Mount Kenya, Big Game and Beach

Day one – flight from UK to Nairobi  
One night

Day two – Kicheche Laikipia, Ol Pejeta Conservancy  
Three nights – full board

Early morning arrival into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi. After clearing customs and immigration, you will be met and transferred across to the smaller Wilson Airport where you connect with the scheduled morning air transfer flight northwards to Nanyuki, a small town set at the foot of towering Mount Kenya in the central highlands and straddling the equator.

On arrival you are met by a representative from Kicheche Laikipia and are transferred by road through the conservancy to arrive at camp in time for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to relax after your flights and to settle into camp before later departing on an afternoon game drive, returning to camp at sunset for dinner.

Three nights are spent at Kicheche Laikipia in a double tent with daily game-viewing activities hosted by Kicheche’s experienced guides.

Kicheche Laikipia is situated in the heart of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, nestled at the foot of indigenous forest and overlooking a waterhole which attracts a wide range of animals throughout the day (and night).

Each of the six luxurious mosquito-proof tents has en suite facilities consisting of a flush toilet, hot and cold running water for the shower and double vanity, and a large L-shaped bedroom section with a dresser, double or twin beds, and comfortable seating. Lighting is provided through solar power in the tents. There is a spacious family tent with one double and two single beds. To the fore of each tent is a veranda with comfortable chairs where guests can sit, relax and enjoy the views of the waterhole and plains beyond. The central areas are spacious – a well-furnished lounge with cosy fireplace for those colder evenings, and a dining area. Meals are taken together and hosted by the camp managers, Andy and Sonja Webb (breakfasts and lunch are usually enjoyed al fresco).

Game viewing activities include day and night game drives, the latter focusing on nocturnal species not usually seen on regular day drives. Interpretative game walks are also permitted on the conservancy, which give guests a completely different perspective on the land. You’ll also be able to visit the farming side of the conservancy, the education centre, the chimpanzee sanctuary for rescued chimps (this is a fenced enclosure) and the northern white rhino sanctuary housing more than half the world’s entire population – which is just three animals (pre-booking and $30 per-person donation is required). Specific rhino tracking walks are possible and lion tracking using radio collars is also available. There are two mountain bikes (accompanied by a guide with vehicle back-up) and a canoe available for those to paddle on the waterhole (water levels dependent).

Day five – Kicheche Mara Camp, Mara North Conservancy, Maasai Mara  
Three nights – full board

Morning transfer through to Nanyuki where you connect with the scheduled light aircraft air transfer flight to the Maasai Mara (this flight can service several airstrips in the Mara).

On arrival in the Mara North Conservancy you are met by your guide from Kicheche Mara Camp and are transferred through to camp, arriving in time for lunch.

Having had a chance to settle in, you later depart on an afternoon game-viewing activity.

Three nights are spent at Kicheche Mara Camp in a double tent, with days at leisure for game-viewing in Kenya’s prime wildlife destination.

Kicheche Mara Camp is a seasonal bush camp in the traditional style, and accommodates a maximum of 16 guests in comfortable twin/double-bed tents, each with en suite bathroom facilities consisting of a bucket shower (a traditional shower hose fed from a bucket), a flush toilet, and vanity. The tented camp is set up in a beautiful secluded valley overlooking the upper reaches of the Olare Orok River within the Mara North Conservancy. There is no permanent electricity, with lighting provided by generator/battery, solar, candle or hurricane lanterns. Hot water for the bucket showers is available on call. Tents are furnished with proper beds with linen, table and chairs (on the veranda). Meals are generally taken al fresco, although there is a mess tent when the weather is inclement. Kicheche has a secluded tented lounge (the Nyati tent) with a selection of reference books and easy chairs – the perfect spot to relax during the heat of the day. Activities include game-viewing drives, nature walks and visits to local Maasai manyattas (villages). The camp is ideal for those wishing to experience the real African bush away from large, often noisy, lodges and holds a Gold eco-rated certificate from Eco Tourism Kenya.

Kicheche Mara Camp is located outside the official Maasai Mara Game Reserve within the Mara North Conservancy. Game-viewing around the camp is superb and animals often wander through the camp at night. Lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and giraffes are often seen from the verandas of the tents themselves, and zebras and buffalos help keep the lawns short!

Most game-viewing will take place on the plains around camp, but should you wish to visit the reserve itself (not necessary except for river crossings during the migration period when Kicheche include one reserve entry for every three nights spent in camp anyway), any reserve fees will be due in camp at the applicable rate.

Day eight – Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa, Galu Beach, south of Mombasa  
Four nights – half board

Morning at leisure for game-viewing. After an early lunch you will be transferred back to the airstrip to meet the scheduled afternoon light aircraft flight to Ukunda/Diani. Here you are met and transferred the short distance to the Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa for a four-night stay in a deluxe double room.

Days at leisure to relax.

The Pinewood Beach Resort and Spa (formerly the Pinewood Village) is a medium-sized hotel set on Galu Beach, located just to the south of the much busier Diani Beach, south of Mombasa. The property caters for around 120 guests in either standard deluxe rooms or suites. Two upstairs standard rooms and a ground-floor suite form a single detached unit, some 20 of which are set among mature gardens. All rooms have air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms, a small balcony, and are brightly furnished, featuring original artwork by the hotel’s owner. The suites are larger and include a kitchen/living area and covered veranda (guests staying in suites will have their own personal chef who can prepare, and serve privately, a choice of dinner). The detached unit closest to the ocean contains the executive rooms/suites, which carry a sea-view surcharge (aside from baths found in the suites, they are similar in every respect to the other suites). The family baobab suite situated in the main building above reception offers an en suite master bedroom, and a double and a twin bunk room with a shared bathroom, a very spacious lounge/dining room and an expansive rooftop terrace.

There is a central bar, dining and lounge area, internet access (currently free) in the business centre, a swimming pool with swim-up pool bar and snack bar, a gym, the Amani Spa, a beach bar and barbecue dining area, and a comprehensive watersports centre offering snorkelling or scuba diving, wind surfing, kite surfing, sailing etc. Deep-sea fishing or excursions along the coast can also be arranged.

Day 12 – Kenya Airways – Nairobi to London Heathrow  
One night

Day at leisure on the beach (check out from the room will be 10am). This afternoon you are transferred back to Ukunda/Diani airfield where you connect with the scheduled later afternoon flight to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport.

On arrival you are met and transferred to a local restaurant/hotel where you have the opportunity of having an early dinner (at own account). Later, you are transferred out to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where you check in for your home-bound Kenya Airways flight to London Heathrow. Overnight in flight.

Day 13 – arrive in London