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Main Program: July 03, 2024 – July 13, 2024
Post-Tour: July 12, 2024 – July 15, 2024

Kenya Safari: The Big 5

Venture with us into the heart of Kenya's wilderness during this 11-day epic journey. Alongside expert guides, gain unparalleled access to Kenya's national parks, reserves, and conservancies with opportunities to witness The Big 5 and a plethora of other wildlife in their natural environment. This adventure promises unforgettable exploration of Kenya's iconic landscapes, captivating cultural interactions, and exhilarating animal encounters.


NOTE: Tour information is current as of 3/5/2024.

Program Highlights

– Explore extraordinary national parks and reserves in Kenya—each featuring unrivaled wildlife and habitat diversity—with opportunities to observe the "Big 5" (endangered black rhino, leopard, elephant, Cape buffalo and lion).

– Retreat to luxurious lodges and tented camps, each uniquely beautiful and authentic in décor.

– Enjoy daily game drives—accompanied by an Orbridge Expedition Leader and expert naturalist safari guides—aboard customized 4x4 vehicles.

– Visit the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, an organization dedicated to wildlife preservation and the economic growth and improvement of surrounding rural communities. Ol Pejeta is home to the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, which also houses the only two remaining northern white rhinos in the world.

– Observe land and avian wildlife during game drives through Lake Nakuru National Park, described as the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world.

– Discover the Maasai Mara National Reserve—where approximately 95 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, and over 400 bird species have been recorded.

– Join an optional hot-air balloon safari over the Maasai Mara (additional fee).

What's Included

  • 8 nights accommodations at deluxe lodges and tented camps—all carefully selected to emphasize wildlife viewing and amenities—plus a day room on departure day
  • 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, and 7 dinners, (including a special farewell dinner)
  • Expert naturalist guides throughout
  • Daily game drives in open-air vehicles with filtered water provided
  • Internal airfare from Maasai Mara to Nairobi on Day 10
  • All main program gratuities, as well as taxes, service charges, and park fees
  • Airport transfers for guests arriving and departing during the suggested times

Itinerary

NOTE: Locations selected for this safari promise excellent viewing of wildlife, however, spotting specific wildlife cannot be guaranteed. Some activities are dependent on weather and seasonal conditions.

Day 1: En Route from U.S
Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Day 2: Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya
Thursday, July 4, 2024
Welcome to Kenya! Upon arrival, meet your Orbridge representative who will assist with group transfers to the hotel.
Overnight: Fairmont The Norfolk

Day 3: Nairobi
Friday, July 5, 2024
After breakfast and a safari briefing, visit the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, considered the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organizations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Founded in 1977 by Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, in honor of the memory of her late naturalist husband, David Leslie William Sheldrick, the facility prioritizes the conservation, preservation, and protection of wildlife.

To date, the center has successfully hand-raised more than 150 infant elephants and has accomplished its long-term conservation priority by effectively reintegrating orphans back into the wild herds of Tsavo.

Then visit the home of the Rothschild Giraffe at the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Giraffe Centre. Founded in 1979, this non-profit organization's mission is to educate Kenyan school children and youth about their country’s wildlife and environment. The facility also offers visitors an opportunity to see giraffes in close proximity, including the Rothschild Giraffe—named after a British zoologist and considered one of the tallest in the species.

Afterward, take a short drive to the foot of the Ngong Hills to see Karen Blixen's farm house, which gained international fame after the release of the Oscar-winning movie, Out of Africa
Overnight: Fairmont The Norfolk (B,L,D)

Day 4: Nairobi | Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Saturday, July 6, 2024
Following breakfast, travel north out of Nairobi through lush tea and coffee estates to Sweetwaters Serena Camp, located in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This 90,000-acre, non-profit, private wildlife facility is situated on the equator in Kenya’s Laikipia District between the foothills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snow-capped Mount Kenya. Besides endangered rhinos, other rare animals found in Ol Pejeta include the endangered African wild dog, oryx, Jackson’s hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, serval, cheetah, and bat-eared fox. The Big 5, as well as giraffes, baboons, hippos, impalas, and hyenas—plus more than 300 bird species—also call Ol Pejeta home.
Overnight: Sweetwaters Serena Camp (B,L,D)

Day 5: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Sunday, July 7, 2024
Today's highlights include a full day exploring Ol Pejeta Conservancy, featuring morning and afternoon game drives.

Stop by the conservancy's rhino sanctuary to see some of the protected and critically endangered rhinos living here. 
Overnight: Sweetwaters Serena Camp (B,L,D)

Day 6: Ol Pejeta Conservancy | Lake Nakuru National Park
Monday, July 8, 2024
Depart for Lake Nakuru National Park, described by Roger Tory Peterson as the greatest ornithological spectacle in the world, and arrive in time for lunch. Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes at an elevation of 5,755 feet above sea level, is best known for its flamingos nesting along the shores. Other bird species also inhabit the lake and the surrounding area, including African fish eagle, Goliath heron, hamerkop, pied kingfisher, and Verreaux's eagle.

This afternoon, explore the park during a game drive with opportunities to observe black rhinos, Rothschild giraffes, and a multitude of birds. 
Overnight: Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 7: Lake Nakuru National Park | Maasai Mara National Reserve
Tuesday, July 9, 2024
This morning, travel along the Rift Valley's western rim into the Maasai Mara National Reserve—a northern extension of the Serengeti ecosystem and one of the world’s most rewarding wildlife observation sites. The rich savanna is known for its concentration of plains animals. There have been approximately 95 species of mammals, amphibians, and reptiles, as well as more than 400 bird species recorded on the reserve.
Overnight: Mara Engai Lodge (B,L,D)

Days 8-9: Maasai Mara National Reserve
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - Thursday, July 11, 2024
Enjoy two full days of wildlife viewing throughout the Maasai Mara to spot for the Big 5 (lion, leopard, buffalo, black rhino, and elephant). 

Head out with picnic lunch boxes to spend most of the day in the park, returning to camp late in the afternoon. Or take a pre-breakfast game drive and another game drive in the late afternoon. 

While in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, you can opt to take a once-in-a-lifetime hot air balloon safari. Enjoy a dawn ascent to experience incredible birds-eye views over the wildlife and vast landscape. (Note: This excursion must be purchased in advance to guarantee availability and is non-refundable inside 90 days to departure.)

On your last evening in the Mara, enjoy a special farewell bush dinner celebrating this wonderful adventure in Kenya.
Overnight: Mara Engai Lodge (B,L,D daily)

Day 10: Maasai Mara National Reserve | Flight to Nairobi | Depart for U.S.
Friday, July 12, 2024
After breakfast, return to Nairobi where you'll have access to a day room at the hotel to relax until transfering to the airport for evening flights home. 

Guests continuing on the post-tour will take a group flight from Maasai Mara to Amboseli.
Day Room: Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport (B,L)

Day 11: Arrive in U.S.
Saturday, July 13, 2024

B = Breakfast, L =  Lunch, D = Dinner

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

This safari program requires an ability to walk safely over uneven and slippery ground without assistance, transport luggage a short distance, get in and out of a 4x4 vehicle, sit for long stretches of time, and physically tolerate vehicle motion on sometimes bumpy roads. Highest elevation: 5,500 feet.

Optional Excursion(s)


Kenya Balloon Safari
$499 per person

An optional Hot Air Balloon Safari is available while in Maasai Mara, featuring a dawn ascent over the national reserve. This excursion is available for additional payment of $499 per person and is non-refundable inside 90 days to departure. If you wish to participate, contact Orbridge, as reservations must be made in advance.

Your Guide(s)

Kenya / Insider, Interpreter, Naturalist, Host

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While in Kenya, an Orbridge Expedition Leader will infuse your journey with an appreciation of its extraordinary wilderness, an uncanny ability to spot wildlife, a local’s knowledge and pride of place, and a naturalist’s ability to gather the beauty of all senses to your experience.

Accommodations

Fairmont The Norfolk

July 4 - July 5

Dating back to 1904, this landmark property combines old world charm with elegant modern amenities. The Norfolk has hosted notable guests, including Theodore Roosevelt, Barbara Bush, and James Earl Jones, and it was also featured in the movie Out of Africa starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford.

During leisure time, explore the expansive tropical gardens, take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, or sip a signature cocktail in the lively bar.

Room Amenities: King, queen, or two twin beds, armchair and coffee table, TV, phone, Wi-Fi (additional fee), coffee and tea maker, safe, iron and ironing board, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Sweetwaters Serena Camp

July 6 - July 7

While visiting the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, spend the evenings at Sweetwaters Serena Camp, a sheltered oasis surrounding a water hole with picturesque views of Mount Kenya. Spacious tents offer the comforts of home, providing a serene spot to relax after an exciting day of wildlife viewing and exploration. For one-of-a-kind dining, retreat to The Rhino Room, featuring delicious international cuisine.

Room Amenities: Water hole views, king or two twin beds, private balcony or veranda, writing desk and chair, complimentary Wi-Fi, coffee and tea maker, safe (located in the manager's office), and en suite bathroom with premium sundries. 

Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge

July 8

Overlooking Lake Nakuru and its surrounding national park is tranquil Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge, situated on a range of hills that provide unparalleled views of Africa's Great Rift Valley. The property offers an inviting outdoor infinity pool, plus a lounge, bar, and dining room, each featuring extensive outdoor sheltered terraces—ideal for spotting an incredible variety of wildlife, including white and black rhinos and the rare Rothschild giraffes.

Room Amenities: Two double beds, private balcony, complimentary Wi-Fi, phone, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

Mara Engai Lodge

July 9 - July 11

Stunning views, spectacular wildlife, sumptuous food, and a cheerful staff combine for a fantastic stay at the Mara Engai Lodge. Relax in large, luxurious tented suites with waterfall showers and private verandas at this unique property nestled within the forest and overlooking the amazing Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Mara Engai Lodge has earned a gold eco-rating from Eco Tourism Kenya for its continual commitment to reducing carbon footprint and community activation. 

Room Amenities: King or two double beds, private veranda, complimentary Wi-Fi in public areas, safe, bathrobes and slippers, and en suite bathroom with double vanities, waterfall shower, premium sundries and hair dryer. 

Deluxe Accommodations Package (availability limited)
While accommodations at the listed properties are exceptional, guests wishing the ultimate indulgence may choose to purchase the Deluxe Accommodations Package, which includes the following upgrades:

Fairmont The Norfolk: Junior Suite featuring additional space in an open-concept design, marble bathroom and either a courtyard or fountain garden view.
Sweetwaters Serena Camp: Morani Wing Tent featuring additional space, views of Mount Kenya, and upgraded bathroom with double sink and glass shower door.
Mara Engai Lodge: Deluxe Tent featuring uninterrupted views of the Maasai Mara.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

Optional Post-Tour

Amboseli


Experience the magnificent landscapes of Amboseli National Park, set against the iconic backdrop of towering Mount Kilimanjaro. The park is known as the best place in the world to see free-ranging elephants in ultra-close proximity. Home to more than 1,000 elephants, it's common to see herds of up to 100 roaming through the plains.

Itinerary

Day 10: Flight from Maasai Mara to Amboseli
Friday, July 12, 2024
Arrive to Amboseli in time for lunch, then set off on an afternoon game drive.

Return to the lodge where the remainder of the day is yours to explore the grounds and take advantage of the property's amenities.
Overnight: Ol Tukai Lodge (L,D)

Day 11: Amboseli National Park
Saturday, July 13, 2024
Today includes two game drives through Amboseli National Park to spot for African wildlife. At little more than 150 square miles, Amboseli is relatively small, but its high concentration of wildlife makes for excellent viewing opportunities. In addition to its many elephants, the park is also home to Cape buffaloes, impalas, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, Maasai giraffes, Grant's zebras, blue wildebeest, more than 100 lions, and more than 400 bird species.
Overnight: Ol Tukai Lodge (B,L,D)

Day 12: Amboseli | Transfer to Nairobi | Depart for U.S.
Sunday, July 14, 2024
After breakfast, return to Nairobi where you'll have access to a day room at the hotel to rest until transferring to the airport for evening flights home. 
Day Room: Crowne Plaza Nairobi Airport (B,L)

Day 13: En Route | Arrive in U.S.
Monday, July 15, 2024

B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Post-tour space is limited. We recommend reserving early for best availability.

(Itinerary subject to change.)

Activity Level

Moderate

This post-tour requires an ability to walk safely over uneven and slippery ground without assistance, transport luggage a short distance, get in and out of a 4x4 vehicle, and physically tolerate vehicle motion on sometimes bumpy roads.

Accommodations

Ol Tukai Lodge

July 12 - July 13

With Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance, Ol Tukai Lodge is a remarkable spot to watch roaming elephants and various other wildlife. This eco-rated property offers true African hospitality, local entertainment, and well-appointed amenities.

Visit the open-air bar for fresh juice or a cocktail, then meander to the roof deck for a splendid panorama of the marshlands and Kilimanjaro.

Room Amenities: Chalet-style room with private terrace, mountain view, one king bed or twin beds, and en suite bathroom with sundries and hair dryer.

(Accommodations subject to change.)

What's Included

  • Internal airfare from Maasai Mara to Amboseli
  • 2 nights accommodations at Ol Tukai Lodge (or similar) plus a day room on departure day
  • 2 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • Admission to Amboseli National Park
  • 3 guided game drives
  • All excursion transportation
  • Airport transfer for guests departing at the suggested times

Terms and Conditions