This travel itinerary consists of a detailed description of the flights and main daily activities of a short 11-day trip to Nairobi, the Masai Mara National Park and Mount Kenya, with a short layover in Istanbul.
DAY 1: Flight day!
AC8717 from YQB to YUL
LX87 from YUL to ZRH
LX296 from ZRH to NBO
Upon our arrival in Nairobi at 18:40, we will head to the hotel to drop our suitcases and eat dinner before going to bed.
“Pool day”: a short walking tour of Nairobi city center in the morning, but mostly relaxing and getting used to the different time zone.
In the afternoon, visit of the Nairobi Animal Orphanage: the center offers a protected area for abandoned animals and is an important educational and training facility for Kenyans and visitors from across the world. It is open all year-around, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
Flight from NBO to the NGE Airstrip
Arrival at Masai Mara National Park
The reason behind this trip to Kenya and the three-night stay at the Masai Mara is to view the Mara River crossing. August is known for being the most consistent month to witness the Wildebeest Migration.
Morning game drive: wake-up call at 5 AM, departure for the drive at 5:30. Breakfast consisting of local fruits back at the lodge.
Afternoon game drive: In an attempt to spot the last of Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo) I haven’t seen yet, which is the lion, we will drive in the park and near the river for about two hours and a half. We will definitely see many gnus (also known as wildebeest) as they will be migrating, many coyotes and probably a few zebras.
Balloon tour: It all begins before dawn. After an early wake-up call, we will be driven to the Balloon launch site, where we will be briefed on safety measures. We will be spending about one hour in the air and we will have the possibility to see the ecosystem, the vast plains and the sinuous Mara river beneath us. We will be back at the lodge before lunch.
Departure from the Masai Mara to Nanyuki airport in the afternoon. Nanyuki is a ten-minute drive from the bottom of Mount Kenya, where we will be staying until day 9. Mount Kenya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the 2nd highest mountain in Africa, after the Kilimanjaro. There are many things to see and do apart from hiking (which will be the activity on day 7): there are surrounding villages to visit, local food to taste and many animals to see.
DAY 8: (Arrival in Istanbul):
Flight from Nanyuki to NBO in the evening.
Flight TK608 from Nairobi (NBO) at 4:45; arrival in Istanbul (IST) at 11:15
Why Istanbul? Istanbul is one of the cultural hubs in the world, I believed it was important for me to visit at least once in my whole life. From Topkapi palace, the impressive Blue Mosque, The Hagia Sophia, the Grand Bazar, the magnificent Bosphorus river and many more attractions, this city has a lot to offer. On a more personal note, I have always loved Turkish food.
Wake-up call at 7:00. Breakfast at 7:30. Departure from hotel at 8:00 for Topkap? Saray?. The palace (converted into a museum) is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 AM to 4:45 PM. Because of its notoriety, it is better to arrive early and wait in line before its opening. From the 15th to the 19th century, the palace was dedicated to sultans and was the house for thousands of imperial servants. It is located in the center of the historic district, and visitors can admire a wonderful view of the Sea of Marmara, the Golden Horn (another waterway) and the Bosphorus. To conclude this wonderful trip, we will head to the Four Seasons terrace for a cup of tea. The terrace is known for offering a breathtaking view of the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque.
DAY 11: Flight day! It is now time to go back home:
TK1053 from IST to ZAG
OU460 from ZAG to ZRH
LX86 from ZRH to YUL
AC8768 from YUL to YQB