Loisaba Tented Camp’s guest area is cheerfully inviting in the evenings.

Kenya | Rhinos, Star Beds, Vistas & Mara | 7 Nights Solio Conservancy, Loisaba Private Conservancy & Masai Mara

Explore the more arid Laikipia before heading to the lush plains of the Masai Mara with this comprehensive seven-night itinerary. Your luxury Kenya safari includes a private cottage, a star bed and two modern tented camps, each with their own exciting safari activities, from horse riding to hot-air ballooning.

One night at Solio Lodge

We were fascinated by every moment of the drive to Solio Lodge. It wasn’t long before the city transitioned to rural Kenya, and we knew we really were in Africa. We looked out for the famous flame trees of Thika and enjoyed the first of many cups of Kenyan tea in the small town of Makuyu.Our destination was between Mount Kenya and the Aberdares in the eastern Great Rift Valley – a mysterious region of montane forests and bamboo groves. I’d chosen Solio Lodge to see my favourite animal: rhino. After a quick pit stop in our private cottage, we eagerly clambered into the four-wheel-drive vehicle with our guide. There’s a really strong conservation ethos here, allowing rhino to find sanctuary in these troubled times. I was thrilled to see both black and white rhino on our game drive – and proud that I could tell them apart! I definitely had the bragging rights over dinner on the deck, and around the fireplace afterwards.In the morning, as we watched Mount Kenya through the rising mist, we spotted the light aircraft that would take us to Loisaba descend. The sunlight made the wings gleam as the pilot came in for a smooth landing on the dirt airstrip.

We were fascinated by every moment of the drive to Solio Lodge. It wasn’t long before the city transitioned to rural Kenya, and we knew we really were in Africa. We looked out for the famous flame trees of Thika and enjoyed the first of many cups of Kenyan tea in the small town of Makuyu.

Our destination was between Mount Kenya and the Aberdares in the eastern Great Rift Valley – a mysterious region of montane forests and bamboo groves. I’d chosen Solio Lodge to see my favourite animal: rhino. After a quick pit stop in our private cottage, we eagerly clambered into the four-wheel-drive vehicle with our guide. There’s a really strong conservation ethos here, allowing rhino to find sanctuary in these troubled times. I was thrilled to see both black and white rhino on our game drive – and proud that I could tell them apart! I definitely had the bragging rights over dinner on the deck, and around the fireplace afterwards.

In the morning, as we watched Mount Kenya through the rising mist, we spotted the light aircraft that would take us to Loisaba descend. The sunlight made the wings gleam as the pilot came in for a smooth landing on the dirt airstrip.

One night at Loisaba Star Beds

Before we reached our home for the night, our guide had something to show us. A leopard was in the area, and we got down to the Kiboko Waterhole, below the rocky Loisaba Star Beds kopje, just in time to see it come down to drink… I’m happy to say I snapped my best safari picture yet! The waterhole view from the guest-area deck was equally spectacular and during cocktail hour we spotted the resident hippo emerge for a night of grazing. Later, from our handcrafted wooden star bed, we heard their deep chortles, and the sawing call of the leopard as we fell asleep.

Before we reached our home for the night, our guide had something to show us. A leopard was in the area, and we got down to the Kiboko Waterhole, below the rocky Loisaba Star Beds kopje, just in time to see it come down to drink… I’m happy to say I snapped my best safari picture yet! The waterhole view from the guest-area deck was equally spectacular and during cocktail hour we spotted the resident hippo emerge for a night of grazing. Later, from our handcrafted wooden star bed, we heard their deep chortles, and the sawing call of the leopard as we fell asleep.

Two nights at Loisaba Tented Camp

Knowing that horseback safaris were an option here, we’d decided to travel to the nearby Loisaba Tented Camp in style. While our bags went on ahead, we rode past herds of plains game until our outride ended at one of the newest camps in Kenya. It had an astonishing setting – the views across the tawny plains to Mount Kenya were breathtaking. We spent the early part of the afternoon lazing in the stunning infinity pool, before heading to the river for a spot of fishing. My luck continued as I hooked two trout – we would see them later at dinner!The next morning we were once again woken up with a tea tray (something I could really get used to!). In the dawn’s haze, the view through our full-length windows was impressive. Keen to add to our tally of wildlife sightings, we spent the day in one of Loisaba’s brand new Land Rovers, with our guide putting his incredibly sharp eyes to good use. Seeing so many species of game in the same setting let us grasp how they coexist happily … for the most part anyway, as a sighting of sleeping lion was a reminder there is drama here as well as calm, even though these big cats seemed reluctant to breach the peace.For our final morning at Loisaba we opted for a bird walk.  We were delighted to see some 37 species before the time came for us to fly, too.

Knowing that horseback safaris were an option here, we’d decided to travel to the nearby Loisaba Tented Camp in style. While our bags went on ahead, we rode past herds of plains game until our outride ended at one of the newest camps in Kenya. It had an astonishing setting – the views across the tawny plains to Mount Kenya were breathtaking. We spent the early part of the afternoon lazing in the stunning infinity pool, before heading to the river for a spot of fishing. My luck continued as I hooked two trout – we would see them later at dinner!

The next morning we were once again woken up with a tea tray (something I could really get used to!). In the dawn’s haze, the view through our full-length windows was impressive. Keen to add to our tally of wildlife sightings, we spent the day in one of Loisaba’s brand new Land Rovers, with our guide putting his incredibly sharp eyes to good use. Seeing so many species of game in the same setting let us grasp how they coexist happily … for the most part anyway, as a sighting of sleeping lion was a reminder there is drama here as well as calm, even though these big cats seemed reluctant to breach the peace.

For our final morning at Loisaba we opted for a bird walk.  We were delighted to see some 37 species before the time came for us to fly, too.

Three nights at Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

The landscape became greener as we flew south – we joked that we were on a migration of our own, although it couldn’t compare with the Great Wildebeest Migration. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is one of the more established Masai Mara camps, meaning that we could enjoy hotel-standard facilities nicely balanced with an intimate setting. Wi-Fi and warthog – the perfect combination! The sense of place is undeniable – the land is leased from the local Maasai, and before dinner we were entertained by dancers from the local village. It’s hard to imagine a more atmospheric evening, and we could hear the echo of stamping feet in our minds as we turned in.Up early the next day, we took a packed breakfast on our game drive so we could graze together with the wildebeest, almost as part of the herd. Not all the wildebeest ate at once though – some remained alert. Despite their watchfulness, they didn’t spot the three young cheetah edging towards them until it was too late. In the ensuing commotion, the somewhat inexperienced cats managed to isolate and then quickly dispatch a young wildebeest. We followed at a slight distance as they dragged their prey to the shade of a lone acacia tree before beginning to feed.We certainly weren’t going to miss out on the quintessential Masai Mara experience, so we began our last full day early too, driving out to where the crew were preparing our hot-air balloon for flight. From the air we could really appreciate the extent of the savannah, and get a sense of just how many wildebeest and zebra had assembled here. Today’s bush breakfast was even better – Champagne!A combination of anticipation and the early rays of the sun saw us wake early again, and we treated ourselves to a morning enjoying the luxury of Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp – and a few more cups of the best tea in the world – before our flight to Wilson Airport, and home.

The landscape became greener as we flew south – we joked that we were on a migration of our own, although it couldn’t compare with the Great Wildebeest Migration. Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp is one of the more established Masai Mara camps, meaning that we could enjoy hotel-standard facilities nicely balanced with an intimate setting. Wi-Fi and warthog – the perfect combination! The sense of place is undeniable – the land is leased from the local Maasai, and before dinner we were entertained by dancers from the local village. It’s hard to imagine a more atmospheric evening, and we could hear the echo of stamping feet in our minds as we turned in.

Up early the next day, we took a packed breakfast on our game drive so we could graze together with the wildebeest, almost as part of the herd. Not all the wildebeest ate at once though – some remained alert. Despite their watchfulness, they didn’t spot the three young cheetah edging towards them until it was too late. In the ensuing commotion, the somewhat inexperienced cats managed to isolate and then quickly dispatch a young wildebeest. We followed at a slight distance as they dragged their prey to the shade of a lone acacia tree before beginning to feed.

We certainly weren’t going to miss out on the quintessential Masai Mara experience, so we began our last full day early too, driving out to where the crew were preparing our hot-air balloon for flight. From the air we could really appreciate the extent of the savannah, and get a sense of just how many wildebeest and zebra had assembled here. Today’s bush breakfast was even better – Champagne!

A combination of anticipation and the early rays of the sun saw us wake early again, and we treated ourselves to a morning enjoying the luxury of Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp – and a few more cups of the best tea in the world – before our flight to Wilson Airport, and home.

What sets it apart

Our luxury Kenya safari was everything we‘d hoped for – and more besides. We spent time in the hotter, drier north of the country – enjoying seeing some of the unusual Samburu Special Five animals, before experiencing the lusher plains of the Masai Mara, with the numberless herds they attract.We couldn’t have asked for a more romantic time away together – making shared wishes on shooting stars while warriors with spears stood watch a discreet distance away; sharing Champagne in the savannah after our balloon flight; and walking hand-in-hand and barefoot along the rim of the Loisaba Tented Camp infinity pool.Our safari was educational, too – we returned home with a much greater understanding of conservation challenges, and how they’re being met. We went on cultural visits to Maasai villages, and it was deeply reassuring to see how each lodge we stayed at is cooperating with local communities on a profound level to preserve not just the wildlife, but also the rich heritage of the tribes.Seeing rhino at Solio Lodge was a particular highlight – after reading about the plight of these magnificent creatures, it meant a great deal to both of us to discover that there are still places in Africa where they can roam free and safe.Acquiring a taste for Kenyan tea first thing in the morning could be problematic, especially as we’re now also accustomed to having it delivered to us! The friendly smiles and attentive service from the staff at each of the luxury safari lodges we stayed at will perhaps be our most abiding memory, and we’re both agreed that we want to return to Kenya again very soon!

Our luxury Kenya safari was everything we‘d hoped for – and more besides. We spent time in the hotter, drier north of the country – enjoying seeing some of the unusual Samburu Special Five animals, before experiencing the lusher plains of the Masai Mara, with the numberless herds they attract.

We couldn’t have asked for a more romantic time away together – making shared wishes on shooting stars while warriors with spears stood watch a discreet distance away; sharing Champagne in the savannah after our balloon flight; and walking hand-in-hand and barefoot along the rim of the Loisaba Tented Camp infinity pool.

Our safari was educational, too – we returned home with a much greater understanding of conservation challenges, and how they’re being met. We went on cultural visits to Maasai villages, and it was deeply reassuring to see how each lodge we stayed at is cooperating with local communities on a profound level to preserve not just the wildlife, but also the rich heritage of the tribes.

Seeing rhino at Solio Lodge was a particular highlight – after reading about the plight of these magnificent creatures, it meant a great deal to both of us to discover that there are still places in Africa where they can roam free and safe.

Acquiring a taste for Kenyan tea first thing in the morning could be problematic, especially as we’re now also accustomed to having it delivered to us! The friendly smiles and attentive service from the staff at each of the luxury safari lodges we stayed at will perhaps be our most abiding memory, and we’re both agreed that we want to return to Kenya again very soon!

Day 1

The upstairs guest area at Solio Lodge overlooks the outdoor dining area, and the conservancy beyond.

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and assisted through customs and immigration. You’ll then take a scenic four-hour drive to Solio Lodge in Laikipia, where you’ll spend one night.

Day 2

You’ll see the most spectacular sunrise from your Loisaba star bed.

After a transfer from Solio Lodge to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to another part of Laikipia. A transfer will take you to Loisaba Star Beds, where you’ll spend one night.

Day 3–4

Loisaba Tented Camp’s guest area is cheerfully inviting in the evenings.

A transfer will take you from Loisaba Star Beds to Loisaba Tented Camp, also in Laikipia, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 5–7

A resident warthog takes a quick drink out the infinity pool at Kichwa Tembo while others wander nearby.

After a transfer from Loisaba Tented Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. A transfer will take you to Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 8

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya.

After a transfer from Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. A private transfer will take you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where you’ll be assisted through check-in for your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click hereFor a general overview of African safari prices, you can click through to our blog.
  • We also offer a curated selection of Kenya safari packages, wrapped and priced for your convenience, click here to explore them.

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