Saruni Mara, in the Masai Mara, offers an elegant atmosphere and luxurious cottages for guests with unique styles.
|14 Days||£10425||Feb||Kenya||Small Group Safari|
Experience wildlife conservation efforts first-hand as you visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, take part in the annual Lewa-Borana Game Count by locating and monitoring local wildlife, learn about the methods used by the Mara Elephant Project, and contribute to local conservation and community projects.
Travel to the Laikipia Plateau to assist a team of rangers with important, on-the-ground conservation research in the heart of the Kenyan wilderness. This safari gives you the unique opportunity to have a real positive impact as you travel, tracking and counting wildlife species as part of the annual Lewa-Borana Game Count. Learn how to monitor rhino and lion populations using telemetry receivers, and how to identify individual animals using ear-notch and whisker-spot diagrams. You will also visit local communities to witness conservation education in action, and learn how the Mara Elephant Project are working to protect the area's endangered elephants from the threat of poaching. Along the way, you will be accompanied by local guide Kip Ole Polos, who was born and raised here in Laikipia. This is a truly unique opportunity to experience wildlife conservation efforts first-hand in the African wilderness.
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be met by one of our representatives who will drive you to your accommodation. The rest of the day is yours to relax after your flight.
Overnight: House of Waine (L, D)
Today you'll have your first taste of conservation matters in Kenya, with visits to two projects found in Nairobi. First off is the Giraffe Centre, where you'll learn about the problems related to the decline of wild giraffes across Africa. The sanctuary also cares for a number of endangered Rothschild's giraffe, of which fewer than 2,000 remain. Lunch will be taken in the exclusive neighbourhood of Karen, where the famous Danish author Karen Blixen lived during colonial times. After this you'll pay a visit to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, home to orphaned elephants who have lost their families due to poaching and human-wildlife conflict. At any one time, as many as 30 young orphaned elephants are cared for by the dedicated keepers here.
Overnight: House of Waine (B, L, D)
This morning you will be collected by your professional English-speaking driver/guide and transferred to Nairobi Wilson Airport to catch your light aircraft flight to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. This conservancy uses a truly successful conservation model, recognised throughout Kenya. Resting on the northern slopes of Mount Kenya, this is an incredibly scenic area with rewarding game-viewing on offer. On arrival you will be transferred to your camp via a game drive, after which you can relax and prepare for your safari.
During your stay at Lewa Wilderness, you will have the chance to visit the Elephant Underpass, a corridor that runs underneath a busy highway that was built to allow previously isolated elephant populations to reunite. You will be able to meet the local village chief to discuss how the local population are coexisting with the wildlife of Lewa Conservancy, which is home to the highest concentration of rhinos in East Africa. You will be able to visit the Operations Room at the conservancy's HQ and also meet the tracker dogs. Make sure to attend the evening lecture by David Kimiti, Lewa Conservancy's Head of Development, to learn more about the conservation methods at work here.
After a morning on safari, you will be driven by way of a game drive across into the Borana Conservancy, where you will stay at Borana Lodge for the next three nights.
During your time in the Borana Conservancy, you will assist the rangers with the Borana Game Count, which involves monitoring and tracking rhino and lion populations using telemetry receivers, and using ear-notch and whisker-spot diagrams to identify individuals. You will also attend a conservation lecture from Michael Dyer, the CEO of the Borana Conservancy, and pay visits to local schools, the Borana Healthcare clinic, and the lodge's permaculture garden.
Today accompanied by your guide, Kip, as well as armed rangers, you will make your way across the Borana Conservancy on foot to the Il Ngwesi Conservancy, Kip's ancestral home. The walk will take approximately four hours, allowing you to absorb the incredible surroundings of the conservancies and spot wildlife along the way, with the chance to spot the smaller aspects of the bush which you often miss on a game drive.
During your full day at Il Ngwesi you will be introduced to the Maasai community by Kip, visiting the local school and meeting with local pastoralists to learn more about the projects funded by your conservancy fees.
In the morning you will be transferred via game drive to Borana Airstrip, where you will meet your charter plane for your light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. Upon landing you will be met and transferred via game drive to Saruni Camp. The sprawling plains of the Masai Mara are one of Africa's great natural wonders, and provide some of the best game-viewing on the continent.
Overnight: Saruni Mara (L, D)
During your time in the Masai Mara, you will visit the Mara Elephant Project (MEP), a conservation project that is working to protect elephants using modern monitoring methods like drones, helicopters and satellite collaring. A tour of the MEP's HQ will allow for an in-depth understanding of the vital work the project does in the Masai Mara. At the current rate, elephants could be eradicated from the area within the next few years, which makes the MEP's anti-poaching patrols, rapid-response units and monitoring operations all the more important.
Overnight: Saruni Mara (B, L, D)
In the morning, you will say your goodbyes to Kip and the Masai Mara as you fly back to Nairobi, where you can catch an international flight home. Alternatively, you can choose to extend your safari with three nights at Manda Bay on Kenya's coastline, where you can learn all about marine conservation (a supplement will apply).
Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our Kenya wildlife safaris.