December through March are the warmest summer months. July and August are considered their winter and are the coolest months. September and October are springtime and weather again gets a little warmer.
In late July through September, you will see the annual migration of wildebeest into the Masai Mara. Although the sun is intense, early mornings and evenings can get quite cool, especially in the mountain areas.
Kenya is GMT + 3 hours in the winter, and GMT + 2 in the summer
Travel in East Africa normally begins and ends at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi or Kenya Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
Upon arrival, proceed through immigration and baggage claims and customs. Big Five personnel will be waiting for you with a Big Five sign with your name on it. We will help you with baggage and escort you to your hotel and assist with check-in formalities.
Kenyan Shilling (KES)
Day 1: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania / Arusha
Welcome to Africa. You will be met by a representative as you exit the aircraft and assisted through immigration formalities, collect your baggage and proceed through customs. After exiting the Customs & Immigrations Hall, a uniformed Big Five Tours & Expeditions driver/guide will greet you and assist with your luggage before transferring you to your lodge Arusha. Six garden cottages are individually decorated with a unique blend of African art and old colonial-style furnishings. Enjoy the Mount Meru views from a private veranda and relax in spacious king-sized beds. Take advantage of the elegant tubs and showers, personal minibars, and wireless internet throughout the property. The Old Farmhouse welcomes you to gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment in the elegant therapy room or in the privacy of your own guest cottage. The lodge is a perfect place to wind down before or after an adventure-packed safari.
Built by Germans as a center of colonial administration in the early 20th century, Arusha was a sleepy town with a garrison stationed at the old boma and a few shops around a grassy roundabout. From its backwater status amid the farmlands and plantations of northern Tanzania, Arusha has grown into one of the country’s most prosperous towns. The site of the United Nations Criminal Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide and the headquarters for the tripartite commission for East African Co-operation, Arusha is a major center of Tanzanian diplomacy and international relations. Legendary Lodge – Cottage
Please limit luggage while on safari to one (1) per person, max. 32 lbs, plus reasonable carry on camera equipment.
Day 2: Arusha / Grumeti Game Reserve
After breakfast, you are transferred to Arusha domestic airport for your private charter flight to the Sasakwa Airstrip. Upon arrival, you are met by the staff of Singita who transfer you in an open safari vehicle to your lodge atop Sasakwa Hill. It offers spectacular views over the Great Serengeti plains. Singita Serengeti House embodies sophisticated safari-living in one of Africa’s most iconic conservation areas. Refined yet luxuriously comfortable, this modern-African home on the slopes of Sasakwa Hill offers uninterrupted views across the Serengeti. Throughout the house, a calming neutral palette of sun-bleached blonde, beige and grey bring the grassy plains indoors. It is designed for exclusive use, yet with a sense of relaxed freedom for families or friends to enjoy shared experiences in nature. New, casual, living spaces include an eat-in kitchen and media room, a full gym adjacent to the extended outdoor sala, and a brand new tented spa suite at the updated tennis pavilion. Serengeti House (B,L,D)
Days 3-5: Grumeti Game Reserve
Over these three nights at Singita Grumeti you explore this remarkable landscape situated adjacent to the Serengeti National Park. This area is an integral part of the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, the home of the Great Migration. The reserve was created by the Tanzanian government in 1994 in order to protect the path of the annual wildebeest migration and the indigenous biodiversity of this vast and important ecosystem. In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit organisation, was granted the right to manage and conserve these 350,000 acres for the benefit of the local communities, Tanzania and Africa. Four years later, Singita took over the management of the property to enhance the low-impact luxury tourism, increase employment for local people and the earn more funding necessary to keep this vitally important wildlife destination protected.
Then, through the Singita Grumeti Fund, began the task of generating the funds necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve through conservation and community partnerships. The private Singita Grumeti Reserves form part of the renowned migration route, although plenty of wildlife populations are here year-round. The abundance of game animals including 25 species of large carnivores and 40 species of herbivores. More than 2,500 species of birds (including five endemic species with a high concentration of raptors) have been counted here, making this the highest concentration of birds in Africa.
You have time here to get into the rhythm of nature and the movement of animals; and to slow down to take in the incredible night skies in this private concession. Singita is the custodian of 350,000 acres of this unique ecosystem. Ensuring the continued protection of the critical western corridor of the plains is essential to the future sustainability of the ancient pilgrimage that defines these lands. For a different perspective entirely, experienced riders can pre-book a horseback safari that can custom-tailored for an adventure through the heart of the Serengeti wilderness. Additional activities such as archery, lawn croquet, mountain biking and tennis are available as is a private hot air balloon ride (weather permitting) that floats above the animals of the Serengeti Plains. Serengeti House (B,L,D)
Day 6: Grumeti Game Reserve / Migori / Ol Jogi Private Conservancy, Kenya
You final morning game drive ends at the airstrip where you board your mid-morning private charter flight, stopping for passport control at the border near Migori before continuing on to your own private Kenyan bush retreat offering sweeping views of Mt Kenya in the background. Built under a protective rock outcrop, Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, a 58,000-acre reserve settled on the on the Laikipia plateau, was once the private home of the Wildenstein family, among the most well-known art dynasty families. The home is built among the kopjes, outcrops of ancient granite boulders and rocks that stick out like rough islands on the flat landscape. On the on the Laikipia plateau, Jogi is today one of the most exclusive properties in all of Africa and perfect for those looking for an authentic Kenyan experience reminiscent of the days before mass-tourism. It is all yours for the length of your stay – no minivans, no other guests – perfect for family reunions or groups of friends. The complex accommodates groups of four to 20 guests throughout the year in the Main House, as well as larger groups for special events such as weddings and birthdays. For an extra bonus, enjoy Ol Jogi Under The Stars, a luxury tented camp set up adjacent to the Main House. Each cottage has been individually designed around a different theme with tailored furniture, individual dressing rooms and ‘his and hers’ bathrooms. From your bed you wake up to spectacular sunrises above Mount Kenya and go to sleep aware of the vast array of wildlife around the watering hole. Ol Jogi (B,L,D)
Days 7-9: Ol Jogi Private Conservancy
Take full advantage of your time here to explore the unparalleled diversity of terrain and wildlife. The landscape is awe-inspiring and unique within Kenya. Explore the African bush the way it was intended, wild and free, through a multitude of ways, day or night: game drives, walks, on horseback, or even by helicopter to get an aerial perspective. One way is from within the house itself. Day or night, you can enter a secret underground tunnel that brings you literally to the feet of giraffes, elephants, hippos and many other species that visit the watering hole. Imagine standing so close to these creatures that you can hear them breathing.
Another way is at the Wildlife Rescue Centre. Because of the rescue and release services that Ol Jogi offers to threatened wildlife, you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with several species of wildlife: elephants rescued from Zimbabwe, cheetahs brought in as orphans, a blind rhino, a lion rescued by the local community, and more.
For 35 years, Ol Jogi has operated as a private conservation sanctuary, currently hosting more than 50, or 6%, of the world’s remaining Eastern black rhino and 15% of the world’s remaining Grevy’s zebra, plus significant populations of the Big Five and several other endangered species.
Ol Jogi is one of the most remarkable private wildlife conservancies in Africa, a safe haven for the preservation and future development of wildlife conservation. Every dollar earned through hosting guests is 100% reinvested into conservation efforts. Your trip will make a substantial donation to the conservation and community. Your stay includes a $25,000 donation, which you will decide how to invest once you have visited Ol Jogi’s conservation and community projects. Ol Jogi (B,L,D)
Day 10: Ol Jogi Private Conservancy / Nairobi / Depart
Depart this morning by private charter back to Nairobi. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel for a final day in Kenya. he Hemingways Nairobi is a 45-suite luxury boutique hotel. Beautiful in its symmetry and flooded with natural light, this plantation-style property is airy and spacious. Each suite has a private balcony overlooking the iconic silhouette of the Ngong Hills, a magical view that can also be enjoyed over sundowners at the bar. Later you enjoy a final dinner before being transferred to the airport for your evening flight out. Hemingways Hotel – Day Room (B,L,D)
Land only, double Occupancy: US$3,000 per person, per day.