Ideal for travelers searching for flexible departure dates and an incredible value, International Expeditions’ Classic Kenya Safari is a comprehensive survey of Kenya’s wildlife and culture. At the heart of this Kenya safari is the Masai Mara Reserve, widely considered Africa's greatest wildlife reserve. The Mara comprises 200 square miles of open plains, woodlands and riverine forest. The vast grassland plains are scattered with herds of zebra, giraffe, gazelle and topi. 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.
U.S. / EN-ROUTE / NAIROBI
Depart the U.S. on an independent overnight flight to Nairobi, Kenya.
Jambo! Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, you will be met by an IE representative and transferred to the Boma Inn for the night.
AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
This morning after breakfast, depart for Amboseli National Park, located at the foot of Africa's highest and most famous snow-capped mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. Set in 200 acres of private land, and with a rustic charm all of its own, the lodge is located at the foothills of the mountain. It was this region of Kenya that, in the 1930’s, inspired Ernest Hemingway’s unforgettable stories “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short, Happy Life of Francis Macomber” which were turned into more than successful feature films in the late 1940’s due to their renowned actors. All forms of wildlife still abound in this wilderness which continues all the way to the Amboseli National Park, an easy twenty minute drive away from the lodge. While the park conserves over 600 species of birds as well a host of rare and wonderful wildlife, this is also home to the Maasai people, perhaps the world’s most renowned African tribe. Morning and afternoon game drives on Day 4 with the option for a hot-air balloon (additional cost), nature walks and time to enjoy the swimming pool and grounds. Spend two nights at Amboseli Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
AMBOSLEI / LAKE NAIVASHA
Say goodbye to Amboseli and depart for Naivasha via Nairobi where you will stop for lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant. Arrive Lake Naivasha in the late afternoon. Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake in Kenya, outside the town of Naivasha in Nakuru County, which is northwest of Nairobi. It is part of the Great Rift Valley. The name derives from the local Maasai name Nai'posha, meaning "rough water" because of the sudden storms which can arise. The lake is home to a variety of wildlife including over 400 different species of bird and a sizeable population of hippos. Lake Naivasha is at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 6,181 feet in a complex geological combination of volcanic rocks and sedimentary deposits from a larger Pleistocene era lake. Apart from transient streams, the lake is fed by the perennial Malewa and Gilgil rivers. There is no visible outlet, but since the lake water is relatively fresh it is assumed to have an underground outflow. Spend tonight at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
Today, after your breakfast enjoy a boat ride on the lake to Crescent Island considered one of the most beautiful parks in Kenya. Naivasha’s best-kept secret is home to abundant birdlife, with impressive numbers of pelicans, cormorants and fish eagles. There are more animals per acre than any other Kenyan park; attracting documentary crews to film the herds of wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra and gazelle. In the afternoon, visit Lake Nakuru National Park also known as Hell’s Gate National Park, named for its pair of massive red tinged cliffs framing a geothermically active interior of steam vents and bubbling springs. The park is home to a profusion of plains game and birdlife. Walking is permitted, making it ideal for hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Sunsets accompanied by the haunting call of a Fish Eagle high over the Lake bringing the day to a perfect end. Spend tonight at Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. (BLD)
MAASAI MARA RESERVE
Your journey now takes you to the Masai Mara, Kenya’s most famous wildlife reserve. Arrive and embark on a game viewing drive before later being transferred to your camp for dinner and overnight. The Masai Mara is arguably Kenya’s most popular game reserve. It is the most famous and most visited game reserve in Kenya. Most of the film “Out of Africa” was shot here. There is a profusion of all types of wildlife including the big five. A spectacle worth seeing is the annual migration of millions of wildebeests, zebras, and the gazelles from the Serengeti plains across the Tanzania border and the Mara River to reach Masai Mara grazing fields beginning late June through September/October (dependent on the rains). The game reserve has also recorded over 452 bird species. Spend the next 2 full days in the Mara with chances to see lions, elephants, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles, countless species of birds and vast, African plains. You may opt for an early morning hot-air balloon safari (additional cost) for approximately 45 minutes (weather permitting) to glide over the Mara and the Great Migration. Upon touching down you will enjoy a champagne breakfast in the wild! Spend three nights at Mara Sopa Lodge. (BLD Daily)
MASAI MARA / NAIROBI EN-ROUTE
After breakfast at the camp, bid farewell to the Masai Mara as you set on your journey back to Nairobi. Drive back down the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi, passing the dormant volcano, Mount Longonot, and lakes Elementaita and Naivasha on the way. Keep an eye out for herds of giraffe and gazelle and head up the escarpment. You will arrive in Kenya's bustling capital city Nairobi in the early afternoon where you will be transferred to the Jomo Kenyatta International airport for your departure flight back home. (B)
Arrive back in the U.S.