This is the life: a fortnight filled with prime game viewing in two unique reserves and then a beach break on a private island in the Seychelles before heading home. With time spent in Samburu National Reserve and the Olare Motorogi Conservancy in Kenya, followed by the unbeatable North Island, you could be forgiven for thinking you have found heaven. There is unique magic and wonder at each stop, from the arid, rocky ledges of Samburu and the rolling plains of Olare Motorogi to the old-world charm of graceful Giraffe Manor, where endangered Rothschild’s giraffes will join you for breakfast. Spot the Samburu Special 5, which are endemic to the area, and bask in the incredible wildness of the unchanging rhythms of East Africa. Then jet off to the tropical island paradise of the Seychelles, where your home for five days is private North Island, a favourite with royal and Hollywood honeymooners. Conservation is the focus: the island has been rehabilitated and is a pristine Indian Ocean gem with superb service, incredible snorkelling and unbelievable views.
- Camel-back safari in Samburu
- Learn the ways of Samburu & Masaai warriors
- Spot the Samburu Special 5
- Night drives in Motorogi & Olare Orok
- Hot-air balloon trip at dawn
- Visit AFEW Giraffe Centre
- Visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust & adopt a baby elephant
- ‘No menu’ cuisine on North Island
- Deep-sea diving in the Indian Ocean
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Tour Duration: 15 Days
Not only are you staying in luxury accommodation and locations, but you have the opportunity to experience unique activities from a camel walk to a local village in Samburu, to pristine and exclusive game-viewing including bush walks at Richard Branson’s latest lodge in a private conservancy outside of the Masai Mara, to your own private Island oasis on North Island, Seychelles. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend 2 weeks with a loved one or close friends. This is seeing East Africa and the Islands at their best!
Day to day
Day 1: Jambo, KenyaNairobi, Kenya
Day 1: Jambo, Kenya | 1 Night
Set the scene for a fortnight of bliss with a night at Hemingways in Nairobi, where your personal butler sees to your every need. Taking its cue from the grand properties of old, the rooms are spacious and inviting, each with its own balcony overlooking the Ngong Hills. There is Wi-Fi so you can let the folks back home know you’ve arrived safely in East Africa.
Visit the spa to get into a relaxed holiday mood, before a tasty meal at The Brasserie, which aspires to be the first Michelin-starred venue in Nairobi and pioneers cooking technology in Kenya. Hemingways also has its own patisserie and the champagne high teas are a special treat.
And after dinner, sink into your suite. The subtle palette and natural materials are complemented by brass, mahogany and leather. These flourishes of classic safari prepare you for your trip into the wild lands of Kenya's Northern Frontier District tomorrow.
Days 2-4: On safari | 3 Nights
Today is a good day for an adventure in the rocky cliffs above the Ewaso Nyiro River and Sasaab is in the heart of Samburu country.
Sit on your deck or cool down in your private plunge pool while watching elephants bathe in the river. In the still heat of the afternoon, take a siesta before the cool night descends and spectacular star-gazing becomes the activity of choice.
Sasaab is in Samburu National Reserve and near Buffalo Springs National Reserves, a remote region populated by the Samburu people and a large variety of animals. As well as the herds of elephant, expect to see lion, leopard and cheetah and the Samburu Special 5: the Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk antelope and Somali ostrich.
You can also discover the traditions and way of life of the Samburu people, unchanged for generations, with Sasaab's local guides. The lodge is especially welcoming for children and the guides will teach them bush lore, perhaps how to make a traditional bow and arrow or a toothbrush from the ‘toothbrush tree’.
Days 5-8: South to the Mara | 4 Nights
Bid farewell to the spectacular Samburu and head south to Mahali Mzuri, in the Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the northern edge of the mighty Masai Mara. This is the alluring land of the Great Migration and the lodge is perched above the rolling plains, a perfect look-out point for game watching.
Each of Mahali Mzuri’s 12 tents is on a raised platform to make the most of the view and you can see a lot of the action from your deck. But be sure to go on guided walks; the Masaai guides know where to find the best stories and you may even catch sight of an elusive leopard slumbering the boughs of a tree.
After a hard day's adventure relax at the lodge's spa, Nasaro, which means ‘refuge’ in the Maa language. You can visit a local village to learn more about the Masaai or take a hot-air balloon safari, a serene and unusual way to spot the reserve's abundant wildlife.
Mahali Mzuri means ‘beautiful place’ and that it certainly is. You may not want to leave but leave you must, for the Giraffe Manor is calling.
Day 9: Overnight in Nairobi | 1 Night
Time to cross off another entry on your bucket list: a night at Nairobi's famed Giraffe Manor, with its herd of endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. The house was built in the 1930s and retains its old world charm and comfort, with wooden panelling and welcoming rooms. But the real reason for your stay is the giraffes. Feed them pellets from your hands or from your mouth - this is called a giraffe kiss and is an unusual experience!
Breakfast and lunch is shared with the gracious residents, who bend their long necks through windows and over balconies to help themselves to what is on your table - children are particularly enthralled.
Days 10-15: Beach idyll | 5 Nights
From Kenya to the Seychelles, you end your East African holiday in spectacular style. North Island is the epitome of luxury, and the entire island has turned over to the intimate hotel, making it a favourite of well-heeled honeymooners and celebrities.
Fly business class to the Seychelles and connect by charter flight to the very private North Island, a tropical beach paradise and unspoilt sanctuary for five days of opulent relaxation.
The thatched villas are set metres from the ocean, amid tropical forests and waving palm trees. Fling the doors open and fall asleep to the sound of the sea or a turtle burying its eggs; take an outdoor shower or submerge yourself in your massive en suite bath. Each villa has its own butler and there is no menu: the chef explains to each guest the cuisine, a mix of French, southern Indian and Seychelles, with a focus on sea food and natural local ingredients. And then he creates whatever takes your fancy.
Once part of the coconut trade, North Island today is a well-functioning conservation area and has been returned to its pristine natural vegetation and wildlife. The villas were built from the materials reaped from the rehabilitation. Spend lazy days doing yoga on the beach, snorkelling, deep-sea diving or hiking in the lush tropical forest. Cycle around the island or try your hand at kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding before, all too soon, it is time to say goodbye.
- All transfers to and from the lodges & airports
- Hot air ballooning in the Masai Mara
- Masai Mara National Reserve park fees
- Return flight from Nairobi to Samburu
- Return flight from Nairobi to Seychelles
- Return flight from Nairobi to the Masai Mara
- International flights
- Airport taxes
- All meals and drinks not specified
- Tips and gratuities
- Items of a personal nature