Welcome to Kenya! You will be met on arrival at the airport or at a Nairobi hotel by your team leader – Wilson ole Kasaine and a Gamewatchers Safaris representative and transferred to the Nairobi Tented Camp for 2 nights. This is a superb alternative to staying in a hotel in the busy city centre. The camp is located in the heart of Nairobi National Park and it is the first accommodation of any sort to be allowed in this unique safari destination.
There isn’t anywhere else in the world like it: a wilderness escape where you can savour the feeling of being in the wilds of Africa in the heart of thick forest but right on the doorstep of the city of Nairobi. If it is your first time in Kenya, why would you stay anywhere else other than the Nairobi Tented Camp!
After breakfast at camp you will enjoy a morning game drive then return to camp for lunch and a relaxation. In the late afternoon, you will depart the camp for a private visit to the renowned Elephant Orphanage – the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – to view young orphaned elephants and learn more about these wonderful creatures. Your package includes adopting an orphaned elephant for one year.
Born from one family’s passion for Kenya and its wilderness, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is today the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa.
Founded in 1977 by Dr Dame Daphne Sheldrick D.B.E, in honour of the memory of her late husband, famous naturalist and founding Warden of Tsavo East National Park, David Leslie William Sheldrick MBE, the DSWT claims a rich and deeply rooted family history in wildlife and conservation. The DSWT has remained true to its principles and ideals, remaining a sustainable and flexible organisation. Guided by experienced and dedicated Trustees and assisted by an AdvisoryCommittee of proactive naturalists with a lifetime of wildlife and environmental experience, the Trust takes effective action and achieves long-lasting results.
Your visit to the elephant orphanage will leave you emotional and incredibly sensitive. The delight of seeing these beautiful creatures brought forward for an introduction, and watching them getting fed is a thrilling experience. Some of the young ones are crafty and you will always find a moment of mischief amongst them. This is your chance to find the one that captures your heart and to take his story back home with you when you leave.
You will then return to camp for dinner and overnight.
After an early breakfast you will then be transferred to Nairobi’s Wilson (domestic) airport for the morning flight to Selenkay / Amboseli. You will be met at the airstrip and transferred to Porini Amboseli Camp for 3 nights. Take a game drive or walk, returning to camp for lunch. In the afternoon you will have the option of “lion tracking” with Wilson and one of the guides of the Lion Guardian – Leparakuo Ole Shuaka.
The Lion Guardians program was developed in 2006 by the Living with Lions project and the local communities, and was initiated in collaboration with Maasailand Preservation Trust in January 2007 on Mbirikani Group Ranch in the Amboseli Ecosystem. Their mission is to promote sustainable coexistence between people and lion using cultural values, community participation and science. The Lion Guardians are playing an important role in the conservation of lion sin East Africa and for the first time in nearly a decade, the lion population in the Amboseli eco system is growing.
Later go out on a night game drive to explore the Selenkay Conservancy by night. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.
The Selenkay Conservancy was the first conservancy that was set up in 1997 as a community based conservancy with the partnership between Porini Camps and the local Maasai community. Land was set aside for wildlife conservation, and an agreement was made as follows: The land is being leased and thus the community are receiving rent, and there is an entry fee for each tourist visitor. All roads have been constructed using local labour in order to provide employment, and the camp employs at least 94% of its staff from the community. Porini Amboseli Camp has prestigious Gold eco-rating and one of the first 3 camps in Kenya to ever get this award.
After an early breakfast, spend the morning on a game drive in the Selenkay Conservancy. All the big cats have been seen in the Conservancy as well as elephants and a wide range of species including large numbers of giraffes, zebra, and antelopes. There are also less common animals to be seen such as the long-necked gerenuk gazelle, lesser kudu and African wildcat. You can also decide to go on an escorted nature walk with Maasai guides. Wilson will lead your nature walk and talk to you about the vegetation and the landscape surrounding you. You will discover the connection between the flora and fauna and how one depends on the other.
Return to camp for lunch and in the afternoon you will visit a nearby Maasai Village.
A visit to this village is an authentic experience for the traveller. Your tour guide will explain to you the various traditions that are intertwined in this visit. The maasai dances, the bead work, the smoking calabash and even the dancing children all have a history and significance to them. You do not pay anything extra and the community is more than happy to welcome you and show you around.
You will then go for a night game drive with a spotlight to seek out the nocturnal animals such as aardvarks, serval cats, caracals, bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, and other species. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.
Awake to the musical calls of the birds. After an early breakfast, drive through the bush on our private track into Amboseli National Park, for a full morning of game viewing. You will stop at a scenic site for a picnic lunch in the park, and then do game drives through the park as you return to camp later in the afternoon. In the evening you will go on a game drive in Selenkay Conservancy, stopping for a sundowner at a scenic viewpoint, followed by a night game drive. Return to camp for dinner and overnight.
Early breakfast and then drive through the Conservancy to the airstrip for the flight to Wilson, connecting onto the 10.20hrs flight to Nanyuki (arriving at 11.30hrs). You will be met at the airstrip and transferred to Porini Rhino Camp, located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Enjoy your lunch and at 15:30hrs, you will be taken on a different kind of lion tracking experience. You will identify the lions of Ol Pejeta Conservancy and see how you are contributing towards conservation efforts. It is a great way to learn about lions and all of the information gathered is passed on to the Ol Pejeta Ecological Monitoring Department. You will be in your vehicle at all times.
You will then go for a sundowner at Scotts hide and enjoy the spectacular and peaceful scenery of Ol Pejeta.
Scott’s Hide is a permanent hide, discreetly located in a wooded area on Scott’s plain overlooking a small waterhole. A hide is a great way of experiencing wildlife peacefully and undisturbed at close range, whilst providing guests with excellent photographic opportunities.
Go for a morning bush walk, then return to camp for breakfast. You will then be taken to the control office at 10.30hrs to listen to a talk on conservation by the Ol Pejeta Conservation Wildlife Department.
This will be an enlightning and educational session for you as you understand the concept of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, how it came about and all the projects that are currently running, and how your contribution to the conservancy is making a difference!
At 11.45hrs you will be taken on a behind-the-scenes tour of the chimpanzee sanctuary.
Since 1993, the Sweetwater’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service and Jane Goodall Institute has provided a home to orphaned chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations from different parts of the world. The Sanctuary is the only place in Kenya where this highly endangered and remarkably intelligent species can be seen. The orphaned chimpanzees brought into the Sanctuary are carefully nursed back to health but they can never be reintroduced into the wild. The Sanctuary offers them a safe refuge where they are able to live as natural a life as possible.
You will then enjoy a picnic lunch and continue your game drive on Oryx Plain and Zebra Plain and look out for the incredible wildlife that roams Ol Pejeta. You might even get a chance to see the endangered Wild dogs species.
At 16.00hrs you will visit the Northern White Rhinos Enclosure.
Guests have a once in a lifetime opportunity to come face to face with the world’s last three remaining Northern White Rhinos and hear their amazing story. The 700-acre endangered species enclosure also protects small populations of Grevy’s zebra and Jackson’s hartebeest.
Return to camp for dinner and overnight at Porini Rhino Camp.
You will depart from Porini Rhino Camp in the morning and fly from Nanyuki on the 09.45hrs Safarilink flight to Mara arriving at 11.00hrs. You will be met and transferred to Porini Mara Camp, arriving just in time for lunch. In the afternoon you will have a game drive with a sundowner at a scenic spot followed by a night game drive with spotlights to search for nocturnal animals, including the elusive leopards which are resident in Ol Kinyei Conservancy, before heading back to camp for dinner. Overnight at Porni Mara Camp.
The Ol Kinyei Conservancy is a pioneering award-winning conservancy and the first in the mara eco-system where an area of over 8,000 acres was set aside by the community for wildlife and without the presence of human settlements and cattle. The conservancy is now 18,700 acres and belongs to a Maasai community who set aside the land for the purposes of wildlife conservation providing them with tangible returns to help them improve their lives and not be solely dependent on cattle. The Conservancy was formed in 2005 through a partnership between 171 local private landowners and Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Safari Camps.
Ol Kinyei Conservancy was also voted as ‘Community Conservancy of the Year 2011 and 2012’ in Ecotourism Kenya’s Eco-Warrior Awards – was formed as a livestock exclusion zone to promote wildlife conservation through tourism enterprise and as such the small and exclusive Porini Mara Camp was set up within the Conservancy. The camp is operated with the objective of creating income for the community through employment and the leasing of land. The land owners are paid per acre of leased land as well as a fee per bed-night occupied, and 90% of the camp’s staff come from the community. Porini Mara Camp has been awarded a Gold Eco-rating by Ecotourism Kenya which reflects its positive focus on sustainable use of resources, protection of the environment and support of the local economy. The camp is non-permanent and has minimal impact on the environment.
Awake to the natural sounds of the Mara’s birdlife. After a quick up with tea/coffee brought to your tent, leave camp soon after dawn to explore the Ol Kinyei Conservancy (with a picnic breakfast) on the lookout for elephants, buffalo, giraffe, plains game and the big cats. Return to camp for breakfast and relaxation. You will be joined by one of the Mara Lion Project’s resident wildlife biologist and researcher, Mr Niels Mogensen, for a wonderful al fresco lunch. Mr Mogensen will talk to you about lion collaring, and its benefits and how it helps in the protection of these big cats.
Niels Mogensen alongside the Kenya Wildlife Service, successfully darted and fitted an adult female lion belonging to the Ol Kinyei pride with a GPS satellite collar. Of the eight adult females in the Ol Kinyei Pride, the female candidate selected to be collared – Nenkume – was chosen as she had split from the main group, most likely because she was the only female with no cubs. Nenkume was selected for the following reasons:
- Due to her location she was probably one of the first lionesses to leave the conservancy when their prey dispersed and ventured onto community land and possibly could have come into conflict with people
- She had no cubs
- She was not often seen by tourists
You will then go for an afternoon game drive, followed by a sundowner and night game drive on the way back to camp. Dinner and overnight at Porini Mara Camp.
Go for a morning guided bush walk in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy then return to camp for breakfast. You will have the day to explore the Ol Kinyei & Naboisho Conservancies and optional visit to one of the local schools nearby that the conservancy supports and a look at one of the predator proof enclosures just outside the conservancy which helps protect the Maasai’s cattle from predation by lions. Then game drive over to Porini Lion Camp , evening and a night drive then dinner and overnight at Porini Lion Camp.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya is home to the big cats – in impressive numbers – and herds of elephant, giraffe, and wildebeest. Rare species such as Aardvark, Caracal, Serval cat, Aardwolf, and Ratel are occasionally found. Naboisho is a bird watcher’s paradise with several bird species rarely seen elsewhere in the Mara such as White-Headed Buffalo-Weavers, Northern White-Crowned Shrike, Pigmy Falcon, Von Der Deckens Hornbills, Bush Pipits. Unlike its neighbour, the Masai Mara National Reserve, this private conservancy strictly monitors the number of tourists who enter the area, reducing the number of vehicles and the human impact on the environment and wildlife.
While the charm of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is its exclusivity, the philosophy of the conservancy is refreshingly inclusive. The conservancy was established not only to conserve the environment and wildlife, but also to protect and empower the local Maasai community. The 50,000 acre conservancy is made up of land contributions from 500 Maasai landowners and by visiting the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, you will be playing a part in protecting the cultural heritage of the local Maasai and improving their access to vital services.
A full day spent on a game drive in the famous Masai Mara Reserve with a picnic lunch in the park and then return to Porini Lion Camp in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight at Porini Lion Camp.
Morning and afternoon game drives in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy and with an excellent chance of sighting lions, cheetahs and leopards all of which are found in the conservancy. Stop at another scenic point for a sundowner and night game drive. Dinner and overnight at Porini Lion Camp.
The Olare Motorogi Conservancy was formed in 2006 when a deal was brokered with 277 Maasai land-owners which resulted in the formation of this Conservancy, bordering the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The conservancy offers pleasant and exclusive viewing of game in a pristine environment, with a rich and diverse wildlife population rarely found anywhere else on the African savannah, including some of the highest big cat densities in Africa.
Spend your last day of safari on an early morning game drive in the conservancy returning for breakfast at Porini Lion Camp. You will then be transferred to the airstrip for the 11.00hrs flight back to Nairobi’s Wilson airport (arriving 12.15hrs). You will then transfer to the international airport or a Nairobi hotel (hotel not included but can be added at a supplement). This is where you will take leave of your guide Wilson and of your journey with Gamewatchers Safaris. We hope that this enthralling experience was an unfolding mystery that provided you with an insight on how the conservancies are helping preserve wildlife and communities.
* Note re flight from Wilson to Amboseli / Selenkay: from 20 Dec to 31 Mar & 1 Jul to 31 Oct we have a daily direct charter flight from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport into the Selenkay Airstrip (and back). The airstrip is close to Porini Amboseli Camp. In other months we use the Safarilink daily scheduled flights into Amboseli National Park with a one hour transfer to Porini Amboseli Camp.