Socially-Conscious Luxury safaris
Big Cat Safari
About the Safari
The Big Cat safari takes place during the “off migration” season after the wildebeest have migrated south, leaving all resident cats and other plains animals. Big cat (lion, leopard and cheetah) viewing at this time of year is superb.
This trip is for the person who has always wanted to experience Africa’s magnificent animals—especially the big cats. I describe this as your quintessential safari. It’s the safari you’ve probably always imagined. So whether you’re an animal lover, occasional shutterbug, or professional photographer, there is arguably no better place than the Masai Mara in southwestern Kenya to see wildlife up close and personal.
As your host, wildlife ambassador, and photographer, I will guide you to sights you will never forget and help you capture your experience, creating memories which will last a lifetime.
Our safari vehicles can accommodate 8 people, but since this is a private safari limited to just 6-8 guests, we will have at our disposal two vehicles, and each guest will have plenty of space for your camera equipment or simply to spread out.
Our small group has the additional advantage of a flexible schedule which means we can stay with a particular animal as long as we like or go back and visit an area again. While other vehicles will stop at a sighting and move on, we have the opportunity to spend more time with each animal and observe it in its natural environment.
About the Masai Mara
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is an area of preserved savannah wilderness in southwestern Kenya, along the Tanzanian border.
Its animals include lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebras and hippos. The landscape has grassy plains and rolling hills, and is crossed by the Mara and Talek rivers. The area nearby is dotted with villages of Maasai people. It is arguably one of the best places in the world to see Africa’s majestic wildlife and the “Big 5” (elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion and leopard).
In 2017, the Masai Mara was named Africa’s leading national park at the World Travel Awards 2017. The Mara beat out Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana, Kidepo Valley National Park in Uganda and Etosha National Park in Namibia.
We have designed this trip to be as all-inclusive as possible – accommodations, meals and beverages (including local alcohol), internal flights, transfers, all activities and tips for drivers and staff. We’ve added an extra day on the front end to allow you to adjust to the time zone, make sure all your luggage arrived with you, sightseeing in Nairobi or simply relax. You just need to get yourself to Nairobi and we’ll take care of the rest. You might want to bring some money for gifts and souvenirs.
Flights from the United States typically depart in the afternoon for arrival late evening the following day. Our proposed itinerary (subject to change) is as follows:
Arrive in Nairobi in the evening. Once you clear customs and retrieve your luggage you will be met by your driver who will take your hotel in a private car.
Your schedule may be a little off as you adjust to the time change. Start with a breakfast before you head to sightseeing in Nairobi or lounge around the pool. In the evening we will have a welcome dinner at Hotel Serena.
After a group breakfast at 7:00a we will depart for Wilson Airport for our 45-minute flight to the Masai Mara. Our camp guides will meet us at the airstrip, then it’s a short 15-20-minute drive to camp unless we hopefully run into some wildlife! We will be greeted at camp with a welcome drink, followed by lunch. Our first game drive begins around 4:00p and returns at sunset, unless we are delayed by animal sightings. We will then relax with drinks around the fire before dinner.
Our first full day in the Mara starts with an early morning wake up call with coffee and biscuits at your tent followed by a morning game drive around 6:00a/6:30a and continues to mid-morning depending on the animal activity. Sometime during our drive we will stop for a bush breakfast. Then it’s back to camp for lunch at 1:00 pm and then we can rest until our afternoon game drive around 4:00p/4:30p returning at sunset. We will then relax with drinks around the fire before our dinner around 8:00 pm.
Days 5, 6, 7 & 8
Our schedule will be like day 3 but will also include a visit to a local village and school and a lecture from a local conservation organization.
There will be time for a short game drive in the morning followed by a buffet breakfast at camp before we gather our luggage for our return flight to Nairobi at 11:00 am. The remainder of our day will be spent at our hotel where a day room will be waiting for you. You can use it to shower, freshen up, take a nap and prepare for your trip home. We will have a farewell meal before our drivers take you to Nairobi Airport for our flight home. Most flights to the United States depart late in the evening.
You may need country-specific pharmaceuticals and/or immunizations when traveling to Kenya. Please speak with your primary care physician or local travel clinic to determine your specific needs.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for entrance into Kenya. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after our date of return. Visa’s can be obtained on-line prior to your visit or upon arrival in Nairobi.
Our first night in Kenya will be spent at Hotel Serena in Nairobi. Justly famed for its exceptional standards of efficiency, service and five-star hospitality, the elegantly sophisticated Nairobi Serena Hotel is a member of ‘The Leading Hotels of the World’ and was selected as ‘Kenya’s Leading Business Hotel’ and ‘Africa’s Leading Green Hotel’ at the World Travel Awards 2016. Despite its pivotal central hotel location in Nairobi, Kenya, the Nairobi Serena remains true to its title and offers an oasis of serenity amidst the bustle of one of Africa’s most vibrant capital cities.
Our base in the Masai Mara is Entim, a tent eco-friendly camp. All the guest tents overlook the Mara River and include ensuite flush toilets and hot showers. The camp also includes a separate lounge, bar, and an open dining area. The central location is one of the best possible places to view wildebeest migration right outside your tent.
The cost of the trip includes:
- Pre-trip planning meeting
- Two nights at Serena Hotel in Nairobi
- Day room at Serena Hotel in Nairobi
- Five Meals in Nairobi (2 Breakfast, Lunch, Welcome and Farewell Dinner)
- All ground transportation with private Car
- Flights to and from the Masai Mara
- Ground transportation of excess luggage
- Six nights accommodation at camp
- All meals and beverages (including alcoholic)
- Tips for camp staff and drivers
- Private guide and vehicles
- Daily park fees to Masai Mara National Reserve
- Entrance fees to Maasai Village
- Photobook of your safari experience
- Support for community conservation projects in Kenya
The cost of the trip excludes:
- International flights
- Kenya Visa ($50)
- Emergency medical and evacuation coverage is mandatory. Trip cancellation is optional.
Your reservation is secured by a $1,500 non-refundable deposit.