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5 Days: Classic Kenya Safari

5 Days
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Day 1: Nairobi to Aberdare National Park

Your holiday time is precious, so we jump right into the adventure. Our voyage out of Nairobi leads to Thika, an industrial town, where the urban jungle fades to cultivated farmland and finally, evaporates into the real jungle of Aberdare National Park.

Aberdare National Park, in the central highlands of Kenya, climbs from 7,000 feet (2,100 metres) to a very cool 14,000 feet (4,300 metres) above sea level. As the park's landscape soars ever higher, marshlands and bamboo and rainforests make way for roaring waterfalls, icy streams and breezy mountain peaks. Here, you'll have a chance to spot Africa's "Big Five" game – the African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, lion, and black rhinoceros – as well as baboons, Sykes and colombus monkeys, and even the bongo antelope.

Dinner and overnight at The Ark Lodge.

Day 2: Aberdares to Lake Nakuru National Park

Imagine pink: the pink of cherry blossoms against a cerulean sky, or children's crayons smeared across baby blue construction paper – this is the sight that awaits at Lake Nakuru National Reserve, named for its breath-taking blue-green lake. This freshwater treasure may appear to be rimmed by pink sand beaches, but the shoreline's rosy hues are in fact owed to the optical illusion of millions of flamingos!

And while the flamingos get all the fame, Lake Nakuru is a veritable birdwatching paradise: approximately 450 bird species, including water birds and terrestrial species, make their home here. After lunch at Lake Nakuru Lodge, an afternoon safari takes us through the park's bush grasslands and yellow acacia woodlands in search of big game, like white and black rhinos, endangered Rothschild's giraffes, lions, baboons, and buffalo.
Dinner and overnight at Lake Nakuru Lodge.

Day 3: Maasai Mara

If you have ever closed your eyes and dreamed of Africa, you have envisioned the experience you will live today: Maasai Mara, cradle of the Maasai culture and an iconic African safari destination. An afternoon game drive takes us into the heart of the Maasai bushland, and if you've timed your trip right, this is the perfect opportunity to witness the Eighth Wonder of the World: the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Feel the thunder of giant hooves, racing over Tanzania's Serengeti and onto the adjoining Masai Mara National Reserve, in search of food and sustenance. Millions of massive wildebeest (gnu) bring with them Thomson gazelles and zebras. Behind them, stealthy lions, cheetahs, hyenas and other predators beat the path into Kenya. Keep your eyes peeled and your camera lens primed; it's not everyday you can witness one of the world's most astounding natural events!

Dinner and overnight at Mara Sentrim Lodge.

Day 4: Maasai Mara

You're up in time to watch dawn unfold over the Maasai homeland – and to catch your 6:30 a.m. safari into the open bush. The reserve's name pays homage to the region's hospitable people and their description of these lovely plains: "Mara," meaning spotted – a landscape dotted by fluffy clouds, scrub brush, and towering trees.
This morning's game drive takes you deep into the scenery, in search of bathing hippos, galloping antelopes, and darting zebras. The reserve is home to many of the species on your list – think fox, impala, antelope, and gazelles – but what makes Maasai Mara so special is its access to Africa's "Big Five" game – the five most dangerous animals in the land: the African buffalo, African elephant, black rhinoceros, leopard and lion.
Dinner and overnight at Mara Sentrim Lodge.

Day 5: Maasai Mara to Nairobi

We don't want to say we've saved the best for last… but we've saved the best for last. This morning, on your final day of adventure, we'll arrange the ultimate farewell: a balloon safari above the savannah (optional). Float up, up, up toward the cottony clouds, and enjoy Kenya from a whole new perspective. Below you, elephants stampede over the plains, a tower of giraffes forage, and lions stalk their prey – big game made small through the illusion of your birds-eye view.

If you do not wish to be put Hot Air Balloon Supplement in your bucket, then after breakfast at Mara Sentrim, we'll head back to Nairobi. Arrive in the afternoon for drop-off at your Nairobi hotel or the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

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