Kenya Horizons is one of the most diverse safaris in the country, where the lodges are stylish, the scenery extraordinary and the animals roam freely. From gerenuk browsing vertically in the Samburu, to the resident hippos of the River Mara, this is an exhilarating adventure. The driver-guides are all skilled experts and will certainly make this safari feel special while the accommodation has been specifically chosen to enhance your experience.
Flamingos: See lakes take a shimmering pink appearance when thousands of these birds flock to them in wet season
Big cats: Observe lions, leopards and cheetahs relentlessly track wildebeest during the wet season Great Migration (subject to wildlife movement)
Crocodiles: The River Ewaso Ngiro in Samburu where large Nile crocodiles bask in the sun and slither through the water looking for their next meal
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Taqi Moledina for rates and conditions
Samburu National Reserve: Spread out over a rugged and harsh landscape that is a habitat for rare indigenous animals
Aberdare National Park: Surround yourself with wild animals in a lodge inspired by Noah’s Ark
Lake Nakuru National Park: Fully fenced park that is home to flamingos as well as black and white rhinos among others
Maasai Mara National Reserve: Located in the Great Rift Valley and a habitat for the Big Five
Upon arrival in Nairobi, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the InterContinental Hotel. Enjoy the afternoon at your own leisure, perhaps taking advantage of the luxurious facilities, which include shops, a swimming pool and a casino. This centrally located hotel overlooks Uhuru Park and is a brief walk away from landmarks such as All Saints Cathedral, City Hall and the parliament. A visit to the centre, which is just a 10-minute walk away, is also an option. Optional excursions for early morning arrivals: Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage visit, Out of Africa (Karen Blixen Museum and Giraffe Centre visit - transfer to Eka Hotel on arrival for breakfast on own arrangements, then continue with the excursion).
Leaving Nairobi after breakfast, travel northwards to Samburu, passing near Thika and continue through breathtaking scenery dotted with rushing mountain streams and plantations of tea and coffee, and in the shadows of Mount Kenya, the country’s highest mountain and second in Africa only to Kilimanjaro. Circumventing Mount Kenya, pass through the town of Nanyuki before reaching the dusty outpost of Isiolo, the last major stop on the journey into the remote northern frontier district. From here it’s a fairly short hop to Samburu. Arrive at Samburu Game Lodge in time for lunch and then head off for an afternoon game drive returning to the lodge as the sun sets. The lodge is set in a rugged area with a backdrop of its own indigenous animals, unique to the region, and jagged mountains. The landscape, wildlife and vegetation are in stark contrast to the lush, rolling grasslands of other national parks. Here you will find thorn-bush, open plains and vast horizons, where you can taste the romance of this desert terrain. The lodge is on the banks of the River Ewaso Ng’iro and offers a wide choice of accommodation spread along the river bank either in cottages, bandas and single or twin rooms. The dining room is open on the river side while the popular Crocodile Bar overhangs the water and offers a great vantage point for nightly crocodile feeds. The birdlife is especially notable around the lodge. During the heat of the day, you can lounge around the pool and after sunset and sundowners, watch traditional dances of the Samburu warriors.
An early-morning game drive is followed by breakfast, and time to relax by the lodge pool or the terrace overlooking the river. After lunch there will be another game drive. Samburu National Reserve is home to the Big Five – the wild animals that are hardest to track and catch – of lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards and rhinoceroses. Also to be found in Samburu are the unusual-looking gerenuk antelope species, reticulated giraffes, grevy zebras, Somali ostriches – one of 450 species of indigenous birds – and the endangered wild dog and pancake tortoise. The reserve features awe-inspiring landscapes such as Kenya’s largest indigenous forest, hot springs and a lake as well as the River Ewaso Ng’iro. Return to the lodge as the sun sets.
Bid farewell to Samburu after breakfast and travel south through Isiolo, crossing the northernmost foothills of Mount Kenya, passing through Nanyuki, and Naro Moru en route to Nyeri, one of Kenya’s major towns, and on to Outspan for lunch. In this charming relic of colonial times, you’ll enjoy a bounteous buffet lunch amid the beautiful gardens before being transferred to the night’s accommodation at The Treetops. Here, guests are met by a ranger who advises guests on common sense rules of behaviour necessary for safety and good animal viewing. The lodge rises dramatically out of the ground on stilts and overlooks a water hole and salt lick. It has four decks and a rooftop-viewing platform. Solely dedicated to game viewing, the accommodation is compact and cosy. At 6,450 feet above sea level it is chilly at night at all times of the year, especially from June to September. During these months, you will need sweaters and hats for comfort and warmth. The bedrooms are small, neat and cosy, like cabins on board a ship. Dinner is served at refectory tables with bench seating which is intimate, relaxed and very friendly.
Rise early for breakfast before continuing the adventure with a north-westerly drive towards Nyahururu, still known by many as Thomson’s Falls because of its 75-metre waterfall, which can be spotted in the distance. Turn south and head to the spectacular Lake Nakuru, reaching it time for lunch. The waters here are often coloured a shimmering pink, from the thousands of flamingos that line its shores. After lunch, depart for an afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park. As well as all the beautiful flamingos, both black and white rhino are being carefully protected and given a new lease of life in this fully fenced 188 square kilometre park. The rhino population numbers more than 50 and continues to grow. The Rothschild’s giraffe is another rarity and the park has its fair share of buffaloes, leopards, zebras, elands, waterbucks and lions. Lake Nakuru Lodge is situated in the heart of what is Kenya's most densely populated wetland national park, which is one of six internationally protected marsh areas, known as Ramsar sites, in the country. Lake Nakuru Lodge is in the south-east ecological niche of the park, with commanding views of the lake and the flamingos. Lush gardens surround the lodge and cottages, and there’s an exciting programme of activities and evening entertainment.
Breakfast early before continuing the adventure at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Drive to Narok town via Mai-Mahiu with a brief rest stop before arriving in time for lunch at Keekorok Lodge. After dining, depart for an afternoon game drive, returning back to the lodge as the sun sets. Keekorok is strategically located in the direct path of the annual migration and was the first lodge to be built in the Mara. At the height of the migration, Keekorok is surrounded by a swarming mass of animals and there is hardly need to go on a game drive. Sandstone, cedar wood and other indigenous materials are used in all rooms and public areas. In front of the lodge, there is a 300-metre-long elevated walkway that meanders through a small riverine forest to a bar. This overlooks a dam where resident hippos and other game are regularly seen. There are no fences around Keekorok and it is not uncommon to see elephants and buffaloes on the perimeter of the grounds or even strolling in – though there are watchmen on the constant look out!
Enjoy an early breakfast before departing for a morning game drive. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to millions of wild animals, including the fabled Big Five as well as antelopes, gazelles and wildebeest among others. Return to the lodge for lunch and perhaps a siesta before setting off for an afternoon game drive, then returning to the lodge as the sun sets. An optional early morning hot air balloon safari is available today. Pick-up is before sunrise and flight begins at dawn. Flight time is approximately one hour and champagne bush breakfast and return transfers are included.
Say goodbye to the Maasai Mara before passing through acres of rolling wheat and barley farms to Narok. From here, cross the vast plains on the floor of the Great Rift Valley while keeping an eye out for herds of giraffe and gazelle before heading up the rift escarpment. Arrive into Kenya’s bustling capital in the early afternoon (at about 13:00 hours) and be dropped off at either the InterContinental Hotel in the city centre or at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your ongoing travel arrangements.
We can also set up a plethora of optional activities upon your return to Nairobi, including lunch or dinner at Carnivore Restaurant, Out of Africa excursion (Karen Blixen Museum), a shopping trip to Utamaduni craft centre and Kazuri Bead Factory, or use of Pollman’s Club Lounge.