- Experience Kenya’s majestic wilderness away from the crowds in two private conservancies run in partnership with local communities.
- Stay in one of our National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World—ol Donyo Lodge, a stunning example of conservation tourism at its best.
- Ride horseback in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, and encounter an astonishing array of wildlife on day and night safaris and guided bushwalks.
- Get acquainted with the vibrant culture of the Maasai on visits to local villages and bush walks with Maasai guides and traditional warriors.
The rolling plains of Kenya are the essence of East Africa—teeming with herds of zebra and wildebeest, dotted with acacia trees, and inhabited by the intriguing Maasai people. In two diverse protected areas—Chyulu Hills and the Olare Motorogi Conservancy—discover a breathtaking array of animals far from the crowds and learn firsthand about efforts to protect them.
Depart on an overnight flight and arrive in Nairobi the following evening. Our local staff is on hand to greet you at the airport and take you to your hotel.
A scheduled morning flight brings you to the border of Chyulu Hills National Park—a verdant, rippling landscape nestled between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Your safari experience begins immediately with a game drive on the way to ol Donyo Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. This stunning lodge was founded by safari legend Richard Bonham and is now owned and operated by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and their Great Plains Conservation group. Settle into your thatched suite, featuring a private plunge pool, a rooftop star bed, and breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and spend the next three days discovering the unique wilderness of the Chyulu Hills. Head out on morning and afternoon safaris, spotting some of Africa’s largest bull elephants, as well as giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, and much more. On a walking safari with a Maasai guide, learn how to track wildlife and identify some of the area’s lesser known flora and fauna. Observe nocturnal species on night drives, go mountain biking, or pay a visit to a Maasai village and meet with the villagers to learn about their everyday life and traditions. As a National Geographic guest, you have the exclusive opportunity to take a guided morning horseback ride into the bush. Observe wildlife and take in magnificent views on the way to a picturesque acacia tree where a delicious breakfast awaits.
Return to Nairobi after breakfast to catch a scheduled flight to Masai Mara National Reserve. A short game drive brings you to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a private concession adjacent to the Masai Mara, but without the crowds of the legendary reserve. Settle into camp and watch for wildlife from the private veranda of your luxury tent. Set out on game drives to see throngs of wildebeests and zebras, leopards perched languidly in trees, marabou storks and Abyssinian rollers, not to mention lions and elephants. Spot nocturnal creatures on nighttime game drives, and get to know the local Maasai and their culture with a village visit. As a National Geographic guest, you are invited to visit the Maa Trust, a local non-profit that works towards ensuring the success of conservation in the Maasai Mara ecosystem through sustainable community development. Learn about the community surrounding Mara Expedition Camp and the Maa Trust's work from a staff member and pay a visit to their stunning workshop filled with beadwork and leather goods produced by community members.
Mara Expedition Camp or Mara Plains Camp (Nov 15, 2020 – May 14, 2021)
You may upgrade to Mara Plains Camp at an additional cost. A member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, Mara Plains Camp is a cluster of seven elegant safari tents tucked into a remote corner of the Olare Motorogi Conservancy.
Drive to the airstrip this morning for a scheduled flight to Nairobi. Later, transfer to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home, arriving the next day.