Kenya Born Free Safari

Explore & Discover

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Kenya Born Free Safari

This unique safari journeys to the places at the heart of Born Free’s rich history and current works. The captivating story of Elsa the lioness as told by Joy Adamson – and later in the movie Born Free – changed the world’s view of wild animals and conservation, and here you’ll have the extraordinary opportunity to experience it for yourself. What's more, you’ll be contributing directly to the Born Free Foundation.

• Shaba: 1 night
• Meru: 2 nights
• Nairobi: 1 night
• Amboseli: 2 nights

7nights Safari
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This unique safari journeys to the places at the heart of Born Free’s rich history and current works. The captivating story of Elsa the lioness as told by Joy Adamson – and later in the movie Born Free – changed the world’s view of wild animals and conservation, and here you’ll have the opportunity to experience it for yourself. What’s more, you’ll be contributing directly to the Born Free Foundation.

• Nairobi: 1 night

• Amboseli: 2 nights

• Meru: 2 nights

• Shaba: 1 night

7nights Safari
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
ITINERARY

Day 1: UK to Nairobi Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Nairobi.

Day 2: Nairobi to Shaba
On arrival in Nairobi, you’ll waste no time in heading straight for Born Free territory. A six-hour drive will transport you to Shaba National Park – a small lesser-visited reserve in the north of the country, and the place where Joy Adamson – conservationist and author of Born Free – lived a fascinating life. En route, you’ll have lunch at the Trout Tree Restaurant near Mount Kenya for an interesting dining experience within and around a huge fig tree! Once you arrive in Shaba, you’ll embark on a game drive towards the elegant oasis of Joy’s Camp. Shaba is dry country, similar to nearby Samburu, and wildlife here includes the Grevy’s zebra and gerenuk, as well as abundant birdlife. With just ten tents, Joy’s Camp overlooks a natural spring and is built on the site of Joy Adamson’s tented home. This is the area where Joy reintroduced Penny the leopard into the wild and where she lived for many years until her death in 1980; there’s a small gallery here telling her life story. An esteemed Elewana-managed property, the camp is environmentally aware and works with the local community to share with its guests the secrets of a wild, forgotten area; and for Adamson admirers and Born Free fans, it’s a place full of romance and nostalgia. Stay: Joy’s Camp. L, D.

Day 3: Shaba to Meru Head out on an early game drive in the Shaba National Reserve before returning to the camp for breakfast. A mid-morning game drive provides another opportunity to see the reserve’s fascinating landscapes. After lunch, continue to Meru National Park, the historic home of Elsa the lioness. It was here that Joy and George Adamson returned Elsa to the wild. Encounter a true wilderness experience on a private game drive through the park’s diverse landscape dominated by huge baobab trees. This little-visited and unspoilt park is also home to the exclusive Elsa’s Kopje – an elegant and secluded safari lodge with spectacular views. Opened by Virginia McKenna in 1999, this eco-friendly lodge is sculpted into the hill above George Adamson’s first campsite – the place where he raised and released orphaned lions. Stay: Elsa’s Kopje. B, L, D.

Day 4: Meru Enjoy a traditional bush breakfast arranged by the lodge. Explore this beautiful park further on three game drives, during which you may spot black rhino, cheetah, leopard and rare antelope amongst other African wildlife. You will also make a visit to the site of Elsa’s grave. Stay: Elsa’s Kopje. B, L, D.

Day 5: Meru to Nairobi After an early breakfast at the lodge, begin the seven-hour drive to Nairobi with a picnic lunch en route, arriving late afternoon. Here you’ll have the rest of the day and evening at leisure, giving you the chance to relax in the comfortable Nairobi Serena Hotel and the choice of dining at the hotel or venturing out to a local restaurant. Stay: Nairobi Serena Hotel. B, L.

Day 6: Nairobi to Amboseli Today take a leisurely breakfast before being met by a Born Free representative to accompany your visit to the world-famous Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Spend some time with the elephants as they are fed by staff, who are also on hand to answer any questions and talk about their experiences with these rescued baby elephants. Having visited historic properties central to the Born Free story over the last few days, enjoy lunch before moving on to the second part of the itinerary to see the Foundation’s current work in action. After lunch at Pampa Grill, travel on to Amboseli National Park, where a game drive en route to Ol Tukai Lodge provides the opportunity to spot large herds of elephant, cheetah and buffalo against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Ol Tukai Lodge has some of the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro, plus chalet-style rooms and an open-air bar. Stay: Ol Tukai Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 7: Amboseli After breakfast, visit the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP); the research arm of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE). Born Free provides funding for the AERP through the elephant adoption packages that it sells. A short talk from an AERP representative will explain the work of the trust as well as the research projects being undertaken. As a result of their work, the park’s 1,500 elephants are amongst the most studied large mammal population in the world, with the knowledge gained helping to conserve them, the park and the surrounding ecosystems. This afternoon, visit Ol Moti School, supported by Born Free (you may like to bring small gifts for the children such as pens and books). Funds raised so far have enabled the school to expand from just 74 children in 2004 to educating more than 365 children today, with new dormitories, classrooms and toilets. Stay: Ol Tukai Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 8: Amboseli to Nairobi This morning you’ll visit one of the lion-proof Maasai bomas created by Born Free in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service. Amboseli is a region of high human-wildlife conflict, with lions destroying livestock, and the local community destroying the lions in return. Typically, Kenyan livestock is held in enclosures made of thorn bushes. The problem with these enclosures is that lions can find a way through the bushes and are then able to drag out cattle and goats to feed on. The difference with a lion-proof boma is that it is constructed of chain fences around the homestead, enclosing the families and their livestock. The thick mesh is able to prevent night-time attacks from lions on the hunt and, so far, this method – piloted in Amboseli – has proved to be 100% lion proof. Return to Nairobi with a picnic lunch en route, and enjoy the comfort of a day room at the Eka Hotel before your return flight to the UK, arriving the following day. B, L.

Kuoni & the Born Free Foundation
The Born Free Foundation was established by husband and wife actors, Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, who were inspired by their time in Kenya making the big screen adaptation of conservationist Joy Adamson’s best-selling book, Born Free. Joy’s book (and the subsequent film) was a real-life tale of her and husband George’s magical relationship with Elsa, an orphaned lioness that was hand-reared and then re-released back into the Kenyan bush. Kuoni has a long-standing relationship with Born Free – it’s been one of our chosen charities for over ten years and we support a number of its projects. Born Free helps fight the plight of wild animal suffering worldwide, and it needs to raise at least £3 million each year to fund its causes. Born Free believes that wildlife belongs in the wild, and we do too.


Stay longer

Kenya beach 3 nights

Fly to the vibrant city of Mombasa – gateway to Kenya’s tranquil coast, which has a diverse blend of cultures and over 300 miles of beaches stretching from the small town of Malindi in the north to the dazzling white sands of Diani in the south. The warm, clear waters are excellent for snorkelling and diving, and watersports include windsurfing and waterskiing. Popular with both families and honeymooners, the choice of accommodation ranges from good value hotels to luxury all-inclusive resorts.

Zanzibar beach 3 nights

Fly to Zanzibar’s palm-fringed beaches, which are lapped by warm Indian Ocean waters and regularly voted amongst the world’s best. It’s the perfect tonic following a safari. Spend your days simply soaking up the sun, enjoying pampering spa treatments, trying your hand at watersports and snorkelling amongst the colourful corals.

Day 1: UK to Nairobi Depart the UK on your flight to Nairobi. On arrival, transfer to the Nairobi Serena Hotel for a comfortable night ahead of your safari the following day.

Day 2: Nairobi to Amboseli Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before your visit to the world-famous Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Spend some time with the elephants as they are fed by staff, who are also on hand to answer any questions and talk about their experiences with these rescued baby elephants. After lunch at Pampa Grill, travel on to Amboseli National Park. A Born Free representative will join you during your time in Amboseli. A game drive en route to Ol Tukai Lodge provides the opportunity to spot large herds of elephant, cheetah and buffalo against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. Ol Tukai Lodge has some of the best views of Mount Kilimanjaro, plus chalet-style rooms and an open-air bar. Tonight there’ll be a welcome dinner for you and your group. Approx. journey time: 3 hours. Stay: Ol Tukai Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 3: Amboseli After breakfast, visit the Amboseli Elephant Research Project (AERP); the research arm of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE). Born Free provides funding for the AERP through the elephant adoption packages that it sells. A short talk from an AERP representative will explain the work of the trust as well as the research projects being undertaken. As a result of their work, the park’s 1500 elephants are amongst the most studied large mammal population in the world, with the knowledge gained helping to conserve them, the park and the surrounding ecosystems. This afternoon, visit Ol Moti School, supported by Born Free (you may like to bring small gifts for the children such as pens and books). Funds raised so far have enabled the school to expand from just 74 children in 2004 to educating more than 365 children today, with new dormitories, classrooms and toilets. Then visit one of the lion-proof Maasai bomas created by Born Free in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service. Amboseli is a region of high human-wildlife conflict, with lions destroying livestock, and the local community destroying the lions in return. Typically, Kenyan livestock is held in enclosures made of thorn bushes. The problem with these enclosures is that lions can find a way through the bushes and are then able to drag out cattle and goats to feed on. The difference with a lion-proof boma is that it is constructed of chain fences around the homestead, enclosing the families and their livestock. The thick mesh is able to prevent night-time attacks from lions on the hunt and, so far, this method – piloted in Amboseli – has proved to be 100% lion proof. Stay: Ol Tukai Lodge. B, L, D.

Day 4: Amboseli to Meru Having seen the Born Free Foundation’s current work in action over the last few days, you’ll now move on to the second part of the itinerary to stay at historic properties central to the Born Free story. Have an early breakfast before boarding a light aircraft flight to Nairobi followed by another short flight on to Meru National Park, the historic home of Elsa the lioness. It was here that Joy and George Adamson returned Elsa to the wild. On a game drive through the diverse landscape dominated by huge baobab trees you’ll have the opportunity to visit a de-snaring project, where you’ll hear about the efforts that go into removing traps set by poachers. Elsa’s Kopje is the only lodge in this lovely park, which was once nearly turned into rice plantations due to its lack of visitors, and as such offers secluded wildlife viewing, with the guides knowing every corner of this diverse habitat. Opened by Virginia McKenna in 1999, this eco-friendly lodge is sensitively sculpted into the hill above George Adamson’s first campsite – the place where he raised and released orphaned lions. Rooms are stunning open-fronted stone cottages with thatched roofs and glorious views over the plains. Stay: Elsa’s Kopje. B, L, D.

Day 5: Meru A special bush breakfast will be arranged for you this morning by the lodge. Then you’ll have the opportunity to explore the park further on three game drives, during which you might spot cheetah, leopard and rare antelope amongst other African wildlife. You’ll also see the site of Elsa’s grave and visit Meru’s rhino sanctuary – a secure area within the park providing safe habitat for around 40 white rhino and 20 black rhino. The sanctuary fights against poaching and works hard to change the belief that the rhino horn has any medicinal value. Stay: Elsa’s Kopje. B, L, D.

Day 6: Meru to Shaba Head out on a guided bush walk from the camp up to Mughwango Hill to take in the panoramic views, including the snowcapped peak of Mount Kenya. Leave Meru and drive on to Shaba National Reserve – a small lesser-visited reserve in the north of the country, and the place where Joy Adamson – conservationist and author of Born Free – lived a fascinating life. Once you arrive in Shaba, you’ll embark on a game drive towards the elegant oasis of Joy’s Camp. Shaba is dry country, similar to nearby Samburu, and wildlife here includes the Grevy’s zebra and gerenuk, as well as abundant birdlife. Joy’s Camp overlooks a natural spring and is built on the site of Joy’s tented home. This is the area where she reintroduced Penny the leopard into the wild and where she lived for many years until her death in 1980. There’s a small gallery here telling her life story. The camp is environmentally aware and works with the local community to share the secrets of a wild, forgotten area; and for Adamson admirers and Born Free fans, it’s a place full of romance and nostalgia. You’ll sleep under canvas in one of the ten stylish tented suites. Approx. journey time: 4 hours. Stay: Joy’s Camp. L, D.

Day 7: Shaba to Nairobi Return to Nairobi on a light aircraft flight and enjoy the comfort of a day room at the Eka Hotel before your return flight to the UK, arriving the following day. B, L.


Stay longer

Kenya beach 3 nights

Fly to the vibrant city of Mombasa – gateway to Kenya’s tranquil coast, which has a diverse blend of cultures and over 300 miles of beaches stretching from the small town of Malindi in the north to the dazzling white sands of Diani in the south. The warm, clear waters are excellent for snorkelling and diving, and watersports include windsurfing and waterskiing. Popular with both families and honeymooners, the choice of accommodation ranges from good value hotels to luxury all-inclusive resorts.

Zanzibar beach 3 nights

Fly to Zanzibar’s palm-fringed beaches, which are lapped by warm Indian Ocean waters and regularly voted amongst the world’s best. It’s the perfect tonic following a safari. Spend your days simply soaking up the sun, enjoying pampering spa treatments, trying your hand at watersports and snorkelling amongst the colourful corals.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

If you have an interest in animal welfare and want to support a wildlife charity whilst discovering the romance of its history and the realism of its current work, you’ll find this safari enlightening and unforgettable.

Good to know

• Maximum group size 8 guests
• This safari will only operate with a minimum number of participants
• Minimum age 16 years
• Luggage must be in soft bags – try to pack lightly.

What to expect

• A combination of education and enjoyment
• A long drive on arrival to take you straight to the heart of Born Free country
• The first couple of days relaxing in properties rich in Born Free history
• The latter half of the tour providing an up-close insight into the works of Born Free.

Is this for you?

If you want to discover some of Kenya’s most fascinating national parks and have an interest in animal welfare, you’ll find this safari enlightening and unforgettable.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 7
• A maximum of 6 guests per vehicle
• Luggage must be in soft bags weighing a maximum of 15kg.

What to expect

• The first half of the tour provides an up-close insight into the works of Born Free
• The last few days relaxing in properties rich in Born Free history
• Light aircraft flights to cover longer distances
• Time to get to know your group and guide
• A relaxed and informal environment; casual, comfortable clothing is fine even in the evenings.

Accomodation on tour

Enjoy boutique accommodation with stays at two Elewana-managed properties. Elsa’s Kopje is an elegant safari lodge sculpted into the hill above George Adamson’s first campsite, and Joy’s Camp sits on the site of Joy Adamson’s tented home. Both include all the little extras that enhance a safari experience.

Single travellers

Single supplement from £592

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2016 Apr 10; Aug 07; Nov 06

Included in price

• A range of accommodation including authentic safari lodges and camps
• Born Free guide from Days 6-8
• Visits to Born Free projects
• Bottled water on safari
• Park fees
• A contribution to the Born Free Foundation
• Day room in Nairobi before your return flight
• Most meals – including some at local restaurants. Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Tour dates

2017 Jun 11

2018 Jun 10

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local driver/guides
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• 4x4 safari vehicles exclusively for Kuoni customers, with guaranteed window seats
• Park fees
• Guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• All specified flights.

Kenya Born Free Safari

Why Kuoni?

• Experience the work of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project
• Visit a school supported by Born Free
• Learn about lion-proof bomas
• Lunch at the Trout Tree Restaurant
• Stay at the iconic properties of Elsa’s Kopje and Joy’s Camp, fundamental to the Born Free story
• Meet representatives from the Born Free Foundation
• Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.

Why Kuoni?

This unique small group safari offers the opportunity to get close to animal conservation in Kenya today. By providing an insight into the work of the Born Free Foundation, with a Born Free guide accompanying you on Days 2-3 plus visits to the Amboseli Elephant Research Project, a rhino sanctuary and lion-proof boma, there’s an extra conservation focus for wildlife lovers, followed by a more relaxed experience at two beautiful camps.

2017 departures

Request a Journeys 2017 brochure or view online