Nairobi & Lewa Downs
with Jenn Wooten & Laura Forsyth
February 29 – March 8, 2024 – SOLD OUT
March 6 – March 14, 2024 – SOLD OUT
We’ve been developing this special “once in a lifetime” destination for several years, and the pieces have finally come together!
Our Kenya adventure requires 11-12 days including travel. You’ll depart the US (or your home country!) and head to Nairobi, Kenya for your adventure. From the US, your flight might connect from a hub such as NYC, Frankfurt, London, Paris or Qatar and take you straight to Nairobi. We’ll spend our first 2 nights In Nairobi, complete with a visit to an elephant orphanage & giraffe education center, before heading to our private retreat property in the Lewa Downs Conservancy for the heart of the retreat. There, we’ll be family and experience 7 days / 6 nights at one of Kenya’s most private wildlife and environmental conservation projects.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is comprised of 62,000 acres of conserved land and the richness of wildlife here is astounding with over 70 different animal species and 350 bird species. World renowned for the conservation of the endangered rhino (this area contains 14% of Kenya’s rhino and NO poaching incidents since 2013), Lewa is also home to the big 5 and more. Lions, giraffes, leopards, buffalo, Grevy Zebra, over 400 migratory elephant, and so much more.
The heart of our adventure takes us to the Lewa Downs Conservancy and a spectacular private property called Lewa Wilderness. In contrast to the bigger safari lodges and camps in the south, (where you might pack up every couple days to go to another camp and share drives with many other tourists), here we’ll be offered the most up close and personal, intimate experience of this precious ecosystem. With our expert Masai guides, we’ll explore via vehicle, foot, and optional horse and camelback rides. And since this is a private property, we aren’t confined to our vehicles alongside all the other visitors. Here we are able to exit our vehicles and have a more intimate experience with the natural environment.
This adventure has been planned with care and precision — with partners whose expertise is Kenya, who have a direct personal relationship with the owners of this special property, and who can provide the white glove service needed for such an undertaking. Our friends and partners at The Portal will be with us every step of the way from the moment each traveler enrolls. They will be managing all of the details necessary to provide for a smooth retreat. This includes our private inland transportation and guides in Nairobi, our in country flights fromNairobi to Lewa Downs, advise us on our international flights, and ensure each participant has all the paperwork & visas needed to travel . You will be given detailed packing lists and more. They offer a concierge service all along the way.
We are grateful that they have connected us to the family run Lewa Wilderness for our retreats!
Please enjoy the below video that offers some background and insight as to why we chose this property and the family who have committed to preserving this spectacular eco system.
Upon enrollment, you will be invited to a special guest portal where every last detail of this trip will be outlined. Through this portal, we’ll share important documents you need, and you’ll be able to upload information and documents we need (for example, passport details, your travel insurance policy and other personal details)
Our partner, Christine Mann at The Portal and her colleague, safri specialist Erin Perry, will be in contact with each participant to ensure you are guided through every step of the process.
A QUICK OUTLINE OF YOUR ADVENTURE:
DAY 1 – Depart for Kenya on your international flights
DAY 2 – Karibu (Welcome) to Kenya!
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), you will be met by One Yoga Global & The Portal’s VIP Kenyan airport representative who will assist you through passport control, immigration, customs and baggage claim. You will be escorted to your waiting private driver, who will transfer you to your accommodations.
Overnight Tamarind Tree Hotel
DAY 3 – After Breakfast at Tamarind Tree Hotel, enjoy visits to: Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa) Museum, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (elephant orphanage) 11:00 am – 12:00pm. Enjoy lunch (pyable direct) in the gardens at Matt Bronze. After lunch, we visit the Giraffe Centre. Then onto some great shopping (we’ll give you suggestions)! Dinner at a favorite local’s restaurant The Talisman or similar (payable direct).
DAY 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 – After breakfas,t your private driver/vehicle will transfer you to Wilson Airport for your early morning scheduled flight to the Lewa Conservancy. Upon arrival at the Lewa Downs airstrip, you will be greeted by a Lewa Wilderness driver/guide who will escort you through this amazing wildlife conservancy. Enjoy your first game drive!
6 nights Lewa Wilderness
Our daily schedule will include farm to table meals, game drives, sundowners, at least one daily yoga class on site or in a special location, relaxation, time for simply enjoying the property and surroundings, and more. We’ve also scheduled a visit to a local Masai village to learn about their culture. Lewa Wilderness has horses and camels, and we can arrange opportunities to ride in small groups. **An important note: these are smaller animals and have a strict weight limit of 187lbs. There are a couple horses that can take up to 200lbs.
Optional Activities available through Lewa Wilderness (extra fees): Air Wilderness Scenic Flights, and possible massage opportunities.
DAY 10 – Return to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport via scheduled flight where your private driver/guide will transfer you to your day rooms at Four Points by Sheraton. Here, you can relax before your journey home. Take a short shuttle service to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to connect with your international flight home. VIP service escorting you through the check in process.
DAY 11 – Flying home or to your next destination!
Travel, Additional Information & FAQ’s
The wildlife viewing is off the charts during this month. You will be game viewing from some of the finest safari vehicles Kenya has to offer (including electric), even some that are open top vehicles. And because you will be on private land in the Lewa Conservancy your game viewing activities can also include walking, running if you prefer (with a private Masai escort), horseback and camel riding with the plains game.
Community and other points of interest
- Lewa Wilderness has a unique and special prehistoric site visit
- Lewa Conservancy headquarters educational talks (security overview in how the wildlife is protected by the conservancy – they are so successful their model is duplicated throughout Africa)
- Beautiful spring fed watering hole to enjoy
- Tennis court and a swimming pool
- Lewa community crafts (carpet weavers)
- Cultural village visits (we have one planned!)
- Several Scenic flight options (extra cost, but we know some of you will want to experience this!)
Food & Drinks
Meals at Lewa Wilderness are fresh, locally grown and chef prepared cuisine. Lewa Wilderness offers multi course meals (they say that everything tastes better in the bush!) and dietary requests such as gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and others are easily accommodated. Enjoy al fresco dining under the African stars, sundowner cocktails and unsurpassed views. You’ll notice the sense of pride and detail to attention that the staff, managers and owners take so that you have the optimum experience. Set aside any concerns about safari food and prepare to be surprised and impressed.
Beverages & Alcohol
The standards of water filtration technology provides filtered water in each room, on game drives and at every meal. You have the option of bringing your own non-plastic water bottle or tumbler to use throughout your stay, or one can be provided for you during your stay. Lewa Wilderness offers local beers, wines, and spirits before lunch, during sundowners and dinner, and wine with meals. Imported premium spirits, cellar wines, and champagne are extra and payable direct.
Itinerary Dates & International Flights
This itinerary is based on your night time arrival in Nairobi and night departure for home. Should you choose to fly on an airline that has arrival/departure times other than at night, we will work with you on those plans and transfers. Anticipate purchasing international flight’s 330 days prior to the trip – we’ll be confirming all of this through our friends at the Portal as we approach this time. NOTE: Please DO NOT purchase travel from third party sellers, always book directly with airlines in case a flight or itinerary changes.
Passports and Visas
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months and have at least 3 balnk pages to enter Africa. There is an additional electornic Visa that each traveller will need. (we will send the links and reminders)
Immunizations and Vaccinations
There are no mandatory immunizations or vaccinations for this safari itinerary. You will find East Africa a healthy and hospitable region to visit, however, health concerns throughout the world change regularly so we urge you to consult your physician or travel clinic regarding recommended or suggested medications, vaccinations, and immunizations for the regions of Nairobi or Lewa Wilderness on this safari itinerary.
Jenn Wooten, RYT500, YACEP, C-IAYT is a certified yoga therapist and yoga educator who has studied yoga and mindfulness for over 20 years. She has been a teacher, mentor and group facilitator in the Austin yoga community since 2004. Her teaching style focuses on embodiment, functional movement, joy and resilience. Jenn teaches trauma-informed yoga classes and leads foundational and in-depth yoga teacher trainings, mentorships and retreats throughout the world. She guides students to respond to life’s stressors through embodiment, breath, self-awareness and self-compassion. Her teaching is engaging, accessible and warm-hearted. Jenn’s gift is her intuitive ability to help students lean into to their own self-authority and connect to their body as a source of wisdom. The core of her teaching is helping people cultivate a yoga and mindfulness practice as a pathway for healing, awakening and wholeness.
Laura Forsyth RYT500, YACEP, is the founder of One Yoga Global. She began her yoga studentship over two decades ago and began teaching in 2005. Laura specializes in Hatha yoga for all levels, yoga for stress management, yin yoga, restorative yoga and iRest yoga nidra. She has completed coursework in Ayurveda from the Ayurvedic Institute and studied bodywork at the Institute of Psycho Structural Balancing in California. She leads workshops and trainings on special topics and she serves as guest faculty in various teacher training programs. She is deeply grateful to all her teachers including Donna Farhi, Dr. Richard Miller, Judith Lasater, Leslie Kaminoff and so many more.
Upon Arrival, our first 2 nights will be at the Tamarind Tree Hotel in Nairobi. From here we’ll venture out on day 2 to see some sights, and on the morning for day 3, we’re minutes away from the domestic airport (Wilson Airport), where we cach our flight to Lewa Wilderness.
Lewa Wilderness has garden cottages and hillside cottages. The 6 Garden Cottage rooms are set amongst the brilliant green lawns and close to the main lodge. Each room has a private bathroom, and between each set of 2 bedrooms is a sizable open plan living area complete with a sitting area, bar and cozy fireplace. The garden rooms are exceptionally spacious and with recent renovations, bright and sunny, perfect for friends / families and also those who do not wish to be too far from the main lodge. Because of the proximity to the main lodge, these rooms have regular access to wifi.
The 6 Hillside Cottages are further out on the property and have stunning vistas overlooking Lewa’s Eastern Marania Valley. These cottages provide the ultimate in privacy, where guests will feel like they are the only occupants for miles. They have private bathrooms, a cozy sitting area and fireplace, and a private outdoor verandah where one can enjoy a morning coffee while watching the sunrise. Three cottages have a single King bed, three cottages have 3-4 beds on 2 stories. Because the hillside cottages are further (just a short walk) from the main lodge, you will not have access to wifi while in your room.
*While we cannot guarantee the Hillside vs Garden cottage room accommodations specifically, you are welcome to place a request with us and we’ll do our best.
On our last day, we fly back to Nairobi and we have day rooms booked at the Sheraton Four Points near the International Airport so we can all relax before our evening flights home.
- VIP international airport meet & greet upon arrival to assist you through passport control, immigration, customs and baggage claim.
- All accommodations and meals fully inclusive on safari at Lewa Wilderness
- Tamarind Tree Hotel bed & breakfast (arrival night meal if desired is payable direct)
- Four Points by Sheraton Day Rooms on last day
- Meals at Lewa Wilderness (gluten free, vegetarian and vegan available), drinks (except premium spirits)
- Laundry service at Lewa Wilderness
- Special bush meals, sundowners and picnic excursions
- All safari-game viewing activities by vehicle and on foot
- Shared guided day and night game drives in 4×4 vehicles and guided bush walks
- Scheduled flights to Lewa Downs (only economy class available)
- All vehicle transfers to/from all safari properties & airstrips
- All meet & greet airport/airstrip services
- All park, reserve & conservation fees | all tourism levies & taxes
- AMREF Flying Doctors Emergency Evacuation Services within Kenya | 30 days coverage for each enrollee
- VIP international airport service escorting you through the check in and departure processes.
- Nairobi Day Tour: Day 2: Pre-paid entrance fee for Karen Blixen Museum, Daphne Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) public visit from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, Giraffe Center visit
- At Lewa Wilderness: Cultural Village Visit, daily yoga classes, access to pool, tennis court
- At Lewa Wilderness: opportunity to ride horses and camels (strict weight limit on these smaller animals: 187lbs)
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
- International flights to / from Nairobi (JKIA) International Airport
- Comprehensive travel insurance is required (and must be purchased within 14-21 days of placing your deposit)
- Kenya Visa | $51 per person | purchased 30-45 days in advance online
- Valid US Passport | 6 months valid from date of entry with 3 blank pages
- Open lunches and dinners in Nairobi (arrival night as desired, Nairobi tour day 2 and meals after breakfast on departure day)
- Premium spirits (liquor exports & luxury wines) & champagne & sparkling wines
- Gratuities to camp staff | suggestion $10-$20 per travler per day
- Gratuities to camp guides | suggestion $10-$20 per traveler per day
- Optional items like massage, or small plane flights at lewa Wilderness
Shared Accommodation package price: $8810
Single Accommodation package price: $9890 (waitlist available)
* Please review the Inclusions/Exclusions and the Payments/Cancellations sections before placing your deposit. (Deposit = $1810 pp shared accommodation /$1990 pp single accommodation).
Once you place your deposit, you will need to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy within 14-21 days.
February 29 – March 8, 2024
*with travel days: February 28 – March 9, 2024*
March 6 – March 14, 2024
Payments, Refunds and Cancellations:
To reserve, an initial deposit is $1810 per person for shared accommodation, / $1990 per person for single accommodation paid via credit card, check or direct deposit.
Within 21 days of placing an initial deposit, each enrollee is additionally required:
1. To secure and provide us with a copy of a comprehensive Trip Insurance Policy (with minimum coverages)
2. To complete and sign initial enrollment and liability paperwork
The balance of reservation fees are due:
50% by February 28, 2023, 50% by July 1, 2023 – paid via check or direct bank deposit.
If you choose to use a credit card, a 3.5% fee will be added to the balances due.
*NOTE: for new reservations afte Feb, 2023, we will work with you to split up your balance into a few payments*
Cancellations received by or before February 28, 2023 are eligible for a refund minus 50% of your initial deposit.
Cancellations received by or before July 1, 2023, are eligible for a refund of fees paid minus 100% of your original deposit.
For cancellations after July 1, 2023, you can transfer your reservation to another person as long as you notify One Yoga Global 45+ days in advance, or you can make a claim with your Trip Insurance provider. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR A DOCUMENT EXPLAINING THE MINIMUM COVERAGE REQUIRED FOR YOUR TRIP INSURANCE POLICY. PLEASE SECURE THIS POLICY WITHIN 14 DAYS OF PLACING YOUR DEPOSIT.
We recommend that you consider purchasing trip insurance to protect your investment. Trawick International and Travel Guard are two providers that we recommend. Please review policies carefully to ensure they provide the coverage you need.