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Kenya Helicopter Safari

This incredible trip includes the classic highlights of a trip to Kenya, including the Masai Mara and the Lewa Conservancy as well as time spent in Kenya's remote northern frontier. All this from the seat of a helicopter with a private pilot/guide from Tropic Air, Kenya's leading helicopter charter company.

Day 1 & 2 ~ Richard's Camp ~ Maasai Mara

On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, your private helicopter and pilot/ guide will meet you. You will enjoy an hours flight south west, over the Loita Hills, to the plains of the Maasai Mara, arriving at Richard’s Camp where you will spend the next 2 days.

The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most famous nature reserve, and one of the settings for the film Out of Africa. It is classic savannah – grasslands, where animals are plentiful and the vistas spectacular. In this dreamlike land, animals live in freedom, and the Maasai tend their cattle. The area, also known as the “Jewel of Africa,” has one of the largest and the most spectacular animal migrations in the world. The reserve is known for its large wildlife, including lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo.

Richard’s Camp is located on the edge of a small forest far from other visitors; elephant and plains game are regular visitors to the camp’s perimeter, and bird life abounds. Each of the six individually-decorated tents has en suite flush toilets, heated shower and 24-hour solar lighting. Your days here are designed to be as relaxing or as exciting as you wish with both day and night game drives, escorted bush walks, and picnics in the heart of the bush.

A sundowner flight over the vast plains, landing at Ol Karuk where a scene from ‘Out of Africa’ was filmed, is just one way to appreciate the stunning Mara scene.

Overnights at Richard’s Camp.

Day 3 ~ Samatian Island ~ Lake Baringo

Today you leave the Mara, flying North into the Great Rift Valley.

You will land on the shore of Lake Bogoria, a soda lake, best known for its flamingos and bubbling hot springs before continuing on to Lake Baringo, arriving in time for lunch.

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In the afternoon you fly to meet the Pokot tribe, living at the tip of the Suguta Valley before spending the night at Samatian Lodge, a simple open plan lodge, located on a private island in Lake Baringo. The tranquility and beauty of Lake Baringo is sure to be unforgettable.

Overnight at Samatian Island Lodge.

Day 4 ~ Desert Rose ~ Mount Nyiro

With a picnic breakfast on board you depart this morning on a scenic flight through the Suguta Valley to the deserts and lakes of Turkana.

You will touch down on the rim of Silale Crater - a great photography spot and then continue through the Hoodoo Valley and the Painted Valley. The eroded rocky landscape gives way to expansive white sand dunes bordered by lava flows.

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You will arrive at Desert Rose for lunch. This is an exclusive hand-crafted retreat, located on the slopes of Mt Nyiro - a perfect escape from the hot desert landscape.

Desert Rose Lodge is truly a rose in the middle of the desert. A small & exclusive family hosted lodgenestled into the side of Mount Nyiro, offering views over the Northern Frontier and its breathtaking mix of color and stunning landscape.

The handmade equipment, stone-carved baths, wooden washbasins, open bathrooms are just a few elements that make this property truly special. The swimming pool, dining room, lounge and relaxing-decks all have views over the valley plains below. In the late afternoon we embark on a scenic flight to the southern shores of Lake Turkana, over Lake Logipi and on to the sand dunes of the Suguta. The world’s largest permanent desert lake, Turkana, is wild in character with its parched volcanic beaches, granite outcrops and lava flows. The lake’s shores have revealed some of the world’s oldest fossil finds –from dinosaurs to early Man– discovered by the famous palaeontologists – the Leakey family.

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In the late afternoon you will enjoy a scenic flight and sundowners on the shores of Lake Turkana.

Overnight at Desert Rose Lodge.

Day 5 ~ Sarara Camp ~ Matthews Range

After breakfast you head south, flying over the remote northern part of Samburu. Your destination is Sarara Camp - a semi-tented facility located in the heart of Samburu country.

Kenya; Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust; Sarara

Sarara is located within the lands of the Namunyak Wildlife Conversation Trust. An area of approximately 850,000 acres which lies folded around the southern corner of the fabled Matthews Mountain Range of northern Kenya. This is home of the proud Samburu tribes people, a group of semi-nomadic pastoralists who have long shown tolerance for the wildlife that co-exists alongside their cattle. The conservation work carried out by the Namunyak Trust to date has been hugely successful. As a result of the severe ivory poaching crisis of the 70’s and early 80’s there were no recorded elephants remaining in the Mathews Ranges by 1985. Today, several thousand elephants are living and breeding peacefully in the southern Mathews Range area. Together with a variety of other wildlife species such as buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, African wild dog, greater and lesser kudu, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, impala and dik dik.

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Sarara has six luxury tents, each positioned to maximize the stunning views of the Mathews Range of mountains and the animal watering hole. The tents are spacious and high ceilinged, with plenty of cupboard space, electric lighting and 24 hour hot and cold running water. Sarara has established itself as one of the 'hot spots' for quality leopard viewing in Africa and equally, for close-up sightings of the normally extremely shy lesser kudu antelope. The African wild dogs are frequently encountered in the Sarara valley too. Elephant, buffalo, giraffe, gerenuk, impala and warthogs are now regularly seen on our game drives and bush walks.

Overnight at Sarara Camp.

Days 6 & 7 ~ Sirikoi ~ Lewa Wildlife Conservancy

After breakfast you fly south to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, through Samburu country, landing on Ol Lolokwe - a giant granite massif with a sheer rock face and flat top. Continue your flight, over the Ewaso Nyiro River and the wildlife filled plains of Samburu and Laikipia.

Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Laikipia is a 65,000 acre conservancy, with outstanding game viewing, and spectacular views of Mt. Kenya to the south and the arid lowlands to the north. Lewa is one of Kenya's major private conservation successes. Lewa has been the Craig family home since 1924 when the Craig grandparents came from England and began raising cattle here. "Leave room for the wildlife" has been the Craig ethic, as the area is committed to the conservation of wildlife and diverse habitats found on the northern slopes of Mt Kenya. Endangered species abound in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and it is most famous for its rhino conservation. While you are here, you may see everything from elephant and rhino to dik dik, to reticulated giraffe and two species of zebra: Burchell’s and the rare Grevy’s. Lion, leopard and cheetah are found as well.

Your accommodation while in Lewa will be at Sirikoi, Sirikoi is one of the most outstanding lodges in Kenya, offering unparalleled hospitality in breathtaking surroundings. This area offers some of the best game viewing in East Africa, with healthy populations of both black and white rhino – at the latest count there were 65 black and 46 white. The world's largest concentration of the endangered Grevy zebra resides on Lewa, as well as elephant, buffalo, greater kudu, oryx, lion, leopard and cheetah. The camp has four luxury tents, each built on a platform with a private veranda overlooking the waterhole, a living area with a fireplace and an elegant bathroom with a Victorian bath and a shower. There are two further traditional tents with en-suite showers. The shared dining area, infinity swimming pool and veranda deck of the tented camp are set in a shady acacia grove and overlooking a natural waterhole where wild animals frequently visit to wallow and drink. Evening sundowners with amazing views of distant mountain ranges, delicious meals served under the stars next to a roaring fire and the sounds of animals in camp late at night are just a small part of this magical experience.

There is an option to take a dawn flight over the peaks of Mt Kenya followed by light refreshments on the shores of an alpine lake, with a chance to fish for rainbow trout.

Overnight at SIRIKOI.

Day 8 ~ Depart

Your adventure ends with a final flight back to Nairobi, via the foothills of Mount Kenya, arriving in Nairobi an hour later.

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Price

Starts at $92,000 for 2 pax on an all inclusive basis

Starts at $105,000 for 4 pax on an all inclusive basis

In addition to this program we are offering an 8-day Ethiopia by helicopter program as well as 3-day helicopter program in Northern Kenya which can be built into a longer trip. We also welcome the opportunity to work with you to build your perfect trip!

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Jamie Mehrotra