ELEPHANT & GIRAFFE SAFARI with Delta Willis Sample Itinerary for 2019
Exclusive to 8 Travelers
Your safari begins with 2 nights in the Nairobi surburb of Karen, named after Out of Africa author Karen Blixen, with a visit to the AFEW Giraffe Center, Blixen’s home, and a walk with elephant calves at Sheldrick Orphange.
Safari package includes elegant Tortillas Camp beneath the snows of Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park with a lecture by Cynthia Moss’ Research Team, women who have studied these elephants for decades.
Delta Willis, a member of The Explorers Club and Chief Contributor to the Fodor’s Guides to Kenya & Tanzania for two decades, visited East Africa 37 times before settling on the edge of the AFEW Giraffe Sanctuary in Karen, Kenya. She will introduce you to Rothschild giraffe, which you can hand feed, and a few of the 30 orphan elephants at the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Your adoption of one for $50 a year will provide a special late afternoon visit as they walk to their stables to sleep overnight with their African keepers-Yes, a job we all envy.
Your adoption also allows use of the Ithumba Camp in Tsavo East National Park, where orphans are returned to the wild. You will hear how some have bred with wild elephants, and return to camp to show their young to people who cared for them.
See other wildlife in Tsavo, with 500 species of birds including ostrich, African hornbills , and the Secretary bird who carries a quill in her tail. You may also see lion, leopard, or cheetah.
In Amboseli, Tortilis Camp offers a view of Kilimanjaro, excellent cuisine, and a swimming pool. After two nights in Amboseli, take a scheduled small plane back to Wilson Airport, on the southern edge of Nairobi. From here transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, or extend your stay, connecting with a regional flight to Lamu on the Indian Ocean Coast, or up to Lewa, near Mt Kenya where you can ride horseback among the giraffe.
On October 28, 2018, Kenya Airways begins direct flights from JFK to Nairobi’s JKIA.
If you prefer to break your journey in London or Amsterdam, British Airways and KLM have frequent flights to Nairobi JKIA. According to the New York Times, Kenya tourism bookings have soared by 15% for December, 2018, and if you want to book The Giraffe Manor, plan a year in advance.
Tourist visas to Kenya can be secured online; print out your receipt and carry it with your passport. http://evisa.go.ke/single-entry-visa.html
Day 1-3: Hemingway’s or Giraffe Manor Karen, Kenya
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), clear customs into Kenya, collect your bags and exit the Arrivals hall where you will be met by Delta Willis or a representative who will transfer you to your hotel where you will spend two nights on bed and breakfast basis.
Day One: Late afternoon visit the orphan elephants, then Delta Willis’ home for Sundowners and Bitings (catered hors-d’ouvres.) Day Two, visit the AFEW Giraffe Center, the Karen Blixen Museum, and perhaps Nairobi National Park to look for rhino (additional park fees apply $43 per person.) You may opt instead for a return to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage for the 11AM mud bath to hear stories about the rescue of individual orphans. Then go for lunch at MatBronze, café and art gallery.
White rhino mother and calf with Nairobi skyline
Day 3-5: Ithumba Camp, Tsavo East National Park
After breakfast, you will be met by your driver/guide and transferred to Wilson Airport for your charter flight to Tsavo East National Park and Ithumba Camp where you will be for the next two nights on self catering basis.
This land is one of parched grandeur, where elephants dust themselves with local soil, a beautiful terra cotta red. Tsavo (pronounced Sav-O) remains home to some of Africa’s biggest tuskers. David Sheldrick was game warden for this park; your experience will be enriched by reading Dame Daphne Sheldrick’s autobiography.
At Ithumba Camp, above the Galana River, there may be an opportunity to talk with rangers who tend the orphans if it does not interfere with their work. There are two guides at the camp who can tell you stories about individual elephants. Because you have your own vehicle, you can go on game drives to see other wildlife; early in the morning and evening is ideal. More about this simple camp online http://www.tsavonationalpark.co.ke/david-sheldrick-elephant-trust-ithumba-safari-camp-tsavo-east-national-park-kenya-africa.html
Day 5-7: Tortilis Camp, Amboseli National Park
After breakfast, depart for Amboseli National Park with a game drive in Tsavo, then circumvent the Chyulu Hills. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain 5895m (19,340 ft.) feeds the Amboseli swamps with its melting snows and glaciers. Enjoy a swim before Sundowners. This camp was Italian owned, reflected in the menu.
Your second day in Amboseli will include a visit to the Amboseli Research Camp founded by Cynthia Moss. Dr. Joyce Poole did her pioneering work here on elephant communications, and Dr. Vicki Fishlock continues to make discoveries, making Amboseli Trust for Elephants the top contributor to much of what is known about African elephant behavior today. We may have a private meeting with Dr. Moss based on her availability.
Amboseli is also great for birdlife, zebra, and hippo.
If you want to know how wild elephants talk to each other, read this http://deltawillis.com/how-to-watch-elephants/
In Amboseli you will see a different species of giraffe, named after the Maasai people. Its pattern is unlike the Rothschild’s, which has “white knee socks” no pattern below the knee. Because it is February, you may also see many newborn, including baby zebra.
Day 7: Depart Amboseli
Bid Kwaheri (Farewell) to beautiful Kenya and all the elephants who have captured your heart. You will receive updates on your orphan after you return home.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airstrip for your flight back to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport, arriving at 13H15, or 1:15pm. At Wilson Airport you will be met and transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your international flight back to the USA. If your check-in time permits (after 5pm) your driver can make shopping stops at Langata Link or Utamaduni. Both have cafes for a light lunch, and can ship your purchases to the USA.
EXTEND YOUR STAY Why are you leaving? As long as you’ve crossed the pond, Delta Willis recommends the ancient Swahili coastal town of Lamu, and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy near Mt. Kenya. With 4 or more people, you can rent a private beach house. There’s yoga, wind surfing, fresh seafood.
* Contact Delta Willis
Your Safari price* INCLUDES:
Professional meet and greet at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Private taxi transfer from JKIA to the House of Waine, in Karen suburb of Nairobi.
Two nights at the House of Waine, including breakfast. (Excellent restaurants nearby include The Talisman, MatBronze.)
Full day with private vehicle including entry fees to the Giraffe Center and Karen Blixen Museum.
Private charter plane from Wilson Airport to Tsavo East National Park.
Two nights in Tsavo at Ithumba Camp on a self-catering basis; (A cook will prepare meals and clean up; your guide will buy supplies; you can request certain items (the excellent Tusker beer, fresh mangos, pineapple, goat cheese, steel-cut oatmeal, fine wines from South Africa or Italy-Kenya has it all, but no plastic bags!
Driver and 4WD vehicle transfer from Tsavo to Amboseli.
Two nights in Amboseli National Park at Tortilis Camp including all meals
Scheduled flight from Amboseli airstrip to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport
Private taxi transfer from Wilson Airport to JKIA
All park fees, including Ithumba Park, Amboseli National Park, and Lecture by a team member of Amboseli Trust for Elephants, founded by Cynthia Moss , plus coverage for medical rescue by the Flying Doctors of AMREF.
International flights to/from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya
Tours /activities not included such as Nairobi National Park
Drinks, extra meals, gratuities and all items of a personal nature, including medical and anti-malaria.
Camps and lodges generally cater for dietary requirements.
You must have a current passport, valid for six month after your return home. Please ensure it has at least two blank pages for stamps/visas. If it does not, you may be denied access into the country or on the plane.
US passport holders require a visa to enter Kenya, must be obtained online prior to departure at https://www.kenyaembassy.com/dcservices/appforvisaonline.aspx currently US$ 50 per person
It is a condition of Pulse Africa that travellers have their own insurance for cancellation, curtailment, medical expenses, baggage loss and default arrangements. Please note that Pulse Africa (Pty) Ltd cannot be held responsible for any costs incurred as a result of airline delays. Pulse Africa is usually able to offer insurance at an additional cost. Please contact Sandi Elkington at Pulse Africa. firstname.lastname@example.org
You will receive a detailed booklet with travel and health tips in advance, along with vouchers for all your lodging and flights. As for What To Pack
A Pulse Africa colleague at the Giraffe Center with her son