DAY 01 ARRIVE NAIROBI, KENYA
Jambo na Karibu! Hello and welcome to Nairobi, or in the Maasai language, "place of cool waters". On arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be met by an African Travel Inc. representative and transferred to the 5-star Nairobi Serena Hotel, a Member of the Leading Hotels of the World and well known for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and hospitality.
ACCOMMODATIONS: NAIROBI SERENA HOTEL - Standard room
The elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena is a member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ group and is consistently voted ‘Best Hotel in Nairobi'. This hotel offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa's most vibrant capital cities. All the rooms are air-conditioned and offer Internet (Wi-Fi and hard-wire connection), mini bar, digital safe, tea/coffee making facilities, LCD flat-screen satellite TV and 24-hour room service and are decorated in a fusion of international and pan-African styles. Offering a wide range of dining experiences, The Nairobi Serena is renowned for its ‘Mandhari' fine-dining restaurant. The Nairobi Serena Hotel also offers the exclusive ‘Maisha' Health Club and Spa.
DAY 02 NAIROBI / MOUNT KENYA
This morning drive north and up into the foothills of Mount Kenya to the world-famous Mount Kenya Safari Club in time for a buffet lunch. The afternoon is free to enjoy the club’s outstanding impeccable facilities which include the adjoining William Holden animal orphanage where a large variety of animals can be seen. Smart casual attire is required.
ACCOMMODATIONS: FAIRMONT MOUNT KENYA SAFARI CLUB - Deluxe room
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club offers a snapshot of Africa from a bygone era. Originally the retreat of movie star and club founder, William Holden, illustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. Under the watchful eye of the mountain, guests can stroll throughout the hotel’s tranquil grounds and relax in the refined elegance of the club-like interior. The guest rooms, suites and cottages are imbued with tradition and charm, but equipped with modern-day amenities. All rooms feature a fire place, in room safe, a fully stocked mini-bar, tea and coffee facilities and en suite bathroom. The signature restaurant boasts a menu abounding with the incredible variety of foods that are farmed in Central Kenya. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this elegant setting features terrace and indoor dining around the original grand fireplace. The adjacent Zebar is a great spot to unwind after a day of adventure, while the pool bar is perfect for a tranquil rendezvous. Recreational activities available: horseback riding, golf, croquet, a bowling green, table tennis, swimming, a beauty salon, an animal orphanage and much more. (BLD)
DAY 03 MOUNT KENYA / OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY
After breakfast transfer to Sweetwaters Serena Camp located in a private conservancy with a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any of Kenya's national parks making this camp one of the most exclusive tented safari camps in Kenya.
Enjoy an afternoon out onto the rolling plains on your game drive to enjoy the wonderful array of game on offer. Game driving in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a true pleasure with very few other vehicles in the area. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to Kenya’s largest population of Black Rhino, considerable numbers of elephant, cheetah, lion, leopard and plentiful plains game. There are also a number of rare Northern species like Grevy’s Zebra, Jacksons Hartebeest and Beisa Oryx.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SWEETWATERS SERENA CAMP - Morani tent
A sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Serena Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and Kenyan safari luxury. Your accommodation will be in the upgraded Morani luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The tents are spacious with exquisite design and furnishings complemented by fantastic views of Mount Kenya. All tents come complete with modern amenities including an en suite bathroom, WIFI connectivity and safes.
DAY 04 OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the park. The conservancy has a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any Kenyan national park. At the forefront of the Kenyan conservancy program, the conservancy boasts the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, hosts the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya, and shelters large numbers of rare and endangered species.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SWEETWATERS SERENA CAMP (BLD)
DAY 05 OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY / MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
After breakfast, check out and transfer to the local airstrip in time for your scheduled flight to the world-famous Maasai Mara National Reserve. Arrive in time for lunch at Mara Serena Lodge.
Discover the Kenya of your dreams, a vast, gently rolling landscape of acacia-specked grasslands darkened by large wildebeest herds. Spend the afternoon on safari in Kenya's most popular reserve. Arrive back at camp in time for a hot shower, campfire cocktails and dinner in the luxurious central restaurant.
ACCOMMODATIONS: MARA SERENA LODGE
Mara Serena Safari Lodge invites you to a world where dramatic sights and experiences are enhanced by gracious service and luxury amenities. The hotel is designed in the style of a traditional Maasai Manyatta while offering every modern comfort. Styled to echo the circular motif of a traditional Maasai manyatta, the lodge blends international sophistication with raw African beauty, with each room having its own view of the famous Mara River. Each room is its own stand-alone modular unit, with uninterrupted views, private balcony and spacious seating area. The dining areas offer spectacular views, along with the rock-surround swimming pool. (BLD)
DAY 06 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
During your stay, enjoy a hippo pool breakfast. After a cup of tea in the morning, leave the hotel and enjoy an exciting safari in the fresh morning. Arriving on the banks of the world-famous Mara River you will be met by a traditionally clad Maasai warrior who will lead you along the river where countless hippos wallow. Reaching a clearing you will be offered a glass of chilled sparkling wine or fresh juice before being shown to your table, located in a shady grove immediately alongside the hippo pool. Beneath the trees you will find a full display of a sumptuous breakfast.
Breakfast is a leisurely experience after which your Maasai warrior guide you back along the riverbank to your vehicle. You can then experience another game drive on your way back to the lodge. All the "Big Five" - Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant and Leopard - are here, as well as cheetah, hippo, hartebeest, gazelle, topi, antelope, zebra and many other animals. The Mara is also noted for its abundance of lions - particularly the superb black maned males. After lunch at the lodge you will be taken out on your afternoon game drive.
ACCOMMODATIONS: MARA SERENA LODGE (BLD)
DAY 07 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is an extension of the world-renowned Serengeti National Park of Tanzania. Named for the Maasai tribes people (the traditional inhabitants of the area) and the Mara River which divides it, the reserve is famous for its exceptional population of game and the annual migration of the wildebeest. Maasai Mara offers wonderful scenery of breathtaking vistas, panoramas of vast rolling plains, hills and woodland groves all watered by the lovely Mara River. The waters of the Mara River are home to crocodiles and pools of hippo, while the woodlands and forests are favored by leopard and elephant. The open savannah areas play host to the plains game. After a relaxing day at the camp, you will head out on another game drive in the late afternoon.
ACCOMMODATIONS: MARA SERENA LODGE (BLD)
DAY 08 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
After breakfast travel overland to Ngerende Airstrip, where you will be met by an African Travel Inc. /ME to WE representative, and transferred to Bogani Cottages and Tented Camp.
Enjoy lunch followed by an introduction to ME to WE's sustainable development model, Free The Children’s WE Villages. Learn how ME to WE works with rural communities to break the cycle of poverty and achieve long-term community development. The five pillars of the model are: quality primary education, clean drinking water and sanitation, health care services, agriculture and alternative income projects.
After lunch, go on a guided walking tour of a local primary school in the Enelerai community. See the difference between an old school structure and a new working school built by WE Villages. After dinner, rest up for tomorrow’s day of volunteering.
ACCOMMODATIONS: BOGANI COTAGES AND TENTED CAMP
Bogani is located to the north of the Maasai Mara, surrounded by open countryside and local villages. There are 5 large family cottages and 18 safari tents. The camp's traditional safari tents are spread over a large area and have stone flooring and fully screened doors and windows. The tents are well furnished using local fabrics and traditional Kenyan decor. Each tent has comfortable twin or double beds, a private veranda with comfortable chairs, plenty of storage space, standing fans, electrical sockets and a safe. All tents are en-suite, with hot running water, basins, and flush toilets. (BLD)
DAY 09 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Join the mamas at Emori Joi for a special walk through the community. Learn more about how the Kipsigis organize their homes and lives. Fetch water with the mamas, a task the women perform daily. Share a meal and participate in a discussion about the changes taking place in the community regarding gender and culture. In the afternoon, roll up your sleeves and work alongside Maasai and Kipsigi community members as you help to build a new school.
ACCOMMODATIONS: BOGANI COTAGES AND TENTED CAMP (BLD)
DAY 10 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Visit an authentic Kenyan market and learn about the economic environment in which the community members live. Continue working on the school-building site, perhaps trying a different role.
In the afternoon, visit the Baraka Medical Clinic and Medicinal Garden. The clinic serves over 30,000 community members, promoting healthy living and providing preventative, curative and rehabilitative services to the most vulnerable segments of the Kenyan population. Learn about the medicinal plants grown in the shamba (garden), including moringa, aloe vera, thyme, spider plant, and many more. This shamba supplements the food program in local schools, as well as helps to decrease malnutrition in the communities by providing supplements to both pregnant mothers and their children.
ACCOMMODATIONS: BOGANI COTAGES AND TENTED CAMP (BLD)
DAY 11 MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE / NAIROBI / DEPART
Go on a sunrise hike before you say farewell to this incredible experience, and your new friends in the community. There will also be a short debrief on your community experience with your facilitators.
Fly back to Wilson airport in Nairobi, and enjoy lunch on arrival. Visit the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where you’ll get the chance to see these fascinating animals up close. Transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home. This may be the end of your adventure trip, but it is also the beginning of your personal journey to carry your experience forward. (BL)
END OF AFRICAN TRAVEL SERVICES