Wilderness to White Sand: Kenya Safari Escape

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Total Trip:

14 Days
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Countries Visited:

Kenya
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Places Visited:

Nairobi, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Meru National Park, Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Mombasa, Diani Beach
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Safari landscapes and the Indian Ocean beach will compliment a vacation that transports you into an entirely different world. This two-week vacation celebrates the beauty of Kenya and the inimitability of its atmosphere. Escape the stress of home and bask in the wilderness where animals are your close neighbors in three contrasting safari destinations: Lewa, Meru, and the Masai Mara. After eight days of intimate encounters, you fly to Diani where silence and solitude complete your getaway.

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Nairobi – Wildlife and the City

Nairobi symbolizes Kenya’s appeal. This is a big, bustling capital that also has a huge national park at its heart. Elephants and giraffes will wander before apartment blocks and roads. From the hotel, you can see buffalo and even rhinos. There will be silence and solitude, which is something that you would never expect from a big city. A layover in Nairobi is a necessity, but by staying next to Nairobi National Park, you will have the immediate feeling of the laid-back ambiance of the wild.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch

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Day 2

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – Easy Big Five Introductions

Traveling by light aircraft, you will reach the Laikipia Plateau, which is a wilderness area that is has been converted into a series of private conservancies. Wildlife will move and migrate freely between the conservancies, and territorial animals tend to control their part of the conservancy. Local guides know exactly where the animals roam, so it will easy to gain first impressions of Africa’s famous wildlife. Both lions and leopards will be a feature of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Elephants and buffalo will start to blur into the landscape as they are so numerous in this part of the world. Then, you will witness the rhinos, which are a thriving population of both black and white beasts that will offer superlative encounters during your first day of the safari.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3 - 4

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy – On Safari with All the Classic Animals

In Lewa, you will take the safari slowly. Leisurely game drives follow lionesses in the grass, and an hour can be spent having coffee and cake beside a pool of hippos. Down by a watering hole, you can watch and wait, admiring the playful antics of different elephant herds. Sometimes, you will traverse across the bush, tracking giraffes in the trees or getting closer to the hyenas. Most of the time, you will travel very slowly, ambling between different wildlife and birdlife. Admire the daily drama as lions battle with buffalo herds that will not back down, and watch for baby rhinos that hide underneath their mother’s swollen belly.

Compared to the Masai Mara, Lewa is a small safari destination. This is a bountiful stretch of land with a full variety of big game. Safari activities do not need to be long in such a compact wilderness. Trackers will head out before you and radio the most interesting sights to your guides. You will explore for a few hours and then return to the lodge where you can rest up and continue to enjoy all the animals. The lodge will blend into the landscape, and antelope will come to graze nearby. It overlooks a watering hole with soft lighting that will illuminate an evening procession of animals coming to drink. This is safari at its easiest, and you will quickly lose track of your stresses back home.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 5 - 6

Meru National Park – Rare and Endangered Species in East Africa's Most Underrated Park

You will cross luscious, pastoral lands on a transfer to Mount Meru, which is the mountain’s volcanic cone. Nestled in the foothills, you will find riverine forests and swamps. Beyond these, there is an arid mountain, one that stretches north towards the Sahara. Meru’s slopes provide refuge for wildlife, which is a place for them to refresh after a tough journey across desert plains. Here, Somali ostrich will scamper across vast plains, and Grevy’s zebra will roam between great baobab trees. Gerenuk will stretch their long necks towards low-lying fruit, and monkeys will chatter away in the treetops.

Rather than the classic Big Five, Meru will highlight an alternative, wildlife world. This is the home of rare and unusual species. Traveling here, you will marvel at how the scenery changes. Once on the Meru slopes, you will escape into a very intimate realm. As there are few predators, wildlife will be less skittish and more likely to get very close to you. On a walking safari, you can get even closer, especially when looking up at towers of huge giraffes. Like Lewa, the safari program will be adaptable and can be created using different activities. Long parts of each day can be spent relaxing, sitting at the lodge, and appreciating what surrounds you.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 7

Mara Naboisho Conservancy – Guided in the Grasslands by Masai Warriors

With a short safari flight, you will swap the mountains for the plains, landing on the vast openness of the Masai Mara. Here, you will not be staying in the main national reserve. Mara Naboisho is contiguous, and the safari is far more personal then what you have experienced. Access is only permitted for guests at one of the camps in the conservancy. That means no day trippers or overloaded budget safari vehicles. Furthermore, because guides will be able to take you off the trail, safari vehicles will be highly dispersed, and restrictions in the national reserve mean vehicles will tend to be clustered together.

You will touch down, and Masai warrior guides will lead your first activity. You will venture across the plains, feeling your connection to the land. The Masai have coexisted with lions and elephants for millennia, so it will be very safe with these warriors that lead the journey. So, you will walk with the zebra amongst the wildebeest and with giraffes as silhouettes along the horizon. Later in the day, you will have your first Masai Mara game drive, the focus switching towards safe encounters with predatory cats. As this conservancy is much quieter in terms of vehicle and people traffic, it has become a haven for leopards and cheetahs to raise their cubs. Spotting them will be an unforgettable highlight of the safari.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 8

Mara Naboisho Conservancy – Full-Day Game Drive Across the Mara Plains

To appreciate the Masai Mara, you must understand its scale. A hundred zebras are cute, but a herd of 10,000 is another experience entirely. Likewise, the quantity of wildebeest is astonishing, even outside the great wildebeest migration. Crossing the Mara on a full-day game drive, you will explore lush grasses that are covered in grazers. Clusters of rocks, which are known as kopjes,will be where the lions watch the plains, often in prides of 15 strong. Hippos and crocodiles will provide drama at the Mara River, and as the drive continues, it will be impossible to count the number of different species that you encounter.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 9

Mara Naboisho Conservancy – Final Safari Moments

Lions will prowl the plains at dawn and will be elegant and enchanting as they move across the dew. Hippos will barrel towards the water, quarreling as they go. On a lonely acacia branch, a leopard may snooze and then open its piercing blue eyes at you. Returning from a game drive, you will find a wildebeest herd grazing around the camp. Thomson’s gazelles will mark the scenery with their numbers in the tens of thousands. There will be life everywhere, and such an abundance will help to make the safari even more escapist. When giraffes are your near neighbors, it will be easy to forget what a city or a street is like, and the more time you spend here, the more your senses will understand and appreciate the minute details.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 10

Mombasa to Diani Beach – White-Sand Escapism

After a final morning game drive, you will fly from the Masai Mara to Mombasa. From here, it will be a 30-minute drive south to Diani Beach. Once the beach begins, it does not seem to end. Palms will rise the highest in the thick, overhanging forest, and monkeys will shout from the trees. The forest protects the beach, casting it adrift from everything else. So, when you walk on the beach, all you will see is the white sand and the trees along with the Indian Ocean. A reef will catch most of the waves about a mile offshore, so the tidal waters will be more like a lagoon: perfect for splashing your feet during your first day on the coast.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 11 - 13

Diani Beach – Lazy Days on the Indian Ocean

For these three days, you will continue to feel cut off from the rest of the world. The thick forest will make Diani seem like an island, even if it is a 30-mile beach. With monkeys around, it can sometimes feel like you are back on safari, but mostly these three days will involve doing nothing at all. You will feel the silence, bask in the solitude, create the only footprints in the sand, and spend lazy hours gazing across the ocean. While Indian Ocean islands are small and very popular, Africa’s Indian Ocean coastline remains mostly unknown and hugely underrated. Perhaps, if it were somewhere else, this beach would be very busy. Instead, you can look around and hardly see another soul.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Transfer

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

expand/close

Day 14

Diani Beach to Mombasa – Departure

By now you will have spent four days resting around the beach, and unfortunately, it is time to return to the real worldalthough your safari will have taught you to redefine what areal world means. You will fly from Mombasa back to Nairobi where you will meet your international outbound flight.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

expand/close
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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the evocative grasslands with three days in the Masai Mara where big cats chase wildebeest around kopjes
  • Go in search of rare species during a two-day safari in Meru National Park with Grevy’s zebra providing just one beautiful encounter
  • Surround yourself with rhinos in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
  • Escape to a seemingly endless Indian Ocean coastline where there is hardly anyone else on the white sand.
  • Discover a private Mara conservancy, driving off the trail to find leopard and cheetah hideouts
  • Admire the Big Five during your first day on safari with Lewa providing a great first-time introduction to big African wildlife
  • Cruise the coast in a traditional dhow and spend lazy days beneath the Diani Beach palm trees
  • Experience wild Africa from different angles, including a walking safari with a Masai warrior guide
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Detailed Description

Kenya is a wild and surreal land. Elephants roam, buffalo herds charge along trails, Masai warriors escort livestock across lion-dappled plains, and tidal waters create the most dazzling sight of turquoise panoramas. There are hardly any people here. Wild animals are your neighbors, even in the capital city Nairobi. Not only is Kenya a country to explore, but on every vacation through Kenya, you are transported into another world and into an atmosphere that is entirely different from anything at home. Whether on the beach or the Masai Mara, there is a sense of escapism that ensures you will return home refreshed and relaxed. Spend two weeks, and you can be so immersed that it will be hard to imagine a world without the sound of grazing herds and lapping waves.

This vacation showcases Kenya’s laid-back appeal. By taking two weeks, you can explore at your pace while not missing out on any of the animals or safari experiences. Camps and lodges are cut off from the world, either in vast conservation areas or hidden in the trees that overlook the ocean. At each destination, you can create the itinerary day by day, choosing from different safari activities and having all the time you need to rest and relax. Often times, you do not need to do anything except sit back at the camp or lounge on your private verandah, using all your senses to admire the wildlife that surrounds you. Even on Diani Beach, you will see more monkeys than people.

After a layover in Nairobi, you fly to the Laikipia Plateau where Lewa Wildlife Conservancy offers the perfect first-time safari. Here, you can encounter the Big Five in a single game drive with rhinos being surprisingly abundant. This area is flourishing as of lately, which is a result of intense conservation activities. For millennia, this has been a wildlife haven. After disintegrating through the 20thcentury, it is now the lavish, animal-dominated land that it once was. Think lionesses prowling the plains, large elephant and buffalo herds, black and white rhinos in a single vista, plus the variety of life for which Kenya is so well known.

After witnessing the famous animals, you travel across pastoral lands to Meru, which is one of Africa’s highest mountains. Rare wildlife congregates at the foothills and swamps here with Grevy’s zebra and gerenuk marching around baobab trees. This is East Africa’s most underrated park, and it rolls to a very serene rhythm. Meru is not a place for charging around in search of the Big Five. It is where you let go of the urban world and tune all your senses into something else. You can listen to the chattering of monkeys, watch kudu graze around the camp, feel Kenya’s refreshing solitude, and bask in the inimitability of the land.

Fly to the Masai Mara on day seven. The main national reserve can get a little busy, but you will be staying in a private, unfenced conservancy where visitor and vehicle access is severely restricted. It is a grassland refuge and not only for you. Leopards and cheetahs come here to raise their cubs, and other animal populations graze without human interruption. With three days, you can really get to know the Masai Mara, from the Mara River to its hidden outposts, all while preserving your inner tranquility.

From the Mara, you fly straight to Mombasa where it is only a 30-minute transfer to Diani Beach. Once more, it may seem the landscape is endless. Indian Ocean waters will rock gently against the beach, and the white sand will continue in both directions. Thick monkey-populated forests will backdrop the beach, intensifying the sense of escape. While the Indian Ocean islands are more famous, East Africa has over a thousand miles of white-sand coastline, most of which is entirely untouched. At Diani, you have a beach that is practically without footprints and an experience that is shared only with the monkeys. Looking for the best African Safari travel ideas? Consider browsing our Africa travel reviews page.

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Starting Price

$6295 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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