Golden Era Luxury Safari (17 Days)
This luxury safari was inspired by one of our great clients, Heather D’Andrade, who planned her honeymoon safari with an extraordinary amount of research and enthusiasm. She wanted the best for her trip of a lifetime and she got it! Thank you Heather.
Day 1: Depart United States
Day 2: Arrive Kilimanjaro Airport Kigongoni Lodge
Our representative will meet and transfer you to the Kigongoni Lodge for overnight and breakfast. Kigongoni Lodge is located on an historic 70-acre coffee farm near Arusha, amid natural forest. Sitting on a hilltop with lush gardens, the lodge offers breathtaking views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru. Tucked between the trees are eighteen cottages, built in traditional African styles and materials.
Day 3: Serengeti Klein's Camp
You will take the scheduled flight to the Serengeti Airstrip as we begin our quest to see the magnificent animals of Africa. The Serengeti covers 5700 square miles of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is teaming with stunning wildlife - it is thought that over 3 million large mammals roam the plains.
You can witness the annual migration of millions of zebra and wildebeest in search of water and forage as the seasons change. This migration has been occurring for untold thousands of millennia.
Residing in the Serengeti are large herds of antelope of all sorts including: Patterson's eland, klipspringer, dikdik, impala, zebra, gazelles, water, bush and reed buck, topi, kongoni, cotton's oribi, grey bush duiker, roan antelope buffalo, and wildebeest plus lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, bat eared fox, hunting dog and jackal. Smaller mammals: spring hare, porcupine, warthog, hyraxes, baboon, vervet monkey, colobus monkey, patas monkey, and mongooses. Larger mammals: giraffe, rhino, elephant, and hippopotamus plus nearly 500 species of bird, including vultures, storks, flamingoes, martial and fish eagles, ostrich. Reptiles: crocodiles, a number of species of snakes and lizards.
Klein’s Camp found mostly on a luxury safari, is situated deep in the heart of the game-rich northern Serengeti in Tanzania – right off the beaten tourist track. Its 24,800-acre private wildlife concession – leased from Maasai landlords – is allotted for the exclusive use of the camp’s 20 guests, offering you the ultimate personal Tanzanian safari.
Day 4: Serengeti Klein's Camp
It will be a full day on safari with picnic lunches provided. You should see the Big 5 today!
Day 5: Ngorongoro Crater Crater Lodge
You will be crossing the Serengeti on game drive as you head for the Crater. Our first stop will be the famous Olduvai Gorge where the Leakey family discovered early hominid man. There is a small museum you will visit during your short stay.
The famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The crater (2000 feet deep and 100 square miles) is a microcosm of East African scenery and game. Scenic grandeur and stunning views are the hallmark of this wonder of the world. All the lodges are built high on the crater rim and afford amazing views over and into the crater - the perfect setting for a well-deserved sundowner.
There are 25,000 larger animals within the crater itself, mostly Zebra and wildebeest. However, this is undoubtedly the best place to see black rhino in Tanzania as well as prides of lion that include the magnificent black-maned males.
The Lodge consists of three adjacent, glamorous camps with 30 Masai-inspired suites perched on stilts on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. From the outside, this unobtrusive lodge resembles a magical Masai village, and was described by travel magazine, Discover Africa, as "Versailles meets Masai in the game lodge at the edge of the world". Set in classic crescents, each stone and thatch suite has spectacular views of the crater from large glass windows in the bathroom, lounge and bedroom, yet is almost invisible from the crater.
Day 6: The Crater Crater Lodge
This morning it is down to the floor of the Crater. You will spend the maximum 6 hours allowed at the base and picnic lunch may be provided if you prefer. The Crater bottom creates an unusual feeling as you are on safari on a plain that is completely surrounded by walls or cliffs 2000 feet high. When you return to the top and a brief rest, then a relaxing shower, sit on the veranda with a cool sundowner and watch the shadows creep over the Crater floor as you prepare for dinner.
Day 7: Arusha Arusha Coffee Lodge
After a hearty breakfast you will visit the town of Karatu and the Irawq tribe that is reported as having lived in Mesopotamia 9000 years ago. Over the centuries they migrated through Ethiopia and Somalia to Kenya seeking fertile land.
Arusha Coffee Lodge lies cradled in the endless acres of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation and very close to the Arusha airport. This exclusive boutique lodge consists of 18 plantation houses lavishly furnished with a split- level living room area. Luxurious accommodations, fine cuisine and roaring fires beckon the most seasoned traveler.
Arusha Coffee Lodge
Day 8: Tsavo West Finch Hatton's
After breakfast it is off to the Kenya border at Taveta where you meet your Kenyan guide and change vehicles continuing on to Tsavo West. This great Park covers 2700 sq. miles, approximately 30% of Kenya's area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park's habitats include open plains alternating with Savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and, on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest.
Tsavo West National Park is home to the marvel of Mzima Springs, replenished with two hundred and twenty million liters of crystal-clear water, every day, from the underground streams stemming from the lava massif known as the Chyulu Hills, 40-50 kilometers away. Mzima forms a haven for a rich wildlife pageant with Elephant soaking half immersed in the waters; light- footed but ponderous looking Hippo, apparently weightless, tip-toeing across the bottom; Crocodiles basking on the bank or swirling through the water; Gazelles, Zebra and Giraffe wandering around the banks through the thick acacias and raffia palms together with hundreds of chattering Monkeys and birds. Mzima is also the main source of Mombasa's water supply.
Tsavo West National Park's reports of ringed birds have been received from as far north as Saint Petersburg, and from countries as widely separated as Oman. Apart from the elephant population there are many lions - some undoubtedly the descendants of the famous Man-eaters of Tsavo. Among the less common animals to be found are the fringed-eared Oryx, the gerenuk and lesser kudu. The carnivores in addition to lion include serval cat, hyena, leopard, cheetah and caracal.
You will be on a game drive as you head for Finch Hattons. Denys Finch Hatton, who was portrayed by Robert Redford in Out of Africa, was one of Kenya's great adventurers. He devoted his life exploring the wild in style (aka luxury safari). In his camp, dinner was served on fine china with silver and crystal, while the gentle strains of Mozart played in the background. Here in Tsavo, where he lived and died, this tradition lives on. Enjoy your dinner tonight and bask in the strains of Eine Kleine Nacht Music.
Day 9: Tsavo West Finch Hatton's
Today will include an early morning and late afternoon game drive. During the day we will have an exciting visit to Mzima Springs. Back to camp for another exotic dinner!
Day 10: Laikipia Loisaba Lodge
This morning you will fly to Nairobi with a connecting flight to the Laikipia region and Loisaba for three unforgettable nights including one in the unique Star Bed plus all the wonderful activities during the day!
Laikipia District is a vast plateau to the north west of snow-capped Mount Kenya, straddling the equator at the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley Province. It spans an area of over 3700 square miles. The Laikipia plains stretch from the Great Rift Valley to magnificent escarpments that descend into the Northern Frontier District. These plains are physically diverse and scenically spectacular, covered by open grasslands, basalt hills, lonely kopjes and dense cedar forests, fed by the Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers.
Cattle rearing on large commercial ranches and community owned rangelands has for many years been the life-blood of the community. As so much of Laikipia has traditionally been used for low intensity grazing it has become a cherished haven for big game. The full cross-section of landowners is intimately involved in conservation, and the combination of abundant wildlife and exceptional scenic beauty provides the basis to many new developments in high quality ecotourism.
The key to Laikipia’s allure is its diversity – its wildlife, landscape, people and climate. The accommodation here mirrors that diversity. Guests can frequent the exclusive haunts of film stars, royalty and artists or camp under the stars in a Maasai boma. On Mount Kenya lie beautiful log cabins, and only a few miles away but 6000 feet lower there are small intimate lodges with cooling rock-hewn swimming pools – its all here in Laikipia. Laikipia is the ideal for a luxury safari that is also an active safari - on horse back, with camels or on foot – and along with traditional activities, many of Laikipia’s lodges and camps offer adventure activities like rock climbing, river rafting, fishing and mountain biking.
Over the past ten years the LWF has placed Laikipia District firmly at the forefront of Kenyan wildlife conservation, and it is increasingly acknowledged as one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Kenya. Wildlife population densities in the Laikipia region now rank second to the internationally renowned Maasai Mara ecosystem, whilst the diversity of large mammals is higher than in any other part of Kenya. Laikipia and the Ewaso ecosystem are home to the second largest population of elephant in Kenya (6,000+) and Laikipia hosts the highest populations of endangered species in the country.
Laikipia supports eight heavily protected rhino sanctuaries, which together hold over half of Kenya’s black rhino population. The Ewaso also provides a safe haven for endangered Grevy’s zebra (70% of the world’s population), reticulated giraffe, and the only viable population of Lelwel hartebeest in the country, as well as Africa’s only expanding population of wild dog and significant numbers of other large predators.
Set in 61,000 acres on the escarpment with panoramic views, facilities at the lodge include the Spa, swimming pool and tennis court. Additional activities include horse riding, bush walking, cultural visits day and night game drives, rafting and camel trekking.
Days 11-12: Laikipia Loisaba Lodge
Enjoy two of the most wonderful days you can spend in Africa. Ride horses and camels, go on night drives or bush walks. Visit a native village or relax around the pool. Take game drives into the wilderness area. Spend your last night in the famous Starbed where the only thing between you and the unbelievably star-filled sky is the netting. Marvelous!
Day 13: Masai Mara Cottars Camp
You will be on the early morning flight to the Masai Mara as you continue your incredible journey. The Masai Mara is widely considered to be Africa’s greatest wildlife reserve. With 200 sq miles of open plains, woodlands and forest the Mara is an awesome natural wonder, a place where Maasai warriors share the plains with hunting lions, a place of mighty herds and timeless cycles of life, death and regeneration. This is truly big country with massive animals and cruel predators. There is an ominous, overpowering quality of this place that evokes a primitive feeling of fear and wonder. You will never forget the Mara.
You will be met by the camp’s representatives and transferred to the magnificent Cottars Camp. The Cottar’s 1920’s Mara Safari Camp experience returns to the original spirit and essence of a luxury safari, reminiscent of a golden bygone era, and era of romance, adventure and elegance. Here one will experience the ultimate in personalized service and guiding.
Cottar's 1920's Safari Camp
Cottar’s 1920’s Safari Camp accommodates up to 16 guests in authentic, spacious white canvas tents. The camp has 8 tents, each with a canopied verandah and carefully arranged to ensure privacy. Each tent at this Kenya accommodation is luxuriously furnished with safari antiques from the 1920s, private en-suite dressing rooms/bathrooms with safari style tubs, showers and flush toilets.
This Kenya accommodation is equipped with a tented library/reading room and the cuisine and silver service is of the highest standard to be found in the bush. Services and prices are all-inclusive encompassing personalized guiding and walking, fine silver service cuisine, free flowing alcohol, massages, picnics, library, fishing and swimming and dedicated butlers. There will be a game drive in the camp’s 4 x 4 vehicle and then a relaxing sundowner and a fabulous dinner.
Days 14-15: Masai Mara Cottar's Camp
Spend the last two days of your odyssey amongst the huge number of animal and bird species. Marvel at the Circle of Life that has been here since the beginning…
Day 16: Nairobi Airport
You will leave the wonderful Masai Mara this morning and arrive in Nairobi for lunch. We plan to take you to the Giraffe Center where you can feed the giraffes by hand from a platform and then to the Karen Blixen Museum. If you prefer shopping we can make that change.
Your last meal on this Luxury Safari will be at the world famous Carnivore Restaurant where you can sample the meats of some of the animals seen on safari. Huge waiters come to your table with enormous pieces of meat and cut off a slice with very impressive carving knives. For those of you who may not be enthralled with this culinary opportunity, traditional meals are available. If anyone asks you at home what crocodile tastes like, the answer is chicken!
After dinner it is off to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home.
Day 17: Arrive Home
It is our fond hope that you will always remember Africa, the gentle people, the Circle of Life and our animals...our magnificent animals!