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7-Night Kenya Basic Camping Safari from Nairobi: Masai Mara and Loita Hills

Nairobi, Kenya
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Explore the Masai Mara and Loita Hills on a 7-night basic camping safari from Nairobi, and discover vibrant wildlife, rugged scenery and vivid local cultures. Watch for the 'Big 5' — elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo— as you travel through Kenya’s extraordinary national parks. Take ‘bush showers’ in the African sunshine and sleep beneath the stars; get a glimpse of daily life in a local village then attend a traditional meeting of the Masai tribe. Live simply as you experience the unspoiled beauty of one of Africa’s most iconic landscapes. 
  • 7-night Kenya tour around the Great Rift Valley with basic campsite accommodation included
  • Discover local culture on a village visit, orphanage trip and Masai tribe meeting
  • See flamingos and other incredible wildlife on Big Five game drives at Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara National Park
  • Enjoy a range of optional activities at Lake Naivasha, such as a Crater Lake Game Sanctuary walk
  • Learn about Masai culture in the Loita hills, a wild and rugged area that many travelers to Kenya miss
  • Soar above the Masai Mara National Park in a hot-air balloon, if you wish

What's Included

Professional guide
Group leader
7 nights in basic campsite accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
Game Drives
Village and orphanage visit
Masai tribe meeting
Arrival and departure transfers
Sleeping bag
Optional activities
Water bottle
Food and drinks, unless specified
Padlock for locker
Hot air balloon ride
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Departure & Return

Departure Point

Central Nairobi

Departure Time

2:00 PM

Return Details

Concludes at Nairobi finish point hotel between 1pm and 2pm
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What To Expect

Your 7-night Kenya tour explores the area around the country’s Great Rift Valley, a spectacular naturally formed trench that stretches through the country from north to south. Acknowledged as a place of outstanding natural beauty, the valley is home to dormant volcanoes, seemingly bottomless lakes, low-lying mountain ranges and wild savannah plains.

The area is home to some of Africa’s finest national parks, and you’ll visit these on your 7-night tour, discovering rare birdlife and the Big Five, a group of famously elusive animals comprising elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards and rhinos. Your tour also introduces you to Kenyan culture, with a village visit, a Kenyan orphanage trip and a Masai tribe meeting all included.

With the exception of your first night’s accommodation in a Nairobi hotel, your accommodation for the next six nights is provided in tents at secure campsites on the outskirts of national parks. On occasions you may need to put your tent up, and facilities at the sites are basic with few other mod cons besides flush toilets and showers; this is an African safari as it should be! In the Loita Hills, facilities include simpler drop toilets and bush showers (with buckets of water). Simple yet tasty meals are cooked barbeque-style on each campsite per the itinerary, and everyone is expected to pitch in with cooking, cleaning, shopping etc, making camp chores easier. When the whole group participates it's quicker, easier, and more fun!


Day 1: Nairobi

Check in, your central Nairobi hotel and then spend your day at leisure. In the evening, meet your guide and other group members during a welcome meeting and dinner, and learn about the finer details of your itinerary.

Overnight: 3-star Kivi Milimani Hotel in Nairobi

Day 2: Nairobi – Lake Nakuru (B, L, D)

Check out of your hotel after breakfast and travel northwest by air-conditioned minibus to Lake Nakuru National Park, an area of forests and bushy grasslands that surround the flamingo-filled Lake Nakuru. After traveling for roughly four hours, check in to your campsite and freshen up in time for your afternoon activities.

First stop is New Hope Children’s Centre, an orphanage that assists the less fortunate Kenyan children. If you have brought anything with you to give the children (such as toys, books or crayons), hand them over to the proprietor, and then play with the children or help out around the center, if you wish.

Travel back to the campsite and head out on an evening game drive to see the wildlife around the lake. Look out for members of the Big Five, as well as both the black and white rhinos, for which the park is famous. Return to your lodge in time for dinner.

Overnight: Lake Nakaru Nderit Camp near Lake Nakuru

Day 3: Lake Nakuru– Lake Naivasha (B, L, D)

Meet your guide after breakfast, check out and travel to a nearby village for a walking tour that showcases the cultural aspects of village life in Kenya. Meet friendly locals, browse the shops and learn about day-to-day life in the village. Then, relax in your minibus on the journey west to Lake Naivasha, roughly 3-4 hours away. After checking in to your camp, spend the rest of your afternoon and evening at leisure.

Overnight: Cray Fish Camp near Lake Naivasha

Day 4: Lake Naivasha (B, L, D)

Enjoy breakfast and then spend your day doing whatever you please. Perhaps head out on an excursion to nearby Hell’s Gate National Park. With a large population of herbivores like zebras and gazelles, the park is one of the rare Kenyan nature reserves where it’s safe to walk around inside.

Other optional activities around Lake Naivasha include bike hire, a boat ride or a guided walk around nearby Crater Lake Game Sanctuary – a lake on the site of a dormant volcano. As you walk around with a ranger, look out for ibis, lovebirds, colobus monkeys, hippos, and enjoy close up encounters with giraffes and antelopes.

All excursions and activities are payable at your own expense on this day.

Overnight: Cray Fish Camp near Lake Naivasha

Day 5: Lake Naivasha – Loita Hills (B, L, D)

Leave your hotel after breakfast and hop inside your minibus for the journey to Loita Hills. Before traveling out of the area, stop in the town of Naivasha to do some shopping and enjoy lunch (own expense).

Then, relax on your 5-hour journey south, admiring the spectacular scenery of the Great Rift Valley on the way to the Loita Hills. The area is often said to be one of Kenya’s remaining true wilderness regions – a place that’s off the radar to most travelers. Typified by low-lying mountains, the countryside is home to the Masai tribe and evidence of their traditional culture is rife in their village communities.

After checking in to camp, head out to meet your Masai hosts at a neighboring village. As your guide translates, learn about different aspects of the Masai culture from their vibrant red dresses and use of elaborate jewelry, to their traditional dances and food. Take a look inside a typical Masai home and their cattle enclosures, where you can even help out with the milking, if you wish.

If you want to stay at the village for a little while longer, why not stop to see a traditional Masai warrior dance? Payment for the evening activity is at your own expense, but transport back to camp is provided whenever you wish to return.

Overnight: Loita Hills Camp in the Loita Hills

Day 6: Lake Naivasha – Masai Mara National Reserve (B, L, D)

Relax over breakfast and then leave camp for your journey southwest to the Masai Mara, a vast nature reserve that’s home to Africa’s Big Five as well as millions of wildebeest during the rainy season’s Great Migration (April – June).

Your journey passes along the floor of the Great Rift Valley and through the homelands of the Masai tribespeople. Learn all about them from your guide as you travel. On arrival, check in to your camp, and then head out on a game drive to explore the open plains and woodlands that comprise the world-famous park. Stop for lunch on the banks of the Mara River and look out for crocodiles and hippos. After dinner at the camp, spend the rest of your evening at leisure.

Overnight: Mountain Rock Camp on the boundary of Masai Mara

Day 7: Masai Mara National Reserve (B, L, D)

If you choose to experience a hot-air balloon ride over the Masai Mara (own expense), rise before dawn and travel to the outskirts of the camp. Watch your balloon inflate while listening to a quick safety briefing. Then, step inside your balloon’s basket and take to the skies with your pilot.

Have your camera ready to capture dramatic views of the Masai Mara while gliding through the early morning skies. Soar over the sweeping plains and watch the early morning movements of the teeming herds of animals. After roughly X hours in the air, touch down and return to your camp for breakfast. Spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Overnight: Mountain Rock Camp on the boundary of Masai Mara

Day 8: Masai Mara National Reserve –Nairobi (B)

Enjoy breakfast, and then leave the wilderness of the African bush for Nairobi. The journey takes approximately seven hours, including stops on the way. Onward flights from Nairobi should be booked for 4pm, at the earliest. Your 8-day tour finishes with a drop-off at Kivi Milimani Hotel and your guide can help organize onward airport transfers, should you need them (own expense).
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Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Minimum age is 18 years
  • On this trip it's compulsory to contribute to a kitty. The kitty is an on-ground payment put into a central fund and overseen by travelers and the crew. It helps fund accommodation, camp meals and some included activities. The kitty amount is usually 400 US dollars, however this is subject to change to reflect local price increases. See the trip notes link on booking voucher for more details
  • A moderate level of fitness is required for this trip
  • It is essential that you take out travel insurance to cover you for this trip, and you will need to be able to produce evidence of this on arrival to take part in the tour
  • Please provide details of any special dietary requirements at the time of booking, and remind the guide at your welcome meeting
  • Luggage size is restricted by the size of lockers in the overland vehicle, please ensure your bag is no larger than 26 inches (66cm) deep, 12 inches (30cm) wide, and 12 inches (30cm) high, and no heavier than 44lbs (20kg)
  • Check in to your hotel on day 1 is from 2pm, if you arrive before this time, you may be able to store your luggage but will not be able to check in to your room until 2pm
  • Accommodation is shared either in 2-person dome tents or rooms
  • Everyone is expected to participate and share duties whilst camping to make camp chores easier and more fun. The duties are shared out on a roster and include cooking, shopping, washing up etc.
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Cancellation Policy

If you cancel at least 56 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 25 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel within 30 day(s) of the scheduled departure, there is a 100 percent cancellation fee.

If you cancel between 31 and 55 day(s) in advance of the scheduled departure, there is a 50 percent cancellation fee.

Learn more about cancellations.

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