Set off for your journey from New York to Nairobi on Kenya Airways. The flight duration is around fourteen hours, on the airlines’ Boeing 787. Take this time to relax or perhaps read up on East Africa; some books we love to get you in the right frame of mind include “Love, Life, and Elephants“ by Dame Daphne Sheldrick, “I Married Adventure“ by Osa Johnson, or “The Last Train to Zona Verde“ by Paul Theroux.
A luxury safari through Kenya is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to connect with nature on a deeper level than you’ve ever imagined. We’re here to guide you through the country’s most enchanting offerings, from close encounters with the Big Five to enriching exchanges with the local tribes.
It’s no secret to our team that Kenya houses some of the world’s most exciting natural wonders. Between its lush highlands and its dramatic savannahs, this East African region offers an escape to a land largely untouched. And whether you’re in the search for excitement or stillness, SmartFlyer’s adventurous advisors have put together this eight-night luxury safari through Kenya’s best. Grab your safari pack and venture out to guided game tours of the remote African wildlands. Then, convene with the country’s native tribes and experience an authentic blessing ceremony. Kenya also boasts pristine beachlines for you to explore, filled with vibrant wildlife including the famous whale shark.
We also made sure the retreats you return to after a day’s excursion are nothing less than extraordinary. Kickstart your days with breakfast alongside towers of giraffes. Then, gaze out at Kenya’s vast expanse of stars from the comfort of a 1920s-inspired luxury safari tent. Finally, let the sounds of the Indian Ocean wash over you as you lounge on the country’s white-sand beaches.
Eight nights, nine days
Everyone! Kenya is a wonderful destination that can be easily adaptable for couples, families, and also groups of friends.
Whether this is your first, or your twentieth time on the continent, Kenya has it all, from bush adventure to the best beaches on the planet
From Bush to Coast
Giraffe Manor is an exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land within 140 acres of indigenous forest in the Langata suburb of Nairobi. This elegant, personally hosted hotel is famous for its herd of resident Rothschild giraffe who visit morning and evening, poking their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat. With its stately façade, elegant interior, verdant green gardens, sunny terraces and delightful courtyards, Giraffe Manor offers a rich blend of comfortable accommodation and highly trained and friendly staff. It is the only place in the world where you can enjoy the breathtaking experience of feeding and photographing a giraffe over the breakfast table or at the front door.
Ol Malo is a privately-owned game sanctuary on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River in Kenya's wild and beautiful North Eastern Province – 5000 acres of spectacular bush country overlooked by Mount Kenya. Ol Malo is one of the few owner-managed properties in Kenya. It offers the discerning guest a genuinely incomparable experience, one where you can get very close to the original pioneer days, where the settlers and the local tribes' people (Samburu in this case) etched out a life which was to precede the Kenya we know today.
Segera Retreat is part of the Wilderness Collection, and is located in a private area on the Laikipia Plateau, just to the north of the Equator. Game activities can include off road game drives, night drives and game walks, camel treks, picnics, bush meals, sundowners, as well as village visits. The area is unfenced, and there is resident game all year round. The Big 5 are seen in the Lewa Downs area, except for rhino. There is numerous plains game, and the elusive wild dog and hyena.
The Cottar Safari tradition began in 1919 with the arrival in Kenya of the American White Hunter, Charlie Cottar from Oklahoma, USA. Extending an era of luxury and quality the Cottars 1920’s Camp returns to the original spirit and essence of the safari, reminiscent of a golden era; an era of romance, professional guiding, adventure and elegance. Situated in such a large area, guests are almost guaranteed exclusivity on game drives in a region of prolific wildlife. The tents are furnished with 1920’s antiques, all with en-suite dressing rooms with canvas baths and bucket showers. Activities include day and night game drives, bush walks, swimming, fishing, bush meals, and massages.
Considered by many as the finest Villa on the East African Coast, sheltered on a coral cliff, above the talcum sands of Diani Beach, the Cliff Villa overlooks the Indian Ocean and its elevated position ensures complete privacy and stunning views. Bright and breezy, flowing fabrics and East African artifacts, carved Lamu doors, and wooden beams reflect the region's link with Asia. One large veranda with huge hand carved sofas with cushions dominate the front of the villa where a stretch swimming pool sits on the edge of a small cliff merging into the sea and the horizon.
Upon landing in beautiful Kenya, take in the country’s capital of Nairobi, consider to be East Africa’s most cosmopolitan city. It serves as an excellent starting point for African safari trips around Kenya thanks to its vibrant spirit, cafe culture, and unbridled nightlife. You’ll be transferred directly to your dreamy accommodations for the night, the iconic Giraffe Manor. Set amidst acres of indigenous forest, the ten-room manor beautifully captures an “Out of Africa” ambiance and offers sanctuary to the endangered Rothschild giraffes that wander the grounds; poking heads through bedroom and breakfast windows and enchanting guests.
We love the Finch Hatton Suite not only for its beautiful interiors but the story behind it. In 1911, Denys Finch Hatton traveled to British East Africa with money left to him by his deceased uncle. He bought some land on the western side of the Rift Valley near to what is now Eldoret. He met Karen Blixen at the Muthaiga Club in 1918 and when Karen got divorced in 1925, Denys moved into her house where he lived until a few weeks before his final flight in May 1931 when he crashed his beloved Gypsy Moth in Tsavo National Park. As per Finch Hatton’s wishes, Blixen buried him in the Ngong Hills. The room named after him is on the ground floor of the Garden Manor from where you’ll often see the legs of our spotted residents when you open the curtains in the early morning as they come looking for treats from the rooms above and the adjoining dining room.
Enjoy lunch on the terrace with amazing views of the Ngong Hills in perfect weather. Included in your stay at the manor is access to the AFEW Giraffe Centre, which is a gentle stroll across the front lawn of the house. The center has some interesting background information on the rare Rothschild’s giraffes and also a small nature trail that can be good for stretching your legs. Transition to afternoon tea on the front lawn as the sun sets behind the Ngong Hills.
To end a magical day, freshen up for a special dinner to be held in the orchid house, one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy a gourmet supper in the company of a rare selection of sweet-smelling orchids bathed in candlelight.
To conclude your short stay at Giraffe Manor and start your adventure through Kenya, begin your day with the coveted experience of having the world’s tallest mammals join you for breakfast! Soak up this magical moment as the Rothschild giraffes peek through the windows of this beautiful manor.
Upon check-out, you’ll be transferred back to Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta Airport (NBO) to board your short 50-minute private air charter in Cessna C208 aircraft to Muridjo (Ol Malo) Airstrip.
Set in Northern Laikipia in Kenya, East Africa, Loisaba Conservancy stretches over 20,000 hectares of a magnificent African landscape. The terrain is traversed by two permanent rivers and abundant springs which make it a perfect habitat to sustain a myriad of wildlife.
It is known as a world-class ecotourism destination offering a variety of unique opportunities for visitors looking to immerse themselves in nature. Spot majestic elephants journeying along the elephant migration corridor, stay overnight in a tented camp under the stars, soak up the incredible views, and enjoy a thrilling game safari. Other popular activities include camel-trekking, mountain biking, horse-riding, fishing, guided bush walks, and cultural visits to Samburu villages.
In this majestic setting – on a rock escarpment on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau, bordering the tribal heartlands of the nomadic Samburu people – the Francombe family, and their Samburu neighbors, have created a home for themselves, and a dream destination for the privileged few who seek a glimpse into the real heart of Africa.
Through Ol Malo, they are pleased to be able to share their vision, their experience, and their way of life with guests from around the world, either in the hospitality of the family home on the grounds of one of the most stunning properties and with one of the most impressive views in Africa.
Begin the day with an early morning nature hike accompanied by the Maasai guide. Today, you’ll explore the conservancy and spot your first giraffe, eland, buffalo, or wildcat of the day. This excursion is followed by a camel ride to finish off the journey to breakfast. Upon arrival, a hot breakfast is waiting to be served under the shade of an acacia tree as the tropical sun climbs higher in the sky.
Later on, visit the Samburu workshop run by Julia – the Francombe family’s daughter – for an art experience that gives back. This art development workshop is designed to raise funds for the Ol Malo Trust which provides educational and medical services for the local communities. Watch as colorfully-garbed Samburu women sing while they use their beading skills to create wonderful objects to Julia’s designs. Craft alongside the Samburu children as they paint delightfully vibrant pictures of the surrounding area. After lounging by the infinity pool with some light lunch, choose how you want to explore the region’s unspoiled wildlife. Helicopter safaris are very popular, offering guests a unique birdseye view of the region. Ol Malo also offers some of the most exciting guided horse safaris in East Africa. Following your adventure of choice, return for cocktails in front of the fire followed by a candlelit dinner, regaling tales of the day’s activities.
…a suite perched above the treetops with 360-degree views of the plateau.
Following breakfast, take flight in a private air charter and touch down on the Segera Airstrip, where you’ll be transported over to the secluded Segera Retreat. This stay is perfect for exploring the more remote side of Kenya. Nestled in 50,000 acres of unfenced area filled with botanical gardens, their seven villas and house offer plenty of space to recharge in and roam through. Start your afternoon with a welcome lunch and introduction to your accommodations.
We love the Villa Segera for its two spacious suites connecting to an observation lounge that opens up to astonishing views of the wildlife grazing near the Sugeroi river. Afterwards, spend the afternoon reinvigorating yourself with a dip in their Rasul Tower steam bath and saltwater pool. Following your swim, dry off, and follow your guide for a sundowner at Birds Nest, a suite perched above the treetops with 360-degree views of the plateau. The entire nest structure is built and designed from raw materials, such as farmed wood and actual tree branches which have been woven into a nest by local community members. Enjoy a warm, lantern-lit dinner accompanied by a little bubbly as you watch a golden sun dip below the horizon.
Today, design your own full day of game activities at Segera. After an early-morning fireside breakfast at the Star Deck, meet with Segera’s all-female Anti-Poaching and Conservation unit and the anti-poaching sniffer dogs. These two groups will guide you through their field patrol where you’ll help monitor the area’s population of endangered Patas monkeys and Grevy’s zebras.
Following your patrol, head back to the property and tour through the private contemporary African art collection of Segera’s owner. Or, perhaps take a visit to the award-winning Waterbank School and learn how the school supports a thriving educational community while also providing clean water annually for children year-round.
If you’re in the mood for a more adventurous option to fill your day, look no further than Segera’s expert-led game drives. This area boasts the second-highest density of wildlife in Kenya including the Big Five and various species of birdlife and wild dog. Your guide will help you pinpoint the best viewing points on the savanna where you can observe the virtually untouched wildlife. Then, let your guide take you to a breathtaking Segera Legendary River Picnic for you to enjoy, crafted by Segera’s adept chefs. Cap off your evening with an outdoor starlit dinner and movie screening of Sydney Pollack’s “Out Of Africa.” Fun fact: the resort also offers private flights in GAAMY – the original plane from the Oscar award-winning film.
This morning, climb aboard your Cessna Caravan C208 and fly out towards the Maasai Mara Reserve. Together with Tanzania’s Serengeti, these two wildlife parks form one of Africa’s most famous natural landmarks filled with animals taking cover in the shade of the acacia trees. Upon touching down in the reserve, you’ll be transferred over to Cottar’s Safari Camp. Here, you’ll get to experience a romantic safari site styled to resemble a 1920s African expedition camp. After settling into your award-winning accommodation and enjoying some poolside lunch, meet with one of Cottar’s expert camp guides and set off on an evening game drive through the Olderkesi Conservancy. Then, park in the heart of the conservancy and dine fireside on a three-course meal under the vast African sky.
For your second day at Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, jumpstart your day with an early morning game drive under the glow of the East African sunrise. After pausing for a bush breakfast, take off on foot with two of the camp’s professional guides out into the wild for a bushwalk. Here, they’ll lead you through a variety of habitats and teach you how to interpret animal tracks and signs. You can also forage for your own ingredients to take back to camp and be cooked by Cottar’s culinary experts.
In the afternoon, you’ll meet with the local Maasai Warriors and train in their warrior school. Learn about essential survival skills like fire-making, spear throwing, and bow and arrow practice. Then, partake in the Maasai traditions that have been passed down for generations like their blessing ceremony, featuring stone-throwing, jewelry, and henna. Following this celebration, return to the spacious camp and soak in one of Cottar’s luxurious canvas bush baths. Dinner tonight is out on the front lawn, where you can take in the sounds from Maasai Mara Reserve’s nighttime wildlife one more time.
For the final leg of your East African adventure, take a 90-minute safari drive from Cottar’s to the Keekorok Airstrip and board your aircraft towards Diani Beach. Famous for its gorgeous palm trees and its powder white sand, Diani Beach is a popular resort area resting on Kenya’s magnificent Indian Ocean shoreline. The area’s wonderfully warm waters and exquisite coral reefs provide an ideal environment for snorkeling, scuba diving, and boat safaris where you can witness Kenya’s richly diverse marine life.
Checking into the Alfajiri Villas is nothing short of magical. Feel free to spend the rest of the day plunging into your private swimming pool and walking through your private garden.
The next day, enjoy breakfast at your leisure before taking off on a half-day deep-sea fishing trip. Experienced anglers can enjoy catching a wide variety of sea life, including barracuda, tuna, gilthead, king cod, and snapper. For an extra challenge, ask your world-class fishing crew to take you out for an epic encounter with marlin, sailfish, or even sharks. After returning to shore, spend the evening recentering yourself with some yoga on the resort. Finally, enjoy your last night in Kenya with a drink in hand as you watch the sun descend below the waves.
As they say, all good things must come to an end. Let the African sunrise gently wake you one more time before heading to breakfast and boarding your flight back home. Regale your fellow travelers with your favorite tales from your Kenyan adventure as you take off from the vast savannah below.
Contact your SmartFlyer travel advisor to plan your customized Kenya itinerary.
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