Road Scholar : Home
At Your Pace: The Wild Beauty of Kenya

Program Number: 20292RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/18/2014 - 9/30/2014;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Kenya
Price starting at: $5,594.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 29; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Brunches, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Salt; Low Fat; Gluten Free    

Discover the real Kenya — a land of beauty and diversity populated by thousands of animals including elephants, lions and rhinos — at a leisurely pace that allows you to enjoy and truly study your surroundings. Observe a variety of wild animals on expert-led game drives and interact with Kenyans in villages and at a local women’s cooperative.


• Encounter Africa’s largest elephant herds at Amboseli, Kenya’s oldest national park.
• Search the Masai Mara for lions, cheetahs, zebras and wildebeests and visit a traditional Maasai village.
• Learn about the life of Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa,” at her Kenyan home and coffee plantation.

Activity Particulars

Walking distances the equivalent of a few blocks. Off-road game drives in safari vehicles.

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.

Date Specific Information


This program can be taken together with 3716-09084 - Tanzania and the Great East African Migration

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Nairobi, 2 nights; flight to Amboseli National Park, 3 nights; flight and safari van to Lake Nakuru National Park, 2 nights; flight to Maasai Mara National Reserve, 3 nights; flight to Nairobi for departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Nairobi
2 nights

Enjoy a field trip to the home of Danish author Karen Blixen, whose famous memoir “Out of Africa” related her experiences as a European settler in the bush country of Kenya. Feed giraffes from a raised observation platform at the Giraffe Centre, established to protect the endangered Rothschild giraffe.

Flight to Amboseli National Park
3 nights

Encounter Amboseli’s large free-ranging elephants during exhilarating game drives in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. Learn about the Elephant Research Project, recent studies in elephant biology, population levels and interaction with other species.

Flight to Nairobi
Safari van to Lake Nakuru National Park
2 nights

Experience the amazing sight of the millions of flamingoes that inhabit Lake Nakuru, feeding on the algae along its shallow shores. Search for white and black rhinos and observe the social group interactions of baboons and warthogs. Visit a local women’s cooperative that initiates projects to help families in their small rural community.

Safari van to Nairobi
Flight to Maasai Mara National Reserve
3 nights
Flight to Nairobi
Departure on overnight flight to the U.S.A
1 night

Go in search of the big cats of Maasai Mara’s open savanna, the lion and the cheetah, who use their speed and power to hunt zebras and wildebeests. Visit a Maasai village to interact with locals and observe their way of life. Enjoy a farewell dinner at camp and celebrate the end of your adventure around the campfire.


In Nairobi National Park, which is just one of Kenya’s 35 designated parks and reserves and the only one in the world within the boundaries of a major city, a giraffe back-dropped by the skyline of the capital produces an odd effect. The animal seems to mimic with its prodigious neck the skyscrapers in the background, a unique indication of the evolving balance between the conservation of Kenya’s vast wildlife habitats and an encroaching modern society.

Nairobi: Four-star hotel. Amboseli National Park: Lodge with views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Lake Nakuru National Park: Lakeside lodge within park. Masai Mara National Reserve: Luxurious, eco-friendly camp on the Mara River.
Meals and Lodgings
   Sarova Panafric
  Nairobi, Kenya 2 nights
   Ol Tukai Lodge
  Amboseli National Park, Kenya 3 nights
   Lake Nakuru Lodge
  Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya 2 nights
   Karen Blixen Camp
  Masai Mara, Kenya 3 nights
   Panari Hotel
  Nairobi, Kenya 1 night
 Sarova Panafric
Type: Hotel
  Description: Up the hill along Valley road and at the furthest foot of Kenyatta Avenue lies one of Kenya’s most sought-after tourism properties, Sarova Panafric. It is here where colonialism met pan-Africanism creating an exceptional meeting spot for varied world cultures. Sarova Panafric Hotel, boosts of rich & unrivalled history amassed over four decades since inception in 1965. When quests for Africa’s Independence raged in 1960’s, the Sarova Panafric hosted many of Africa nationalists. Sarova Panafric was the center of liberalism. That’s how the befitting name came into being, in the spirits of the Pan African movement. Even Kenya’s first president, H.E, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta had a soft spot for the hotel! He inaugurated it on 5th January 1965. Since then; the hotel has continued to resonate with the best of Africa’s repertoire.
  Contact info: PO Box 30486 Valley Road
Up the hill on Kenyatta Avenue
Nairobi.,   Kenya
phone: +254-20-2720822
  Room amenities: Each room is uniquely decorated and furnished. Features indluce wireless high-speed Internet access, irons, ironing boards, hairdryers satellite television, tea/coffee making facilities, 24-hour room service, digital direct-dial telephone and mini-bar.
  Facility amenities: Sarova Panafric is home to one of the finest restaurant in town, the “Flame Tree.” The “Pool Garden” restaurant is open for lunch. There is a swimming pool available for all guests.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability. Please contact your program provider, Holbrook Travel, for additional information.

 Ol Tukai Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Lodge built in the heart of the Amboseli National Park, with views of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
  Contact info: Amboseli National Park
Amboseli National Park,   Kenya
phone: +254 456-22058
  Room amenities: Chalet-style rooms have en suite bathrooms. Each room is tastefully decorated with native artwork and has tiled floors and Individual terraces.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, open-air bar, pool, poolside bar, money exchange, library, lounge, conference/meeting room, multi-denominational chapel, clinic with nurse, laundry service, and gift shop.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Lake Nakuru Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: Lodge located in the Lake Nakuru National Park, with views of the flamingo dotted lake.
  Contact info: No info.
Lake Nakuru National Park,   Kenya
phone: +254 202-732965
  Room amenities: Mosquito nets, phone, and balcony/terrace.
  Facility amenities: Pool, gift shop, laundry services, and restaurant.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Karen Blixen Camp
Type: Luxury Tented Camp
  Description: This luxurious eco-friendly camp is strategically located on the edges of the famous Mara River. Its 22 large canvas tents offer elegant and comfortable accommodations with views of the nearby river. A main building, raised on a beautiful wooden deck, houses the restaurant, reception, bar, and gift shop. Authentic reproductions of Karen Blixen's furniture adorn the common areas and provide a sense of being back in time.
  Contact info: Masai Mara
Masai Mara,  00000 Kenya
phone: +254 7730 63863
  Room amenities: Each canvas tent is set on a wooden platform base with a roof. Tents have electricity (supplied by solar panels), en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and showers, and a spaceous veranda. Furnishings include colorful rugs and pillows, a comfortable armchair, minibar, and an inviting chaise longue.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, lounge and bar, gift shop with internet, swimming pool, and massage services.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Panari Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Panari Hotel is the Kenya’s latest state-of-the-art hotel along Mombasa Road. The hotel is conveniently located within five kilometres either from the city centre or Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. While at the hotel, customers can get a good view of the Nairobi National Park.
  Contact info: Mombassa Rd.
P.O Box 4372-00506
Nairobi,   Kenya
phone: +254 20 828990
  Room amenities: Satelite TV, air conditioning, safe, telephone, internet access
  Facility amenities: The Panari Hotel forms part of the Panari Sky Centre, a state-of-the-art architectural jewel comprising of a huge shopping mall, ice skating rink, cinema theatres and host of food courts catering for the varied exotic tastes.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Subject to change. Subject to hotel availability.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Evening arrivals into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya. Hotel check-in starts at 3 p.m. You will be staying at Sarova Panafric that night.
  End of Program:
Evening departures from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya. Day-room check-out by 6 p.m. You will be staying at Panari Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if arriving from an endemic area.
  Required innoculations:
Yes: Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required from travelers arriving from an endemic area. Please consult with the Centers for Disease Control for their latest recommendations. Participants can call 800-CDC-INFO for more information or visit their website at:
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Nairobi
  Nearest airport:  Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
  Transportation to site: Taxis are available at the airport for the transfer to the hotel. The airport's official taxi service can be hired at the small taxi booth in the arrivals hall. This service has fixed rates and the fare can be prepaid in U.S. dollars or in Kenyan shillings.
  From End of Program
  Location: Nairobi
  Transportation from site: Taxis are available at the hotel. If you decide to hire taxi services, please ask the hotel's front desk for assistance.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)

Required innoculations:

Yes: Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required from travelers arriving from an endemic area. Please consult with the Centers for Disease Control for their latest recommendations. Participants can call 800-CDC-INFO for more information or visit their website at:

Elevation Note: Lake Nakuru 5,753 ft

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart from the U.S.
(Thursday, September 18)
 Depart From: Depart from the U.S.

Day 2: Nairobi -
Arrivals in Nairobi, Kenya

(Friday, September 19)
 Arrive To: Evening arrivals into Nairobi.
After concluding Immigration and Customs procedures, meet the Road Scholar representative (outside the secured area) and transfer to the hotel.

Arrive at the hotel and check-in.

Note: This is an international travel day; no meals or program activities are scheduled on this day.
Accommodations: Sarova Panafric

Day 3: Nairobi -
Program Orientation/Karen Blixen House/Giraffe Center/Lecture

(Saturday, September 20)
 Breakfast: Late breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Join your group leader after breakfast for a program orientation followed by a lecture. Lecture: "Kenya Today, A Legacy of the Past."
Get to know your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Lunch: At the hotel.
 Afternoon: After lunch, transfer to Karen Blixen's house (now a national museum). The colonial plantation house was the home of Baroness Karen Blixen, who ran a coffee plantation in Kenya from 1914 to 1931. Her struggles and romance with British hunter Finch-Hatton are immortalized in her autobiography, Out of Africa (under the pen name Isak Dinesen).

Follow your museum visit with a field trip to Giraffe Center with site lecture. The center was created in 1979 in an effort to save Kenya’s endangered Rothschild Giraffe, indigenous to the Lake Nakuru area.

In the late 1970s, only 130 Rothschild Giraffes existed in the wild, displaced by encroaching agriculture. Since its founding, the Giraffe Center has been able to increase the giraffe population by raising and relocating the giraffes to protected wildlife parks and reserves. The center welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy a close encounter with these gentle giants for a unique hands-on learning experience.

Return to the hotel.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Sarova Panafric
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Amboseli National Park -
Safari Game Drive/Local Entertainment

(Sunday, September 21)
 Morning: Early transfer to Nairobi's Wilson Airport to catch a flight to Amboseli.

Arrive in Amboseli and transfer to the lodge.
 Brunch: Enjoy a late breakfast at the lodge, followed by free time to explore the lodge grounds and relax.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy time at leisure to catch up on your reading, rest, or take a refreshing dip in the pool.

Meet in the lounge for tea and cookies before embarking on an afternoon safari in the national park.

Ready your cameras and binoculars before boarding pop-top vehicles for an exhilarating game drive in Amboseli National Park. This is one of the best places in Kenya to observe elephants.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Local entertainment at the lodge.
Accommodations: Ol Tukai Lodge
Meals Included: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Amboseli National Park -
Target Species Game Drives/Lectures

(Monday, September 22)
 Breakfast: Early breakfast at the lodge.
 Morning: Field trip to focus on the elephants of Amboseli with site lecture.

Amboseli is synonymous with large elephant herds. Because of the local drought and the varying feeding patterns, the traditional feeding grounds and migration routes of the elephants are changing. The plight of the Amboseli elephants will be a hot topic during game drives in the park.

Return to the lodge.

Time at leisure to rest or enjoy lodge grounds before lunch.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Lecture: The History of the Amboseli National Park.

Special attention will be given to the elephant research projects that have been conducted in the park and the influence of climatic changes on their behavior.

Afternoon target species game drive with site lecture.

Return to the lodge.

Orientation to the next day's activities.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Ol Tukai Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Amboseli National Park -
Morning Game Drive/Lectures/Afternoon Social

(Tuesday, September 23)
 Morning: Early morning game drive focusing on the lesser-known animals of Amboseli. The scenic park offers great photo opportunities in the early morning light.

Return to the lodge.
 Brunch: Enjoy a late breakfast at the lodge, followed by time at leisure.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Lecture: Current Issues affecting Kenya from a Land, Social and Cultural Perspective.

Video presentation: "Family of Echo, The Story of an Elephant"
Share personal stories and discuss your first impressions of Kenya with fellow participants during a pre-dinner social. Raise your glasses in a farewell toast to majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Evening entertainment at the lodge.
Accommodations: Ol Tukai Lodge
Meals Included: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Lake Nakuru National Park -
Rural Cooperative and Cultural Interaction with Local Women /Local Entertainment

(Wednesday, September 24)
 Breakfast: At the lodge.
 Morning: Transfer to the air strip to catch a flight to Nairobi.

Arrive in Nairobi and transfer by safari vans to Lake Nakuru National Park. En route to Lake Nakuru, stop at a Rift Valley lookout point for a site lecture.
 Lunch: En route to Lake Nakuru.
 Afternoon: Continue with transfer to Lake Nakuru.

The park is most famous for the millions of flamingoes that dot the lake. However, Lake Nakuru National Park is also home to a variety of game and plant species. The region surrounding Lake Nakuru contains several archaeological sites.

En route visit a local women's cooperative. Interact with the women from the small rural community who initiated a number of self-help projects in an effort to generate money to help support their families.

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Local entertainment at the lodge.
Accommodations: Lake Nakuru Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Lake Nakuru National Park -

Introduction to Lake Nakuru/Target Species Game Drive/Lecture

(Thursday, September 25)
 Morning: Early morning snack, coffee/tea and cookies, before embarking on a target species game drive in the park. In addition to searching for white and black rhino, we will also spend time observing the social interactions of baboons and warthogs and learn how they function in groups.

Return to the lodge.
 Brunch: Late breakfast at the lodge, followed by free time.
 Lunch: At the lodge.
 Afternoon: Lecture: Lake Nakuru and the Great Rift Valley.

Afternoon target species game drive focusing on flamingoes at sunset. Learn about the migration cycles of these colorful birds.

Return to the lodge.
 Dinner: At the lodge.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Lake Nakuru Lodge
Meals Included: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Masai Mara -
Morning Game Drive/Flight from Lake Nakuru to Masai Mara

(Friday, September 26)
 Breakfast: Early morning snack, coffee/tea and cookies, before embarking on a game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Return to the lodge for a hearty, late-morning breakfast.
 Morning: Check-out and transfer to the Lake Nakuru airstrip to catch a flight to the Masai Mara.
 Lunch: Arrive in the Masai Mara and transfer to the camp, arriving in time for a late lunch.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon at the camp.
Take the opportunity to relax by the pool, do some "armchair game viewing" from your tent's veranda, or maybe pamper your tired muscles with a soothing massage treatment.
 Dinner: At the camp.
 Evening: Time at leisure.
Accommodations: Karen Blixen Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Masai Mara -
Game Drive in Search of Big Cats/Lectures/Campfire Stories

(Saturday, September 27)
 Morning: Early this morning enjoy some coffee/tea and cookies before embarking on a game drive.

Big cats will be the focus of this morning's target species game drive.

The open savanna grasslands of the Mara is the favorite habitat of the big cats – the lion and the cheetah. Here, cheetahs use their superior speed to run down antelope in a well-rehearsed hunting routine which we might be fortunate to witness. There is a possibility to see a pride of lion gorging on the remains of their successful hunt from the previous night.

Return to the camp.
 Brunch: Late breakfast at the camp, followed by free time.
 Lunch: At the camp.
 Afternoon: Free time to rest and relax at the camp. The camp grounds are on the banks of the Mara River, an ideal spot for game viewing.

Lecture: "The Rituals and Culture of the Maasai and their Connection to the Land"

Field trip to local Maasai Village and site lecture.

The Maasai live along the Great Rift Valley in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. These semi-nomadic people are herdsmen who live under a communal land management system. Livestock is still the main source of income and nourishment for the Maasai, though farming and the selling of crafts is increasingly used to supplement their income. The once strong and proud Maasai have lost most of their lands to national parks and reserves. Restricted by government and no longer able to herd freely and access water sources, they are slowly being forced to adapt to modern ways; renouncing long-held traditions in an effort to survive.

Return to the camp.
 Dinner: At the camp.
 Evening: Gather around the fire to participate in an old-time safari tradition: campfire stories.
Accommodations: Karen Blixen Camp
Meals Included: Brunch, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Masai Mara -
Game Drives in the Masai Mara Reserve/Campfire Entertainment

(Sunday, September 28)
 Breakfast: At the camp.
 Morning: Full day of game drives in the Masai Mara Reserve.

The timing of the migration of two million wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara is impossible to predict. At the low point migration, the grasslands of the Mara are dotted with thousands of grazing animals. At the height of the migration, long lines of animals in single file appear to stretch to the horizon.
 Lunch: Within the Masai Mara Reserve.
 Afternoon: Continue with game drive activities within the reserve.

Late afternoon arrival at the camp.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the camp.
 Evening: Cap your busy day with some campfire entertainment and celebrate the end of your East African adventure.
Accommodations: Karen Blixen Camp
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Evening Departures to the U.S.
(Monday, September 29)

Note: Dayroom only - check out is at 6:00 pm, no overnight is included

 Breakfast: At the camp.
 Morning: Transfer to the Mara airstrip to catch a flight to Nairobi.

Arrive in Nairobi in time for lunch.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, check-into the Panari Hotel for dayroom accommodations. Participants will have the opportunity to rest, shower, and finalize their packing before heading to the airport for evening flights to the U.S.
A light snack will be provided at the hotel before transferring participants to the airport.

Transfer to the international airport and board flights back to the U.S.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.
Accommodations: Panari Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Arrivals in the U.S.
(Tuesday, September 30)
 Arrive To: Arrive to the U.S.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Mammals of Africa Including Madagascar (Collins Field Guide).

Author: Theodore Hattenorth, Robert W. Hayman, and Helmut Diller

Description: This book is considered the "Bible" of animal guides by some travelers.

Culture and Customs of Kenya

Author: Neal Sobania

Description: This book was recommended by a participant. He stated that it is “an up-to-date and well-written book that covers all aspects of life in Kenya. This book is part of a series on culture and customs in several African countries.”

Kenya Globetrotter Map

Author: Globetrotter

Description: This map features an index along with extra inset maps of Nairobi, coast north and south of Mombasa, the Maasai Mara National Reserve and other parks.

Kenya Insight Guide

Author: Insight Guides

Description: Part of the Insight Guide Series, this book contains a wealth of information about Kenya. Filled with maps, information and great photos.

Lonely Planet Kenya Country Guide

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: In the tradition of Lonely Planet country guides, this book provides a good introduction to Kenya, the national parks, and other places of interest.

Maasai Days

Author: Cheryl Bentsen

Description: This book was recommended by a participant. He stated that, "The trip to the Maasai village that we took was exactly as she described. This book greatly increased my understanding of the Maasai culture."

Swahili Phrase Book and Dictionary

Author: Berlitz International

Description: This handy paperback contains essential words and phrases for East Africa.

The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals

Author: Richard Estes

Description: Specifically written for those interested in understanding behavior of the animals they see on safari. This text includes icons, tables and a thorough glossary.

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