Kenya Elephant Safari

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-KEN027

From: £5200.00

An 11 day safari dedicated exclusively to encounters with the gentle giants of Africa's wildlife areas. Elephants are intelligent, socially complex and utterly absorbing to watch. This thrilling safari combines Amboseli National Park, famous for its large elephant herds and iconic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the endless rugged beauty of Samburu National Park - based at Saba Douglas-Hamilton's Elephant Watch Camp and ending in the iconic Masai Mara at the famous Little Governors Camp where you can spot elephant on the plains below while on a balloon safari.

Rainbow Exclusive

Rainbow Tours will sponsor an elephant for one year at Elephant Orphanage run by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) on behalf of guests travelling on this tour. This provides you with access to the afternoon session at the orphanage reserved exclusively for foster parents of sponsored elephants. A visit on your first day in Nairobi gives you a great idea of the efforts that go into the conservation and reintroduction of orphan elephants back into the wild. You will be able to get to know their characters a bit more before choosing the one you would like to adopt. On the final day in Kenya, as a foster parent you are allowed exclusive access to your chosen orphan as you help put them to bed for the night – Something very special and a lifelong memory to take away with you.

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart from London Heathrow on Kenya Airways flight overnight to Nairobi.

Day 2 Early morning arrival, clear Customs & Immigration and you will be met and transferred by road to the Giraffe Sanctuary where you get the chance to get eye to eye with the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. Then off to the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage for a visit. Here you will learn more about the tremendous work they do here caring for the elephant orphans. At this point you can make your choice and an elephant will be adopted in your name. Continue on to the Karen Blixen museum for a visit before checking into the lovely House of Waine for a one night stay with breakfast included

Day 3 Check out after an early breakfast and you will be transferred to Nairobi’s domestic airport in time for the light aircraft flight to Amboseli. Met on arrival by the camp vehicle and game viewing en route before checking into the award winning Porini Amboseli Camp for a two night stay with all meals, local drinks, day & night drives in the conservancy and national park,walks in the conservancy and all park and conservancy fees included.

Day 4 While on your game drives learn more about The Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE) Research conducted by ATE over a period of more than four decades in Amboseli has highlighted the long-term conservation and welfare of Africa’s elephants as well as the ethical implications of human needs and pressures. Through scientific research, training and community outreach this knowledge base has helped to ensure the survival of the elephants as well as the Amboseli ecosystem. Witness this extraordinary story in the animals and ecosystems of Amboseli.

Day 5 Transfer back to the airstrip and catch the light aircraft flight back to Nairobi. After a brief change of planes you continue your journey to Samburu National Park arriving before midday. Met on landing and more game viewing en route to camp before checking into the quirky yet sophisticated Elephant Watch Camp for a three night stay with all meals, game drives and park fees included. This camp has been run by the Douglas- Hamiltons for over 30 years and is an important stop if you adore elephants. Saba Douglas- Hamilton runs an amazing camp in between the demands of raising a family, elephant research and presenting wildlife programmes on the BBC.

Day 6 Spend the day in the company of world renowned wildlife researchers as you are introduced to the elephant families of Samburu. They have identified 66 family groups and know each individual member. Learn how to identify the matriarchs, follow and observe the families and learn about their habits.

Day 7 Another day filled with stunning wildlife viewing. Apart from Elephants this reserve has a wealth of animals and some are endemic to this area only.

Day 8 Fond farewells to the elephants of Samburu and their dedicated guardian angels at Elephant Watch Camp. A flight takes you to the Masai Mara for the final part of your elephant journey with a two night stay at Little Governors Camp. Little Governors overlooks a bend in the Mara River, where guests often enjoy lovely sightings of families of elephant coming down to the waters edge to drink, play and cross the river Chances are high that you may encounter Possum or Blossom, two large male elephants who roam the forests around the Governors camps. The camps are unfenced leaving wildlife free to pass through as they wish. It does mean that sometimes lunch or lunch preparations get interrupted from time to time! At Little Governors Camp all meals, park fees and morning and afternoon game drives are included.

Day 9 Awake early this morning with a steaming cup of coffee before being taken to the balloon site. Take off in the early morning and glide above the plains for some breathtaking sights from this most unusual perspective. If you are lucky you will be able to watch elephants slowly moving towards the shade before the heat becomes too much. Enjoy about an hour's flight before landing and enjoying a champagne breakfast in the bush. Spend the remainder of the morning and afternoon in search of the elephants and the many other animals and birdlife for which the Mara is world famous. In the forests around camp the Warburgia trees stop fruiting bringing fewer elephant visitors to camp and the new growth on the grasslands draws the families of elephant out from the forests. Large herds of elephant with up to 30 members of related family units with very young calves feed on the tender young shoots on the plains whilst males in musk wander from one family herd to another in order to mate. The abundance of soft grass keeps the elephant herds well fed and provides them with a needed change of diet and a wealth of necessary minerals. This in turn gives the precious trees of the riverine forests and the acacia woodlands a much needed respite.

Day 10 Final morning game drive and breakfast. Afterwards check out of your tent and transfer back to the airstrip for the flight back to Nairobi. You will be met and transferred to the Elephant Orphanage for the private afternoon session from 17:00 – 18:00. This session is reserved exclusively for foster parents and is a perfect time to get you know your elephant a bit better and marvel as they go about their bedtime routine. Continue to Ol Sereni Hotel where you can have a meal (for your own account) before being transferred to Jomo Kenyatta Airport in time to check in for Kenya Airways direct overnight flight to London Heathrow.

Day 11 Early morning arrival at 06h45.

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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