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  • Visit the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s Orphan’s Project, where animal experts prepare elephants that have been orphaned by poachers to return to the wild.
  • Learn the skills that Maasai warriors use to protect themselves from wild animals and don traditional Maasai dress.
  • Game drives and walking safaris give you a great look at wildlife including lions, cheetahs, leopards, wildebeests, gazelles and hippos.

This trip has been discontinued. Instead see

Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

Highlights of Kenya & Tanzania

Kenya Wildlife Safari


Three generations experience the beauty, power and legends of Africa together on this family safari-plus-more adventure. Feed a towering giraffe, walk among grazing zebras and even touch a baby elephant. Learn how the Maasai people live off the land and protect themselves from dangerous animals, and help Maasai children herd the calves and goats into the village. Study lions, cheetahs, crocodiles, flamingos and other fascinating creatures.

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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
Big Cats, Baby Elephants & Maasai Warriors: A Family Adventure in Kenya

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .


Does Not Recommend


  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
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Operator Road Scholar


Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar



Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar



A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar



Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar


Day 1: Depart the U.S. on Overnight Flights.

Depart From: Overnight flights from the U.S. to Nairobi, Kenya.

Day 2: Arrivals to Nairobi, Kenya.      

Accommodation: Sarova Panafric

Evening: Arrival at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Proceed through Immigrations, Baggage Claim and Customs before exiting the secured area of the airport. If getting your visa upon arrival, please submit your completed visa application form, fee and valid passport at the visa booth before proceeding nearby to the Immigration counter.

The Road Scholar representative will be waiting outside the Customs exit door, in the arrivals hall, with a Road Scholar sign (only applies to Road Scholar group flights).

Transfer to the hotel and check-in.

Note: This is an international travel day. No meals are included, other than those provided on the international flights. Hotel rooms available for check-in starting at 3 p.m.

Day 3: Nairobi to Lake Elementaita - Sheldrick Elephant... 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Lake Elementaita Lodge

Nairobi to Lake Elementaita - Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage/Giraffe Center/Introduction to Lake Elementaita.

Note: Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast, enjoy a short program orientation with your group leader.

Get to know your group leader and fellow Road Scholar participants during a welcome and introduction session at the hotel. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

An introductory talk ('Saving Orphaned Elephants, Why Bother?') will prepare us for our morning field trip to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust- Orphan Project.

The David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, located near Nairobi National Park, raises elephant calves and rhinos orphaned by poaching. The center was established by Daphne Sheldrick, widow of famed Tsavo game warden David Sheldrick. The orphanage is regularly open to the public in the mornings. At that time, visitors get to watch the playful calves being fed, exercised, and bathed. Once the animals are ready to be returned to the wild, they are transported to Tsavo National Park and reintroduced to resident herds.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Excursion to the Giraffe Center where you will have the chance to feed these gracious animals and learn about their extraordinary physiology.

The Giraffe Center is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1979 with the purpose of saving Kenya's endangered Rothschild Giraffe, indigenous to the Lake Nakuru area. In the late 1970s, only 130 Rothschild Giraffes existed in the wild, displaced by encroaching agriculture. Since its founding, the Giraffe Center has been able to increase the giraffe population by raising and relocating the giraffes to protected wildlife parks and reserves. The center welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy a close encounter with these gentle giants for a unique hands-on learning experience.

Depart for Lake Elementaita with an introduction to the Great African Rift Valley from a lookout point en route.

Arrive at the lodge and check-in.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Time at leisure.

Day 4: Lake Elementaita - Kariandusi Prehistoric Site/I...      

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Lake Elementaita Lodge

Lake Elementaita - Kariandusi Prehistoric Site/Introduction to Maasai Culture.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Lecture: An Introduction to the Maasai and Their Culture.

Depart for the Kariandusi pre-historic site for a presentation on the Stone Age community that inhabited that location. Learn how they made their hand axes and watch one being made.

Dr. Louis Leakey, famed archaeologist and naturalist, discovered Kariandusi (an Acheulean site) near Lake Elementaita in 1928. Excavations (1929-1947) conducted at this location uncovered many Stone-Age implements including knives and hand axes. Interesting on-site exhibits showcase the archaeological finds.

Return to the lodge in time for lunch.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon visit to Lake Elementaita's hot springs and an on-site talk about the significance of the hot springs to the local Maasai.

Lake Elementaita is a shallow, hyper saline lake located in Kenya’s Rift Valley. The lake’s main sources are from the Mereroni, Mbaruk, and Chamuka Rivers in addition to fresh water and saline hot springs. The alkaline quality of the water aids in the growth of Spirulina algae, a primary food source for Lesser Flamingoes. Up to 450 different bird species have been recorded in and around Lake Elementaita including African Spoonbill, Yellow-billed Stork, Gull-billed Tern, Black-necked Grebe, and Great White Pelican. The Kekopey hot springs, located along the southern edge of the lake, hold a special place in local Maasai lore and are a reminder of the powerful geological forces that helped shape this region.

Return to the lodge.

Introduction to some Swahili basics.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Time at leisure.

Day 5: Lake Nakuru - Nature Walk with a Maasai/Mwariki ...               

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Lake Nakuru Lodge

Lake Nakuru - Nature Walk with a Maasai/Mwariki Village Visit/Game Drive in Lake Nakuru National Park.

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: After breakfast, join a Maasai naturalist on a nature walk from the lodge to the shore of the lake. Enjoy an introduction to the bush lore of the Masai, observe flamingoes and discuss their migratory patterns in the Rift Valley.

Return to the lodge and free time until lunch.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: Depart for the Mwariki Village, located at the entrance to the Lake Nakuru National Park. Learn about life in a rural village and participate in a bead making session organized by the ladies of this community.

Continue into the Lake Nakuru National Park for our first game drive and an introduction to the animals of the park.

Return to the lodge late in the afternoon. Review the day's activities with your group leader, followed by a discussion on Lake Nakuru's successful rhino breeding project--the most effective project of its kind in Kenya.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Local entertainment provided by the lodge.

Day 6: Lake Nakuru - Rhino Base/Game Drives.             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Lake Nakuru Lodge

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: Early morning game drive to the Rhino Base for further discussion on the rhino followed by an intense search for these tank-like animals. Return to the lake shore for a discussion of the different eating habits of the Greater and Lesser Flamingo and find out how the food they eat affects their color. Search for the elusive leopard and study a large troop of baboons to learn about their social habits. Continue to the lookout point for a "spot the animal" competition.

Return to the lodge.

Lunch: At the lodge.

Afternoon: After lunch, take advantage of your free time to enjoy the pool, catch-up on your reading, or get some rest before resuming activities later in the day.

Get together for tea and cookies, then embark on an afternoon game drive to observe how animals prepare for the night.

Return to the lodge for a review of the day's activities and an orientation session in preparation for your up and coming visit to the Kariandusi archaeological site.

Karibu! Gather around for another Swahili lesson.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Evening: Time at leisure at the lodge.

Day 7: Crater Lake - Morning Game Drive/Lake Naivasha B...           

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Crater Lake Tented Camp

Breakfast: At the lodge.

Morning: After breakfast, enjoy a morning game drive in search of local species.

Depart for Lake Naivasha with a short presentation on the different activities associated with the lake such as fishing and flower growing.

Lunch: At a local restaurant on the shores of Lake Naivasha.

Afternoon: Embark on a scenic boat ride on Lake Naivasha, skirting the shores of Crescent Island in search of animals that have the been the "stars" of many nature movies. Also, be on the look-out for African Fish Eagles as you cross the lake. These endangered raptors can sometimes be spotted snatching up unsuspecting fish out of the lake waters and carrying them away in their strong tallons.

Upon entering the Crater Lake Sanctuary, enjoy a short game drive looking for zebras, giraffes, warthogs, elands, and monkeys.

Arrive at the camp overlooking the crater lake. Free time to settle-in and relax.

As the last rays of sun slip below the horizon, we will gather around the camp fire for a story telling session.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: Time at leisure.

Day 8: Crater Lake - Nature Walks at Crater Lake and Ga...   

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Crater Lake Tented Camp

Breakfast: Enjoy some early morning coffee and cookies at the camp while the local guide provides an enlightening introduction to the sounds of the morning.

Breakfast to follow.

Morning: On a guided nature walk around Crater Lake, search for monkeys and learn to identify the prints left behind by animals that visit the lake during the night. A short hike to the rim of the crater provides the opportunity to discuss the formation of the crater from a geological perspective.

Continue to the wildlife sanctuary with the naturalist guide for a rare opportunity to walk amongst the animals. To quietly stalk a browsing giraffe or a grazing eland gives a realistic perspective of the size and the beauty of these large animals.

Lunch: BBQ at the camp.

Afternoon: After lunch, meet in the conference room to watch a video presentation. An afternoon walk in the vicinity of the lake will focus on animal tracks and how to identify them.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: A night game drive in the sanctuary will introduce us to the eyes and sounds of the night.

Day 9: Masai Mara - Nature Walk with a Maasai Warrior/C...             

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Nyumbu Camp

Breakfast: At the camp.

Morning: Depart for the Masai Mara.

Lunch: Box lunch en route.

Afternoon: Orientation to the camp and presentation on the Masai Mara, Kenya's most famous reserve, by the resident Maasai naturalist.

A nature walk with a Maasai warrior will address the dos and don'ts when encountering wild animals.

Camp fire stories with a Maasai warrior.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: After dinner, learn about the Great Migration during a video presentation.

Day 10: Masai Mara - Game Drives in the Mara.            

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Nyumbu Camp

Breakfast: Early breakfast at the camp.

Morning: Depart for a game drive in the Masai Mara. The focus will be on bit cats--lion, leopard, and cheetah--with discussions and observation of their different hunting strategies and social structure. Also, expect to see your first elephants in the wild and learn how members of a family of elephants help each other.

As we approach the Mara River, the focus turns to the Great Migration. Marvel at the long lines of wildebeest and zebra moving through the rolling savannah grasslands on their annual 800 mile journey in search of food.

Lunch: Picnic lunch in the Mara.

Afternoon: After lunch, continue with your game drive in the Masai Mara.

Return to the camp. Before dinner, enjoy a camp fire orientation with a Maasai warrior in preparation for your up and coming visit to a Maasai village.

Swahili lessons before dinner.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: Time at leisure.

Day 11: Masai Mara - Learning the Ways of the Maasai/Vis...           

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Nyumbu Camp

Breakfast: At the camp.

Morning: Walk with a Maasai warrior to understand the movements of the wild animals by studying their hoof prints and droppings. Learn how the Maasai protect themselves from a wild animal attack by using their fighting sticks, spears, and bows and arrows. Practice the same drills that warriors do to become proficient with their weapons. Learn how to make fire by creating friction with a stick and piece of wood and make a toothbrush from a tree branch--the Maasai way.

Meet local teachers and school children during a visit to a rural school (if in session). ***Although not required, previous participants have enjoyed taking basic school supplies to donate to the school.***

Lunch: At the camp.

Afternoon: Take part in a Maasai ritual in preparation for the farewell dinner.

During a visit to a local Maasai village, mingle with the young children as they herd the calves and goats back to the village for the night. Count the cows as they return to the village and participate in their milking. Help to settle the calves into the huts and spend time in the hut learning about the Maasai way of life.

Return to the camp.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the camp with a Maasai celebration.

Evening: Continue dancing with the Masai, learning about the meaning of their different dances.

Day 12: Fly to Nairobi/Flights to the U.S.   

Meals: Lunch

Accommodation: Panari Hotel

Note: Participants will be accommodated at the Panari Hotel and have a chance to rest and freshen up before heading out to the international airport. These rooms are only booked for the day, not for an overnight stay, and must be vacated by 6pm.

Arrive To: At the camp.

Morning: Transfer to the airstrip to board a flight back to Nairobi.

Upon arrival at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi, you will be transferred to the hotel for your day room.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Participants will be accommodated at the Panari Hotel until it is time to depart for the airport (check-out at 6 p.m.). Enjoy time at leisure to finish packing, make use of hotel amenities, or simply relax before your international flights.

Enjoy some snacks at the hotel before leaving for the airport.

Transfer to the airport and check-in for international overnight flights.

This concludes the program. We hope you enjoyed your Road Scholar adventure! When you get home, remember to stay in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network; share memories, pictures, and comments about your recent travels.

Day 13: Arrive in the U.S.               

Arrive To: International flight arrivals to the U.S.

Dates & Pricing

Price From


Price Per Day:

NA per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 11 nights of accommodations
  • 28 meals: 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners
  • 6 Expert-led lectures
  • 15 Field trips
  • 9 Hands-on experiences
  • 1 Performances
  • 1 Flights during the program
  • Learning led by expert instructors who are authorities in the field of study.
  • An experienced Group Leader attuned to the needs of Road Scholar participants.
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program that you would normally pay yourself.
  • The Road Scholar Travel Assistance Plan, which is purchased on behalf of every participant and provides 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance services coverage.
  • Taxes
  • State-of-the-art QUIETVOX listening devices
Trip Excludes
  • International Transportation
  • Airport transfers
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Personal Expenses
Meals Included:

28 meals: 9 breakfasts, 10 lunches, 9 dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Start City
End City

Age Notes

Min. Age: 10

Trip ID#: BigCatRoa


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