8 Days Kenya Safari & Rhino Tracking Experience

8 Days Kenya Safari & Rhino Tracking Experience

rhino tracking in kenya
    rhino tracking in kenya

    Samburu, Kenya

    Start/End: JKIA/Nairobi
    Duration: 8 Days
    Activity: A 7 nights/8 days journey combining three of Kenya’s most exciting and wildlife-rich wildernesses.
    Destinations: Nairobi, Saruni Rhino and the elegant, luxurious Saruni Samburu & Saruni Mara.

    This is a truly life-enriching journey that perfectly combines serenity and thrill, luxury and adventure, amazing wildlife and unique landscapes, giving you the opportunity to protect an endangered species

    TOUR DESCRIPTION

    Delight in unending views of pristine, untouched wilderness in complete seclusion and exclusivity, in three of the most iconic private wildlife reserves of Kenya, with hundreds of thousands of hectares at your disposal.

    Discover two of Africa’s most authentic and fascinating tribes – the Maasai and the Samburu – learning first-hand about their cultures, ancient customs and local knowledge of the wildlife and wilderness as they guide you throughout your safari.

    Encounter Africa most unusual wildlife up close in their natural habitat: the ‘Samburu Special Five’, rare endemic species present only in the arid North, the famously large herds of Samburu elephants and the endangered black rhino, reintroduced to Northern Kenya after 30 years.

    TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

    • Nairobi City
    • Samburu National Reserve
    • The Reteti Elephant Sanctuary
    • Game drive to Kisima Hamsini
    • The Mara – big cats safari
    • Walking safari – Saruni Mara Plains
    • Visit the rhino sanctuary

    TOUR ITINERARY

    Day 1: Arrival at Jomo Kenyatta Airport – Transfer to Samburu

    • Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where a Saruni vehicle will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your flight to Samburu.
    • Depart Nairobi in the morning*, arriving at Samburu an hour later, where your Saruni Samburu guide will meet you and transfer you to the lodge, or take you on a game drive.
    • Afternoon game drive on Kalama Conservancy exploring over 200,000 acres of pristine wilderness in total privacy and sundowners with a breathtaking view.
      Accommodation at Saruni Samburu
      Meal plan: Dinner

    Day 2: Game drives – Samburu National Reserve

    • Early morning game drive into Samburu National Reserve to seek out the ‘Samburu Special Five’: the reticulated giraffe, the Grevy zebra, the beisa oryx, the Somali ostrich and the gerenuk, all rare species that occur only in this part of the country, and look for its well-known larger wildlife including elephants, lion and leopard. Enjoy a picnic lunch before heading back to the lodge to relax for the afternoon.
    • Enjoy a complimentary half hour Back & Neck massage upon arriving back at the lodge at the Samburu Wellbeing Space.
    • Evening game drive in Kalama Conservancy ending with a bush dinner under the stars in the middle of the wilderness, and a night drive back to the lodge. The Samburu warriors dancing, candles and fire under the vast African skies, make this a truly magical experience, and one of the highlights of your stay.
      Accommodation at Saruni Samburu
      Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 3: Visit the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary

    • Following a lie-in and a hearty breakfast, depart Saruni Samburu accompanied by our Samburu guides, driving two hours north west to visit the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in nearby Namunyak Conservancy (visit payable extra & bookable in advance).
    • Arrive in time for the noon time feeding session of the elephants and other animals in residence. Learn all about their special milk formulas, ask the elephant keepers your questions and watch with joy as the hungry ellies come racing out for their bottles!
    • After some further observation time as the ellies play, bathe and go about their day, head towards Saruni Rhino, a 2-hour’s drive away in Sera Conservancy, stopping in a picturesque spot for a picnic lunch on the way.
    • Arrive in camp, or, head straight to the Rhino Sanctuary to start your exhilarating on-foot tracking adventure taking place late afternoon as the temperature lowers. Drive to within a short distance of the endangered black rhino, leaving the vehicle on foot to track the rhino in the safety of a guide and a ranger. Communication between rangers allow you to track as many rhinos as possible in the allotted time.
    • After an exhilarating, ‘up close and personal’ experience, game drive back to camp where a lantern-lit bush dinner awaits you in the idyllic setting of the dry river bed, as the night sounds reverberate around you.

    Accommodation at Saruni Rhino
    Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4: A picnic breakfast on a game drive to Kisima Hamsini

    • Leave early morning with a picnic breakfast on a game drive to the nearby Fifty Wells (Kisima Hamsini) or the Singing Wells, where you will witness Samburu pastoralists watering and singing their uniquely recognised songs to their livestock at a series of natural wells, bringing water up from the depths as they have done for centuries. (Wells are seasonal).
    • Birders and non-birders alike will delight in the incredible spectacle that is thousands upon thousands of sand grouse dipping to take water in the natural wells and waterholes throughout Sera Conservancy, a truly astounding sight and sound show.
    • Return to camp and enjoy a refreshing dip in the cooling waters of the natural rock infinity pool overlooking the dry river bed surrounded by swaying doum palms as monkeys chirrup and play along.
    • Enjoy lunch in the shade of Swara House, with breathtaking views of a waterhole frequently visited by herds of elephants and other wildlife and birdlife.
    • Relax after lunch in the cool of your stone cottage (‘banda)’ reclining on your very own beach club-style, sandy verandah watching the waterhole. For the adventurous thrill-seekers embark on a 2nd round of rhino tracking by returning to the Sanctuary to re-live the experience.
    • Bush ‘lugga’ dinner under the star-lit African skies before heading to bed for your last night in the remote wilderness of Kenya’s northern frontier.

    Accommodation at Saruni Rhino
    Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5:   Transfer to the Mara

    • Following breakfast in camp, or equipped with a picnic breakfast, leave early morning** from Saruni Rhino for your departing onward flight to the Mara, arriving in the Masai Mara an hour and a half after take-off.
    • Game drive with a picnic lunch to enjoy under an acacia tree or by the river next to a pod of hippos. Or head to Saruni Mara or Saruni Wild for some rest and an exclusive game drive later in the afternoon in Mara North Conservancy – over 30,000 acres of plentiful, protected land bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. Enjoy a completely different and less-explored corner of the Mara ecosystem in total privacy, brimming with wildlife.

    Accommodation at Saruni Mara/Saruni Wild
    Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6: Game drives in the Mara – big cats safari

    • Early morning game drive to look for the big cats and other predators of the Mara, returning to the camp or lodge for lunch and treatments at the Maasai Wellbeing Space.
    • In the afternoon, a game drive will take you to a special area where the largest tower of giraffe can be seen, followed by dinner at the lodge or camp and an optional night game drive.

    Accommodation at Saruni Mara/Saruni Wild
    Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7: Walking safari – Saruni Mara Plains

    • Walk through the valleys and plains surrounding Saruni Mara, accompanied by a vehicle, or a game drive up to the top of Kilileoni, the highest mountain in the Serengeti- Masai Mara ecosystem – led by your skillful and knowledgeable Maasai guides.
    • In the afternoon you will discover more of Mara North and its neighbouring conservancies and experience first-hand what makes the Mara one of the most exciting wildernesses in the world.
    • Weather permitting, experience a bush dinner in the middle of nature under the vast African sky, with Maasai warriors singing and dancing around the fire.
      Accommodation at Saruni Mara/Saruni Wild Meal plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

     

    Day 8: Departure – Visit the rhino sanctuary enroute

    • Visit the rhino sanctuary on the way to the airstrip and once again admire the hippos and the crocodiles of the Mara River.
    • The flight back to Nairobi leaves the Mara at 11:00 AM and arrives in Nairobi at 12:20 PM.
    • Transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with Saruni driver and vehicle. Depending on the time of your international flight, stop at the Talisman or Carnivore restaurant for dinner.
      Accommodation at Saruni Mara/Saruni Wild
      Meal plan: Breakfast

    End of tour

    About the Lodges;

    Saruni Samburu

    Saruni Samburu’s six luxury villas are open and spacious, heralding spectacular views over Kenya’s Northern Frontier District and Mount Kenya in the distance. The warm and welcoming hospitality makes for an intimate and exceptional experience. The lodge is revered for its innovative, eco-chic architecture and interesting design and décor, as well as its Italian-inspired cuisine. Guests can enjoy the vast panoramas from the dining and lounge area, the infinity pool and the Samburu Wellbeing Space. Saruni Samburu is the only lodge in Kalama Conservancy, which borders Samburu National Reserve, with 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness to explore and enjoy exclusively. You are guided from start to finish by Samburu warriors who are passionate about their land and their culture, learning first-hand about their fascinating customs and traditions and gaining ancient, local knowledge about the land and the animals – a truly authentic experience.

    Activities and amenities: day and night game drives, photographic hide, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, Samburu Wellbeing Space treatments (payable extra), picnics, two swimming pools, helicopter excursions (payable extra), Samburu cultural visits (payable extra), Saruni Shop.

    Saruni Rhino

    The secluded 3-banda camp of Saruni Rhino, in partnership with Sera Community Conservancy, offers the first rhino tracking experience in East Africa; an amazing walking safari that provides a uniquely thrilling adventure, but also allows guests to actively contribute to the protection of this iconic species. Located in the wild, undiscovered northern frontier of Kenya, the camp is a little under 2 driving hours from our Saruni Samburu lodge in nearby Kalama Conservancy. Comprised of three elegant ‘bandas’ (rustic stone cottages) sleeping 8 guests in two double bandas & one larger family banda, and a main ‘mess’ cottage for dining and relaxing, Saruni Rhino is nestled amidst swaying doum palms dotted along a dry river bed (the Kauro ‘lugga’, in the heart of the conservancy). The camp has sweeping views of a nearby waterhole and dramatic landscape so typical of the north.

    There is also a beautiful swimming pool, built in harmony with the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. The waterhole is a popular watering stop-off for a diverse range of wildlife: elephant, impala, birdlife, hyena, oryx, Grevy’s zebra and much more, making it great ‘bush TV’ from the comfort of your banda’s sandy verandah at any time. The dry river bed proves the quintessential torch-lit bush dinner location under the vast African skies.

    Saruni Mara & Saruni Wild

    Saruni Mara has one family villa, one private villa and five elegant cottages, and is the only small boutique lodge in the Mara, making it very intimate and exclusive. The beautifully decorated themed rooms have a luxurious and classic safari feel. The lodge is tucked away in a secluded valley in the private Mara North Conservancy, a prime and private game viewing area, which borders the Masai Mara National Reserve – the most renowned wildlife park in Africa. Enjoy the Italian-inspired cuisine and being immersed in nature from your private verandah, the Maasai Wellbeing Space and the open lounge and dining area. Maasai warriors will guide you throughout your stay, sharing their ancient wisdom and local knowledge of the area and the animals, their way of life and their secret corners of the most loved wildlife reserve in Kenya.

    Saruni Wild is a tented camp elegantly and comfortably furnished with all the necessary luxuries of a wild yet classic safari. The camp is located in the heart of the Masai Mara plains, on the border between Lemek Conservancy and Mara North Conservancy. Surrounded by tens of thousands acres of pristine, untouched wilderness, the camp has the most classic Masai Mara setting. The wildlife thrive right next to its tents. Enjoy endless views, fire-lit meals under the vast African sky, guided game drives led by Maasai warriors.

    Activities and amenities: day and night game drives, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, Maasai Wellbeing Space treatments (payable extra), picnics, library, balloon safaris (payable extra), Saruni Shop.

    This cost of the holiday includes;

    All-inclusive accommodation (full-board accommodation including soft drinks, beers, house wines and select non-luxury spirits), one complimentary Back & Neck massage (30 min.) per room per stay at our Wellbeing Space (excluding Saruni Rhino), limited laundry service, shared day & night game drives in 4×4 vehicles, guided bush walks, bush meals, sundowner & picnic excursions, Warriors Academy (where available and upon request in advance), local cultural visits transfers, all internal flights and return airstrip transfers (or pick up/drop off at Saruni Samburu), airport assistance, temporary Flying Doctors cover, daily conservation fees and one Rhino Tracking Experience fee per day, VAT & taxes.

    It Excludes;

    Exclusive use of vehicle, premium drinks (champagne, luxury spirits and special wines – available upon request in advance at Saruni Rhino), additional Wellbeing Space treatments, additional Rhino Tracking Experiences, any payable extra activities, entry fees to local cultural visits, childcare, transport & entry fees to Reteti Elephant Sanctuary in Samburu (bookable in advance), transport & entry fees to the Masai Mara National Reserve in the Mara, gratuities to staff & guides, own private guides & drivers, any payable extra services, anything of a personal nature, international flights & visa fees, late departure fees, and all statutory increases beyond our control.

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