FIRST TIME FLY-DRIVE SAFARI: Sweetwaters and the Masai Mara

7 days
FROM £ 2950

FIRST TIME FLY-DRIVE SAFARI: Sweetwaters and the Masai Mara

This is a wonderful good value fly-drive safari combining two key and contrasting wildlife areas in Kenya. The not-for-profit private Ol Pejeta Conservancy is in Laikipia, near Mount Kenya and is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and a haven for the last two remaining Northern White Rhinos in the world. This area is home to all the Big Five and has a higher wildlife to area ratio than any other park in Kenya. Game drives are conducted in your own private vehicle with driver/guide. The conservancy does vital conservation and community work. You can also visit the chimpanzee sanctuary during your stay, opened by Jane Goodall.

Our charity, Explorers against Extinction, works closely with Ol Pejeta and through its 2018 campaign we funded a new conservation arms/ammunition Spaniel for their anti-poaching canine unit. Drum arrived at Ol Pejeta in April 2019. For a fascinating behind the scenes insight you can visit the canine unit during a stay.

There is a choice of accommodation at Ol Pejeta - this trip is based on Serena Sweetwaters. This classic camp faces a waterhole and the Morani rooms are very comfortable and spacious with glass doors facing the waterhole - they fuse the comfort of a hotel room with the style of a tented suite. We find this a really good base for exploring the area.

From Ol Pejeta, you fly to the iconic Masai Mara, to the exclusive Mara North Conservancy, one of the most beautiful private conservation areas in the Mara. Your camp sits riverside and is the perfect place to explore this incredible wilderness area. Being based in a private conservation area you are able to enjoy a wide array of activities and experiences from night drives and walking to bush dining and picnics.

The following itinerary has been put together on the basis you will be arriving and departing on the BA Nairobi flight, but can be tailored to suit you.

We think this fly-drive works really well, however if you would prefer a private vehicle and driver throughout your holiday, you may find our Classic Kenya or Big Five Safari itineraries of interest.

Ol Pejeta was purchased in 2004 by Flora and Fauna International, with financial support from a private philanthropic organisation, Arcus Foundation. 90,000 acres of savannah grassland was converted from cattle ranch to national land trust. As well as being a sanctuary for rhino, Ol Pejeta has one of the highest densities of predators in Kenya and a chimp sanctuary, opened by Jane Goodall, to rehabilitate rescued animals. We have a close relationship with Ol Pejeta and have raised funds to donate a new tracking Spaniel, Drum to join their anti poaching canine unit. The Mara North Conservancy is a partnership between eleven member camps and over 800 Maasai landowners. Their aim is to create a best practise, world class conservancy with long term commitments to the environment, wildlife and local communities. Karen Blixen Tented Camp offers an adjacent cookery school for young Maasai, just one of the projects in this area. Your stay will directly contribute to conservation. We raise funds through our Real World Conservation Trust and our campaigns such as Explorers Against Extinction and Sketch for Survival - you can find out more on our conservation pages.

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Safari Itinerary


On arrival in Nairobi you will be met and transferred to your hotel for the night. Rest of day at leisure.

DAY 2 - 3

Ol Pejeta Reserve
This morning you head off to Ol Pejeta with a picnic lunch en-route. The drive from Nairobi usually takes around 5 hours but it depends on the number of stops and the local traffic. You will arrive in time to settle in before enjoying an afternoon game drive. This private conservancy does a lot of important conservation work and has the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and the numbers have now grown to over a 100. You will get the chance to see how their conservation projects work and also to visit the chimpanzee sanctuary. There are many additional immersive conservation experiences we can add in to your stay - please do ask if this is of interest. Activities are wide-ranging and include visiting the anti-poaching dog section; visiting the Northern White enclosure; behind the scenes visits to the chimpanzees; bush walks with the rhino patrol; lion tracking and assisting with the monitoring programme; ranch visits to see how the reserve manages their cattle; community visits; junior ranger programme.

DAY 4 - 6

The Masai Mara
After breakfast you will be transferred to the local airstrip for your flight to the Mara North Conservancy where you will be met and transferred to the Karen Blixen Camp, a lovely traditional tented camp on the banks of the Mara river. Plenty of wildlife comes to drink at the river so you can do game viewing from the camp in a comfortable chair with a cold drink! The Mara Conservancy is a private conservancy on the border of the main national park and as such is much quieter but with just as much wildlife. You will spend the next 3 days enjoying twice daily game drives spotting the Big Five as well as huge numbers of other wildlife including giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and more.
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  • Accommodation on full board basis
  • All safari game drives and most activities (not balloon trips etc)
  • Private game drives at Sweetwaters Camp
  • All airport transfers and transport between camps
Not Included: International flights, travel insurance, visas, tips and personal expenses.

Price Guide

  • Per person sharing: from £2,950 (low season); from £3,535 (high season)
  • This trip is available all year round
  • The price guide is based on the accommodation and transfers as listed above and is subject to availability at the time of booking.
  • For an exact quotation and itinerary based on your requirements please do get in touch.

International Flights   We are ATOL bonded and can easily arrange international flights for you as required. Please contact us so we can provide an accurate tailor-made costing based on your travel dates, availability, cabin/route/airline preferences and special offers.

To find out more about our partnership with Save the Rhino please click here. To read our blog about Sudan (pictured), the last male northern white rhino in the world, who Sara went to meet at Ol Pejeta in May 2016, please click here. 

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