Maasai Conservation Safari

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8 Days
Availability : Flexible Dates
Nairobi, Kenya
Nairobi, Kenya
Min Age : 10+

In Kenya, the ‘Camp of the Hidden Treasure’ is a community project with the local Maasai on their Group Ranch of 400 square miles.  The land includes a number of different environments including the grasslands of the savannah, green river woodlands, cool mountain forests and the volcanic Chyulu Hills.  The Green Hills of Africa, made famous by Ernest Hemingway, flank the property as well.  If you are searching for the African Safari of your dreams, you need not look any further.

The Chyulu Hills are one of the most iconic landscapes on the continent.  With wildlife roaming in abundance, massive granite outcroppings rising over rivers and lava flows that cut across the plains and a deep and mysterious cloud forest on the crest of the green hills, this landscape is truly one of the great wilderness experiences anywhere.  A visit here might even surpass what’s in your imagination as you will not find a comparable experience in the typical “tourist loop” that so many people end up trapped in.  Come to escape the ordinary, avoid the crowds and feel that rare magic of an authentic encounter with a place and a culture. 

This award-winning, boutique eco-lodge sets a new standard for the experience of true luxury that is also truly ecologically low-impact. In partnership with the Maasai community of Kuku Group Ranch, it sets out to prove that you can have the romance of the great safaris of earlier days, the comfort, service and fine dining of a top hotel – and all without damaging the very environment you’ve come to immerse yourself in. And best of all through your visit, you will be supporting the preservation of this ecosystem and sustainable economic benefit for the local community.

Every safari camp will tell you why they are special. So what makes this camp truly unique? 
1) The solitude and adventure of true wilderness. As the only lodge alone within 280,000 acres (400 square miles) of the most pristine part of the Amboseli-Tsavo ecosystem, the camp is directly in the migration corridor between two of the most legendary national parks in Kenya. The Maasai Mara has room for 5,000 tourists, while this lodge hosts just 16 guests at a time. In Amboseli dozens of tourists in white mini-buses from the coast roam along with you looking for a lion to encircle, while with them,  you will not see one single tourist who is not a guest.
2) You get out of the car! You can do more than just stretch your legs, you can walk for days. Stroll down through the foothills to the granite-topped outcroppings at the edge of the savannah and climb up for a view that will stop your heart and brings a tear to the eye of many people. Take a longer day hike across the hills and plains, accompanied by your Maasai scouts, learning to read the signs of the animals and hearing how the landscape was formed, crossing over ancient lava flows and ending in a tented camp under a baobab tree for the night. A large percentage of guests say that the experience of these walks was the highlight of their trip in East Africa. (and, yes, it’s very safe! You will always be accompanied by experienced Maasai and armed escort).
3) An authentic encounter with a Culture: the Maasai you will meet going in and out of National Parks will be people hawking trinkets at the gate. This lodge is owned and staffed by the community. Almost everyone who works here was born and raised here. Many of our staff built the lodge by hand. The pride in ownership here is real and so is the excitement to welcome you into the community in a deep way. Visit homes of our staff, meet their families, visit their bomas, visit the schools or health dispensaries, ask questions and learn about the traditions of this famous nomadic warrior culture – and join in the dancing and singing that happens on many nights out by a fire in the hills under the moon or in one of the famous lava caves where Maasai warriors used to hide stolen cattle. You will meet people here who want to show you their true culture in a way you will not find elsewhere and you will end your trip with new friends.

Day 1Arrival at Lodge

At the arrival at the airfield, your guide will welcome you in the African wilderness. The airstrip is just a 10 minutes game drive from the lodge. The camp is centered around Tembo House, which is constructed of local materials such as lava rocks and grass for the roof, collected locally with high respect for the environment. The cooks have been trained in the preparation of fine Italian cuisine, which is featured along with international and local dishes. All pasta, bread, biscuits and ice creams are homemade. Fresh organic vegetables are supplied daily from a small vegetable garden watered by recycled water. At camp, the head guide and President of the Trust will brief you about the camp and the Trust, the landscape, the people, the wildlife. We cannot think of a better introduction to Africa then a game walk. Your guide will escort you and in just a little bit more than an hour you will reach the saddle of Longido, a massive Granit hill, from where the view on Kilimanjaro at sunset is superb. Drive back to the lodge, for a 5-course excellent dinner.

Day 2Game Drive

After dawn you may enjoy a game drive to the lake, where you could see hippos and crocodiles. You will find a sumptuous bush breakfast prepared under the shade of a baobab tree. This safari goes through several different landscapes: from the Chyulu Hills to the savannah, to the plains bush. You will see many different species of mammals and birds: from giraffe to zebra, from eland to hartebeest, from wildebeest to impala, from buffalo to elephant, with the chance to see lion, cheetah and leopard. You will be back at camp for lunch. In the afternoon you could have a nice walk to Ol Kiri, a young volcanic hill, with superb views over the savanna. After sunset you will enjoy a game drive back to the camp, where a candlelit dinner will spoil you with home made dishes such roast meat or fresh lake fish, organic vegetables from our garden, home made ice cream, together with wine.

Day 3Chyulu

Imagine starting your day with the aroma of fresh Kenya coffee or tea brought to your tent by your personal Maasai attendant, while you enjoy the privacy of your veranda overlooking majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. You could take a guided walk safari with local trackers to show you the rich flora and fauna of this undiscovered paradise, while you feel you are playing a great role in the conservation of this unique habitat. It will be up to you to decide what you will like most to do: options are forest walks in the Chyulu, with a picnic on the hills, or a river walk and lunch at the camp. Should you take our suggestion to spend the day in the Chyulu, you will arrive at camp in the late afternoon, for a nice drink on the porch of your tent, overlooking the animals drinking at the camp waterhole.

Day 4Tsavo National Park

Just before dusk tea and coffee will be ready for you at the Tembo House. You will leave for a game drive to Tsavo National Park, the biggest Park of Kenya (8,000 square mile). This is elephant country, you will explore the park and may see many different animals, such us lions, cheetah, hyena, wildebeest, etc. There is a Rhino Sanctuary, where with luck you could see this endangered animal. Mzima Spring is a great attraction: an underground river springs out of lava rock, in the middle of otherwise dry country. 1,000 gallons of water per second create an incredible lush scenery, loved by hippo and crocodile. For lunch you will have a picnic next to this fascinating spring; you will be back to the camp in the late afternoon, driving through the plains of our reserve.

Day 5Kilimanjaro Scenic Flight (Optional Activity)

An unforgettable experience is the scenic flight of Kilimanjaro: at sunrise we take off to fly next to the highest mountain of the continent. We are a mile away from the snowy peaks, the pinkie light of sun rays give a charming color to the glaciers. We fly for one hour and at after landing a champagne breakfast is the perfect celebration for once in a lifetime experience. Just before landing we will fly you over the amazing art work of Andrew Rogers. In August 2010 Andrew Rogers visited the camp and with 1,200 Maasai did three amazing rock sculptures, visible from space. This is the first art work he did in Africa. It is its 13th place over the planet. It is something astonishingly beautiful and special, certainly to not be missed.

We would recommend spending the rest of the morning learning about the conservation goals of Campi ya Kanzi and of the Trust. A visit to the Maasai village will provide you with a unique experience, genuine and profound, unlike what happens in many other places where these “cultural visits” are staged. You could visit the school, where more than 700 pupils are enrolled. You could visit the dispensary, where a doctor and nurses are employed. The Trust coordinator will explain all the programs, including the Wildlife Pays (a compensation program to protect all predators) and the lions monitoring program. After lunch an afternoon game walk or game drive, toward the Chyulu Hills, on a scenic panoramic road. Many elands, hartebeests and giraffes on the way. With luck we could see cats, and often in this game drive we see black serval cats.

Day 6Elephant Tracking

Dawn is a magical moment with Mt. Kilimanjaro wrapped in pinky light. You could leave right at the crack of dawn and drive to the spring, looking for elephants. In a lucky day you could see up to a hundred. Other interesting antelopes such us lesser kudu, gerenuk, oryx, are also likely to be seen. In the afternoon a walk toward the Chyulu Hills will provide you the magical experience of approaching wildlife on foot.

Day 7Lion Tracking

Leave the magic of sunrise again, and enjoy a game drive around camp, looking for lions. Come back to the lodge for breakfast and for a relaxing morning. In the afternoon an easy walk to the hills will bring you to a very special place for a very special surprise: cave dining! This is probably one of the most memorable experiences you will enjoy with us. Have you have ever dined below the earth’s surface with flaming torches, lanterns and local Maasai dancing and singing? Not far from the camp, there is a huge cavern where the Maasai, in the past, hid the livestock they raided from the nearby Wakamba tribesmen. The cattle were kept in the cavern during the day, and let out for grazing in the night. In the afternoon we will walk to the cave just 45 minutes from camp. You will enter a huge “”lava tube””, with two big openings on its ceiling. You will not feel claustrophobic nor cornered in a narrow space. A safari fire will be set just underneath one of the openings in the ceiling, and a table set with candles for your dinner. This atmosphere is unforgettable. We don’t want to spoil the whole surprise, but there is more to enjoy that same evening, and plenty of other unforgettable experiences for the days you will spend with us.

Day 8 Departure

After breakfast, you will fly to Nairobi with our aircraft. On arrival in Nairobi you will be met by a our driver and you can either have a day room at a Nairobi Hotel with afternoon shopping or be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your international flight.

Tour Details

Package pricing is for 2 adults and includes full board accommodation, drinking water, wine, beer, soft drinks, spirits, laundry, airstrip transfers, and safari activities (game drives, guided walks, and hikes, bush meals and picnics, Maasai village visits, birdwatching, horseback riding, etc.)

Price Includes

  • All Meals
  • Accommodation
  • Airstrip Transfers
  • Safari Activities
  • Drinks

Price Excludes

  • International Airfare
  • Domestic Airfare (Nairobi to Camp)
  • Daily Conservation Fee ($101 Per Adult, $51 Per Child)
  • Optional Excursions to National Parks, Fly Camping, Etc.
  • Champagne
  • Gratuities
  • Any Private Expenses

Optional Activities

  • Rental of Private Villa and Swimming Pool Suite
  • Fly Camping
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Kilimanjaro Scenic Flight