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NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK TRIP IDEAS FOR YOUR KENYA SAFARI
When visiting Nairobi National Park, we recommend combining your safari to Masai Mara for the wildebeest migration, Amboseli, Samburu or Laikipia - Lewa, Nakuru and Naivasha - Great Rift Valley Lakes. You can also day trek or climb the 2nd highest mountain in Africa - Mount Kenya.
TRIP IDEA & SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR YOUR SAFARI IN NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
You may optionally extend out to other wilderness areas of Meru, Chyulu Hills or Tsavo East - Tsavo West ending with a beach vacation and Swahili cultural tour in the exotic spice island of Zanzibar or Lamu, or even Mombasa.
NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
On your arrival in Kenya, we recommend spending two nights in Nairobi National Park to unwind but also to give you an opportunity to experience this diverse ecology. Covering more than 45 square miles (117 sq. km) of grasslands, forests, rocky valleys, forests and wetlands is Nairobi National Park, Kenya's oldest national park and the only one in the world that is situated amidst a capital city. The proximity to an urban center, though, does not diminish the wildlife presence within the park boundaries, though, as more than 100 species of mammal and over 500 types of avi-fauna are found in the park including 20 seasonal migrants from Europe. What makes Nairobi Park surreal when compared to your other safari destinations in East Africa is that it is not uncommon to see grazing herbivores, such as giraffe, wildebeest, eland, Thomson's gazelle and many others grazing quietly with the distant high-rises of Nairobi as a backdrop. No other place in the world can you photograph free-roaming leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino and other animals in its natural ecology against a city skyline. The park has both natural and man-made boundaries, with fences set on all but the southern edge, an open space that is used by migratory animals when new vegetation and water sources develop outside the park.
Safari Tier 3 Lodging Is Not Available In Nairobi National Park. Only Safari Tier 1 & 2 Options Are Available.
Safari Tier 1 - EmakokoBuild your anticipation of a dream vacation to Kenya, The Emakoko is located at the edge of Nairobi National Park. Your transfer to lodge will be via the park, even at night. Just 10 miles from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the lodge offers a relaxing setting amongst the flora and fauna with the sounds of the wilderness lulling you to sleep, and not the hoots of the Nairobi traffic. The family-owned and operated hotel features 10 cottage rooms, all tastefully designed to remind you of the traditional yet urban accommodations that are found in East Africa’s protected wilderness areas. Open beam ceilings, natural stone features, canopies and safari-style furnishings give you a personal luxury retreat during your stopover trip to Nairobi so that you can easily transition between your extensive international travel and memorable escape into the African bush.
Safari Tier 2 - Nairobi Tented CampBegin your dream safari in Kenya with AfricanMecca within minutes of leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport as you enter Nairobi National Park for an en-route game drive until you reach Nairobi Tented Camp. With the city skyline in the distance, you sleep under the stars in a traditional canvas tent amidst the wildlife of the only preserve in the world that is located near a capital city. The 8 tents are designed to give you an authentic safari experience that is the highlight of your bush tour of East Africa, such as bucket shower, gas and kerosene lanterns, sheep skin rugs and breathtaking views of the valley and forest. Your days are spent much like those that await you in the remote African wilderness – the sunrise gently awakens you to the sounds of wildlife and cool morning air touches your face. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and tea brings you outdoors to your veranda where you snuggle deeply into a plush blanket as you watch for the movement of grazing herbivore, such as giraffe, buffalo, rhino, impala, zebra, wildebeest and many others, and you may even try your hand at identifying bird species, as there are over 500 found in the park.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
You will proceed to Amboseli for the next two nights. Amboseli National Park is a majestic landscape where predator and prey interactions unfolds every day across the 392 square kilometers (151 square miles) of protected wilderness. The park borders Tanzania and is situated at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest peak, and the melting snow flows into underground springs that feed the swamps and wetlands that dot the plains. These water sources attract animals of all sizes, the most sought-after being– the free-roaming elephants, but you may also see elands, waterbucks, grant's gazelles, warthogs, coke's hartebeests, zebras and other grazing herbivores. The abundance of large prey supports lions, leopards, civets, wildcats and other elusive hunters, as well as jackals, hyenas and other scavengers.
Safari Tier 1 - Tortilis CampTortilis Camp is situated secluded in the south-western portion of the park with spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro and access to its private Kitirua Conservancy. At 19340 feet, the extinct snowcapped volcano dominates the scenery and provides vital water to the plains in the park. Melting snow flows into underground springs that emerge in wetlands and swamps that attract an abundance of prey, predator and avi-fauna. Most of the guest accommodations are twin or double tents, but for families on an adventure travel in Kenya, the camp also offers a family tent and a two-bedroom boutique, private house. The makuti-covered tents are constructed of canvas with a thatched roof, and the open insect-proof windows allow fresh breezes to keep you cool during the day and to allow daylight in. The private house features a separate sitting and dining area, and the veranda is one of the finest places on the property to see Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tortilis also have a swimming pool to cool off from the warmth of the day and offers massage, pedicure and manicure bush services – great for vacationing honeymooners who want some coddling.
Safari Tier 2 - Satao EleraiAs part of the “Out of Africa Collection” of camps in Kenya, the Maasai partnered Satao Elerai is a 17-room boutique accommodation for your exclusive, luxurious wildlife safari in Amboseli National Park. Set within a remote section bordering the southeastern portion of the park, the nostalgic neo-design of the accommodation is reminiscent of the camps that were used by Kenya’s earliest explorers, and the hillside location gives you breathtaking views of the savannah plains and mighty snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Advantageously, the camp is located in the private conservancy of Elerai thus affording AfricanMecca guests access to nature walks, Maasai village visits and night game drives within the dense conservancy. Constructed of acacia poles, cedar wood floors, thatch roof and other native materials, the 12 tents evoke the boutique romance of East Africa with unobstructed views of Mt. Kilimanjaro while the 5 chalet-style guest suites are designed with natural stone and acacia wood, and feature ensuite bathrooms with bathtub, as well as private verandas with a shrubland view.
Safari Tier 3 - Kibo Safari CampSet in the heart of Maasai life on the scenic African plains and in the shadow of the largest, free-standing mountain in the world, the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro, Kibo Safari Camp is a huge, non-frill abode to stay as part of your wildlife vacation in Africa. It can take in over 150 guests on a full-house so expect personalization of services to be at the bare minimum. On arrival at the camp, your budget holiday in Africa starts with a modest welcome cool towel and juice drink to refresh you following the warm, dusty journey to the site. The wilderness bush and environmentally conscious camp structure and furnishings blend with their surroundings to provide a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. Kibo Safari Camp has a total 73 canvas tents with a thatch roof to protect it from the heat of day, and options of double or twin, triple and family rooms are on offer. Each self-contained tent has an in-shower, sink and toilet, limited hot and cold running water and variable rationed electricity that operates only for few hours during the day and night.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF AMBOSELI
Proceed to Laikipia for the next three nights. The private conservancies of Laikipia represent an outstanding model of wildlife management that provides AfricanMecca guests with a distinctive safari vacation in Kenya. Those who visit Laikipia during their bush travel in northern Kenya will not only see the Big 5 roaming freely, but also both black and white rhinos, African wild dogs, grevy’s zebras, reticulated giraffes, jackson’s hartebeests and other rare species. There are more than 70 different mammals and 440 avian feather species in the varied conservancies of Laikipia. Visitants also see some of Kenya’s most ferocious predators, including leopards, lions and cheetahs, and some distinct conservancies participate in important research studies to protect these mighty creatures. One of the greatest advantages of visiting Laikipia during your adventurous wildlife safari in Kenya is an opportunity to view an abundance of wildlife while partaking of activities that are restricted in national parks in Kenya. These multi-faceted activities are further enhanced by the low number of other guests due to the limited rooming capacity at the sub-conservancies, making Laikipia the perfect choice for those who desire an exclusive African safari experience. Dependent on where you are staying in Laikipia, activities include game drives, bush walks, horseback riding, camel walks and camel rides, aerial helicopter and bi-plan safaris, village visits, quad biking, mountain biking, fishing and much more.
Safari Tier 1 - Loisaba WildernessImmerse yourself in 61,000 acres of exclusive African bush at Loisaba, a community-based conservancy and lodge situated within the greater northern Laikipia. Loisaba Wilderness Conservancy is jointly operated by the Samburu and Maasai communities with part of the proceeds benefiting vital projects to enhance the quality of life of these native peoples. Choose from three accommodation options, each offering a unique African wilderness holiday experience. Loisaba Bush Camp features 11 classic tents with flush toilets and traditional hot bucket showers. Guest tents are available as family, triple and twin/double, as well as a special honeymoon tent for truly utopian trip to the Laikipia ecology. Loisaba Cottage offers the utmost pampering and personalized service, as guests who stay at the cottage are treated to dedicated staff, superlative safari guides and custom game drive vehicle. For an enchanting Kenyan travel experience with AfricanMecca, spend your nights sleeping under the stars in one of the Loisaba Wilderness starbeds, an outdoor four-poster bed that is draped in mosquito netting. The Kiboko Starbeds overlook a watering hole (dam) and valley while the Koija Starbeds are set on the bare banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River. There are three starbed platforms at each site with both having a twin platform with two double starbeds and a shared bathroom – perfect for families with two teenage children who can sleep together or two guests who require twins starbeds. An adventurous suspension bridge needs to be crossed to get to Koija while a pathway exists for Kiboko.
Safari Tier 2 - Lewa Safari CampUnique experiences and destinations are the centerpieces of your discerning Kenyan vacation with AfricanMecca, and Lewa Safari Camp is one of the deluxe accommodations in northern Kenya’s Laikipia wilderness. As one of the eastern Laikipia’s accommodations in the pioneered Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lewa Safari Camp gives you unfettered access to 65,000 acres of authentic African bush that is home to one of the richest wildlife populations in Kenya. The wilderness is home to the world’s largest concentration of Grevy’s zebras, as well as rare species such as Beisa oryx and black rhinos and other herbivores include buffaloes, elephants, reticulated giraffes, impalas, hartebeests and more. The abundance of herbivores supports lions, cheetahs, jackals, leopards, hyenas and other carnivores, and the birdlife is astonishing at a count of 440 different species. Your wild African travel experience at Lewa Safari Camp has you resting and relaxing in your distinct, spacious guest tent, complete with full en-suite bathroom with ample hot water and verandah for enjoying the superb views. With only 12 guest tents, all shaded with a thatched roof, Lewa Safari Camp is where you find the quality personalized service, solitude and exclusive wilderness access that ensure a superior Laikipia tour of Lewa Conservancy. For your romantic couple’s holiday in Kenya, we recommend a tent on the end, and guests with limited mobility may prefer the tents that are closer to the main areas.
Safari Tier 3 - El Karama Eco LodgeEl Karama Eco Lodge is every bit the ecofriendly lodge as its name suggests. Sited on a 14,000 acre ranch, it is a part of the Ewaso Nyiro River biosphere, which flows nearby. The property, located in central Laikipia in northern Kenya, is owned by a local community under the management of Sophie and Murray Grant. Their commitment to the flora and fauna of the ranch is evident in the way it is operated. The entire lodge is constructed using locally available materials like rocks, tree trunks, mud and thatch melding beautifully to create a fascinating, value accommodation for AfricanMecca guests traveling in the wilderness of Laikipia. You will be welcomed in the main lounge of the lodge, which is an ovalish structure warmed by a fireplace augmented with a comfortable seating space with sofas and cushions, dining area, bar and mini-library filled with exciting books that discourses about Laikipia and its many inhabitants. El Karama operates so as to leave a minimal footprint on its delicate ecosystem. They use solar panels for heating water and generating power, LED lights are installed everywhere and traditional lanterns are used to provide additional light in the rooms at night. The water used for drinking is rain harvested that is later filtered for safe use. Choose from the 6 varied accommodations the lodge offers with a maximum of 18 guest beds, each structure delightfully unique from the rest. Each of the rooms is adorned in a simple, pastoral style that is comfortable and very inviting. If you are a solo traveler or touring East Africa with a companion, you could stay over in the fused tented banda (four available), which has canvas walls with netted windows and a rollback entrance.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF LAIKIPIA
CENTRAL MASAI MARA
You will proceed to Central Masai Mara for the next two nights. For our adventurous, thrill-seeking guests who desire a front row seat to the crossing of the Mara and Talek Rivers during the wildebeest migration season, the most well-known part of the Great Migration, we recommend the central zone of the reserve. Central Masai Mara is also a year-round game-viewing mecca with impressive populations of herbivores and predators which remain even after the spectacular hordes of wildebeests and zebras have gone.
Safari Tier 1 - Naibor CampNaibor Camp is an upmarket accommodation that is located along the Talek River, a superlative location for your boutique tour experience in central Masai Mara National Reserve. Being tucked away in the riverine forest that surrounds the camp makes you feel completely enveloped by some of Kenya’s untouched wilderness. The feeling is further enhanced by the proximity to wallowing hippos, crocodiles and other animals that are just meters away. With such an ambience, Naibor Camp is the perfect place to unwind and recuperate during your high-pace African safari activities. The camp is divided into three areas, and each area offers distinct facilities i.e. Main Naibor, Little Naibor and Naibor Wilderness. Naibor is a premium accommodation, so you are also treated to impeccable service by a staff that takes pride in helping guests feel at home. Their personable natures, excellent knowledge and outstanding professionalism exceed your every expectation. Main Naibor offers 7 guest tents with king size beds built from native fig wood, luxurious sofas, contrasting rugs along with other fused classic-modern design elements.
Safari Tier 2 - Rekero CampA blissful wildlife vacation in Kenya with AfricanMecca awaits you at Rekero Camp, a deluxe accommodation that is situated on the banks of the Talek River in the heart of Masai Mara National Reserve. The wilderness is known internationally as a premier destination for authentic African plains safari experiences, and Rekero captures the romantic and adventurous spirits of our guests. The entire camp is designed to celebrate the beauty of the Mara ecosystem with minimal environmental impact. All structures are under canvas, including a mid-size dining tent under shade trees and a small lounge area that rests upon a platform with incredible river views. 9 guest tents allow for a maximum of twenty guests, so you are assured the benefits of an exclusive Masai Mara tour, such as personalized service, exceptional food, immaculate tents with few in-camp guests, top notch personable guides and much more. The décor of your tent enhances the subtle romantic ambience of the setting through a tasteful use of natural blonde woods, neutral colors and rich fabrics.
Safari Tier 3 - Entim CampFor your modest bush travel in Masai Mara, we recommend Entim Camp located inside in the heart of the reserve. Situated at the meeting point of the Talek River and Mara River, the camp offers a secluded setting, fitting location for activities, palatable food and adequate service. Each of the 10 non-frill tents has the necessary furnishings that you need for a comfortable East African safari overnight stay, such as beds constructed of local wood, storage chest, nightstands, bedside lamps and curtains over the windows. Nature’s beauty is brought indoors with decorative fabrics and accents in chocolate brown, rich gold and bronze, burnt red, sage green, hints of white and many other contrasting colors. Your private verandah has safari-style chairs and a small table where you can enjoy some private game viewing and moments of complete relaxation. Your guest tent is set up to give you views of the river together with supplemented sounds of wildlife traveling to and fro, including hippos, elephants and other herbivores, as well as lions, hyenas and some other predators.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF CENTRAL MASAI MARA
MASAI MARA - NORTH, EAST, SOUTH & WEST
After your stay in Central Masai Mara, you will proceed for two nights to a private conservancy in the northern, eastern, southern or western regions of the main reserve along its border, which serves as wildlife management buffer zones. Each conservancy is founded upon a mutually-beneficial collaboration between landowners, conservation organizations and guest camps. The private-ownership status of the conservancies also means that a greater variety of safari activities are offered to guests, many of which are restricted in the main reserve.
TOUR EXPERIENCES OF MASAI MARA NORTH, EAST, SOUTH & WEST
RECOMMENDED PRE AND POST SAFARI AND BEACH EXTENSIONS IN KENYA
After this distinct safari, we recommend a combination off-beat extension to Tsavo, Shimba Hills or Meru in Southern and Eastern Kenya depending on your safari activity and wildlife preferences. Thereafter, harmoniously conclude with a beach rest and relaxation visit to the Eastern coast of Kenya with varied seashore, cultural and historic experiences available, including the Swahili islands and beaches of Mombasa (Diani, Galu, Tiwi, Nyali, Bamburi), Lamu, Malindi, Watamu, Kilifi, and the secluded Msambweni coast, idyllic islands of Funzi, Chale or also Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. The options are endless!
NORTHERN KENYA SAFARI EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 3 NIGHTS STAY
1. Samburu National Reserve - Note: You can swap Laikipia for SamburuEnjoy a quintessential Kenyan northern safari in Samburu with unrestricted access to authentic rugged East African wilderness. As you travel through Samburu, the diverse terrain transitions from rolling plains to volcanic remnants. The vegetation is concentrated along the Ewaso Nyiro River, the primary source of water in the reserve. You may not expect to see wildlife in such a stark landscape, but Samburu is home to an abundance of animal species. The most notable and sought after are known as the Samburu Special Five – Somali ostriches, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuks, reticulated giraffes and Beisa oryxes. More common mammals are Grant’s gazelles, impalas, waterbucks, dik diks, olive baboons, elephants, warthogs, hippos and carnivores, including lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, leopards, to name a few.
SOUTHERN & EASTERN KENYA SAFARI EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 2 OR 3 NIGHTS STAY
1. Chyulu Hills National Park - Note: You can swap Amboseli for Chyulu HillsChyulu Hills National Park is a striking landscape of emerald green hills, open vistas, winding rivers, dense forests and pools of water with reflections of white clouds in azure blue skies. Remote and wild, the park and surrounding conservancies are largely untouched by humans with the exception of the Maasai warriors who protect and depend upon the land. Described by Ernest Hemingway as "The Green Hills of Africa," this Kenyan treasure is not known as a big game destination, but rather, it is one of the few places where you will find almost no signs of tourism, lending to the surreal sense of isolation amidst surrounding resident fauna.
EASTERN KENYA BEACH EXPERIENCE - RECOMMENDED FOR 3 TO 6 NIGHTS STAYThe contrast of soft white sand and azure blue water lulls you into the enchantment of Kenya’s many beaches and islands. Each beachfront setting offers a unique experience to suit the personal style of every guest. Bury your toes in the soft white sand while watching soothing waves lap the shoreline. The aquamarine water of the Indian Ocean stretches as far as the eye can see, meeting the baby blue sky on the horizon. A lovely cocktail refreshes your spirit like the breeze in the swaying palm trees. The beaches and islands of Kenya melt away your every concern and rejuvenate your body, soul and mind. Below the Indian Ocean surface is a breathtaking world of marine life. Kenya is, in fact, home to some of the world’s greatest dive sites, including the second longest barrier reef on the planet. You can experience scuba diving, snorkeling, water skiing, kitesurfing, boating and angling for marlin, sailfish and other large game fish. Complement your beach vacation with Swahili historic and cultural experiences in Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi, Watamu and Kilifi.
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WHERE TO STAY IN NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi Tented Camp is the only accommodation that is sited inside the park. Should you prefer to stay on the unfenced southern border of the park, consider the Emakoko, a family-owned and operated 10-room lodge.
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SAFARI & TOUR IN NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Game drives in Nairobi National Park are offered in the morning and afternoon when the animals are most likely to be active. More leisurely activities include nature walks along the trails near the hippo pools.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK
Nairobi Park is sited at an elevation of 5030 feet to 5774 feet, so temperatures tend to be mild year round, making it as perfect day vacation destination in central Kenya no matter when you plan to visit.
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GUIDE ON NAIROBI CITY
Within a relatively short period of time, what was once swampland was reborn into the city of Nairobi, the thriving prime capital of Kenya. The transformation began when the railroad arrived in 1899.
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I booked my safari holiday through AfricanMecca. They were the most helpful company I have ever dealt with and I work within the travel industry. I had the most amazing time. The holiday went as clockwork with no hitches anywhere.
Shelley Roberts - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
Just wanted to say that we had an absolutely fantastic vacation in Kenya. Everything worked very smoothly. You can be sure I will recommend you to other people. Thanks again for organizing everything for us.
Sissel Johanne Berentsen, United Nations - Pristina, Austria
We had the most wonderful time. Throughout, I found AfricanMecca to be helpful, prompt, informative and extremely professional and I would recommend using them without hesitation.
Catherine Wright - Braintree, United Kingdom
We had a wonderful time in Kenya. Thank you. The people were extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome. The safari was magical. Thank you for your help over the bookings.
Lesley Grant Haworth - Farnham, United Kingdom
Jambo Altaf and Raza! We are back on earth now after our fabulous honeymoon. This is to say THANK YOU so much for organising a week in Kenya that we will never forget.....!
Dr Krina Zondervan, Oxford University - United Kingdom
In regards to the recent Kenya Safari I experienced with AfricanMecca, it was a trip of a lifetime and we'll never forget it. I can't say enough how much we loved this trip. Thank you.
Roz Applebaum, Owner, Paws By Roz - Massachusetts, United States
We were extremely pleased with our itinerary. All those elephants and giraffes just posing and asking to have their pictures taken. Thank you for planning one of the best trips I have ever taken.
Professor Donald S. Kisiel - Biology Department Suffolk County Community College - New York, United States
NAIROBI NATIONAL PARK SAFARI & TOUR PLANNING DETAILS
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