Offering the best of both worlds, this luxury tented-camp safari takes you by road into the volcanic splendour of Tsavo West National Park and neighbouring Amboseli National Park. A short flight then takes you direct to the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve for 3 nights and 2 full-day’s game viewing. Thereafter, fly direct to Nairobi for lunch at The Carnivore, voted one of the world’s top 500 restaurants.
Wildlife Highlights: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, hippos, crocodiles, wildebeest, zebra, antelope, gazelle, impala, waterbuck, topi, eland, plains game, giraffe, black and white rhino.
Accommodation: Finch Hatton’s Luxury Tented Camp, Tortillis Tented Camp and Kichwa Tembo Camp – Luxury Tented Camps.
Day 1: Nairobi to Tsavo West
Leave Nairobi quite early in the morning and drive south across the extensive Athi Plains to Tsavo West National Park arriving at Finch Hatton’s luxury tented camp in time for lunch. Lying at the foot of the Chyulu Hills, one of the youngest volcanic ranges in the world, the camp has been styled to replicate the privileged safaris of the famous ‘white hunters’ of the colonial period. Denis Finch Hatton, the best-known of them all, and the model for Robert Redford’s role in ‘Out of Africa’, was renowned for the splendour of his camps, which featured cut crystal, silver-service and superb cuisine.
After lunch, enjoy your first game drive in the magnificence of Tsavo West, which is one of the largest game park’s in the world, before returning for relaxation, and a sumptuous silver-service dinner in the camp elegant dining room.
Distance/drive time: 325 km / 5 hours
Day 2: On safari in Tsavo
With a full day in the park, your options are wide. Both morning and afternoon game drives are offered (with trips to the famous Mzima Springs Hippo Pools and the Shetani Lava Flows). Tsavo offers some of the most magnificent game viewing in the world – vast herds of dust-red elephant, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodile, teeming herds of plains game, a fantasia of bird life and some magical flora. The lush, hippo-inhabited pools of Mzima Springs, fed daily by 250 million litres of water gushing from the lava flows of the Chyulu hills, provide an oasis of green, an under-water hippo-viewing chamber, two nature trails and some unique picnic spots. Sundowners can be taken on safari or in camp, followed by dinner.
Day 3: Tsavo to Amboseli
After breakfast drive through Tsavo West to Amboseli National Park. Check into the ultra-luxurious Tortillis Tented Camp, which enjoys soaring views of the legendary snows of Kilimanjaro and has its own waterhole, which attracts large amounts of animals, particularly elephant. After lunch enjoy your first game drive in Amboseli with the chance of spotting large herds of elephant and plentiful plains game against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. On arrival back in camp, you may like to take a swim or visit the camp’s ‘Bush Spa’. As the sun sets, enjoy exclusive sundowners overlooking Mount Kilimanjaro, followed by dinner.
Distance/drive time: 160 km / 4 hours
Day 4: On safari in Amboseli
Perhaps take an early morning optional guided nature walk before or after breakfast. Alternatively take a morning game-drive in the park, which is an International Biosphere Reserve featuring the dried-out lakebed of prehistoric Lake Amboseli, rolling savannah and lush green swamps. The plains offer numerous antelopes, spotted hyenas, jackals, warthogs, olive baboons, vervet monkeys and the chance of spotting a lion, leopard or cheetah. Observation Hill, a conical peak, which is easily climbed, offers stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro. After lunch (which can be taken as a picnic lunch on safari should you prefer), take another game-drive or a guided nature walk – or both – all are inclusive. Alternatively, you have the optional visit to an authentic Maasai village with displays of dance, song and cultural pursuits. Sundowners, which can be taken on safari or in the camp’s Rondavel Bar, are followed by dinner.
Day 5: To the Masai Mara
After breakfast drive to Nairobi and have lunch at the world-famous Carnivore Restaurant, before taking an afternoon flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Masai Mara National Reserve. On landing, you will be met by your safari vehicle and driver, who will take you to Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp.
After lunch, relax or take a game-drive in this world-famous reserve. Offering an abundance of herbivores, the Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya’s famous ‘big cats’ and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild. Other predators include cheetah and spotted hyena. Sundowners can be taken in camp, or in a scenic location, and are followed by dinner.
Distance/drive time: 265 kms /4 hours
Day 6 & 7: On safari in the Mara
With two full days in the Mara, your options are wide. Morning and afternoon game drives are offered as well as various optional activities such as a guided nature walks or ornithological tours. Lunch can be taken ‘on safari’ if you wish, as can sundowners. Dinner is served in camp.
Historically teaming with wildlife, the Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars include the distinctive Masai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke’s hartebeest, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk’s dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck and red duiker. The Reserve also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet, blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax. There are over 550 resident and migratory species of birds.
Day 8: Masai Mara to Nairobi
After breakfast in camp, transfer to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, where you will be met and escorted either to a city hotel or direct to the international airport (depending on your flight schedule).
Please note that, because this is a flying safari, you are allowed a maximum baggage allowance of 15kgs per person (inclusive of hand-luggage). Additional luggage can be left in safe-keeping at African Horizon’s Office. Please bring SOFT bags only.