The Zoo sponsors regular trips on safaris of wonder and adventure. If you are interested in travel to Africa or other wildlife rich areas of the world, please contact the Zoo’s travel coordinator.
Read below for a typical itinerary from our last safari to Kenya in November of 2013.
Including: Nairobi, Samburu Reserve, Sweetwaters, Lake Nakuru National Park & The Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Extension to Mombasa available.
Escorted by: Jameson Weston, Associate Zoo Director – Art
Dates: November 4 – 16, 2013
Cost: approximately $6,995 Per Person, Double Occupancy, all inclusive from Salt Lake City.
Departure City: Salt Lake City
(Other Departure Cities Available Upon Request)
For more information call (801) 584-1739.
Day 1/2 ~ Monday/Tuesday ~ November 4/5
Salt Lake City / Washington D.C./En Route
Today, catch a flight from Salt Lake City to Washington D.C. Stay overnight at your airport hotel before departing the following morning to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia en route to Nairobi. (Meals Aloft)
Day 3 ~ Wednesday ~ November 6
Addis Ababa / Nairobi
Arrive in Addis Ababa and connect with your onward flight to Nairobi, the safari capital of East Africa. Upon arrival you will be welcomed by your Classic Escapes expert driver/guides and naturalist and escorted to your luxurious hotel where your afternoon is at leisure.
Located about 20 minutes from downtown Nairobi, the Safari Park Hotel is a 62-acre complex of convention center, resort and hotel. The architecture is large, dramatic and very impressive. The hotel features 204 spacious rooms, each with individual balconies overlooking the gardens, hand-carved four poster beds, refrigerated mini-bar, and many other amenities. The grounds showcase landscaped gardens, rich with exotic African trees, plants, birds and a 2,400-square yard tropical swimming pool, one of the largest in Africa. In addition, the hotel has a second swimming pool, a world-class fitness center, five restaurants, and a shopping arcade.
Overnight at the NAIROBI SAFARI PARK HOTEL. (Meals Aloft)
Days 4/5 ~ Thursday/Friday ~ November 7/8
Begin your exploration of this magnificent country as you drive north, through rich farm land, en route to Samburu Reserve, which lies 200 miles north of Nairobi on the hot and arid fringes of the vast northern region of Kenya. Lunch will be at Trout Tree Inn at Nanyuki en route. (An optional flight between the Nairobi and Samburu is available at a cost of $300 per person.)The reserve is within the lands of the colorful Samburu people, close relatives of the Maasai, and home to a number of wildlife species rarely found elsewhere in Kenya: Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, and Beisa oryx, all found only north of the equator. The graceful gerenuk, an antelope with its characteristic long neck, spends much of its time in a bipedal stance seeking relaxation in the sparse scrub that grows in this harsh terrain. This dramatic landscape is blanketed by the hot equatorial sun for most of the year. Relief comes from the cool waters of the Uaso Nyiro (“Brown”) River, which rises to the west on the foothills of the Aberdares and which vanishes beyond Samburu in the soggy expanse known as the Lorian swamp. The scenery in Samburu is magnificent and the birdlife awesome.
Your accommodations are in a luxury tented camp built on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River. If you’re an elephant lover, you’ll truly understand the name of camp when you see the abundance of these magnificent animals in this location. Enjoy the comfort of your ensuite tent, the friendly service and delicious food, prepared fresh for you daily.
Overnights at the ELEPHANT BEDROOM CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Approximate driving time from Nairobi to Samburu: 6-8 hours
Days 6 ~Saturday ~November 9
Continue your exploration of this magnificent country with its diverse landscapes and hospitable people, and drive south to the equator and Sweetwaters Tented Camp, which lies in the heart of the privately owned 22,000-acre Reserve, enjoying magnificent views across the bush to the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Kenya. Overlooking a floodlit waterhole, the camp offers visitors an unforgettable opportunity to watch and photograph wildlife in its natural habitat.
During your stay here, you will also visit the 200-acre Chimpanzee sanctuary that has been set up here. Although chimps are not indigenous to Kenya, the aim of the project, initiated by Lonrho East Africa, Kenya Wildlife Services and the Jane Goodall Institute, was to set up a colony where chimps could be introduced, rehabilitated and taught to fend for themselves in an area similar to their natural living conditions. Priority is given to orphaned and abused chimps. The Sanctuary currently has 41 chimps, including two babies born in the Sanctuary. While here, you will be treated to a guided walking safari. At an optional cost, you can enjoy camel safaris, and horse-back riding.
In the evening you can enjoy an optional night drive (currently $100 per person) where you may see nocturnal animals such as aardvark, aardwolf, genet, caracal, porcupine, spring hare and galagos. During your drive, stop and feast your eyes on the brilliant star-studded sky, also take a moment to absorb the wondrous African night. This is definitely what Mother Nature intended.
Exquisitely appointed tents under thatched roof have en-suite facilities and private verandahs. Relax at the Waterhole Bar for uninterrupted views of visiting wildlife or cozy up to a blazing log fire in the Kashoggi Bar and Lounge. In the heat of the day, take a refreshing dip in the pool. Sundowner cocktails, excellent cuisine, safari luncheons, bush dinners and campfire suppers create a truly unforgettable safari. While here, you will be treated to a night wildlife drive to see those creatures that do their prowling by moonlight.
Overnight at SWEETWATERS TENTED CAMP. (B,L,D)
Approximate driving time from Elephant Bedroom Camp to Sweetwaters: 3-4 hours
Day 7 ~ Sunday/Monday ~ November 10/11
Lake Nakuru National Park
Your adventure continues as you drive to the Great Rift Valley, which is a huge geological fault-line that stretches round one-sixth of the Earth’s circumference and is visible from far out in space. At 2,000 feet deep and 30 miles wide, it runs as far as the eye can see. Its walls are sheer and high and along its length there are many
volcanoes, most now dormant. With bubbling springs and geysers, the landscape is spectacular. Lake Nakuru National Park is a shallow alkaline lake that is world-renowned for its huge concentration of flamingos; at times, hundreds of thousands of these birds give the lake a pink shimmering glow. The park boasts a huge variety of animals, including leopard which is often found snoozing on the branches of the magnificent yellow-barked acacias, lion, buffalo, hippo, waterbuck, warthog, baboon, the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe only found in this park in Kenya, white rhino and the rare black rhino which is protected and guarded here. For the bird-watching enthusiast there are 450 species found in the park vicinity, with a vast concentration of water birds including Marabou Stork, pelican, and of course the world-famous flocks of flamingo.
Your accommodation, Mbweha Camp, is located in the privately-owned Congreve Conservancy, hidden in a grove of euphorbia cactus with lovely views of the Eburu and Mau ranges, only 15 minutes away from the gate to Lake Nakuru National Park. The Conservancy is home to over 300 species of birds, and to the majority of plains animals such as eland, zebra, Grant’s gazelle, waterbuck and impala, as well as to hardy predators such as hyena and leopard. Mbweha is the Kiswahili word for jackal, and it is here that one can see all three species of jackal found in East Africa: side-striped, silver-backed, and golden. Also present are dik dik, warthog, buffalo, giraffe, aardvark and baboon.
The thatched cottages with walls of natural lava rock have a roomy, circular sleeping area with en-suite shower and a private verandah. All cottages are completely separate, and are simply designed featuring natural materials and tastefully furnished. The camp’s sunken bar and spacious lounge has an open fireplace, a pool table, darts board, and looks out at eye level onto a small waterhole. The bush restaurant serves a choice of freshly prepared meals in a separate thatched dining room. Activities on offer include nature walks, bike rides, hiking, day and night wildlife drives, bush dinners, and sundowners.
Overnight at the MBWEHA CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Approximate driving time from Samburu to Lake Nakuru: 6-7 hours
Day 9/10/11 ~ Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday ~ November 12/13/14
Maasai Mara/Northern Serengeti
Your comfortable minibus now takes you to the Maasai Mara, Kenya’s most famous wildlife reserve, much the setting for the film Out of Africa
. It is classic savannah – grasslands, where animals are plentiful and the vistas spectacular. In this dreamlike land, animals live in freedom, and the Maasai tend their cattle, all sharing the same land with minimal conflict. You will have three days of wildlife-viewing opportunities in the Maasai Mara Reserve, also known as the “Jewel of Africa,” a site with one of the largest and the most spectacular animal migrations in the world. The reserve is inhabited by many of Africa’s most popular wild animals, including lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo. There are also over 500 resident species of birds in the park including ostrich, larks and sunbirds as well as the lovely Lilac-breasted Roller.
The area is famous for rolling grassland and for the Mara River, which runs through the reserve from north to south. The reserve covers an area of 700 square miles and forms part of the Serengeti ecosystem, hosting the world famous spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million wildebeest, thousands of zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains that follow the rains and succulent new grass. A costly trek as many of the lame, laggard and sick will fall prey to the ravening pack of predators and many more will die in the swirling flood waters of the Mara River as they try to cross it. While your tour is not scheduled during the migration, the abundant resident wildlife will truly thrill you!
Optional activities abound while you’re in the Maasai Mara. You can try a balloon safari for an exhilarating experience over the savannah as the early sun rises and the animals are more active. Or, take a short flight to Lake Victoria, where at Mfangano Island you can see the life of the natives who rely on fishing and what the lake has to offer – in fact, you can try your hand at fishing as many a times visitors can catch up to 100-pound Nile perch. If fishing is not your thing, there’s a paleoanthropological site to be visited, and the area is lovely. Duties permitting, a Maasai warden will discuss current conservation issues faced in the Mara. If you wish, for a nominal fee, you can also visit a Maasai Village to experience this nomadic tribe’s way of life and see their colorful culture.
Your luxury tented camp is located on the banks of the Talek River in one of the most active wildlife areas of the
reserve. In the true sense of ecotourism, a portion of your fee is given to the local community to support various projects and the Maasai have a very visible presence in the camp – from your askari outside your tents who tend to your safety, to the staff employed from the nearby villages. Technically outside the reserve (crossing a bridge brings you into the reserve) you can enjoy activities that are not allowed in the reserve such as wildlife walks, as well as visits to the Maasai manyatta and tree-planting to enhance the look of your camp. You’re sure to enjoy your fabulous tent. Roomy, with two queen-size beds, each tent has ensuite facilities and tasteful furnishings with a private verandah facing the bend of the river. Every attention to detail has been made to provide a comfortable and unforgettable stay while in the Mara.
Overnights at the MARA TIPILIKWANI CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)
Approximate driving time Lake Nakuru to Mara: 6-7 hours
Day 12 ~ Friday ~ November 15
Maasai Mara/Nairobi/Addis Ababa/En Route
A last chance to photograph that awesome sunrise before driving back to Nairobi. (An optional flight between the Maasai Mara and Nairobi is available at a cost of $300 per person.) A chance for some last-minute shopping, before you are escorted to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa and home. As your journey comes to a close, you say a fond farewell to your driver/guides and naturalist and promise to come back in the not too distant future. (B, Meals Aloft)
Approximate driving time from Mara to Nairobi: 6-8 hours
Day 13 ~ Saturday ~ November 16
Washington D.C./ Salt Lake City
This morning your jet lands in Washington D.C. where you connect with your flights home, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of East Africa. (Meals Aloft)