Private Safari in Kenya & Rwanda
September 30–October 14, 2023
Fulfill your safari wishlist on this comprehensive private journey through Kenya and Rwanda!
You’ll have the opportunity to see “The Big 5” as you explore Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park & Masai Mara National Reserve during the Great Migration.
In Rwanda, you’ll spend an unforgettable morning with the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park.
Trip at a Glance
- September 30–October 14, 2023
- Led by experienced local safari experts
- Enjoy daily game drives and check off all of the “The Big Five” as you see them
- Spend time face-to-face with endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda
- Witness the Great Migration of wildebeest in Kenya
- Marvel at Mt. Kilimanjaro from Amboseli National Park
- Witness the majesty of the old “tusker” elephants, the biggest land creatures on the planet
- Watch rhinoceros meander along a Rift Valley “soda” lake at Nakuru
- Experience the wildlife of the Masai Mara, especially the lions, cheetahs, and leopards!
- This journey is triple carbon offset
How to Register
- Review this entire webpage for details
- Complete Registration Questions and Contract
- Lauren will email you with a link to pay the deposit.
Check out this playful young gorilla we filmed in late 2021!
COVID Safety Notes (click to open)
We will inform our registered guests as requirements to enter Kenya and Rwanda change.
We are requiring all of our guests to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster, for this journey, to protect themselves, fellow guests, and the local population. All of our guides and drivers will also be vaccinated.
It is crucial we respect the Kenyans and Rwandans who will be around us on this journey, as vaccinations will most likely not be as widespread there as in other parts of the world. Wearing proper face masks when you are around any local people is an easy way of showing that you care.
If tests are required at any stage of the journey, we will help arrange that and let you know how much that charge is, payable directly to the local medical team.
Lake Nakuru National Park
Volcanoes National Park
“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne — bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”
Itinerary at a Glance
September 30 You’ll arrive in Nairobi & rest for your upcoming adventure. (accommodation at Macushla House)
October 1 Today you’ll visit the Giraffe Center & the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage to learn more about these beautiful species you’ll encounter in the wild. (accommodation at Macushla House)
October 2-4 Depart for Amboseli National Park on the morning of the 2nd. You’ll explore this area under the gaze of majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro. Amboseli is famous for its population of rare “tuskers”–elephants whose tusks are so long that they reach the ground. (accommodation at Tawi Lodge)
October 5 You’ll head back to Nairobi today to rest before tomorrow’s departure to Lake Nakuru National Park. (accommodation at Macushla House)
October 6-7 Discover Lake Nakuru with an afternoon game drive upon arrival and drives on the 7th. Nakuru, set on a “soda” lake of the Rift Valley, is home to both the southern white and eastern black rhinoceros. (accommodation at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge)
October 8-10 From Lake Nakuru, you’ll head southwest to the Masai Mara, part of the same beautiful ecosystem as the Serengeti in Tanzania. Enjoy the dense population of wildlife on the Mara–especially the big cats. Lions, cheetahs, leopards, oh my! (accommodation at Mara Ngenche Safari Camp)
October 11 You’ll head back to Nairobi today and enjoy lunch before setting out tonight for Kigali, Rwanda and the next leg of your East African adventure (accommodation at Heaven Boutique Hotel)
October 12 Today is all about the (short) journey, and what a beautiful journey it is through the countryside of Rwanda. (accommodation at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel)
October 13 What a privileged, rare opportunity today, to sit peacefully with the endangered mountain gorillas of Volcanoes National Park. (accommodation at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel)
October 14 After breakfast and an optional visit to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, you’ll head back to Kigali to begin your journey home after a rich & full East African safari!
What to expect on this journey
We’ve carefully curated your safari experience to maximize wildlife viewing and comfort while minimizing time driving between national parks. Many safari itineraries have you running all over creation, but we focus on three stellar national parks that house not only the “Big Five” (lions, elephants, cape buffalo, rhinos & leopards) but all of the animals you’re here for!
You’ll experience one to two game drives a day, starting in the early light of sunrise to witness the activity of wildlife, and we’ll stay out through the early afternoon. Late afternoon game drives will always be optional for you, but highly encouraged!
Your vehicles will be comfortable Toyota Land Cruisers, never filled to capacity; you’ll sit four to five guests per vehicle (other companies use the max capacity of 8!) While in the bush we see so many safari vehicles simply packed to the gills & it breaks our heart; we know that doesn’t make for a good experience!
Your lodges and luxury safari camps are perfectly located within or directly adjacent to the national parks & all rooms have a private bathroom and hot water.
We’ve worked hard to find outstanding locally owned safari companies, guides, and hotels, ensuring your money stays within Kenya and Rwanda to benefit the community.
Many safari companies use buses or mini-vans to bring you into the bush (pictured above). We don’t think that makes for a very pleasant experience, so we use Toyota Landcruisers (pictured below) and we don’t fill them to capacity—everyone gets a window seat!
What our 2021 Safari Guests are Saying…
It was the best vacation ever! At one point I became so overwhelmed by the sheer beauty and wonder of all the amazing animals, I started to weep. And I’m not a weepy person. Absolutely wonderful, educational, safe, and perfect. Heaven on earth! ~Julie D.
See more 2021 Safari Testimonials Here
Although we won’t physically be with you on your journey, we’ll be behind every single detail on your trip. We’ll send you loads of prep material and we’re here for any questions you have at any point in your experience!
Here is what some of our recent guests have had to say about their safari with us…
BJ and Lauren are so thoughtful and prepared and helpful and humorous that an atmosphere is established which brings out the best in each participant. It’s like magic!!!!! ~Barbara B
It was amazing. Even the smallest detail was taken care of for each of us. You also went out of your way to meet our individual needs and desires. I wholeheartedly recommend your company and this trip. ~Pat N.
This is my second trip with BJ and Lauren; these two people are so loving, and caring, full of energy, and just fun, when you meet them you end up having two best friends. When you travel with them you really don’t have to worry about anything, they will go out of their way to help you with any problems you have. ~ Sue T.
Every person I’ve met since I’ve been home the first words out of my mouth are “GO ON A SAFARI AND USE RETREATOURS!” It truly was a dream come true for me. To see the animals in their environment and not in a cage was beyond exciting. Lauren and BJ become family after a very short time. I felt like I’d know them forever and feel I’ve made new lifelong friends. I had no worries about anything the whole time I was gone and felt safe at every stop we made. ~Carol W
BJ and Lauren did a great job of making us all feel safe and comfortable. They supported our every whim… Their pre-trip communications were just right, and their kind and ethical guidance brought out the best in each of us. ~Brooke B.
This has been the best trip ever, full of miracles, truly lovely people in our group, and the best tour leaders in the world. Someone in our group suggested BJ and Lauren seem to attract really nice travel companions. Another wise soul amended that idea: BJ and Lauren seem to bring out the best in us, making us our best selves on the trip.
BJ and Lauren create ‘paint by number’ instructions for [trip preparation]….
They have created extensive relationships in each country to provide support for our travels and to ensure our travel dollars actually get to the people in the country rather than some international chain. BJ and Lauren guided us at every step, giving their valuable information and creating continuous enjoyment. It was such a pleasure and, truly, the trip of a lifetime. Thank you! ~Jane M.
Detailed Daily Itinerary
September 30-October 1
Your Kenyan experience will begin in the capital, Nairobi. You’ll stay in Nairobi for two nights at the beginning of your journey.
On your full day in Nairobi you’ll pay a visit to two special organizations that are dedicated to animal welfare and public education. You’ll spend time with Rothschild giraffes at The Giraffe Center, and you’ll get up close & personal while feeding them!
Afterwards, you’ll head to the David. E. Sheldrick “Orphan’s Project” and learn more about juvenile elephants that have tragically lost their families but are being given a shot at a successful life. These elephants are eventually reintroduced into the wild. You can see them drinking their morning milk, and if they want a scratch behind the ear, you can even give them a pet (on their terms, of course!)
Accommodation at Macushla House (Full-board)
Amboseli National Park
On the 2nd, you’ll head toward the southern border of Kenya to Amboseli National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (5-hour drive from Nairobi).
Amboseli is famous for its views of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 19,341 ft (5,895 meters). The park is also known for its elephants, including some of the last of the great tuskers.
Each day in the national park you’ll have the opportunity for one to two game drives; one to take advantage of the beautiful light and increased animal activity at sunrise, and another in the late afternoon for the rich colors of sunset. Both are, of course, optional, depending on how you are feeling that day.
Amboseli accommodation at Tawi Lodge (Full-board)
On the 5th you’ll say goodbye to Mt. Kilimanjaro and head back for an overnight in Nairobi (drive time: 5 hours) and head back to Macushla House for one night.
On October 6th you’ll head to Lake Nakuru (drive time: 4.5 hours) On the way you may be lucky enough to see the crater rim of Mt. Longonot, a beautiful extinct volcano. Lake Nakuru National Park is within the Rift Valley, and this is where you’ll try to spot rhinos!
Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the oldest rhino sanctuaries and home to both eastern black and southern white rhinos. This is also the place to spot the Rothschild giraffe, the ones you met on your first day in Nairobi. You’ll see they have a different pattern than the Masai giraffes you’ll admire in Amboseli and Masai Mara.
Lake Nakuru is also a perfect place to spot many fascinating bird species, including the Great White Pelican, with a wingspan of almost 12 feet. Greater and lesser flamingos dot these beautiful waters.
Accommodation at Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge (Full-board)
On the morning of the 8th you’ll drive to Masai Mara (5-hour drive) to begin your three-night stay in this gorgeous setting! The Masai Mara, named after the indigenous Maasai tribe, is part of the same ecosystem as the neighboring Serengeti in Tanzania.
You will be here during the last days of the Great Migration, when millions of wildebeest cross into the Mara in search of their favorite food: grass. While it may be known for the flurry of activity during the Great Migration, the Mara has an amazing population of wildlife year-round, the densest in all of Kenya.
Here is where you will spend time with the big cats: lions, cheetahs, and if you’re lucky, leopards! In fact, all members of the “Big Five” call the Mara their home: lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo, and rhinoceros. Masai Mara is an embarrassment of gorgeous creatures, from hippos and hyenas to warthogs and crocodiles. Wildebeest and zebra dot the plains, and all manner of antelope grace the Mara: impala, dik-dik, reedbuck, Thomson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, waterbuck, eland, Coke’s hartebeest, and topi. More than 470 species of birds have been identified in the park!
You may also wish to take a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Mara to see the migration from a new perspective. These spots fill up quickly, so we can help you reserve a space sooner rather than later.
Accommodation at Mara Ngenche Camp (Full-board)
On the 11th you’ll say goodbye to your Mara home and head back to Nairobi (~5-hour drive). This evening you take a shot flight to Kigali, Rwanda to continue your East African adventure!
You’ll arrive in Rwanda on the night of the 11th and be greeted and taken to your hotel for a good night’s rest. After a delicious breakfast on the 12th, you will check out and visit the Kigali Genocide Memorial & Museum. The museum is extremely moving, challenging, educational, and ultimately inspiring. You’ll learn about Rwanda’s history from pre-colonial times to the 1994 genocide and how Rwanda has dealt with that troubled past. The recovery has been incredible, a true testament to humankind’s resilience.
You will then take your COVID test (if still necessary) and drive 2 hours and 30 mins to Volcanoes National Park. The roads are lovely and the countryside is even lovelier, as you pass by farms along the rolling hillsides.
You will arrive in time for lunch and enjoy the lodge for the rest of the afternoon.
Accommodation at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Full-board)
Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
IT’S GORILLA DAY!
You’ll fuel up with an early breakfast on the 13th before heading to Volcanoes National Park Headquarters for your briefing at 7 AM. After meeting with your guide and learning what gorilla family you’ll be spendign time with, you’ll be transferred to the starting point of your guided walk, ready to begin this amazing adventure by 8 AM.
There are an estimated 1000 mountain gorillas left in the entire world, so to see these gentle creatures in their natural habitat is a true blessing and privilege.
Hikes in the mountains can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 4 hours+ depending on the family allocated to your group and their location. Your guide can request a more gentle or more vigorous journey, depending on your desire.
After a most memorable experience encountering these creatures, you will return to the lodge for lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing, reminiscing, and no doubt flipping through your amazing photos! A cultural visit to a local village can also be arranged.
Accommodation at Five Volcanoes Boutique Hotel (Full-board)
Return to Kigali
After breakfast you’ll have the opportunity to visit the new Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund with a welcome donation of $20. For 55 years, the Fossey Fund has been working to help conserve wild gorilla populations and support the people who share gorillas’ forest home.
It all started with two tents that Dian Fossey erected in the forest in 1967. From there, they grew over the years, from one person to a staff of more than 300. The team made a strategic decision to move forward on an ambitious, 20-year dream to create a purpose-built facility in Rwanda aimed at accelerating science and conservation work.
After the visit, you’ll drive back to Kigali and have lunch. If time permits, you may do some last-minute souvenir shopping before transferring to Kigali International Airport in time for your journey home.
Please click the title of the desired tab to open it.
Price & What is Included
The price for this Kenyan and Rwandan journey is $11,798 USD per person (double occupancy).
Deposit and Payment Schedule
A $4000 non-refundable deposit holds your space. The sooner we receive your deposit, we can guarantee a Gorilla Trekking permit for your chosen day.
The second installment of $3899 is due by April 1, 2023
The balance is due by July 1, 2023.
We will email you an invoice (via PayPal) about a week before each due date.
Private Room Supplement
If you prefer to have your own private room (that is, you will not have a roommate), the single supplement is $3,050 USD and will be added to your last payment. (Click here to understand why this single supplement is necessary).
- All transportation within Kenya and Rwanda, including VIP airport pickup and drop-off
- All accommodation
- All meals starting with breakfast on October 1st and ending with lunch on October 14th* (dinners on September 30 and October 11 not included)
- Water on safari
- All safaris in a private 4×4 Land Cruiser (only 4 to 5 guests per vehicle)
- All National Park entrance fees ($750 USD per person)
- Gorilla trekking permit ($1500 USD per person) This fee goes to gorilla conversation and 10% of it goes directly back to help the surrounding communities so they don’t have to rely on poaching for income. Please click here for a great Associated Press article about this initiative.
- Triple carbon-offsetting for your time in Kenya
Price does not include
- International airfare into Nairobi and out of Kigali (although will be more than happy to help you decide on arrangements)
- Flight from Nairobi, Kenya to Kigali, Rwanda on October 11th (we will suggest exactly which flight to purchase)
- Dinner on September 30th and October 11th
- East African Visa (~$100 USD)
- Tips to local guides, hotel and restaurant staff
- Travel insurance (required)
- Beverages at meals
- Laundry services
- Any required COVID testing
- Optional Hot Air Balloon ride in the Masai Mara ($475 USD for 2022; we’ll update you when we get 2023 prices)
Please refer to the Price tab for specific information about price & what is included on your journey.
We accept payments via check and credit or debit card (via PayPal). For our guests outside the U.S., please write Lauren@RetreaTours.com for the best transfer details.
- Paying by Zelle: You can use the email address “L.S.Rathvon@gmail.com” for any Zelle payments, which will show as “Insight Travels, LLC”
- Paying by Check: Checks can be made out to RetreaTours and sent to 8821 NW 14 Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 33024.
- Paying by Credit Card, Debit Card, or PayPal balance: You can pay the balance with credit card, debit card, or PayPal balance through the button below. Note that you do not have to pay with your PayPal balance; please click here if you’d like further instruction.
We will email you an invoice (via PayPal) about a week before each due date.
We do everything in our power to do right by our guests. We are proud to say that in the wake of our COVID-related trip cancellations through 2020 and 2021, we were able to offer each of our guests the choice of a 100% credit, if not a full refund.
We’ve re-examined each trip and done our best to reduce the deposit amounts as much as possible. Upon your registration, your deposit immediately goes toward reserving your hotels and transportation that must be booked months; we’ll also reserve your $1500 Gorilla trekking permit immediately.
Cancellation by our guests
The cancellation charges are as follows unless otherwise indicated on the detailed itinerary for each trip. All cancellations must be received via e-mail or US mail.
- Cancellations prior to 120 days to departure, money will be refunded minus the non-refundable deposit.
- Cancellations received 61 to 119 days prior to departure are subject to a penalty of 50% of the total cost of the trip.
- Cancellations received 60 days or fewer prior to trip departure will forfeit the entire cost of the trip.
If a trip is cancelled by RetreaTours
When a tour is cancelled in the case of force majeure, the Tour Participant will receive a refund minus any funds that we are unable to recover from any supplier.
Registration Questions & Contract
Please click here to complete this journey’s registration form. You will be asked for your passport expiration date; if you will need to renew your passport before this trip, simply fill in your old information and update us when you receive your new passport.
At the end of the form, please press “submit” to finalize your answers. Your spot is not considered reserved until you have completed these questions and submitted your deposit.
"Bugs & Temperature"
We know these two topics are important! Do you know how we know? We see our guests’ Facebook pages and this is what all of their friends ask them while you are on safari! Here’s the scoop:
Yes, you’re in Africa. Yes, you’re near the equator. But, YES, it can still be chilly! Bank on chilly mornings and evenings (as in 50°F chilly, possibly in places). This is due to weather patterns and altitude (we’ll range from 3700 feet in Amboseli to 6000 feet in Nairobi).
It will also get warm during the heat of the day (85°F+). This means layers, layers, layers. Feel free to bring light t-shirts or even tank tops and shorts for warm afternoons back at the hotels and camps, but please do bring long pants and a sweater or jacket (especially if you plan on doing the optional hot air balloon ride).
You may have a vision of tons of insects and mosquitos invading your space on a safari. It just ain’t so!
You will be visiting Kenya during the dry season and mosquitos and creepy crawlies, in general, aren’t a big concern. We asked our September 2021 guests in our post-trip survey about the number of mosquitos they saw on tour; 8 guests said “zero,” one guest said “1,” and one eagle-eyed guest said “5.” My favorite quote was “I saw NO bugs except a grasshopper and a funny rhinoceros beetle.” My personal count was 2; BJ traveled around Kenya for 7 weeks and his total was 7.
Malaria is still endemic in Kenya and Rwanda and you should have that conversation about antimalarials with your travel doctor (please see the “vaccine” part of our FAQ below for more information about that).
In addition, the CDC suggests a Yellow Fever vaccine and Rwanda actually requires it if you are coming from Kenya.
We say this not to lessen any of your precautions against malaria or yellow fever—we’re big fans of being well-prepared and taken care of. This is to give you a bit of perspective about what the actual situation is on the ground.
Please do bring personal insect repellent, please do wear it and/or long sleeves and pants at night, and certainly, feel free to use any mosquito nets around your bedding (available at some camps). But please don’t let fear of bugs put you off an East African safari!
FAQ: Visas, Vaccines, Food, Money & more
- Passport and Visa information
- Health & Vaccines, Altitude, Travel Insurance
- Money & How to Get Local Currency
- What do I need to know about the visa?
First and foremost, your passport MUST be valid at least 6 months beyond the end date of the trip, and you’ll need two empty pages in the Visas section of your passport (make sure they are in the Visa section, not the Amendment or Endorsement section).
We’ll give you further visa instructions before the journey. You’ll apply for an East African visa for $100 USD before the journey begins.
- Can my dietary needs be accommodated?
Absolutely, we’ll let the camps know about your needs before our arrival. Please indicate any special requests/allergies on the registration form; if we have any questions or concerns about your particular needs, we’ll contact you.
Please note that some breakfasts or lunches will be boxed meals that we will take to enjoy on safari, but dinners will always be at our hotels.
- Should I bring snacks?
So glad you asked–yes! Snacks like nuts, protein bars, or other favorites are a nice thing to have on hand during long days on safari.
- Can I drink the tap water?
In a word, No. Although many cities around the world are getting more advanced public water systems, we don’t recommend it. Not only from a pathogen standpoint, but it’s a different set of bacteria than your body is used to. Why risk an upset stomach if you don’t have to? We recommend drinking only bottled water, and you will want to rinse your toothbrush off in bottled water.
- What vaccines do I need?
RetreaTours requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination and booster for this journey.
Rwanda requires proof of the Yellow Fever vaccine since you will be entering from Kenya.
No vaccines are required to enter Kenya, but this is one destination where we highly encourage you to work with your local travel clinic or the travel department of your local health department (often a much cheaper option).
- Please see the CDC’s general advice for Kenya: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya
- Please see the NHS’s general advice for Kenya: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/kenya
- Please see the CDC’s general advice for Rwanda: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/rwanda
- Please see the NHS’s general advice for Rwanda: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/africa/rwanda
As you can see in the CDC’s map below, the Yellow Fever vaccine is recommended for Kenya.
- What about malaria?
You will be visiting in the dry season and shouldn’t expect to see too many mosquitos. That said, malaria is still endemic throughout Kenya and Rwanda and preventatives are recommended by the CDC. Please work with your travel physician for the prophylactic best for you.
- Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is required on this trip; please see the separate “Travel Insurance” toggle on this page.
- How much money should I bring?
All of your meals and transportation are covered, so you just have to gauge how much you want to spend on extras, beverages and alcohol, and tips.
After registration we’ll let you know how much some of the optional activities cost, as well as suggested tips to your guides and other hotel staff.
- How do I get the local currency?
You can either exchange cash in Kenya or Rwanda or use a local ATMs upon arrival in Nairobi and Kigali (although exchanging money will be easier). Just make sure you call your bank and credit card company to let them know you’ll be traveling in Kenya and Rwanda so they don’t put a hold on your card when they see it being used halfway across the world.
Our Carbon Negative Commitment
RetreaTours is Climate Positive!
We purchase triple carbon offsets for your travels with us—that’s from your home, through the entire tour, and back to your home again, times three!
You may have heard the term “carbon neutral,” which means that a company offsets as much carbon as it produces. With this 300% offset, RetreaTours is actually offsetting more carbon than we produce each year, making us “carbon negative” (or “climate positive,” which has a nicer ring to it!)
Since 2012 we’ve focused on making travel safe and easy for our guests; with our triple carbon offset tours, we’re pleased to make our trips as sustainable as they are memorable.
Please see more at RetreaTours.com/CarbonNegative
Suggested Fitness Requirements
For better or worse, safaris are not physically strenuous, but they do require a decent amount of time sitting in a vehicle.
Your drive times between Nairobi and the different National Parks are all about 5 hours long, with stops for restrooms and leg-stretching.
Your morning game drives can be up to 5 hours at a stretch (afternoon game drives about 3 hours), but you will also have time to stretch your legs for any boxed breakfasts (if you choose to leave early) and “bush” toilet stops. The roofs on your Land Cruisers pop open so you can stand in the vehicle, as well!
The beauty of this private safari is that you can all decide together how long you would like to go out for each day. If one vehicle wants to return early, that is fine, too, and everyone that wants to return to the lodge can jump in that vehicle!
Travel Medical Insurance
We require that each guest carries travel insurance that covers emergency medical treatment and emergency evacuation and repatriation.
We suggest trip cancellation insurance, as well, as you never know what obstacles life can toss at you leading up to a trip. However, we do not require this coverage, we only suggest it highly.
Below you will find some options to look into, if this is a new world to you. However, we ask that you carefully consider your choice in travel insurance. What works for some people may not work for others, particularly if you have any pre-existing conditions. Please do take the time to consider the best policy for your individual needs.
World Nomads provides medical coverage for guests under 70 that includes trip cancellation, as well. You can use the box on this page to get a quote and see coverage.
InsureMyTrip.com is a good place to see and compare many policies at once, and you can refine the options by what coverage you would like.
It may also be a good idea to check with your credit card companies, especially American Express, to see if they offer any medical coverage for travel.
About your International Flights
We are more than happy to recommend international flights, but ultimately you will make the purchase yourself. Here is some important information if you would like to research flights yourself:
When must I arrive in Nairobi?
You can arrive anytime in Nairobi before midnight on September 30th. Dinner that night is not included, and your first activities start at 8 AM on October 1st.
If you wish to arrive early, we can help you with hotel reservations.
What time should I book my departing flight from Kigali?
Your flight departure time should be after 6 PM on October 14th from Kigali, Rwanda.
Temperature & Suggested Packing List
About BJ and Lauren of RetreaTours
BJ Graf and Lauren Rathvon have traveled the globe year-round since January 2013, researching, designing, and leading impactful journeys. We are deeply grateful for the trust placed in us by our guests; we save our guests’ time and resources during trip planning and maximize their engagement and enjoyment on tour.
We are committed not only to our guests, but to our host destinations and the planet. We engage with local businesses and guides to keep money within the community, and we triple carbon-offset each of our tours.
We invite you to visit our Testimonials page to see what other people have to say about us! You can also head over to our About page if you’re interested in learning even more about us or RetreaTours.
Please click a photo to see an enlarged version; you can use your arrow keys or mouse to navigate within the album.
ALL photos in this album were taken by BJ or Lauren in 2019 & 2021 in the same parks you’ll be visiting.
You can have a smartphone safari!
Do we recommend only having your smartphone on safari? Not necessarily. Can you bring home some excellent shots on your smartphone, though? Absolutely! We get so close to so many animals that sometimes you have to use your phone instead of a zoom lens.
The video below highlights footage that BJ took exclusively on his iPhone 11 in 2019—nothing edited or zoomed beyond the standard 2x zoom. This video goes to show that it’s not only about what camera you are using on safari!
Want to relax and not worry about capturing the moment? Bring your smartphone & a pair of binoculars and then rely on our photo album at the end of the safari!