Return of the Safari Pioneers 2020

November 21–December 5, 2020

A Pioneering Safari to East Africa

An exclusive two-week safari from New York City direct to Kenya’s best safari camps.

November 21–December 5, 2020

30 Guests
15 Days
1 Countries

Join This Expedition

Join a small group of safari enthusiasts on a singular adventure and be among the first to return to the vast and remote landscapes of Kenya – all the while knowing that your participation plays a critical role in supporting wildlife conservation and local communities.

Return of the Safari Pioneers 2020 Itinerary

New York to Nairobi, Kenya

Overnight Flight

Gather at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport for check in and meet your fellow travelers. Upon boarding our privately reserved business class cabin of the Boeing 787, unwind in comfort for the nonstop flight to Nairobi. Our master chef will serve a first-class dinner on board, observing social distancing and strict hygiene and service protocols.

Upon our mid-morning arrival in Nairobi we are whisked to a private first-class lounge for immigration and customs formalities before boarding our chartered Cessna Caravan Executive aircraft for short bush flights to camp.

While on safari you’ll be part of one of three groups with 10 guests each. Every guest will visit each of the four camps for three nights, driving from Mara Plains to Mara Nyika and flying the short hop to ol Donyo Lodge and Arijiju Retreat on private charters. At your accommodations you’ll be assigned your own butler and housekeeper dedicated solely to your room.

Chyulu Hills

Wedged between Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks, Chyulu Hills is a volcanic landscape of grass-covered cones and craters stretching out towards Mt. Kilimanjaro. So picturesque are these green hills, that they made an appearance in ‘Out of Africa’. The area is an important wildlife corridor and home to the Maasai, who graze their cattle on group ranches alongside the National Park. Stunning ol Donyo Lodge, part of National Geographic’s selection of Unique Lodges of the World, offers 275,000 acres of private wilderness to explore. In a pioneering partnership of collaborative conservation with the local Maasai community, the lodge directly supports wildlife including lion and cheetah populations and iconic bull elephants. Enjoy game drives, walks, and horseback riding, and relish superlative dining and hand-picked wines in this Relais & Chateaux property.

ol Donyo Lodge
3 Nights

Masai Mara National Reserve, Olare Motorogi Conservancy

Explore the endless savanna of the Masai Mara with three nights each at two different camps – both in areas of low tourism density – to provide distinctly different perspectives of this iconic wildlife destination.

Mara Plains is one of only five camps set inside the 35,000-acre Olare Motorogi Conservancy on the northern border of Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve. Enjoy unfettered access to both the private conservancy land as well as the 375,000-acre Maasai Mara for unrivalled wildlife viewing. When in camp, enjoy Relais & Chateaux excellence in fine dining.

Mara Plains
3 Nights

Masai Mara National Reserve, Naboisho Conservancy

Mara Nyika is an intimate tented camp set in a valley on the western side of the private 50,000-acre Naboisho Conservancy, home to high concentration of wildlife including impressive numbers of big cats. The conservancy is comprised of land contributions from 500 Maasai landowners and a large part of conservancy fees are channeled back into the community.

Mara Nyika
3 Nights

Laikipia Plateau, Borana Conservancy

The Laikipia Plateau stretches from Mount Kenya to the Rift Valley and features ancient migratory corridors for wildlife and a refuge for some rarer species like wild dog, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra and black rhino, and your conservancy fees help maintain elephant migration corridors, lion research projects and preservation of rhinos. Explore these game-rich Kenyan highlands on game drives, quad bikes or horseback. Home base is the magnificent private bush residence Arijiju, a haven of wellness and serenity. Designed to discreetly blend into the natural landscape, the villa is built into the hill’s bedrock with a flat, grass-covered roof. Stone walls, vaulted archways, and the cloistered courtyard are embellished with richly textured interiors. In between game drives, unwind in the elegant hamman or refresh in the infinity pool overlooking a well-visited waterhole.

Arijiju Retreat
3 Nights

Nairobi, Kenya to New York

Overnight Flight

As our adventure draws to a close, we board private air charters from our respective camps to Nairobi and rejoin the group in the Kenya Airways private lounge reserved for our expedited departure formalities. Settle into your luxurious seat in our privately reserved business class cabin on the Kenya Airways nonstop overnight flight back to New York. In the morning, we say farewell to fellow safari pioneers.

In Our Travelers' Words

At the end of the day our travelers are most qualified to describe the African safari experience, and they certainly say it best.

The Peacock Family
Multi-Generational Safari

"Our youngest, Emily is almost 7. And mom and dad are in their late 70's. And the rest of us fall somewhere in between - and I can tell you we ALL just had the best time! It's tricky to have a plan that appeals to everyone. The thought of our daily adventure was so exciting, that no one minded the early morning wake-ups - not even the teenagers! They were often the first ones on the jeep - as they couldn't wait to start the drive each day."

The Ousterhout Family
Family Safari

"My father-in-law had always wanted to go to Africa, and invited us all to go with him to celebrate his 80th birthday. We went with no expectations, and the trip was beyond anything we could have imagined. In each camp we were exhilarated to be so unbelievably close to animals. Our guides really turned the safari into an educational experience for the girls with in-depth discussions on not just the wildlife, but also history, culture, and the relationship between tourism and the environment. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip – but we hope to return."

Pat & Art Hoeft
Photographic Safari

"This was our first Africa visit; we'd thought about it for years and then in my husband's semi-retirement we thought that if we didn't do it NOW it would never happen. We arranged to travel with my husband's brother and wife. The photographic opportunities were myriad and truly stupendous. We were up and out in the Land Cruiser before sunrise each day to catch photos of wildebeests and, one morning, elephants, silhouetted with acacias on a ridge line as the sun rose. We ended our days with late-night nibbles with a choice of "one more for the road" and new friends from across the English-speaking world."

Sign Up for the Bushtracks Newsletter