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|Itinerary at a Glance
Kenya Safari Express
|4||Nairobi & Lake Naivasha|
|5||Masai Mara Game Reserve|
|6||Masai Mara Game Reserve|
|7||Masai Mara & Nairobi|
|Style||Escorted or Guided
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
|Departs||New York Kennedy (JFK) (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Nairobi, Lake Naivasha, Masai Mara Game Reserve & Optional Balloon Safari Adventure|
|What to Expect||This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads and may have limited rest stops.|
Who wouldn't include Kenya on their "bucket list" of places to see? As far as Kenya wildlife safaris go, this is one you won't want to miss. The legendary game reserves are filled with magnificent wildlife and offer sweeping vistas that seem to go on forever. Everywhere you go, from the teeming cities to the plains of the Masai Mara, the people are friendly and welcoming. Enjoy your own "Out of Africa" experience and visit Karen Blixen's home.
And as always, in true Friendly Planet style, we've managed to package a dream vacation at a price that is unbelievable, even to us. Your 8-day visit to Kenya includes airfare, great hotel and lodge accommodations, daily buffet breakfast, lunches and dinners on safari, transfers, game drives and more.
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Day 2: Arrive Nairobi. Upon arrival, our representatives will assist you with passport and customs formalities and escort you to your hotel. Accommodations: Intercontinental Hotel.
Day 3: Nairobi. After a good rest and a leisurely breakfast, begin your tour of Nairobi this afternoon with a visit to The Langata Giraffe Center, established to protect the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. There are also several warthogs which roam freely with the giraffes. Guests are permitted to feed the giraffes from a raised feeding platform. Continue your tour at the Karen Blixen Museum. Prior to opening as a Museum in 1991, the house and surrounding 4500 acre farm were owned by "Out of Africa" author Karen Blixen from 1917 till 1931. End the day at the Kazuri Bead factory. Kazuri, which means "small and beautiful" in Swahili, began in 1975 as a tiny workshop experimenting in making handmade beads. The factory is located in what used to be part of the Karen Blixen Estate. Its founder, Lady Susan Wood, started with two Kenyan women and soon discovered that there were many other women in the villages around Nairobi, most of whom were single mothers, who were in great need of regular employment. Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Nairobi & Lake Naivasha. After breakfast and check-out, visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphans' Nursery, where young orphaned elephant babies are hand-raised until they are released back to the natural habitat in the Tsavo National Park. Here they are able to mingle freely with the wild community. Depart Nairobi, travelling west through Kenya's fertile farmlands and into the Great Rift Valley. Arrive at your lodge, set amidst Acacia trees, overlooking Lake Naivasha. After lunch, your safari begins with an afternoon boat ride on Lake Naivasha to view the multitude of birds and wildlife. You may see the majestic fish eagle, kingfishers, egrets and other African species of birds, as well as hippo, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and waterbuck wandering along the shores of the lake. You may also see some playful black and white colobus monkeys in the tall yellow acacia trees. Accommodations: Naivasha Sopa Lodge. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 5: Masai Mara Game Reserve. After breakfast, depart for the Masai Mara. This park offers wonderful scenery and plenty of game viewing. It is perhaps the only region remaining in Kenya where the visitor can see animals in the same abundance and variety as existed a century ago. Here among the grassy plains and lush landscape, you'll find lions, cheetahs, buffalo and abundant bird life such as ostriches, cranes and storks.
Every year, between June and September, millions of wildebeests and zebras migrate into the Mara in search of water. The timing of this phenomenon varies, depending on the rains, but they usually start heading back to the Serengeti in October. Whether you see the migration or not, the Mara almost guarantees you'll enjoy a magnificent time in Kenya. Enjoy lunch at your lodge then relax until later this afternoon when you'll take your first game drive through this haven of wildlife, lasting until sunset. Accommodations: Keekorok Lodge. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 6: Masai Mara Game Reserve. Continue your discovery of the many species of game in the park today on two drives, one this morning and another later in the afternoon. During your game drives, you may see a variety of antelope, including wildebeest, Thomsons, and Grant gazelles. The "Big Five" are found in the Masai Mara as well as cheetahs and bat-eared foxes and many other varieties of wildlife.
Optional Excursion: You will have an opportunity to take an optional balloon ride across the Masai Mara instead of the morning game drive. Weather conditions permitting, your Balloon Safari begins in the pre-dawn hours, a time when the magnificent view over the park is most thrilling. Toward the end of your flight, you'll rise to a height of 1500 feet for a panoramic view of the twisting Mara River and the savannah below. After an hour or so in the air, your safari finishes with a champagne breakfast in the bush, cooked on the balloon's burners. ($450) After lunch, enjoy some leisure time at the lodge, including a refreshing swim in the pool.
Optional Excursion: This afternoon you'll have an optional opportunity to visit a Masai Village for an in-depth look at this colorful and pastoral people in their natural setting ($25). Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Day 7: Masai Mara & Nairobi. Enjoy the last morning of your Africa adventure. After a leisurely breakfast, depart for Nairobi in the mid-morning, arriving in the mid-afternoon. Check into your day-use room to relax and enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at the famous Carnivore Restaurant. After dinner, bid farewell to Kenya as you transfer to the airport for your return flight via Brussels. Accommodations: Intercontinental Hotel (Day-use room). Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8: Arrive USA. Your amazing adventures come to an end as you arrive in the USA this afternoon.
Our congratulations regarding the tour to Kenya we took with Friendly Planet last October. The tour guide was willing to satisfy our desires for pictures and was clever enough to spot the wild animals. We saw wonderful scenery, such as lions eating their prey and many other kinds of wild animals. All that in a quite relaxing atmosphere, vehicles spacious enough for 6, excellent accommodations, fulfilling my high expectations for an African photo safari. Even though I'm 71 and walking with a cane, this tour was very enjoyable for me.
Chantal Bouyssounouse, Novato, CA