9 Day Kenya Tour

The 'Out of Africa' Experience
TOURCODE: KE1

Duration:
9 Days

Activity Level:
1

When To Go:
Jan, Sep, Oct

Countries Visited:
1

Arrive In / Depart From:
Nairobi / Nairobi

Max Group Size:
18

Tour Style:
Cultural

Price From:

Discover the country's true culture with the help of experienced local guides.

  • Small group sizes to help escape the beaten path.
  • Authentic local experiences with lots of inclusions.
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Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 1 Tour Style: Cultural

On our Kenya tour, you'll discover a land of glacier-coated mountains, arid plains and thick rainforest. Kenya lays claim to a spectrum of diversity that few countries can rival.

Indeed, Kenya's natural environment earns worldwide acclaim both for its exceptional beauty and its profusion of exotic wildlife and our nine-day adventure through this remarkable East African country showcases the reasons why.

Via the 'White Highlands' - so named due to the large numbers of Europeans who settled there - we travel past the slopes of the continent's highest mountain (Mount Kenya) and on to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, where we have the chance to see buffalo, cheetah, leopard and lion and almost guaranteed close-up sightings of elephant, giraffe and gazelle.

Maasai Mara National Reserve is among the country's, and indeed the world's, most famous safari areas and here we catch glimpses of yet more animals that can be seen elsewhere only in zoos.

Our exploration of Kenya's stellar landscapes includes visiting the Great Rift Valley and Lake Nakuru.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

 

Select a date below to reserve your spot:

 

Optional Single Supplement: $920 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $460 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.

 


 

Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi
Today we arrive in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Part of Maasai land when the British arrived, this modern capital grew with the development of the railway. Derived from a Maasai word meaning "Cold Water," Nairobi is a pleasant mix of colonial British with modern and traditional African influences.

Overnight in Nairobi.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Nairobi - Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Today we travel from Nairobi, through the "White Highlands," so called because of the large number of Europeans who settled here, northwards to the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, rising to 5199 m (16,728 feet), Africa's second highest peak. Our drive will take us into the Central Highlands, the heartland of the Kikuyu people. This is a very fertile region, well-watered, intensively cultivated, and thickly forested. The land was coveted by the Europeans who began arriving in ever-increasing numbers once the railway through the area was completed. The settlers established coffee and tea plantations on the eastern slopes of Mt Kenya and cultivated wheat on the western slopes.

Our destination is Sweetwaters, a luxury tented camp clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a non-profit organization supporting endangered species, tourism and community outreach. Ol Pejeta is East Africa's largest Black Rhino sanctuary, the only place in Kenya to see chimpanzees, and holds some of the highest predator densities in Kenya.

This afternoon we'll enjoy our first game drive within the conservancy.

Overnight at Sweetwaters Camp.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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Day 3 Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta is a mosaic of grass plains, wooded grassland, acacia woodland and evergreen thicket extending for over 350 square kilometers. The conservancy boasts an astounding variety of animals, including the "Big Five."

We will have morning and afternoon game drives today, as well as a chance to visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary -- the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen. The facility was initially established to receive and provide lifelong refuge to orphaned and abused chimpanzees from West and Central Africa. Here the chimpanzees are carefully nursed back to health so they can enjoy the rest of their days in the safety of a vast natural enclosure.

Overnight at Sweetwaters Camp.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 4 Ol Pejeta - Great Rift Valley - Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley. The Rift Valley was created millions of years ago under the strain of enormous volcanic eruptions which resulted in a giant split in the earth's surface from Syria to Mozambique. Lava flowed into the valley, forming escarpments on either side of the gigantic trough which can be up to 80 km (50 miles) wide, big enough to be visible from space. At the lake, depending on the water levels, we may have the opportunity to see flamingos,* in addition to the over 340 species of birds that have been recorded in the Rift Valley!

Lake Nakuru is very shallow and can fluctuate up to five metres (12 feet) each day. When the water is low, you can see a white band of crystallized soda along the shoreline. This is also one of the best places in Kenya to view the rare White Rhino as we explore the park on our afternoon game drive.

* This, and other Rift Valley lakes, have been known in the past for huge numbers of flamingos; however, this can be very "hit and miss" owing to seasonal variations in rainfall and water level, and the increasing frequency of drought. The best we can do is hope for the best!

Overnight in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 5 Lake Nakuru - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Early this morning we depart from Lake Nakuru National Park and continue our journey through the Rift Valley, passing by Lake Naivasha and nearby Mount Longonot, a relatively young volcanic reminder of the Rift's violent past. We arrive at our lodge (via bad road) in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in time for lunch.

The Maasai Mara is a natural extension of the Serengeti eco-system and has an amazing concentration of wildlife. The largest population of lions in Kenya is found here, along with large herds of plains game. The Maasai Mara may also be the best place in Kenya to view cheetah. Later this afternoon we enjoy another game drive.

Time-permitting, we may be able to visit a Maasai village to witness the local way of life and meet its residents. If time does not permit, we will attempt this visit the village on our way back to Nairobi.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 6 Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Reserve consists of rolling grassland and is located at the northern end of the Serengeti Plain. Considered the best of Kenya's parks, it is on the pathway of the yearly wildebeest migration, which comes north from Tanzania about the end of June and returns to Tanzania around the end of September. "The Mara" sustains all of the "Big Five" -- lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo -- as well as an astonishing wealth of herding animals and other wildlife. You can see the stately Maasai men and youth along the road tending their cattle and goats.

We have a full day in the reserve, with morning and afternoon game drives.

In the Mara you will also have an optional opportunity to ascend over the northern Serengeti at daybreak in a hot air balloon (optional expense). From over 300 m (984 feet) above, you will be able to view the vast land and the myriad animals that inhabit the Maasai Mara. Today or tomorrow are the best days to participate in this activity - details sent upon booking.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 7 Maasai Mara National Reserve
We enjoy another full day with game viewing in Maasai Mara. Depending on the season and current game locations and viewing conditions, we may divide our day into morning and afternoon drives, or take our lunches with us in order to venture further into the reserve if conditions warrant.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 8 Maasai Mara - Nairobi
After breakfast we depart for Nairobi. En route, just outside the capital, we visit the Karen Blixen Museum. Baroness Karen Blixen-Finecke emigrated from Denmark to Kenya in 1918 and, in 1937, wrote under the pseudonym, Isaac Dineson, "Out of Africa." The novel tells the tale of the Baroness's experiences on a Kenyan farm. Her home is now a museum, restored to the style in which she maintained it.

Overnight in Nairobi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Departure
Departure from Nairobi.

SAFIRI SALAAMA!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

Inclusions
All meals but one lunch are included (local restaurants and hotels). All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Two bottles of bottled water per person daily. Gratuities for driver-guides, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, one lunch, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping and visas.

Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered throughout the year except during the "long rains" in April and May when travel and game viewing can be less than optimal.

Nov-Jan: "short rains"; landscapes are green and many animals are giving birth. Showers come in the form of quick showers late in the day and rarely interfere with our activities or travel.

Feb/Mar: Post-short rains with many migratory birds from Europe, though high grass can make game spotting a challenge. Airfares are lower.

June-August coincides with the coolest and driest period, though also the busiest and most expensive due to the European holiday period.

Sept/Oct is often hot and dusty though game viewing is excellent due to short grass and animals congregating around water sources. Airfares are lower than June-August.

If you’re a fan of African wildlife photography/television programming, you’re likely familiar with and keen on witnessing the annual ‘Great Migration’ of wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti and/or Maasai Mara. Unfortunately, there is no neat and tidy answer re when is the best time to possibly witness the spectacle as it doesn’t have a simple start or end, just a dynamic cycle of wild movement through the year. Nor is it the same each year either as the migration is largely driven by the unpredictable rains, which means that wildebeest migration doesn’t operate on a set schedule. It also doesn’t follow a set route. Nor do the animals all go the same way. That said, in the broadest of terms, the best time to see the Great Migration—meaning large herds of hooved animals—is probably during the dry season, between July and early October. This is not to say you won’t see them outside of this time as our travellers often do, but, like nature itself, it is all about luck and timing. They may not all be dramatically on the move, but rather just standing around eating and cavorting, but you’ll likely encounter the herds at some point on their/your journey. If you have your heart set of witnessing hundreds of wildebeest crossing a river en masse, getting chomped by crocodiles like you see on National Geographic, bear in mind that those photographers probably waited days or weeks to capture that exact moment—so good luck and happy ‘hunting’!

Transport and Travel Conditions
Some road journeys are very long and very rough, possibly dusty. We travel via well-maintained, rugged minivan with six passengers each. The same vehicles, with roofs that pop up, will be used for our game drives in parks and reserves. Please note that air-conditioned safari vehicles are non-existent in East Africa.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.

Accommodation
Hotels and lodges used are 4-5 star properties with hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, swimming pools. Remote lodges are not air-conditioned though many are at higher elevations where heat is not a factor.
Hotel porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room.

Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local driver-guides.

Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

Tour Extensions
This tour is part of a series that can be upgraded to make for a longer trip. For more options, please refer to tour code/s:

14 Day Rwanda & Kenya Tour
JAN AUG
TOUR CODE: RW1
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15 Day Kenya & Tanzania Tour
JAN SEP OCT
TOUR CODE: KT4
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20 Day Kenya & Tanzania Tour
JAN SEP OCT
TOUR CODE: KT1
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20 Day Kenya & Tanzania Tour
JAN AUG
TOUR CODE: RW2
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21 Day Uganda Tour, Rwanda & Kenya
JAN
TOUR CODE: UG2
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21 Day Egypt Tour & Kenya
JAN OCT
TOUR CODE: EG6
Tour Overview
25 Day Kenya & Tanzania Tour
JAN AUG
TOUR CODE: RW3
Tour Overview
26 Day Kenya Tour & Southern Africa
SEP OCT
TOUR CODE: SA8
Tour Overview
27 Day Uganda Tour, Rwanda, Kenya & Tanzania
JAN
TOUR CODE: UG3
Tour Overview
27 Day Egypt Tour, Kenya & Tanzania
JAN OCT
TOUR CODE: E15
Tour Overview
32 Day Rwanda Travel Uganda, Kenya & Tanzania
JAN
TOUR CODE: UG4
Tour Overview
32 Day Kenya Tour, Southern Africa & Tanzania
SEP OCT
TOUR CODE: SA4
Tour Overview
32 Day Egypt Tour, Kenya & Tanzania
JAN OCT
TOUR CODE: E19
Tour Overview
33 Day Kenya Tour, Tanzania & Southern Africa
JAN OCT
TOUR CODE: KT3
Tour Overview
35 Day Kenya, Tanzania & Madagascar
SEP
TOUR CODE: KT2
Tour Overview
37 Day Southern Africa Tour & East Africa
SEP OCT
TOUR CODE: SA7
Tour Overview

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: East Africa
Countries visited: Kenya


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Nairobi Serena Hotel
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Nairobi
Country: Kenya
Nairobi Serena Hotel, a 5 star hotel in Nairobi, is a celebration of sophistication and a rich fusion of design influences from Ethiopia, the Maghreb, West Africa and East Africa. The warmth ... a friendly smile, a superlative eye for detail and gracious service at our Nairobi hotel envelop you from the moment you arrive. While the Nairobi skyline glitters just beyond your windows and the Central Business District is just a stroll away, you’ll feel worlds removed from urban distractions in this peaceful setting.
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Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Location: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Country: Kenya
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 360 km² not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya's Laikipia County. It is situated on the equator west of Nanyuki, between the foothills of the Aberdares and ... Kenya.
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Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation 5 Star Accommodation
Location: Nakuru
Country: Kenya
Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge is set along "The Lion Hill" in Lake Nakuru National Park. Concealed amidst lush vegetation, the safari lodge features a classic aesthetic and timeless design with a ... of calm and relaxation. It offers the most scenic and spectacular views of the Lake and the National Park from 67 chalet-style rooms, each with its own terrace. Beyond the stunning views and amazing wildlife, the lodge offers world-class cuisine, a panoramic bar terrace, an organic garden, a swimming pool, an outdoor spa and several activities ideal for the family.

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Maasai Mara Sopa Lodge
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Maasai Mara
Country: Kenya
Located high on the slopes of the Oloolaimutia Hills, Masai Mara Sopa Lodge was one of the first safari lodges to be built in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, a reason why ... gardens and trees are so lush and mature. All the buildings follow the design of traditional African round houses with conical roofs, and these stretch along the line of the hills with the impressively large public area buildings and the swimming pool at their centre.
Read More

 


 

Gallery

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 90-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is via our website; during office hours, you are also more than welcome to contact us by telephone. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 90 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Please review our cancellation policy page for details.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Ailleen M.
Sarnia, ON - CA
The safaris were beyond expectations. The visit to the Samburu village also was informative and real. I particularly enjoyed the karen museum as it was one of the prime reasons I chose this particular tour.
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Countries Visited: 1

Kenya.
Activity Level: 1

No particular physical activity is involved other than town/city walks and short walks to dinners and sites of interest, some of which are large.
Tour Style: Cultural

These three- and four-star hotel-based, "soft adventure" trips concentrate on the culture, history, and natural attributes of our destination. Though there are no strenuous activities built into these tours, you need to be prepared for some full days with some early starts, plenty of walking on uneven surfaces through villages, cities and archaeological sites, and not a lot of "down time." Independence, reasonable fitness, and an ability to be steady on one's feet are critical in order for you to get the most out of these programs.
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