Day 1: Arrival - Nairobi
Upon arrival in Nairobi you will be met at the airport and transferred to our comfortable hotel, the Fairview Hotel.
Day 2: Nairobi
A full day in Nairobi we make stops at the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust to learn about their conservation and wildlife rehabilitation programs and meet the endangered animals they care for. After that we will visit the artists who create flip-flop animals for Ocean Sole an “trash to cash” business based in Karen a suburb of Nairobi.
Day 3: Nairobi - Laikipia Plateau (by road)
Leaving Nairobi, we continue on to the Laikipia Plateau. Laikipia has the largest concentrations of game in all of East Africa that are not inside a park boundary. During game drives we encounter abundant wildlife, often without another vehicle in sight. A wild yet romantic haven, Laikipia shelters not only the Big Five but also a variety of rare and endangered species, including African wild dogs, Grevy's zebras and rhino. Overnight at El Karama Eco Lodge.
Day 4: Laikipia
Morning and afternoon game drives in the Laikipia Plateau. Overnight at El Karama Eco Lodge.
Day 5: Laikipia
In the morning we leave for a full day visit to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, known for it’s decades long work to conserve Rhinos. While there we will also visit the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. Opened in 1993 when Sweetwaters, the Kenya Wildlife Services, and the Jane Goodall Institute established a facility to receive and provide sanctuary and housing to chimps orphaned at a young age by the bush-meat trade. Overnight atEl Karama Eco Lodge.
Day 6: Laikipia - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in southwestern Kenya. It is named after the Maasai people (the traditional inhabitants of the area and their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara," which is Maa (Maasai language) for "spotted," an apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savanna, and cloud shadows that mark the area. It is famous for its exceptional population of big cats, game, and the migration of zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and wildebeest from the Serengeti every year from July to October, a migration so immense that it is called the Great Migration. The Mara has been called the Kingdom of Lions and these regal and powerful hunters dominate these grasslands. Cheetahs are also a common sight in the Mara, as are hyena and smaller predators such as jackals. Overnight at Ilkeliani Camp.
Day 7: Maasai Mara National Reserve
Morning and afternoon game drives will take us through some of the most spectacular savanna ecosystems East Africa has to offer, with one of the densest concentrations of animal life on the planet. Overnight at Ilkeliani Camp.
Day 8: Maasai Mara National Reserve
Full day game drive. Overnight at Ilkeliani Camp.
Day 9: Maasai Mara - Malindi - Watamu
Today we make our way to the coastal village of Watamu, fronted by wide white beaches. This tranquil village is home to several well established resorts, and many private guesthouses scattered through the forest along the deserted shore. At Watamu a Marine National Park has been established, offering an ideal day trip for snorkelers. Oceanic Society partners with the Watamu Marine Association and while we are here we will learn about their marine mammal projects and meet artists who work with their community recycling programs. Accommodation: Hemingways Watamu.
Day 10: Watamu
Morning excursion for dolphin viewing, afternoon snorkeling excursion. Accommodation: Hemingways Watamu.
Day 11: Watamu
In Watamu we will visit and interact with local artists who are receiving international attention for their use of beach collected marine debris in art and consumer products. This is helping to bring attention to the problem of marine pollution and help support a community conservation recycling effort (run through the Watamu Marine Association) that benefits local womens' groups, and marine turtle and marine mammal conservation efforts. All of these efforts are also promoted and enhanced by ecotourism groups that come to the region and support their programs. We will also enjoy a dugout canoe tour and dinner at Mangrove Crab Shack. Accommodation: Hemingways Watamu.
Day 12: Watamu
Giriama Cultural Village Tour on Kirepwe Island. Accommodation: Hemingways Watamu.
Day 13: Watamu - Malindi - Nairobi (fly home)
Final dinner at Tamambo, departure.