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For a limited time, past National Geographic Expeditions travelers can save on their next exciting trip! Book by May 31, 2023 and save $500 per person on select departures. Take advantage of this special offer by calling (877) 728-7282, contacting your Travel Agent or booking online with code BPOSL24.Available Departures
- Jul 9-19, 2023
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- Dec 4-14, 2023
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For a limited time, save $400 per person on North America itineraries or save $500 per person on international itineraries when you book select 2024 National Geographic Signature Land departures by April 7, 2023. Or, save $750 per person when you book a 2024 River Cruise by April 7, 2023.*
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This is offer has limited availability, so reserve your trip soon!Available Departures
- Feb 2-12, 2024
- Jun 21-Jul 1, 2024
- Visit National Geographic-supported projects throughout Kenya protecting elephants, rhinos, big cats, and more.
- Set out on safari in three wildlife conservancies known for their high concentrations of African megafauna: Amboseli National Park, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and Masai Mara National Reserve.
- Interact with orphaned elephants at Nairobi’s renowned David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, featured in the September 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine.
- Delve into Maasai culture during a village visit, and learn about wildlife conservation efforts carried out in partnership with local communities.
Go beyond the typical safari experience, observing Kenya’s iconic wildlife through the eyes of the conservationists dedicated to protecting it. Spend time in three spectacular reserves, embarking on game drives and visiting field stations where National Geographic-supported researchers are working to save critical species, from rhinos and giraffes to the legendary big cats. Gaze at the elephants of Amboseli in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, and track rare species like African wild dogs and white and black rhinos through the thriving Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. In the legendary Masai Mara, observe herds of zebras and wildebeests—and the fierce predators that hunt them. Along the way, meet wildlife biologists and conservationists who are finding creative solutions to the poaching and habitat loss that threaten East Africa’s incredible biodiversity.
Arrive at the airport in Nairobi, where our staff will be on hand to facilitate your transfer to the hotel. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Meet your fellow travelers for an orientation this morning and then set out for Kazuri, a factory that employs single mothers and other marginalized Kenyans to make high-quality ceramic beads and jewelry. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit the Giraffe Centre, established by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife to educate Kenya’s children about their country’s wildlife. Learn about the center’s program for breeding endangered Rothschild’s giraffes and releasing them into the wild. Early this evening, enjoy an after-hours tour of the excellent Nairobi National Museum. Gather tonight for a festive welcome reception and dinner.
Fly by private charter to Amboseli National Park, where vast savanna and marshlands are irrigated by underground runoff streams from Mount Kilimanjaro. These landscapes provide a habitat for hundreds of elephants, making the park one of the best places in Africa to spot these majestic pachyderms. The safari begins on the drive to our sustainable safari lodge, set within view of Mount Kilimanjaro—the world’s highest freestanding peak. Enjoy lunch and time to settle into your tent before a talk by our expert. Then set out on a sunset safari, on the lookout for cheetahs, lions, zebras, and other creatures scattered across the endless savanna. Return to the lodge for dinner.
Go on an early morning safari in Amboseli, keeping an eye out for the savanna’s smaller creatures, including some of the more than 400 bird species that have been identified here—from superb starlings to grey crowned cranes. Stop for breakfast on the way to the Amboseli Trust for Elephants, home to the longest running study of wild elephants in the world. Its director, Cynthia Moss, has received support from the National Geographic Society for her work. Meet a member of the team to hear about their time in the field observing herd dynamics and collecting biological samples. Travel back to the camp for lunch before a late afternoon wildlife drive.
A charter flight brings us to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, 62,000 acres of golden savanna dotted with iconic umbrella thorn trees on the northern flanks of Mount Kenya. Considered a model in the conservation field, this healthy wildlife habitat is home to a number of rare species, including the reticulated giraffe, the dazzling Grevy’s zebra, and African wild dogs. Lewa and the neighboring Borana Conservancy also harbor roughly 15 percent of Kenya’s entire rhino population. Settle into your luxurious tented camp; then set out on safari to track these and multitudes of other creatures, and cap off your day sipping sundowners on the savanna.
If you wish, rise at daybreak for a bush walk, searching out the tracks of lions, rhinos, and leopards and learning to spot the park’s flora and small fauna. Alternatively, enjoy a morning wildlife drive. Travel to the conservancy’s headquarters to meet with members of Lewa’s award-winning security team, whose effective patrolling of the reserve has ensured that not a single rhino has been poached in the past five years (to date). If schedules permit, join the rangers and their highly skilled dogs for a tracking demonstration on the conservancy. Enjoy a leisurely lunch and free time before our late afternoon safari.
Delve into Maasai culture during a village visit, learning about traditional games and sports, music and dance, and everyday life. Get acquainted with local families and visit a home to see how typical dwellings called manyattas are built using dung and grass. Watch for wildlife on our way back to camp for lunch. Enjoy time to relax by the camp’s pool or read in the shade before gathering for a talk by our expert before dinner.
Take a final safari in Lewa en route to the airstrip, then fly by charter to the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve, which stretches along Kenya’s southwest border. The park is famous for its large populations of big cats, including leopard, cheetah, and lion. During the annual wildebeest migration, some 2 million wildebeests and zebras thunder through in the fall, searching for newly sprouted grass. After lunch, get an intimate look at the area’s ecosystems on an open-vehicle wildlife drive.
At first light, head out on safari to track the animals that traversed the area during the night. View plains game such as Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelles, topi and eland antelopes—as well as their stealthy predators—at one of their most active times of the day. This area is reputed to have one of the highest concentrations of predators in all of Africa. Glimpse large pods of hippos submerged up to their nostrils in the Mara River and crocodiles sunbathing on the shore. After a picnic lunch, head back to camp for a leisurely afternoon and a talk by our expert.
Get a closer look at efforts to protect the Masai Mara on a visit to one of the region's conservation NGOs, such as the Anne K. Taylor Fund, an organization supported by National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative that works with local Maasai communities to reduce poaching and human-animal conflict. Later, set off on one last safari, and then toast our adventure during a farewell dinner.
Return to Nairobi by private charter and pay a visit to the imaginative social enterprise Ocean Sole, which creates art out of flip-flops and other plastics that wash up on Kenya’s shores. This afternoon, continue to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, featured in the September 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine. The organization is the world’s most successful rescue and rehabilitation program for orphaned elephants. Enjoy the opportunity to shadow the center’s caretakers and get up close to the elephants during their afternoon feeding. Later, transfer to the airport for your evening flight home.