Kenya: Born Free with Lions and Masai

tours / Volunteering

Kenya: Born Free with Lions and Masai information and booking

  • Duration
    14 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
    Adventure touring
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

  • 14 day trip
  • 3 days community project
  • 3 days wildlife safari
  • 10 nights camping
  • 3 nights hotel
Equipment Required
Although all the equipment required for the community project will be provided, we do suggest that you bring tough work gloves and a lightweight set of overalls or old clothes to use during the project work days. A comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking.


  • Working alongside Masai to build a fence to keep lions from attacking their livestock
  • Visits to the Giraffe Sanctuary and Elephant Orphanage
  • Game driving in Nakuru National Park
  • Game driving in Masai Mara Game Reserve
  • Optional cycling in Hells Gate National Park
  • Visit "Elsamere", home to Joy and George Adamson, Elsa the Lioness and the film 'Born Free'

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Severe drought in Kenya in recent years has forced many wild animals to leave their natural habitats. Thousands have perished and the predatory species that remain have resorted to preying on livestock for food. Many lions have been killed by local Masai communities, who are protecting their livestock. The Born Free Foundation, a charity with a unique history tied to the classic wildlife story of Joy and George Adamson and Elsa the Lioness, has set up an initiative to protect livestock from lion attack. By building a fence around a manyatta (a Masai settlement) livestock are protected from marauding lions and, in turn, the lions do not become the target of Masai tribespeople. A simple fence allows native predators, livestock and humans to live in harmony and safety. On this trip, we will be assisting a local Masai community to build a fence around their manyatta. Located on the edge of Amboseli National Park, the settlement has Mt Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. On completion of the project we will enjoy wildlife safaris in Nakuru National Park and Masai Mara Game Reserve.

What's included

  • 12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Simple hotel/guesthouse in nairobi
  • Internal transport in private purpose-built safari trucks with forward facing seats for optimal wildlife viewing
  • 2 crew (driver and tour leader/cook)
  • All group camping equipment including tents and mattresses (sleeping bag not included)
  • Emergency medical kit
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • Camping fees
  • National park fees valued at us$345
  • Community project equipment, tools and materials including transport to site


Day 1 Arrive <a href="" class="partner" title="Nairobi">Nairobi</a>
On arrival in Nairobi, please make your own way to the guesthouse where we spend the night. Alternatively, we can arrange a transfer for you. Please make sure you arrive by 18:00hrs as there will be a group briefing in the evening. Overnight Country House Inn or similar.
Day 2 Giraffe Sanctuary, Elephant Orphanage and Kazuri Bead workshop
Breakfast and depart for Giraffe Sanctuary, spend some time hand feeding Rothschild Giraffes and learning about the issues facing this endangered giraffe in East Africa. We drive to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. The Elephant Orphanage is a unique program to teach young elephants survival skills before eventually being reintroduced into the wild by their human “mothers”. We spend an hour with the orphans, while the rangers explain their individual stories. We stop for lunch at Galleria Shopping complex before making our way to Kazuri Bead workshop and shop.
Day 3 Drive to the manyatta where we will be working on our community project
Departing camp we drive most of the day to the manyatta (roughly translates into homestead – but is a small village) near Amboseli or Tsavo National Park where we'll be based for the next few days to help construct a lion proof fence around the manyatta. We will be outside the boundaries of Amboseli National Park or Tsavo National Park – a park set with Mt Kilimanjaro in the background and long grassy savannah plains. The park and surrounding area are famous for large elephant herds, among many other animals. This region has been devastated by drought over the past 5 years forcing many resident animals to leave. When there is no food for the predators they turn to livestock. During 2008 and 2009 many lions were killed by local Masai communities to protect their livestock from lions. The Born Free Foundation has set up a project to protect livestock from lion attacks, thereby allowing predators, livestock and humans to live in harmony and safety. We will be funding and assisting the construction of a fence around one of the manyattas.
Day 4 to 5 Community project work
After breakfast we will drive to our allocated manyatta with our local guide. We will meet with Born Free Foundation and Masai leaders to plan the construction of the lion proof fence around the manyatta. We spend the day building the fence side by side with the local Masai community members. At the end of the day we can admire our handiwork, confident that we have completed an extremely important task to help protect two of Africa’s most famous icons ... Masai and lions. Each morning, if the weather is clear, we will be able to enjoy our morning coffee and hearty breakfast viewing Mt Kilimanjaro.
Day 6 Drive to <a href="" class="partner" title="Nairobi">Nairobi</a>
We enjoy a lazy breakfast and slow start to the day before packing and heading back to Nairobi for an overnight stop.
Day 7 Drive to <a href="" class="partner" title="Nakuru">Nakuru</a>
We depart Nairobi for Njoro, 30 kms from the town of Nakuru. We arrive in the mid afternoon, in time to meet our hosts and have a briefing on our next day activities. We spend the next 3 nights staying on Kenana Farm (Kembu Camp and Cottages is situated on the farm), one of the oldest farms in this area. The farm grows cereal crops, has a dairy herd, and a thoroughbred race horse program. The owners support many local projects and initiatives including conservation, education and empowerment of local people.
Day 8 Kenana School project work, farm tour and women's knitting project
We will spend the morning at Kenana School, where we might be painting or building chairs and desks, depending on the need at that time. After lunch we take a farm tour and visit the local women’s knitting project to learn about sustainable local enterprises. The knitting project empowers women in the local area to make items which are both sold through the local shop and exported. The knitting program works in with the many pressures put on women in this area – including working around harvest season, health issues and child care.
Day 9 Nakuru National Park
We spend the day game driving though Nakuru National Park famous for Black and White Rhino, flamingos and leopard, as well as being home to an array of wildlife. Nakuru National Park is a small park surrounded by cliffs with Lake Nakuru as the centre piece. There is constant wildlife activity around the lake with hyenas chasing flamingos, rhino families grazing in full view and pelicans practicing their synchronised swimming routine. We return to Kembu Camp and Cottages.
Day 10 Drive to Lake Naivasha
An easy start to the day before departing Kenana Farm. We stop in Nakuru town at the local handicraft market and spend some time bartering over souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back home. We continue to the shores of Lake Naivasha.
Day 11 Optional cycling in Hells Gate National Park and a visit to Elsamere.
There is an option this morning to spend a few hours cycling through Hells Gate National Park. The National Park is well known for its dramatic rock formations and stunning scenery. The film 'The Lion King' was modelled on the scenery, and 'Tomb Raider' was filmed in this park. In the afternoon we make our way to Elsamere. Elsamere was one of the homes of Joy and George Adamson – famous for their conservation work in Kenya and their pet lion “Elsa” whom they rehabilitated to be released back into the wild. The movie “Born Free” tells the story of the Adamson’s and Elsa. We watch a video on their lives, wander through the museum and enjoy a variety of cakes and home made lemonade for afternoon tea.
Day 12 Masai Mara Game Reserve
We depart early in the morning for the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Masai Mara is one of the natural wonders of the world, famous for the wildebeest migration in September and October, and the Big 5. The vast plains are teeming with wildlife and famous for the big cat population. Game driving through this park we can look forward to spotting numerous antelope, zebra, large herds of elephant, lions, leopard, hyena, cheetah, warthog, hippos, crocs and rhino. The Mara is a unique park where it is not uncommon to see several herds of different species all hovering around watering holes with lions overlooking. We arrive at the gates of the Mara in time for a late afternoon game drive before making our way to our camp for the night.
Day 13 Game drive in Masai Mara
We rise early in the morning for an early game drive, often the best time to see animals while they graze in the early morning. We return to camp for lunch and a siesta (just like the animals do!) before heading out again in the late afternoon.
Day 14 Return to <a href="" class="partner" title="Nairobi">Nairobi</a>
We bid farewell to the Masai Mara and make our way back to Nairobi by late afternoon. We will transfer you to your pre-booked hotel or to the airport if you depart this evening. (Please do not book a flight out of Nairobi before 21:00hrs. There will be one airport drop-off today only for any onward flights. For all other departures, please ask for assistance if you require a transfer to the airport - additional cost applies.)