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16 Night Best of Kenya Safari

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Departure Date
October 16, 2024
Multiple Dates Available
Tourcan Vacations
Africa & Middle East
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Curated by CruisePlus Founder, Dave

I’m Dave Frinton, founder of CruisePlusTravel & Tours… and in love with East Africa. It gives me great pleasure in presenting to you my signature safari to Kenya. I’ve been lucky enough to have been in the country and hosted safaris many times– with the hope for many more to come. After experiencing various itineraries I’ve come up with a fabulous program that (with a couple of small changes)is the same as the one we experienced with around 65 guests in January/February 2023.There’s a lot of information to digest. If you are serious about a soft adventure like this, we highly recommend you take the time to read this. We’ve found that being very upfront and detailed about what to expect is best for all. You will have lots of questions, and hopefully, we will answer most of them here. If we haven’t, then make sure and ask. We hope that you can enjoy Kenya as we do. Asante sana!

Embark on an unforgettable 16 Night Kenya Safari adventure in the heart of East Africa!  After visiting many times, Dave has worked with our close safari partners – some of the best in the world - to create a unique itinerary that truly highlights the best of what a safari in Kenya should be.  Experience the stunning landscapes, wildlife, and culture as you visit national parks and reserves, all while enjoying the expertise of some of the best guides in the business. Witness majestic herds of elephants, see lions, cheetahs, and leopards in their natural habitats, and encounter indigenous tribes and local communities to learn about their way of life.  Our expertly designed and led safari will be a lifetime highlight!

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*14 nights in the same stateroom: + $100pp (double occupancy) 

*14 nights in the same stateroom: +$200pp (single occupancy)

*There are only a limited amount of staterooms available on each sailing where moving is not going to be necessary.

  • Airport transfers from/to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
  • Greeting upon arrival including wet towels and ‘bubbly’
  • Complimentary safari gear - authentic branded safari hat and safari essentials pack
  • Hotel stay in Nairobi including breakfast
  • Full board accommodation while on safari
  • Meals as stated on the itinerary
  • 2 lunches in Nairobi
  • 1 dinner at Manji Family Home (for hosted dates)
  • Park entrance fees
  • Evacuation flying doctors if needed for medical emergencies
  • Services of a professional English-Speaking guide throughout the journey
  • Unlimited mileage on game-viewing drives
  • Unlimited water while in the vehicle on safari (bottled mineral drinking water
  • Use of a custom-designed pop-up roof Safari Land Cruiser while on safari
  • Maasai Village visit
  • Flights as per the itinerary (3 internal)
  • Majority of gratuities to camp/lodge/hotel staff and guides
  • Some extra surprises!
CruisePlus Perks
Priority Access

» Priority check-in

» Priority access to specialty restaurant reservations

» Priority line at the Guest Services desk

» Priority line at the Shore Excursions desk

» Priority access to tenders ashore in select ports

» Priority disembarkation

Premium Dining

» Expanded 24-hour room service breakfast menu

» Pinnacle Class ships: Private dining venue for breakfast and dinner with an expanded menu

» All other ships: Priority seating in the Dining Room for breakfast and dinner with an expanded menu

Exclusive Amenities

» Complimentary stateroom upgrade

» Dedicated concierge service

» Welcome glass of sparkling wine on embarkation day

» Premium bathrobes

» Club Orange keycard

» Exclusive Club Orange tote bag (one per stateroom)

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Call for pricing. 1.800.854.9664
Pricing is per person, based on double occupancy and in USD. Additional terms & conditions apply.
Highlights & Sightseeing
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DAY 1 – Nairobi

Overnight: Serena Nairobi Hotel

JAMBO - KARIBU!! Upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, TwigaTours representatives will meet you with our traditional, unique & special welcome(bubbly, wet towels. You will then proceed to your hotel for check in. Most international flights arrive around 9:00 – 10:00 pm. Normally, from landing to being at the hotel, is 1.5 to 2 hours.

All passengers arriving in Nairobi will be met at or near the arrival gate from Tradewinds (wearing a yellow luminous jacket) - a VIP greeting service. They will beholding a sign that says “CruisePlus Travel and Tours” or “Your Name” on it.

The Tradewinds Representative will assist you through immigration and customs and escort you outside the terminal where the Twiga Tours vehicles will be waiting. You are then transferred to your hotel in Nairobi, Kenya’s colourful capital city, for check-in. Be sure and have two colour copies of your Kenyan visa with you, your valid passport (must not expire until a minimum of 6 months after the day you return home and have at least 3 blank pages available) and copies of your record of COVID vaccinations. You may prefer to fly in a day or two early to help with the time change or to simply relax by the pool or take some other city tours. Should you choose to do so, there are extra charges for the hotel and airport transfers.

Note: Water will be available in your room and room service is available 24 hours.

DAY 2 – Nairobi

Meals: breakfast at the hotel; lunch at Karen Blixen; dinner at Manji family home.**

Overnight: Serena Nairobi Hotel

After breakfast (normally we leave at 9:00 am sharp) you will proceed to the renowned Giraffe Centre, where you will be given a rare opportunity to get up close to these gentle giants in this natural sanctuary, which was founded to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe. Here you are able to climb to the top of a platform and stand eye to eye with the giraffes and feed them with small pellets. There’s also a short, informative presentation as well.

Next, visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. This centre has played a significant role in Kenya’s conservation efforts. The baby elephants are brought from the national park for a mudbath at the orphanage, where for an hour (i.e., 11:00am – 12:00 pm) you can get close to them and sometimes touch them. You may not feed the animals but will get a chance to view the handlers feeding them. The orphanage offers hope for any orphaned baby elephant fortunate enough to be found alive and so far, it is proud to have saved over 150 orphaned infant elephants who otherwise would have perished. The baby elephants are raised at the orphanage with the intention of gradually reintegrating them into the wild. The age range of the elephants can vary from a few months to three years. Each elephant is assigned to its own keeper, who acts as a surrogate mother and will stay with the elephant until it is released back into the wild.

After a delicious lunch we will drive to Garden Children’s’ Home in Dagoretti, where you will get the opportunity to touch the lives of approximately 300 adorable children. Garden Children’s’ Home is one of the many projects supported by the Manji Family through The Manji Foundation. The home is a refuge for abandoned children and has recently become a school, educating not only the students that have taken refuge behind their walls but also those that live in the area. If you have decided to bring items for the school, please bring them with you in the morning and they will accompany us on the bus or transfer vehicles. Hopefully you will meet the founder of Garden Childrens’ Home, Daddy Moses, and listen to his touching tale of how the centre was created. The Manji Foundation supports the Garden Children’s Home in various ways: one hot meal every day, providing stationary, uniforms, desks, other learning essentials and, most recently building a science lab for the school.

At approximately 4:30 pm, you will head to your hotel to freshen up before your welcome dinner party at the Manji Family residence. You will be picked up at 6:30pm at the front entrance of the hotel.**Note: if you are doing a non-hosted trip, this day’s itinerary may change and dinner is likely in a local Nairobi restaurant near the hotel.

DAY 3 – Flight to Amboseli and Game Drive(s)

Meals: Breakfast at the Serena Nairobi, lunch and dinner at Amboseli Serena

Overnight: Serena Amboseli Lodge

After breakfast, you will fly from Wilson Airport in Nairobi for your short flight (around 35 minutes) to Amboseli. In early 2023 the flights left at 7:30 am, so this meant an early breakfast (6:00 am) with bags out at 6:15 am and a strict departure at 6:30 am. We’re hoping your scheduled flight time is similar, as if it is, with any luck you’ll arrive and be able to see the majesty of Mt. Kilimanjaro and enjoy your first 2 - 3 hour safari. Air schedules will be confirmed at a later date, so our day may start a little later and necessitate a shorter morning safari.

You’re going to meet your guide(s) for all of your safaris this morning! They will greet you at the airstrip in Amboseli and you can expect a quick briefing before we begin the fun part! In the afternoon, you will proceed on an afternoon game-viewing drive, set in rolling savannah scenery, it is dwarfed by the presence of the pinktinged, snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing volcanic mountain in the world and topped by one-fifth of all the ice in Africa. Against this magnificent backdrop roam vast herds of ‘giant’ elephants accompanied by a kaleidoscope of other fabulous beasts - lion, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, baboon, gazelle hippo, and wildebeest. Amboseli National Park is also an ornithological paradise with over 400 species of birds, all manner of reptilian, flora, fauna, and some of the most soul-searing views in Africa.

This Maasai inspired property is located within the boundary of the park, and very close to some of the best animal viewing areas in Amboseli. Enjoy the stunning views, and take a dip in the pool in your leisure time.

DAY 4 – Amboseli Game Drives

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Amboseli Serena

Overnight: Serena Amboseli Lodge

Spend the full day in Amboseli National Park with two shared game drives per day. This location exhibits one of Kenya’s most spectacular displays of wildlife - lion, elephant, cheetah, buffalo and hosts of plains’ game. We normally have our first game drive departing at 6:15 or 6:30. You should expect to be back at the lodge for breakfast at around 9 am. Coffee, tea and cake is served at 6:00 am. You’ll have almost 7 hours to lounge around the pool, or perhaps try the nature walk. Amboseli can get quite hot during the day, so be mindful of the sun and watch out for the cheeky vervet monkeys or baboons that will steal anything from you if you give them an opportunity! There’s a bar overlooking a healthy stream of animals walking or running by.

Our afternoon safari leaves at approximately 4 pm and you can expect to be back at the lodge around 7 pm.

DAY 5 – Mt. Kenya Area, Aberdare Country Club & The Ark

Meals: Breakfast at Serena Amboseli, lunch at Aberdare Country Club and dinner at The Ark

Overnight: The Ark

This day combines game drives, a flight and your trip to The Ark. After breakfast in Amboseli, you will have a mini-game drive on the way to the airstrip where you will depart to Nanyuki or the Mt. Kenya Safari Club private airstrip. You will be met by your Nairobi-based team who will drive you up for a delicious lunch at Aberdare Country Club. Sometimes we can get there quite early, so bring a book or your swim suit as you’ll have time before lunch to relax if we get the early flight option. This afternoon transfer to your overnight Tree lodge built deep in the forest. Enjoy game viewing at the floodlit water hole and salt lick from the comfortable lounge areas or your room at any time of night such as the savannah elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, bush bucks, giant forest hogs, Sykes monkey, leopard, and the rare bongo. A ground-level bunker provides excellent photographic opportunities and takes you closer than you would believe possible to the wildlife. A warm jacket/sweater is highly recommended, as we will be at almost 8000 feet in elevation. Going to the Ark requires only an overnight bag, but it can be the size of a normal carry-on, soft-sided bag. Please just bring what you need, and the rest of your bags will be transported by your guides and returned to you on the morning of Day 6.

DAY 6 – Aberdare & Samburu

Meals: Breakfast at the Ark, lunch and dinner at the Ashnil Surana Buffalo or the Ashnil Samburu tented camp

Overnight: The Ashnil Surana Buffalo or Ashnil Samburu Tented Camp

You will depart The Ark at approximately 8:00 am for your 30-45 minute transfer back to Aberdare Country Club for a quick pit stop and to reunite with your safari guides. After your luggage has all been identified we have about a 3 hour drive down to Samburu. It’s quite a contrast from last night in the middle of the tropical jungle to this very hot and dry area.

Samburu National Reserve is set in the rugged semi-arid northern region of Kenya and has spectacular scenic landscapes. Upon arrival, you will be met by the camp’s representative and transferred to the camp for a warm welcome, then lunch, and have time for a short siesta before heading for an afternoon game-viewing drive. The verdant riverine forest is a stark contrast to the arid thorn studded plains. The Samburu region is the best place to find several endemic Northern species, including the Gerenuk (Twiga gazelle) due to her long neck, the Beisa Oryx, the Reticulated Giraffe, the Somali Ostrich and Grevy’s Zebra. Samburu is also an ornithological paradise, home to many birds including local species such as the Palm Nut Vulture and the Vivacious Dove. Leopards are often seen at dusk.

The Samburu culture is a truly fascinating one, sharing a great deal of ancestral and linguistic ties to the Maasai. The entire Samburu region is a place of breath-taking and magical beauty, a place where the vision of a deep red sunset silhouetting the doum palms along the river as a leopard emerges to hunt brings the perfect end to a day on safari. The afternoon safari is likely between 4 pm and 7 pm.

Note: If you ask the guides, and many others you meet, Samburu may be their favorite area

DAY 7 – Samburu Game Drives

Meals included today: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the Ashnil Surana Buffalo or the Ashnil Samburu tented camp

Overnight: Ashnil Surana Buffalo or Ashnil Samburu Tented Camp

Spend this day in Samburu with morning (likely a 6:15 am start returning for breakfast) and afternoon game viewing drives (4 pm – close to 7 pm). The Ewaso Nyiro River which meanders through the vast, dry, doum palm-dominated reserve brings life along the green, scenic riverbanks, home and refuge to many wildlife. We try and arrange a special guest lecturer at 10:00 am today for our hosted groups, if the speaker is available.

DAY 8 – Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Meals: Breakfast at Ashnil, lunch and dinner at Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp.

Overnight: Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp

You’ll drive up this time! It’s an absolutely beautiful climb past the many agricultural farms and the famous “rose” greenhouses with hopefully some stunning scenes of Mt. Kenya. Upon arrival at the Ol Pejeta gates, you’ll be asked to fill out an entry/ liability form, which can be done using provided tablets or your phone. We enjoy a game drive in this game-wealthy conservancy with a visit to the Chimpanzee Sanctuary, a charming haven established by the Jane Goodall Institute to provide sanctuary to orphaned chimps, and the specially protected refuge of black rhino. In fact, Ol Pejeta boasts excellent game viewing with the highest ratio of game to area of any park or reserve in Kenya. The camp overlooks one of the busiest waterholes in the area and offers an astounding variety of animals including all the Big Five and myriad of plains game.

There were TV documentaries called “Ol Pejeta Diaries” filmed here. You may want to watch some of this! Our guides will take you on an afternoon safari departing at approximately 4 pm. Tonight or tomorrow (the camp will choose) they will offer an optional night safari between 9 pm and 11 pm. Dress warmly for this. Suggested tip for your guide and spotter (who work for Sweetwaters) $5 - $10 per person, shared between them. You will likely be in for a lovely surprise at these tents and the flow of animals coming to you at the salt lick.

Note: We’ll likely have a stop at one of the souvenir shops with exceptional selections. If you do decide on some things to take home please be prepared to bargain. They’re always hoping that someone will pay their asking price, but often you can negotiate to a fraction of their initial offer.

DAY 9: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Sweetwaters.

Overnight: Overnight at the lodge. Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp

Today is a pretty relaxed day. It’s almost a rest day, but you are likely going to want to see the chimps and pet Muraka the rhino. We’ll let you know about timing, but your first outing won’t be before 7:30 am. There are a few “touristy” things to do that will be covered during the two safaris. The big attraction here are the rhinos, and with any luck, you will get very up close and personal with the White and Black ones, and hopefully you’ll see and learn about the last 2 remaining Northern White rhinos in the world living at Ol Pejeta.

DAY 10 – Mount Kenya Safari Club

Meals: Breakfast at Sweetwaters; lunch and dinner at Mt. Kenya Safari Club

Overnight: Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club

After breakfast, you will drive to Nanyuki then proceed to the famous Mount Kenya Safari Club, originally the retreat of movie star and club founder, William Holden and one that boasts an illustrious list of former members who include Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. This prestigious club’s main structure reflects the 1950s’ colonial architectural design with a luxury country club feel, complemented with independent quaint cottages, including William Holden’s original cottage, spread over 100 acres of landscaped gardens. The club’s activity list is long and includes golf, croquet, a bowling green, table tennis, swimming, an animal orphanage or you may want to simply relax, rejuvenate and refresh yourself at the Health and Fitness Centre set within these serene breath-taking surroundings.

Note from Dave: Please take advantage of your free admission to the Animal orphanage and meet “Davy”….a cheetah named after me! My sister, brother-in-law,

and family made a donation and now I have this 5 year old beauty named after me…pretty cool, eh?

Ask for a fire at night in your room! You’re located at 7000 feet right on the equator. Please dress up a bit for dinner. An open-collared shirt and no jeans or shorts are requested for gentlemen, and resort casual for ladies.

DAY 11 – Mount Kenya Safari Club

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Mt. Kenya Safari Club

Overnight: Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club

No planned activities. Enjoy your day before you’re back on safari!

Note from Dave: You can go back and see Davy again if you like! But if today is all about R & R! Mount Kenya Safari Club is just so lovely and with any luck, you’ll have a breath-taking view of Mount Kenya, plus see the resident wild black and white colobus monkeys.

DAY 12 – Lake Elementaita** (**see other option)

Meals included today: Breakfast at the Mt. Kenya Safari Club; lunch and dinner at Serena Lake Elementaita

Overnight: Serena Lake Elementaita

Let’s go see flamingos! At Lake Elementaita we are likely to see them in vast numbers. It’s about a 5 hour drive from Mt. Kenya Safari Club and there will be a game drive at 4 pm before dinner. Enjoy the scenery on the way as you make your way into the Great Rift Valley. We will have one or two breaks along the way!

DAY 13 – Maasai Mara National Reserve (**see other option)

Meals: Breakfast at Serena Lake Elmentaita; lunch and dinner Mara Serena SafariLodge

Overnight: Mara Serena Safari Lodge

After a lovely breakfast, you will begin the drive to the Maasai Mara, which can take up to 6 hours. Along the way, you will have a chance to observe many communities. The Maasai Mara is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where the visitor may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago. Enjoy a game viewing drive enroute to the camp. Arrive for lunch and some relaxation time. In the afternoon you will have another game- viewing drive. This will be your first chance to see the enchanting, wide open scenery of this reserve. There is magic here.

The Maasai Mara Game Reserve is famous for her big five; the most sought after in the early 20th century, when Kenya was a hunters’ paradise – now a photographer’s paradise. The vast savanna grasslands as far as the eye can see are home to elephants, Cape buffalo, leopards, rhinos, lions, cheetahs, impalas, Maasai giraffes, waterbucks, warthogs, Thompson & Grant gazelles, topis, and resident wildebeests among many others.

**Other option: While I strongly recommend you do the driving and sightseeing (as outlined above), should you wish the “flying” option, you can elect to eliminate the drive and night at Lake Elementaita for an extra night (making it a total of 3) at Mt. Kenya Safari Club and then flying from there to the Maasai Mara. You would then meet up with our group the afternoon of Day 13 at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge in time for the afternoon game drive. The extra cost for this substitution will be approximately $800 - $1000 US more per person. Please let us know if this is something that interests you and we can get you a firm price

DAYS 14, 15 and 16 – Maasai Mara National Reserve

Meals included these 3 days: Breakfast, lunch* and dinner Mara Serena Safari Lodge (*will be a box lunch on any full-day safaris)

Overnight: Mara Serena Safari Lodge

Between these 3 full days in the Maasai Mara we will have a least one full-day safari (possibly two) that will run between approximately 8:00 am and 4:00 pm with a picnic box lunch. It’s such a vast area, and often the most likely place to find the big cats in more private settings. For most, the Mara is the highlight of the trip, and if you do miss a safari here, you really will likely miss something fabulous –whether the hippos and crocs at the Mara river or herds of elephants, buffalo or wildebeest (which can be abundant or hard to find at all – depends on the migration).

Note from Dave: It’s a magical spot, and in my will, 1/3 of my ashes are to be spread here. This place absolutely grabs my heart and having this much time to inhale the beauty and feel the emotion is quite exhilarating. I hope it does the same for you.

If doing a balloon safari is on your list, then sign up for an early morning balloon ride in the Mara. Sometimes there’s last-minute space, but demand is usually high, so we recommend planning in advance for this optional experience. It does get great reviews!

We’ll spend a few hours at a Maasai village. Please be prepared to do some negotiating in their Maasai mall! Note: they do not accept credit cards.

We plan a couple of surprises in the Mara…but they are a surprise!

Should you wish to give a bonus tip to your drivers, please give those dollars to your host on the last day. 100% will be given to them and will be divided between them. This is a big part of their pay – so please do not tip individually, we ensure that it is fair.

DAY 17 – Return to Nairobi

Meals: Breakfast at the Mara Serena Safari Lodge; lunch in Nairobi restaurant

Dayroom: Sheraton Four Points Nairobi Airport or similar

At the air strip it’s time for some group pictures and to say Kwaheri to all of our guides. It’s often very emotional as we all get very attached to these lovely human beings who I’m confident will have delivered an unforgettable vacation for you. It’s likely there will be an early morning last game drive between 6:30 am and 8:30 am returning for breakfast and then it’s packing up time. Flights can be anywhere from around 10 am to noon (but always subject to change) from the air strip, which is approximately only 5 minutes from the lodge.

Upon arrival, you will be transferred to a popular Nairobi restaurant for lunch. Later, proceed to explore the Karen Blixen Museum for a glimpse into the fascinating world of this pioneer coffee farmer, who achieved world fame through her highly acclaimed memoir, “Out of Africa”. She left Africa after a series of personal tragedies and her lovely colonial house has been preserved as a museum. Set in expansive gardens, the Karen Blixen Museum is an interesting place to wander around.

You will be reunited with any luggage you may have left in Nairobi. You will transfer to the Sheraton Four Points (or similar) airport hotel to relax and freshen up before your flight home. Transfers are provided by the hotel to the airport leaving normally on the hour (please confirm this!). Please tip the porters at this hotel and give a dollar or two to the hotel driver taking you to the airport.

Pricing is per person, in USD and based on double occupancy. Additional terms & conditions apply.
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New bookings only. Fares are per person in the currency noted (USD), based on double occupancy, are capacity controlled, subject to availability at the time of booking and may be withdrawn without notice. Optional supplier charges may apply and are not included. Amenities, if offered, are available for the first two in a stateroom only & based on double occupancy unless specifically stated otherwise.

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Please note, this website may not reflect changes to offers in real time. Therefore, it is important you contact us in order to receive to a quote.

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Offer Last Updated: Jul 08, 2024

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