Experience Masai Mara Magic 25-30 June 2021
Start Date: 25-06-2021
End Date: 30-06-2021
10 spot/s available
You’ve always wanted to see the Lion King version of Africa, haven’t you? Now is the time to book your bucket-list trip to the iconic Masai Mara Reserve in Kenya with Eagle Eye Safaris!
We’re setting out on a 6-day affordable adventure to explore Mara North, the part of the greater Masai Mara Reserve that allows us to go off-road to get close to wildlife. We’ve chosen dates in expectation of excellent weather and fewer people while we search the plains and river valleys for the Big 5. Our dates are a week before the Great Migration officially starts. It’s a spectacle that draws chaotic crowds by mid-July to see the massive wildebeest herds, but June is relatively quiet. “Off-season” is the best time to go to see wildlife behaving naturally, without hundreds of vehicles lining the rivers, and it’s a lot less expensive. Want to know a secret? Because of climate change, wildebeest are migrating earlier and earlier, and there’s a good chance we’ll see some in June—there were plenty moving through in June in 2018 and 2019, so we’ll cross our fingers!
We’ll be focusing on the Big 5: lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, and buffalo. We’ll watch for interaction with all of the other iconic species: cheetah, zebra, giraffe, hippo, gazelle, caracal, serval, jackal, vultures, and the stars of the Mara: wildebeest, just to name a few. We’ll watch for brightly colored African birds; Ernest is a top birds-in-flight photographer in Africa, and he’ll teach you how to capture great photos if you’ve got your camera. We’ll watch sub-adult wildlife learning the ropes of “adulting.” We’ll stop to photograph those incredibly red African sunsets, hoping for amazing wildlife silhouettes against the acacia trees. Karen or Ernest will be sitting with you, ensuring your settings are correct so you can capture the best photos possible.
We’ve got culture for you, too! This is the home of the Maasai Warriors. We’ll take a trip to a local village to meet the inhabitants and learn about their culture. These proud, friendly people live harmoniously with nature. We’ll learn how to slow down and feel the soft African wind on your skin while observing your environment through a different lens. We’ll have a chance to watch craftspeople create the intricate beaded necklaces and bracelets that the Maasai wear, and we’ll be able to purchase one from the maker.
You can top this trip off with an optional sunrise Hot Air Balloon ride with Champagne Breakfast. Soar silently over elephants, lions, zebra…look at the world from an entirely new perspective. This is the stuff of dreams…and we can make them come true.
Day 1 (25 June):
Arrival Day; Optional tour of Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Giraffe House, Karen Blixen Museum
We’ll meet in Nairobi. Airport transfer is provided. We’ll have dinner together. If you arrive early enough, you can join us on an optional day-long tour of Dave Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. We’ll get to watch the keepers bottle feed and care for orphaned baby elephants. DSWT raises these babies with release in mind, and as they age into teenagers and young adults, they are carefully introduced to wild herds. At some point, most of the orphaned elephants choose to remain with the wild herds, and some come back to DWST years later to show off their own babies! We’ll also visit Giraffe House, a conservation and rescue where we can ethically watch, feed, and interact with giraffe that can’t be released into the wild. Our last stop will be the Karen Blixen Museum. Karen Blixen wrote the best-selling book Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dinesen; it was later made into the blockbuster movie starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. (Airport transfer and Hotel on 25 June included; meals on your own; if you come in a day early we have a package with the extra hotel night (24 June) and optional day-tour, breakfast and lunch included; dinner not included)
Day 2 (26 June):
Transfer to Mara North, afternoon/evening game drive
Wake up! We’re leaving right after an early breakfast for the 5-hour drive to Mara North. Yes, it’s a bit of a trek, but we’ll be driving through the striking countryside of Kenya, through villages and towns. We’ll have a few short stops for breaks and local craft markets, but we want to get to the Mara, so we’ll make those breaks short and quick. We’ll be met with a refreshing cocktail and have lunch on arrival at Royal Mara, our home for the next few days. After we’ve refreshed and settled into our private bungalows, we’ll have afternoon tea and cookies, and head out for our first game drive. Wildlife becomes active as the temperatures cool off, and we’ll start looking for big cats and little animals now. Dinner awaits upon our return. (all meals and accommodations; ground transfer to Mara North as a group included. You may opt to fly to Mara North and your transfer from the Mara North airstrip to the Lodge is included; airfare not included)
Day 3 – 5 (27 – 29 June):
Morning and evening game drives and activities
It’s an early wake-up every morning for a quick coffee and snack, then out onto the Mara to see what’s happened overnight. Have the lions made a kill? Is there a leopard in a tree with prey? Are the cubs out and playing in the early morning light? Is there a tower of giraffe nearby, nibbling on the acacias? We’ll head back for a huge breakfast spread after a few hours.
We’ve got things to do between game drives: you can join Karen and Ernest for photography and Lightroom classes, or just relax and watch the world go by. On one of these breaks, we’re going to a local Maasai village to learn about their culture and lives. The Maasai are cattle herders, incredible artisans, and gentle, friendly people who will make you feel welcome.
You can add on a Hot Air Balloon ride and Champagne Breakfast in lieu of one morning game drive. Imagine soaring over the landscape just after sunrise, watching the long shadows of wildlife, listening to the pulse of nature as you float silently above. You’ll be treated to a Champagne Breakfast after landing somewhere on the plains…what an experience!
After lunch and our afternoon tea, we’ll head back out for our evening game drives. Mara North allows night drives, so we’ll capture some incredible back-lit photos of lions or leopards. If skies are clear, we’ll even try some astrophotography! A succulent dinner awaits us after our busy day, and we’ll wind down with a cocktail or two before bed. (meals and accommodations, game drives, photography/Lightroom courses, Maasai cultural visit included; Hot Air Balloon ride and Champagne Breakfast is an add-on and not included)
Day 6 (30 June):
Departure Day, transfer back to Nairobi
We’ll start by saying goodbye to the wildlife of the Mara on our last morning game drive, then return to the Lodge for Breakfast. We never like this part…saying goodbye to the exceptional staff who have become friends as they taken care of every detail of our stay. Exchange emails and WhatsApp—you can stay in touch, because you’ll be back. Africa is in your blood now, and you’ll return…and we’ll be here to welcome you. We’ll transfer back to Nairobi in time for most evening flights. (breakfast, group ground transfer to Nairobi included. You may arrange a scheduled flight to Nairobi, transfer to the Mara Airstrip is included, airfare not included)
Highlight mammals: Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Rhino, Serval, Caracal, Serval, Antelope and Gazelle species, Zebra, Nile Crocodile, Hippo, Rothschild’s Giraffe, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, mongoose and more
Highlight birds: Great White Pelican, Common Ostrich, Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, African Fish Eagle, Secretary Bird, Lappet-faced Vulture, Grey Kestrel, Temminck’s Courser, Kori Bustard, Rufous- tailed Weaver, Grey-capped Social Weaver, Southern Ground Hornbill, Bare-faced Go-away- bird, Schalow’s Turaco, Rosy-breasted Longclaw, Grey-crested Helmetshrike, Red-necked Spurfowl, Red-winged Francolin, Usambiro Barbet, Sooty Chat, Wattled Plover, Rufous-bellied Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, Magpie Shrike and more
Habitats covered: Savannah, Wetlands, Riverine areas
Photographic opportunities: Excellent
Special moments: African Big 5 and other wildlife, sunrise and sunset views, cultural visit with Maasai Warriors, incredible photographic opportunities and coaching from Ernest and Karen of Eagle Eye Safaris
For those arriving in Nairobi a day early, we can arrange a tour of the Dave Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) museum. DSWT provides a haven for orphaned rhino and elephants, with the aim to release them back into the wild when they are old enough to have the best chance at survival. You can “adopt” an orphaned elephant and help support the effort at the world-renowned Trust. See www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org for more details. Learn more about Karen Blixen here and definitely see the movie or read the book, “Out of Africa,” before coming to Kenya. It will add a special meaning to your safari.
This safari tags perfectly before or after with our Gorilla Treks: Gorillas and Golden Monkeys in Rwanda 19 – 23 June 2021, and Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Uganda 2 – 8 July 2021. Ask about a double booking discount.
Hotel night in Nairobi at start of safari, 4 nights full board at Royal Mara Lodge including soft drinks, juices, Kenyan beer, selected wine, tea and coffee during meals, ground transportation from/to Nairobi to Lodge or Mara North Airstrip, entrance and conservation fees to Mara North Reserve (Greater Masai Mara), daily game drives, cultural visit to Maasai Village, photography/Lightroom instruction and coaching by Eagle Eye Safaris
Travel to/from Nairobi before/after safari, Visas, Hot Air Balloon and Champagne Breakfast, Extra Hotel Night and Nairobi Day Tour, airfare should you choose to fly to Mara North instead of using included ground transportation, gratuities (a gratuity guide will be provided), personal purchases, alcohol not mentioned as included, travel/medical evacuation insurance (always recommended), anything not mentioned as “included.”
Please email us with questions at info@EagleEyeSafaris.com
Double Occupancy: 3 100 USD
Single Occupancy: 3 720 USD
2nd Payment: 35% – 180 days prior to Safari
Final Payment: 30% – 90 days prior to Safari
* Max Clients on this trip:
1 – 5 Clients: Ernest Porter
6 -10 Clients: Ernest Porter and Karen Blackwood
* Photographic skills level:
Beginner to pro. Ernest Porter and Karen Blackwood will offer personal attention and coaching to help you get the best photos possible. Non-photographers are welcome!
* Fitness Level:
Average. We will occasionally be walking over uneven surfaces or up and down gentle grades.
* Expected Weather/Temperatures:
June is dry season. Temperatures should be moderate. A hoodie and rain jacket should be sufficient.
* Health Considerations:
Kenya is a malaria and Yellow Fever country. Please contact your doctor to discuss prevention. Check the CDC or your country’s health website to see if you need a Yellow Fever vaccination. Tetanus should be up-to-date before travel.
* Electric Adapter:
Kenya uses Type G plugs. You may be able to use an adapter instead of a converter. To be sure, check the label on the appliance. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. Devices like this include most laptops and phones, most recently produced battery chargers, and many small, electrical gadgets, especially those designed for world travel. Here is an example of an international converter for Kenya: https://www.amazon.com/Power-Plug-Adapter-International-SublimeWare/dp/B01N59M473
Safari in Style! Be sure to order one of our fun images on an Eagle Eye Safaris T-shirt and hoodie prior to this trip by clicking HERE.
Double Occupancy, Single Occupancy