Itinerary – Nikon Kenya Competition 2018

11 May 2019 – Day 1

On arrival in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative and transferred by private vehicle to your hotel for the night. Depending on your arrival time, the remainder of your day is at leisure.

Enjoy dinner at the Manor with the rest of your group – don’t be surprised if the resident giraffes pop their head in through the window to share your meal with you!

Accommodation: Villa Rosa Kempinski
Meals included: Dinner

12 May 2019 – Day 2

This morning you will transfer to the Nairobi’s Wilsons Airport for your flight to the Maasai Mara. Upon arrival in the Maasai Mara, one of Africa’s greatest parks, you will be met by our Sanctuary Olonana guide who will transfer you to the camp. It’s only a short 15-minute drive, but it is not uncommon to be rewarded with sightings of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and a host of other plains game – so have your camera at the ready.

You will stay in exceptional new suites, at least 130 sqm in size, that are so comfortable that you’ll be forgiven for being tempted to stay in. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors unfold to reveal magnificent Mara River views, a king-sized bed, with overhead fans, and a daybed on the deck invite you to relax inside or out. The sprawling lower lounge area offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

The main dining room and veranda command a dramatic stretch of the Mara River providing the perfect setting for breakfast, afternoon tea and after-dinner stargazing.

Sanctuary Olonana
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

13 May 2019 – Day 3

After breakfast at the camp, it’s time to explore the Masai Mara with your guide. The Mara is a fabulous place for seeing big cats and all of the big five game animals, as well as a variety of plains game and over 300 bird species. The plains offer a rich variety of food for the dominant predators including lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah. Spot elephants browsing amongst the large herds of wildebeest and topi, eland and buffalo, Thompson’s and Grant’s gazelle. In the Mara River, hippos submerge to snort and grumble while crocodiles sunbathe, mouths agape, on the riverbanks.

After an exciting game activity, you can relax by the pool or revitalise at the mini-spa which offers a range of treatments from facials to body massages.

This afternoon you head out on an afternoon game drive – another opportunity to see more of the incredible wildlife. A pod of hippos lives permanently in the river just below camp and many other species come to drink there. Sanctuary’s experienced guides take you to all the hidden spots and our customised open safari vehicles offer all-round views, allowing for excellent photography opportunities. The Mara’s rich ecosystem includes acacia-studded savannah, riparian forest and woodland which attract more than 300 bird species and a stunning variety of animal life all year round.

At the end of the day, enjoy dinner back at the camp.

Accommodation: Sanctuary Olonana
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

14 May 2019 – DAY 4

Enjoy another full day exploring the Masai Mara including a sunrise hot air balloon safari over the seemingly endless plains.

Float gently over the landscape with a bird’s eye view of the game below as the sun rises slowly over the horizon. After around one hour the balloon lands and nearby a full breakfast is served in the middle of the bush with glasses of champagne to toast your flight!

Back at the camp there are many different activities available for you to enjoy. You can choose to walk with our naturalist and learn about plants, trees, insects and even how to approach animals on foot, as your guide shows you how to spot animal signs which are everywhere but not easily noticed.

Sanctuary Olonana has earned a Gold Award from Ecotourism Kenya. You can visit the wetlands which cleanses wastewater before returning it to the natural environment or take part in our tree planting initiative which offers an opportunity to purchase and paint an indigenous tree, leaving a positive mark on a piece of Africa.

Accommodation: Sanctuary Olonana
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

15 May 2019 – DAY 5

Get an insight into the vibrant and still traditional way of life of the Maasai. Learn about the medicinal plants that grow here, the importance of cattle and the stages of life through which all Maasai pass, from young boy or girl to respected elder.

Accompanied by an experienced Maasai guide, you are invited to visit the village which is built along traditional lines – complete with cattle enclosure, outer palisade and mud and cow dung huts. Meet the elders, their wives and families and learn about the social structure of the homestead, the role of women in their society and many more aspects of their daily life. Interaction and discussion with the locals is encouraged, so whether the ladies are building a hut, the warriors are dancing or making fire with stones and sticks, guests are free to join in.

On your last evening, your guide will drive you out into the bush where a private and secluded clearing has been prepared for an elegant dinner in the middle of the wilderness. The table setting is as sophisticated and elegant as found in the finest restaurants.

Candles flicker in the darkness, throwing golden lights on the table cloth as smiling waiters serve a delicious dinner. After dinner, retire to the warmth of the campfire where brandies and liqueurs are served as you absorb the peace and beauty of an African night.

Accommodation: Sanctuary Olonana
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

16 May 2019 – DAY 6

You have the option of going out on one last game drive or relaxing in the camp and enjoying the views from the deck.

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airstrip for your scheduled flight to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Upon arrival at Wilson you will be met by a Sanctuary Retreats representative and transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your onward flight.

Meals included: Breakfast