Kenya and Tanzania are lands of huge contrast, not so much between themselves as in terms of their astonishing topography, geography and geology. East Africa has it all. Packed into this relatively small corner of the world are snow-capped peaks, grassy savannahs, shimmering deserts, steaming rainforests, sun-drenched beaches, pristine coral reefs….and, above all, game reserves teeming with some of the world's most spectacular wildlife. If you keep your eyes open and your spirit free, you will discover the many faces of East Africa on our "Heart of Kenya and Tanzania" tour. And you will have had a unique opportunity, during this intensely rewarding safari experience, to view all of Africa's great animals in their natural habitats!
Ultimate Kenya: During our luxury safari tour, we will explore: Nairobi and its famous Masai markets; Amboseli National Park and its elephant herds, all situated at the foot of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro; Lake Nakuru and its shimmering pink flamingoes, which provide a truly "Out of Africa" experience; and the famous Masai Mara and its black maned lions, all guarded over by its regal Masai warriors.
Ultimate Tanzania: During our private tour, we'll visit the Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unbroken caldera in the world, quite appropriately deemed the "eighth wonder of the world." We'll also explore: the Serengeti, one of the world's last great wildlife refuges, which shares the same ecosystem as the Masai Mara in Kenya; the Olduvai Gorge, where Dr. Leakey discovered "Homo Habilis," regarded as one of the first steps in evolutionary development; Lake Manyara National Park and its famous tree climbing lions (or, alternatively, depending on the time of year, Tarangire National Park, with its wildlife-sheltering acacia trees and baobab forests); and the spice island of Zanzibar and its white sand beaches, crystal clear blue waters, snorkeling or scuba diving options, deep sea fishing and spice plantations.
Throughout our expedition, we will notice the great economic contrasts existing in East Africa, a lingering reminder of the area's British colonial past. We will see the luxurious British-style clubs and the fragrant equatorial gardens, while at the same time seeing the slums of the larger cities and the humble rural villages covered with red dust. We will also see a confluence of races, languages and cultures - a product of the region's rich and romantic history. This mix includes the Europeans of the great epic explorations, the proud and regal Masai, the Indians who left their lives in the lions' jaws during the construction of the railroad, and the Arab traders of the "Swahili Coast." As soon as we arrive in East Africa, we will sense the adventure and mystery that awaits at every turn.
No experience is required for this trip, but, in order to fully enjoy the expedition's activities, trip participants should be reasonably fit, in good health and properly equipped.
Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi
Meet and greet / transfers we'll no doubt receive a heartfelt "Jambo Bwana!" upon our arrival at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Our representatives will meet us at the airport and aid in our transfer to the Sarova Stanley Hotel, where we will spend our first night in Kenya. After we settle into our centrally-located hotel, the afternoon and evening will be yours to spend at your leisure. There will be time to explore Nairobi and its fascinating shops and markets as we recover from any residual jetlag. Overnight at Sarova Stanley Hotel on Bed and Breakfast
(If your international arrival is not at Jomo Kenyata but you like book this program, please indicate on your original request so that we can customize this package)
Day 2: Nairobi to Amboseli National Park
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi behind, we will head south across the beautiful and seemingly never-ending Athi plains to the colorful border town of Namanga, where we may find a good bargain or two on some of the region's unique Masai beadwork. We will then turn eastward towards Amboseli National Park, situated at the foot of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. The Amboseli is best known for its great elephant herds. We often find them standing knee-deep in the water, spraying themselves to keep cool. The park offers a plethora of game-watching opportunities: we'll probably see cheetahs, buffaloes, giraffes, many types of gazelle and other plains game in abundance, all beneath the amazing backdrop of Kilimanjaro in all its glory. By lunchtime, we will reach the Amboseli Sopa Lodge, which will be our base for exploring this corner of Kenya. We will kick off our first safari day with an afternoon game drive.
Amboseli Sopa: Nestled in 190 acres of wooded Masai land, the lodge sits on the foot hills of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. Mature wooded gardens with a variety of trees and plants, from thorn trees and acacias, to fragrant frangipanis, colourful bougainvillea and giant cactus plants thrive in these surroundings.
Different species of birds build their nests while monkeys with babies clinging under their bellies and squirrels dart through the gardens.
Location - 250 kms from Nairobi, approximately 4 hours drive on tarmac and murram all
Day 3: Full Day in Amboseli National Park
We will spend the entire day viewing the amazing game of the Amboseli. Overnight stay at Amboseli Sopa Lodge on Full Board
Day 4: Amboseli to Lake Nakuru
Perhaps catching a clear view of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro as we leave Amboseli behind us, we will return, by way of Namanga and its boisterous Masai markets, across the boundless Athi plains to Kenya's bustling capital city, Nairobi. After lunch at the Thorn Tree Restaurant, we will depart for Lake Nakuru National Park, several hours distant. Leaving Nairobi, we will travel west through Kenya's fertile highlands, where tea and coffee plantations abound. Suddenly, the trees will part to reveal a spectacular view of the Great Rift Valley, with dormant volcano Longonot at center stage. Our panoramic journey will take us past Lake Naivasha, with its Crescent Island, before we arrive at Lake Nakuru, which is colored a shimmering pink from the thousands of flamingoes lining its shores. We will spend the afternoon game viewing en route to the Lion Hill Lodge, where we will stay overnight on Full Board.
From its hillside perch, the Lion Hill Lodge affords unforgettable views of the lake. It is a perfect base from which to explore the lake, with its fabulous array of birds, and the surrounding national park, which is home to many types of wild game. Lake Nakuru National Park is renowned, first and foremost, for its bird life; however, a game drive in the park will reveal its abundant and interesting wildlife as well. We will see large numbers of waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, buffaloes, cheetah and other plains game. We may even see a leopard or too lolling about in the trees. And, now that Lake Nakuru National Park has been made into one of Kenya's rhino sanctuaries, we may see some of these elusive creatures as well.
Day 5: Nakuru to the Masai Mara
Leaving flamingo-fringed Lake Nakuru behind, we will head southwards to Maai Mahiu, ascending up over the Mau Escarpment on our way. We will then turn towards Narok, the gateway to the Masai Mara and district headquarters of this part of Masailand. Traversing the "breadbasket" of Kenya, with its miles of wheat and barley, we will reach the Mara Sopa Lodge by lunchtime. Located within the Masai Mara Game Reserve, this comfortable luxury lodge, which offers delicious meals and a swimming pool, is a perfect base from which to explore the wonders of this corner of Kenya. After a buffet lunch, we will spend the afternoon on a game drive, taking in the incredible bounty of wildlife that makes its home in this vast reserve. Overnight Stay at Mara Sopa Lodge on full board basis
The Lodge - Located on the slopes of Oloongams Hills, it is one of the first lodges to be built in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Guests are drawn to this lodge built in an ethnic design, surrounded by a rich landscape, covered in fauna, from huge desert cacti to sweet smelling jasmine flowers, all within the fabled Masai Mara game reserve.
240 kms from Nairobi, approximately 5 hours on tarmac and all weather murram road, situated outside the park. Flying is one hour to the nearest airstrip which is 30 minutes drive to the lodge.
Day 6: Full Day in Masai Mara
The Masai Mara is an extension of the Serengeti ecosystem to the south. Game abounds in the park, particularly when the annual migration of millions of wildebeests and zebras is underway. Each year, almost 1.5 million of these animals make their way back and forth across the Mara River during the course of their circuitous 600-mile (1,000-kilometer) route in search of new pastures and watering holes. The Masai Mara is also noted for its abundance of lions, particularly the superb black-maned males. We should see lots of elephants here, too, often in large herds. In addition, we'll see buffaloes and, if we're lucky, leopards, cheetahs and rhinos. All of the "Big Five" are residents of this beautiful park. We hope you haven't finished up all of your film in Amboseli and Nakuru, because you'll surely want to use some of it here! Overnight Stay at Mara Sopa Lodge on full board basis
Day 7: Travel to Nairobi, Transfer to Arusha
In the morning, we'll have an early departure from the Masai Mara. We will travel through Narok, the district headquarters, before crossing the vast plains of the Great Rift Valley floor. As we travel, we'll keep our eyes open for the herds of giraffe and gazelle that populate this area. We'll then head up the Rift Escarpment on a road built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II, arriving in Nairobi in time for lunch. After Lunch proceed with our safari to Arusha, where we will begin the Tanzanian portion of our trip. After our 4-5 hour trip from Nairobi to Arusha, we'll get settled into the Arumeru River Lodge and then meet for a short briefing.
Day 8: Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater
We'll spend the morning shopping in Arusha, gathering last minute supplies for our safari. In the afternoon, we'll drive on to the Ngorongoro Crater, enjoying some game viewing en route. We'll spend the night at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge on Full Board Basis
Perched on the rim of the collapsed volcano, the Ngorongoro Crater, a world heritage site, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. It has the most magnificent views over the crater floor, which is home to vast herds of buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, the rare and endangered black rhino, elephant, cheetah, leopard, lion and herds of gazelle and wildebeest. Its position on the Eastern rim allows the most spectacular and uninterrupted views of the sunset.
Day 9: Ngorongoro Crater to Serengeti
After an early morning game drive we'll descend into the crater floor for a full-day game drive, stopping for a picnic lunch next to a hippopotamus watering hole. In the afternoon, we'll drive on to the vast land of Serengeti National park, where we'll have dinner and spend the night at Serengeti Sopa Lodge on Full Board basis.
The Lodge - Nestled in the acacia woodland on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti National Park, one of the most famous parks in the world, and host to the largest and most spectacular annual migration of the wildebeest.
Location - Located 315 km from Arusha, approximately 7.5 hours drive, and 50 minutes flight with 45 minutes drive from the nearest airstrip. The lodge is set in the Nyarboro Hills, in the South West overlooking the Serengeti
Day 10: Full Day in Serengeti
After breakfast we drive to we'll enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti, marveling at the bountiful wildlife that is resident there. Picnics will be served while on game drive. We'll overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge on Full Board Basis.
Day 11: Full Day in Serengeti
We'll enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the Serengeti, marveling at the bountiful wildlife that is resident there. Picnics will be served while on game drive. We'll overnight at the Serengeti Sopa Lodge on Full Board Basis.
Day 12: Serengeti to Olduvai Gorge. Onward to Tarangire
Visit Masai Village. Continue to Lake Manyara or Tarangire. We'll take an early-morning game drive in the Serengeti, returning to the lodge in time for a 9:00 a.m. breakfast. Later in the morning, we'll drive to the Olduvai Gorge, where we'll enjoy a packed lunch at the gorge. After lunch, we'll climb into the Ngorongoro Hills, where we'll visit a Masai village and do a short walk to experience Masai movements. We'll then continue on to Lake Manyara National Park (for trips originating in December through June) or to Tarangire National Park (for trips originating in July through November). Lake Manyara trips will overnight at the Manyara Migunga/Kirurumu Tented Camp, while Tarangire trips will overnight at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge/Tarangire Safari Lodge. –
The Lodge - Hidden among the kopjes, lies Tarangire Sopa Lodge, surrounded by ancient baobab trees. It is the home of the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa, and other game including the elusive leopard. Over 400 bird species can be spotted here as well. With water constantly available in the area, the greenery is lush providing a wonderful contrast to the burnt ground..
Location - In the Tarangire National Park which covers an area of 2800 sq km. The lodge lies 118 km south west of Arusha, approximately 2 hours drive from Arusha town
Day 13: Lake Manyara or Tarangire to Zanzibar
We'll rise early for a 6:30 a.m. game drive in either Lake Manyara or Tarangire (depending on the time of year). We'll return to the lodge or camp in time for a 9:00 a.m. breakfast, which will enable us to keep on schedule for a mid-morning departure for Arusha. In Arusha, we'll meet a connecting flight to Zanzibar at noon. Upon our arrival in Zanzibar, we'll meet and greet and provide transfer to Stone Town, rest of the day at leisure the, overnight stay at Serena Inn or Beit El Chai or similar on Bed and Breakfast
Day 14: Stone Town to The Coast
Morning at leisure, optional excursions to Stone Town Tour, Prison Island Tour, Jozan Forest Tour, Spice Tour, Dolphin Safari, then after lunch we provide transfer to South East Coast (Kiwengwa) Ocean Paradise Resort or similar Beach Hotel for overnight stay on Half Board Basis.
Day 15, 16, 17: Relax on the beach – Optional snorkeling, Fishing or scuba-diving excursions can be arranged at the hotel. Overnight at Ocean Paradise Resort or similar beach hotel on Half Board
Day 18: Depart Zanzibar for Home
After breakfast stay morning at leisure then we'll transfer to Stonetown to the airport for the flight to Dar to connect your international flight back home. (If your international flight is Departing from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Jomo Kenyata International Airport of Zanzibar International Airport then please indicate this on your original request so that we can advise other arrangements on the same. It will attract ext Cost)
Peak Season: Jan. 1 - Feb 29, June 1 - Oct 31, Dec. 1-Dec 31
High Season: March 1 - March 31, November 1 - November 31
Low Season: April 1 - May 31
Disclaimer: Pins in map may not be accurate if Google Maps cannot find the exact address. In this case an approximation is made.
Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar
Pricing depends on group sizes and seasonal rates.