Kenya Under Canvas - In the Footsteps of Karen Blixen & Ernest Hemingway

This safari into the Kenyan bush is a dream wrapped in canvas, the narrative of which is shaped by the written accounts of Ernest Hemingway, Beryl Markham and Karen Blixen, who appreciated tented life in the bush. From your tented camp, watch the gripping action of predator and prey, and the delicate river dance of elephant, hippo, and crocodile. At dusk and dawn the sun dapples your tent with a myriad of colors and the night brings midnight blue skies, twinkling lights and the calls of the wild. Experiencing the immortalized parks and reserves of Samburu, Lake Nakuru and the Maasai Mara through canvas mark you as another explorer whose footsteps someone else will follow in.

Degree of Difficulty - Two Paws

Slightly Active. May involve some walking and climbing.

Weather Reports - When To Go

Kenya is located on the Equator. The temperature, therefore, does not vary too much. During our summer months (June through August) it is about 10 degrees cooler, but days will be warm and can reach 80’s and evenings can be cool and can drop to the 40’s in the higher elevations. The rainy season is in April/May (long rains) and November (short rains). However, it does not rain every day, or all day, and rainstorms are quickly followed by brilliant sunshine which makes for incredible photographic opportunities. Wildlife viewing is good year-round, however the migration of zebra and wildebeest follows the following cycle:

  • January – March – southern sector of the Serengeti in Tanzania
  • April – June – central Serengeti in Tanzania
  • July – western corridor of the Serengeti in Tanzania
  • August – October – northern Serengeti and mostly into Maasai Mara in Kenya
  • November – December – returning back to Serengeti in Tanzania and making their way to the southern sector.

Days 1/2


Board your Ethiopian Airlines flight in Washington DC, en route to Nairobi, via Addis Ababa, arriving the next day in the early afternoon. “Jambo” (hello) is the cheerful greeting from your professional naturalist and driver/ guides, who will escort you to your luxury hotel. After a short briefing about your forthcoming safari, the rest of your day is at leisure. Located within a pleasant forested area overlooking the second hole of a golf course, your home for the night, The Residences at Karen embody comfort, luxury and serenity, with all modern amenities and comforts. THE RESIDENCES AT KAREN.  (Meals Aloft)


Days 3/4


Begin your safari as you drive past the equator to Samburu Reserve on the arid fringes of northern Kenya, and home to the colorful Samburu people. Explore the reserve for wildlife species rarely found elsewhere in Kenya – Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Beisa oryx. Comb the terrain for the graceful gerenuk, observe a pride of lions sleeping in the bushes, and watch the rare blue-necked Somali ostrich lope across the plains. Your tented camp in the Buffalo Springs Reserve, across the Uaso Nyiro River from the Samburu Reserve, is perfectly situated for viewing elephants as they use the river to drink, bathe, and play. ASH NIL SA MBURU CAMP. (B,L,D Daily)


Day 5


Your drive returns you to the Equator to the verdant slopes of Mt. Kenya. Standing at 7,200 feet up on the slopes of the snowcapped mountain, your ‘tree hotel’ is surrounded by dense rainforest and has the area’s highest record of animal ‘visits’ and sightings. All rooms, though rustic, are very comfortable with en-suite facilities and spacious verandahs often ‘patronized’ by Colobus and Sykes monkeys (who may try to steal your food as you relax!) The main public areas overlook an illuminated waterhole frequented by a myriad of wildlife. Game viewing, throughout evening and night, includes elephant, buffalo, rhino, giant forest hog, waterbuck and if you’re lucky a leopard or lion. A specially-built structure, connected to the lodge by a short tunnel, allows close-up views of the game at the waterhole. SERENA MOUNTAIN LODGE. (B,L,D


Day 6


Soak up the vivid scenery of the outer Great Rift Valley as you drive to Lake Nakuru National Park, a bird watcher’s paradise with over 450 species, including, at times, hundreds of thousands of flamingos at the shallow alkaline lake’s shores. Scout the magnificent yellow-barked acacia trees for napping leopards. Look for the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe and white and black rhino. Your lodge is situated on a natural dais within the heart of Kenya’s Rift Valley, offering fantastic views of the lake and surrounding regions with private verandahs for the perfect place to rest, relax and enjoy the vistas. SAR OVA LION HILL. (B,L,D)


Days 7/8/9


Observe Maasai tending their cattle on your drive to the Maasai Mara, its seemingly endless savannah beautifully rendered in the film Out of Africa. The Mara plays host to the annual Great Migration where millions of wildebeest, thousands of zebra and gazelle arrive with the rains and fresh grass (July through October.) You will have three days to witness the drama of predator and prey. Often referred to as the ‘Kingdom of Lions,’ these powerful hunters dominate the grasslands, with cheetah, leopard, hyena and jackal in tow. A cornucopia of delights for bird watchers, over 500 resident bird species have been recorded, including larks, sunbirds and the quintessential African bird – the Lilac-breasted Roller. Exciting optional activities (at additional cost) include watching dawn break over the Serengeti from a hot air balloon or for a nominal fee, visit a Maasai village to experience this nomadic tribe’s way of life. Your luxury tented camp is situated along the riverbanks of the Mara River, and offers travelers a relaxing atmosphere to unwind after a long day out in the Mara.



Days 10/11


Drive back to Nairobi after basking in one last sunrise over the Maasai Mara (an optional flight is available at additional cost). Continue to the airport in Nairobi for your flights home. (B; Meals Aloft)


Optional Post-Extension to Tsavo West & Amboseli National Parks

Extend your safari to Tsavo West National Park, a volcanic landscape crossed by four rivers and home to over1,000 plant species. Watch hippo and crocodile in their underwater world at Mzima Springs. Observe elephants, whose skin is painted red by the iron rich soil. Look for descendants of The Ghost and the Darkness, the infamous man-eating lions of Tsavo. Visit a nearby local village and school. Then journey to Amboseli National Park, beneath the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, home to an impressive five wildlife habitats that attract a wide variety of animal and bird life. Its large elephant herds have been studied for over 30 years by noted American naturalist and author, Cynthia Moss, founder of the Amboseli Elephant Research Project

Prices starting at $4,295. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.