Winter 2023

Travel and Tourism
Time to Safari

Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s oldest national park and is a leading sanctuary for black rhinos, unique to Kenya. One is also likely to see a pride of lions resting in the middle of the road, writes Rashi Sen

In East Africa, Kenya is the country with the most depth of safari product – starting from Nairobi, which remains the only capital city in the world to have its own national park, heading to Mt Kenya, offering the possibility of hobnobbing with latent species on the foothills and finally in the Maasai Mara, the iconic savannah grasslands that need no introduction when it comes to safari holidays.

Fairmont, part of Accor, has recently launched a three-stop safari jaunt across precisely these three destinations in Kenya.

Fairmont The Norfolk in Nairobi offers guests a sophisticated retreat with easy access to the key business districts of Gigiri, Westlands and Upperhill in addition to leisure hubs and the bourgeoning art scene.

Not just another city hotel, the story of Fairmont The Norfolk is intertwined with that of Kenya’s history and Nairobi’s development from a collection of tents to the bustling city it is today. If you turn back in time, you may spot Ernest Hemingway, Theodore Roosevelt and Mick Jagger strolling past The Norfolk’s storied gates. To this day, the property remains a haven for the rich and discerning – a great way to explore the safari capital of the world.

The hotel, which first opened during Christmas of 1904 and updated over the years, has most recently refurbished in 2022 by Fox Brown, an interior design company dedicated to the development of bespoke luxury properties in Africa.

The hotel is formed around tranquil tropical gardens and boasts 125 luxurious rooms, a heated outdoor swimming pool, a modern health club and award-winning dining facilities.


Not just within the property, the charm of Fairmont The Norfolk extends to the myriad experiences it offers including curated visits to Nairobi National Park, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, Kazuri Beads factory, and the famous ‘Out Of Africa’ movie museum.

Established in December 1946, Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s oldest national park. It is a leading sanctuary for black rhinos, unique to Kenya. This is one of the parks in Kenya where one is also likely to see a pride of lions resting in the middle of the road. The park also contains the historic Ivory Burning site.

Best known for their work to protect the elephants, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust operates the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation programme.

Apart from the iconic first-timer experiences listed above, for the repeat and nuanced visitors to Nairobi, Kiambethu Tea Plantation is a must visit. The first farm to grow, make and sell tea commercially in Kenya is just a short drive from the heart of Nairobi. Kiambethu Farm at Limuru provides a tranquil insight into life on a settler farm with lunch and tea experiences with the owners of the property as it has been handed down over the generations.

Not just the tea, Kenya is equally famous for its homegrown coffee. For beverage lovers, the Fairview Estate Coffee Tour is a vibrant educational experience and provides an insight into the coffee production processes. While coffee was introduced into Kenya in 1893, the first crop of Karunguru Coffee was planted in 1928. It is evident, therefore, that as far back as 1928, the history of coffee growing has been an integral part of the Karunguru heritage.


The next stop is Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, situated 2,129 m above sea level. On 40 landscaped hectares at the base of Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Kenya (5,199 m), this upscale hotel is 10km from the roadside Equator Marker and 15km from the regional Nanyuki Airport.

Situated in an old-school colonial setting, the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is a destination reminiscent of times gone by, known as the place of American actor William Holden. The hotel’s gold book has had a veritable clientele, the reason why now, black-and-white photographs adorn the walls with famous guests as Winston Churchill, Bing Crosby, Ernest Hemingway and Steve McQueen.

The main structure reflects the 1950s’ colonial architectural design with a luxury country club feel, complemented by independent quaint cottages. These were refurbished in 2022 by Tania Combos, the designer.

The hotel hosts 100 rooms circled by exotic gardens, devoted to relaxation with a spa, pool and golf course, mountain adventure with the plane, helicopter or climbing sessions and wildlife conservation.

Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club is the only place in the country to offer the unique experience of Kenyan mountain and forest. The hotel sits within the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy.


Dedicated to the protection and preservation of endangered animals, Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy was founded by Don and Iris Hunt and became the first and only conservancy dedicated to the breeding and rewilding of mountain bongos.

Today, according to the IUCN, there are fewer than 100 of these beautiful animals left in the wild, making them a critically endangered species. The conservancy protects the slopes of Mount Kenya through reforestation, pollination, protection of mountain wildlife such as elephants, leopards, cheetahs, golden zebras, birds of prey and the education of the communities and visitors.

After undertaking a redevelopment project, Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, together with Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, open a wildlife corridor to allow a safe passage for animals such as leopards, elephants, and giraffes.

Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy conservationists secured observation zones and game drive zones, which now allow guests to observe and connect with this amazing mountain wildlife.

Guests are invited to experience Mount Kenya – the jewel of this magical place – aboard the Bongo Expedition, named after the endangered bongo, for a most memorable tour over the peak of the mountain. Here, visitors can also enjoy a chilled beverage after landing on the slopes of Mount Kenya and witness the extraordinary flora at this altitude.

Hotel clients are welcome to try their hand at bongo-tracking, bike safaris among zebras, elephants’ observation, excursions to discover the mighty waterfalls of Ngare Ndare Forest Park, walks around the animal orphanage and climbing expeditions up Mount Kenya.


Last and definitely not the least, the Fairmont Mara Safari Club is nestled in an intimate but wide conservancy which hosts the two last white rhinos of Mara. Fairmont Mara Safari Club gives guests the possibility to observe from very close all the big five species and experience all possible safaris. The Maasai communities to whom the land belongs, will welcome warmly and in an authentic way the guests and share their arts and culture.

Built in 1989, the tented camp was refurbished in 2022 by Tania Combos. The land the club is on was an old hunting camp that had been converted to use for photo tours following the ban on hunting in Kenya in 1977.

The Senior Chief Lerionka Ole Ntutu had a vision to convert this land to a luxury tented camp that would rival the best camps in the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. Ol Chorro-Oruo private conservancy became the first conservancy in Mara belonging to Maasai communities.

The 38 luxuriously refurbished tents overlook the hippo and crocodile-filled Mara River. The outdoor swimming pool, exciting culinary experiences and breathtaking game drives make Fairmont Mara Safari Club a must-visit destination for safari lovers and adventure seekers.

Activities at this property include the majestic balloon safari at the crack of dawn. It is one of the best experiences as you get to drift above the plains, forests and rivers of the Mara which feels like a dream. For the more active guests, the bike safari is on offer. The night game drive that comes with driver guides and spotter gives you the experience to discover the Maasai Mara by night. This is a wonderful opportunity to spot the predators and prey alike, and to spot the shy nocturnal creatures who scuttle, feed and fight their way through the bush.

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