• Nairobi


    Most visitors to Kenya simply fly in and out of capital Nairobi – which is a huge mistake...
  • The Great Rift Valley

    The Great Rift Valley

    The Great Rift Valley stretches across Africa from Mozambique into Lebanon in the Middle East...
  • Masai Mara National Reserve

    Masai Mara National Reserve

    The big beast of Kenya safari
    The king of Kenya safari, the sweeping grass plains of the Mara (as it’s usually referred to) are home to the densest concentration of large mammals on the planet...
  • Nairobi


    Most visitors to Kenya simply fly in and out of capital Nairobi – which is a huge mistake...

Start in cosmopolitan Nairobi, exploring the Westlands nightlife district or the city’s food scene. Take the three-hour drive to Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley, where you can go wine-tasting at Leleshwa Vineyard, take a dip in thermal spas or look for flamingos. Travel on to Lake Nakuru, where you can see giraffe, rhinos and pink flamingos. Transfer to the Masai Mara National Park by car or plane to spend a couple of days seeing the Big Five, meeting Masai communities and staying in some luxury lodges. Transfer back to Nairobi for your departure.

Key information

Destinations Masai Mara National Reserve, Nairobi, The Great Rift Valley
Activity Safari, Luxury, Nature & Wildlife
Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

This itinerary costs between $2,309 and $3,623 per person with our Kenya specialist.

Book this trip with Governors' Camp Collection
Start here

Suggested itinerary

Traverse the Great Rift Valley

Traverse the Great Rift Valley

Day 1–2 in The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley stretches across Africa from Mozambique into Lebanon in the Middle East. Dissecting Kenya in two, it’s a great place to see several lakes supporting more than 500 bird species and crocodiles.

Don't miss

Lake Nakuru safari

Lake Nakuru safari

Go on a Rift Valley safari at one of Kenya’s smallest but best-kept reserves. The park is home to a diverse range of wildlife including the rare Rothschild giraffe, endangered rhinos and, when conditions are right, the amazing spectacle of hundreds of thousands of pink flamingoes feeding at Lake Nakuru, the park’s focal point.

Wine tasting in Naivasha

Wine tasting in Naivasha

Sample some of East-Africa’s fastest-growing wines with a tasting tour at the Leleshwa vineyard. The winery, best known for its light, summery sauvignon blanc, is based in Naivasha, 47 miles north of Nairobi in the heart of the Rift Valley.

Big five safaris in the Masai Mara

Big five safaris in the Masai Mara

Day 3–5 in Masai Mara National Reserve

The king of Kenya safari, the sweeping grass plains of the Mara (as it’s usually referred to) are home to the densest concentration of large mammals on the planet. This is the place to see large prides of black-manned lions, bellowing elephants, grumpy buffalo and a pick ‘n’ mix box of antelope and gazelles. And that’s before we even touch on the smaller creatures and huge array of birds.

But, above and beyond all else, the Mara is renowned for the spectacular wildebeest migration. From about June to early-October each year, around two million wildebeest and other herbivores leave Tanzania’s Serengeti and splash across the crocodile infested waters of the Mara River in search of fresh, rain-fed grass in the Masai Mara. It’s a spectacular phenomenon and a classic safari experience.

In high seasons (July-September and the Christmas period) there can be hundreds of safari vehicles in the park at any one time, and park rules about approaching animals and sticking to the roads are sometimes ignored by less scrupulous guides (this is a particular problem with super-low budget safaris operating out of Nairobi). I once interviewed a biologist who told me she’d seen about 70 vehicles crowding around one cheetah!

But the Mara is a big place. If you stay in the more remote corners and move your focus away from chasing the big cats and elephants, you can still find tranquillity even in high season.

The other way to avoid the crowds is by visiting in mid-season. Personally I love June when everything is fresh and green after the rains, the wildebeest are starting to arrive but not the tourists, and temperatures are cool and pleasant. There can also be some spectacular thunderstorms at this time. And if the focus of your interest is birdwatching, then the rainy seasons of November and April-May are excellent.

My biggest Mara tip: look beyond the reserve itself. Nowadays the Mara is almost completely surrounded by a series of community-run wildlife conservancies. Offering almost complete exclusivity, if you can afford the often high prices then these are by far the best areas to stay. These conservancies have vastly expanded the amount of land under some kind of protection and they’ve brought real benefits to both wildlife and local communities as well as one of the worlds finest safari experiences for visitors. I can highly recommend Mara North, Naboisho, Nashulai Maasai Conservancy and Ol Dereski, though you’ll likely have an amazing time in any of them.

Don't miss

See the famed Mara River crossing

See the famed Mara River crossing

Head to the Kenyan side of the Mara River between July and August to witness the great migration’s premier spectacle – the crossing of the Mara River. All it takes is one wildebeest taking the plunge to spark a frenzy – but beware of the lurking crocodiles.

See dawn over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon

See dawn over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon

Take to the skies over the Masai Mara in a hot air balloon and you’ll see the sun rising over the plains, the Mara River glistening and animals on the move.

Where to stay


Governors’ Camp

Created in 1972, this luxury tented camp is nestled in the forest along the winding banks of the Mara River, its waters teeming with bird-life, hippo and crocodile, in the heart of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

Governors’ Camp was the first permanent tented camp in the Masai Mara and it occupies the best wildlife viewing location in the National Park. The location of the camp was considered so good that during colonial times it was reserved for the colonial Governors of Kenya, hence the name Governors’ Camp. Today the camp enjoys the same prime location and is perfect for couples, families and friends wanting to experience the best of what a safari in the Masai Mara has to offer.


Little Governors’ Camp

Located on the edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve, each of the 17 luxury en-suite tents have wooden decks with large verandahs for guests to enjoy the constant game activity that takes place around the large watering hole in front of camp.

Breakfast and lunch are served in the open air, and the resident family of warthogs frequently wander amongst the tables. Since all Governors’ properties are unfenced, animals are frequent visitors to camp — guests may need to make way for elephants which sometimes visit the camp at lunchtime! In the evening, a warming log fire burns in front of the bar tent, and dinner is served in the nearby dining tent.


Il Moran Camp

The camp for those who want that extra bit of luxury — Governors’ Il Moran is small, peaceful and intimate, with added touches that place this camp at the top of the safari accommodation range. Widely regarded as the premiere camp in the Masai Mara, with the best game viewing right on your doorstep.

Hidden under ancient trees deep in the forest, are just ten tents which line the winding banks of the Mara River. Dark chunky wooden tables contrast with oversized blue couches and a central, colourfully beaded chandelier, while tribal portraits and African artefacts are dotted around. Meals are served on the raised wooden decking of the main mess and dining tent which offers a birds-eye view of the snorting hippos below. The main feature is a sunken fire pit which is lit in the evenings — the perfect spot to sit back with a cocktail of your choice.


Loldia House

Built during WW2 by Italian Prisoners of War, Loldia House is an original Kenyan home set on an old farm on the shores of Lake Naivasha. Here, guests can experience the heritage of Kenya’s early settlers — with its gentle pace of life, one can drive, walk or horse ride among the herds of plains game which live alongside farm animals on the ranch.

Offering a choice of accommodation either in the old family house or in cottages in the grounds, Loldia House is surrounded by pretty gardens, with an outdoor pool and and incredible views across the lake to the extinct volcano, Mount Longonot.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators may cost between $2,309 and $3,623pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

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