Discover Kenya’s magnificent wildlife, culture and communities, ending your sojourn on the majestic Lamu Island Archipelago..
The unforgettable experience of combining the best Kenyan savannah with an archipelago paradise hidden in a charming corner of the Indian Ocean
KENYA SAFARI & LAMU BEACH HOLIDAY | February 2022
SAMPLE SAFARI ITINERARY
Program in brief (10 nights /11 days):
1 x night Emara Ole Sereni Hotel, Nairobi
1 x night The Emakoko, Nairobi
4 x nights Saruni Mara Camp, Mara North Conservancy
4 x nights The Majlis Boutique Hotel, Lamu island
The safari & beach destination of choice
Start your safari in the bustling city of Nairobi. Located high on a hilltop near the equator, the city and its surroundings enjoy a temperate climate most of the year. At an altitude of 5500ft. Humidity is very low and nights are cool. Explore the many craft markets and museums, or have a meal next to the endangered Rothschild giraffe.
Largely known for Kenya’s biggest attraction - the natural movement of mega-herds during the annual pilgrimage called the Great Migration, the world famous Maasai Mara area boasts much more than that - a wide range of resident game both big and small - including Africa's big predators in abundance, red-robed Maasai warriors and iconic “Out of Africa” scenery.
The Mara North Conservancy borders the Maasai Mara. The Maasai are a community driven by initiative to create a wildlife conservation and tourism area that supports the livelihoods of the landowners and surrounding communities. This area abounds with resident game, and the highest population of giraffe is found here.
End your African adventure on the archipelago of Lamu island, famous for the palm stretches of perfect sandy beaches, exquisite dive sites, rich history and culture and, and of course, spices!
The epitome of luxury and comfort - Emara Ole Sereni hotel in Nairobi, Kenya
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 1 - NAIROBI
ARRIVAL – Arrive Nairobi airport, at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and after clearing Immigration and Customs formalities, proceed to the International arrivals area where you will be met by a Roots Africa Tours Concierge Executive who will introduce you to your professional driver guide and be transferred to the Emara Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi.
We provide a touch of character that subtly hints at the experience that is about to indulge you. Each room has contemporary styling, with luxurious marbles chosen to create a relaxed and laid-back mood. Every room exudes sophistication with exceptional views of the park and the city.
Unwind in the magic of our rooms, from waking up to the sight of the Nairobi National Park, to enjoying the views of the city. All our rooms have extraordinary modern decorations and are equipped with high tech comforts. For those yearning to experience unmatched sophistication, book one of our best hotel rooms in Nairobi and let us take care of the rest.
INCLUDED – airport transfer, accommodation.
Overnight at Emara Ole Sereni
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 2 - NAIROBI
FULL DAY TOUR - This morning we will take to the streets of Nairobi to explore this bustling city, stopping for lunch en-route. The evening is at leisure at the picturesque Emakoko Lodge.
Nairobi is the capital and largest city in the country, the only major city in the world to share spaces with wildlife. This was once a swamp area, and the city gets its name from the Maasai word ‘Enkare Nyirobi’, which translates as ‘cool waters’.
It is a bustling city with numerous markets, art galleries, restaurants, and museums, Begin with a visit at the Giraffe Centre which offers the unique experience of hand-feeding these gentle giants at eye level from a raised platform, while watching the warthogs below snuffle around looking for titbits. The centre is the headquarters of the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) which was setup to raise money to relocate the endangered Rothschild giraffe to safe areas.
After, visit Karen Blixen Museum offers a glimpse of typical colonial life in Kenya. The house was once the center piece of a farm owned by Danish Author Karen and her Swedish Husband, Baron Bror von Blixen. The museum gained international fame with the release of the Oscar winning film ‘Out of Africa’, which is based on Karen’s life.
Lunch at The Talisman Restaurant. The Talisman is a popular restaurant in Nairobi that serves a delightful fusion of European, Pan-Asian and African cuisines. Thereafter visit the Kazuri Beads Factory which was started to help women around Nairobi with regular employment so that they could support their families and educate their children. Meet the women and chat with them about their lives as they work. The jewellery also makes great gifts!
Adoption visit to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s elephant orphanage, meet the baby Elephants as they return from the bush for the night and talk to their keepers to learn more about this worthwhile project and the importance of the elephant in Africa’s conservation efforts. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a charity that was established in 1977 by the late Dr. Dame Daphne Sheldrick, to honour the memory of her husband, famous Naturalist, David Sheldrick, the founder Warden of Tsavo East National Park.
For over 25 years Kenya born Daphne lived and worked alongside her late husband and during that time she raised and rehabilitated back into the wild, orphans of misfortune from many different wild species, including elephants aged two and upwards. She was the first person to have perfected the milk formula and necessary husbandry for both infant milk dependent elephants and rhinos. For her work in this field Daphne has received several prestigious awards. After Daphne’s passing in 2018, her daughter Angela, who worked alongside her mother, took over and now heads the Trust. The elephant orphans raised by the Trust are gradually rehabilitated back into the wild elephant community of Tsavo National Park when grown, a transition that is made at their own pace and in their own time, but usually taking approximately eight to ten years. A number of ex-Nursery orphans have now had young born in the wild. Adopting one or more of these special animals gives them a second chance at living freely in the wild.
INCLUDED - breakfast, private vehicle with local guide as driver and accommodation. (lunch and any entrance fees - payable direct)
Overnight at The Emakoko (Meals: Full board)
NOTE: At this point in time, activities are subject to the attraction being open post COVID-19.
The Emakoko was the brainchild of Anthony and Emma Childs - your hosts during your stay. They live on site with their small family and their dedicated team of staff, who are delighted to welcome guests and for whom nothing is too much trouble.
The Emakoko is a twenty four-bed, luxury lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, on the border of the Nairobi National Park. Great care has been taken to incorporate the beautiful fig trees which grow on the cliff where the lodge is situated.
All rooms look straight over the river and into the Park. The Emakoko allows people to start their safari in the wildlife environment they have travelled so far to enjoy. The only “transfer” delays likely to be encountered en route to or from The Emakoko are the natural pauses to watch a pride of lions or waiting for a Rhino or journey of Giraffe to cross the road.
Whether you are enjoying an Emakoko cocktail in the viewing area or simply a coffee by the pool overlooking the river, relaxation is assured. There is also the chance to see our resident hippo, who also likes to keep an eye on you. He can be seen grazing on the lawn outside the rooms in the early evening or the morning.
ARRIVAL – This morning, after breakfast, you will be driven to the domestic airport for a small aircraft over the famous plains of Kenya to the Mara North airstrip, arriving at Mara North an hour later, where your Saruni guide will meet you. Game drive on route to Saruni Mara with a picnic lunch to enjoy under an acacia tree or by the river next to a pod of hippos. Or head to Saruni Mara for some rest and an exclusive game drive later in the afternoon in Mara North Conservancy - over 30,000 acres of plentiful, protected land bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. Enjoy a completely different and less-explored corner of the Mara ecosystem in total privacy, brimming with wildlife.
INCLUDED - breakfast, lunch with local drinks, safari vehicle with a professional safari guide and accommodation.
Spend Four Nights at Saruni Mara (Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner)
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 3 - 6 SARUNI MARA
The Maasai Mara needs little introduction as one of the world’s finest wildlife theatres. Fed by two large rivers, the Talek and the Mara, this region is not just the stage for the most concentrated wildebeest migration action but also home to some of the greatest volumes of plains game and predators on the continent. Saruni Mara is located in a secluded valley in the north of the Mara North Conservancy, offering total privacy from the rest of the Mara but with easy access either to the escarpment or the open plains.
The area has long been known for the lush bush forest which attracts a wide array of game including plentiful leopard and easy access to genuine communities who have long been partners in managing this area. The slightly higher altitude brings a cooler, fresher and generally quieter experience than the vast majority of this ecosystem. Game viewing is done primarily in the conservancies of Mara North, Ol Chorro and Lemek - an area of about 100,000 acres. From here you will explore this wilderness in the company of your personal, fully qualified Maasai guide on your own terms, include walking, day or night game drives and visits to local villages and trading centres.
The culture of the natural guardians of this land is both complex and fascinating. The Maasai are one of the best-known tribes in Africa and it is with good reason that does not purely stem from the game rich plains they.
Time spent with your guide and his community is one of the most rewarding aspect of a visit to this area.
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 3 - NAIROBI / MARA
DAY 4: Early morning game drive to look for the big cats and other predators of the Mara, returning to the camp or lodge for lunch and treatments at the Maasai Wellbeing Space. In the afternoon, a game drive will take you to a special area where the largest tower of giraffe can be seen, followed by dinner at the lodge or camp and an optional night game drive
DAY 5: Walk through the valleys and plains surrounding Saruni Mara, accompanied by a vehicle, or a game drive up to the top of Kilileoni, the highest mountain in the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem - led by your skillful and knowledgeable Maasai guides.In the afternoon you will discover more of Mara North and its surrounding conservancies and experience first-hand what makes the Mara one of the most exciting wildernesses in the world. Weather permitting, experience a bush dinner in the middle of nature under the vast African sky, with Maasai warriors singing and dancing around the fire.
DAY 6: Venture through the plains of Mara North Conservancy in pursuit of the more rare and elusive species. Another wildlife-abundant game drive with a leisurely bush breakfast completes another exciting morning. Head back into Mara North for a late afternoon game drive, finishing your drive with refreshing sundowners overlooking the immense plains surrounding you before heading back to the lodge or camp for a hearty dinner.
Saruni Mara has one family villa, one private villa and five elegant cottages, and is the only small boutique lodge in the Mara, making it very intimate and exclusive. The beautifully decorated themed rooms have a luxurious and classic safari feel. The lodge is tucked away in a secluded valley in the private Mara North Conservancy, a prime and private game viewing area, which borders the Masai Mara National Reserve – the most renowned wildlife park in Africa. Enjoy the Italian-inspired cuisine and being immersed in nature from your private verandah, the Maasai Wellbeing Space and the open lounge and dining area. Maasai warriors will guide you throughout your stay, sharing their ancient wisdom and local knowledge of the area and the animals, their way of life and their secret corners of the most loved wildlife reserve in Kenya
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 7 - MARA / LAMU
ARRIVAL – Following a hearty breakfast in lodge, stop again to admire the abundant plains game and vast landscape of Mara North on the way to the airstrip.
Depart Mara North at 11:00 AM for Nairobi's Wilson Airport and transfer swiftly to a Lamu-bound flight at 13:45 PM, arriving 15:30 PM.
The spirit of the Majlis begins with a warm welcome from the moment you step out of the airport arrivals hall. You’ll then be escorted to the main jetty and to The Majlis motorboat for an incredibly scenic 10-minute cruise to the resort.
Unwind from your journey with a refreshing dip in the pool or a head off for a walk on the beach, cooled by the early evening tropical breezes. Enjoy a feast of culinary delights, before falling into bed to the distant sounds of ancient village life across the bay.
INCLUDED - Half Board accommodation breakfast and dinner from our à la carte restaurant, return motor boat Manda Airstrip transfers, bottled water, mini bar (filled on request - excluded), complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and kayaking.
Spend Four Nights at The Majilis Hotel (Meals: Half Board)
FEBRUARY 2022 : DAY 10 - THE MAJLIS
Set on the idyllic Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago on Kenya’s Northern Coast, The Majlis is a luxury 25 room boutique hotel with the ambiance, comfort and intimacy of a private home. A unique blend of contemporary and traditional styles, The Majlis offers the very best of Lamu. With a superb beachfront location and breathtaking views over the Ras Kitau bay and Shela village, it presents the perfect setting and ideal position from which to explore the region. The Majlis blends seamlessly with its island surroundings, making use of the area’s natural resources and traditions including hand-carved timber and white coral blocks. Each of the hotel’s air-conditioned rooms is unique in character and style, and features traditionally high beamed ceilings and terraces with spectacular views of the beach, landscaped gardens or mangrove forests. Tastefully designed and decorated to reflect the heritage of East Africa, The Majlis houses an exquisite private collection of art mixing local traditional influences with a contemporary twist
DAY 8: Awaken to the gentle Indian Ocean breeze, and take in the breathtaking views of Ras Kitau bay, before heading for a sumptuous à-la-carte breakfast on the open-plan veranda with panoramic views. Get your bearings and earn your sea legs by taking a half-day speed boat (or traditional dhow sailing boat) excursion around Lamu Island. The friendly captain comes bearing drinks and a BBQ lunch(upon request). Stop on the beach and coastal wildnerness of Kizingo Point, and on the way back visiting the Matondoni or Kipungani villages. Return to Majlis in time to enjoy the eclectic in-house art collections and unique artefacts over a refreshing cocktail ahead of dinner
DAY 9: Following breakfast, head to Lamu town and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Discover the colourful morning markets. Wander the winding, narrow streets, admiring the intricate architecture. With donkeys still the only method of transport, you really feel as if you have stepped back in time. Return to the hotel for lunch choosing from a delicious array of culinary choices from Japanese, Swahili, Italian and International cuisine.
Relax in the air-conditioned comfort of your sea view room, reading more about the ancient heritage of the nearby cultural attractions, or, chill out in the massage banda on the beachfront, or work up a ‘sheen’ in the garden ‘jungle’ gym or fitness centre. Enjoy a refreshing sundowner from the panoramic cocktail terrace, and end the day with an authentic wood-fired pizza from the pizza oven served up amidst idyllic surroundings.
DAY 9: Embark on a deep-sea fishing expedition in the waters of the Lamu archipelago that boast great Marlin catches and other sport fish, or, a totally different experience reef and river creek fishing amongst the mangrove channels, with traditional hand lines. For something a little less ‘fishy’, take a boat excursion (traditional dhow or speed boat) to Manda Island, a half-day trip on the other side of the island with stop-over in Manda Toto, a small island made up of sand off Manda Island, only accessible by navigating the narrow mangrove channel on the west coast. Enjoy a BBQ lunch before returning to the hotel. Make the most of your last afternoon by borrowing a mountain bike and exploring one of the trails on Manda Island, or, explore the calm water off the Ras Kitau bay and the Takwa mangrove creek behind the hotel and try your hand at a range of watersports, including water-skiing, kayaking, wake-boarding and doughnut rides. For an unforgettable last night dinner, indulge in a romantic candle-lit al fresco dining experience on the beach.