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Kenya & Maasai Mara Grand Safari KYS20

Resort:Kenya & Maasai Mara Grand Safari KYS20
Operator: Great Rail Journeys
Destination: Kenya
Price From: £2895.00

Overview

Immerse yourself in the wildlife and culture of East Africa on
this unforgettable safari adventure. Uncover captivating history,
explore wild Kenyan landscapes, and spot the majestic ‘Big Five’ at
some of the most celebrated game reserves in the continent.

Highlights

  • Nairobi
  • Nairobi Railway Museum and Karen Blixen Museum
  • Journey on the Madaraka Express
  • Tsavo West National Park
  • Boat ride on Lake Naivasha
  • Maasai Mara Safari
  • Visit to the Giraffe Centre sanctuary in Nairobi

whats Included

  • First Class Rail
  • 3-4* Accommodation
  • Selected Porterage
  • Return Scheduled Flights
  • 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 8 dinners
  • Journey on the Madaraka Express

Itinerary

Day 1 – To Nairobi

Our East African adventure begins as we board our flight from
London to Nairobi, Kenya’s thriving capital city which offers a
blend of modern African culture with a unique wildlife influence.
Just outside the sprawling centre lies Nairobi National Park, an
expanse of rolling plains where lions, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs
and the endangered black rhinoceros roam the vast grasslands, set
against a dramatic urban city backdrop. We arrive this evening and
transfer to our hotel, the 4-Star Sarova Panafric.

Day 2 – Nairobi Railway Museum and Karen Blixen Museum

We uncover the culture and history of dynamic Nairobi, the
beating heart of Kenya, with a morning of sightseeing. Our first
visit of the day is to the Nairobi Railway Museum, the only Railway
Museum in East and Central Africa. The museum was opened in 1971 by
the now-defunct East African Railways who, as a result of the rapid
changes in the railway industry, felt it was important to create
lasting, tangible links to the past. Today, the museum houses many
fascinating relics from years gone by, including a number of
locomotives, and exemplifies the profound development of Kenyan
engineering over the decades.

We continue to the Karen Blixen Museum, the former coffee
plantation and home of the renowned Danish author, tucked away in
the verdant foothills of the Ngong Hills. Blixen is most famous for
penning the 1937 memoir ‘Out of Africa’, which chronicles the
seventeen years of her life spent in colonial Kenya, then known as
British East Africa, and presents a lively recollection of everyday
life here. A film adaptation was released in 1985 and won an
incredible seven Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best
Picture. Take a step back in time to early 20th century Kenya as we
explore the peaceful house and grounds, furnished in much of its
original decor and featuring props from the film.

This evening we are treated to a special dining experience at
the Carnivore Restaurant. Taking inspiration from Brazillian
Rodízio restaurants, the restaurant serves a variety of meats
including crocodile and ostrich, skewered on Maasai swords and
grilled on an enormous barbecue pit before being served
table-side.

Days 3-4 – The Madaraka Express to Tsavo West National Park

After breakfast, we transfer to Nairobi Railway Station for our
journey on The Madaraka Express, a modern train that is an
incredible feat for Kenya Railways. Built in 2017 to replace the
colonial era Uganda Railway, the line runs between Nairobi and
Mombasa and provides the fastest rail travel the country has ever
seen. We enjoy a comfortable journey to Mtito Andei, travelling in
air conditioned First Class carriages with spacious, reclining
seats. The views are unparalleled; dramatic mountain ranges,
villages which grant a unique glimpse at rural Kenyan life, and
grasslands in which we may spot distant elephants, giraffes and
zebras.

We transfer to the 3-Star Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, which
offers views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The
hotel is set within the magnificent Tsavo West National Park, a
wildlife conservation area that is home to Africa’s ‘Big Five’ game
animals; the lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and Cape buffalo.
We journey into the heart of the park this afternoon on our first
game drive, hoping to catch a glimpse of these mighty creatures,
along with the plethora of other fascinating animals and birds that
make their homes here.

We head out early on Day 4 for another game
drive, enjoying the exhilarating feeling of building excitement as
we travel through the park in search of wildlife. We return to the
lodge in time for breakfast, followed by time at leisure. After
lunch, we are treated to a cultural talk on the local area during
which we learn about the ‘maneaters of Tsavo’, a notorious pair of
lions responsible for a number of deaths in the late 1800s. This
afternoon brings with it another game drive, further increasing our
chances of observing rare wildlife.

Days 5-6 – Lake Naivasha

This morning, we drive back to Nairobi, where we enjoy lunch at
the Big Five Restaurant. Sitting on the edge of Nairobi National
Park, the restaurant boasts a 300-foot veranda which offers
magnificent views over the wild scenery, giving us the chance to
spot animals as we dine. We continue to beautiful Lake Naivasha, a
calm lake surrounded by volcanic rock, grassy banks and lush
forests. We enjoy dinner at our hotel.

After breakfast on Day 6, we take to the waters
for a boat ride across serene Lake Naivasha. The combination of
freshwater and rich flora here attracts wildlife including
hippopotamuses, hundreds of species of birds, including pelicans
and kingfishers, along with animals such as zebra and buffalo who
use the lake as a drinking hole. If we’re lucky, our cruise will
provide us with an up-close view of bathing hippos and an array of
exotic birds. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Days 7-8 – Maasai Mara Safari

We set out to the Great Rift Valley this morning, where our
destination is the 4-Star Sarova Mara Game Camp in Maasai Mara.
Perhaps the jewel in the crown of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas,
Maasai Mara is one of the most popular game reserves in Africa and
is revered around the world for its exceptional wildlife, as well
as its annual wildebeest migration. We are indulged with another
chance to see the ‘Big Five’ as we head to the plains on safari.
Animals here are free to roam beyond the unfenced confines of the
reserve, resulting in a symbiotic relationship between the wildlife
and local Maasai tribes whose villages dot the grasslands and
creating a truly authentic wildlife viewing experience for
visitors. Here, we may see lions striding proudly across the
plains, herds of elephants bathing in the shallow waters and
giraffes grazing at the lofty trees.

Day 8 is dedicated to wildlife viewing as we
embark on both a morning and afternoon game drive. Look out for the
resident big cats – lions, cheetahs and leopards, which were the
stars of the long-running BBC nature documentary, ‘Big Cat Diary.’
After dinner at our hotel this evening, we delve into the
fascinating culture of Maasai Mara with a cultural talk about the
area.

Days 9-10 – To Nairobi and home

After breakfast, we leave Maasai Mara and transfer to Nairobi,
where we visit the Giraffe Centre. Dedicated to the conservation of
the endangered Rothschild Giraffe, the park has bred and released
more than 40 calves into safe game parks across the country. Enjoy
some free time here. You could visit the information centre and
educate yourself further on wildlife in Kenya, stroll along the
scenic nature trail, or even hand-feed a giraffe. We continue to a
local restaurant for a delicious farewell dinner, before
transferring to the airport for our flight to London. Our tour
concludes on arrival on Day 10.