Kenya Red Elephant Tour: Tsavo East, Mombasa, Gedi Ruins & Wasini Island

A hyena goes on the hunt in Kenya.
A 7 day trip to Kenya 
5 out of 5 stars
9 reviews

The unique red earth emblazes an elephant along the golden expanse of African savannah. The beaches shimmer with crystal clear waters. The rain forests glow a vibrant green. The coral shines rainbow bright beneath the surface of the sea. Venture through Kenya’s eastern wilds into the unexpected, the unique, and the wondrous, and experience an adventure like no other. This tour is customized to offer you the distinct magic of Kenya indelible to its natural wonders.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

A lion relaxes on a rock.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Tsavo East, Mombasa  

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: The Golden Shores

Arrive in Mombasa with the calm cobalt waters crashing against the sand. The gentle lap of the water drifts through the air and brings the sweet smell of the ocean. The wonders of the city open up to you filled with modern luxuries and surrounded by the stunning coastline. The wood of freshly carved kayaks gleams in the sunlight. The sand is white and warm beneath your toes. The joy of children playing soccer along the coastline lingers in the air. From the bustle of the city center to the Portuguese remnants of Old Town, the flaky scent of samosas and fresh seafood drift through the streets, and you are ready to settle under an umbrella and watch the sun float across the sky. 

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Beneath the Kenyan Sea

The coastline north of Mombasa is lively and lovely, filled with palm-lined beaches, crystal clear waters, and coral reefs. The beaches are aromatic with coconut oil and the sweet scent of the ocean water. The water is cool and refreshing on your skin. The breeze gives a welcome chill to the air. Venture further into the comforts of the water with a visit to the Mombasa Marine National Park, Kenya’s most famous and most popular maritime wildlife destination. Drift through the water with your back to the sun and your eyes to the ocean floor. Colorful seahorses sway with the gentle sea and blend in with their surroundings. Stingrays glide through the deep blue like birds through the sky. If you prefer to stay out of the water you can still view the majesty beneath the ocean surface on a glass bottom boat, magnifying the sensational life beneath the waves. The sun begins to set over the shore and the depths of the water darken. Return to the cool sand of the beach and let the beauty of the stars sparkle above the sea.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 3: The Plains of the East

The sapphire waters of Mombasa beaches remain on the shores while you depart the city for the untouched stunning wild of Tsavo East. The savannah stretches as far as the eye can see, occasionally giving way to rolling hills in the distance. The expansive plain is crisp in the towering sun. The grasslands sway to the cool breeze. A loud trumpet echoes through the empty air. Red dust rises in the distance. Your guide brings you closer to the dust cloud, your blood pumping, unsure of what you will see. Another trumpet rises into the air. A large gray mass rolls around the red clay earth.

An elephant sits in the clay, lowered to the ground and smudged with dust. The herd surrounds her, covered bright from trunk to foot. The other elephants slather dirt along the lying elephant, covering its ears, its forehead, and its back. Your guide tells you that covering themselves in clay keeps them cool in the heat of the afternoon. The laying elephant is covered in earth; she rises from the ground and joins the rest of the herd. The sky is speckled with clouds. The red dust in the air settles back to the ground. The elephants saunter to the horizon, their red bodies standing tall amongst the dry grass and glowing in the late afternoon sun.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, lunch, dinner

Day 4: Eastern Wilds to Wild Old Town

The scent of morning dew blends with the scent of fresh, rich Kenyan coffee as the gentle light of the sun peaks over the horizon.  Early morning is the best time to see the wildlife active and lively. Hyenas skulk in the darkness looking for one last opportunity to hunt. Lions rise early to beat the heat of the afternoon. The sound of chirping birds fills the open air of the plains. Venture back into the depths of the wild in search of the Big Five where leopards, rhino, lions, elephants, and Cape buffalo roam. The vehicle stops once again, the checkered fur of a cheetah stands beside the road. The broad chest and thin stomach stretches with each stride. A fluffy cub scampers next to his mother. His mother looks at the vehicle and feels threatened. She tries to make herself as big as possible to scare you away, to protect her cub. Her dark eyes squint with ferocity. The cub stands behind his mother. His mother pounces, dust rises into the air as she roars, trying to make as much noise as possible to scare you away. The dust clears, the noise dissipates, and the cheetahs have disappeared into the brush.

You adventure continues with your return to Mombasa, the golden plains of Tsavo East fading from the rearview but not from you thoughts. The wildlife of the plains may be behind you but the wild historic life of Mombasa remains close by. Your guide will tour you through Old Town where remnants of Portuguese colonialism remain. The architecture resembles the Arabic, Asian, and European influences of the past. Lavish doors radiate with color and balconies are swirled with carved shapes that adorn old buildings. The streets are tightly wound with walls that kiss, stretching the lengths of the alleyways creating a labyrinth of architectural beauty. Amorous scents drift from the cafes: flaky breads and minty, sweet teas. Antiquated shops spill over with delicate vases and ornate rugs. The old market is filled with the aromatics of exotic spices, from sage to vanilla, the fragrance overflows into the streets and calls to you. Old Town welcomes you back to Mombasa with a touch of history and the comforts of modernity.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, breakfast

Day 5: Exploring Ruin and Finding Gold

Today you will journey away from the beaches of Mombasa and into the Kenyan forest. Beneath the canopy the shade is cool and the air is filled with gentle bark. Within the trees, nestled in fertile rainforest, is Gedi. The sight contains the remains of a Swahili town typical amongst the East African Coast between the 12th and 15th centuries. The trees open up to the remnants of the city, the stone almost sizzling from the desiccation of the morning dew in the afternoon sun. In the shade the stones are cool against your skin, but in the sun the stones begin to turn. Fallen and crumbled stones give way to standing arches, the ornate arch of doorways marking the remains of the Great Mosque, the Palace, pillared tombs, and stone houses. Houses display a traditional Swahili style; some have ancient drawings on their plastered walls. Wander through the museum and see pieces of Ming Chinese porcelain, glazed pottery from Persia, highlighting possible trade and a taste for luxury. The incredible sight of Gedi is more than a cultural and architectural gem; it is a part of another world.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 6: Wonders of Wasini

Today you can explore the coast of Mombasa and enjoy the seclusion of Wasini Island. Journey on a dhow, a traditional multi-massed boat, and glide through the opulent, cobalt waters. The cool breeze blows through your hair. The sweet scent of the sea surrounds you. The lush trees of the island can be seen from the boat. The boat stops beside the subtle glow of the reef beneath the ocean surface. Dive into the water and enjoy the warm cradle of the sea. The vibrant colors of the reef shimmer like underwater gemstones. Schools of fish twirl around the coral and octopi change shades to blend with the reef. Dolphins often cruise alongside the boat, kicking and laughing in its wake. They jump, swim, and play, their fins clapping against the water.

Once on the island you will notice its incredible beauty wrapped into its tiny size. Venture to the village of Shimoni, which was once the headquarters of the Imperial British East Africa Company. From here you can explore the Shimoni Caves. Stalactites hang like rocky icicles damp from the ocean mist. Vines spiral down through the holes in the limestone. The water is crystal clear within the confines of the cave where old chains hang from the walls giving the theory that the caves were once an area to hold slaves before shipping them to Arabia. In Wasini Village lies a small restaurant that sits along the sound of crashing waves and the cobalt blue of the sea. Relax in the gentle breeze of the shore, nibble on fresh seafood where the garlic and saffron waft through the air. In the late afternoon the water  is a brilliant blue you never knew existed. You climb back aboard the dhow and return to the mainland, the colors and history of Wasini winking at you as you return to shore.

What’s Included: accommodation

Day 7: Remains of Ruins to Remnants of Gold

Today you will make your way to the Mombasa Airport and depart for the familiar luxuries of home. The wonders of Kenya have stretched across the indigo sea, reached through the brassy plains, and settled in ruins of a world away. Elephants have dyed themselves red in the heat of the sun and the pastel colors of the underwater world glowed in the clarity of the ocean. The sand was soft beneath your toes; the water was warm around your waist. Your adventure through Kenya’s eastern wilds offered you a kaleidoscope of colors and experiences and a treasure chest full of memories to return to time and again.

What’s Included: transfer

The travel reviews of safaris in Kenya can be helpful to browse if you are thinking of extending your stay in Kenya.  Read traveler reviews and see why travelers rely on Zicasso for their customized safaris.


Starting Price 

This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.