Endangered Species Flying Safari
Group Size: Maximum 10 passengers
Departs: Private departues (on request)
An incredible and unique flying safari, capturing the sights of endangered wild African animals whose existence is not only threatened but in many cases endangered according to the venerable IUCN Red List of threatened species – www.iucnredlist.org - Lion and Cheetah in the world famous Masai Mara, African Elephant in Samburu, Wild Dog (also known as painted Dogs), the Black Rhino and the critically endangered Northern White Rhino in Laikipa. Experience the excitement and stunning scenery of magical Kenya from the air, aboard an executively configured luxury Cessna Caravan. Truly a trip of a lifetime!
Day 1 - Masai Mara National Reserve
Morning departure from Nairobi Wilson Airport and a 50 minute flight aboard our luxury Cessna Caravan to Keekorok Airstrip in the Masai Mara National Reserve, where you will stay at the Spirit of the Masai Mara Private Lodge.
Flight time Nairobi Wilson to Keekorok – approximately 50 minutes.
On arrival you will be greeted with refreshments by your private safari guide, before departing on a game drive in a bespoke safari cruiser to the lodge, arriving in time for lunch. In the afternoon, kids can participate in learning how to track animals and make bows and arrows, whilst adults can enjoy an afternoon siesta. Depart on a late afternoon game drive within the private Siana Conservancy, followed by a sundowner overlooking the panoramic landscape. Sit by the bonfire, watch the Masai dancers and gaze at the stars before heading back to the lodge. In the evening, the dedicated wildlife experts will talk to you about their specialist species and will host an informal dinner. (LD)
Spirit of the Masai Mara is a small, intimate family owned and managed lodge located within the stunning 35,000 acre Siana Conservancy. Guests have access to this private conservancy which protects the local wildlife and benefits the local community. This is the ideal location for both private game viewing within the conservancy and the opportunity to witness the great wildebeest and zebra migration season, normally July to end of October, within the Masai Mara National Reserve.
With panoramic views of the surrounding Siana Conservancy landscape, the lodge consists of 10 solidly built, air-conditioned suites, uniquely blending a modern design with traditional building materials. Each suite comprises a large lounge with private bar, spacious bedroom and bathroom.
Day 2 - Masai Mara National Reserve
Early morning departure to the Masai Mara National Reserve, with your specialist wildlife guides in bespoke safari cruisers to track the most vulnerable of the big cats, lion and cheetah. The very existence of these two big cat species is becoming increasingly vulnerable worldwide and our specialist experts, who are at the forefront of conservation of species, are on hand exclusively, to educate and enlighten you towards the valiant efforts being made to protect these amazing animals. Tracking the big cats can take time as they can travel long distances. Follow the signs and find the prides either hunting or sunbathing. (BLD)
Stop for a hearty lunch by the river or under an Acacia tree overlooking the sprawling Mara plains. In the afternoon, continue tracking and following the big cats and look out for the Southern ground hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) now also considered to be a vulnerable species. Time permitting, you will stop by a Masai village to meet ‘the locals’ who call this beautiful wonder of the world their home. This will be an introduction to Masai culture that you will never forget. Arrive back at the lodge in time for a swim in the infinity pool or relax and review your stunning photographs from the day.
Day 3 - Laikipia
This morning at 06h30 enjoy a 1 hour bush walk (optional) with professional silver rated Kenya Professional Safari Guide. Your guide will be from the local Masai community and will proudly show you the traditional uses for medicinal plants, flowers and herbs, a practice that is becoming more obsolete in our modern world today. Track small animals and learn how every living creature plays its part in this delicate ecosystem. Return to the lodge for breakfast, at 09h00 you will be transferred by safari cruiser to the Siana Springs Airstrip. (BLD)
09h30 take off and fly to the very heart of Laikipia in northern Kenya to Sosian Bush Airstrip, flying up through one of the Seven Wonders of the World – The Great Rift Valley. Your pilot guide will talk to you through your own personal headset, pointing out interesting landmarks, geographical and geological sights.
Flight time Siana Springs to Laikipia – approximately 2 hours.
On arrival at Sosian Airstrip you will be met by a specialist guide who will transfer you to Laikipia Wilderness Camp, without a doubt the very best place from which to explore this magical landscape that the African wild dog call their home.
Please note: Option to upgrade accommodation from Laikipia Wilderness Camp to Sosian Lodge (at additional cost).
Laikipia Wilderness is a very small and personal bush camp with just 5 tents catering for 10 guests. Located within the 20,000 acre Ol Donyo Lemboro Conservancy this is Kenya’s best location to see the endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus). The camp has an informative library, viewing deck and offers stunning star gazing at night. To the east, views of Mt Kenya and to the north, south and west, panoramic views of the rugged wilderness that is northern Kenya. The camp blends sympathetically into this stunning area of natural beauty, where each day is a real adventure, just as it is for the wild dog. African wild dogs have disappeared from much of their former ranges in Africa. Their population is currently estimated at approximately 6,600 adults in 39 subpopulations, of which only 1,400 are mature individuals. Population size is continuing to decline as a result of ongoing habitat fragmentation, conflict with human activities, and infectious disease.
Day 4 - Laikipia
This morning you will wake extra early to catch the African wild dog hunting packs in action. Your driver and guide will take you on an adventure to track possibly the rarest of Africa’s mammals. Stay sharp and you might see a pack out tracking its breakfast. Together with an expert on this amazing species and the help of telemetry, watch how data is collected from sightings of wild dog, some of whom are fitted with radio collars for this research. This area of Kenya has by far the largest populations of wild dogs in Africa, though sadly their numbers remain in decline. Tracking them by vehicle and occasionally on foot is a truly unique experience and if you are lucky you may end up with one of the best wild dog sightings in the world. As the dogs’ territories are huge, they do roam vast distances. For this reason, sightings can be fleeting. (BLD)
Through the excitement of tracking these magnificent beasts, enjoy a picnic breakfast and a bush lunch, dependent upon where the wild dog are hunting. Toast the day’s end with sundowners overlooking this magnificent landscape. Return to the camp for dinner.
For those keen to get out once again, the Ol Donyo Lemboro Conservancy is fantastic for night game drives, where you are likely to see smaller nocturnal mammals that use the cover of night as their playground, of the more exciting and interesting species there are good leopard sightings, Aardwolf, the near threatened striped hyena, and Aardvark.
Day 5 - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Wake early for a game drive to track wild dog with your expert guide. The Ol Donyo Lemboro Conservancy is also home to large numbers of elephant, in smaller herds than in Samburu and other parts of the country, a positive sign of being relaxed. Reticulated giraffe, the endangered Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) hippo, buffalo, warthog, lion, hyenas, bat-eared foxes and lots of antelope species are all commonly seen. Return to camp for lunch, at 14h00 you will be transferred to the Sosian Airstrip for your flight to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. (BLD)
Flight time Laikipia to Lewa – approximately 25 minutes.
On arrival at the Lewa Conservancy, you will be met by your driver guide who will take you to the Lewa marshlands. Home to roosts of the endangered grey crowned crane (the national bird of Uganda), with an estimated population of less than fifty thousand birds left in the world, twenty thousand of which can be found in Kenya. On the way to Lewa Safari Camp, stop for a sundowner looking west over the unspoilt plains of the Lewa Wilderness.
Please note: Option to upgrade accommodation from Lewa Safari Camp to Sirikoi (at additional cost).
Day 6 - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Wake to the sounds of calling yellow bill hornbills as they chatter in the trees. Tea or coffee will be served on your deck and then an early breakfast before departing at 07h30 on a game drive into the Lewa Conservancy. Enroute you will visit the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Headquarters to meet the rhino and Grevy’s zebra scientists. If early enough, you may catch a leopard tracking back to its lair, leaving only its footprints in the morning dew. (BLD)
Enjoy a visit to the joint operations centre to see in action the valiant efforts by the Northern Rangelands Trust conservation program, satellite tracking of both rhinos and elephants across the East Africa region. Lewa is home to the largest concentrations of both black and white rhino with over 130 individuals and the regal Grevy’s zebra. In addition, Lewa’s varied range of habitats attracts a diverse and colourful collection of birdlife.
Enjoy a bush lunch in the wilderness of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and then you have the option to either continue spending valuable time with our experts throughout the remainder of the afternoon to see firsthand how the habits, identification processes and efforts, or to relax by the pool or for the more adventurous, a guided evening game walk.
Let the commotions of modern life dissolve as your soul is soothed by its reconnection with nature and immerse yourself in luxury that is highly sensitive to the environment’s fragility. Elephant Watch Camp is the ultimate in eco-luxury and an unrivalled wildlife experience. Here, your dreams of an African adventure without compromise come true. Spend magical days among the elephants of Samburu, with world experts, leading conservationists in the field and charming professional guides.
Day 8 - Samburu National Game Reserve
Wake to an early breakfast and a tour around the elephant tracking and research camp. See elephant tracking live, with satellite signs depicting the locations of elephants from Congo to Tanzania, meet ‘behind the scenes staff’ who have dedicated their time towards tracking, monitoring and researching the African Elephant as a species. These experts will show you just how special elephants are, through years of scientific research, observation and their conservation efforts, giving you an insight and understanding that few others have the unique opportunity to share. (BLD)
Highly intelligent and emotional animals, who thrive in a close-knit family unit – just like humans. Save The Elephants team of research staff will talk you through the process of collaring elephants and how they are tracked, how the information gathered is processed and how it benefits the ultimate existence of these magnificent animals.
After the tour of the research camp, depart on a game drive with Saba as your guide to explore the Samburu Game Reserve and the thrill of being introduced to Elephants by name. Learn more about their life cycles, their migratory routes, observe their complex emotions and how self-aware they really are and above all just how vulnerable their existence is to loss of habitat and ivory poaching.
Day 9 - End of Endangered Species Flying Safari
Enjoy an early morning game drive with your Samburu guide and a picnic, to see where the elephant have moved to overnight. Spend valuable time with the herds that you now know by name and reconnect where you left yesterday. Find a spot by the river to enjoy a picnic breakfast before returning to camp for lunch. This afternoon you will be transfer to the airstrip to board your private charter flight to Nairobi. (BL)
Depart from Simba Oryx Airstrip, Samburu, enjoy a scenic flight over the Wasu Nyiro River, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Mt. Kenya and the highlands famous for Kenya’s Tea plantations and onward to Nairobi Airport.
Flight time Samburu to Nairobi – approximately 55 minutes.
Please note: Scenic Air Safaris reserves the right to offer, at a surcharge, suitable changes to the itinerary, accommodation or sequence of excursions, as may be required on certain departures due to seasonality and proximity of certain animals to a specific locations.
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included. Changes to the itinerary may be required at certain times of the year. On the day of departure we recommend booking flights around 16h00 from Nairobi. Supplement applies if staying at Sirikoi Camp.