Classic Kenya 4WD Safari Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailor Made Adventures
Destinations:
Kenya
Programmes:
Wildlife
Trip Code:
WYMA
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
7 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

No country, perhaps, is more synonymous with a classic African safari than Kenya. With endless grasslands sprinkled with acacia trees, this is ‘Out of Africa’ and ‘Born Free’ country. Whether it’s exploring Lake Nakuru N.P, an excellent small park in East Africa, or the emblematic Masai Mara, wildlife is abundant all year round. During the migration season, the Mara as it is affectionately known is also home to one of the greatest sights of the natural world: millions of wildebeest and zebra crossing a crocodile-infested river on their great migration through the savannah.

At a Glance

  • 3 nights luxury tented camp and 2 nights lodge and 1 night hotel.
  • Travel by 4WD safari vehicle
  • Some long drives
  • Countries visited: Kenya

Trip Highlights

  • Comfortable safari at an intimate tented camp with walk in tents and en suite facilities
  • Prolific wildlife of the Masai Mara including lion, elephant, hippo, and giraffe
  • Lake Nakuru, famed for its wonderful Black and White rhino population
  • Game drives, short nature walks and optional cultural village and walking excursions

Is This Trip for You?

A small group safari in 4WD Toyota Landcruisers with two long drives. Most of the roads are reasonably good, other than the access road from Narok to the Masai Mara (2hrs) and some roads within the national parks. Driving in the reserves can be quite rough and is often on dirt roads. In wet weather driving conditions do become more difficult and a little patience may be required at times.
As well as some very exciting game drives, there is the opportunity for a short nature walk in the Masai Mara. For both animal and bird lovers there are many chances of seeing countless game and birds as well as rare and endangered creatures.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
12

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Nairobi; to Lake Naivasha; optional afternoon nature walk.

    On arrival, we meet with those not travelling on the group flight at our hotel in Nairobi. We drive north to the edge of the escarpment over the Rift Valley before descending into the valley and to Lake Naivasha, where we will enjoy a morning boat ride.  We will continue for a further 1.5 hours to Lake Elementaita, where we will check into our lodge (Sunbird Lodge Elementaita) and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, there will be an optional ( at additional cost) guided nature walk available.

    Accommodation: Sunbird Lodge Elementaita or similar

    Meals included:
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Morning and afternoon game drives in Lake Nakuru N.P.

    Early start today for a 30 minute drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. We will enjoy a full day of game drives today, with a packed lunch from our lodge to maximise game viewing time. We hope to see many plains game including gazelle, impala and giraffe and we will also be on the look-out for predators as well as unique bird life. 

    The national park (285 km sq) is world-renowned for its (dwindling) 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.

    Accommodation: Sunbird Lodge Elementaita or similar

     

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Days 3-5

    Masai Mara

    A long (approx 5hrs including comfort stops), beautiful and bumpy drive to the Mara.  We will arrive in the Mara early afternoon, in time for lunch ( not included today, for your own account) and check in afterwards. This afternoon we will enjoy the first of several game drives in this remarkable game area, departing at 4 pm. Returning to the lodge for dinner, you can enjoy a relaxed evening in beautiful surroundings.

    During time off you can rest 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.

    The Masai Mara is one of the most famous ecosystems in the world. This vast grassland is teeming with life; plains game including wildebeest, gazelle, topi, zebra and buffalo abound in the rolling savannah, and never far away lay the predators; cheetah, lion and hyena. Between mid-August to late October one of the greatest spectacles on Earth takes place in the Masai Mara - the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra trampling their way across the long grass. Nothing is guaranteed on safari, but with the help of our brilliant guides you should see and learn a huge amount about the Masai Mara's resident wildlife during our game drives.
    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).

    Accommodation: Ilkeliani Tented Camp or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch (except Day 3), Dinner

  • Day 6

    Early morning game drive or optional walk; transfer to Nairobi.

    After a final early morning game drive, we leave after breakfast heading back towards Nairobi. A picnic lunch will be taken en route. We spend our last night in Nairobi.

    Accommodation: Eka Hotel or similar


    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch
  • Day 7

    End Nairobi.

    The trip ends today in Nairobi. Those on the group flights will be taken this morning to the airport for their flight back.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Accommodation

Lodge & Luxury Tented Camp

For the first two nights we stay in near Lake Elementaita. 

In the Masai Mara we generally use Ilkeliani Tented Camp. Nestled in a river glade in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, the area is a favourite for elephants coming to drink from the Talek River. Ilkeliani camp consists of only 17 tents from which you may see some wildlife action throughout the day. The tented rooms are raised up slightly on earth mounds, overlooking the river and the plains. These mounds are covered in vegetation, and feel quite natural, and each one has been sited under its own cluster of shady indigenous trees and you do feel like you are out in the wilderness. Communal areas include a comfortable lounge, dining area and viewing deck across the plains.

Our last night is in a comfortable hotel in Nairobi.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £345.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners included.

Typical meals

At Lake Nakuru Lodge breakfasts consist of cereal, fruit and bread with spreads whilst at Ilkeliani it also includes a hot option such as eggs, sausages and beans. In the Mara hot drinks with freshly baked biscuits are provided before your game drive. A packed breakfast consisting of fruit, cakes, juice and coffee/tea is taken out on the plains or a cooked breakfast can be taken at camp.
Lunch can be eaten at camp or maybe a packed lunch (usually consisting of some cooked chicken, a ham or cheese sandwich, 500 ml of water, a packet of juice, a piece of fruit (banana/orange/apple) and a piece of cake or packet of biscuits) if there is reason (to see the migration, for example) to be out the whole day.
Tea and cakes are taken mid-afternoon before the game drive.
A 3-course dinner is taken each evening in the open dining area. At Lake Nakuru Lodge the food is good and homely whilst at Ilkeliani it is of a high standard.
Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests.

Water

Purified water is provided by the guide throughout your trip in 10litre drums carried on top of the vehicles, so you need only bring a reusable water bottle. In the lodges, generally, 1 bottle of water is provided free of charge so we suggest you fill your water bottle before you leave the vehicles for the evening. Otherwise, you will be able to purchase water at the lodge bar.

Transportation

We use 4WD Toyota Landcruisers with roof-hatches for enhanced game viewing. Every passenger has a window seat and the vehicles take 6 passengers plus the driver/guide.

Weather & Seasonality

When to go

Kenya straddles the equator so showers can occur at any time of year, however the wettest period is April and May (we have no departures then) Due to the altitude of both Nakuru (1600m) and the Masai Mara (1550m) the night time temperature is beautiful, cool yet not cold. Daytime temperatures can get as high as 30degC but with low humidity. There can be light rains at the end of the year, but if anything this is a good thing as it cuts down the dust and brings out the colours. In the wet the roads can become difficult and a little patience and pushing may be required! Please be aware that over recent years weather patterns have changed and are now somewhat unpredictable.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is an overnight flight departing the day before Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of Kenya Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 7 days starting and ending in Nairobi

Clients who have not booked the group flights should meet the group at the Eka Hotel in Nairobi on day 1 (day 2 ex London).

Please note that the start point of the trip may be difficult to reach on your own and, due to the distance from the airport, a private transfer would be expensive. Therefore, you will have to make sure that you will be at Eka Hotel on time to be collected by the group on their way to Lake Nakuru.

You also need to advise Exodus in advance if you are planning to do this. If you are making your own way, the start hotel at Lake Nakuru is approximately 3.5 hours drive from Nairobi airport.

The pick up time will be advised on the joining information that will be sent to you approximately 2‐3 weeks before departure.

If you book pre‐ or post‐tour accommodation in Nairobi it is possible to book a private transfer from and to the airport. Please contact our sales team for further information and prices.

Also, please note that the end location of the land only tour in Nairobi is the Eka Hotel. It may be possibly to join the group transfer to the airport if you are on the same evening flights, if on an earlier flight you will need a private transfer.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Nairobi
Location end:
Nairobi

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Torch
Sunhat
Sun cream
Soft holdall
Sunglasses
Hat
Daypack
Camera with a telephoto lens (preferable)
Binoculars (highly recommended)
Lightweight walking shoes
Fleece and windbreak for early mornings
Very light wet weather top

Re-usable water bottles

Buff/scarf for dust

Please note:  In a move praised by conservation groups and health organisations, Kenya has taken the lead in banning the use of plastic carrier bags and certain other plastic bags. Included in the ban are the following items that travellers might carry:

▪ Duty free carrier bags
▪ General shopping bags
▪ Bin liners (sometimes used to protect luggage during rain)
▪ Dry cleaning bags (commonly wrapped around clothing)
▪ Ziplock bags

Travellers arriving into Kenya via airports, sea ports or land borders will be required to leave any bags deemed to be on the banned list at the point of entry. Travellers will not be fined so long as they surrender any prohibited bags.

If you are booking a Zanzibar extension then you should also note that the same ban applies there.

Water Included

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For your trip we provide an alternative to single-use plastic bottles in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe drinking water will be available throughout so all you need to do is bring a bottle to re-fill along the way. Please add this to your packing list!

Reading List

Kenya - The Rough Guide, Richard Trillo (Harrap Columbus)
East Africa - a Travel Survival Kit, G. Crowther (Lonely Planet Publications), Useful and practical guide.
Guide to the National Parks of East Africa, Collins, Overall guide to the parks, the animals and the birds. Good value.
Field guide to the Birds of East Africa, J.G. Williams (Collins, 1980)
Field guide to the Mammals of East Africa, Hatlenorth and Diller (Collins), Excellent guide to the animals.

Practical Information

Passport

Kenya

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Kenya

Most nationalities do now require a visa for Kenya, including Britons, most EU nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.  At present single entry and transit visas are available online (see below) and soon all visas will have to be obtained online. Alternatively visas are available in advance or on arrival. The Kenyan government are planning for all visas to be obtained online and may stop delivering visas on arrival on short notice. For the latest information please contact your local Kenyan High Commission or Consulate.  
For information about the online application process please visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html.
The cost of the visa is US$50 for a single entry visa and US$100 for an East Africa visa (valid to travel in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda – if the website still says coming soon please check with the Kenyan High Commission) (https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=7)
You will need to first register to the ecitizens website (including needing a photo 500px x 500px) before you can start applying.
For the application process itself you will need details of the accommodation used (which we will send you) and itinerary as well as a photo 5.5cm x 5.5cm and a scanned or photographed copy of your passport’s bio/photo page.
If after visiting Kenya you will also travel to Uganda and Rwanda, you may apply for East African Visa that will cover all three countries. This  visa is currently available upon arrival in Nairobi. Please contact the Kenyan High Commission to obtain more information about the combined visa from Kenya.

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Kenya

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

Bilharzia is known to occur in some of the lakes or rivers visited on this itinerary, we therefore advise all to take advice from your guide or leader locally before venturing for a swim.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Kenya's Timezone:
Africa/Nairobi EAT (GMT +03:00)

Electricity

Kenya's Electricity:

240 Volts. Plug types G; establishments take the same plugs as the UK.

Money

Kenya's Currency

The national currency of Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (September 2017) of approximately 136 to the GBP, 103 to the USD, 85 to the CAD, 123 to the EUR, 83 to the AUD and 75 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATM machines are available in Nairobi. Credit Cards are accepted at Ilkeliani and Lake Nakuru Lodge.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

Drinks are at your own expense.
Food not included - approx US$50

We recommend that you take most of your money in either Sterling or US dollars. It is best to change money at the airport in Nairobi on arrival. We recommend that you change money into local currency in Nairobi, as dollars or sterling are not accepted everywhere and outside Nairobi the exchange rate might be poor.

Optional Excursions:

Masai Village Visit approx US$30
Hot Air Balloon approx US$455 (please note that landings can sometimes be a bit rough)

Tipping

We recommend about US$50 in total for your driver(s)/guide(s) and about US$20 in total for the lodge/camp staff to share.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.