Women’s Kenyan Safari

Women’s Kenyan Safari Claimed

Fall 2022 | 17 Women | Safari and Service

Average Reviews

Trip Overview

A wonderful all-women's Kenyan safari

Full Itinerary

Overview:


I spent a summer in Kenya back in my 20’s working for the organization Provide International (www.provideinternational.org). I am still involved with the group, which provides maternity and general healthcare to people in the slums of Nairobi and I wanted to introduce my friends to both the amazing experience of a Kenyan safari as well as to the realities of life in the Nairobi slums and the work that’s being done for this underserved population. I proposed the idea of the trip to a group of women and got an incredible response to go. And thus the trip was born! It was an amazing adventure for all of us.


I ended up taking 17 women to Kenya In October/November 2022, split into two groups (which I’ll call Group 1, which had 7 women, and Group 2, which had 11 women). Each group went on safari in two locations and overlapped in the middle for Nairobi activities. The entire trip was booked via Timbuktu Travel, which I had used for 2 or 3 previous African adventures. 


Broad Overview of Both Groups Itineraries:


Group 1:


Nairobi- 2 days. 

  • Day 1 – rest or private tour of 2 slum areas (via Provide International in Kayole and Korogocho slums and SHOFCO in Kibera slum)
  • Day 2 – rest and afternoon game drive at Nairobi National Park 

Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages, Laikipia – :

  • Day 3 – Small plane flight from Wilson airport in Nairobi. Visit to the equator an short game drive en route to lodge. Afternoon game drive upon arrival ()
  • Day 4/5 – Two days of 2x/day game drives, plus visit to Rhino Conservancy to see last two Northern White Rhinos in the world,  and to the Jane Goodall chimp sanctuary
  • Day 6 – Half day game drive en route to the airport for flight to Masai Mara

Governors Private Camp, Masai Mara

  • Day 6- Afternoon game drive upon arrival (small plane flight from Ol Pejeta)
  • Day 7/8 – Two days of 2x/day game drives, plus visit to Masai village (if interested) or balloon rides (if interested), and massages (if interested)
  • Day 9 – Morning game drive on final day before breakfast and 10am flight to Nairobi


Nairobi 2.5 days- 

  • Day 9: Upon arrival in Nairobi
  • Shopping at Opportunity Factory in Karen
  • Lunch at Talisman in Nairobi
  • Afternoon at Fairview Hotel
  • Dinner at About Thyme

     –     Day 10: Nairobi Day

  • Giraffe manor
  • Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary
  • Lunch at Tamambo
  • Karen Blixen museum
  • Dinner at Cultiva Farm (excellent!!!!)

      –    Day 11: Nairobi

  • Tour of Provide Clinics in Kayole (www.provideinternational.org)
  • Tour of Provide Clinic and Slum visit in Korogocho (www.provideinternational.org)
  • Final Group Dinner at Fairview

   –    Day 12: Nairobi– Everyone in Group 2 headed on – to Rwanda, home or elsewhere.


Group 2:


About half of Group 2 went to Zanzibar prior to Nairobi, joining the group for the Clinic/slum visits prior to heading out on safari the following day. For those in Group 2 who arrived earlier, they joined Group 1 for Karen activity day (Giraffe Manor, Sheldrick, Karen Blixen museum), and the visit to the clinic and slums. 


When Group 1 left to go home, Group 2 headed out on safari. Group 2 went to a different first camp in Laikipia, and to the same second camp in Masai Mara:


Nairobi 2.5 days- 

  • Day 1: Upon arrival in Nairobi
  • Shopping at Opportunity Factory in Karen
  • Lunch at Talisman in Nairobi
  • Afternoon at Fairview Hotel
  • Dinner at About Thyme

     –     Day 2: Nairobi Day

  • Giraffe manor
  • Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary
  • Lunch at Tamambo
  • Karen Blixen museum
  • Dinner at Cultiva Farm (excellent!!!!)

      –    Day 3: Nairobi

  • Tour of Provide Clinics in Kayole
  • Slum visit in Korogocho
  • Final Group Dinner at Fairview


Governors Mugie House, Laikipia:

  • Day 4: Afternoon game drive upon arrival (small plane flight from Wilson airport in Nairobi)
  • Day 5/6: Two days of 2x/day game drives, plus visit to see training of blood hounds that track poachers, and a tame giraffe
  • Day 7: Morning game drive en route to airport for flight to Masai Mara


Governors Private Camp, Masai Mara

  • Day 7: Afternoon game drive upon arrival (small plane flight from Laikipia)
  • Day 8/9: Two days of 2x/day game drives, plus visit to Masai village (if interested) or balloon rides (if interested), and massages (if interested)
  • Day 10: Morning game drive on final day before breakfast and 10am flight to Nairobi


Day 10: Upon arrival in Nairobi, some went for shopping/lunch in Karen and others to hang at the Fairview until everyone had flights out that afternoon/late evening.


Lodging Descriptions:


– Karen Gables:

The first few women who arrived early stayed at Karen Gables in the Karen neighborhood of Nairobi. This is a beautiful home turned into a hotel, with a lovely pool, great food and beautiful grounds. It allows for running nearby, vs staying in the city itself where that’s difficult to do. Limited number of rooms (8 or so?)  so everyone couldn’t stay there. 


– Fairview Hotel:

Everyone else stayed at the Fairview Hotel. In hindsight I would have had everyone stay in Karen as so many of our activities and restaurants while in Nairobi were focused there. However the Fairview offers great security, a beautiful pool, lots of room, two restaurants and is a good spot for a group. It’s an older hotel that has some charm and is moderately priced/good value for money. Be sure to request rooms in the main hotel (not the annex) and the poolside rooms were the best location we found.


-Ol Pejeta Safari Cabins

A couple from Zimbabwe started this lodging a few years ago. It consists of about 8 cabins, each of which has a nice deck. They are permanent cabins, but they have canvas tent flaps on the side that opens to the deck, giving it a somewhat tent cabin feel. Beautifully furnished living spaces. Meals are served on a deck platform overlooking a salt lick where animals visit. There is a nice bonfire for before/after dinner as well. The service is wonderful, as are the guides and it was a nice ‘upscale tented cabin’ feel. The cabins are located within a rhino sanctuary so we saw many  rhino, in addition to lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe etc etc.  Our visit to the 2 last Northern White Rhino in the world was a highlight as well. The conservancy is very uncrowded so you feel like you have the entire conservancy to yourself and you rarely see another safari truck. We were the only ones staying at the cabins. Lots of wonderful surprises like the beautiful breakfast served in the bush, sundowners in great spots, hot water bottles in the bed and in the morning game drives, guards outside the rooms at night to escort you as needed (in case of animals) etc. 


Governors Mugie Camp, Laikipia

Wow – this was MUCH more upscale than we had planned for. It’s like a 5-star Napa Valley hotel overlooking the savannah. It’s not a tented camp – it’s a hotel. Amazing furnishings and decor. Each person has their own building (like a casita) and some had plunge pools. Lunch is served overlooking the watering hole, next to a beautiful swimming pool. Dinners are in the main dining room. It’s so nice it makes it hard to go out on game drives! We felt very spoiled. The manager was also super helpful when one of our group had to make a quick exit home due to a sick relative. It was the most luxurious safari location I’ve ever been to. The visit to see the blood hounds beign trained to track poachers, and to visit the tame giraffe were also great. We didn’t really see another car while there, and while there are fewer animals than the Mara, we did see all animals, including leopard and cheetah. 


-Govenors Private Camp, Masai Mara:

This private camp has 8 tented cabins on platforms, with en suite bathrooms, wooden floors, electricity etc. There is a large tented living room area and dining room area. It’s situated next to the Mara river at a bend where about 50 hippos live. Elephants came through camp, as did giraffe at night, and hippos were active in the evening as well. Lots of animal sounds going to bed! We had the camp to ourselves and a wonderful staff. Sundowners at camp and out in the bush, breakfast out in the bush each day, then back for lunch, rest time and then out again in the afternoon. Wonderful massages as well, and those who took the balloon ride at sunrise loved it as well. Lots more cars here, as was expected, and tons of animals as expected as well. 



How to Plan:


I planned the trip via Timbuktu Travel, who I’d used previously for safari planning. I worked with Joanna, describing her who I was taking, what I wanted out of the trip, what type of places I thought we should stay in and general budget. She came back to me with suggested itineraries and lodging choices. She also arranged all of the transportation in Nairobi, flights, hotels, restaurant reservations etc. Some of these lodges can be booked directly, but it sure makes it easier to have one person do all of the planning. Their site is great in that you can see all the lodging options and the costs of each, making it much more transparent than other safari companies I’ve booked with in the past. 


Other:

One thing to note is that we needed to take more cash than we originally intended.  There is suggested tipping for the staff and the guides at the camps/lodges, but while in safari we felt we were constantly having to tip drivers, porters etc and it was good to have lots of small $US bills on hand. Bring more than you think, as you can always bring it home with  you. 


Packing List:

There is a weight limit to what you can take on the internal small plane flights, so there is a need to pack light (and no big wheely bags). While on safari you can do laundry (usually included) and get it back the same day (and you hand wash underwear).   You don’t really need to have too many clothes. 


Here is my suggested packing list:


SAFARI PACKING LIST



Notes:

  • Pack light! No large, hard suitcases allowed due to small planes. Need soft duffle, or smaller bag with wheels. 28”L X 24”W X 14”D  Extra bags can be stored in Nairobi as needed while on safari.
  • Voltage: Type G adaptors(3 prong large) and some Type C (2 narrow round)
  • Weather: Like Northern Calif, but also may have rain. Upper 70s day, cooler am/pm
  • Laundry: Can do on site at no fee at lodges. Fee at Nairobi hotels
  • Dress: Casual! Hiking pants with tee shirts and ‘overlay’ shirt and puffer as needed. Can bring a light dress if you want for evenings but jeans fine as well. At the lodges it’s just us so nobody to impress! Black outerwear not recommended. ‘Safari’ colors preferred.


Bottoms:

safari/hiking pants

jeans/casual pants for evening

Sweats for lounging

Hiking shorts if desired


Tops:

Short sleeve tees (3)

Long sleeve tees (2)

Lightweight fleece

Rain jacket

Light sweater for evening if desired

Long sleeve ‘safari’ top

Puffer

Note: black not recommended! 


Evening:

Light dress if desired. Jeans fine though. 


Sporty:

Bathing suit/goggles, as needed per lodgings

Coverup, as needed per lodgings

Yoga tights/top, as needed per lodgings/exercise options


Socks/Undies/Jammies


Accessories:

Travel wrap/blanket

Cotton scarf (bug repellent treated an option)

Sun hat

Sunglasses

Headlamp optional

Small, light daypack

Water bottle

Overflow tote

Camera/spare memory cards/battery, battery charger

Binoculars

Any meds or supplied bringing for clinic

Snack bars just to have on hand


Shoes:

Everyday shoes/sneakers

sandals/birkenstocks/flipflops

Hiking shoes


Toiletries:

Sunscreen

Malaria meds as needed

Other meds for first aid items as needed

Bug spray

General stuff (shampoo/toothpaste etc etc)


For Plane:

Headphones

Neck pillow

Air pods

Ipad/laptop as needed with cords

Adaptors for Kenya outlets

Kindle (pre loaded)

Phone with chargers

Battery back up brick

Compression socks if desired

Snacks



 



Photos

Author

Time of year

Oct-Dec

Type of Trip

Adventure/Active, Nature, Service, Combo

Duration

2 weeks

Who Went

Girls trip

Accommodation Type

Hotel, Other

Budget

$400-$600

Statistics

135 Views
0 Rating
0 Favorite
Share