Kenya Great Game Safari

Holiday safari in Sweetwaters, Nakuru, Mt. Kenya, Samburu, and the Masai Mara


Everyone gets a window seat on this incredible Kenya wildlife safari! Enjoy nine superb safari days on this private, expertly-guided trip that begins and ends in Nairobi. Quality accommodations in lodges and permanent tented camps will immerse you in the wild spirit of Africa, while your exceptional guide will ensure that you have an unforgettable experience viewing Kenya’s magnificent wildlife.

You’ll visit the hippos at the beautiful Rift Valley lakes, marvel at the thousands of flamingos at Pink Lake, and drive through some of the best wildlife sanctuaries in the world, including the Masai Mara, Sweetwaters, Samburu, and Mt. Kenya regions. You’ll also have opportunities to visit local villages for an added cross-cultural experience. "James" Makau Nzioka, an expert Kenya birder, naturalist, conservationist, and educator, and also a long-time Journeys partner and friend, will lead your family on this special holiday trip. From Makau: "I have worked with Journeys for many years and I am very pleased to be leading this trip. We observe animals to understand them, never on a rushed program. We work with conservationists, and we enjoy spending evenings with you discussing issues that affect conservation in Kenya -- past, present, and future. I know that great leadership is the key for visitors to really know and earn a great appreciation of a destination. It is always my pleasure to share what Kenya has to offer. As a guide, I know I am Kenya's ambassador to the outside world and I promise to do my job with great care and sincerity."

Karibu Kenya! (Welcome to Kenya!)

Continue to detailed itinerary...


  • Day 1: arrive nairobi
    You're sure to see the lilac-breasted roller, Kenya's national bird

    Upon your scheduled arrival in Kenya, you will be met at the Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transferred to a local hotel for the night.

    Mayfair Holiday Inn Kenya (or similar)
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  • Day 2: samburu national reserve
    You'll be out in the bush less than 24 hours after you arrive in Africa!

    After an early breakfast, depart Nairobi for Samburu National Reserve, crossing the Equator and driving through changing terrain to the rugged semi-desert region of northern Kenya. The whole drive is about 5-6 hours, with stops along the way. Although the area's environment is harsh, it is blessed with species rarely found elsewhere. Have lunch at the lodge, your base for the next two nights, and then experience your first evening game drive, looking for the stars of Samburu.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Samburu Game Lodge (or similar)
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  • Day 3: samburu national reserve
    You're almost certain to see lions, among many other mammals and birds

    After breakfast, enjoy a full day of game driving in search of rare liver-red reticulated giraffes, Grevy’s zebras, Beisa oryxs, blue-flanked Somali ostriches, Vulturine guinea fowls, and long necked gerenuks. Observe lions, cheetahs, leopards, and plenty of other game as they prowl the plains. You will also have the opportunity to visit Samburu villages.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Samburu Game Lodge (or similar)
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  • Day 4: mt. kenya / ol pejeta (sweetwaters)
    In Sweetwaters, you will likely see most or all of the Big Five, including leopard

    Have breakfast at the lodge and then head out on a 3-4 hour drive to the Ol Pejeta Sanctuary (also known as Sweetwaters), nestled between Mount Kenya and the foothills of the Aberdares. This private sanctuary affords opportunities for a night game drive and seeing the “Big Five”: water buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and both black and white rhinos (both of which are endangered). This is also the location of the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a refuge to more than 40 of these endangered animals and the only place in all of Kenya where this species is seen.  This evening you will have a night game drive before spending the night at a comfortable tented camp.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp (or similar)
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  • Day 5: lake nakuru national park
    Witness hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos at Lake Nakuru

    Depart Ol Pejeta Conservancy (Sweetwaters) and travel about 3-4 hours to Lake Nakuru. After lunch, explore this extraordinary lake environment, including the view overlooking the lake at Baboon Hill look-out. Take a game drive around Pink Lake, which earns its name from the thousands of pink flamingos bathing and courting in and around its waters and shorelines. Walk along the shore to observe heron, cormorants, and less conspicuous species.  It’s truly a bird watcher’s paradise, though other animals such as waterbuck are also abundant. You'll have dinner and spend the night at a lodge on the shores of Lake Nakuru.

    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge (or similar)
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  • Days 6-8: mara ashnil in the mara
    At the Giraffe Center, you will be hand-feeding the giraffes!

    Drive across the floor of the Great Rift Valley, the longest rift in the crust of the earth, on your drive from Lake Nakuru to the Masai Mara.  As soon as you enter the reserve and cross the protected area, you will be on a game drive. This is where most people lose count of the animals they see, even if they've been trying to keep track thus far on their time in the bush. Within the first few hours, you will likely see thousands of zebras, wildebeest, impalas, and gazelles in huge mixed herds. During your stay at Masai Mara, you can also expect to see such animals as lion, giraffe, rhino, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, hyena, baboon, warthog, and thousands more topi, wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, and other large mammals. If you are lucky, you may see lions or cheetah hunting and even making a kill. In the afternoon, drive to the hippo pools on the Mara river at the edge of the park. During the middle part of the day between game drives, you might look for the colorful paradise flycatcher, grey-headed kingfisher, sunbirds, and bee-eaters. Alternately, you might take an optional visit to a local Masai village where you can gain insight into the unique and majestic lions of the Masai Mara culture and lifestyle of the local tribe. You spend the the next three nights at a comfortable, permanent tented camp in the Masai Mara, with private baths, hot showers and dining area.  On one of these nights you will have a bush dinner under the vast African sky.


    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Ashnil Mara Tented Camp (or similar)
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  • Day 9: nairobi / onward
    Bid farewell to Makau and your new Kenyan friends

    After a morning game drive to savor the beauty of the park at daybreak or a balloon ride (at additional cost, a 45-70 early morning flight over the land and wildlife below), eat breakfast at the lodge and return to Nairobi. You will arrive in the afternoon between 2:00–3:00 pm. The afternoon is free for visiting the market or museums and dining at the recommended Carnivore Restaurant (at own expense). After dinner, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.  Or, if your schedule permits, talk with us about options for extending your time in Africa.

    Balloon rides can also be undertaken on Days 7 or 8 in the Mara.  Cost is approximately $450.

Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
Under 18 $3,750 2013 Pricing: Adults - $4,850 Child Under 18 - $3,950
Single Supplement:
2013 Supplement - $775
Privately on Request
Need to Know

Need to Know

Children must be at least seven years of age to participate.  For children between the ages of 7-17, the rate is75% of the full adult price.

9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
(see full descriptions)
comfortable camping near local villages & delightful lodges
Activity Level:
(see full descriptions)
travel over rough roads
Group Size:
Cost based on a minimum of 4
Terms & Conditions: 


Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website, mail or FAX. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.