The rolling plains of Kenya are the essence of East Africa—teeming with herds of zebra and wildebeest, dotted with acacia trees, and inhabited by the intriguing Maasai people. In two diverse protected areas—Chyulu Hills and the Olare Motorogi Conservancy—discover a breathtaking array of animals far from the crowds and learn firsthand about efforts to protect them.
Experience Kenya’s majestic wilderness away from the crowds in two private conservancies run in partnership with local communities.
Ride horseback in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, and encounter an astonishing array of wildlife on day and night safaris and guided bushwalks.
Get acquainted with the vibrant culture of the Maasai on visits to local villages and bush walks with Maasai guides and traditional warriors.
Itinerary - 8 Days
Day 1 — Arrive Nairobi, Kenya
Depart on an overnight flight and arrive in Nairobi the following evening. Our local staff is on hand to greet you at the airport and take you to your hotel. The Boma Hotel
Days 2, 3, & 4 — Chyulu Hills National Park
A scheduled morning flight brings you to the border of Chyulu Hills National Park—a verdant, rippling landscape nestled between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks. Your safari experience begins immediately with a game drive on the way to ol Donyo Lodge, a National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World. This stunning lodge was founded by safari legend Richard Bonham and is now owned and operated by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and their Great Plains Conservation group. Settle into your thatched suite, featuring a private plunge pool, a rooftop star bed, and breathtaking views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and spend the next three days discovering the unique wilderness of the Chyulu Hills.
Head out on morning and afternoon safaris, spotting some of Africa’s largest bull elephants, as well as giraffes, zebras, lions, cheetahs, and much more. On a walking safari with a Maasai guide, learn how to track wildlife and identify some of the area’s lesser known flora and fauna. Observe nocturnal species on night drives, go mountain biking, or pay a visit to a Maasai village and meet with the villagers to learn about their everyday life and traditions. As a National Geographic guest, you have the exclusive opportunity to take a guided morning horseback ride into the bush. Observe wildlife and take in magnificent views on the way to a picturesque acacia tree where a delicious breakfast awaits.
ol Donyo Lodge (B,L,D)
Days 5, 6, & 7 — Olare Motorogi Conservancy
Return to Nairobi after breakfast to catch a scheduled flight to Masai Mara National Reserve. A short game drive brings you to the Olare Motorogi Conservancy, a private concession adjacent to the Masai Mara, but without the crowds of the legendary reserve. Your home here is Unique Lodge of the World Mara Plains Camp
—an elegant camp of raised safari tents is run by Great Plains Conservation, whose co-founders are National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert. Take in views of sweeping plains and watch for wildlife from the private veranda of your luxury tent. Set out on game drives to see throngs of wildebeests and zebras, leopards perched languidly in trees, marabou storks and Abyssinian rollers, not to mention lions and elephants. Spot nocturnal creatures on nighttime game drives, and get to know the local Maasai and their culture with a village visit. As a National Geographic guest, you are invited to visit the Maa Trust, a local non-profit that works towards ensuring the success of conservation in the Maasai Mara ecosystem through sustainable community development. Learn about the community surrounding Mara Plains and the Maa Trust's work from local a staff member and pay a visit to their stunning workshop of beadwork and leather goods produced by community members.
Mara Plains Camp (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Nairobi/Depart
Drive to the airstrip this morning for a scheduled flight to Nairobi. Later, transfer to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your flight home, arriving the next day. Day Room: The Boma Hotel (B)
About Private Expeditions
National Geographic Private Expeditions are specially crafted itineraries designed for independent travelers that combine guided excursions, fascinating insights into culture and wildlife, and top accommodations. Simply select a trip and decide whom you'd like to travel with and when you want to travel. We'll take care of the rest.
Prices are per person, double occupancy and are subject to availability. Single traveler prices are available upon request.
Internal flights within Kenya are not included in the cost of the expedition and are an additional $850 per person (subject to change). International airfare to and from Nairobi is not included in the expedition cost.
A holiday surcharge may apply to certain travel dates based upon international or local holidays, as well as local events and festivals.
Please note: A US State Department travel warning for Kenya is currently in effect ((click here for more information). We will do our best to alert booked guests to any significant developments about which we are made aware. For any questions, please call us at 1-888-732-2379.
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
Contact Us: 1-888-732-2379
Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.
Other Important Details
This trip is available to children age 8 and older; please contact our reservations specialists for details or to customize this trip if your children are under 8 years.