A uniquely designed package, this 12-day tour brings together two of Africa’s most iconic images: great herds of animals on the Kenyan savannah and the spectacle of the raging Zambezi River thundering over a mile-long precipice – Victoria Falls. Flying directly between key destinations means you maximise your time on safari, and your accommodation is as breath-taking as the scenery it sits in. You will be checking into deluxe villas, grand tented suites and a riverside hideaway with its own plunge pool – some of the best and most exclusive lodges in our portfolio.
The adventure begins with views of Mount Kenya from your mountain retreat, privately set on the edge of the Samburu National Reserve. Explore the area on game drives and guided walks, ticking off classic savannah animals such as elephant and big cats but also more unusual, arid-region specialists such as Grevy’s zebra and the endearingly long-necked gerenuk antelope. Then it is onto the grasslands of the Masai Mara and a tented camp lying under thorn trees. Naboisho Camp is well located to experience the annual Wildebeest Migration between July and November, but this is the Masai Mara and the area has amazing game viewing all year round.
Finally, a flight south to where one of the world’s greatest natural wonders awaits. Known locally as ‘the Smoke that Thunders’, Victoria Falls sits at the heart of a region famous for its safari and white-knuckle adventures: track rare rhinos, hop on a white-water rafting trip, do some shopping at local markets, or slow things down with a sunset river boat cruise.
Well-paced with fantastic accommodation throughout and all logistics taken care of, this is a tour that will appeal to discerning travellers – especially honeymooners and couples on a special journey – who are looking for comfort and experience in equal measure.
The tour opens with your arrival in Kenya at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where you are met and transferred for a night at the city’s Eka Hotel. Check into a Superior Room complete with air conditioning, multi-channel flat-screen television and complimentary high-speed internet. Comfortable, convenient and well-appointed, the hotel has a pool and gym if you would like to unwind plus a restaurant with an international a la carte menu, as well as traditional favourites like burgers, ribs and steaks.
A transfer from the hotel to the city’s smaller Wilson Airport gets you onto a flight bound for your first safari destination: the Samburu National Reserve. Lying where Kenya’s grassy savannahs meet the northern arid bushlands, this is a conservation area of great bio-diversity and your chance to look for the famous Samburu Special 5 – Grevy's zebra, gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, besia oryx and Somali ostrich – as well as more familiar animals such as lion, elephant and leopard. Your accommodation is Saruni Samburu, enjoying an exclusive mountainous setting with epic views and only six chalets on offer, each an open-plan masterpiece of elegance and functionality. Activities here include morning and afternoon game drives as well as chances to explore on foot with guides, view rock art, and interact with local Samburu communities.
A flight of little more than two hours takes you from the craggy hills of Samburu to the wide open grasslands of the Masai Mara. Kenya’s showpiece conservation area, the reserve is most famous for hosting the Wildebeest Migration between July and November. Your accommodation, Naboisho Camp, is well located to watch all the action as the Masai Mara’s large predators – lions, cheetahs, leopard and hyenas – move in on the herds. But such is the nature of the Masai Mara that it remains an amazing wildlife destination at any time of year. Morning and afternoon game drives with local guides open up the landscape for you, and the camp’s private setting means you enjoy spot-lit night drives too.
There’s no need to rush on this safari: it’s time for a break. After your flight back to Nairobi, you are met and transferred to Hemingways Nairobi, an elegant boutique hotel set in a quiet city suburb. You check into a deluxe suite – complete with butler service and high-speed Wi-Fi – and can look forward to cuisine from the kitchen of a Michelin-star chef. A modern spa and wellness centre are on site if you want to wind down after the journey, and there are great views of the Ngong Hills from the hotel bar. If you have time, then the popular attractions of the Karen Blixen Museum, Giraffe Centre and Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage lie nearby.
The flight from Nairobi in Kenya to Livingstone in Zambia takes just over three hours, but you have crossed half the continent and are now in southern Africa with the great Zambezi River sliding silently past your chalet. Thorntree River Lodge is one of the top lodges on the river and features just a handful of grand suites, each with their own plunge pool and bathroom with large soaking tub. Lying within the local Mosi oa Tunya National Park means wildlife on your doorstep. You can look forward to a tour of Victoria Falls and spotting crocodiles and hippos from the comfort of a private river cruise. Three nights here means you have plenty of time to explore as much as you like – go on game drives, elephant-back safaris, white-water rafting adventures or take to the sky on a scenic flight and view ‘the Smoke that Thunders’ in its awesome entirety.
After breakfast overlooking the Zambezi River you are transferred to Zambia’s Livingstone International Airport for the end of this tour and the start of your onward travel arrangements.