Adventure & Service Safari

The Zoo is pleased to partner with, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya (ACK) and offer this special opportunity for a small group of conservation and service oriented travelers to experience Kenya on an amazing 18-day adventure safari!  ACK is a not-for profit organization working to promote the conservation of cheetahs through research, awareness and community engagement.

For more information about the ACK Safari call 801.584.1739 or email Jameson Weston.

Program Includes: 

  • Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
  • Meals as indicated; all meals while on safari. Meals with ACK will be catered to allow ample time for activities.
  • All wildlife viewing by minibus, driven by a naturalist driver/guide.
  • Usage of minibus with naturalist driver/guide throughout.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles.
  • An ACK appointed representative will accompany the group on the main program and on the extension. This safari is setup for 6 participants.
  • All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All park entry fees.
  • Complimentary luggage tags and passport wallet.

Escorted by:  Jay Weston (Utah’s Hogle Zoo) & Mary Wykstra (Action for Cheetah’s in Kenya)

Dates: May 3 – 21, 2020 

Cost: approximately $4,495 Per Person plus airfare, Double Occupancy.

Departure City: Washington D.C.
(Other Departure Cities Available Upon Request)

For more information call (801) 584-1739.


May 3 
Washington D.C. / En Route

Your journey begins as you board your Kenya Airways overnight flight to Nairobi the safari capital of East Africa. (Meals Aloft)

May 4 (B,L,D)
Addis Ababa/Nairobi

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your Classic Escapes expert driver/guide and escorted to the ACK base facility in Mountain View Estate. The home has been rented by ACK since 2009, and is the location where research and library facilities are located. You will have the afternoon to settle in, unpack, freshen up and relax. The Westlands area is a short distance from the house and you will be able to exchange money, have a meal or do your last-minute shopping. In the evening meet with your host, Mary Wykstra, to discuss your upcoming adventure.

Overnight at ACK BASE FACILITY IN KIAMBU. (Meals Aloft & with ACK while in Nairobi)

Since 2009, ACK has helped decrease the cheetah related livestock losses in rural communities, quantified and mapped cheetah presence across Kenya, spearheaded snare-removal efforts, facilitated community development projects, and implemented education programs in local schools.

May 5/6/7/8


Begin your exploration of this magnificent country as you drive south to Salama, a rural town with a population of under 1,000 people. For the next four days you will stay at the Action for Cheetah’s  (ACK) research camp. You will accompany Mary Wykstra and the Salama field officers to do vegetation surveys, participate in an ongoing monitoring and evaluation project and work in the community of the Makueni and Kajiado Counties. During this time you will have the use of a vehicle and driver at your disposal and will utilize ACK vehicles for field work.

Overnights in SALAMA by arrangements of MARY WYKSTRA. (Meals with ACK)


May 9/10 

Amboseli National Park/Mount Kilimanjaro

Your journey continues as you drive to Amboseli National Park, located at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro rises 19,344 feet through a saucer of clouds and dominates every aspect of Amboseli. This park covers only 150 square miles but despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals (well over 50 of the larger species) and birds (over 400 species). Years ago this was the locale around which such famous writers as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Ruark spun their stories of big-game hunting in the wilds of Africa. This too, is part of Maasailand, and it’s not unusual to see the proud Maasai warrior or small children tending their cattle as you traverse their territory. In this land, animal and man have learned to coexist and thrive together, despite the harsh conditions. This is also the park that has been made famous by Cynthia Moss, the noted American naturalist and author who has one of the longest-running studies on elephants. You might even see some of the elephants that Cynthia has immortalized in her many books and award-winning film Echo of the Elephants.

Kibo Safari Camp is a luxury tented camp based in Amboseli National Park, set at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Its 73 tents offer complete tranquility and privacy with rustic African furniture, mosquito nets, writing desk, flush toilet, shower and wash basin. The camp chef will pamper you with fine cuisine and fresh food picked from their own farm as you dine al fresco under acacia trees overlooking the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. The camp also has a swimming pool, gift shop and art gallery.

Overnights at KIBO SAFARI CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)

May 11/12 

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Continue your exploration of this magnificent country with its diverse landscapes and hospitable people, and drive north 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 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 can enjoy a guided optional walking safari, as well as 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.

Soames Hotel and Jacks Bar is a beautiful newly constructed modern hotel and restaurant, located very close to Nanyuki town on the Nanyuki Naro-Moru highway. This out of town hotel is set within a 100-acre private property overlooking Mount Kenya. The hotel is named after Jack Soames, a European settler who came to Kenya in 1920 and made this farm his home. It’s classic contemporary style with a clean-cut modern look, simply and tastefully furnished, is a great place for an overnight stay. The hotel has 12 double en-suite rooms in six cottages set within a garden. Each room has double or twin bed configuration, flat screen TV, modern bathroom facilities and a dressing room / work space. All rooms have tea and coffee facilities.

Overnights at SOAMES HOTEL & JACKS BAR. (B,L,D Daily) https://www.soameshotelkenya.com

Approximate driving time from Amboseli to Soames Hotel: 6-7 hours

May 13/14/15/16 


MeibaeSpend the next four days with Mary Wykstra and the Samburu field officers visiting the local communities with which she has been working for the last several years. Maibae means “liked” in Samburu, yet until recently the area hasn’t had many positive aspects to offer wildlife, tourists or, indeed, its own communities. Its history is plagued with high levels of poaching, cattle rustling and habitat degradation due to poor management.  The insecurity affected the neighboring community conservancies of West Gate and Namunak, as well, who encouraged
the communities in Meibae to start looking for solutions. As a critical wildlife corridor and prime habitat for the cheetah and the endangered Grevy’s zebra, increasing the security in Meibae was also of high importance to the Kenya Wildlife Service who strongly backed their 2009 bid to join NRT, Northern Rangelands Trust, which was established in 2004. NRT’s mission is to develop resilient community conservancies which transform people’s lives, secure peace and conserve natural resources through raising funds, training and oversight. You will have your vehicle and driver at your disposal. During your time here you will see first-hand the results of Action for Cheetahs and various community projects. You will participate in research of the environment that supports the cheetah and the dynamic people living with wildlife in this region.

Overnights at MEIBAE arranged through MARY WYKSTRA. (Meals with ACK)

May 17/18 

Samburu Reserve

Continue your 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. 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 gerenukwith 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 en suite tent, the friendly service and delicious food, prepared fresh for you daily.

Overnights at the ELEPHANT BEDROOM CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)

May 19 


A last chance to photograph that awesome sunrise before driving back to Nairobi. Arrive at the Nairobi cheetah base house.


(Meals with ACK)

May 20/21

Nairobi/Addis Ababa/New York

Your day is at leisure and you have a chance for some last-minute shopping. Say a fond farewell to Mary Wykstra and your driver/guideas you transfer to the airport for your flights Back home. The following day you land in New York, bringing with you the memories of all the wonderful sights of East Africa. (B with ACK, Meals Aloft)


For and additional cost, you can add two days at Lewa Downs, one day at Nakuru National Park and three days in the Masai Mara National Reserve.


DEPOSIT: $1,000 per person, due at time of booking

Reservations must be accompanied by the guests’ full name.

FULL PAYMENT: Due 95 days prior to departure.

In the event that reservations must be cancelled, refunds will be made according to the following schedule:

  • Up to January 29, 2020, less $300 handling fee.
  • January 30 to February 18, 2020 less $750, plus $500 from the extension.
  • February 19 to 28, 2020, less 50% of tour cost on both the main trip and the extension.
  • After February 28, 2020, no refund is possible.

As many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the operation of these trips, we must adhere to the cancellation policies. We strongly suggest guests purchase trip cancellation insurance.

* All prices, inclusions and dates may be subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control.

For more information about the ACK Safari call 801.584.1739 or email Jameson Weston.