Pristine Kenya Vacation: Sarara Camp and Mathews Mountain

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Herd of african elephants taken on a safari trip to Kenya with a snow capped Kilimanjaro mountain in Tanzania in the background
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Total Trip:

11 Days
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Countries Visited:

Kenya
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Places Visited:

Nairobi, Sarara Camp, Mathews Mountains
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The majesty of Kenya shines within the golden plains and stretches across the mountaintops. From its wildlife to its people, it emanates with diversity. Settle into the wonders of Kenya and the surprising luxuries of the wild world. Elephants play at the waterhole. Leopards laze in the treetops. Samburu villagers sing at their family well. The magic of Africa opens to you, where the sights and sounds of the Kenya you’ve always wanted come to life. 

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Day 1

Kenyan Excellence

Land in Nairobi with the excited air of the adventure to come. Arrive in style and be transferred to the delicate opulence of your accommodation. Nairobi is a city that reverberates with life and energy. The pulse of the city beats with more than the life in the sprawling savannah, but also within the history, food, and culture of the city itself. The delicious scent of samosas rises through the street; the flaky crunch of the outer shell lingers in the air. The city center bustles and is filled with colorful goods that range from everyday products to gently carved giraffes.

Begin your exploration of Nairobi with a visit to the Dame Sheldrick Elephant and Rhino Orphanage. Dame Daphne Sheldrick is known for her work amongst the African wildlife and her book Love, Life and Elephants; the orphanage was featured in National Geographic. Lush trees and shade surround the orange earth of the grounds. The elephants are all orphaned calves, victims of poaching and unable to fend for themselves. Walk through the little center and find an open space surrounded by a rope. The youngest elephants trot from the brush to meet their keepers who hold giant bottles of milk ready, both parties eager for feeding. Tiny calves gulp and burble their milk. The keepers nudge the babies through water, teaching the young calves how to play, hug, and frolic. Occasionally a crafty, curious calf will slip away, the keeper close behind chasing the calf back under the rope. The older calves are able to hold their giant milk bottles in their trunks, squinting their eyes with delight and chugging the milk until gone. When the calves are mature enough, usually around three-years of age, they are released into larger herds in Tsavo East National Park, transitioning back into the life of the wild. The elephants scamper back into the bush; you breathe in the air of the wild and know that the adventure has begun.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Lunch, Dinner

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Day 2

Nairobi Uncovered

Nairobi is the cultural epicenter of Kenya, where the different worlds of the country collide, whether within the streets of the city or at the Nairobi National Museum. The museum displays and interprets Kenya's deep heritage, offering a sample of Kenya’s rich culture. Within the great hall the beauty and grace of the country’s famous wildlife greets you. The museum is perfumed with history and the collection of assorted cultures. Statues and masks display the historical and spiritual connection to the land and the wildlife. From the splintered wood of a carved leopard to the smooth carving of a fertility sculpture, the museum brings you to the diversity of ancient life in a modern city.

With more time in the day you can explore the deeper side of Nairobi for a unique tour of the sights that many are unable to experience. Kibera is the largest slum in Africa where the diversity of Kenyan tribes and surrounding war-torn or impoverished countries have made their home. A tour through Kibera not only helps the township but also brings new awareness to the city within the city. The life within the borders of Kibera is vibrant and active. Children giggle as they kick a soccer ball through the streets. The breeze carries the scent of roasted meats and fried dough. Local guides will tour you through the shanty huts and lively markets. The guides, having grown up and most likely still residing in Kibera, offer important and unique insight into the daily life of the city within the city. As the confines of Kibera become clearer, a new world opens its doors.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3

From the Wild of Life to the Wildlife

Today you will traverse the wild on a flight over the plains of Kenya and into the sights of the Mathews Mountains. The mountain peaks linger over the plains casting shadows along the trees. Land on the airstrip in Sarara Camp, the only way in and out of the conservation area, and arrive with the luxuries of sensational accommodation and the expansive view of the Kenyan wild before you. Sarara Camp is the premier ecotourism hotel, combining comfortable accommodations for the most luxurious requests with the rugged, untouched beauty of the surrounding nature. The lodge is completely owned by the Namunyak community, with all revenue funding the Namunyak Conservation Trust. Settle into your luxury tent, fit for royalty, where a stunning view of the open Mathews Range sits outside of your door. When the cool of the evening arrives, sit along your private terrace; the rich scent of fresh brewed coffee lingers in the silhouette of the mountains.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 4

The Loving Wild Side

The morning sun radiates over the horizon and the smell of coffee once again drifts through your room. The morning dew gives a soft scent to the surrounding brush. Climb aboard your game driving vehicle and venture into the wilds of Sarara. The trees tower into the air in the distance. The world is perfumed with golden straw. Scour the horizon for signs of life; from elephants to giraffes, the wonders are endless. The vehicle turns a corner and you hear the awkward chirp of the African wild dog, frequently encountered in the valley. The wild dog is severely endangered and incredibly precious. The pack can be heard rustling in the brush beyond you. The alpha gives the pack warning, and eventually chirps the sound of safety. They frolic and play in the gentle sun. Their black and brown spots blend with the distant grass. Their playfulness is infectious. When the sun starts to set over the horizon the mountains change color and the colors of the grass glow in the dusky haze. The rich aroma of vegetables from the camp’s garden roasts in the dwindling light. The day ends beneath the stars filling the night sky like diamonds.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 5

Connection to (Wild)Life

The Sarara Valley is yours to explore once more on a game drive. The early morning rise comes with the divine taste of mocha from your coffee, the soothing warmth readying you for the sensational day to come. The soft singing of starlings rises from the beautiful shifting arrangement in the sky; their wings glide as the murmuration changes direction in midair, a delicate and impressive dance. It is easy to see vulturine guineafowl along the side of the vehicle, feeding in the dry brush. Their plumage is an iridescent blue fading into their black tail feathers, with specks of white strewn through. The elusive and prolific big cat, the leopard, may also make an appearance. The gentle breeze blows through the afternoon air, bringing the warm musk of the trees around you. Your guide quietly points to a tree nearby. A lone branch sways in the breeze and you realize it isn’t a branch at all but a tail. Along the strong, twisted branch above lies a leopard, lounging in the canopy.  The spotted fur helps the big cat blend into the bark and leaves. You quickly learn why Sarara is recognized as one of the best places in Africa for quality leopard viewing.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 6

A Cultural Life

After a delicious breakfast you will follow your guide out of the camp to visit the sensational culture of the Samburu. The Samburu people bring their cattle to a known waterhole in the semi-desert geography. It is a rare spot where both humans and animals find respite and life from the wilderness. The singing wells offer an experience that is completely unique. Each family owns a single well and will sing as they bring water up from the source. The soft melody rises into the air; the cows recognize their family song and journey to their well for a drink. The morning sunlight makes the colors of the villager’s beads and the granite of the earthen rocks sparkle. Orange dust rises from the herd as their bells jingle in the brush. The sensational spectacle continues and you will realize that you are witnessing a tradition that hasn’t changed for centuries.

After the astonishing experience of the singing wells you will be able to visit the Samburu village itself. The Samburu are a tribe closely related to the famous Maasai of East Africa. The Samburu are semi-nomadic, raising cattle, sheep, goats and camels. The Rift Valley province in Kenya is somewhat barren making the Samburu relocate around every five to six weeks to find fresh grazing grounds for their cattle. The huts are built from mud, hide, and grass mats threaded around poles. A thorny fence, known as a boma, is built to protect the family and the herd from wild animals. Their necklaces and bracelets shine in the sunlight with vibrant yellows and vivacious reds. From one loose necklace to hundreds of various sizes that build upon on another, connected in the center and wrapping around their shoulders, the uniqueness is breathtaking. Walk among the people as they continue to live their lives as they have for centuries and more. The goats bleat, the cows moo, and the villagers milk their animals, bead necklaces, and tend to their gardens. The sun drifts behind the mountains and another wonderful day of exploration has come to an end.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 7

A Day with Ol Lolokwe

Today you will venture outside of camp to visit the sensational monolith of Ol Lolokwe. The orange granite changes colors in the shifting sun, the shadows of the rock spreading across the savannah. Acacia trees line the savannah floor, the scent of mint spreading from its leaves. Watch the black and white stripes of the zebra graze along the valley floor, nodding their snouts and kicking their heels as you pass them. Standing tall and looming over the valley sits the table top of Ol Lolokwe. The rock is smooth on your fingers, the sun is warm on your skin, and the complete seclusion from the top of the mountain feels like the entire world is at your feet.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 8

Wildlife on Foot

Follow your guide along the valley floor as they take you through the brush to see the wildlife on an incredible walking safari. The vast expanse of the savannah opens up to the foothills of the Mathews Mountain Range. The rustle in the trees in the distance comes from the giraffes grazing on lush acacias. Their tongues wrap around the branches, thorns included, and pull at the prickly stems of the tree. The giraffe takes long and calculated strides almost moving in slow motion. Their spots shine brown and gold in the afternoon sun. The treble of your guide’s voice bounces through the brush as they describe the variety of flora and the diversity of fauna,  and as you witness the speed and grace of weavers flying through the air, chirping along the trees, and threading their nest along branches.

Return to camp to experience what has been rated one of the greatest pools in Africa. The infinity pool glows clear blue along the verdant green of the tree line. The mountains spread along the horizon as the warm water cools you from the hot sun. Whether sitting on the deck or within the comforts of the water, the waterhole below offers ample wildlife to view in their natural, thirsty habitat. Herds of elephants linger along its shores and spray themselves with life-giving liquid. They bend their trunks and spritz the water into their mouths. Watch as they dip their feet into the pool to cool themselves in the afternoon sun, the babies often imitating their elders as they learn how to behave like an elephant. The sounds of the afternoon shift to the sounds of the evening; the open sky once again twinkles with stars.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 9

Saddle Up and Pony Up

The wonders of the Sarara Camp and the Sarara Valley are never ending. Today you will have the opportunity to saddle up onto a bush pony and follow your guide to the beautiful sights of the hard to reach areas. The yellowing straw of the valley waves in the breeze. The mountains beckon you closer. The ponies climb up hard rock and through the tough brush onto plateaus that offer a view of the flatlands below. The stunning coats of impala shimmer against watering holes, their horns large and mighty, the white puff of fur around their chest protruding. The horses meander along the bushes. Camel trains can be seen swaying beside the road. Open your eyes and ears and perhaps you can spot an elusive Black rhino. Black rhino are known for being independent grazers, meandering through the brush like lone cowboys. Their beaks come to a tiny point and their overall size is smaller than the White rhino. A rustle in the brush, a scamper through the grass, or a huff from their feeding could bring you closer to a rhino than you ever knew you could be. Return to Sarara with the wonders of the valley and the mountains forever majestic no matter how much time you spend exploring.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 10

An Urban Return

Enjoy the delicious comforts of breakfast before you catch a flight and return to Nairobi. The city welcomes you back with open arms and always more to explore. Whether shopping for local knick-knacks where the vibrant culture of East Africa is displayed or visiting the continued gems of the city, there is always a pleasant way to spend the day. Marula Studios in the affluent neighborhood of Karen will offer you unique souvenirs from you adventures through Kenya. The workshop is filled with bins of recycled flip-flops gathered from Kenya's beaches. The artistic ideals of conservation and reclamation are showcased as the flip-flops are washed, sorted, glued into blocks, and carved into sensational sculptures, toys, beads, and more. Witness the transformation of the discarded footgear into colorful elephants with trunks raised, sensational bracelets that chime and sparkle, or vibrant bowls decorated with signs of everyday village life. From the secrets of the wild to the enlightenment of culture and history, there is no limit to the majesties of a luxury Kenyan safari trip.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Day 11

Sensational Goodbyes

Today you will wave goodbye to the wilds of Kenya, from the wild imaginations of sculptors to the wildlife of the Sarara Valley, your time traversing the sensations of East Africa have come to an end. Mathews Mountains rise in your memory. The playful elephants linger along the banks of your thoughts. The gentle song of the Singing Wells will forever take your breath away. You may be leaving Kenya but Kenya will never leave you. You have experienced the majesty of the wild and the magic that lasts a lifetime.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

expand/close
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Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy the most spectacular swimming pool in Africa
  • Explore the Mathews Mountains of northern Kenya
  • Experience safaris with skilled Samburu warrior guides
  • Witness a successful conservation and ecotourism success story
  • Game drive in the wilderness on horseback
  • Wander through the bush on a walking safari
  • Witness the cultural wonders of the Samburu Village
  • See the stunning landscapes from atop Ol Lolokwe
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Detailed Description

The magic of Kenya sits within its stunning landscapes, unique wildlife, and wondrous culture on this fabulous tour tailored to you; where the magnificent marvels of life beyond the safari are yours on this 11-day tour through Kenya and the Sarara Valley. Watch the shades of the brassy plains sway in the breeze. Explore the hidden treasures of the secluded wild. From the gentle song of the Samburu to the lounging lions of the savannah, come see where the magic of nature’s wild gives way to the enchantment of wild imagination.

Begin your venture through Kenya with your arrival in the capital, Nairobi. Settle into the luxuries of your accommodation and the unique wonders of the city with a visit to the Dame Sheldrick Elephant and Rhino Orphanage. Watch baby elephants drink from large bottles and grow strong enough to be released into and thrive within a national park. The next day you can explore the sights of Nairobi and the diverse cultures of the country at the Nairobi National Museum where the eclectic mix of tribes and history come together. There is also time to visit one of the most culturally relevant neighborhoods in Nairobi today, Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. Follow your local guide as you learn about the history, diversity, and importance of Kibera, as the variety of misunderstandings come to light, and the beauty of understanding settles in.

Your journey through Kenya continues as you fly over Mathews Mountains and arrive in Sarara. The conservation area is secluded in the Kenyan wild and is filled with sensational luxuries, where the ideas of conservation and imagination are combined. The beauty of the mountains and the plain are framed outside of your door. The morning comes and brings with it an excursion out of the camp and into the valley where you will scour the plains for signs of the famous African wildlife. Zebra graze, lions laze, and gazelle scamper as you meander through the gilded fields. Another day of game driving allows you the opportunity to find the endangered African wild dog or the elusive leopard. Venture across the vast expanse, with the crisp grass brushing your fingertips, and stand with the valley below you from the top of Ol Lolokwe before spending the day traversing the wild on foot with your guide on a walking safari.

Rhinos linger in the grasslands grazing on the drying brush. In the afternoon you take the time to lounge in the best pool in Africa as elephants bathe and play in the waterhole below. The wild beckons for you to explore; saddle up on the bush ponies and journey into the brush, along the foothills of the mountains, and around the Sarara Valley with your guide to see the rarely reached seclusion of Sarara. Return to Nairobi and experience the imaginative wonders of the Marula Workshop where once again conservation and imagination are combined with reclamation. Watch as artists reclaim discarded flip-flops from the beach and repurpose them into works of art. From the wild imaginations of sculptors to the wildlife of Sarara Valley, your time traversing the sensations of East Africa will never leave you. This customizable holiday will have you experiencing the majesty of the wild and the magic that lasts a lifetime. 

Zicasso offers many choices for safaris. Browse the reviews for Kenya safaris for traveler feedback on their customized trips.

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Starting Price

$4945 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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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.

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