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Kenya Culture &...

Kenya Culture & Wildlife Safari: Samburu to Maasai Mara

11 days |  14 days with Southern Kenya extension
11 days |  14 days with Southern Kenya extension
Group size620 travelers
Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsHotels, flights & FAQ
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Go wild in Kenya’s prized national parks and game reserves.

Kenya is one of the premier places in the world for wildlife spotting. When you join us there on this tour, you’ll realize why. Not only will you enjoy game drives around the legendary Maasai Mara, but you’ll spend time exploring lesser-known locales, too. Among them: Samburu National Reserve, whose rare mix of animals many wildlife enthusiasts only dream of seeing. Kenya has much to offer beyond the animal kingdom, too, which you’ll discover when you stop for lunch at a lush tea farm and visit organizations working to improve the lives of locals. If you can’t resist the call of the wild, extend your stay and explore southern Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 8 lunches
  • 7 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 tasting
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Included highlights

  • Kiambethu Tea Farm
  • Giraffe Centre
  • Samburu National Reserve
  • Solio Game Reserve
  • Great Rift Valley
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Nairobi today.

Nairobi2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Nairobi

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

Please note: Most flights from North America arrive late in the evening.

Day 3: Kiambethu Tea Farm visit & Giraffe Centre
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Lunch, Welcome dinner

Climb into four-wheel-drive vehicles and set out to discover notable landmarks and local culture in and around Nairobi, Kenya’s bustling capital city.

  • Travel to the town of Limuru and visit the tranquil, family-run Kiambethu Farm, which is set within beautiful gardens surrounded by acres of tea plants and an indigenous forest
  • Enjoy a tasting of tea while you hear how it became one of the country’s largest exports
  • Set off on a walk through the surrounding indigenous forest alongside your guide—and keep an eye out for Colobus monkeys, with their distinctive black-and-white coloring and bearded faces
  • Sit down for an included lunch on the farm’s veranda and admire the impressive views of the tea fields and Ngong Hills
  • Depart the farm and head to Giraffe Centre, a preserve dedicated to raising rare Rothschild giraffes
  • Learn about preservation efforts put in place to increase the giraffe population

Tonight, get to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner served with beer or wine.

Samburu National Reserve2 nights
Day 4: Transfer to Samburu & game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey north to Samburu National Reserve, one of Kenya’s most unique and rewarding safari destinations. This special wildlife conservation haven is known for its abundance of rare animal species, including the Samburu Special Five—the Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, reticulated Giraffe, gerenuk antelope, and beisa oryx. The reserve is also home to elephants, lions, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs.

Enjoy an included lunch, then depart for a game drive through the park and along the Ewaso Nyiro River. As you cruise around the reserve, try to spot the Samburu Special Five.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 5: Samburu game drives & village visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head back out for a full day of game drives through Samburu National Reserve for another chance to spot the Samburu Special Five and other animals.

After an included lunch and afternoon game drive, visit the Samburu Village located inside the park. Meet with the villagers and gain insight into their culture and way of life.

  • Take a walk through the village alongside one of its elders and learn about the villagers’ semi-nomadic lifestyle
  • Enjoy a traditional Samburu dance performance, a type of social ritual dating back hundreds of years for villagers to let off steam, celebrate, and tell of their history and triumphant victories

Later this evening, sit down with your group for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Great Rift Valley2 nights
Day 6: Great Rift Valley via Solio Game Reserve
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Make your way to the Great Rift Valley, an enormous area featuring beautiful lakes, expansive plains, and soaring mountains. Along the way, enjoy a game drive through the Solio Game Reserve, a privately owned sanctuary dedicated to rhino conservation. Keep an eye out for some of the ranch’s 200-plus rhinos, as well as other animals that make up the Big Five, and hear about the ranch’s successful black rhino breeding and protection initiatives.

Afterwards, head toward Aberdare for an included lunch. Then, continue on to your lodge.

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 7: Lake Naivasha boat safari
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning at the vast and ancient Lake Naivasha, which lies at nearly 6,200 feet above sea level and is the highest of the Great Rift Valley’s three best-known lakes. Upon arrival, set out on a boat tour of Lake Naivasha, which is known for its substantial population of hippos and bird species.

Enjoy an included lunch at a local restaurant at Lake Naivasha. Then, head back to your safari lodge, where you’ll relax for the remainder of the day.

Sit down for an included dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

Maasai Mara2 nights
Day 8: Transfer to Maasai Mara & game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue through the Great Rift Valley as you travel to the Maasai Mara, a nearly 600-square-mile national reserve in southwestern Kenya known for its vast plains and abundant wildlife. The region is also home to the Maasai people, an indigenous tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists whose livelihood revolves around cattle. The Maasai tribe’s signature—and symbolic—red-and-blue clothing and colorful, beaded jewelry are among many traditions its people have maintained, while other tribes have adopted more modern styles of living.

  • Enjoy an included lunch at your tented safari camp
  • Set out on an afternoon game drive, keeping your eyes peeled for leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions, and elephants—known collectively as the Big Five
  • Admire the Maasai Mara’s rolling hills, swaying savanna grasses, and iconic acacia trees

Sit down for an included dinner this evening, served with beer or wine.

Day 9: Game drives & Maasai Mara village visit
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend the morning relaxing and catching up on sleep, or add an excursion.

Today, get to know the awe-inspiring animals and people of the Maasai Mara.

  • Rise before the sun for an early morning game drive—an exhilarating opportunity to spot lions, elephants, and other animals starting their day in search of food
  • Head back to your tented safari camp for an included lunch
  • After lunch, climb aboard a safari vehicle for an afternoon game drive, keeping watch for prides of lions snoozing in the shade, giraffes ambling among leafy trees, and sturdy warthogs trotting through tall grass

Later, immerse yourself in the Maasai way of life during a visit to a local boma, or Maasai homestead.

  • Join male members of the Maasai tribe in their signature adamu, or jumping dance
  • Tour a functioning Maasai boma and discover the tribe’s history and heritage
  • Visit a market where Maasai people sell handiworks and crafts, and learn how money from visitors’ purchases helps sustain the tribe
  • Receive your own Maasai name and learn the meaning behind it

This evening, sit down for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Maasai Mara Hot Air Balloon Ride

From $449 per person

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 10: Ubuntu Made Studio, transfer to Nairobi & departure
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

En route back to Nairobi, stop in the bustling town of Maai Mahiu for a visit to the Ubuntu Life Foundation’s craft workshop for a chance to meet with the talented Maker Mums.

  • Hear about the Ubuntu Life Foundation’s mission to provide health and education services and to promote inclusivity of children with special needs across the country
  • Enter the Ubuntu Made Studio to meet the Maker Mums, who craft beautiful items, such as bags and shoes, by hand
  • Learn how the Maai Mahiu community has been empowered by Ubuntu to gain skills and self esteem to start their own businesses for a better future

Continue to Nairobi and relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning, or extend your stay to explore southern Kenya.

Arrive Home
Day 11: Travel day

Arrive home today.

Extension to Southern Kenya
Situated in southern Kenya, Tsavo is the country’s largest national park. When it comes to spotting animals of all spots and stripes, the vast, unspoiled area delivers in a big way, too. So, ready your binoculars, power on your camera, and prepare to observe elephants, black rhinos, buffalo, Maasai lions, and other majestic creatures in the wild. Along the way, visit a rhino sanctuary to learn how local officials are protecting the magnificent animals from poaching.
Nairobi1 night
Day 10: Transfer to Nairobi
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Transfer to Nairobi this morning.

Head to a local restaurant this evening for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Tsavo National Park2 nights
Day 11: Transfer to Tsavo National Park & Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel south this morning to Tsavo National Park, Kenya’s largest park. Its impressive expanse is home to large herds of elephants, black rhinos, buffalo, Maasai lions, and many more animals.

  • Upon arrival in the park, enjoy an included lunch
  • Following lunch, meet with a naturalist guide to visit the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary
  • Learn about the sanctuary’s conservation projects and initiatives aimed at stopping the poaching of rhinos and other animals
  • Set out on a game drive to view some of the park’s 200-plus rhinos, as well as elephants, leopards, and many different species of birds

Sit down this evening for an included dinner served with beer or wine.

Day 12: Tsavo West National Park game drive
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Travel through the vast expanse of savannah in the west side of Tsavo National Park, where you’ll encounter open grasslands, scrublands, woodlands, and the rolling Chyulu Hills. As you make your way through the diverse scenery, keep an eye out for the Big Five and other animals, like the hartebeest and Maasai giraffe.

Enjoy an included lunch before making your way to Mzima Springs, a hangout for hippos and crocs. The springs’ crystal-clear waters flow through the surrounding volcanic rocks.

After freshening up back at the lodge, sit down for an included dinner this evening served with beer or wine.

Overnight Flight1 night
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast

Return to Nairobi today, where you’ll relax in a dayroom before boarding your flight home tonight or early tomorrow morning.

Arrive Home
Day 14: Travel day

Arrive home today.

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Hotels, flights & FAQ

Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
Somerset Westview Nairobi
Somerset Westview Nairobi

This apartment-style hotel is located just outside of downtown Nairobi. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, fitness center, and sauna. Nearby you’ll find C...

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Sarova Shaba Game Lodge
Sarova Shaba Game Lodge

This riverside lodge is located in Samburu’s Shaba Game Reserve. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, private terraces overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro river, an...

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Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge
Lake Elementaita Mountain Lodge

This serene hotel is located in Lake Nakuru National Park in the Great Rift Valley. Guests enjoy the amazing views from their room, delicious dining o...

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Mara Maisha Camp
Mara Maisha Camp

This luxury tent accommodation is located in the Maaisa Mara town of Talek. Guests enjoy their own private tent, outdoor pool, and nights by the commu...

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Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge
Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge

This peaceful lodge is located in Tsavo National Park. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, the rotating art galleries, and watching for wildlife at the lod...

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Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
Add our airfare package and you'll get:
  • Round-trip flight for your tour
  • Airport transfers at your destination
  • A great price locked in today
  • 24/7 support from our dedicated service team
  • Options for arriving early, staying longer, or requesting an upgrade
  • Flexible rebooking options if your tour itinerary changes
  • Find out more about flights


Print FAQ
Passport, visa & entry requirements
  • In order to enter Kenya, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry.
  • We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps.
  • U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in advance in order to enter Kenya. You may purchase an e-visa online through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or submit a request for a paper visa by visiting your local embassy. (Please note: The consulates in the U.S. and Canada have no jurisdiction over the e-visa process.) You can also purchase your visa by using a visa provider, such as our partner VisaCentral. You will need to have your visa receipt with you upon arrival in Kenya.
  • If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each destination country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code KEG.
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Tour pacing & mobility
  • You will walk for about 45 minutes daily across mostly flat terrain, including some paved roads, unpaved trails, and dirt paths.
  • Travelers should be healthy enough to participate in all included walks without assistance.
  • You should feel comfortable managing your own baggage at times. This tour also includes long bumpy rides in safari vehicles. You should feel comfortable stepping up and down to get in and out of the vehicles, standing for long periods of time, and maintaining your balance.
  • Go Ahead Tours and the Tour Director who accompanies your group are unable to provide special, individual mobility assistance to travelers on tour. The responsibility of the Tour Director is to ensure the group as a whole enjoys an immersive and informative journey, and they cannot be relied upon to provide ongoing, individualized assistance to any one traveler.
  • If you have any mobility concerns or physical restrictions, please contact our Customer Experience Team.
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Tour Director
  • Your guide for this tour will be different than a typical Tour Director. You will be met by a representative from Go Ahead Tours upon arrival and will then meet your guide the morning of your first full day on tour. They will act as both your tour guide and driver for the duration of your tour.
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Transportation & arrival information
  • Round-trip flights booked through Go Ahead Tours arrive in and depart from Nairobi. A representative from Go Ahead Tours will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival.
  • Transfers to and from the airport at your destination are included for travelers who have purchased their flights through Go Ahead Tours. Travelers who purchase their own flights may request airport transfers with Go Ahead Tours for an additional cost.
  • During your game drives, you’ll travel in a specially equipped four-wheel-drive safari vehicle. The vehicle is open, allowing for panoramic views. Window seats are guaranteed for all travelers. Transfers between parks are long and cross bumpy terrain, so we recommend bringing a small pillow to ease the ride.
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Baggage allowance
  • Airlines have varying weight restrictions on baggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs.
  • Contact your airline for baggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that our travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on safari vehicles.
  • You’ll need one overnight bag, such as a backpack or small collapsible duffle bag.
  • One small carry-on bag is also permitted (which can double as your overnight bag).
  • Make sure you label your baggage and keep valuables, medication, and documents in your carry-on bag. Safari luggage restrictions are strict and strongly enforced. It’s essential that your baggage meet the following requirements:
  • Your luggage must be a soft, flexible duffel bag. Absolutely no hard suitcases or bags with hard sides are permitted.
  • Your bags can be no larger than 34” W by 17” H by 15” L.
  • The total weight cannot exceed 44 pounds (including your camera equipment and carry-on bag).
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Clothing & packing tips
  • Loose-fitting, layered clothing that can accommodate varying temperatures will be most comfortable. Quick-dry material is best for hot days outside and a warmer layer may be needed for chilly evenings and early mornings.
  • Wear muted colors for game drives, as bright clothing may scare animals away and blue or black clothing attracts tsetse flies.
  • Comfortable closed-toes shoes, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, are best for walking during the day.
  • Pack a swimsuit, as many of the hotels have pools that you are free to use at your leisure.
  • Sun protection is very important. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a broad-brimmed hat to protect your face and the back of your neck from the sun.
  • Occasional rain showers are common during certain seasons, so lightweight rainwear may be necessary depending on the timing of your trip.
  • Mosquito repellent, binoculars, and a flashlight are highly recommended.
  • A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when facilities are not readily available while on the road.
  • The Kenyan government has a strict ban on plastic bags. It is illegal to use, sell, or carry plastic bags anywhere in the country under the new law, and violators will face charges including high fines or imprisonment. Please bring reusable cloth bags if you plan to go shopping on tour, and do not pack any plastic bags, including small resealable bags.
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  • At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at
  • Local governments may require proof of a yellow fever vaccination (often referred to as a yellow card ) or a statement of medical exemption from the vaccine. This is only required of travelers arriving from a country with a risk of yellow fever virus transmission (Please note: This does not include the U.S. or Canada). Visit for more information.
  • Drink bottled water only. Refrain from ingesting 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 in your carry-on luggage.
  • If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
  • If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify Go Ahead Tours at least 30 days prior to your departure by logging in to your account and updating your traveler info. To update this information closer to your departure date, please call our Customer Experience Team.
  • You can see the most up-to-date entry requirements for the destination(s) you’ll visit on tour by going to and searching the code KEG.
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  • Cuisine in your game lodges reflects the region’s British colonial influence—you may find that many locals pause for afternoon tea. Most restaurants offer curries and other South Asian cuisine brought over by the many Indian immigrants. Maize, sweet potatoes, and pineapple were brought over by the Portuguese, and beef has been a staple since the 1600s.
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Electricity & air conditioning
  • Kenya operates on the British standard 240 volts and uses a Type G plug with three large, flat pins.
  • We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter.
  • Not all of the hotels on this tour will have air conditioning.
  • Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons, and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
  • Power outages are common. In some of the camps, power is turned off in the late afternoon as well as in the early morning.
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  • Wi-Fi is available in some hotels, though charges may apply.
  • There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches or safari vehicles.
  • Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
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Time zones
  • Kenya is three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and eight hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (ET).
  • When it’s noon in New York, it’s 8pm in Nairobi.
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  • The currency you’ll be using on your tour is the Kenyan shilling.
  • You may be able to purchase Kenyan shillings in advance from your local bank or a foreign currency exchange retailer, such as Travelex. There is no limit on importing currency into Kenya, but please note travelers are restricted from carrying more than $100,000 in Kenyan shillings out of the country.
  • We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible as well as small amounts of U.S. dollars (only crisp bills 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.
  • Major North American credit cards are accepted but can be difficult to use in remote locations (Visa is the most widely accepted).
  • 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 debit or credit card with a 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.
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  • At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your driver/guide a gratuity in USD. We recommend tipping the equivalent of $8USD to $10USD per person per day.
  • If applicable, we also recommend $2USD per local guide.
  • 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 is greatly appreciated, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.
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  • You will have the opportunity to shop for local handicrafts, such as wood carvings and textiles, at outdoor markets and roadside stalls. Some lodges will have boutiques on the premises as well.
  • Prices at most markets are negotiable, so don’t be afraid to bargain—it’s a great way to strike up a conversation with a local.
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