Adventures / Wildlife Adventures

The Ultimate Kenyan Wildlife Adventure

Tackle a walking safari alongside Maasai guides, wild camping in one of Kenya's last remaining true wildernesses

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Trip Ref #10520

Adventures / Wildlife Adventures

The Ultimate Kenyan Wildlife Adventure

Tackle a walking safari alongside Maasai guides, wild camping in one of Kenya's last remaining true wildernesses

DURATION

9 nights

LOCATION

Kenya

ANNUAL LEAVE

7 days off work

SEASON

Year round

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Nairobi Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Hotel · Lodge · Wild camping · Glamping

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

This is an active trip, with plenty of hiking time out in true African wilderness. Recharge your batteries at luxury lodges throughout.

Hike in the foothills of Mount Kenya, along the rims of volcanic craters and by the shores of Rift Valley lakes

Settle in for spectacular game drives in the Masai Mara, eyes peeled for some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife

Kick back on the tranquil shores of Lake Naivasha, and refresh under the waterfalls at Mau Mau Caves

Sip sundowners and drift off to the sounds of the African bush at a series of luxury lodges and off-grid safari camps

This trip is brand new

We’re still waiting to collect any reviews from other travellers on this trip. However, all our hosts go through an extensive vetting process to ensure that your adventure is awesome.

Included

Guides

Local, English-speaking, female tour leader; Maasai guides for wilderness hiking & safari

Accommodation

Think African lodges, hotels with pools, luxury safari tents and snoozing directly under the stars

Meals

All your meals are included

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Equipment

All camping equipment for the wild camps

Permits

All national park entry fees

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

Any time on Day 1

Ends

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

17:00 on Day 10

Transfers

Your host will meet you on arrival at the international airport in Nairobi and transfer you to your accommodation in the centre of the city. On the last day of your trip, your host will drop you off at the airport in Nairobi at approximately 17:00 in time for any flights after 20:00. Your host can also drop you off at your accommodation in central Nairobi if you are staying on longer in Kenya.

Airport transfers are included in the main price if you arrive on Day 1 and depart on Day 10. If you wish to arrive before the trip start date or stay longer at the end, your host can arrange private airport transfers and pre/post-trip accommodation. See Optional Extras for prices.

Travel options

Kenya Airways operates direct flights to Nairobi from London, Amsterdam, Paris, New York and Dubai. Travellers from other start points in Europe and North America can transit through any of the aforementioned hubs, as well as via Frankfurt and Istanbul depending on your carrier.

Day 1

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Hotel · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3 – Day 6

Lodge · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 7 – Day 8

Wild camping · Twin tent

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 9

Glamping · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 10

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

A typical breakfast includes bread, sausages, eggs, fruit and juices, or treat yourself to a few mandazi: sweet and lightly spiced doughnuts, washed down with a cup of chai tea. You'll tuck into plenty of tropical fruit such as bananas, mangoes and passion fruit. Seafood is available from Kenya's stretch of Indian Ocean coastline, with crab, prawns, snapper and yellowfin tuna making its way on to menus in some of the lodges. Dinners in safari camps are a treat - expect to eat nyama choma (barbecued meat) with gently spiced vegetable dishes and chapatis on the side.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

Nairobi

In the heart of Kenya's capital, you'll stay at the Heron Portico, a 4-star hotel with a heated swimming pool, sauna and two good restaurants. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with an en-suite bathroom.

Aberdare

Your first night outside Nairobi is spent at the Aberdare Country Club, nestled on a hillside in the Aberdare Highlands - part of the Great Rift Valley. A former private residence of an English couple who settled in Kenya, the country club retains the charm of a private home with the comforts of a country inn. You'll stay in twin-share rooms with an en-suite bathroom.

The Ark

Deeper inside Aberdare National Park lies a highlight of the trip - a luxury lodge called The Ark. The major draw here is the waterhole directly outside the lodge, with three viewing platforms for you to take in the variety of wildlife that flocks to the waterhole. The night guard will even buzz your room when special animals come to the waterhole during the night (though of course, this is an optional service!). You'll stay in twin-share cabins with an en-suite bathroom.

Wild Camping on the edge of the Masai Mara

You'll spend two nights camping in the wild at different spots within the Loita Hills, on the fringe of the Masai Mara. This is the perfect way to experience the African wilderness - with campfire meals and nights spent sleeping beneath the stars. You'll stay in simple twin-share tents with camp beds, bedding and towels provided. There will be a shared toilet and shower tent set up at each spot that you camp. Maasai warriors will be guarding your camp against animals.

Masai Mara

In the Masai Mara itself, following a busy day of game drives, you'll kick back in luxury at the Mara Leisure Camp - located within one of the most spectacular locations in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. As dusk rolls in, enjoy the sunset over the plains and keep warm by the fire while sipping a sundowner. After nightfall, listen to the unique sounds of the African wilderness beneath star-studded skies. There's an excellent restaurant, an inviting swimming pool and warm Maasai hospitality.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

Welcome to Kenya

Your host will meet you on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transfer you to your hotel in Nairobi. Meet up with the rest of the group in the early evening for a chat through the adventure to come and a welcome dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2

Hike the foothills of Mount Kenya

Hiking

3-4hrs · 9km · 50m up · 50m down

Driving

3.5hrs

Hop in to your custom-made safari vehicles and journey to Aberdare National Park - a protected area in central Kenya, east of the Rift Valley. Grab lunch before lacing up your boots for the first hike of the trip, exploring the foothills of Mount Kenya. Wind along the trail to reach the Mau Mau caves, a hideout place for freedom fighters during Kenya's colonial period. Take a swim or cool your feet at the waterfalls next to the caves, before heading back down for dinner at your country club-style accommodation in the beautiful Aberdare Highlands.

Day 3

Aberdare National Park

Hiking

4hrs · 7km · 60m up · 60m down

Wildlife Tracking

2hrs

After breakfast, set off for a hike inside Aberdare National Park and get your first taste of the smorgasbord of wildlife that Kenya has to offer. The park is a habitat for elephants, black rhinos, leopards, spotted hyenas, olive baboons, colobus monkeys, buffalos and many more. After your hike, you'll enjoy a game drive en route to your spectacular accommodation for the evening: a lodge set within the park itself. Right by a waterhole, it attracts a host of wildlife, including herds of elephants. Watch the action from the comfort of the balcony, with a sundowner in hand.

Day 4

Nakuru

Hiking

5hrs · 12-15km · 690m up · 690m down

Driving

3.5hrs

Leave Aberdare behind and head to Nakuru County, home to some of the Rift Valley's great lakes. Lake Nakuru is best known for the millions of flamingoes nesting along its shores. Arriving at Lake Nakuru you'll tackle an afternoon hike to Menengai Crater - an extinct volcano and one of the world’s largest calderas. At the crater rim, you will be rewarded with sweeping vistas of the Northern Rift Valley.

Day 5

Lake Naivasha

Hiking

5hrs · 10-12km · 200m up · 200m down

Enjoy an early morning drive to the lakeside town of Naivasha and check in to your base for the next two nights. Head out on a hike around the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary - a beautiful volcanic lake fringed with acacias - keeping your eyes peeled for hippos, zebras and giraffes. Visit the Elsamere Conservation Centre: the former home of Joy Adamson, an iconic conservationist and author of Born Free, who dedicated her life to protecting the environment in this part of Kenya.

Day 6

Downtime at Lake Naivasha

After a busy few days hiking through the wild Kenyan bush, enjoy some downtime today at your peaceful lodge on the banks of the lake. There are optional activities for you to do if you're keen to explore further, including a boat ride on the lake, a bike ride, a visit to a flower farm or a hike to Hell's Gate. There is yet more wildlife to feast your eyes on here, including a large number of eagles around the lake.

Day 7

Camp-to-camp walking safari in the Masai Mara

Hiking

5-6hrs · 8-10km

Driving

3hrs

Head for the Loita Hills, one of the key areas in Kenya where the Maasai people still practice their ancestral way of life, with little influence from the western world. The Masai Mara will be your base for the next three days as you explore the rarely visited wilderness area of Loita on foot. Hiking through the plains, forests and hills, camping in remote spots beneath wide African skies, and telling stories around the campfire, Maasai warriors will keep watch over the camp to protect the group from wild animals.

Day 8

Hiking in the African plains

Hiking

5-6hrs · 8-10km

Another day hiking through the open plains, interspersed with pockets of remote forest. The locals refer to the larger of these pockets as 'the Forest of the Lost Child', an indigenous forest full of lush vegetation. On the hike, your guide will teach you how to avoid animal conflict and how to select the best camp spots. You'll also learn about Maasai culture as you go, including traditional uses of native plants, how to cook Maasai food and meeting people in local villages. Keep your eyes peeled throughout the day for zebras, giraffes and even big cats.

Day 9

Masai Mara game drives

Wildlife Watching

4-5hrs

Your legs have earned a solid rest and after two nights camping, you're due a return to serious comfort. Walking out of Loita, you'll be picked up and driven onto your luxury safari camp in the Masai Mara. Head out for quintessential African game drives through the rolling green plains. You'll be looking out for zebra and gazelle, elephants, giraffes, myriad birdlife, black-maned lions, leopards and cheetahs. As dusk falls, plenty of animals may be visible in the vicinity of the luxury camp while you spend a relaxing evening on the banks of the Talek River.

Day 10

Back to Nairobi

Driving

5hrs

Waving a final goodbye to the Masai Mara you'll start the long journey back to Nairobi, stopping for lunch en route and arriving at the airport at around 17:00 in time for any onward evening flights. Alternatively, your host can drop you off at your accommodation in Nairobi if you are staying in Kenya for longer.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

  • Twin tents, camp beds, bedding and towels during the wild camping experience in Loita

What do I need to bring?

BAGS

  • Soft overnight duffel bag or rucksack
  • Daypack (20-30 litres)
  • Waterproof cover/liner for daypack

SLEEPING

  • 2-3 season sleeping bag (if you don't wish to hire one)
  • Sleeping bag liner

CLOTHES

  • Light waterproof jacket
  • Light waterproof trousers
  • Fleece jacket or similar for cooler evenings
  • Buff or neckscarf for sun protection
  • Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear & socks
  • Swimwear (for swimming pools at some accommodations)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Something to sleep in
  • Hiking boots or shoes (worn-in)
  • Sandals

OTHER

  • Universal travel plug adapter
  • Passports (and visas)
  • Travel insurance documents
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Suncream
  • Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment)
  • Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Alcohol hand-gel
  • Reusable water bottle x1 litre
  • Biodegradable wet-wipes
  • Energy bars and snacks - read our article on Best Hiking Snacks

Sleeping bag hire for 2 nights camping in Loita

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping bag hire for 2 nights camping in Loita

Pre/post trip accommodation in Nairobi (single, twin or double)

Payable Before Departure

Pre/post trip accommodation in Nairobi (single, twin or double)

Per Night

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Room & Tent Upgrade

Private airport transfer - each way

Payable Before Departure

Private airport transfer - each way

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 305kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This is one of the more active wildlife trips that you'll find in Kenya, so you'll need to be happy being on your feet and out in the great outdoors for a good portion of your adventure. There are several days of hiking from between 4-8 hours, with some elevation gain to tackle at various points. The two days of hiking in the Loita Hills wilderness area look like long days on paper, but you're not covering huge distances (between 8-10km) and there are plenty of stops to observe wildlife, learn about staying safe in the African bush and visiting local villages for an insight into Maasai life. Other than the wild camping, you're bunking down in some luxurious and peaceful spots to recharge your batteries and reflect on the wildlife you've seen each day.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice, however we suggest the below as a guideline per person:

$10USD per person per day

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Tap water is not safe for travellers to drink in Kenya. Most of the hotels and lodges you'll stay at will provide safe drinking water, and your host will ensure purified drinking water is supplied throughout the trip, including while in the wilderness area of Loita. Make sure to bring along a reusable water bottle or two to keep water with you while on safari and on the hikes.

December to mid-March and June to October are Kenya's dry seasons, with the July-September period also coinciding with the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra. The rainy seasons are also good times to visit, as there are fewer visitors and lush, verdant vegetation colours the landscape. After the long rains from mid-March to the end of May, the grasses start to die back as the land begins to dry. This makes it easier to see the wildlife as the animals gather near water sources. Temperatures in Kenya stay very steady throughout the year, with highs of between 20-25°C / 68-77°F and lows of 11-14°C / 52-57°F. From July to October, temperatures cool down a little compared to the rest of the year, so be prepared for colder mornings and evenings.

Your luggage will be transported in the overland vehicle throughout the adventure, and it is safe to leave it in the vehicle with your host and driver. It is also possible to store extra luggage at the hotel in Nairobi at the start of the trip, to collect when you return to the capital at the end.

We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

No. You'll need to have a larger bag suitable for all your belongings which will be transported for you, and then a small daysack to carry personal items during each day of hiking, and as an overnight bag for the nights spent wild camping in Loita.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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