• P.O. Box 21713-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
  • +254 724 991 005 | +254 722 326 865
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The BIG-5 Safari

During the BIG-5 safari we’ll explore the vast Kenyan Savannah in search for Lions, Buffaloes, Rhinos, Elephants and Leopards as well as other animals. The BIG-5 safari will show you to the highlights of Kenya; Lake Nakuru NP, Maasai Mara NR, Lake Naivasha and Amboseli NP. Most of the mornings we’ll heading out at Dawn and return to the lodge or camp at Dusk as these are the best times for gamedrives and the highest chance to see the BIG-5 as well as other animals. But not to worry, we’ll have plenty of time to relax as well.

 

The BIG 5 safari

Day 1: Early morning you’ll be picked from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the Dawn 2 Dusk Safaris team. We’ll drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. On the way we might experience some traffic in Nairobi, but after Nairobi it’s an easy 3 hour drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. On the way we’ll stop at the Great Rift Valley viewpoint and if the skies are clear you will have a beautiful view of the Rift valley with Mt. Margaret, Mt. Longonot and the famous Ngong hills.

Upon arrival in Lake Nakuru National Park you’ll have a first chance to see some of the 4 in the BIG 5 family! Here you have a chance to spot the endangered Black and White Rhino. We’ll be driving through the Acacia Forest, along the lake to spot wildlife and birds. Apart from rhinos you might spot giraffes, zebra, impala, waterbucks, lion and leopard. Lake Nakuru NP is also famous for its flamingos, but they might not always be there as they also frequent different lakes in the Great Rift Valley depending on the algae in the lakes, But not to worry there are plenty of other birds to spot.

While on gamedrive we’ll make our way to Sopa Lake Nakuru Lodge. After check-in we’ll have lunch and have some time to relax which you probably need after a long flight to reach Kenya. Later in the afternoon we’ll head out again for gamedrive.

Day 2: At 6.00 we’ll go for our final game drive in Lake Nakuru NP as today we have a long day ahead. Early morning game drives are great as the air is still fresh and this is the time that predators go for a hunt. After breakfast we’ll start our long and sometimes bumpy drive to the Maasai Mara. We’ll arrive at Ol Moran Tented Camp for a late lunch. After lunch you can take some time to freshen up before we head out to explore the Maasai Mara, which is known as one of the 7 wonders of the world. Maasai Mara is a word from the native Maasai people meaning a vast land with dotted bushes which you will see while on gamedrive.

Day 3: Today we spend a full day in the Maasai Mara reserve searching for the BIG 5 and other wildlife. The Reserve is famous for its Wildebeest migration from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania which takes place usually from July for about 3-4months. During the gamedrives you might be able to spot the Big Five (Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Buffaloes and Rhinos), or other animals like giraffes, zebra’s, hippo’s, topi’s, cheetahs among others.

We’ll have our lunch at a scenic spot in the reserve where you can enjoy the view and your lunch. Later in the afternoon we will visit a traditional Maasai Village where you can learn about the rich culture of the Maasai people.

Day 4: Before breakfast we’ll go for a last game drive in the Maasai Mara. Our destination today is Lake Naivasha. Upon arrival we’ll check into the Naivasha Sopa Lodge. Later in the afternoon we’ll go for a boat ride where you’ll come up close with hippos and water birds. You also might spot giraffes, zebras and waterbucks on the shore of the lake.

Day 5: This morning you’ll have some time to relax on the lodge’s grounds. You can go for a birdwalk on the grounds or you might want to relax at the poolside. Around 10 we’ll depart for Maanzoni, an estate just outside Nairobi. On the way we’ll stop for a farm lunch at Mlango Farm. After lunch we’ll continue our journey to Amazing Kenya Retreat. In the afternoon you can go for a walk and come up close to giraffes or wildebeest, giraffes, zebra and other animals.

Day 6: We’re almost reaching the end of the safari, but you cannot leave Kenya without visiting Amboseli National Park. If the skies will be clear you might see Mount Kilimanjaro on the way. Upon arrival in Amboseli we’ll check-in at Kibo Safari Camp, freshen up and have lunch. After lunch you’ll have some time to relax. Later in the afternoon we’ll go for our first game drive in Amboseli National Park.

Amboseli is famous for its large herd of Elephants that roam the savannah and the swamp. During your gamedrives the animals you are likely to see includes elephants, lions, buffaloes, different species of antelopes, Maasai giraffes, cheetahs, some water birds and dry land bird species. Amboseli National park covers an area of 392sq km and the name Amboseli is actually Empusel. In Maasai language this means place of salt and dust. In the park there is a swamp which provides the water to the animals in the park, an observation hill with a beautiful view to watch the wildlife and Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day.

Day 7: After an early breakfast we’ll head out for game drive in Amboseli NP returning to the camp for lunch. After lunch you’ll have some time to freshen up and relax. Later in the afternoon we’ll continue our gamedrive till about 18.00

Day 8: Early morning you can do a last game drive in Amboseli and try to spot some animals that we haven’t seen yet! After breakfast we’ll start our journey back to Nairobi. We’ll take our picnic lunch en route. In Nairobi we’ll end our safari with dinner at Carnivore restaurant where you can taste Crocodile and Ostrich meat as well as other more common meats. After dinner you’ll be dropped at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home

Day 1: Nairobi- Lake Nakuru NP

Day 2: Lake Nakuru NP- Maasai Mara NR

Day 3: Maasai Mara NR

Day 4: Maasai Mara NR- Lake Naivasha

Day 5: Lake Naivasha – Maanzoni

Day 6: Maanzoni – Amboseli NP

Day 7: Amboseli NP

Day 8: Amboseli NP – Nairobi

Lake Nakuru Lodge is located on a range of hills and offers spectacular views over Lake Nakuru National Park. The lodge offers luxury accommodation in spacious room with en-suite bathrooms and private balconies overlooking the National Park. There is a swimming pool available for a refreshing dip after a day of gamedrive.


Ol Moran Tented Camp
is the place to be for those who want to be true to wild experience. The camp is situated within the Maasai Mara eco-system and on the banks of Oloolaimutia River which is a watering point for most wild animals especially elephants, buffalos and antelopes. The camp offers luxury tents with ensuite toilet and bathroom for your convenience.

Naivasha Sopa Lodge is set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland studded with Acacia bushes and trees, the resort is not only home to our resident giraffe, waterbuck and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a night stop for the hippos when they leave the lake every night to come and trim the grass on our expansive lawns. You’ll be staying in a room or one of the cottages that are spread over the lodge’s grounds. There are 2 swimming pools and a spa available for ultimate relaxation after an intense safari.
Amazing Kenya Retreat is located in the heart of Maanzoni, which is a beautiful savannah Grassland estate in the Lukenya. Amazing Kenya Retreat is a small scale lodge where you’ll stay in private cottages. Sitting on your verandah you can enjoy the spectacular view. And when the sky is clear you can see Mount Kenya, 150 km to the North. Here you can come up close to the animals while walking in Maanzoni.

Kibo Safari Camp offers you the real safari experience while sleeping in self-contained tents The beds have been custom designed and locally made using bush logs and will ensure a good night’s sleep! All tents have flush toilets, showers, and wash basins. You can enjoy your shower as you like: bubbling hot or refreshing cold. Also you can relax by the poolside after gamedrive in Amboseli National Park. For the duration of your stay in the African bush, Kibo Safari Camp will be your home away from home!

Comfort and Intensity of the safari; Comfort  Intensity

This safari is suitable for healthy persons with an interest in nature and wildlife. Mostly we search for wildlife during gamedrives from the comfort of the vehicle. When you or the guide spots an animal we stop the vehicle so that we can view the animals at a close range. Sometimes the best way to spot animals is to stand up in the vehicle. There are also some walks planned during the safari. The paths might be sandy, muddy and narrow, uphill or downhill. Sometimes the walks might be harder than you initially think because of the altitude and climate. In case you experience difficulties, discuss this with your guide and the pace will be adjusted to your speed or alternative walks might be proposed

The roads that we’ll drive on during this safari are mostly tarmacked, but there might be potholes in the road. We’ll also use some rough roads, especially interior roads and roads in the parks. Sometimes the drives can be slow because of the roads. Also there are some days that large distance needs to be covered, meaning a long drive. Use this time to relax and enjoy the sceneries and birds.

The accommodation chosen for this safari are comfortable-luxury. The accommodation can be in cottages, furnished tents or double rooms. All cottages/tents/ rooms have double or twin beds, mosquito nets, and en-suite toilet and bathrooms.

Best time for this safari

Kenya boasts one of the best climates on the continent. It is comfortable and pleasant during the day, with variations in temperature due to altitude and terrain.

We offer safaris year round, and travellers who make their safari during the rains of November, April or May will almost certainly be treated to unexpected and exciting wildlife experiences, un-crowded game reserves and probably a good deal of sunshine. It can rain during any month. In recent times, changing weather patterns make transitions between rainy and dry seasons come and go unpredictably. The following are the typical seasonal highlights:

January – February

This is the hot dry season. Excellent for birds and animal viewing, although long grass may make some smaller species hard to see in some wildlife destinations. January & Feb is the calving season for wildebeest, zebra, and some hoofed species.

March- May

Sometime in March intermittent rains start. Game viewing is excellent over short new grass of the plains. Spring-like conditions are moderated by cool nights. In the months of April and May the rainy season is heavier, and road conditions can become difficult. There’s great biological activity in the national parks and reserves, beautiful green landscapes and panoramas.

June – October

This is the cooler dry season with some occasional showers. Peak tourist season is July-October. During this period there are excellent viewing conditions, though many roads are dusty. Wildebeest are normally encountered in the Maasai Mara in large numbers in late July through October as the great migration from Tanzania to Kenya takes place.

November – December

Here begin the short rains. There’s nice greening of plants, and birds begin arriving from Europe and Asia. Expect intermittent showers during these months. Wildebeest are migrating south out of the Maasai Mara at this time, but there are still plenty of animals to be spotted since not all wildebeests migrate back.

Tour guide

An English speaking driver-guidewill accompany you. Your driver-guide has many years of experience in the spotting of wildlife and is able to give you more information on what you see around you. In some areas we’ll use a local community guide to show us the best areas for birding and sightseeing.

Transport

We’ll use a safari van during this safari. The vehicle has a pop-up roof that makes it easy to wildlife from the comfort of the car. The roof will be opened only while on gamedrive in the parks, and not while driving on the main roads. As mentioned, sometimes the roads are bad and therefore sometimes the vehicle that we use can have a breakdown. If this happens we’ll try to repair the vehicle on site or at the nearest service station. In case the vehicle is not able to be prepared we’ll arrange alternative transport.

Baggage

We would like to advise you to carry your baggage in a soft-shell suitcase because of luggage space in the vehicle that is used. If you have a hard-shell suitcase, please contact us and we’ll see how we can carry your suitcase in the vehicle.

As we’ll be doing lots of walking during this safari it would be good if you carry a backpack that can carry your binoculars, bird book, camera, drinking water and a snack.

International flights

This safari starts and ends at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. International flights are not included in the price of the safari. When booking your flights it is recommended for your incoming flight to arrive in the morning of day 1 and the outgoing flight to depart in the evening. In case your flight arrives at a different time, please let us know. In that case we can assist you with booking of accommodation in Nairobi.

Passport and Visa requirements 
Visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the intended length of stay. Visas are required, depending on the passport you carry. Please check the web site for the Embassy of Kenya in your home country.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prophylaxis

As the advice on vaccinations and Malaria Prophylaxis changes regularly we recommend that you contact your health provider in your home country.

Meals

All meals are included in this safari, unless indicated otherwise. The accommodation and restaurants chosen for this safari provide you with an assortment of choices and usually comprises of Kenyan and Western food. The meals are served buffet-style or a la-carte. In case you have any dietary restrictions, please let us know so that it can be accommodated.

Drinking water

Dawn 2 Dusk safaris recommends bottled or filtered water only. All the lodges provide you with water in your room (bottled or in a flask). During the drives we also provide you with drinking water. We recommend that you drink at least 2 litres a day

Clothes

A safari is a very casual experience. Neutral colours are most suitable when near wildlife. We recommend a mix of short- and long sleeved shirts, shorts and long trousers, casual skirts for women, and comfortable walking shoes. Prepare to dress in layers, adding or removing outer garments as the weather changes throughout the day.

Currency

In Kenya the currency used is the Kenyan Shilling. Your local bank can give you the current exchange rates. It’s good to have a small amount of Kenyan Shillings upon arrival that you can use to buy a drink, snack or for tipping the hotel staff. You can either carry some Kenyan Shillings from your home country or you can exchange euros or US dollars upon arrival.

You’ll also have the possibility to use the ATMs to get Kenyan Shillings. The most accepted credit cards are MasterCard and Visa. Some ATMs also accept debit cards with Maestro.

Traveller cheques are not widely accepted by banks and we do not recommend you travel with them.

Photography

Africa, and particularly Kenya is a photographer’s dream! A camera will record all those unbelievable and spectacular sights you’ll want to share with your friends. Although you can use any type of camera we would like to recommend that the camera has a good zoom so that you can bring the birds and animals close and have that perfect picture.

NOTE: Taking photographs at airports, policemen in uniforms, state houses, embassies, shopping malls, harbours and military installations are STRICTLY prohibited. If you would like to photograph people, please ask and be willing to pay them if they ask you to do so.

Reservation

A deposit of 50% is required at the time of booking and the balance is due 1 month before the start of the safari

Cancellation

You can cancel your trip in writing (by email) and any cancellation or no-show is subject to cancellation charges as per following schedule:

 

For bookings cancelled between 75 and 35 days before date of arrival, 25% of the applicable rate will be charged
For bookings cancelled between 34 days and 22 days before the date of arrival, 50% of the applicable rate will be charged
For bookings cancelled within 21 days before arrival or No Show, 100% of the applicable rate will be charged

 

Highlights

  • This safari is a private safari so you’ll have the vehicle and a driver-guide to yourselves
  • Visit some of the most renowned National Parks in Kenya
  • Chance to see some of the Big-5 and many other animals and birds
  •  Stay in comfortable tented camps and lodges