Large dsc01865

Maasai Explorer

If, like us, you want to explore a country beyond the big hitting highlights and get under its skin, this good value private guided safari offers a perfect blend of small-scale eco tourism and big hitting safari. With a private guide and vehicle you'll journey from Nairobi to the wetland habitats of the Rift Valley, stay in a small Maasai village and enjoy game drives in the magnificent Masai Mara.

Tailor-made Classic 6 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

People love what we do
Tourdust is rated 4.9 out of 5 stars


…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

Missing Matthew McSweeney. See all Reviews

Itinerary

Overview

The Maasai Mara Reserve and Lake Nakuru National Park are Kenya’s two most popular national parks and it is easy to see why. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a vast park of rolling grasslands interrupted only by crocodile infested rivers. It plays host to all the big game and the incredible wildebeest migration during the peak summer months. Lake Nakuru is much smaller, but the big attraction here (in addition to the lions, rhinos and hippos…) is the lake itself which is teeming with flamingos and pelicans.

Whilst the undoubted highlight for most will be roaming over the Maasai Mara grasslands, it is the Maasai people which make this tour special. You will spend the night in a Maasai village where you will hopefully get a small sense of the incredible changes that modernisation is bringing to these remote communities.

Day-by-day

OUTLINED ITINERARY
DAY 1: Depart for Rift Valley
DAY 2: Lake Nakuru
DAY 3: Maasai Wilderness Experience
DAY 4: Masai Mara Reserve
DAY 5: Masai Mara Reserve
DAY 6: Return to Nairobi

FULL ITINERARY

DAY 1: DEPART FOR RIFT VALLEY
After breakfast you’ll be driven from Nairobi to tea and coffee plantation near to Lake Nakuru. The plantation is a lovely lush forested setting where you will enjoy a delicious farm lunch in the gardens followed by a guided bird walk on the estate and a chance to visit the tea and coffee processing operations.
Drive 200km / 3 hrs from Nairobi to Rift Valley
Accommodation: Sunbird Lodge
Meals Included: Lunch and dinner

DAY 2: LAKE NAKURU
Lake Nakuru is Kenya’s second most popular wildlife park and for good reason. Although small in size it surrounds a beautiful lake that is teeming with pelicans and flamingos. The park plays host to a variety of terrain, shallows, mud flats along with classical African Acacia Woodlands and grasslands. Lake Nakuru is rich with big game and good sightings are virtually guaranteed. Lion, hyena, rhino, buffalo, giraffe and Zebra are all common. After a long morning game drive with a boxed lunch, you will journey the short drive to a lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha. You’ll have time to enjoy the pool at the lodge in the afternoon.
Drive 50km / 1.5h to Lake Naivasha
Accommodation: Sunbird Lodge
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 3: MAASAI WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE
After breakfast you’ll head out for a boat ride on the vast Lake Naivasha. Unlike the surrounding soda lakes, Naivasha is fresh water and has a large hippo colony and excellent birds with fish eagles, pelicans and love birds common. After returning to shore you’ll be driven to the Loita Plains just outside the Maasai Mara National Reserve, stopping for lunch along the way. This area forms the corridor by which Wildebeest migrate to and from the Maasai Mara National Reserve, so wildlife sightings are not uncommon. Our Maasai host will take us on an early evening walk and you'll spend the evening around the camp fire.
Drive 300km / 5hrs from Naivasha to Loita Plains
Accommodation: Maji Moto Eco Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 4: MASAI MARA RESERVE
Accommodation: Ilkeliani Camp
Meals Included: All meals
Day Notes: After waking to the sounds of the bush and a full breakfast, you’ll enjoy a short 2-3 hour walk along a small river course and through the open savanna for wildlife viewing. Then onto the permanent tented camp in the Masai Mara Reserve. There will be time for a late afternoon game drive.

DAY 5: MASAI MARA RESERVE
The big draw. You’ll spend all today in the reserve on a game drive in rugged 4wd extended wheel base Land Cruisers with pop tops. With an experienced naturist guide and driver you’ll have every chance of spotting elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, Cheetah, Rhino, hippo, crocodile and countless others. An undoubted highlight is the Mara River, the scene of so many famous encounters between hungry crocodiles and migrating wildebeest.
Accommodation: Ilkeliani Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 6: RETURN TO NAIROBI
Another early morning game drive in the Mara at 6am to spot any animals you might have missed and an opportunity to spot the early morning birdlife. After this drive you’ll return to camp for a late breakfast then drive for approximately 4 hours back to Nairobi
250km / 4-5hr drive back to Nairobi.
Accommodation: n/a
Meals Included: Breakfast

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Sunbird Lodge

Rift Valley

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Small eco lodge
- Beautiful Lake Views
- Swimming Pool
- Warm personal service

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Masai owned ecocamp
- Comfortable facilities
- Sensitive interactions
- Warm welcome

Ilkeliani Camp

Masai Mara

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- River views
- Good value option
- Safari ambience

Details

Getting there

Kenya has international airports in Nairobi (Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta NBO) and Mombassa (Mombasa Moi International MBA) which are around 8 hours flying time from the UK. Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Air Kenya fly regular direct services to Nairobi. Return tickets usually range from £550 to £950 depending on when you are travelling. If you are willing to put up with the inconvenience then cheaper tickets can usually be purchased with a stop from Qatar Airways, Ethiopian and Emirates.

Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is a ½ hr 16km drive from Nairobi City Centre, but traffic is often very bad.

This tour includes pick up and drop off in Nairobi.

Price includes

All accommodation, meals and transfers to/from Nairobi as set out in the itinerary. You will have the services of an English speaking naturalist guide. The price also includes all the Park fees and all group camping equipment.

The price does not include international flights to Kenya, visas, personal insurance, Alcoholic and soft drinks and tips.

When is best?

Kenya is subject to 2 rainy seasons, and a busy peak tourist season, but in reality is a year round destination. Most people visit during the summer months of July and August, when the weather is dry and the Masai Mara is teeming with the Wildebeest migration.

July and August are peak season with Europeans and Americans making the most of their summer holidays, so expect crowds. However they also fall right after the long rains, so expect lots of lush green.

September and October play host to the short rains. Rain tends to fall for only a couple of hours in the afternoon or morning, so you shouldn’t let it stop you.

November, December, January, February and the first half of March are the dry season. Expect hot weather and quiet parks.

Second half of March, April, May and June plays host to the long rains. During this period it tends to rain through the night and into the morning. It is usually possible to get a dry spell between 10am and 2pm for getting out on safari. Many of the roads in the Maasai Mara Reserve are rough grass tracks that can become virtually impassable at the height of the rainy season (April – May). It is still possible to visit the Maasai Mara during this period you just won’t be able to explore as much.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 605 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • We have just arrived back after our 10 days in Kenya and Zanzibar.

    Pongwe Beach is an absolute little gem. Far exceeded our expectations after the standard of accommodation we experienced in Kenya and from the pictures on the hotel's website.

    However, perhaps I should talk about Kenya first. We felt absolutely secure, safe and relaxed. There was no hint of anything untoward. There were security guards at Nairobi Airport and searches when going into shopping malls etc., but that was very low key. We were the only guests at Rock House and at Plantation Lodge. At Lake Naivasha Resort there was one other European guest, a German tourist. At the Mara Springs Camp it was busy because of the Migration, but there were no other English guests. Plenty of Australians, Americans and other Europeans, French, Belgian, German etc. All the hoteliers commented on the affect the British media reports have had on UK tourists visiting any part of Kenya. It is a great shame. Other nationalities seem not to have taken fright!

    I was afraid we would not see much wildlife in the Mara with so many vehicles swarming the park. However, we were amazed, not just by the number of Wildebeest, Zebra , Thomson's Gazelle etc, but by the variety of other animals we came across. Our team were wonderful. Samuel, our driver had a great sense of humour, knowledge of wildlife and the country, as well as being a very safe and careful driver. Elijah, our guide, had an incredible knowledge of all the flora and fauna and our cook, also Samuel, managed to conjure up very wholesome and plentiful meals with the limited facilities and provisions available to him at the Wilderness camp and at Mara Springs Camp.

    After early morning starts, it was great to get to Pongwe Beach and completely relax for a few days. If you are going to promote the property in place of Lamu, we would have no hesitation in recommending it. It is English owned and well managed. The rooms are spotless, the gardens and pool well maintained and the beach swept every day. Despite being full there were plenty of loungers and hammocks hidden away, so it always felt intimate, never busy. The cuisine is excellent too and great attention is given to presentation and variety.

    Thank you, Ben, for all your help and patience when we were jittery about whether to continue with Kenya. I am very glad we did as we had a great time and have many happy memories. I do hope the media coverage is not causing you too much loss of business and that the message can be spread that the Nakuru Park, Lake Naivasha and the Mara are quite safe areas.

    MissingJennifer Cole reviewing Maasai Explorer on 05 August 2014

  • My guide, Duncan Kingori, was fantastic. In the three days we were with him I don't think I ever asked him a question, on any topic, which he couldn't answer in detail. He was a fountain of information about the mating habits, gestation periods, family practices, hunting strategies etc. of every animal we encountered, but never in an intrusive way. He also appears to be an excellent driver and mechanic, and in a dozen hours or so we seem to have seen pretty much everything Maasai Mara can offer - not least all of the Big Five.

    I was also very impressed by the two Mountain Rock camps, and think the new temporary camp inside the park is particularly fine. It was exactly what I wanted: comfortable, but not featherbedded or faux-colonial. I can't say I am a big fan of the Rock House in Karen - the staff were friendly enough and the food was OK, but all the tortured wood and fake (fibreglass) rock gives the place a heavy, gloomy air!

    Meals, service & advice and overall impression was great. It would have been good to know that the last two hours of the drive to Maasai Mara are over an extremely uncomfortable unpaved (and washboarded) road; people might want to consider flying from the local airstrip to their next destination if the costs of doing so aren't prohibitive.

    MissingAndrew Joncus reviewing Maasai Explorer on 18 December 2012

  • Having Tourdust as our partner and being able to communicate with the British office gave us confidence (no offense to our African brothers and sisters, it is just an European thing - we think we can better understand each other having the same mindset and mentality, so easier to communicate). The communication as expected, went very well and smooth - both by e-mail and phone. We were told what can we expect for the price we agreed on, and there were only positive suprises during the trip: the 4WD Land Rover that came to pick us up was at the meeting point at the right time (which should not be a surprise, but we were far from Nairobi on Rusinga Island and the meeting was at 6 AM) and the driver even made the extra 2 km-s to pick us up from our mountain cabin. The car was very comfortable for 6 people (I would not recommend though to use it for 7 people plus bags - could be a little tight, but for 6 was great). We had an excellent driver - kind and knowledgable, ready to 'satisfy' the 'strange' requests of the tourist: 'check that bush on the right', 'lets look what is under that tree', etc. This was my first safari (out of 3 so far) where we saw the 'BIG 5': and much of the credit goes to our driver, who kept beleiving that we will find the animals, and kept looking for them. On the last day of our safari - which was a morning drive we still missed the rhino, having not seen any in the previous two days. We only had about one hour before we had to leave the park. the group was ready to give up, but our driver and guide - Samuel - kept saying, do not give up, we will find one. He was driving on roads where we were the only group/car, and suddenly we saw in the middle of the grass a beautiful black rhino, just waiting us to shoot - some pictures of course... We were the first ones, we found it! those who have been to safari know what I mean when I say, we found it! It feels special when you find an animal and not going there because you got through the radio the location of the animal found by somebody else. We of course announced it, and in 10 minutes there were like 12 cars and vans to see 'our' rhino. You can ask anybody: this was on February 22, 8.30 in the morning in Masai Mara, when Samuel with a group of 6 from Romania found THE RHINO…

    MissingAttila Daray reviewing Maasai Explorer on 27 April 2012

+
See more reviews

Speak to a specialist

Our customers agree - a conversation with an expert makes for a better trip. Call us now or request a call back out of hours.

Call 855 686 7694 9am and 6pm GMT Monday to Friday

Or weekday evenings or Saturdays

Enquire

Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Fantastic value four day camping safari with some of the best naturalist guides in the Mara. Includes flights from Nairobi

Tailor-made Adventure 4 days

Adults from $1,341 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Excellent value introductory safari in an atmospheric small bush camp in the Masai Mara with superb big cat populations followed by relaxation on the beach in Kenya.

Tailor-made Classic 1 week

Adults from $2,063 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $876 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,862 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $876 per person economy class from London

Five day four night Masai Mara safari staying in exclusive private conservancies with night game drives and bush walks included

Tailor-made Luxury 5 days

Adults from $2,616 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Decisions...

Stop searching and speak to someone who knows.

Enquire Now