- Start your safari as soon as you arrive in Nairobi National Park.
- Visit elephant orphanages in Nairobi and Samburu that contribute to community livelihood and wildlife conservation.
- Track rhino on foot with expert rangers in new conservancy in Northern Kenya.
- Visit the “singing wells” in Samburu, where tribespeople gather water in dry river beds, singing to their cattle.
- Sleep in the wild in a luxury mobile tented camp in the Maasai Mara.
Day 1: Arrive Nairobi
Arrive to Nairobi where you will be met and transferred to Emakoko, located in Nairobi National Park. Begin your safari right away. This is the only national park in a major capital city in Africa! The Emakoko Lodge is a family-owned boutique luxury lodge, built into the side of the valley, which borders the Nairobi National Park — a 45 minute transfer from both airports in the city. The beautifully appointed rooms look out over the game park so one can fall asleep to the sounds of Africa—a lion roaring, or the cry of a lone hyena.
Day 2: Elephant Orphanage and Giraffe Center
A day of touring some of Nairobi’s more endearing and classic sites—the Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, where baby elephants of all ages delight guests as they feed and play, Karen Blixen’s home where the celebrated author lived and wrote, and the Giraffe Center, a breeding refuge for the distinctive Rothschild Giraffe.
If you are a fostering any Sheldrick elephants, a private bedtime visit with your foster elephant can be arranged.
Day 3: Nairobi-Samburu
This morning, enjoy a scenic flight to Samburu, where you will stay at Sarara Camp.
Sarara means “meeting place” in the Samburu language. Here, the mountains meet the desert, providing vital water sources to the indigenous people and the wild creatures that inhabit the land—elephants, leopards, giraffes, and dik-dik, to name a few.
Near camp, an ancient watering site known as the singing wells draws Samburu families, who meet during the dry season to dig wells for their cattle. Sarara Camp represents a collaborative venture with the local community, and the Samburu are an integral part of daily life here, serving as guides on game drives, bush walks, and village visits.
Overnight Sarara Camp
Day 4: Samburu-Visit to Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
Through a partnership with Conservation International, Reteti focuses on rescue and return where possible, with the goal of reuniting calves with their mothers within 48 hours. When that is not possible, the lost baby elephants are cared for at Reteti.
Reteti is a community-owned effort — with all employees coming from the local Samburu community — to save a critical species. But Reteti isn’t just about saving elephants; it’s about breaking down stereotypes and redefining wildlife management. For instance, Reteti provides new employment opportunities for women and those who haven’t gone to school. Most of our keepers, or caretakers, were not able to attend school, and thought that their only future was as a pastoralist driving livestock. Now they can get a job at Reteti, where their intimate knowledge of nature is an asset. When people realize that they can benefit from healthy elephant populations, they’re proud to take care of wildlife.
Reteti is empowering young Samburu women to be the first-ever women elephant keepers in all of Africa. At first, the community didn’t think there was a place for women in the workplace. Now, the success of these women elephant keepers is unlocking new possibilities, setting a powerful example for young girls hoping to pursue their dreams. It’s also changing how the community relates to elephants. Schoolchildren who have never seen an elephant before or who were afraid of elephants visit Reteti and experience these elephants up close, and they realize they can grow up to be a veterinarian or an elephant keeper.
At Reteti, you will get to watch these young orphan elephants feed and play, and support an innovative integrated wildlife/community project.
Overnight Sarara Camp
Day 5: Samburu
Enjoy a final day to explore this vast landscape with a game drive, bush walk or visit the Samburu people on visits to nearby villages. During the dry season, enjoy a rare opportunity to witness the singing wells, an authentic tribal tradition.
The camp features a beautiful infinity pool, which looks out on a watering hole where elephants and giraffes come to drink.
Overnight Sarara Camp
Day 6: Samburu-Sera
Today you will fly up to Sera for your thrilling encounter with rhino!
Saruni Rhino is an intimate camp with just three bandas — rustic stone cottages with thatched roofs and canvas roll-down windows — for guests. All bandas have flushing loos, hot and cold water, and natural stone showers. The bandas are situated along a dry river bed lined with doum palms to ensure maximum privacy for guests but intimate enough for group bookings on an exclusive basis.
Overnight Saruni Rhino
Day 7: Sera
Today is rhino tracking day. After years of hard work, substantial investment, passion and determined commitment by Sera community members and Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), in May 2015 Sera Community Conservancy became the home to the ‘Sera Rhino Sanctuary’. Sera Community Conservancy is a vast, untouched wilderness of more than 350,000 hectares, larger than Luxembourg and Hong Kong combined. It is the first community conservancy in Africa to own and operate a sanctuary dedicated to the conservation of the critically endangered black rhino.
The sanctuary currently provides state-of-the-art protection for 11 black rhinos relocated from Lewa Conservancy, Nakuru National Park and other areas. This move sees the rhino back in its natural habitat in northern Kenya after 30 years.
Today you will adventure on a walking safari tracking black rhino on foot, accompanied by an expert Saruni guide and a highly-trained Sera Community Conservancy ranger, equipped with a transmitter correlating to the GPS whereabouts of the 11 rhinos throughout the 54,000 hectares-large sanctuary. The vast rhino sanctuary has been fenced in what is one of the most advanced conservation projects in Kenya. The tension is palpable as you come across the rhino in such close proximity for the first time!
Overnight Saruni Rhino
Day 8: Sera-Maasai Mara
Fresh from your elephant and rhino encounters up north, today you will fly to the iconic Maasai Mara, one of the most touted wildlife destinations on Earth. With the help of your guide, you will transfer back to the airstrip for your onward flight to the Mara North Conservancy and Saruni Wild.
The Mara North Conservancy spans across 74,000-acres of untouched wilderness. These vast grasslands play host to a stunning array of wildlife including elephant, rhino, and buffalo as well as enormous concentrations of migrating wildebeest, zebra and gazelle. The conservancy gained fame as the site of numerous National Geographic documentaries as well as the BBC Big Cat Dairies showcasing Mara North’s lion, leopard, and cheetah.
Located in the heart of the Maasai Mara plains between the Lemek and Mara North Conservancies, Saruni Wild is truly a secluded destination. The camp’s classic tents are elegant and comfortable – but the real magic happens just outside. This unfettered wilderness is home to a wide variety of plains game that will share your space during your time at Saruni Wild. Here, you are not just a visitor. You are a part of nature!
Take some time to settle in and become acquainted with your new surroundings before setting off on another game drive, led by local Maasai warriors. Your guides will know this area like the back of their hands, allowing you to track game and get an intimate understanding of the local flora and fauna.
Enjoy dinner under the stars this evening before getting some rest for a full day of exploring tomorrow.
Overnight Saruni Wild
Days 9-11: Maasai Mara
Enjoy three full days to explore the Mara plains around Saruni Wild. In between game drives, don’t forget to enjoy some of the special activities available in camp: gourmet picnics, beautifully set in the open wilderness, are a wonderful way to absorb your natural environment while indulging in Saruni’s exceptional food!
Bird watching, natural history tours, and night drives are also available here. Families with children may be interested in learning warrior skills from your Maasai guides, such as throwing a spear or making a bush fire. Each of these unique experiences offers you a new perspective on this impressive area of Kenya.
Day 12: Departure
This is your final morning in Kenya. If time permits, enjoy it by taking breakfast and a final morning game drive.
Your guide will collect you in time to transfer to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi.
Upon arrival at Nairobi Wilson Airport, our representative will be ready and waiting to transfer you to Jomo Kenyatta Airport for your international departure flight home.
Interested in booking this itinerary or customizing a experiential trip? Get in touch with a private travel designer!