A fly-in safari is perfect for visitors to Kenya who have limited time to spare, or would simply like to add on a few nights to an existing trip. Conveniently these trips depart twice dayly from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport and include return flights, all transfers, meals, an English speaking driver-guide and 4×4 vehicles (apart from Sentrim lodges where game drives are conducted in minibuses) with a guaranteed window seat. For afternoon flight departures, itineraries will end with a morning game drive. Dates for any of these fly-in safaris can be tailored to suit your holiday itinerary (depending on availability obviously).
There are 2 reserves that you can choose to visit on these fly-in safaris from Nairobi.
1) Masai Mara
Masai Mara is one of Africa’s grandest wilderness areas and simply cannot be left out of a safari in Kenya. You will always see a wide variety of wildlife here, though the Big-5 and the migration are what most visitors come for. It is one of the best plains’ game reserves where you can actually encounter a live Discovery Channel experience, a haven for viewing a congregation of all sorts of animals in a five-mile radius.
The wildlife is abundant and the gentle rolling grasslands ensure that animals are never out of sight. The climate is gentle, rarely too hot and well-spread rainfall year round. Rainfalls generally occur during the late afternoon or night. Between July and October, when the great wildebeest migration is in the Masai Mara National Reserve, the sensation is unparalleled. Although there is much resident wildlife year round.
The Masai Mara National Reserve lies about 270 kilometers from Nairobi, and takes about 4 to 5 hours by road. There are scheduled flights, twice daily from Wilson Airport Nairobi, which take about 40 – 45 minutes, hence the added bonus of these fly-in safaris.
With the snowy peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop, Amboseli makes the perfect location for a short fly-in safari. Here one can always expect to see herds of elephant, Cape buffalo, giraffe, many varieties of plains game as well as a few predators.
The reserve lies some 240 kilometers south-east of Nairobi very close to the Tanzania border and it covers only 392 square kilometers. But despite its small size and its fragile ecosystem it supports a wide range of mammals, well over 50 of the larger species, and birds with over 400 species. A part of Amboseli is composed of a dried-up lake-bed that in the shimmering heat produces mirages. Swamps and springs, fed by underground rivers from Mount Kilimanjaro’s melting snows, form permanent watering places for the wildlife through times of drought.
There are estimated to be around 650 elephants, the largest number in all of Kenyan parks and reserves per square kilometer. The swamps and springs have encouraged the hippos to stay, and other animals include wildebeest, antelopes, zebras, giraffes, gerenuks, gazelles, and buffalos to name a few.
Your typical fly-in safari itinerary will be as follows:
DAY 1 Nairobi – Masai Mara / Amboseli
Guests will be collected early from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (or a city hotel) and transferred to Wilson Airport for the scheduled flight to the Masai Mara / Amboseli. Flight departs Nairobi at 10:00hrs (08:15 for Amboseli) and arrives at approximately 11:00hrs into Masai Mara (08:55 for Amboseli). Upon arrival, you will be met by a guide from camp/lodge and drive to the camp/lodge. Following lunch, there will be an afternoon game drive returning to camp as the sun sets. If you arrive in the afternoon, you will be transferred to the camp or lodge. Overnight at your Masai Mara / Amboseli camp/lodge on a full board basis.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 2 Masai Mara / Amboseli
Rising at dawn with tea and coffee, then a game drive before breakfast, catching the animals before the heat of the day sets in. Rest of the morning at leisure, and then further game drives in the afternoon before returning to the camp as the sun sets.
Overnight at your Masai Mara / Amboseli camp/lodge on a full board basis.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 3 Masai Mara / Amboseli – Nairobi
Following an early morning game drive and breakfast, there will be a transfer back to the airstrip for the scheduled flight to Nairobi. Flight departs Mara at 11:00hrs (09:05 for Amboseli) and arrives into Nairobi at 12:15hrs (09:50 for Amboseli). Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your Nairobi hotel where the safari ends. For those who arrive after lunch on Day 1, there will be morning activities on the last day before returning to Nairobi late afternoon.
There are a huge variety of camps and lodges in both the Masai Mara and Amboseli catering for different needs and budgets.
Prices are seasonal, but you can get a 3 day fly-in safari package for as little as US$ 745 per person sharing in low season (01 April to 31 May) for one of the cheaper camps, up to US$ 2570 per person sharing for a more exclusive and luxurious camp in high season (29 June to 31 October).
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