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Kenya Wildlife Safari

13 days Safari
Kenya’s landscapes are teeming with animals of all spots and stripes, from speedy cheetahs to majestic herds of zebras. On this thrilling Kenya tour, you’ll see them all in some of the country’s most spectacular settings. Travel from towering Mount Kenya to the wild expanses of the Masai Mara to witness the drama of the bush unfolding around you.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 21 travelers

Tour pace: You will walk for about 45 minutes daily across mostly flat terrain, including some paved roads, unpaved trails and dirt paths. If you have any mobility and/or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Relations Team at 800.597.0350 so that we can review all necessary information with you.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 9 three-course dinners with beer or wine included at welcome and farewell dinners

  • 7 game drives, 5 Connect & Conserve Highlights

  • Expert Tour Director (your wildlife guide and driver)

  • 4x4 land cruiser safari vehicle, guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Map of tour of Africa

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Nairobi today.

Nairobi 2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Nairobi

Welcome to Kenya! Arrive in Nairobi and transfer to your hotel.

Day 3: Giraffe Center & Karen Blixen Estate

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Climb into 4x4 land cruisers and set out to tour the Karen Blixen Estate and visit the Giraffe Center, a preserve dedicated to raising rare giraffes.

• Climb to the tree house deck and feed giraffes by hand

• Learn about preservation efforts put in place to increase the giraffe population

• Tour the Karen Blixen Estate, a former coffee plantation where the author lived for several years, as described in her novel “Out of Africa”

Tonight, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner.

Mount Kenya National Park 1 night Hotel info

Day 4: Transfer to Mount Kenya National Park

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take in sweeping views of the countryside and pass pineapple and coffee plantations as you journey to the forested foothills of Mount Kenya. On the way, stop at Aberdare Country Club for lunch. After, enjoy wildlife viewing at your lodge near Mount Kenya National Park.

Great Rift Valley 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to Kigio Wildlife Conservatory

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

En route to the Great Rift Valley region, stop at the Equator to experience the famed Coriolis effect. Then, head on to the Kigio Wildlife Conservatory for lunch and an optional nature walk.

Day 6: Lake Nakuru

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel to Lake Nakuru, where two million flamingos make their home.

• Take game drives in 4x4 land cruisers through Lake Nakuru National Park

• Keep an eye out for wildlife like zebras, monkeys and rhinos, both the elusive black and white varieties

Masai Mara 2 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Transfer to Masai Mara

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue through the Great Rift Valley as you travel to the land of the Masai warriors, the Masai Mara, for a series of game drives.

• Watch for the famous Big Five of African safaris —leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions and elephants

• Admire the rolling hills, waving savanna grasses and acacia trees

Day 8: Game drive

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head out at both early morning and sunset on game drives in hopes of spotting lions, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, impalas, elephants, warthogs, cheetahs and wildebeest.

Nairobi 1 night Hotel info

Day 9: Transfer to Nairobi

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning in Masai Mara, then enjoy the incredible scenery as you travel through the Great Rift Valley back to Nairobi.

Amboseli 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Transfer to Amboseli

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel south to Amboseli National Park, which sits against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Then, set out on an afternoon game drive keeping an eye out for lions, baboons, cheetahs, hippos, wildebeest and elephants.

Day 11: Game drives

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head out on a day of game drives and marvel at the park’s huge herds of elephants, as well as ostriches, leopards, lions and rhinos. 

Later, celebrate your adventure at a farewell dinner in Amboseli.

Day 12: Travel to Nairobi & departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to Nairobi for your flight home, or extend your stay to explore Tanzania.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 13: Travel day

Arrive home after your overnight flight.

Add Tanzania $1,799 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

The timeless plains stretch as far as the eye can see. Herds of animals roam as they did before humankind. The mighty Masai endure as they have for centuries. Time seems to stand still in the wilds of Tanzania, yet every day on this extension is thrilling and new. Experience the best of this bewitching country, from the wildlife-rich Tarangire to the legendary Serengeti to the “Garden of Eden” at Ngorongoro Crater.

Tarangire National Park 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Tarangire National Park via Arusha

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Stop in Arusha on your way to Tarangire National Park where you’ll marvel at one of Africa’s largest herds of elephants and keep watch for over 500 bird species. Later, set out on an afternoon game drive.

Serengeti 2 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Transfer to Serengeti

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey to the Serengeti, stopping en route in Olduvai Gorge for a guided tour of this “Cradle of Mankind,” where Louis and Mary Leakey excavated 1.8 million-year-old human fossil fragments in 1959.

Day 14: Game drive

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Set out on a day of game drives through the Central Serengeti’s rich ecosystems and endless plains, keeping watch for the Big Five.

Ngorongoro 1 night Hotel info

Day 15: Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transfer to the beautiful Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. There, set out on a game drive, looking out for lions, black rhinos and cheetahs.

Day 16: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Transfer to the Nairobi airport via Arusha for your flight home.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 17: Travel day

Arrive home after your overnight flight.

How's the weather?

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Nanyuki, Rift Valley
  • Nakuru, Rift Valley
  • Masai Mara, Kenya
  • Amboseli, Kenya
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa requirements

  • If you’re a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you’ll need a passport to enter Kenya (as well as Tanzania on the tour extension). Make sure that your passport has two empty pages and an expiration date that extends at least six months beyond the last day of your trip. 
  • A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Kenya and Tanzania. You may purchase your visa in one of the following ways:
  • In advance by using a visa provider, such as our partner VisaCentral
  • By visiting your local embassy 
  • Online through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Please note: The U.S. consulate has no say or jurisdiction over the e-visa process)
  • If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the consulates of Kenya and Tanzania for your entry requirements.

Staying healthy

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications.

Transportation

  • International flights: Your round-trip international flights will arrive in and depart from Nairobi.
  • On safari: During your safari, you’ll travel in a specially equipped safari land cruiser The vehicle is open, allowing for panoramic views during game drives. Window seats are guaranteed. Transfers between parks are long and cross bumpy terrain, so we recommend bringing a small pillow to ease the ride.

Tour Director

  • Your guide for this tour will be different than a typical Tour Director. You will be met by a Go Ahead representative upon arrival and will then meet your guide the morning of your first full day on tour. He or she will act as both your tour guide and driver for the duration of your tour.

Cuisine

  • You’ll find that most cuisine in the game lodges reflects the region’s British colonial history.
  • Indian food is a mainstay on most hotel buffets and restaurant menus, among other options.
  • Typical meals include a fresh salad or vegetable soup, grilled meat with root vegetables, and a selection of pastries and fruit for dessert.

Climate

  • Kenya enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year due to the high altitude of most of the area. 
  • Temperatures seldom vary from a norm of about 70 degrees, except in the mountain areas where temps can drop to the low 50s in the evening. 
  • The rainiest part of the year is from March to May, with a secondary rainy season in November and December. The driest months are generally June to October.

Electricity

  • Kenya operates on the British standard 240 volts and requires a type-G adapter with three large flat pins.
  • Tanzania (on the tour extension) operates on 230 volts and requires a type-G adapter with three large flat pins.

Time zones

  • Kenya and Tanzania are three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or eight hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 8pm in Nairobi.

Currency

  • The currency you’ll be using on your tour is the Kenyan shilling (and the Tanzanian shilling on the tour extension). 
  • All East African countries have stringent exchange regulations. Their currencies are not interchangeable. 
  • We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible, and small amounts of U.S. dollars for small purchases. (Please make sure that you only bring U.S. dollars printed in 2004 or later.) 
  • ATMs are most readily available in Nairobi; while there, we recommend taking out cash in small bills to have on safari. 
  • It’s important to keep a receipt whenever you convert foreign currency. No local currency can be taken in or out of the country. 
  • Major American credit cards are accepted in Kenya. (Please note: International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one card with a metallic chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour.)
  • We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Shopping

  • You’ll have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs at outdoor markets, small shops and tribal roadside stalls, as well as in boutiques at some of the lodges. 
  • Prices in Kenya are almost always negotiable with bargaining, providing an excellent way of meeting the Kenyan people.

Items to give or trade

  • Many Kenyans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items to offer as gifts or when bartering for souvenirs. Inexpensive options include tee shirts, baseball caps, pens, cosmetics and toiletries. 
  • Offering Kenyan children candy and gum is somewhat controversial because the availability of dental care may be negligible. Instead, offer English-language children’s books or crayons.

Tipping

  • We’ll take care of the gratuities for baggage handling on your safari. However, it’s customary to tip your guide/driver at the end of your journey. 
  • We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $8USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day. 
  • Tips can only be paid in cash. 
  • You can also expect to be solicited for tips from the hospitality and restaurant staff that you encounter. Leaving as little as the equivalent of $1USD/CAD is greatly appreciated, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/12/2016

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SK

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Kenya was Fabulous

The trip was fantastic, lots of animals, great guides, great accommodations, good food. The only downside was the Tanzania extension - the very long days at the end of the trip were a challenge. Then the trip back to Nairobi was a lot longer than indicated on the itinerary.

 

Hi Judy! Thank you for sharing your experience. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed your tour! We’re also pleased to learn that you saw lots of animals and found that most components of your trip met your satisfaction. Regarding the Tanzania extension, the itinerary was designed to maximize your chances of seeing as much wildlife as possible. We hope that, ultimately, you felt making the drive was worth it, but we will definitely communicate your valuable feedback to our Product Development team as we evaluate this tour further. Again, we thank you for writing a review, and we look forward to welcoming you on tour later this year.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | March 08, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 2/4/2016

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

An unforgettable experience!

I have taken six tours with Go Ahead, and enjoyed every one of them. The Kenya Safari, however, was just a totally unforgettable experience. It was so different than other trips I have taken in my lifetime. Seeing the wild animals in their natural environment is so different than seeing them in a zoo or circus. Our guide, Daniel, was a wealth of knowledge the whole time. This was a first safari experience for us, and he made it one we will always remember. He identified all the animals and birds without even looking up notes or a reference book. He would even spell the names of them to those of us taking notes of what we saw! The accommodations were unique and different. The hotel in Nairobi was a modern, up to date hotel in every way. The hotels in the parks, while more rustic, were so comfortable and each had its own personality. Food at all was delicious and plentiful, as most were buffets. I would say to anyone considering this trip, do it while you can. It is worth every dollar, and then some. To top it off, the people we encountered in hotels , restaurants, gift shops, etc. were all very welcoming and friendly.

 

Hi Sidney! Welcome home, and thank you for taking the time to write a review. We agree that Kenya is a unique and unforgettable destination. We’re so glad you were able to visit! It sounds like your Tour Director contributed greatly to the success and enjoyment of your tour and that his going above and beyond was a special highlight for your group. We are very proud to work with our knowledgeable and passionate Tour Directors. We’re also happy that you enjoyed the hotels and meals. Our Operations Team strives to provide the best experience in both aspects of the tour. Again, we thank you for sharing your experience, and we’re so glad you were able to visit lovely Kenya. We look forward to seeing you on tour again this year!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | February 23, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 1/15/2016

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: SK

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

We saw the big five! And more!

We had the best tour director ever! David did such an amazing job finding us animals - not only did we see the big five - we saw both a black rhino and a white rhino, and babies everywhere! It was truly the trip of a lifetime! I would highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys immersing themselves in other cultures, and/or animals. Bring a good camera with a great zoom to truly bring home amazing photographs. I gave itinerary a four only because this trip involved a lot of driving to and from locations and the vehicle we were in was not air conditioned and apparently some safari jeeps are. When it is 33C outside and you're driving for 5-6 hours in Kenyan traffic - air conditioning would have been appreciated. All of our accomodations were splendid with wonderful staff, but we did find the switching on and off of power to be irritating at times when we could not recharge batteries for cameras and phones. The food everywhere was outstanding! My biggest complaint was the misinformation I received from Go Ahead staff prior to leaving! When I inquired about purchasing shillings for the trip, GA staff told me that it is illegal to purchase shillings outside of Kenya, or to have their money outside of the country at any time. They recommended I purchase American money here to get me started, and utilize a local bank in Nairobi upon arrival to get some shillings. This is what I did. When I arrived in Kenya and asked about this - I was informed this is NOT TRUE and hasn't been since the new government was voted in. GA should have known this as it is their responsibility to keep up to date on such vital facts. For me to buy American currency (as a Canadian with a very poor dollar) I lost a tremendous amount of money before I even left home, and buying money in Nairobi cost me a great deal with international bank fees, and currency exchange. One lady on our trip did not take GA's advice and purchased her shillings prior to leaving on a currency website and saved a great deal of money. I am greatly dissatisfied with this.

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1 / 4
 

Dear Eileen, Thank you for your review. Though we are happy to hear you enjoyed your tour, we are concerned about the confusion surrounding your currency exchange. One of our Quality Control team members reached out to you this morning to discuss your experience and got your voicemail. If you would like to discuss this matter, please give us a call at 1-800-597-0350 and ask for Quality Control. We appreciate your feedback very much, and we are fully committed to understanding what happened. Thank you again for your review.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | February 08, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 7

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Awesome

Awesome safari. I have a one-hour video of the trip on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m87IqH7Zbgk

 

Hi Peter! We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed your safari. It was such a pleasure for us to watch your video and experience the tour through your eyes. Thank you for sharing that with us and other travelers. We look forward to welcoming you on tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | January 29, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a lifetime

10 days in Kenya and 4 days in Tanzania visiting places like Maasai Mara and the Serengeti! 15 of us in our group, with three tour guides: Jeff, Simon and Daniel. I was in Jeff's vehicle. If you are a birder, you want him as your guide - he knows how to spot and identify many species. All the guides have worked the parks for several years and know wildlife habits so they can find the animals you want to see. I took thousands of pictures on 3 different cameras (Giraffes,wart hogs, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, elephants, hippos, crocodiles, zebras, gazelles, and lots of birds). Parks and reserves where we stayed were so welcoming, with wet towels and glasses of juice after our long hot drives over dusty roads. Food was exceptional. I have food allergies that were accommodated by the chefs. We were told often - and it's true - that Africa is a huge continent, and Kenya and Tanzania are two countries where tourists don't have to worry about ebola. Security was not an issue in southern Kenya or northern Tanzania where we were. If Africa is on your "must see" list, you should go!

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/7/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AZ

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

An experience of a lifetime!

Kenya and Tanzania are blessed with an incredible abundance of wildlife and ecosystems that make these countries more than simply destinations: they are truly experiences! Our guides (Jeff in Kenya, John in Tanzania) were amazingly knowledgeable, accommodating, professional, and helpful. The accommodations were exceptional, especially considering their remote locations. (Where else can you find an elephant or giraffe - or mongoose or baboon or herd of Maasai cattle - just outside your door?) Everywhere we went, we encountered friendly people who worked extremely hard to make sure we had an experience of a lifetime. And, we certainly did! Whether the staff at all our lodgings, our tour coordinator, our guides, those who assisted us with all the questions tourists ask, we encountered nothing but A+ service. I have fallen in love with these places and do plan to return some day.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/22/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour - Safari in Kenya

Hello, I've been home since June 4th but i just came back to earth 5 days later!! I have dreamed of a Safari in Kenya since I was 8 years old. I am now 60 so for 58 years i've planned to go. This trip surpassed ALL of my dreams. Everything was just perfect. We had the most wonderful tour director, Sammy! He was full of knowledge but also full of love for his country. We could NOT have asked for anyone better than our Sammy! He made our first memories into more than we could have imagined. When he pointed out giraffes on the way back from picking us up at the airport. It got better and better. We saw the 'Big 5' after a few days on safari. Then continued to see amazing things. We were in the water when we saw HIPPOS. The hot air balloon ride over the Mara (just don't miss it). Our day would start very early and continue until dinner at our camp. I can't say enough about the Kenyan people. They are warm, open and very happy to talk to us. They embraced us and just wanted to make our stay even better. Every two days or so we would move to another camp which was more amazing than the last. Every day we saw something amazing. I would highly recommend a Safari in Kenya over any other. Thank you GO AHEAD TOURS for an amazing vacation that i will never forget!!! Plus we have at least 2000 pictures or so and, the people we went with are sharing theirs……. Thank you, Laurie and Lou No Vacation will be better than our Kenya Safari!!!

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wonderful trip

My husband and I just got home from this tour, and we had the best time! Our guides in Kenya, Mustafa and Robinson, did their very best to make sure we saw all the animals we could. Maasai Mara was wonderful, and where we saw the greatest number of animals. The hotels and tent camps were great, but I would suggest Siana Springs Tent Camp get some stronger flashlights. Be sure to take your own flashlights because there is no electricity after 11 pm, and it is DARK there. All of the hotel people and other service people were wonderful and very helpful. I would suggest not changing money into the local currency in either Kenya or, on extension, Tanzania. Be careful, though to have plenty of small American bills which were always readily accepted. Any change you get, though, will be local. Visa was always accepted except with very small-operation vendors and at the Maasai village. The numerous 'curio shops,' which are also the bathroom stops, would take Visa. Be sure to bargain in there-We usually paid half of the asking price, and I think we still over -paid. Even our guides were happy to receive their tips in American. One suggestion would be to arrange for a boxed lunch for the group when going out from Siana because the access road is VERY bumpy and long. The bumpy roads are referred to as an "African Massage." The transfer to Tanzania was well taken care of by our guides. Be sure to have documentation of Yellow Fever inoculation. Also, here as well as at the entrance to every national park, beware of the deluge of Maasai women selling their jewelry and carvings. They will also expect money if you take their pictures. Raphael was our guide here, and he, too did a wonderful job. On our travels home, it became obvious that 1 1/2 hours in Paris is not enough time. We needed to get our boarding passes, and we had to go through at least 7 security checks! Our flight to Atlanta was cancelled, so it was a moot point. The Delta people were helpful in rerouting us, but it was a more than challenging day. Three days later, our luggage caught up to us. I would say this was a physically challenging trip. Many accommodations were made for those who needed them, but there were a few bumps and bruises as a result of the terrain and the fact that we were standing (shoes off) on the seats to see out of the raised roof. All in all, this was the trip of a lifetime!

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/15/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Fantastic Experience!

This tour was fantastic in the scenery and up close animal sightings. A once in a lifetime experience. Our guide/driver was great at finding the most elusive animals and getting us close enough to where we could take real close-up shots. We got great pictures of the 'Big Five'. Steven was knowledgeable about all aspects of the tour: history, current events, animal habits, local people, etc. A detriment was that Steven had to concentrate on his driving so it was difficult to ask questions and receive answers. It was difficult to hear what he was saying. We did not have a tour guide as he, Coleman, felt our group was too small. Coleman did greet us at the airport and saw us off when it was time to go home (looking for a tip?) but did nothing else. I've been on several tours and no matter how small the group, there was always a tour guide! The accomodations were for the most part top notch. However, keep in mind that the 'tent lodges' have limited electricity and hot water. Mornings and evenings are the only times the generators run for electricity and there is hot water only in the morning. This was a problem for me as I use a C-PAP machine at night for sleep apnea. Needless to say, I got very little sleep the four nights we spent in tents. It would have been nice to know this in advance. Regarding the entry Visa, don't follow GoAhead's referral to 'Visa Central'. It's a rip off! Not only does it cost twice as much, but it's much more difficult and involved. We got our entry Visa at the airport upon arrival which took about 10 minutes. You do not need passport photos, a copy of your passport face page, itinerary, etc. and you do not have to complete the application form on line as Visa Central requires. The application form is available on the counter at the entry point along with a country entry form that must be filled out. All you need is a $50 bill with a current issue date. I would advise that any bar purchases be placed on your room bill and paid at the end of your stay. I made the mistake of paying at the bar in several places and found $3,000 in unauthorized charges on my credit card when I arrived home. Be aware of what is included with meals. Several times servers tried to charge us for water which was included. Luckily, our driver/guide had these charges removed each time. Overall, this tour is economical and worthwhile. Definitely a great experience!

 

Dear Nikki, Thank you for taking the time to write your review of the Kenya Wildlife Safari. We’re so glad to hear your trip was a once in a lifetime experience! For our safari tours the guides are different than our typical tour directors. It is standard to be met by a Go Ahead representative at the airport, and then meet your fulltime guide. This guide will also serve as the driver for the tour. We apologize if this was confusing for you in any way. We do offer our travelers the option of purchasing visas when they arrive at the airport, however for customers that prefer to obtain visas in advance, we recommend they use VisaCentral to do so. I have passed along your feedback regarding the availability of electricity so that our customers are better informed of the amenities in some of the more rustic accommodations.

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 03, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Go Africa!

A transcendent experience in the cradle of humanity and one of the last strongholds of the magnificent African wildlife - Kenya and the Great Rift Valley. Don't be afraid to travel single in this tour - while it is not common to have single travelers, you are well taken care and there is so much to experience and ponder that you never feel isolated. Our tour was a nice size - 10 folks and 2 vans - and bothvan drivers/guides were very accommodating, paying attention to each person and doing whatever it took to ensure the best experience possible for everyone. Benson, who was the driver/guide for the van I traveled in, was very kind and patient, knowledgeable about the country as well as the many animals and birds and proud to show off the inexhaustible beauties of Kenya. The accommodations were varied and fun - giving what felt like a well-rounded experience of lodging possibilities. Food was consistently good and often excellent. Personal service at the various venues was very gracious - friendly local people and staff - beautiful inside and out. Some highlights: Malewa Springs at Kigio Wildlife Conservancy - hippos relaxing in the river flowing through camp and the ability to have a game walk among the rare Rothchilds giraffes; the Ark in the Aberdares mountains - has several levels of water hole viewing from the hotel - a unique experience at any hour of the day or night to see forest elephant families, hyenas, cape buffalo, antelope, birds, and maybe even leopards, plus great bird watching; Maasai Mara - words inadequate to contain the wonders of that magnificent reserve, especially when you are there to catch the wildebeest crossing the Mara River; and last but certainly not least - the vast Amboselli park- with its large herds of the great African plains elephants protected enough to have retained impressive tusks, with magnificent Mt. Kilamanjaro ("the glittering mountain") towering above the plain. Great bird watching at Sentrim Amboselli tent camp - Maasai naturalist (David) on staff very friendly and helpful. Some tips: Like others have said, much easier and cheaper to wait to get your VISA at the Nairobi airport; ATMs not generally available outside Nairobi banks and don't expect them in the shops, reserves or hotels; Credit cards machines may not work at remote locations - so make sure to have backup cash; Cannot exchange currency except at airport and large city banks so plan accordingly; Do not carry large denominations of US currency - the businesses and vendors will generally only be able to make change in Kenya shillings and they do not have access to large amounts of cash- carry the majority of your US money in $20s, $10s and $5s. Use $1 bills for small tipping; Take seriously the restriction on US bills issued 2004 or later - you will not be able to use any that do not comply. Don't worry about using Kenya shillings - most locals are very comfortable with figuring for you the cost in US money. Be prepared to bargain for souvenirs - it is expected and once you get the hang of it can be fun and a great opportunity for one-on-one contact with native folks. Be prepared for optional side trips that are not included in the tour - and do not let the extra cost deter you (if like me this is for you a once in a lifetime experience): Visit the Sheldrick Elephant Nursery in Nairobi - very reasonable fee to get close to lots of baby elephants for an hour and learn about the devoted efforts year after year to save as many elephant orphans as they can for return to the bush. Night game drive at Malewa was well worth the extra $s - remember that being out at night in the African bush is not a good idea unless you are with a guide.and so this is a rare opportunity to encounter Africa at night. (Night game drives only available at Conservancies like Kigio - not on National Parks or Reserves). Balloon Ride over the Maasai Mara - a singular experience in a singular land - especially during the July/August migration season. $450 is not expensive for what you get: balloon flies incredibly low at times so you can be just a few feet above the animals, like a lion relaxing after a full meal; you get a better sense of the scale of the wildebeest hordes streaming across the plains, with ostrich, zebras and many types of beautiful antelope joining in; experience the beauty of the plains in the stillness of the dawn light; have champagne with full bush breakfast after you land inside the Maasai Mara reserve (our balloon landed just a few feet from a cheetah waiting to start the day's rounds) - and then another morning game drive back through the reserve to meet up with your regular tour guide. Hard to understand why so many Americans are bothered about the long drive on rough roads - don't know why they expected anything else. In other words if you want to see this magnificent country and its inhabitants, both animal and human, up close, you need to be prepared to cover lots of bumpy ground by car - bring a pillow and keep your eyes peeled! Colleen McM

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