On arrival, we meet with those not travelling on the group flight at the Souther Sun Mayfair Hotel in Nairobi. We drive north to the edge of the escarpment over the Rift Valley before descending into the valley and running parallel to Lake Naivasha, arriving at Lake Elementaita after approximately three hours. This is one of Kenya's famous lakes and home to many thousands of flamingos. After lunch at the lodge there is plenty of time for an afternoon optional game walk (recommended) on which you might see plains game including gazelle, impala and sometimes giraffe, as well as plenty of birdlife. Alternatively you can simply relax by the pleasant hotel swimming pool with views down to the lake.
Early start for a full day's game drive at Lake Nakuru, about 30 minutes away. The national park (285 km sq) is world-renowned for its teeming flamingo population made famous by Denys Finch Hatton's flight over it in the film 'Out of Africa'. Nakuru is also the best place in East Africa for White rhino and it is not unusual to see at least a dozen in a day. Coupled with this, there is a healthy buffalo population, many other plains game and frequent leopard sightings. A picnic lunch is taken at one of the picturesque sites inside the Park. We head back to Elementaita as the sun sets and enjoy dinner at the lodge.
Day 4 - 6
A long, beautiful and bumpy drive to the Mara on which we stop for lunch in Narok. We will arrive in the Mara mid to late afternoon and after being shown to our large walk-in tents, there will be a short evening game drive. This is the first of several game drives in this remarkable game area. During time off you can relax in your private tents, the lounge tent or watch game go by from the deck of your tent. If you fancy a lie-in one day or an optional nature walk, this can easily be arranged. It is the game and scenery that make this area so incredible: huge prides of lion feasting on an abundance of plains game. Once a year the plains darken with the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra. This is an astonishing spectacle of almost two million plains game searching for the best grass. It is impossible to predict the scale or the exact timings of the migration into the Mara as this varies from year to year, but it occurs some time between July and October. At this time the plains game are relentlessly pursued by the big predators, including lions, leopards and cheetahs. As a climax, there is the also the option of taking a sunrise balloon ride over the African plains (subject to the weather conditions and availability).
A final game drive or walk before a big breakfast fortifies you for the long journey back to Nairobi. A picnic lunch will be taken en route. The last night is spent in Nairobi, perhaps enjoying a final meal with the group (at own expense).
Up early for our flight home to London. Those not flying with the group will leave us in Nairobi.