Safari & Archipelago Two Worlds
Masai Mara | Lamu, Kenya’s tropical castaway island
An 8 nights / 9 days adventure combining Kenya’s most renowned wilderness and an idyllic adventure into another world. Combine ancient culture with elegant luxury at Saruni Mara, Saruni Wild & The Majlis Hotel.
All inclusive from US$4,235 per person sharing, Valid from 3rd January-19th December 2018
Including: All-inclusive accommodation (Full board accommodation including soft drinks, beers, house wines and select non-luxury spirits), one complimentary Back & Neck massage (30 min) per room per stay at our Wellbeing Space, airport assistance, temporary Flying Doctors cover, shared day & night game drives in 4x4 vehicles, guided bush walks, bush meals, sundowner & picnic excursions, limited laundry service, cultural visits transfers, all internal flights and return airstrip transfers, conservation fees, VAT & taxes.
THE MAJLIS HOTEL
Including: Full Board accommodation breakfast, lunch, dinner from our à la carte restaurant, return motor boat Manda Airstrip transfers, bottled water, mini bar (filled on request), complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and kayaking.
The unforgettable experience of combining the best Kenyan savannah with an archipelago paradise hidden in a charming corner of the Indian Ocean.
This itinerary takes you from the heart of the wilderness in the Masai Mara to the exquisite natural beauty found in the long white-sand beaches, rolling dunes, lush mangroves and turquoise seas of the Lamu archipelago, where the atmosphere is still that of an Oriental tale like One Thousand and One Nights.
After enjoying the dense and diverse wildlife of the Masai Mara ecosystem, you immerse yourself in the richness of history and turn back time in a magical island that is the oldest continuously inhabited Swahili settlement on the East African coast, welcomed by smiling faces into a culture that flows in peaceful harmony with the ocean and the seasonal monsoon winds.
Saruni Samburu’s six luxury villas are open and spacious, heralding spectacular views over Kenya’s Northern Frontier District and Mount Kenya in the distance. The warm and welcoming hospitality makes for an intimate and exceptional experience. The lodge is revered for its innovative, eco-chic architecture and interesting design and décor, as well as its Italian-inspired cuisine. Guests can enjoy the vast panoramas from the dining and lounge area, the infinity pool and the Samburu Wellbeing Space. Saruni Samburu is the only lodge in Kalama Conservancy, which borders Samburu National Reserve, with 200,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness to explore and enjoy exclusively. You are guided from start to finish by Samburu warriors who are passionate about their land and their culture, learning first-hand about their fascinating customs and traditions and gaining ancient, local knowledge about the land and the animals – a truly authentic experience.
Activities and amenities: day and night game drives, photographic hide, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, Samburu Wellbeing Space treatments (payable extra), picnics, two swimming pools, helicopter excursions (payable extra), Samburu cultural visits (payable extra), Saruni Shop.
Saruni Mara has one family villa, one private villa and five elegant cottages, and is the only small boutique lodge in the Mara, making it very intimate and exclusive. The beautifully decorated themed rooms have a luxurious and classic safari feel. The lodge is tucked away in a secluded valley in the private Mara North Conservancy, a prime and private game viewing area, which borders the Masai Mara National Reserve – the most renowned wildlife park in Africa. Enjoy the Italian-inspired cuisine and being immersed in nature from your private verandah, the Maasai Wellbeing Space and the open lounge and dining area. Maasai warriors will guide you throughout your stay, sharing their ancient wisdom and local knowledge of the area and the animals, their way of life and their secret corners of the most loved wildlife reserve in Kenya.
- Activities and amenities: day and night game drives, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, Maasai Wellbeing Space treatments (payable extra), picnics, library, balloon safaris (payable extra), Saruni Shop.
Saruni Wild is a tented camp elegantly and comfortably furnished with all the necessary luxuries of a wild yet classic safari. The camp is located in the heart of the Masai Mara plains, on the border between Lemek Conservancy and Mara North Conservancy. Surrounded by tens of thousands acres of pristine, untouched wilderness, the camp has the most classic Masai Mara setting. The wildlife thrive right next to its tents. Enjoy endless views, fire-lit meals under the vast African sky, guided game drives led by Maasai warriors.
Activities and amenities: day and night game drives, bush meals, guided walks, birdwatching, Maasai Wellbeing Space treatments (payable extra), picnics, library, balloon safaris (payable extra), Saruni Shop.
The Majlis Hotel
Set on the idyllic Manda Island in the Lamu archipelago on Kenya’s Northern Coast, The Majlis is a luxury 25 room boutique hotel with the ambiance, comfort and intimacy of a private home. A unique blend of contemporary and traditional styles, The Majlis offers the very best of Lamu. With a superb beachfront location and breathtaking views over the Ras Kitau bay and Shela village, it presents the perfect setting and ideal position from which to explore the region. The Majlis blends seamlessly with its island surroundings, making use of the area’s natural resources and traditions including hand-carved timber and white coral blocks. Each of the hotel’s air-conditioned rooms is unique in character and style, and features traditionally high beamed ceilings and terraces with spectacular views of the beach, landscaped gardens or mangrove forests. Tastefully designed and decorated to reflect the heritage of East Africa, The Majlis houses an exquisite private collection of art mixing local traditional influences with a contemporary twist.
Activities and amenities: swimming pools & sun patios, panoramic bars & restaurant, fitness centre, massage, Lamu Heritage attractions, payable extra activities: cultural excursions, Dhow Sailing, water sports & snorkelling, The Majlis’ Children Adventure Programme, deep sea, river creek and reef fishing, boat excursions and scenic flights.
Day 1: Saruni Mara / Saruni Wild
- Arrive at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where a Saruni vehicle will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your flight to Mara North.
- Depart Nairobi in the morning*, arriving at Mara North an hour later, where your Saruni guide will meet you.
- Game drive with a picnic lunch to enjoy under an acacia tree or by the river next to a pod of hippos. Or head to Saruni Mara or Saruni Wild for some rest and an exclusive game drive later in the afternoon in Mara North Conservancy - over 30,000 acres of plentiful, protected land bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. Enjoy a completely different and less-explored corner of the Mara ecosystem in total privacy, brimming with wildlife.
Day 2: Saruni Mara / Saruni Wild
- Early morning game drive to look for the big cats and other predators of the Mara, returning to the camp or lodge for lunch and treatments at the Maasai Wellbeing Space.
- In the afternoon, a game drive will take you to a special area where the largest tower of giraffe can be seen, followed by dinner at the lodge or camp and an optional night game drive.
Day 3: Saruni Mara / Saruni Wild
- Walk through the valleys and plains surrounding Saruni Mara, accompanied by a vehicle, or a game drive up to the top of Kilileoni, the highest mountain in the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem - led by your skillful and knowledgeable Maasai guides.
- In the afternoon you will discover more of Mara North and its surrounding conservancies and experience first-hand what makes the Mara one of the most exciting wildernesses in the world.
- Weather permitting, experience a bush dinner in the middle of nature under the vast African sky, with Maasai warriors singing and dancing around the fire.
Day 4: Saruni Mara / Saruni Wild
- Venture through the plains of Mara North Conservancy in pursuit of the more rare and elusive species. Another wildlife-abundant game drive with a leisurely bush breakfast completes another exciting morning.
- Head back into Mara North for a late afternoon game drive, finishing your drive with refreshing sundowners overlooking the immense plains surrounding you before heading back to the lodge or camp for a hearty dinner.
Day 5: The Majlis Hotel
- Following a hearty breakfast in lodge, stop again to admire the abundant plains game and vast landscape of Mara North on the way to the airstrip. Depart Mara North at 11:00 AM for Narobi’s Wilson Airport and transfer swiftly to a Lamu-bound flight at 13:45 PM, arriving 15:30 PM.
- The spirit of the Majlis begins with a warm welcome from the moment you step out of the airport arrivals hall. You’ll then be escorted to the main jetty and to The Majlis motorboat for an incredibly scenic 10-minute cruise to the resort.
- Unwind from your journey with a refreshing dip in the pool or a head off for a walk on the beach, cooled by the early evening tropical breezes. Enjoy a feast of culinary delights, before falling into bed to the distant sounds of ancient village life across the bay.
Day 6: The Majlis Hotel
- Awaken to the gentle Indian Ocean breeze, and take in the breathtaking views of Ras Kitau bay, before heading for a sumptuous à-la-carte breakfast on the open-plan veranda with panoramic views.
- Get your bearings and earn your sea legs by taking a half-day speed boat (or traditional dhow sailing boat) excursion around Lamu Island. The friendly captain comes bearing drinks and a BBQ lunch (upon request).
- Stop on the beach and coastal wildnerness of Kizingo Point, and on the way back visiting the Matondoni or Kipungani villages.
Return to Majlis in time to enjoy the eclectic in-house art collections and unique artefacts over a refreshing cocktail ahead of dinner.
Day 7: The Majlis Hotel
- Following breakfast, head to Lamu town and explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site, the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Discover the colourful morning markets. Wander the winding, narrow streets, admiring the intricate architecture. With donkeys still the only method of transport, you really feel as if you have stepped back in time.
- Return to the hotel for lunch choosing from a delicious array of culinary choices from Japanese, Swahili, Italian and International cuisine.
- Relax in the air-conditioned comfort of your sea view room, reading more about the ancient heritage of the nearby cultural attractions, or, chill out in the massage banda on the beachfront, or work up a ‘sheen’ in the garden ‘jungle’ gym or fitness centre.
- Enjoy a refreshing sundowner from the panoramic cocktail terrace, and end the day with an authentic wood-fired pizza from the pizza oven served up amidst idyllic surroundings.
Day 8: The Majlis Hotel
- Embark on a deep-sea fishing expedition in the waters of the Lamu archipelago that boast great Marlin catches and other sport fish, or, a totally different experience reef and river creek fishing amongst the mangrove channels, with traditional hand lines.
- For something a little less ‘fishy’, take a boat excursion (traditional dhow or speed boat) to Manda Island, a half-day trip on the other side of the island with stop-over in Manda Toto, a small island made up of sand off Manda Island, only accessible by navigating the narrow mangrove channel on the west coast. Enjoy a BBQ lunch before returning to the hotel.
- Make the most of your last afternoon by borrowing a mountain bike and exploring one of the trails on Manda Island, or, explore the calm water off the Ras Kitau bay and the Takwa mangrove creek behind the hotel and try your hand at a range of watersports, including water-skiing, kayaking, wake-boarding and doughnut rides.
- For an unforgettable last night dinner, indulge in a romantic candle-lit al fresco dining experience on the beach.
Day 9: Departure
- Enjoy your final morning waking up in paradise with an energising jog along the beach seafront or a wake-up dip in one of the two swimming pools (or for the more adventurous, a 25 min swim across the channel to the facing Shela village!).
- After a morning unwinding and rejuvenating, depart in the afternoon for your flight back to Nairobi, which leaves Manda (Lamu) at 16:00 PM and arrives at Wilson Airport at 18:30 PM.
- Transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport with Saruni driver and vehicle. Depending on the time of your international flight, stop at the Talisman or Carnivore restaurant for dinner.
Note: The Saruni Tours team can modify and tailor this itinerary to suit your personal preference. Baggage allowance on internal flights is 15kg per person, preferably in small, soft bags without wheels. Seats on the schedule flights are subject to availability at confirmation. Rates with children or single occupancy are available upon request. *Flight times and durations may vary depending on airline and routing, and are subject to change. All guests travelling into Kenya with duty free plastic bags shall be required to leave the bags at the entry points and seek alternative carrier bags. We request that you do not carry plastic bags whilst visiting or working in Kenya as there are strict penalties for those caught with them.