Large lion wildebeest hunt

Masai Mara Safari & Beach

This one week bush and beach family safari is a fantastic introductory safari offering good value. This is a wonderful relaxing holiday combining a world class safari experience and relaxing Indian Ocean Beach Resort. You will enjoy game drives from an atmospheric small bush camp in the Maasai Mara reserve and then head on to the Kenya coast for a couple of days relaxing on the beach.

Tailor-made Classic 1 week

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

Flights are typically an additional $910 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview

Upon arrival in Nairobi you'll connect with a domestic flight to the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s premier safari park, a vast expanse of savannah grassland heavily populated year-round with wildlife. There is always a strong chance of seeing lion in the park. Leopard and Cheetah are rarer but sightings are possible. Elephant, buffalo and wildebeest are common. The rivers and hippo pools play host to crocs and hippos. In season the park plays host to the epic Wildebeest Migration (late June – early September).

You'll be staying in an atmospheric small bush camp in a superb location with experienced wildlife guides camp. We find Speke's Camp offers excellent value for this part of the Mara. For those with more budget to play with, we can recommend, the nearby Kicheche Mara Camp or if you prefer a larger lodge with swimming pool, Kichwa Tembo.

After safari it is always nice to end your trip with a relaxing few days on the beach. Pinewood is a small hotel on the Diani Beach, offering a choice of dining, tennis courts, gym, beach games, swimming pool and Jacuzzi. Optional activities include spa and water sport centre offering diving, snorkelling, deep sea fishing, kite surfing, ocean excursions and windsurfing. Pinewood offers excellent value for money, but those wanting a more paired down barefoot experience, we can recommend Funzi Keys.

This itinerary has been designed specifically with an eye on keeping costs down without sacrificing the quality of safari experience. Should you have more time and budget available, then we can recommend an additional night on safari in the Masai Mara and perhaps branching into a two-centre safari combining with a Camp in the Northern Laikipia region (which offers a more active, adventurous and remote safari experience).

Day-by-day

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

DAY 1: Arrive Nairobi and transfer to Masai Mara
DAY 2: On safari in Masai Mara
DAY 3: Transfer to Kenya Coast
DAY 4: Kenya Coast
DAY 5: Kenya Coast
DAY 6: Kenya Coast
DAY 7: Depart

FULL ITINERARY:

DAY 1: ARRIVE NAIROBI AND TRANSFER TO MASAI MARA
After arriving at Nairobi International Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to the domestic airport for scheduled light aircraft flight into the Masai Mara. There is usually time for an afternoon game drive in the Mara finishing with sundowner. Evenings at Speke's Camp are usually spent with a drink around the camp fire and dinner under the stars.
Accommodation: Spekes Camp
Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 2: ON SAFARI IN MASAI MARA
Ecologically Masai Mara is an extension of the great Serengeti plains and teems with abundant wildlife. We traverse the park in search of elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard, zebra, giraffe, hippo, crocodile and a whole ark-full of other animals. Speke's Camp has, in our opinion, some of the best guides in the Mara, and having them on board ensures you get the very best chance of seeing most of these animals and understand their habits. From July to September, the Mara is home to the great wildebeest migration, a spectacular sight when wildlife populations peak, and you have a chance of witnessing the grand spectacle of a river crossing, when vast numbers of wildebeest attempt to cross the Mara River and dodge the waiting crocodiles. On safari, with your own private guide and vehicle, you have the option of full day game drives or morning and afternoon game drives with lunch and rest at camp in the middle of the day.
Accommodation: Spekes Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 3: TRANSFER TO KENYA COAST
You'll fly back to Nairobi, to make onward scheduled early evening flight to Mombasa. (Flight to Mombasa part of your international flight ticket) On arrival you will transfer by road to your hotel.
Accommodation: Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 4: KENYA COAST
At leisure on Kenya Coast
Accommodation: Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 5: KENYA COAST
At leisure on Kenya Coast
Accommodation: Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 6: KENYA COAST
At leisure on Kenya Coast
Accommodation: Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa
Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner

DAY 7: DEPART
Transfer to Mombasa Airport for your onward flight
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.

Speke's Camp

Masai Mara

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Traditional small safari camp
- Very atmospheric
- Great location
- Best value in the Mara

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Beach Hotel
- Good facilities
- Watersports Centre
- Tennis Courts

Details

Getting there

International flights from the UK to Kenya typically cost £550 - £1250 return per person (see below for more detail) depending on the airline and when you are travelling. Please get in touch for a flight inclusive quote.
Direct Flights from the UK (London Heathrow only): £650 - £1250 return
British Airways and Kenya Airways fly direct from London Heathrow to Nairobi. Prices start from £750 return but direct flights at this price are usually only available if booking very early or for visits out of the school holidays. During school holiday periods, prices are usually over £1000 return.
Indirect Flights from the UK: £550 - £900 return
KLM flights via Amsterdam are a superb alternative to direct flights, particularly if you are flying from Manchester, Glasgow or other regional airports, where you would need to stop anyway. Prices start from £550 return, and are usually available under £800 pp year round as long as you have a little flexibility in your dates. Qatar, Turkish and Ethiopian Airlines offer slightly less convenient one stop flights with longer stop-overs / less convenient flight times (e.g. Turkish lands at 4am in Nairobi). We sometimes recommend these flights for those on a tight budget or those late booking during peak periods when flight prices on BA, Kenya Airways or KLM can double.

Price includes

All accommodation and meals as mentioned, park fees, scheduled shared safari activities and transfers quoted in the itinerary.

Excludes: Visa fees, travel insurance, drinks, items of a personal nature and international flights to Nairobi.

Price for ground arrangements is valid year round (except Christmas and New Year). Price quoted excludes international flights London to Mombasa via Nairobi. Please get in touch for a flight inclusive quote for your dates.

When is best?

It is best to avoid the long rains that run from the second half of March, April, May and into early June. 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.

The short rains bring some rain during September and October, but this is less of an impediment and they have usually cleared up by October half term.

December, January, July and August are peak season, expect flight costs to be substantially higher.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 492 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • Again, thank you for your help planning our wonderful holiday in Kenya. Both the Masai Mara and Lamu were a good fit for our family. Thank you for all the time you spent on the phone discussing possibilities and exploring options with me. This was a favourite family holiday. Having planned the logistics of other trips, it was wonderful to have you do this much more competently than I could have done myself.

    Our transfers went smoothly. We were met in Nairobi both times by Denis from Gamewatchers. He and the drivers were personable and competent, sharing information about Nairobi and discussing our trip with interest. When our daughter got sick upon return to the airport, Denis took good care of us, interceding with security to help us get her inside as quickly as possible.

    We most enjoyed our time at Masai Mara and The Intrepids. We were well looked after by the staff, our steward and waiter were personable and attentive, and the accommodations were a wonderful place to relax. The game drives were fun for all of us, and we especially enjoyed our guide, Katembo. Seeing such a concentration and variety of animals within the park was such thrill for everyone. Our teen daughter enjoyed the drives and appreciated wifi access, so she could post pictures from each day's sightings. Our 11 yr. old loved spending time with Judy in the Adventurers Club, and opted out of a couple of drives to stay back and do activities with her. Judy was excellent with her. On the last night, at our waiter's request, the chef cooked a traditional Swahili meal for us, which was the favourite meal of our stay. Intrepids was a good choice to accommodate all members of the family.

    We were very pleased with the choice of Lamu for our beach stay. We stayed at Kiwandani House in Shela. We truly enjoyed the beauty of the traditional Swahili style house and the relaxed and quiet atmosphere of the town. We were well cared for by a very adept staff. Asya the manager was accommodating and helpful. Chef culinary skills were excellent on both taste and presentation. He provided us a personal 4 star restaurant and over fed us with the most delicious food. He did very well at accommodating our preferences. Sylvester, our steward, was gracious and tireless and humble. We were very impressed at the attention to detail he gave, from setting the table to preparing our rooms. He was helpful, kind, and accommodating in all things. We spent much of our time relaxing by the pool or enjoying the ocean breezes from the upper floor, but found plenty to do to occupy our three days there. The highlight was participating in the release of a nest of baby sea turtles on Manda Island. Again, Lamu was an excellent choice.

    Our family enjoys nature so this was a highlight holiday. Never once did we worry about security or feel unsafe. We enjoyed the natural beauty of the country and the hospitality of the people. We loved Kenya and hope to return again. Thank you for following up with us once we were home to see hoe our trip went.

    MissingMichaela M reviewing Masai Mara Safari & Beach on 11 June 2014

  • Speke's camp was absolutely ideal - small and personal, with great hosts. We'd definitely recommend the "tented safari" experience to others. The kid's didn't miss having a pool (too interested in Safari). Speke's camp give you your own landrover and driver/guide, which gave us great flexibility (much better I suspect than what is offered by some of the larger camps). Our guide was brilliant. See below for the review we just posted on rip Advisor.

    I think the only negative of the trip was getting through Nairobi airport (multiple security checks, and they ask you to "board" two hours in advance, which in fact means going into crowded transit lounge with no facilities), but there's not anything anyone can do about that

    It's also worth saying that Peponi really is a unique experience. It's a proper East African institution, with all the locals dropping into the bar. It's the perfect antidote to anyone wanting to get away from the soulless all inclusive resorts which could be absolutely anywhere in the world (which seem to be a bit of a feature of Zanzibar). Lamu is still amazingly undeveloped.

    We stayed at Speke's camp for 4 nights in August 2018 - a family of two adults and two children. For us it was the perfect location to experience the Mara. The camp is only a short drive outside the main Mara reserve and is in an amazingly picturesque location, set by a small river in the shade of trees. Wildlife roams near (and sometimes through!) the camp. You get to feel very close to nature when you have a buffalo rooting up grass just outside your tent in the middle of the night!

    The camp itself is small and has a very personal feel to it. There are only eight or so guest tents, so you get to meet everyone passing through. One of the great pleasures was getting to chat to other guests over the evening meal or round the camp fire, swapping stories of the day's sightings. If you do want a little more privacy, then it's absolutely fine to eat in your own group.

    Whilst you do sleep and eat under canvas, it is an extremely civilised experience: the beds are comfy (with hot water bottles provided to ward off the chill of the evenings); there are bucket showers which sound much more primitive than they really are; the communal area is very elegantly laid out; tea is brought to the tent before setting out on early morning game drives, and the food was fantastic.

    What really makes the experience however are the wonderful hosts. Both Adrian and Veronique made a real effort to get to know us and ensure we were well looked after; and it's certainly worth picking Adrian's brains on the history of the region (it's not called Speke's camp for nothing)

    The final word must go to our wonderful guide/driver Ambrose and our Masai spotter Marco. It was a real privilege to have our own land-rover and to be shown the reserve by such knowledgeable and charming individuals. Ambrose is a proper naturalist, can identify a lilac breasted roller at 200 yards, and knows where to see the best wildlife without simply following other trucks. On our final afternoon, with 30 minutes before we had to leave the Mara Triangle, we had seen every animal and bird that was on our wish list (including a live Cheetah kill), but had not seen a rhino. Marco saw a speck on the horizon, Ambrose drove like the clappers and as a parting gift we were able to see this most elusive animal up close. Notwithstanding all the awe-inspiring nature, I think my wife's personal highlight was driving the land rover back to amp along the dirt track through herds of zebra and ambling giraffe. A truly amazing experience all round.

    MissingJonathan Ibbott reviewing Laikipia & Masai Mara Safari on 24 August 2018

  • Everything was exceptionally well arranged and the whole trip, from checking in on line and printing out the outward journey boarding cards from home, until return to Heathrow, was completely seamless.

    Although arriving slightly earlier than scheduled, we didn't have to wait before being collected at Nairobi by Elijah, our guide and Samuel the driver. On being told that we had hardly slept at all on the outward journey, they took us to a small B&B place they use (sorry, I've forgotten the name of the place) and we were able to rest/sleep for some 3 hours before setting off on our adventure. This was very much appreciated by us as that first day was full on after that.

    They looked after us really well and both were very knowledgeable and good company and were flexible to our needs, with nothing being too much trouble for them.

    The accommodation you picked for us was spot on. We were particularly taken with Sunbird Lodge (I could have spent the whole week there if it were not for being on the move due to the nature of the trip), which was quite informal and extremely friendly. We then moved on to the Maji Moto Eco Camp, where again everything was fine. Having stayed in similar places before, at my age now, the one night suited well and I was surprised when Dan was so taken with the place that he would have liked to stay another night! I think the camp fire might have had something to do with it. The visit to the school was also well worth it from Dan's perspective.

    On then to Ilkeliani and I concur with what you say about it being so well priced for what it offers, that it is a good recommendation. This was slightly more formal at mealtimes than Sunbird Lodge but nevertheless, the staff were equally friendly. As adults, both my husband and myself enjoyed the food although the feedback I provided on their customer satisfaction questionnaire was that perhaps the evening meals could possibly have slight variations for children. We didn't see any signs of the suspended footbridge and as we didn't ask about it, I don't know whether it's still there or not.

    I have to say that the beds in both Sunbird and Ilkeliani were very, very, comfortable.

    The Mayfair Southern Sun was again a good choice although I think the room we had was perhaps a standard twin room. There were two what I call "three quarters" sized beds, i.e. larger than a single but not quite a double bed size, which meant it was a bit of a squeeze for 2 persons in one bed.

    Both the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Sanctuary were ideal additions to the itinerary. We had a 10 year old who was reluctant to leave Kenya!

    MissingMartha Ann Eileen Curry reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 14 May 2018

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