Large elephant passing lion cubs copy

Laikipia & Masai Mara Safari

This safari is a real favourite, featuring the very best of Kenya, from the stunning wilderness safari of the Laikipia region to the incredible wildlife populations of the Masai Mara. This two centre fly-in safari takes in one of our favourite camps in all of Africa, Laikipia Wilderness and the intimate Spekes camp in the Masai Mara.

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 $845 per person economy class from London

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Fly camp & explore the vast wilderness of Kenya's Laikipia Plateau
  • See the big five and massive wildlife populations in the Masai Mara

On the Laikipia Plateau, Laikipia Wilderness Camp offers good game viewing including lion, good population of elephants and the endangered and fascinating wild hunting dog. What makes this area so special is the ability to do more than just game drives. As it is a private area you can head out on your own private adventures, with night drives, guided safari walks, rock climbing, swimming, river tubing, fishing, birding, Samburu village visits and optional fly camping literally under the stars. For those looking for more creature comforts, the nearby Sosian Ranch offers a similar experience from the comfort of a colonial ranch-stead with swimming pool, tennis courts and lovely gardens.

The Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s premier safari experience, a vast expanse of savannah grassland heavily populated year-round with wildlife. There is always a good chance of seeing lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and wildebeest. You will be able to enjoy shared game drive and optional guided safari walks. In the Mara, Speke's Camp boasts a fantastic location and reasonable prices, for an upgrade we recommend Kicheche Mara.

Beach extensions can be added to the Kenya coast or Zanzibar Island, or head off to Indian Ocean Islands such as Seychelles, Mauritius or Mozambique.

Day-by-day

ITINERARY IN BRIEF:

DAY 1: Travel to Laikipia
DAY 2: Laikipia
DAY 3: Laikipia
DAY 4: Fly to Masai Mara
DAY 5: Masai Mara
DAY 6: Masai Mara
DAY 7: Depart

FULL ITINERARY:

DAY 1: TRAVEL TO LAIKIPIA
Road transfer to Nairobi's domestic airport for scheduled light aircraft flight to the Laikipia Reserve. You will be met on arrival and transferred into camp which will take about an hour with some game viewing en route. This afternoon will be at leisure until you gather late afternoon for high tea before your first game viewing activity. Meals are simple home-made affairs usually served outside around a camp fire.
Accommodation: Laikipia Wilderness Camp
Meals Included: Dinner

DAY 2: LAIKIPIA
Start the day with early morning game drive in search of endangered wild dogs, return to camp for a late breakfast. During the day you will be able to go out and enjoy the conservancy with rock climbing, swimming, river tubing, rafting or even fishing.
A personal favourite is fly camping under the stars, head out late afternoon for a game drive which ends as your camp for the night, enjoy dinner and drinks around the fire before sleeping under the stars. Return to camp for breakfast in the morning.
Accommodation: Laikipia Wilderness Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 3: LAIKIPIA
Your daily schedule will be discussed with you on arrival to try and fit in all the activities based on your interests. Today you could take in a longer safari walk with visit to a local Samburu village
Accommodation: Laikipia Wilderness Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 4: FLY TO MASAI MARA
Transfer to airstrip for scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. Arrive in time for lunch and afternoon game drive.
Accommodation: Spekes Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 5: MASAI MARA
Get up very early for a 6am start after breakfast and spend a full day in the Masai Mara reserve on game drives. You’ll take along your picnic lunch to enjoy at the scenic Hippo pool on the banks of the Mara River. 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. Expert naturalist guides ensure you get the very best chance of seeing most of these animals and understand their habits.
Accommodation: Spekes Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 6: MASAI MARA
Today you may want to rather do a morning game drive with return to camp to relax before the afternoon game drive.
Accommodation: Spekes Camp
Meals Included: All meals

DAY 7: DEPART
After your morning activity and breakfast in camp, transfer to airstrip for scheduled light aircraft flight to Nairobi. On arrival you will be transferred to the international airport.
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.

Our rating

10/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Small intimate safari camp
- Superb Wilderness location
- Fly camping & Bush Walks
- Fantastic for Families

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

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.

Flight quotes available on request.

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.

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)

  • 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

  • We both suffered but enjoyed it immensely. Just how it should be!!!!
    Our route up the mountain, the Burguret trail is very arduous and certainly should not be used for people who are not very fit and experienced trekkers. It mainly followers animal trails through the forests and bog lands around the mountain. The Chogoria route down was great. The guide and porters were great. Wild camping means just that, really just what I wanted, but I have lived in Kenya.

    MissingJonathan Bailey reviewing Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse on 24 September 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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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.

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