East Africa promises exceptional wildlife sightings. © Shutterstock

Kenya Multi-Generational Safari | Savannah & Seaside | 9 Nights Masai Mara & Kenya South Coast

This multi-generational safari combines the best of Kenya’s savannah and seaside. With time in the Masai Mara and on the Kenya South Coast, it really does have something for everyone, whether young or young at heart. Exclusive-use villas give each generation ample space, while really letting them bond.

  • Views out over the plains of the Masai Mara and the calm, warm waters of the Indian Ocean, each with a sense of almost infinite possibilities for both adventure and relaxation.
  • Opportunities to experience the Great Wildebeest Migration from multiple perspectives, and at close quarters, plus the chance to interact with the Maasai and learn more about their way of life, followed by several days of blissful beach time doing as much or as little as possible.
  • An authentic private safari villa with ample space for multiple generations and ideally situated for access to some of Kenya’s most productive wildlife habitats, and a multi-storey beach villa offering exceptional ocean vistas and plenty of spaces for young and old to come together. For more information, see Cottar’s Bush Villa and Alfajiri Cliff Villa respectively.

Four nights at Cottar's Bush Villa

The first of our two exclusive-use villas, Cottar’s Bush Villa, had space for 12, but with ‘only’ 10 of us staying there, we didn’t need the option of the extra twin beds. Instead, we soon distributed ourselves among the rooms, and as agreed, met up in the lounge for our first game drive. With two private guides and vehicles, we were able to customise our schedule, with one vehicle returning a little earlier so that my parents and our kids could enjoy some priceless grandparent-grandchild bonding time over homemade pizza while we returned later, after sundowners. By our second day we’d already encountered the Great Wildebeest Migration, which, just like our own herd, had its share of veterans and youngsters. Just as we had a shared objective – loads of quality family moments – so too did the antelope, only theirs was considerably more challenging. We found ourselves lying in wait (much like the giant crocodile) as the first of them crossed the Mara River. Our kids cheered as each knot of wildebeest made it safely across, and cheered even louder when we took a break for a shady surprise bush picnic. Our guide remembered cards for a game of – what else? – Snap. The next morning saw the adults embark on a guided walking safari, while my mom accompanied the kids to a nearby Maasai village so that they could learn to be warriors for a day. While we learned to identify bird calls and tracks, they got to know the Maasai’s prized cattle, and mastered some new dance moves, including the spectacular vertical jumps of the warriors. They’d been learning about world cultures at school, and this was a chance to learn all about the Maasai; while a very different way of life, the kids quickly discovered that they and their Maasai counterparts actually had a lot in common. For our final day in the Masai Mara, we’d planned something truly special: a hot-air balloon flight over the herds. This was to be a first for all of us, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. My nephew and his partner were only able to join us for the first half of our safari, returning to Dubai when we moved on to the coast, so it was wonderful that we ended this leg of our journey together on such an high note. Drifting slowly back to earth (in every sense) after the flight, we were delighted to be handed glasses of Champagne, while the kids enjoyed glasses of a fruit cocktail they’d invented – the waiter had remembered the secret recipe!

The first of our two exclusive-use villas, Cottar’s Bush Villa, had space for 12, but with ‘only’ 10 of us staying there, we didn’t need the option of the extra twin beds. Instead, we soon distributed ourselves among the rooms, and as agreed, met up in the lounge for our first game drive. With two private guides and vehicles, we were able to customise our schedule, with one vehicle returning a little earlier so that my parents and our kids could enjoy some priceless grandparent-grandchild bonding time over homemade pizza while we returned later, after sundowners.

By our second day we’d already encountered the Great Wildebeest Migration, which, just like our own herd, had its share of veterans and youngsters. Just as we had a shared objective – loads of quality family moments – so too did the antelope, only theirs was considerably more challenging. We found ourselves lying in wait (much like the giant crocodile) as the first of them crossed the Mara River. Our kids cheered as each knot of wildebeest made it safely across, and cheered even louder when we took a break for a shady surprise bush picnic. Our guide remembered cards for a game of – what else? – Snap.

The next morning saw the adults embark on a guided walking safari, while my mom accompanied the kids to a nearby Maasai village so that they could learn to be warriors for a day. While we learned to identify bird calls and tracks, they got to know the Maasai’s prized cattle, and mastered some new dance moves, including the spectacular vertical jumps of the warriors. They’d been learning about world cultures at school, and this was a chance to learn all about the Maasai; while a very different way of life, the kids quickly discovered that they and their Maasai counterparts actually had a lot in common.

For our final day in the Masai Mara, we’d planned something truly special: a hot-air balloon flight over the herds. This was to be a first for all of us, and it certainly didn’t disappoint. My nephew and his partner were only able to join us for the first half of our safari, returning to Dubai when we moved on to the coast, so it was wonderful that we ended this leg of our journey together on such an high note. Drifting slowly back to earth (in every sense) after the flight, we were delighted to be handed glasses of Champagne, while the kids enjoyed glasses of a fruit cocktail they’d invented – the waiter had remembered the secret recipe!

Five nights at Alfajiri Cliff Villa

We departed the plains by plane, first to Nairobi – where we left two of our party – and then onto the distinctly more tropical and exotic port of Mombasa. Then there was a final road transfer to lovely Diani Beach, to the south of the city.After the adrenaline of the migration, our stay at Alfajiri Cliff Villa let us drop down a gear or two (for those that wanted to) and simply enjoy being all together in a tranquil beach setting. Not that there was nothing to do – far from it. Rather, with a wonderfully welcoming team looking after us, we could forget all our cares and make the most of the kind of moments that seem all too rare in our rushed lives. My rapt contemplation of the views from the turret suite was interrupted by excited demands for an afternoon snorkelling trip; I happily let my partner preside. The next day it was wonderful to see how my parents and children bonded through a shared love of beach architecture: sand castles! Later, while my mother joined the chefs on their daily stroll along the shore to inspect the fishermen’s catch, and select the best of it for an al fresco barbeque, my father joined my partner and I for a kitesurfing lesson … and turned out to be more of a natural than either of us. My favourite part of the day was when we all met up for afternoon tea, served by the rim-flow pool and looking down on the beach. My sister and her partner had been reading about Shimba Hills National Reserve just inland of us, and so the next day we set off on an adults-only day trip to go and notch up some more elephant time. Not that my two children minded: under the watchful eyes of the villa’s two nannies, they had the run of the place, and we returned to find that they’d been rearranging some of the antique furniture to create their own make-believe dhow, on which they’d set sail across imaginary waves. It was clear that they weren’t missing their tablets at all – swashbuckling was clearly more fun than scrolling! To burn off some excess energy, my partner and our butler had designed a mini beach Olympics for us all the following day. Seashells took the part of medals; I won a pink one for swimming, which my daughter presented to me with great solemnity. As the day got hotter, we retreated inside to watch as the chefs made our seafood wraps to order. The kids had really bonded with the Alfajiri Cliff Villa team, and the chefs were more than equal to the challenge of producing curious combinations of ingredients at odd times. For my parents, as well as the kids! Our last day at the beach came around all too soon, and we were determined to make it a celebration of our entire trip. My parents good-naturedly let themselves be buried in the sand, while my sister’s partner led a snorkelling expedition to a nearby reef with the goal of finding Nemo. As the sun started to sink behind the villa, we eventually returned for last dip in the pool, and the chance to relive our favourite luxury Kenya safari moments. The only challenge was choosing them! Our multi-generational safari had been such a success that we knew we’d be returning soon.

We departed the plains by plane, first to Nairobi – where we left two of our party – and then onto the distinctly more tropical and exotic port of Mombasa. Then there was a final road transfer to lovely Diani Beach, to the south of the city.

After the adrenaline of the migration, our stay at Alfajiri Cliff Villa let us drop down a gear or two (for those that wanted to) and simply enjoy being all together in a tranquil beach setting. Not that there was nothing to do – far from it. Rather, with a wonderfully welcoming team looking after us, we could forget all our cares and make the most of the kind of moments that seem all too rare in our rushed lives. My rapt contemplation of the views from the turret suite was interrupted by excited demands for an afternoon snorkelling trip; I happily let my partner preside.

The next day it was wonderful to see how my parents and children bonded through a shared love of beach architecture: sand castles! Later, while my mother joined the chefs on their daily stroll along the shore to inspect the fishermen’s catch, and select the best of it for an al fresco barbeque, my father joined my partner and I for a kitesurfing lesson … and turned out to be more of a natural than either of us. My favourite part of the day was when we all met up for afternoon tea, served by the rim-flow pool and looking down on the beach.

My sister and her partner had been reading about Shimba Hills National Reserve just inland of us, and so the next day we set off on an adults-only day trip to go and notch up some more elephant time. Not that my two children minded: under the watchful eyes of the villa’s two nannies, they had the run of the place, and we returned to find that they’d been rearranging some of the antique furniture to create their own make-believe dhow, on which they’d set sail across imaginary waves. It was clear that they weren’t missing their tablets at all – swashbuckling was clearly more fun than scrolling!

To burn off some excess energy, my partner and our butler had designed a mini beach Olympics for us all the following day. Seashells took the part of medals; I won a pink one for swimming, which my daughter presented to me with great solemnity. As the day got hotter, we retreated inside to watch as the chefs made our seafood wraps to order. The kids had really bonded with the Alfajiri Cliff Villa team, and the chefs were more than equal to the challenge of producing curious combinations of ingredients at odd times. For my parents, as well as the kids!

Our last day at the beach came around all too soon, and we were determined to make it a celebration of our entire trip. My parents good-naturedly let themselves be buried in the sand, while my sister’s partner led a snorkelling expedition to a nearby reef with the goal of finding Nemo. As the sun started to sink behind the villa, we eventually returned for last dip in the pool, and the chance to relive our favourite luxury Kenya safari moments. The only challenge was choosing them! Our multi-generational safari had been such a success that we knew we’d be returning soon.

What sets it apart

Nairobi is a wonderfully central safari-entry point, easy to access from all over the world – even for a few days! Also, choosing just two villas for our nine-night adventure meant minimal unpacking, repacking and transfers (quite a performance, in a large group) and more quality holiday time.Rather than staying at luxury lodges with individual units, we’d opted for exclusive use villas throughout, which meant that all three generations would be under the same roof, yet still have plenty of space. What set our multi-generational safari apart was just how perfectly both Cottar’s Bush Villa and Alfajiri Cliff Villa catered to grandparents, parents and children, and effortlessly provided opportunities for us to bond over shared experiences and moments. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into making the sleeping arrangements at each villa very accommodating. We’d given my parents the master bedroom at Cottar’s Bush Villa, but they insisted we take the turret suite at Alfajiri Cliff Villa. Although given how superb all the options were, everyone was delighted. Even during the first half of our luxury Kenya safari, when we were 10, we never felt crowded.It wasn’t simply the spaces that worked so well for us; the many different activities on offer, and the way the dedicated team at each villa allowed us to tear up the schedules and menus – often with very little notice – meant that all parties, from birders to fussy eaters to lovestruck couples, were able to safari at their own pace.

Nairobi is a wonderfully central safari-entry point, easy to access from all over the world – even for a few days! Also, choosing just two villas for our nine-night adventure meant minimal unpacking, repacking and transfers (quite a performance, in a large group) and more quality holiday time.

Rather than staying at luxury lodges with individual units, we’d opted for exclusive use villas throughout, which meant that all three generations would be under the same roof, yet still have plenty of space. What set our multi-generational safari apart was just how perfectly both Cottar’s Bush Villa and Alfajiri Cliff Villa catered to grandparents, parents and children, and effortlessly provided opportunities for us to bond over shared experiences and moments.

Clearly a lot of thought had gone into making the sleeping arrangements at each villa very accommodating. We’d given my parents the master bedroom at Cottar’s Bush Villa, but they insisted we take the turret suite at Alfajiri Cliff Villa. Although given how superb all the options were, everyone was delighted. Even during the first half of our luxury Kenya safari, when we were 10, we never felt crowded.

It wasn’t simply the spaces that worked so well for us; the many different activities on offer, and the way the dedicated team at each villa allowed us to tear up the schedules and menus – often with very little notice – meant that all parties, from birders to fussy eaters to lovestruck couples, were able to safari at their own pace.

DAY 1–4

Cheetah roam the savannah near Cottar's Bush Villa. © Cottar's 1920 Camp

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and assisted through customs and immigration. Following a private transfer to Wilson Airport, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. You’ll then take a transfer to Cottar’s Bush Villa, where you’ll spend four nights.

DAY 5–9

The poolside lounge at Alfajiri Cliff Villa is perfect for lazy days. © Alfajiri Villas

After a transfer from Cottar’s Bush Villa to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Nairobi, and another to Diani Beach. A transfer will take you to Alfajiri Cliff Villa, where you’ll spend five nights.

DAY 10

Alfajiri Cliff Villa | Art of Safari

After a transfer from Alfajiri Cliff Villa to the airport, you’ll take a scheduled light-aircraft flight to Wilson Airport in Nairobi. A transfer will take you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, to connect with 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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