Protecting Kenya: A Conservation Safari

Highlights

Kenya is an iconic safari destination, and one close to our hearts at Extraordinary Journeys. Wild and welcoming, this diverse country casts a spell all its own on travelers – which is why we’re dedicated to protecting its wildlife, people, and landscapes. This special conservation itinerary takes you across Kenya to gain an intimate understanding of some of the country’s most vital conservation programs and efforts. Become part of the solution and help us save Africa’s wilderness on an unforgettable 11-night journey.

Travelers begin in Nairobi with one night of relaxation and recuperation at Hemingway’s Nairobi, an airy, spacious plantation-style property. Pamper yourself after a long flight with a spa treatment, poolside lounging, or simply enjoying private balcony views of the Ngong Hills.

Spend your next three nights in the world-renowned Masai Mara where acacia trees dot classic savannah grasslands rich with plains game and hungry predators. Richard’s River Camp is a small, exclusive tented camp situated on the banks of the Njageteck River within the private Mara North Conservancy, offering guests a wide array of special activities. In addition to traditional game drives, get to know the team behind the Mara Elephant Project (MEP), founded by the camp’s owner. MEP is crucial to conservation efforts in the area, and you’ll have the opportunity to learn about their vital work protecting elephants and conserving the greater Mara ecosystem. Meet MEP rangers, see an elephant collar up-close, learn about their collar tracking system and unmanned aerial vehicle operation and get a tour of HQ to see the helicopter their rapid-response unit uses.

Continue to the Lewa Conservancy, home to an abundance of wildlife including many rare and endangered species such as reticulated giraffe, black and white rhino, and the largest resident population of Grevy’s zebra in the world. The conservancy is one of Kenya’s preeminent conservation and responsible tourism success stories, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your stay at Sirikoi Lodge, meet Lewa’s anti-poaching team members who work round-the-clock to ensure wildlife’s safety, and see how they work with local communities and education to help further conservation and community development. Families of elephant have carved Sirikoi into their migratory routes and almost daily they can be seen just in front of the Sirikoi deck for hours at a time. To get to know the area out of the vehicle, you may opt to explore with your guide on horseback, a bush walk, walking the canopy bridge or diving into the blue glacial pools in the Ngare Ndare Forest, visiting the Samburu and other tribes of Northern Kenyaby helicopter (or an additional overnight of fly-camping can be arranged for a more immersive visit), or amp up the adrenaline with quad-biking.

Your next two nights take you into the volcanic Chyulu Hills, a exclusive expanse of land with access to a quarter of a million acres of one of the few remaining wilderness areas of East Africa. Stay at Ol Donyo Lodge, which works directly with the local Maasai people, blending crucial conservation and uplifting community needs. Soak in this emblematic region by horseback or four-wheel drive or in a hide twenty paces from some of the largest elephants in the world. During your stay, gain key insights on coordinated cross-border an -poaching operations, natural resource management, and human-wildlife conflict mitigation with a special visit to the Big Life Foundation. The Foundation employs hundreds of local Maasai rangers, 13 vehicles, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance to protect some two million acres of wilderness through a collaborative, community-based approach that you can experience yourself.

Your next two nights in Tsavo National Park will introduce you to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Headquarters. Visit DSWT’s Ithumba Elephant Reintegration Unit, one of three throughout the region which reintegrates the nursery orphans from Nairobi back into the wild. Learn about their process for preparing orphans to succeed with wild elephants and adjust to new environments. You’ll also get to witness the orphans’ milk feeding, mud baths, and visit the stockades where they’re put to bed.

Enjoy your last day on safari indulging at Umani Springs surrounded by Kibwezi Forest, an ancient groundwater forest rich in birdlife while the springs themselves are a key source of water for the communities and wildlife that calls the area home.

On your last day in Kenya, visit the orphan nursery in Nairobi for an afternoon to see where Tsavo’s orphans have come from. Watch as the newly recued orphans come in for their evening milk, still fragile from their rescues as they begin their road to recovery – a truly touching finale before boarding your international flight home.

Summary

  • 1 Night – Hemingway’s Nairobi – Nairobi

  • 3 Nights – Richard’s River Camp – Masai Mara

  • 2 Nights – Sirikoi Lodge – Lewa Conservancy

  • 2 Nights – Ol Donyo Lodge – Chyulu Hills

  • 2 Nights – Ithumba Camp – Tsavo National Park

  • 1 Night – Umani Springs – Tsavo National Park

Cost

Pricing starts at $19,000 per person sharing, based on 10 travelers.

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Lara Ray