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National Geographic Expeditions - Kenya

Kenya's Great Migration - with National Geographic

Highlights

  • Follow nature and wildlife photographer Gabriela Staebler during your Kenya adventure!

  • Learn many tips and tricks about how to photograph the world's largest migration of wildlife & one of Africa’s seven natural wonders.

  • Hunt for epic sightings of the Big Five and Northern Five!

  • Soar in a hot air balloon over the expanses of the Masai Mara.

  • The Ol Pajeta Conservancy is home to the largest population of black rhino.

Description

A roaring thunder trembles the ground. Dust covers the grazed landscape in dense clouds. Countless goosebumps appear on your body. As the millions of hooves gallop closer, you will notice one of nature's breathtaking phenomenons upon the horizon: Kenya's Great Migration, the world's most massive migration of wildlife.

Embark on our National Geographic journey through the East African country, where an expert will guide you along the wildlife's trail. Starting from the capital of Kenya, the journey takes you to national parks and nature reserves where you will meet fascinating animals on authentic safaris in the wild. Listen to birdsong in the morning silence and appreciate the unspoiled environment that surrounds you in your luxury resorts. Time to experience the magical world of Africa for yourself!

Destination

Africa

Nairobi - Samburu National Reserve - Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Lake Nakuru - Masai Mara

October / November 2021

Expert: nature and wildlife photographer Gabriela Staebler

Photographer Gabriela Staebler is one of nature photography’s icons because of her love and passion for the African wilderness. For the past 30 years, she learned the know-how of wildlife photography as a self-taught artist. Thanks to her interest in the behavior of animals, she has extensive zoological knowledge essential for animal photography. Staebler's photographs adorn the front pages of well-known publications, many calendar pages, and illustrated books such as "On Locations: The World of Nature Photography" published by National Geographic. She has won more than 50 awards from prestigious photo competitions, including BC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Nature's Best International Photography USA, and European Nature Photographer of the Year.

Welcome to Kenya! Africa’s fourth-largest city, Nairobi, awaits you with its lively streets and array of exciting highlights. Illuminating the city center with museums, cafés, and thriving nightlife, Nairobi attracts many visitors from around the world. But beyond these bustling buildings, you will discover the city’s contrasts: pure, species-rich nature and incredible flora and fauna.

When you arrive at the airport, our experts look forward to greeting you personally! Your private transfer will take you to your first, exclusive accommodation. Acquire yourself to the new climate and take time to adjust to this fascinating world.

Travel time Jomo Kenyatta International Airport - Sankara Hotel: about 12 miles / approx. 40 minutes

1 night at Sankara Nairobi***** with breakfast in a superior room, Nairobi, Kenya

Boost your energy with a hearty breakfast before an exciting day exploring Africa's wildlife. Today' s game drive takes you through the Samburu National Reserve. Keep your eyes peeled along the way, and use the breaks to observe the animal dwellers. The diversity of nature and animal life will amaze you.

The Samburu National Reserve, named after the warriors and nomadic people who settled in the area, lies in the north of the country in the East African Rift. Uaso Nyiru River runs through the reserve and provides as an essential resource for the area's animal population. The semi-desert landscape boasts rocky hills, dry bush, and vast savannah grasslands.

In the Samburu National Reserve, you will see not only the classic Big Five, but also the Northern Five: the reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, the East African oryx, the gerenuk, and the Somali ostrich. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, and crocodiles also call the national reserve their home. A safari highlight: herds of elephants that roam the vast grasslands.

After your first game drive and the initial thrill of seeing elephants, lions, cheetahs, and many other animals, optional and free activities await you at the camp. Choose from bird watching tours or romantic sundowners at unique locations.

We have planned two game drives per day. The only exceptions to this rule are the days of arrival and departure from Larsens Camp.

Travel time Nairobi - Samburu National Reserve, including game drive: 155 miles / approx. 6 hours

3 nights at Larsens Camp**** with full board and activities in a luxury tent, Samburu National Reserve, Kenya

Your destination today is the Ol Pajeta Conservancy, a private nature reserve located west of Kenya's highest mountain, Mount Kenya. On today's adventure, you might encounter countless elephants, big cats, and African wild dogs. It is also home to 88 black rhinos and 15 white rhinos - the world's largest black rhino population! Together with your guide, you will explore this protected area, home to the highest density of animals than any other national park in Kenya.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy dedicates itself to the protection of this animal world and also provides a refuge for rescued chimpanzees.

Spend the following nights in a protected oasis grouped around a waterhole in the wild nature of the reserve - welcome to Sweetwaters Tented Camp. This camp combines the charming ambience with safari luxury under canvas tents. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game viewing hut, offers an uninterrupted view of the waterhole, giving you the opportunity for incomparable wildlife viewing.

Travel time Lewa Conservancy – Ol Pejeta Conservancy: approx. 2.5 hours

2 nights at Sweetwaters Tented Camp**** with full board and activities in the Morani tent, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Once again, today is a day of exploration. With your guide, you will visit Mount Kenya’s nature reserve, famous for its diverse wildlife. Discover the area with an expert guide and carefully observe the wildlife. The inhabitants of Ol Pejeta Conservancy also include chimpanzees, functioning as a refuge for chimpanzees who have suffered from traumatic situations. The conservancy offers a new life for these gentle creatures to start over.

Later in the evening, you will go on another safari under Kenya’s twinkling stars.

Today's itinerary leads you on a journey to Lake Nakuru.

Located just northwest of Nairobi, in the capital of the Rift Valley, lies Lake Nakuru National Park. Over the years, the park struggled with many droughts, therefore, affecting how the landscapes transformed over time. At the end of the 1970s, the valley finally received the water it needed, creating a massive influx of flamingos to call the lake their home. But back in 2014, waters rose and forced most of the famous flamingos to flee.

With these changing environments, brought many other animals and vegetation to the park. You will discover diverse plant life, hundreds of flamingos, 400 species of birds, antelopes, zebras, Rothschild's giraffe, waterbucks, monkeys, leopards, lions, buffalo, and hippos. A unique sanctuary has been established for rhinos, protecting more than 60 white and black rhino species from poachers.

Travel time Ol Pejeta Conservancy - Lake Nakuru: approx. 5 hours

2 nights at The Cliff***** with full board in a luxury tent, Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya

Today you will finally reach Kenya's most famous nature reserve: Masai Mara! The park lies in southern Kenya and offers some of the best game viewings in the world during the world-famous Great Migration. From July to October - and possibly even during your trip - millions of wildebeest, thousands of zebras, and hundreds of Thomson's gazelles migrate annually from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania to the lush vegetation of the Masai Mara. During the world's most massive migration of mammals, these animals search for fresh greenery and better grazing land for their herds. Hungry predators such as lions, cheetahs, and hyenas are not far away; they gather near the packs, while crocodiles lurk in the rivers. Are you already curious about what you will be discovering on your journey today?

Travel time Lake Nakuru – Masai Mara: approx. 7 hours

3 nights at Sand Mara River**** with full board and activities in the safari tent, Masai Mara, Nairobi, Kenya

Today you will once again participate in a game drive through the reserve. In the early morning, when the national park slowly begins to wake up, you will set off to watch leopards, lions, and other predators hunting. The highlight of today's safari: it takes place in the air. Glide at low altitude in a hot-air balloon over the plains of the Masai Mara and experience bird's eye views of the wildlife. Early in the morning, when the night gives way to Kenya's gentle sun, nature is at its best.

Wake up for the last time to the sounds of nature. In the morning, head off on your final game drive - collect exciting experiences until the very end! Afterward, take the private transfer back to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch your flight home or to continue your journey to another country of your choice.

Duration Masai Mara - Jomo Kenyatta International Airport: approx. 7 hours

Sankara Nairobi*****, Nairobi, Kenya (1 night)

In the heart of Nairobi city center, only three miles from the business district and about a mile from the National Museum of Kenya is the exclusive hotel Sankara Nairobi. Your luxurious room features modern amenities, air conditioning, a satellite TV, free Wi-Fi, and coffee/tea making facilities. In addition to the comfort of your room, your accommodation also offers an indoor pool, a fitness room, a spa and wellness center, and various restaurants serving international cuisine. Relax in the sauna or one of the Turkish steam baths. The hotel is also a good starting point for a day trip to Nairobi National Park, 30km away.

Larsens Camp****, Samburu Nationalpark, Kenya (3 nights)

Larsens Camp lies in a beautiful location within the Samburu National Park. It is one of the few camps that offer electricity around the clock. Relax in your luxurious tent and enjoy unique views of the rushing river and local animals heading to the waterhole from the comfort of your veranda. Also, each of the exclusive tents provides the privacy you need and features a spacious king-size bed, a terrace, and a private bathroom. They even go the extra mile with their authentic furniture and modern style safari decorations—dinner's highlight: a spectacular setting under Kenya's stars and close to the waterhole.

Sweetwaters Serena Camp****, Oj Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya (2 nights)

Not far from your destinations for the next couple of days is the lovely Sweetwaters Serena Camp. Its unique location makes the camp popular amongst many travelers. Spacious tent combines the traditional ambience of a safari camp with exclusive comfort where you can relax in your king-size bed and enjoy uninterrupted views of the waterhole. In addition to free Wi-Fi, you will find a desk, wardrobe, safe, coffee and tea making facilities, exclusive personal care products, a private veranda or balcony, and a private bathroom. Enjoy delicious meals directly in your accommodation, at the in-house restaurant, or you can prepare meals yourself on the barbecue grills provided.

The Cliff*****, Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya (2 nights)

Nestled in the middle of Lake Nakuru National Park is the tented camp, The Cliff. Thanks to its natural diversity from dense forest to volcanic rock, the park is home to the Big Five - elephants, rhinos, buffalo, lions, and leopards. Thousands of flamingos also romp around the surrounding lake, taking a rest at the water's edge. The ten luxurious tents boast spectacular views over the lake from their private verandas. Not only are they spaciously created, but they also combine traditional African furnishings with modern design. This accommodation is the perfect starting point for many activities, such as adventurous game drives or bird watching tours. After thrilling days with countless experiences, you can relax and pamper yourself at the in-house spa, bar, or restaurant.

Sand River Mara****, Masai Mara, Kenya (3 nights)

Close to the border of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, situated on the famous Mara River, and with a view of the vast savannah, you will find Sand River Mara Camp. The camp divides into two areas, each with a restaurant, a library, and a lounge. Furthermore, you can also find a swimming pool and a billiard room. The 16 tents feature the nostalgic ambience of the colonial style. They feature luxurious yet comfortable furniture. You will also find a private veranda with a seating area, a bathroom with bathtub, exclusive care products, charging facilities for electronic devices, and Wi-Fi. Another unique aspect is the environment of this accommodation, as it is the scene of the fascinating Great Migration. You can watch countless wild animals moving through the area.

Duration of the trip: October / November 2021

Including

  • 11 nights in the hotels mentioned:
    • Sankara Nairobi with breakfast
    • Larsens Camp with full board
    • Sweetwaters Serena Camp with full board
    • The Cliff with full board
    • Sand River Mara Camp with full board
  • National park fees
  • Guide
  • All transfers
  • Hot air balloon flight over Masai Mara
  • A nature walk in the Masai Mara

Excluding

  • International flights

  • Alcoholic drinks

  • Visa fees

  • Tips

  • Personal expenses for souvenirs, etc.

  • Travel insurance

Services & Notes

  • For the safari, please take as soft a travel bag as possible with a maximum of 33 pounds per person. The rest of your luggage can remain at the hotel.
  • Please note that the daily schedule can vary, as decisions depend on animal sightings and weather conditions.
  • Please note that the trip is only suitable for children aged 11 and over.

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