We are thrilled to announce that Extraordinary Journeys will be offering a yoga safari in Kenya this May! Join us for 8 nights/9 days of yoga and safari in Nairobi, Samburu and the Masai Mara experiencing exciting wildlife, bespoke luxury, breathtaking landscapes, and authentic cultural engagement.
Day 1-2: Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages, Nairobi
Upon arrival this evening at Jomo Kenyatta airport you will be greeted by your driver who will transfer you to Karen Blixen Cottages. Relax after your long journey, tomorrow the fun begins!
In Nairobi, you will find a city that is lively, cosmopolitan and full of contrasts. It's a place of smart office workers, mansions and expensive suburban shopping centers as well as slums crowded with people struggling on as best they can. Displaying enormous vitality and buzz, Nairobi is one of Africa's major cities and is East Africa's hub for commerce, aid and increasingly, technology. It hard to imagine that this city of almost 5 million people celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1999 and that where it now stands, only Maasai manyattas stood barely a century ago!
May 17th- This morning you will meet for breakfast and a brief orientation before jumping on our mats at Africa Yoga Project’s (AYP) Shine Center, joining their largest weekly, donation based community class with other AYP teachers and members of the Nairobi yoga community. After practice, we'll have lunch at the Center before an information/Q & A presentation from an AYP team member on their mission, vision and who the Africa Yoga Project serves.
Overnight: Karen Blixen Coffee Garden & Cottages
Our base for activities in Nairobi is the Historic Karen Blixen Coffee Garden. The heart of the property is the historic Swedo House, built around 1906. The lodge is approximately a half mile from the Karen Blixen museum, 15 minutes from downtown Nairobi, and about half a mile from the Karen Golf and Country Club where guests can enjoy golfing, tennis, squash as well as other activities. The Coffee Garden sits on 5 ½ acres of land with large, hundred year old trees and a beautiful garden with hundreds of different varieties of blooming flowers, and a large population of birds.
Over 200 types of flowers bloom through the year and numerous bird feeders attract hundreds of varieties of birds. The cottages have been designed after the historic Swedo House to give a sense of reliving history in elegant style. All well-appointed cottages have hi-beam ceilings with fireplaces, wood and mazeras stone floors. Mini bars, satellite TVs and internet connections have also been installed. Each bedroom has a large bathroom with its own shower and bath. Internet connections and phones are available in all rooms. Three cottages have two private suites with a separate dressing room. All cottages have a verandah for relaxing while enjoying the birds, butterflies and flowers of the garden.blooming flowers, and a large population of birds.
Overnight at KAREN BLIXEN COTTAGES. Included Bed & Breakfast, activities as listed
Day 3-5: Saruni Samburu, Samburu National Park
After breakfast you will be taken to Nairobi's Wilson airport for a short flight to Samburu. Upon arrival your guide will be waiting to take you to Saruni Samburu, built on a large granite outcrop, overlooking the rolling hills of the park below. After lunch, head out on your first game drive and return to camp for a relaxing evening and a restorative yoga class – with endless plains as your backdrop.
The Samburu National Reserve lies 200 miles north of Nairobi on the hot and arid fringes of the vast northern region of Kenya. The Reserve is within the lands of the colorful Samburu people, close relatives of the Maasai, and home to a number of wildlife species rarely found elsewhere in Kenya such as the Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich and Beisa oryx, all are found only north of the equator. The graceful antelope, the gerenuk, with its characteristic long neck, spends much of its time on its two back feet in search of the greenest leaves on trees and brush. This dramatic landscape is blanketed by the hot equatorial sun for most of the year. Relief comes from the cool waters of the Uaso Nyiro ("Brown") River, which rises to the west on the foothills of the Aberdares and vanishes beyond Samburu in the soggy expanse known as the Lorian swamp. The scenery in Samburu is magnificent and the birdlife awesome.
Overnight: Saruni Samburu
Perched on the top of a hill with an all-round view of Northern Kenya, Saruni Samburu is located in the Kalama Wildlife Conservancy within the 240,000 acre Gir Gir Group Ranch, seven kilometers from the northern border of Samburu National Reserve. The recent introduction of water in this area means that the lodge can offer a first-class safari experience in a totally un-spoiled environment, far from the beaten tracks and very close to the wildlife. There are six open-facing houses, all of which have their own seating areas, multiple verandas and private dining areas.
Saruni Samburu also offers a large swimming pool with dramatic views over Samburu, an area for massage and beauty treatments, and several hides and view points for the waterholes that attract all the species that make Kalama special. Your professional Samburu guides will take you on game drives into Samburu National Reserve, Buffalo Springs National Reserve and the West Gate Conservancy. In addition you will have opportunities to learn about the traditions and heritage of the semi-nomadic local Samburu people who live in this area. A feeling of exclusivity, of having an incredibly large area to yourself, and a high level of comfort and tailor-made service are hallmarks of Saruni.
Overnight at SARUNI SAMBURU. All meals, local brand beers and spirits, house wines, sundowner activities, guided walks, twice daily game drives, cultural visits, yoga/mediation classes and laundry.
Day 6-8: Saruni Mara, Mara North Conservancy
Today you will be taken to the Samburu airstrip for your flight to Maasai Mara, landing in the Mara North private concession. The Maasai Mara is Kenya's most renowned reserve, guaranteeing excellent game viewing and beautiful landscapes, all of which will be enhanced and appreciated through daily yoga practice.
Mara North Conservancy is a beautiful private wilderness area of more than 74,000 acres. It is home to a spectacular array of plants, reptiles, birds and mammals; including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and large concentrations of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other migratory wildlife. Leopard Gorge, in the heart of the conservancy, is famous as the setting of countless BBC Big Cat Diaries and National Geographic documentaries. Bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the conservancy is vital for sustaining the famous Serengeti wildebeest migrations and the highly threatened African wild dog and black rhino.
The Maasai Mara is Kenya’s most famous nature reserve, and one of the settings for the film Out of Africa. It is classic savannah – grasslands, where animals are plentiful and the vistas spectacular. In this dreamlike land, animals live in freedom, and the Maasai tend their cattle. The area, also known as the “Jewel of Africa,” has one of the largest and the most spectacular animal migrations in the world. The reserve is known for its large wildlife, including lion, cheetah, elephant, leopard, black rhino and hippo.ants, reptiles, birds and mammals; including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah and large concentrations of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other migratory wildlife. Leopard Gorge, in the heart of the conservancy, is famous as the setting of countless BBC Big Cat Diaries and National Geographic documentaries. Bordering the Maasai Mara National Reserve, the conservancy is vital for sustaining the famous Serengeti wildebeest migrations and the highly threatened African wild dog and black rhino.
There are also over 500 resident species of birds in the park including ostrich, lark and sunbird. The reserve which covers an area of 700 square miles forms part of the Serengeti ecosystem and hosts the world famous spectacle of the annual migration of up to two million wildebeest, thousands of zebra and an escort of carnivores from the Serengeti plains, following the rains and succulent new grass. A costly trek as many of the lame, laggard and sick will fall prey to predators and many more will die in the swirling flood waters of the Mara River as they try to cross it. Whether you’re in the Maasai Mara during migration time, your wildlife viewing will be spectacular, as the resident population of zebra and wildebeest will be there, along with the predators.
Overnight: Saruni Mara
Saruni Mara is a deluxe safari lodge in the Mara North Conservancy outside the famous Masai Mara National Reserve that offers the thrill of a real African adventure coupled with the highest standards of style and comfort. This exclusive camp accommodates a maximum of only twelve guests in six cottages, all of which have their own private veranda. It is set in a remote valley at the heart of the most exciting wilderness in Kenya. Saruni is renowned for the excellence of its guides who will take you on driving or walking excursions among elephants, lions, zebras and endless other species of wild animals.
Overnight at SARUNI MARA. Included: All meals, local brand beers and spirits, house wines, sundowner activities, guided walks, twice daily game drives, and laundry.
Day 9: Departure
Your last chance to begin the day in perfect harmony with our magnificent surroundings as we go thru your yoga exercises accompanied by the sounds of the bush… cicadas, birds, wind softly rustling the trees. We fly back to Nairobi's Wilson airport late this morning. Upon arrival you will be met by your guide and taken to some of Nairobi's interesting sights and exciting activities, including the Kazuri Bead Factory, AFEW Giraffe Center and to visit our fostered baby elephants at Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage (foster fee of $50 is required for this visit). Afterward, you will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your international flights home.*
*Optional itinerary add-ons available.
This trip runs anytime throughout the year with a minimum of 6 passengers. Another set departures may be offered in October of 2014, please email us at [email protected] to express your interest.
The cost for this safari starts at $4990 per person (excluding international flights and optional itinerary add-ons). Price varies seasonally.
Your private yoga instructor throughout your time in Kenya is Whitney Bushnell. Whitney completed the Yoga Alliance teacher training in Bali, Indonesia through SOSA. Her training had a focused style emphasis on Vinyasa/Hatha Flow and Yin Yoga specifically based on the unique inter-disciplinary approach from Sarah Powers and Paul Grilly. She first discovered her passion for yoga over eight years ago when she started consistently practicing Bikram and Power Yoga, and her love and dedication to the yoga lifestyle has grown ever since. Throughout her years of extensive travel, yoga has always been an invaluable grounding force. She believes a large part of what makes a good teacher and student is the same thing – consistent practice while maintaining the willingness to stay open through mind and body. Whitney has found a positive light through yoga and travel and is eager to share it with others because personal victory, in a soul sense, becomes everyone’s victory.