South eastern Kenya 12 days full of highlights
Through Savannah, commiphora-acacia bush land, volcanic history, rivers, views to Kilimanjaro and up to the Indian Ocean – this is our South eastern Kenya Safari and coast tour
Mount Kilimanjaro reaches 5.895 m above sea level and is the tallest free standing mountain in the world. With its two major peaks Kibo and Mawenzi he is over towering Amboseli National Park. Often in the morning and later afternoon the snow cap and the whole dormant volcano is free of clouds. It is an amazing scene when wildlife stands in front of this majestic volcano.
Elephants walk under Umbrella thorn acacias to their feeding places surrounded by whirling dust in the mornings – the sunlight gives it the necessary effect and
Kilimanjaro is the back ground – a picture you will remember! In the evening
they walk back to their sleeping places.
Amboseli is named after the seasonal lake that can cover 160 km² after heavy rain. A few years ago a lake became quite permanent in the center of the park enlarging the swamp by many times. Water flows down through porous lava from Kilimanjaro and heavy rain falls contributed.
This lake is home to many hippos, Lesser and Greater flamingos and many other water birds. A fantastic show to watch since there is constant movement of mammals and birds.
Amboseli is not only famous for the many elephants but it for plain zebra and wildebeest. These two species migrate to and fro Kilimanjaro West. Lions, cheetahs, serval cat, black-backed and golden jackals, spotted hyenas, Maasai giraffes, buffalos, Grant and Thomson Gazelles, reedbucks, Vervet monkeys, Yellow baboons and many more contribute to a high bio diversity.
Dr. Cynthia Moss introduced the large elephant population to the public in her documentary movies and books. The research centre is just beside Ol Tukai Lodge.
The area is fantastic for birding see our birding safaris. 425 species, among them migratory birds are recorded. When it is season white storks flock in large numbers.
Tsavo West & East National Parks are the typical South eastern Kenya parks
Tsavo West and East are divided by the highway and railway from Mombasa to Nairobi and cover together an area of 20.800 km². The rugged arid landscape typifies vast areas of the lower altitudes of Kenya and Somalia. The flat rocky base of this landscape is composed of ancient weathered Precambrian basement rocks: gneiss and schist.
If you are very lucky during your South eastern Kenya Safari you find African Wild Dogs
Tsavo West is also marked by a number of recent rocky outcrops and volcanic hills, the youngest being only a few hundred years old, like the Chyulu Hills and Shetani lava flow. Tectonic forces broke the Precambrian basement rocks and lava flew out either building hills or lava flows.
In Tsavo West National Park you will come across black, young lava on your game drives. It is a different scenario to see wildlife standing on these sharp dark rocks.
The most spectacular lava flow in the area is Shetani. The flow is a coalesced tide of tarlike lava that spewed down the Chyulu Hills as they burst out of the plains only 200 years ago. Shetani means ‘devil’ in Swahili and refers to the time when the molten lava erupted from the bowels of the earth and engulfed the area. So terrifying was this event that the people in the area came to believe it to be the devil incarnate with tales still rife of fire, hail of brimstone and evil spirits. The lava flow is also punctuated by a series of caves.
Leviathan is the second largest lava cave in the world with over 13 km in length. A small portion can be visited.
Mzima Springs surface like an oasis after the water was flowing underground from the Chyulu Hills. Here you can meet hippos and crocodiles and a variety of birds.
Tsavo East National Park is dominated by flat land and precambrian outcrops and small rivers leading to the large river Galana. It is here you see “red” elephants more in the open than in Tsavo West. Running almost the length of the park is a sinuous ridge of lava intrusion – the Yatta Plateau. It consists of Tertiary volcanic rocks that poured out 1.8 to 65 Mio years ago through a narrow fissure all the way from above Nairobi to just beyond Voi.
A further eye-catching feature during inSouth eastern Kenya in the landscape is Mudanda Rock, a massive whale-backed rock, 1.5 km long, which erupts from the plains between Manyani gate and Voi. It is famous for the range of the photo opportunities it offers, being blessed with an exceptional clarity of light, panoramic vistas and plentiful wildlife.
By bathing and spraying red laterite soil on their bodies they got named red elephants. Hirola antelopes are among the most endangered antelopes in the world. They are endemic to Tana River area and South-west Somalia where they are hunted and their habitat is getting destroyed. There are about 100 of them here and we hope you will meet them on a game drive. Also some Grevy zebras are introduced and who knows, you might spot them.
Other wildlife in Tsavo East and West: leopard, lions, cheetahs, Lesser Kudu, Klipspringer, Rock Hyrax, Fringe-eared oryx, Grant gazelles, Maasai giraffes, elephants and others. The area is very good for different species of birds of prey!
Have you heard of the mane less “Man eaters of Tsavo”? up to today we have male lions with no or very small manes.
Watamu to me is one of the sweetest places to be! Not only does it have one of the most interesting beaches – during low tide you can observe different water creature in the water kept by basins in the dead corals. Like mushrooms dead coral rocks reach far above the ocean level – you can walk there during low tide.
Activities – snorkeling, diving, dolphin watch, fishing
Places to visit – Gede Ruins, Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, Bio-Ken snake park
South eastern Kenya and coast safari tour will reveal amazing and different landscapes with a large variety of wildlife. We take time to explore and have excellent and surprising wildlife activities.
Best time for our South eastern Kenya Safari is throughout the year. Each season has its own advantages! April might be the month of most rainfall, but due to climate change we can’t predict any longer. July and August might have the lowest temperatures.
Itinerary for our South eastern Kenya 12 days safari:
Day 1 – Arrival
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international airport in Nairobi you will be awaited and taken to the hotel at the airport.
Four Points by Sheraton, Traditional King room, bed / breakfast
Day 2 Nairobi – Amboseli National Park
After breakfast your driver/guide for the tour will pick you and you start the journey on the Mombasa Highway to Emali and branch in direction Tanzania. Soon on your left you will see the Chyulu Hills and Kilimanjaro will show up in front of you.
At lunch time you will be in the lodge. Take a stroll in the large compound before you start your afternoon game drive.
Sentrim Amboseli Lodge, full board
Days 3 + 4 Amboseli National Park
During the morning game drives you will watch the elephants coming out of their sleeping places and walk to the open feeding places. You will also visit the drier areas where often zebras, wildebeest and lions can be watched. The lake is worth a visit! Often mammals walk through it throwing a mirror picture on the water surface.
If you are lucky you will meet the elphant twins. This is rare and seldom both survive.
From the Observation hill you have a great view over the plain and the hills further away near Tanzania.
Lunch and heat rest will be in the lodge. Look out for banded and dwarf mongoose, owls, lizards and others. Early morning you might see a clear Kilimanjaro from the lodge compound.
Sentrim Amboseli Lodge, full board
Day 5 – Amboseli – Tsavo West National Park
After breakfast and checking out you follow a rough road through farms until you
drive along the Chyulu Hills until you get to Shetani Lava flow. Here you will
stop to see the rough lava and the pioneer plants.
Continue towards the lodge for lunch while looking out for wildlife. Later in the
afternoon you undertake a game drive near the lodge and hopefully you will come across one of the leopards.
Severin Safari Camp, Standard tents full board
Day 6 – Tsavo West National Park
From the breakfast area you can sometimes have a wonderful view of Mawenzi and Kibo, 2 of the peaks of Kilimanjaro.
Morning and afternoon game drive. Lunch and heat rest in the lodge where you can watch animals coming to drink at the many water holes.
The Mzima Springs are best visited early morning when it is quiet and cool. Watch the Yellow baboons and the Vervet monkeys as well as hippos and crocodiles. This area is also good to find Lesser kudus and birds of prey.
On open plains you will search for Fringe-eared Oryx, eland antelopes, zebras and others.
Severin Safari Camp, Standard tents, full board
Day 7 – Tsavo West – Tsavo East National Park
While doing a game drive you are heading towards the Mombasa Highway to exit Tsavo West National Park. About 1.5 hours drive and you will be in Voi where the entrance to Tsavo East National Park is. To the lodge inside the park you will already spot some wildlife.
Enjoy your lunch and now you have time to watch elephants and other animals to come to quench their thirst at the water hole in front of the lodge.
Later in the afternoon you undertake a game drive near the lodge. Look out for Lesser kudus, Fringe-eared Oryx and lions.
Sentrim Tsavo East, full board
Days 8 + 9 – Tsavo East National Park
To visit the Galana River with the Lugard’s Falls you best undertake a full day game drive with picnic lunch boxes. The way is long and you might spot Gerenuks, Maasai giraffes, lions and maybe even a cheetah or a leopard. While driving along small rivers look out for crocodiles and Rock monitors.
The other morning while heading to the Mudanda Rock luck might be on your side and you spot African Wild dogs. Grant gazelles, elephants and others occupy the grass plains on the way and the hills spice up the scenery. Lunch will be at the lodge.
In the afternoon you visit water holes nearby and see you will meet there.
Sentrim Tsavo East, full board
Day 10 – Tsavo East – Watamu, the coastal part of South eastern Kenya Safari
The park road will take you through the park to Sala Gate from where you have a good view to the Galana River. Driving on a new tarmac road you will have some nice views and pass Arabuko Sokoke Forest.
The hotel is directly at the beach and you have lunch (own cost) on the terrace while looking out at the Indian Ocean. The bay is called Turtle bay cause of its shape. It is such a lovely and quiet place. Beach boys are very few and those who are there behave well.
The afternoon is at your own disposal. Those who wish to visit the interesting snake park Bio-Ken can do so. There you can learn about harmless and dangerous snakes. Bio-Ken is helping a lot of people when bitten or by removing dangerous snakes from the compound.
Ocean Sports Hotel, sea view room, breakfast
Day 11 – Watamu
At 5 a.m. you will be served with coffee and a sandwich so by 6 a.m. you will be at the entrance to Arabuko Sokoke Forest and meet your guide. He will show you the cute Golden-rumped elephant shrew – a shy insect eating mammal. Arabuko Sokoke Forest is home to elephants, Ader’s duiker and Sokoke bushy-tailed mongoose. Cute but sadly endangered are the Sokoke scops owls. You local guide will do his best to find one of the pairs for you.
Even if you are not a birder this forest is amazing and so much to learn about butterflies, material to make glass and more. You will drive and walk short distanced.
For lunch you return to the hotel. It is now very hot and that is the reason for starting very early in the morning when it is cooler and animals still active.
The afternoon is spent at Gede Ruins. A guide will take you round and explain the history of this Islamic town which was deserted in the 16th century.
At the same place is a small museum showing items these Gede people were using. Kipepeo butterfly farm is at the same place. Have a look at some of the most striking species Kenya has to offer.
Ocean Sports, Standard sea view room, breakfast
Day 12 – Watamu – Mida Creek
Again you wake up very early to be at Mida Creek by 6 a.m. Your local guide will welcome you and show you around first on land. Then you get into canoes and follow the channels fringed with different species of mangroves. Crabs, small fish and Mud skippers as well as a large number of birds can be seen. Low tide is setting in and the birds fly to the dry places to feed.
On foot you will return to the entrance where fresh fish will be prepared for you! It is a simple meal but so tasty prepared that you will talk about it for very long.
After lunch you return to the hotel and enjoy the beach. Take the opportunity to look for sea stars, moray eels, mollusks, fish and different interesting crabs. You can take a guide but please tell him not to remove anything from the water. This can harm the sea creature.
Ocean Sports, Standard sea view room, breakfast
Day 13 – Watamu – Nairobi
There are flights in the morning so you could enjoy a delicious meal at the famous Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi or fly later and check in directly to your international departure.
The drive from Watamu to the airport in Malindi is just around 30 minutes. The drive from the local airport in Nairobi where some airlines are landing is about 40 minutes. Some airlines fly straight to Jomo Kenyatta international airport.
We hope you enjoyed your South eastern Kenya Safari tour and we say “Kwaheri” – see you again and go well
Prices from per person from/to Nairobi JKIA South eastern Kenya Safari
Prices are based on 4 guests and the expected increment of Kenya Wildlife Service park entry fees on 1st of January 2022 is included. Price reduces with 6 guests and increases with 2 guests.
July – October 2022
Nov. – 15. Dec 2022
per person sharing
Included in South eastern Kenya Safari
- Airport transfers
- Safari in Minibus with pop up roof
- Experienced driver/guide
- Accommodation and meals as listed in the program
- All park entry fees
- Local guides and entry fees at Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Mida Creek, Gede Ruins
- Canoe trip at Mida Creek and lunch
- Flight Malindi to Nairobi
- Mineral Water in the car
- Flying Doctor evacuation insurance
Not included in South eastern Kenya Safari
- International flights
- Personal insurance – mandatory
- Not as included declared services
- Personal expenses like laundry
- Any Covid requirements
- Swift transfer fees