Kenya: African Safari
Lights, camera, Africa! Kenya is where the wild things are. So much so that you’ll wonder if you’re secretly in a well-planned nature documentary. No, that’s not us summoning that herd of giraffes perfectly into your view, or cueing the zebras at just the right time. That’s just the magic of this country. It’s the continent’s crown jewel safari destination, and one of the best places on Earth to see the Big 5—lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and Cape buffalo—which you’ll seek out on five game drives across the national parks. No need to be pinched. We promise none of this is staged—this is just Kenya.
What are the top highlights?
- Make a Big 5 bucket list—lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and Cape buffalo—then cross them off as you try to see them all
- Lounge like a lion or go wild as a wildebeest in Nairobi—Kenya’s most poppin’ city is immersed in nature
- Traverse Maasai Mara National Park, famous for the yearly migration of millions of plains animals, and for its neighboring tribespeople: the Maasai
- Fulfill your lifelong goal of hanging out with giraffes at the Rothschild’s Giraffe Environmental Conservation Centre—if that wasn’t your lifelong goal, it is now
- Go back to your roots in Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the site where scientists found evidence of early human ancestors from 1.6 million years ago
- Stand out amongst the many flocks of flamingos that inhabit the Lake Naivasha and Lake Elementaita area
- Head into the wilderness on five thrilling game drives to see Kenya’s unparalleled wildlife in person
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Drivers, animal trackers & local guides
- Private Safari Vehicle
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations, including hotels and premium game lodges
- 5 game drives
- Welcome Dinner & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Daily breakfast, lunch & dinner
- Entrances to multiple national parks and other select attractions
You’ve selected an UltimatePlus departure. Nice choice! You’ll be staying at 3-4-star hotels throughout your trip. Each property is located in a safe and convenient area to ensure a comfortable stay, in rooms that are only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Actual accommodations will be made available to you 30 days before your trip.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight to Kenya
Traveling to Africa is no everyday getaway. It’s a big deal, well worth the long ride, and can be a culture shock without the right people there to guide you along (*cough* us *cough*). Whether this is your first time out of the country, or your tenth time south of the Sahara, Kenya is going to rock your Swahili socks off. You’re headed to Africa’s premiere safari destination.
This tour requires a visa for U.S. citizens. Check entry requirements or call us with questions at 800-766-2645.
Day 2: Arrive in Nairobi + Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Kenya! You’re in the capital city of Nairobi. This fast-growing metropolis is a wild hybrid of urban spaces and open parkland. And that parkland is home to what you really came here for: the world’s largest hot dog eating contest! Nah, JK, we know it’s all about the lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, zebras, and so many more. Get ready to get wild in Africa!
- Land at the airport and meet a waiting EF representative.
- Transfer to your hotel, check out your room, and start to meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
- Get familiar with the area around your hotel with an introductory walk with your Tour Director.
In the evening, it’s time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy an authentic meal and drinks with fellow travelers. Then it’s on to wherever your new friends and the party take you
Day 3: Explore Nairobi National Park & Rothschild Giraffe Center
Wake up sleepyhead, it’s time for your first game drive! We know what you’re thinking: what is a game drive, and how did we get into your room?! First of all the door was unlocked, and second: a game drive is when you get into safari vehicles and head out into an animal reserve to get a glimpse of the big ol’ beasts that call these safe spaces home. And this is your first of many on this trip. Prep your peepers, you’re gonna see a lot of amazing animals today.
- Make your way to the small but mighty Nairobi National Park—visiting this 45-square mile beauty doesn’t even require leaving Nairobi city limits.
- Prepare yourself in advance to audibly gasp at the potential sight of endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, and cheetahs in the wild.
- Fall in love with a longnecked friend at the Rothschild’s Giraffe Environmental Conservation Centre, and learn about the hard work being done to protect them.
- Return to Nairobi to fill back up on an included dinner.
Day 4: Travel to Amboseli National Park + Game Drive
The Planet Earth-iness of this trip is about to get turned up to 100. Today’s game drive is just a morning bus ride away, at the unbelievable Amboseli National Park. Enjoy the “3 E’s” of Amboseli: Elephants, Exciting views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and ‘Eeeek look at that bird!’
- Fuel up for the day with an included breakfast and lunch—if you get a chance to try Kenyan food, be sure to sample ugali (maize porridge) and nyama choma (roasted goat).
- Feel a lot of feelings at the sight of wild elephant herds in what is largely regarded as the best place on Earth to see these immense and immensely cool creatures.
- Bow down to the only thing here bigger than the elephants: Mt. Kilimanjaro.
- Dig into an included dinner back at the game drive lodge.
Day 5: Full Day Game Drive at Amboseli National Park
Enjoy another full day of singing The Lion King songs as you go searching for Simbas, Scars, and Pumbaas IRL. Strap on your game drive hat (that’s a thing you brought, right?), today you get a full day of exploring Amboseli National Park’s incredibly diverse offerings.
- Spend a full day game drive on the prowl for a veritable alphabet soup of every animal from antelope to zebra.
- Pay special attention to the ecology of Amboseli National Park—it’s a powerful testament to the importance of conservation and undisturbed wilderness.
- Recharge with a relaxing evening, and an included dinner.
Day 6: Travel to Great Rift Valley Lakes + Optional Hell’s Gate Excursion
Today you’re going to where humankind likely originated over 6 million years ago: Africa’s Great Rift Valley. While you probably won’t see Homo sapiens fossils, you might see volcanoes, you’ll definitely see some giant lakes, and you bet your tailfeather you’ll see lots of flamingos.
- Arrive at Lake Naivasha and Lake Elementaita and play favorites deciding which lake is best.
- Keep an eye out for hippos—unclear at this time if these are the normal kind or the hungry, hungry kind.
- Meet your guests sharing the lakes with you: zebras, warthogs, gazelles, and all types of birds.
Hell’s Gate National Park Adventure(extra cost)
Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Lakes Region is home to one of the most spectacular parks on the continent: Hell’s Gate National Park. Don’t let the name scare you, there’s nothing to be afraid of here—unless you’re afraid of having a ton of fun tracking animals across this expansive volcanic wonderland. Named after a gate-like entry way between two towering cliffs, the park sits on hot springs and boasts innumerable gazelles, baboons, zebra, lions, leopards and cheetahs. Another cool little factoid: the movie The Lion King is specifically based on Hell’s Gate. So get out there, see some animals in the wild, and hakuna that matata!
Day 7: Travel to Maasai Mara + Explore Maasai Mara National Park
Every year, millions of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles in Kenya and Tanzania run in a gigantic clockwise circle to take advantage of seasonal grazing opportunities. They’re the original trendy eaters, and we hear plains grass is so hot right now. Anyway, they tend to spend July-September in Kenya, specifically in Maasai Mara National Park. So, welcome to their summer home! Whether you’re here when they are, or in their off season, you will be stunned.
- Do whatever you have to do to keep your eyes wide open on your private bus ride to Maasai Mara National Park.
- Embark on a game drive through this gigantic nature reserve that’s roughly ½ the size of Rhode Island.
- Munch on an included dinner, and swap stories that start with “OMG you will not BELIEVE what I saw an elephant do today…”
Day 8: Maasai Mara Game Drive + Optional Excursions
Maasai Mara gets its name from the way the plains look “spotted” by acacia trees and shrubs in every direction. Fittingly, see what cool animals you can spot on today’s full-day game drive. Kind of like a game of bingo, but with bonus points if you see the king of the freakin’ jungle.
- Head out there with your guide and spend the morning and afternoon looking for lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, ostriches, antelopes, gazelles, and gosh we can keep going but we’ll let you see it for yourself.
- Get your camera ready to take the cute cat video to end all cute cat videos if you see a lion or cheetah.
- Cool down with some shade, free time, and food back in the game lodge at the end of the day.
Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari(extra cost)
Start your morning the Maasai Mara way: tracking animals from way up high in a hot air balloon. Casual. Wake up before the sun to embark on a safari like no other. You’ll enjoy an included breakfast as you drift across the plains in search of the majestic big cats of Maasai Mara National Park. And trust us, it’s a whole lot easier to find their hiding spots from above. Take pics when you spot them, with a little assist from the lowkey underrated morning golden hour. All the while, help yourself to complimentary champagne—there’s just something extra fancy about popping bottles at 1,000 feet. If there’s ever been a reason to wake up early, it’s this.
Maasai Tribe Village Visit(extra cost)
If you really want to understand Kenya, you need to talk to the people who live there (or, talk to the animals, but that would require some kind of super power—we’re still working the kinks out of it). And no group is more iconic than the Maasai tribe. Travel to a Maasai village today to meet the once-nomadic cattle herders that have called these parts home for centuries. Expect lots of jumping (part of the routine, but also you jumping for joy) as you’re greeted with a traditional welcome song, enjoy demonstrations of their lifestyle in the Serengeti, and even have a chance to purchase a must-have souvenir of handcrafted jewelry.
Day 9: Return to Nairobi + Farewell Dinner
Anyone else think giraffes are kind of like the skyscrapers of nature? Just us? Well today you’re returning to the giraffe-y skyline of big city Nairobi. Wave goodbye to the lions and leopards, and any Maasai tribespeople you may have met along the way. The elephants you saw will never forget you (that’s kind of their thing), and we know you’ll never forget this journey.
- Hop in your safari vehicle dramatically—it just looks cooler—and cruise on back to Nairobi.
- Get one last long look at the endless plains of East Africa.
- Take some time to gather last minute souvenirs and bond with the friendly Nairobi natives.
Share some last laughs and revisit the best moments of the trip at this included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 10: Overnight Flight Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Before you head to the airport, make sure to take one more group photo and grab that final drink. But this isn’t goodbye because you can always get the gang back together for another trip soon. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, we have a couple ways to keep your vacation going.
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
Double the fun. Many of our trips line up back to back. Give us a call and we’ll help you add another
destination—and save big while you’re at it.
Go ahead or stay behind Extending your trip is easy. During checkout, you’ll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We’ll adjust your flights accordingly, but you’ll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside the tour. Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.