Explore Hemingway’s “Green Hills of Africa” on Horseback

Days 1-2 | The Emakoko, Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park
Nairobi is Africa’s 4th largest city and is a vibrant and exciting place. Although it has developed a reputation which keeps tourist visits brief, there are some fascinating attractions, namely its café culture, unbridled nightlife, the National Museum, Karen Blixen Museum and most notably, just 20 minutes from the city centre, wild lions and buffalo roam in the Nairobi National Park.

Overnight: The Emakoko

The Emakoko is a luxury lodge artfully built into the side of a valley on the Mbagathi River, bordering the Nairobi National Park. Great care has been taken to incorporate the beautiful fig trees which grow on the cliff where the lodge is situated. All rooms look straight over the river and into the Park.

The Emakoko allows people to start and finish their safari in the wildlife environment they have travelled so far to enjoy. Within 20 minutes of clearing customs they can now be viewing game in the amazing Nairobi National Park. The only “transfer” delays likely to be encountered en route to or from The Emakoko are the natural pauses to watch a pride of lions or waiting for a rhino or journey of giraffe to cross the road.

Whether you are enjoying an Emakoko cocktail in the viewing area or simply a coffee by the pool overlooking the river, relaxation is assured.  There is also the chance to see the resident hippo, who also likes to keep an eye on you. He can be seen grazing on the lawn outside the rooms in the early evening or the morning.

Days 2-5 | Ol Donyo Lodge, Chyulu Hills National Park

Chyulu Hills National Park
The Chyulu Hills National Park was formed between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks to protect this unique habitat and because of its significance as a water catchment area. A magical land of open grass plains and tree covered rolling green with Mount Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. The Park is surrounded by miles of Maasai land, dusty, dry and stalked by scarlet cloaked herders and dust plumed cattle.

Overnight: ol Donyo Lodge
ol Donyo Lodge is located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli  and Tsavo National Parks, bordering Chyulu Hills National Park. This stunningly beautiful area is incredibly diverse, and often has spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro.

ol Donyo Lodge is a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic, merging the landscape into each suite. Designed for a wide appeal, the lodge is a perfect getaway for families, honeymooners or multi-generational groups. What makes it a standout is its notable variety of activities – from cultural visits, good quality wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking – ol Donyo Lodge is a place to feel Africa, and get out from behind the wheel. Add to this the lodge’s creature comforts of fine dining, massage, infinity pool, star beds and multiple lounges, and it is a place to relax and unwind for days.

Each suite has a private plunge pool, and two are connected for a ‘villa’ concept, perfect for families or couples traveling together. Constructed of local thatch and gunnite, the suites blend with the environment despite their commanding design.

The lodge’s main lounge, complete with grand stone fireplace, a small library, inviting open bar and expansive verandah are the place to rendezvous with new friends, and the local staff. The attached dining area as well as the nearby pool lounge/dining is where sumptuous meals are served, and good times abound. The main infinity pool, curio shop and office provide other diversions should exploring the area not be enough.

Ride Kenya: ol Donyo Lodge
Ride Kenya – Chyulus offers ol Donyo Lodge guests a truly unique experience; riding through and exploring 275,000 acres of private,
open plains and volcanic hills.

Guests with little or no prior horse riding experience, including children over 12 years, are able to enjoy gentle walking saddleback wildlife viewing experiences of up to 90 minutes out on the open plains. Riding guests that are intermediate and advanced will have the chance to ride at faster paces moving over more uneven terrain. The difference between an intermediate and advanced ride is simply pace and route and each ride is tailored to the group’s riding ability. All riders are required to have a short assessment in the arena prior to setting out. Morning rides go out from around 07h00 and can be up to 4 hours in length. Afternoon rides go out at 16h30 and are 90 minutes. Both sessions are subject to availability of guides and horses. Longer rides can be organised in advance.

ol Donyo Lodge has 5 South African Boerperds. They are typically 15hh in height and are known for their steady temperament, endurance and versatility. We also have quite a number of Warmbloods, mostly Thoroughbred crossed with a Shire. There is also a Somali pony, some local Kenyan Thoroughbreds, and a pure bred Percheron, the only French draught horse in Kenya!

A selection of riding hats and half chaps are available for guests at no additional charge. The bridles and majority of the saddles are English style, but we do have some South African Trail saddles for the larger horses by request.

Days 5-8 | Mara Expedition Camp, Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s most famous wildlife parks. The image of acacia trees on endless wildlife filled grass plains epitomises Africa for many. Add Maasai warriors and the conversation need go no further.

The greater Maasai Mara Reserve offers unparalleled game viewing opportunities; large prides of lions, elephants and giraffes in grasslands, gazelles and eland to mention just a few. Aside from traditional open game drive vehicle safaris and guided walking safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Mara plains has become almost essential and you can even do a horseback safari.

Overnight: Mara Expedition Camp
Mara Expedition Camp set on a small bend in the Ntiakitiak River, is a magical revisiting of the past, drawing from the designs of Africa’s original explorers and designed for those who search for East Africa’s romantic safari era. Here, guests experience the best of both worlds: the intense action of the Maasai Mara ecosystem, as well as access to the more private 70,000-acre Mara North Conservancy.

Mara Expedition Camp is safari chic with five light and airy, spacious canvas tents, each with en-suite bathrooms where you enjoy piping hot water from huge brass ‘safari showers’ to a chorus of hippos lazing nearby. It is set down low, hidden from lights and noise and any sign of mankind. Under the grove of Africa ebony trees, its humble main area is lit by lantern and candlelit, simple in design, but just enough for all the comforts. This camp’s ambiance and ‘back to the classics’ safari design will be a sure hit with private groups, and safari aficionados.

The camp is locally famous for its leopard residents wandering the riverbanks. And is positioned to take best advantage of two migrations – the famous annual Serengeti migration and the green season migration from Loita Plains, an additional 50,000 wildebeest and over 100,000 zebras vying for grazing rights.

Ride Kenya: Mara Expedition Camp
From gentle rides on the open plains of the game rich Maasai Mara to more adventurous explorations for the experienced rider, Ride Kenya – Mara offers a horse riding experience that will remain a memory for years to come, exploring the surrounding, open plains whilst viewing plains game such as zebra, eland, Thomson gazelle, wildebeest, giraffe and warthog.

Ride pace will depend on the ability of the group and riders of an Intermediate and above level can enjoy up to a 2 hour ride in the morning and afternoon. Those taking advantage of this Ride Kenya package rate also have the option of an up to 4 hour ride in the morning and a short game drive in the evening. Ride pace is moderate with the opportunity for some faster paced canters depending on the groups ability. Expect to negotiate river and ravine crossings.

Due to the environment and terrain, as well as for guest’s safety, riders must be able to ride with an independent seat at all paces and be able to control a horse at speed over uneven terrain. Guests are required to fill out a riding skills questionnaire when making their booking and will have a short assessment ride prior to setting out.

The Ride Kenya – Mara stables offer well-schooled horses of various sizes and breeds with a choice of high quality saddles and tack. Breeds include Friesian and Friesian crosses, Shire crosses, Boerperds and Boerperd crosses, Arab crosses and Thoroughbreds Horses are ridden in English bridles and bits and with English, Trail or Western saddles and a range of riding helmets, riding boots, breeches and chaps

Day 8 |  Safari Ends

2018 Recommended Selling Rates

Emakoko, ol Donyo, Mara Expedition

US$
Per Person Sharing

1 July – 31 October 2017

$9,250

1 November – 19 December 2017

$7,300

20 December 2017 – 10 January 2018

$9,750

11 January – 31 March 2018

$7,450

1 April – 14 June 2018

$6,600

15 June – 31 October 2018

$8,900

1 November 2018 – 19 December 2018

$6,600

20 December 2018 – 10 January 2019

$8,900

The pricing above is intended to serve as a guide. Pricing may vary based on changes or customizations made to the itinerary. Pricing assumes 2 guest sharing a room (single supplements are applicable during the peak and holiday seasons). Fully inclusive of accommodation (including Standard Pool Room at ol Donyo), conservation levy, scheduled wildlife activities (including horseback riding at both ol Donyo and Mara Expedition using the Ride Kenya – Mara package rate), meals, laundry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding champagne), return airstrip road transfers, flights between the camps and based on the itinerary starting and ending in Nairobi. A minimum flight load of 2 guests per sector. Great Plains Conservation reserves the right to review published rates in the event of currency exchange rate fluctuation or increases in costs or taxes, which are beyond our control.