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Kenya Culture & Wildlife Safari: Samburu to Maasai Mara

11 days |  14 days with Southern Kenya extension
11 days |  14 days with Southern Kenya extension
Group size620 travelers
Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

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Go wild in Kenya’s prized national parks and game reserves.

Kenya is one of the premier places in the world for wildlife spotting. When you join us there on this tour, you’ll realize why. Not only will you enjoy game drives around the legendary Maasai Mara, but you’ll spend time exploring lesser-known locales, too. Among them: Samburu National Reserve, whose rare mix of animals many wildlife enthusiasts only dream of seeing. Kenya has much to offer beyond the animal kingdom, too, which you’ll discover when you stop for lunch at a lush tea farm and visit organizations working to improve the lives of locals. If you can’t resist the call of the wild, extend your stay and explore southern Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 8 lunches
  • 7 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Kiambethu Tea Farm
  • Nairobi crafts workshop
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Solio Game Reserve
  • Great Rift Valley
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Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Nairobi today.

Nairobi2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! Arrive in Nairobi and transfer to your hotel.

Please note: Most flights from North America arrive late in the evening.

Day 3: Kiambethu Tea Farm visit & Sandstorm Kenya
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Lunch, Welcome dinner

Climb into four-wheel-drive vehicles and set out to discover notable landmarks and local culture in and around Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital city.

  • Travel to the town of Limuru and visit the tranquil, family-run Kiambethu Farm, which is set within beautiful gardens surrounded by acres of tea plants and an indigenous forest.
  • Enjoy a tasting of tea while you hear how it became one of the country’s largest exports.
  • Set off on a walk through the surrounding indigenous forest alongside your guide—and keep an eye out for Colobus monkeys, with their distinctive black-and-white coloring and bearded faces.
  • Sit down for an included lunch on the farm’s veranda and admire the impressive views of the tea fields and Ngong Hills.
  • Visit Sandstorm Kenya, a company that began as a maker of safari tents and now employs 40 Maasai craftspeople who hand-make totes, backpacks, and other styles of bags from locally sourced canvas and leather.
  • Tour Sandstorm’s facilities to learn how its bags are made, from the sourcing of materials to the finished product.

Tonight, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner served with beer or wine.

Samburu National Reserve2 nights
Day 4: Transfer to Samburu & game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey north to Samburu National Reserve, one of Kenya’s most unique and rewarding safari destinations. This special wildlife conservation haven is known for its abundance of rare animal species, including the Samburu Special Five—the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated Giraffe, gerenuk antelope, and beisa oryx. The reserve is also home to elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs.

Enjoy an included lunch, then depart for a game drive through the park and along the Ewaso Nyiro River. As you cruise around the reserve, try to spot the Samburu Special Five.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 5: Samburu game drives & village visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head back out for a full day of game drives through Samburu National Reserve for another chance to spot the Samburu Special Five and other animals.

After an included lunch and afternoon game drive, visit the Samburu Village located inside the park. Meet with the villagers and gain insight into their culture and way of life.

  • Take a walk through the village alongside one of its elders and learn about the villagers’ semi-nomadic lifestyle.
  • Enjoy a traditional Samburu dance performance, a type of social ritual dating back hundreds of years for villagers to let off steam, celebrate, and tell of their history and triumphant victories.

Later this evening, sit down with your group for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Great Rift Valley2 nights
Day 6: Great Rift Valley via Solio Game Reserve
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Make your way to the Great Rift Valley, an enormous area featuring beautiful lakes, expansive plains, and soaring mountains. Along the way, enjoy a game drive through the Solio Game Reserve, a privately owned sanctuary dedicated to rhino conservation. Keep an eye out for some of the ranch’s 200-plus rhinos, as well as other animals that make up the Big Five, and hear about the ranch’s successful black rhino breeding and protection initiatives.

Afterwards, head toward Aberdare for an included lunch. Then, continue on to your lodge.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 7: Lake Naivasha boat safari
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning at the vast and ancient Lake Naivasha, which lies at nearly 6,200 feet above sea level and is the highest of the Great Rift Valley’s three best-known lakes. Upon arrival, set out on a boat tour of Lake Naivasha, which is known for its substantial population of hippos and bird species.

Enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant at Lake Naivasha. Then, head back to your safari lodge, where you’ll relax for the remainder of the day.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

Maasai Mara2 nights
Day 8: Transfer to Maasai Mara & game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue through the Great Rift Valley as you travel to the Maasai Mara, a nearly 600-square-mile national reserve in southwestern Kenya known for its vast plains and abundant wildlife. The region is also home to the Maasai people, an indigenous tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists whose livelihood revolves around cattle. The Maasai tribe’s signature—and symbolic—red-and-blue clothing and colorful, beaded jewelry are among many traditions its people have maintained, while other tribes have adopted more modern styles of living.

  • Enjoy an included lunch at your tented safari camp.
  • Set out on an afternoon game drive, keeping your eyes peeled for leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions, and elephants—known collectively as the Big Five.
  • Admire the Maasai Mara’s rolling hills, swaying savanna grasses, and iconic acacia trees.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

Day 9: Game drives & Maasai Mara village visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning relaxing and catching up on sleep, or add an excursion.

Today, get to know the awe-inspiring animals and people of the Maasai Mara.

  • Rise before the sun for an early morning game drive—an exhilarating opportunity to spot lions, elephants, and other animals starting their day in search of food.
  • Head back to your tented safari camp for an included lunch.
  • After lunch, climb aboard a safari vehicle for an afternoon game drive, keeping watch for prides of lions snoozing in the shade, giraffes ambling among leafy trees, and sturdy warthogs trotting through tall grass.

Later, immerse yourself in the Maasai way of life during a visit to a local boma, or Maasai homestead.

  • Join male members of the Maasai tribe in their signature adamu, or jumping dance.
  • Tour a functioning Maasai boma and discover the tribe’s history and heritage.
  • Visit a market where Maasai people sell handiworks and crafts, and learn how money from visitors’ purchases helps sustain the tribe.
  • Receive your own Maasai name and learn the meaning behind it.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Maasai Mara Hot Air Balloon Ride

From $599 per person

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 10: Ubuntu Made Studio, transfer to Nairobi & departure
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

En route back to Nairobi, stop in the bustling town of Maai Mahiu for a visit to the Ubuntu Life Foundation’s craft workshop for a chance to meet with the talented Maker Mums.

  • Hear about the Ubuntu Life Foundation’s mission to provide health and education services and to promote inclusivity of children with special needs across the country.
  • Enter the Ubuntu Made Studio to meet the Maker Mums, who craft beautiful items, such as bags and shoes, by hand.
  • Learn how the Maai Mahiu community has been empowered by Ubuntu to gain skills and self esteem to start their own businesses for a better future.

Continue to Nairobi and relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning, or extend your stay to explore southern Kenya.

Arrive Home
Day 11: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Extension to Southern Kenya
Situated in southern Kenya, Tsavo is the country’s largest national park. When it comes to spotting animals of all spots and stripes, the vast, unspoiled area delivers in a big way, too. So, ready your binoculars, power on your camera, and prepare to observe elephants, black rhinos, buffalo, Maasai lions, and other majestic creatures in the wild. Along the way, visit a rhino sanctuary to learn how local officials are protecting the magnificent animals from poaching.
Nairobi1 night
Day 10: Transfer to Nairobi
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transfer to Nairobi this morning.

Head to a local restaurant this evening for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Tsavo National Park2 nights
Day 11: Transfer to Tsavo National Park & Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel south this morning to Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest park. Its impressive expanse is home to large herds of elephants, black rhinos, buffalo, Maasai lions, and many more animals.

  • Upon arrival in the park, enjoy an included lunch.
  • Following lunch, meet with a naturalist guide to visit the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.
  • Learn about the sanctuary’s conservation projects and initiatives aimed at stopping the poaching of rhinos and other animals.
  • Set out on a game drive to view some of the park’s 200-plus rhinos, as well as elephants, leopards, and many different species of birds.

Sit down this evening for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 12: Tsavo West National Park game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel through the vast expanse of savannah in the west side of Tsavo National Park, where you’ll encounter open grasslands, scrublands, woodlands, and the rolling Chyulu Hills. As you make your way through the diverse scenery, keep an eye out for the Big Five and other animals, like the hartebeest and Maasai giraffe.

Enjoy an included lunch before making your way to Mzima Springs, a hangout for hippos and crocs. The springs’ crystal-clear waters flow through the surrounding volcanic rocks.

After freshening up back at the lodge, sit down for an included dinner this evening served with beer or wine.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Return to Nairobi today, where you’ll relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Arrive Home
Day 14: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Show full itinerary
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Reviews

5 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 5 out of 5

Based on 3 authentic traveler reviews
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    5 out of 5 stars

    A tour 30 years in the making
    6/20/24 by 1st-time traveler Drew

    As a kid I remember watching animal shows at night with my family and often the shows highlighted animals from Africa and Kenya in particular. It was a blessing to attend this trip. Our guides Christopher, Simon and Freddie were extremely knowledgeable and friendly and were able to find the best an...

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    5 out of 5 stars

    Life changing trip!!
    6/20/24 by 1st-time traveler Janice

    Going to Africa has been on my bucket list for many years. This trip to Kenya was truly amazing and definitely life-changing. Every single aspect of it was top-notch. The hotels we stayed in were 5 star! Each and every game drive we went on (and we went on 8 of them!) were above and beyond my expec...

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    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 7/9/24

    Thank you for your glowing review! We are so happy...

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    5 out of 5 stars

    The Kenya Experience
    6/20/24 by 1st-time traveler Heather

    My third trip to Kenya, I decided to go with a Tour Company. EF Go Ahead Tours was recommended and they offered a cultural experience. They did not disappoint. Their Staff from the Reservation Agent, Customer Service People to the Tour Director and his Crew were professional, personable, knowledgeab...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.

    Hotels

    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Somerset Westview Nairobi
    Somerset Westview Nairobi

    This apartment-style hotel is located just outside of downtown Nairobi. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and sauna. Nearby you’ll find C...

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    Sarova Shaba Game Lodge
    Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

    This riverside lodge is located in Samburu’s Shaba Game Reserve. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, private terraces overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro river, an...

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    Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge
    Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge

    This serene hotel is located in Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley. Guests enjoy the amazing views from their room, delicious dining o...

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    Mara Maisha Camp
    Mara Maisha Camp

    This luxury tent accommodation is located in the Maaisa Mara town of Talek. Guests enjoy their own private tent, outdoor pool, and nights by the commu...

    Read more +
    Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
    Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge

    This peaceful lodge is located in Tsavo National Park. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, the rotating art galleries, and watching for wildlife at the lod...

    Read more +

    Flights

    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
    Add our airfare package and you'll get:
    • Round-trip flight for your tour
    • Airport transfers at your destination
    • A great price locked in today
    • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
    • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
    • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
    • Find out more about flights

    FAQ

    Print FAQ

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