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The Romance of Kenya

An exclusive luxury safari, plus a tropical beach idyll – Kenya at its most beguiling!
Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya
Arrive in Kenya’s capital, where you are met on arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Your transfer to your accommodations will take approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on location and traffic. Enjoy a good night’s sleep after a long stretch of travel as you anticipate your departure for the coast in the morning.

Days 2-5: Kenya's South Coast
Ready to relax? You're headed for a side of Kenya that few safari-goers discover. Fly to Mombasa, then transfer to your seaside retreat. Where the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean laps against white sugar-sand beaches, where palm trees rustle in the salty breeze and tropical bird songs are all that breaks the silence, you'll find a handful of tiny resorts that offer profound peace and seclusion—we'll help you choose your perfect escape, an idyllic hideaway to rest up after a flurry of wedding festivities or the intensive preparations and long hours of travel preceding any safari. Stroll an isolated beach, snorkel with sea turtles, laze by the pool amid tropical flower gardens —then retreat to your typical Swahili-style thatched cottage for a nap, before emerging for a sunset cocktail and dinner. Enjoy outstanding fresh seafood and a fusion of flavors where the cultures of Africa and Arabia intersect. After a few days in this oceanside paradise, you'll surely be restored for your safari exploits ahead. 

6-8: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Fly inland today to Lewa Downs, the most famous private wildlife reserve in East Africa, which has become a global role model for sustainable wildlife conservation. Located in north-central Kenya at the foot of Mount Kenya, this former cattle ranch was transformed into a black rhinoceros sanctuary in the 1970s and is widely credited for returning rhinos from the brink of extinction. Lewa Downs is now the headquarters of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy that has gained a worldwide reputation for its pioneering efforts in conservation. The conservancy's 54,000 acres are dominated by open grasslands and gentle hills, with stands of mature acacia forest and papyrus swamp, all of which provides a home to a wide range of wildlife. In addition to common species such as elephant, buffalo, wildebeest and giraffe, Lewa is also a sanctuary for the endangered Grevy zebra and sitatunga, a rare aquatic antelope.

Lewa boasts a number of Kenya's most acclaimed safari camps and game lodges, including Sirikoi, where Britain's young royal couple, William and Kate, became engaged. Set in a shady acacia grove and overlooking a natural waterhole fed from a mountain spring, Sirikoi offers some of the best wildlife viewing in East Africa. A wide range of activities is available, including helicopter and bi-plane trips, game drives, horseback riding, bush walks and picnics against the backdrop of snowcapped Mt. Kenya, and visits to a local Maasai community. 

Days 9-11: West Gate Conservancy
Fly today to the West Gate Community Conservancy in the Northern Frontier District of Kenya, bordering the Samburu National Reserve and two other private conservation trusts. The Samburu landscape is vast and profound, yet within it lies an unexpected treasure: Sasaab safari camp, which combines the height of comfort and luxury with an epic African wilderness experience. Overlooking the EwasoNyiro River, tranquil Sasaab surveys a region replete with rare and endangered wildlife. West Gate is one of the most important areas for Grevy’s zebra conservation in northern Kenya, where herds of up to 500 roam the Naibelibeli Plains. An important wildlife corridor utilized by lion, leopard and Samburu's large herds of elephant traverses the area. On game drives, scout for the Samburu “Special Five” (Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Beisa oryx, gerenuk and Somali ostrich).

A host of activities beckons: explore the landscape atop a camel, or take a guided nature walk to discover fascinating plants and herbs and their uses in Samburu culture. Sasaab is located in a culturally rich area offering a fascinating montage of Samburu life. Staff can arrange special visits to traditional ceremonies such as blessing rituals, weddings and dances. Trips to weekly Samburu markets are a highlight of a visit to this region, offering guests a vivid display of Samburu art and culture through the local people's elaborate jewelry and attire. For guests who want to immerse themselves fully in the African wilderness, guided “fly camping,” or sleeping out under the stars beneath only a mosquito net, is an option from Saasab. And, when the rigors of safari have become taxing, rejuvenate at the spa, where herbal wraps, Kenyan coffee body scrubs and luxuriant massages are offered at river's edge.

Days 12-14: The Hidden Maasai Mara - Leleshwa Camp
Depart by air this morning for Leleshwa Camp, your base for exploring the famed Maasai Mara, named for the Maasai tribespeople who are the traditional inhabitants of this area, and the Mara River that runs through it. One of Africa’s most acclaimed wildlife reserves, the Mara is renowned for its annual wildebeest migration, prides of lion, and huge herds of hoofed game. The reserve is the northern portion of the Serengeti, and we find excellent wildlife viewing year-round in these grasslands that border Tanzania.

Our camp lies within the private Siana Conservancy, which offers a rare experience of the “hidden” Mara, unsullied by crowds of tourists that safari-goers encounter in other sectors of the region. The conservancy boasts a rich diversity of wildlife and birds – resident predators include three lion prides, numerous leopards and cheetah, in pursuit of large herds of plains game. A stunning way to observe the entire tableau is a sunrise flight aboard a hot air balloon, floating over the golden savanna and green hills, followed by a champagne breakfast beneath a shady acacia tree. At night, enjoy a private bush dinner under the stars. Leleshwa Camp also offers night drives to observe nocturnal wildlife, an opportunity not available within the public reserve.

Cultural visits are also a highlight. The Maasai are traditional pastoral herders who have grazed cattle in East Africa for centuries. Their rich culture is one of the most fabled in Africa, well known for regal pride, warrior prowess, intricate beadwork and traditional red plaid attire that was adopted during the colonial era and made their own. Meet community members and learn about their customs and traditions on visits to a nearby village, school and market. While most safari-goers come to Africa to see wildlife, they come away equally enriched by getting to know the local people that benefit from their visit. 

Day 15: Nairobi/Home
The last two weeks have truly been a world apart -- but today it's time to fly back to Nairobi and the start of your homeward journey.  On arrival at Wilson Airport you are transferred to a nearby hotel where a day room awaits. Here you may relax as you await your evening flight departure, or, should you wish to do some sightseeing at the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Center, Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, or shopping, we can arrange activities plus a day room near these locations at an extra cost.

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