arrival. Please note all bottled drinking water will be at your own expense.
Allow USD60-75 for meals and drinks (including bottled water) not included.
6-seat 4x4 safari vehicle, walking.
About our Transportation
This trip is done in a private 7-seat 4x4 safari landcruiser. With sliding windows and a large pop-up roofs, these vehicles are designed for optimal game viewing. Road conditions can run the full range of conditions from new to very poor, and during dry seasons, the roads can become very dusty. This style of travel is the best under the local circumstances, as the seats are comfortable and having our own private vehicle allow us the flexibility of making stops when needed, and to stay and watch that crouching lion prepare for an attack.
Speed governors set to 50 mph (80kph) are used on all vehicles to ensure a safe driving speed. Please note for your own safety it is mandatory to wear your seat belt at all times when in a vehicle.
All our vehicles are regularly serviced and follow a strict maintenance schedule. However given the long travel days and rough conditions of many of the roads in Africa, vehicles can and do breakdown on occasion. If such situations occur all drivers are trained mechanics and any vehicle issues are rectified as quickly as possible. Your patience is requested if the vehicle you are traveling in happens to encounter a mechanical fault.
There are no local flights included or required on this tour.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Comfort hotels (2 nts), comfort tented camps (4 nts), Banda (1 nt)
My Own Room
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops.
Centrally located in Westlands, our start hotel offers a host of facilities ranging from a beautifully designed pool and health club, excellent conference and banquet facilities, a wonderful courtyard 3 restaurants with delicious food 2 bars, gift shop, hair saloon, laundry service, fully equipped business centre. All rooms are en suites and have hair dryers, tea and coffee making service, mini bar, satellite TV, electronic safety deposit box, 220/115v shaver sockets, hot spot wireless connectivity.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Sweetwaters Tented Camp)
Situated in the north eastern of Kenya is the Ol Pejeta Conservancy also known as Sweetwaters. Sweetwaters is the home of the famous Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened by Jane Goodall and home of the Morani Rhino Conservancy. Here we will stay at the Sweetwaters Tented Camp which is surrounded by an oasis where the animals often browse around at all hours of the day and night. Accommodation is provided in classic safari style tents. Each tent sits on a platform and has a thatched roof, an en suite bathroom with hot water and its own veranda with views over the waterhole. Other property facilities include a pool, excellent restaurant and bar.
Ecologically-conceived and family run, the rustic Sleeping Warrior Camp consists of traditionally-presented bandas with sweeping views of the Conservancy and Lake Elementaita. Linked by winding lava-stone paths, each banda is locally-made and eco-friendly. All have private or en suite bathroom facilities with flush toilets, sinks and hot showers, which are partially open to the wilderness and each comes with its own private furnished veranda. Electricity is solar-powered. The comfortable beds are provided with continental quilts and fine-quality linen.
Fig Tree Camp is located on the banks of the Talek River in the world famous Masai Mara game reserve. The Camp is situated on the northern border of the game reserve and its central location makes all areas of the park accessible during game drives. To make an evening a real adventure, at the Fig Tree Camp we stay in classic safari style tents spaciously lined up along the Talek River, overlooking the plains of the game reserve.
The accommodation level for most Discovery Adventure tours are comfortable, in mid-range hotels, classic tented camps, lodges, bandas (guest houses), etc. You'll often enjoy naturally ventilated rooms, complete with en suite bathrooms and some amenities.
Accommodation and amenities can vary by Country and region so please remember that standards can be different from what you are used to in your home country, which is part of the appeal of adventure travel. Some trips may include camping, permanent tented camps or more rustic lodges, depending on the remoteness of where you are visiting. Please see your trip details for more information, specific to your tour. Porterage is not included, but can be arranged directly at most hotels.
1) Under certain circumstances we reserve the right to change accommodation and provide something slightly different to what is described, though it will always be of similar or better standard/level.
2) Most camps do not have 24hr electricity - they usually run on generators which are routinely shut off overnight from approximately 10pm to 5am.
3) Internet is only available at the start hotel in Nairobi.
4) Camps are NOT equipped with fans or air conditioning due to the electricity constraints listed above.
P.O Box 14287 00800 Nairobi
Fax: +254-20-4445818, 4448977
An arrival transfer is included on your Discovery Adventures trip, when you arrive on day 1, or when you arrive up to three days prior to the tour, provided that you have booked your pre-accommodation through Discovery Adventures in our joining hotel. Due to customer experience and quality considerations, all services related to the tour must be continuous.
Discovery Adventures is only able to pick you up at the airport if you inform us in advance of your arrival flight's details. If this has not been done, please make your way to the joining hotel.
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, please look for our driver, who will be holding a sign with the Discovery Adventures logo on it. He will be in front of INFORMATION DESK just outside the secured baggage retrieval area. At times there are taxi drivers who will want to get your business, so please be aware of them and look for our Discovery Adventures representative. For security purposes, your name will not be on the signboard. As well, please do not tell the driver your name straight away, but rather ask the driver FIRST to tell you who they are meant to pick up. This will ensure that you go with the right driver.
If you are making your own way to the hotel, please read the following information:
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is about 20 km from downtown and your hotel. There are a variety of ways to get into the city however, an airport taxi is recommended. This can be booked either inside the airport at an 'information desk' or outside of the terminal. The price is approximately $20 USD.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief arrival meeting will be held in the hotel reception area in the evening of day 1. Here you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. Upon arrival to the hotel, look for a notice from your CEO with information regarding this group meeting. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
The tour departs Nairobi in the morning of day 2.
We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details.
We strongly advise you to pre-purchase your entry visa prior to arrival as queuing for the visa at the airport can cause long delays in clearing customs. This is especially relevant if you have pre-booked an airport transfer.
If you have pre-booked an airport transfer, it is necessary to make contact with our representative, who waits with a Discovery Adventures sign outside the secure baggage-retrieval area, within 1.5 hours (90 minutes) of your flight's scheduled arrival time. No refunds will be granted if you fail to make contact with our representative within this reasonable time. After such time, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions.
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you receive notification of a flight schedule change outside of 48 hours before your flight is scheduled to arrive, please contact us to advise of your new flight details.
From within Australia - 1-300-796-618
From within Canada or the United States - 1-800-465-6500
From within the UK - 0870 999-0144
From anywhere else - +1-416-260-0999
*Important note* If you are advised of the flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, please contact the airport transfer operator listed as the emergency contact for your tour which can be found below. We will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
For any issues relating to pre-booked transfers for Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, including delays or missed transfers, please contact our airport transfer operator:
Patrick: +254 707 889 920 or +254 732 874 566 (from outside of Kenya)
Patrick: 0707 889 920 or 0732 874 566 (from within Kenya)
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Office (Nairobi, Kenya)
From outside Kenya: +254 727 208 832
From within Kenya: 0727 208 832
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0844 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 01805 70 90 30 00
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
Finishing Point Hotel
P.O Box 14287 00800 Nairobi
Fax: +254-20-4445818, 4448977
Cell: 0733 601613/4, 0722 205486/7
Finishing Point Instructions
This tour ends on day 8 and you are free to depart at any time this day. A departure airport transfer is not included, should you wish to pre-arrange an airport transfer with us, please speak to your guide for assistance.
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Your baggage should be clearly labeled and restricted to one soft compact suitcase, sports bag, or backpack, no larger than 30cm(height) x 30cm(width) x 60cm(length), maximum 33 pounds (15kg), plus a daypack. Luggage limits on airlines are strictly enforced, and due to limited vehicle capacity, the cost of transporting any luggage beyond these restrictions is the responsibility of the client. Please note, if you are traveling with a large amount of luggage and wish to leave a portion of it at the start hotel, this is indeed possible as storage facilities are available.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a warm jacket for early morning game drives. Light, quick-drying, practical clothes are advisable for this safari trip. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable for your time in Nairobi.
•Passport (with photocopies)
•Travel insurance (with photocopies)
•Yellow fever certificate
•Airline tickets (with photocopies)
•USD cash and traveler's cheques
•Credit or debit card (see personal spending money)
•Discovery Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
•Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
•Fleece or wool jumper/jacket
•Small towel and swimwear
•4 shirts/t-shirts, cool and breathable
•Long-sleeved shirt or sweater for evenings
•1 pair of shorts
•2 pairs of long trousers
•1 pair hiking pants/track pants
•Sun hat, bandanna
•hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
•Watch or alarm clock
•Flashlight or Headlamp (with extra batteries and bulbs)
•Camera and extra memory card/film
•Extra batteries (recommended)
•Electricity Plug Adapter
•First-aid kit (should contain Lip balm with sunscreen, Aspirin, Ibuprofin, malaria pills, band aids/plasters, tape, anti-histamine, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, insect repellent, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
For donation: notebooks, pens, pencils, pins, flags, pictures, postcards from your country for local villagers or children
Optional Items: reading/writing material, binoculars, cover for backpacks, Maps, guidebooks
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels and lodges for a charge. You should write a list of items that you send for washing. It will be difficult for hotels to have your laundry ready if you arrive in the late afternoon and leave the next morning, so the lodge in the Masai Mara would be the best place, since you are there for a few days.
All countries require travelers to have a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Please note that upon arrival by air to Nairobi, Kenya, you can obtain a "single entry" visa for $50 USD. This visa is valid for up to 3 months with multiple entries/exits permitted to Tanzania and Uganda only (the "single entry" part means single entry within the East African Community). A transit visa, which is valid for 6 nights / 7 days within Kenya, for one entry into Kenya only, costs $10 USD OR 10GBP OR 10EUR or 10SWF. Please note that Kenya is now strictly enforcing a "blank pages, condition of entry". All those requiring a visa on arrival must have at least two blank pages available in their passports. Failure to meet this requirement could mean that entry will be refused. This information is accurate at the time of writing. As fees and policies can change, we highly recommend that you contact your local embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
Detailed Trip Notes
American Dollars that are series 1999 or earlier are not accepted and very difficult to change in Southern and Eastern Africa, because of past forgeries.
There are generally two rainy seasons - the short and the long rains. The short rains normally occur from late October through November, and the long rains from late March through to early June. A good time to visit is between late June and October when the rains have finished and the air is coolest. Alternatively, from late December to early March is another good time to visit, just after the short rains, but before the long rains; this is the warmest time of the year. The high season for travelers into the region is in January and February, when the hot, dry weather is generally considered to be the most pleasant.
The electric current in Kenya operates on 220 volts. Electric plugs types come in at least four sizes and vary throughout the country, however, the two rounded pin standard plug is acceptable in most parts of the country. 3 pin square plugs are most common.
The official languages are Swahili and English. There are also numerous dialects spoken throughout.
KENYA - Official Statistics
Full country name: Republic of Kenya (Jamhuri Ya Kenya)
Area: 580,367 km2
Population: 34,256,000-July 2005 est. (31,138,735- 2002 Census)
Capital city: Nairobi
People: 22% Kikuyu, 14% Luhya, 13% Luo, 12% Kalenjin, 11% Kamba, 6% Kisii, 6% Meru, 16% other
Languages: English, Swahili, indigenous.
Religion: 35% Protestant, 30% Roman Catholic, 30% Muslim, 5% Animist
Government: Republic (multiparty state)
President: Uhuru Kenyatta
Major industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, beer, batteries, textiles, flour), agricultural processing, oil refining, chemicals, cement, tourism.
Major trading partners: Uganda, Tanzania, UK, Germany, UAE, South Africa
-At 580,367 km2 the country is two and a half times the size of Britain.
-The population is over 30 million and has one of the world’s fastest growth rates.
-Kenya gained independence in 1963 after 80 years of British rule.
-Most Kenyans are subsistence farmers.
-Coffee and tea are grown commercially and tourism is also a huge income for the country. The country is still in huge debt though and has few mineral resources and corruption is again a problem.
-The country lies on the equator and has numerous National Parks, Mount Kenya the second highest peak in Africa, great beaches and colorful people. Nairobi is the capital and Mombassa the countries port city.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The local currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES, or KSH).
Shillings can be obtained locally by changing foreign currency or by using ATMs (where available) which will disperse local currency. Your CEO will inform you where you can change money throughout the tour and approximately how much money you will need for each country.
The easiest foreign currency to exchange for locally for any of the local currencies is the $US; however the British Pound and Euro may also be exchanged as well. Please note that due to past problems with forgery, $US notes that are older than year 2006 are not accepted in Africa.
Large note ($US 50, $US 100 etc) can be difficult to change in some places, but will gain you the best exchange rate.
If you plan to rely on cash, please bring foreign currency (Euro, Pound, USD) with you, as it is often expensive to buy these currencies locally. And in more rural areas, it is often not likely.
If you plan to buy your visas at borders, you will need to bring $USD cash to pay for these visas. Please note you cannot use the local currency or any other currency to buy these visas- they must be purchased in USD.
Please do not bring Travellers’ cheques toAfrica. They are difficult if not impossible to exchange in many places.
Visa/Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. it is harder to find machines Mastercard/Cirrus cards. We highly recommend that if you hold a Mastercard, you obtain a Visa card prior to departure and travel with both. This is also useful should somethingunforeseen happen to one of your cards during your travels.
While there are many ATMs in the major centres, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work in Africa. Check with your bank.
Credit cards can be used in major cities and towns ONLY but please do not rely on them as a method of payment because they are generally not widely accepted. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. The majority of our optional activities can also be paid by credit card. Your CEO will advise on these.
Please note that in many areas there may be occasional power-outages, where there will be no electricity for hours at a time. In addition, ATMs outside of larger centers often run out of cash or can be out of order unexpectedly. These factors could affect your ability to access money from ATMs. As such, please do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money.
A combination of foreign currency and debit/credit cards for cash advances is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com.
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
USD40, usually included in most international air tickets.
Tipping is an expected - though not compulsory - component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. It is one of the most direct ways that you can have a positive economic impact within the East African community. Although it may not be customary for you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, as an important source of income for those in the tourism industry. Giving a tip should be a seen as a formal 'thank you', and the action should in no way be awkward. The best method of tipping someone that has served the whole group is to plan in advance, and not rush when it comes to saying goodbye. A suggestion would be for each group member to contribute anonymously by putting their tip into an envelop. This often works the best and the group as a whole should gather to present the gift to the recipient(s), offering their thanks and showing their appreciation. This method brings the action out into the open, allowing for a friendly and appreciative interaction between the group and the recipient(s).
You may use the following as a guideline, all given in a per client format: CEO: $7-10 USD per day, Certified Safari Guide/Driver: $5-7 USD; Local Guide (ie; Park rangers and guides) $1-2 USD (full day); Restaurant/Café servers: 10% of cost of bill, especially when in a large group (no envelope required)
Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season, or weather conditions. In general not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.
All prices are listed in US dollar amounts, per person, and are examples of the entrances fees charged - this does not include hiring transport to/from the destination. And the majority of the activities should be paid in local currency.
Bomas of Kenya $9
Giraffe Centre $11
Karen Blixen Museum $12
Nairobi National Park $60
Nairobi Safari Walk, Animal Orphanage and Impala Sanctuary $20
National Archives F.O.C.
National Museum $10
Railway Museum $5
The Carnivore Restaurant $35 set meal
Masai Mara balloon safari $430 - $450 USD
Masai village tour $20 USD
Please note, the optional Masai village visited in the Masai Mara is not to everyone’s taste. The Masai have been known to use aggressive sales techniques to pressure tourists into buying trinkets. Discovery Adventures does not endorse this activity as we feel this experience does not represent an authentic village, nor do we feel that the entrance fee represents good value. Proceed with caution but the choice is yours!
All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
We recommend you contact your family physician, or your local travel clinic for the most up-to-date health information at least one month before departure.
Please ensure you have all the inoculations recommended by your doctor for travel in East Africa. Be aware that Kenya has many regions where malaria is present. We thus recommend that you take malaria medication; your doctor should be able to recommend the necessary prophylactics. Travelers should also carry a basic travel first-aid kit and hand gel hand sanitizer and/or alcoholic/sanitary wipes as medical facilities are basic throughout these countries, and they will aid in personal cleanliness and hygiene throughout the trip. The local tap water should not be consumed, so any water treatment tablets (ex. iodine), drops, etc, would help, but good, clean, and inexpensive bottled water is widely available throughout the entire trip. If you have any pre-existing medical condition, you must inform Discovery Adventures prior to the purchase of the tour, and upon arrival, to the CEO so he/she can be prepared to help you.
East African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness):
This is a serious parasitic disease that is always fatal without treatment. The disease is spread by the bite of tsetse flies, found only in parts of Eastern and Central Africa, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent African trypanosomiasis.
Sand flies and Mosquitos:
Are found in the areas visited. Mosquitos are more prevalent in areas that receive more rainfall, and sand flies, though generally found on the coast, can also be found in dry and dusty conditions inland. Both tend to come out in the early evening and early mornings.
This infectious disease is transmitted by mosquitos carrying the parasite. These mosquitos are found at altitudes of under 5,900 ft (1,800m), and thus can be found in most areas that we visit on this tour. You must have prophylactics which you can obtain from your local doctor at or health clinic.
Precautions against insect bites:
* Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts and pants at all times.
* Wear khaki or olive-colored clothing. Tsetse flies are attracted to bright and dark colors.
* Use bed nets.
* Inspect vehicles for tsetse flies before entering.
* Avoid bushes. Tsetse flies are less active during the hottest part of the day; they rest in bushes and will bite if disturbed.
* Use insect repellent. Although repellents have not proven effective in preventing tsetse fly bites, they are effective in preventing other insects from biting and causing illness.
It is very important that you wear sun block, even on a cloudy day when it feels cool as we are near the equator and the sun is very strong. A sunburn can turn a pleasant trip into a painful trip.
Even when days are cool please be sure to drink a minimum of 2 quarts (litres) of water and refrain from drinking to many diuretics, as while when traveling outdoors the breeze can dehydrate you quickly as well as the heat.
It is normal for people traveling overseas to get an upset stomach due to a change of climate and food. Please make sure that you wash your hands and stay away from street food.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Trip Specific Safety
-Always leave your passport (It’s better to carry a photocopy of it instead), traveler’s cheques, flight tickets and money that you won’t be using in the safe deposit in your hotel room/reception. This is free of charge to G Adventures Adventure clients.
-Remember that like in any other city, you should never leave your bags unattended, nor flaunt jewelery, cameras etc
-Please don’t wander through the city at night. Stick to the main streets only during the day, and after sundown, please take a taxi. Taxis can be organised from reception of your hotel. Also, take the address of the hotel with you.
-People are generally friendly, but don’t let people take advantage of you, especially the sales people!
-Beware of people approaching you on the street with an apparent interest of where you are from, and want to sit down and have a chat with you. These people are most likely con men and try to get money from you in one way or another
-People on the street who ask you if you want a safari and have a brochure are often con men, best to avoid these folk. Besides, you’re already on safari!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Please do not take photo’s of Police stations or at Cross borders Airports, army barracks and personnel or any Government building. It is against the law and will result in the minimum of your film and camera being confiscated.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our Planeterra projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that you'll receive a special discount code for free online prints and we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.