70A Spectacular safari TOUR

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Daily guided game drives through Africa's best game parks; Meeting local tribal groups; Maasai Mara / Serengeti: endless plains; Touch a giraffe at Giraffe Manor; Snows of Kilimanjaro from Kenya's Amboseli Park; Ngorongoro Crater: natural wonder; Great Rift Valley

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Fri 18 Dec 2015Tue 29 Dec 2015 $5290
Sun 06 Mar 2016Thu 17 Mar 2016 $5290
Thu 21 Jul 2016Mon 01 Aug 2016 $5290
Fri 16 Dec 2016Tue 27 Dec 2016 $5290

Optional Single Supplement: $1190 (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $520, if twin-sharing accommodation is unavailable.


Tour Overview


Once an uninhabited swampland, Nairobi grew into a modern, cosmopolitan capital with the development of the railway and it is in this bustling city that displays a pleasant blend of colonial British and modern and traditional African influences that our 11-day tour of Kenya and Tanzania begins. We spend much of our time admiring the world-famous natural bounties of East Africa: we see giraffes, large herds of roaming elephants covered in red dust, prides of lions, tribes of monkeys and hundreds of species of birds on the plains and in the thick, primeval forests of Kenya; and in Tanzania, we find wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, hippos and the ‘Big Five’ in nature reserves and in the ultimate safari destination -- Serengeti. We come across the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the UNESCO Heritage-designated Ngorongoro Crater and excavation sites that bear evidence of prehistoric habitats of some of the earliest species of hominids as we travel through highly picturesque landscapes in these two magical African destinations.

Regions visited: East Africa
Countries visited: Kenya and Tanzania


Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi
Today we arrive in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

Part of Maasai land when the British arrived, this modern capital grew with the development of the railway. Derived from a Maasai word meaning "Cold Water," Nairobi is a pleasant mix of colonial British with modern and traditional African influences.

Overnight in Nairobi.

Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Nairobi - Great Rift Valley - Lake Nakuru National Park
After breakfast we travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow soda lake in the Rift Valley.

The Rift Valley was created millions of years ago, under the strain of enormous volcanic eruptions which resulted in a giant split in the earth's surface from Syria to Mozambique. Lava flowed into the valley, forming escarpments on either side of the gigantic trough, which can be up to 80 km (50 miles) wide, big enough to be visible from outer space. At the lake, depending on the water levels, we may have the opportunity to see up to two million flamingos, in addition to the over 340 species of birds that have been recorded in the Rift Valley! Lake Nakuru is very shallow and can fluctuate up to five metres (12 feet) each day. When the water is low you can see a white band of crystallized soda along the shoreline. This is also one of the best places in Kenya to view the rare White Rhino as we explore the park on our afternoon game drive.

Overnight in Lake Nakuru National Park. Sarova Lion Hill Camp Lodge or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 3 Lake Nakuru - Maasai Mara National Reserve
Early this morning we depart from Lake Nakuru National Park and continue our journey through the Rift Valley, passing by Lake Naivasha and nearby Mount Longonot, a relatively young volcanic reminder of the Rift's violent past. We arrive at our lodge (via bad road) in the Maasai Mara National Reserve in time for lunch.

The Maasai Mara is a natural extension of the Serengeti eco-system and has an amazing concentration of wildlife. The largest population of lions in Kenya is found here, along with large herds of plains game. The Maasai Mara may also be the best place in Kenya to view cheetah. Later this afternoon we enjoy another game drive.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Maasai Mara National Reserve
The Maasai Mara National Reserve consists of rolling grassland and is located at the northern end of the Serengeti Plain. Considered the best of Kenya's parks, it is on the pathway of the yearly wildebeest migration, which comes north from Tanzania about the end of June and returns to Tanzania around the end of September. "The Mara" sustains all of the "Big Five" -- lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros and buffalo -- as well as an astonishing wealth of herding animals and other wildlife. You can see the stately Maasai men and youth along the road tending their cattle and goats.

In the Mara you will have an optional opportunity to ascend over the northern Serengeti at daybreak in a hot air balloon (optional expense). From over 300 m (984 feet) above, you will be able to view the vast land and the myriad animals that inhabit the Maasai Mara. During our stay in the Mara we enjoy a full day game drive in Africa's most famous game park.

Overnight in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 Maasai Mara - Giraffe Manor - Nairobi
After breakfast, we depart for Nairobi. En route, just outside the capital, we visit Giraffe Manor. In 1974 Jock Leslie-Melville, grandson of a Scottish earl, and his wife Betty, who also founded the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), bought the manor. They then moved five babies of the highly endangered Rothschild giraffe to their property where they have been successfully reared and they now have their own babies. Visitors can feed and photograph the giraffes and warthogs at the manor, and also wander through the adjoining primeval forest to view bushbuck, dik dik, and more than 180 species of bird.

Overnight in Nairobi. Nairobi Hilton or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 6 Nairobi - Amboseli National Park
Today we travel south from Nairobi to the Amboseli National Park. Just across the border from Tanzania, this park is situated on the African plain at the foot of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the continent's tallest mountain at 5894 m (19,300 feet). Here the cone-shaped mountain seems to hover majestically over the shimmering African plains.

The Amboseli National Park is also famous for its large herds of elephants. Here they cover themselves in red dust, giving them an even more imposing appearance. On this afternoon's game drive we hope to view animals grazing on the open plain with Mt Kilimanjaro providing the classic backdrop (weather permitting).

Overnight in the Amboseli National Park.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 7 Amboseli, Kenya - Ngorongoro Highlands, Tanzania
This morning we depart Amboseli, retracing yesterday's route a bit before crossing into Tanzania. Further on we pass through Arusha, the starting point for the northern safari routes of Tanzania and one of the country's most attractive towns. The surrounding area is primarily a highland forest park and a good place to see black and white colobus monkeys and bushbuck.

We continue to the Maasai Plains via the town of Mto wa Mbu ("Mosquito Junction") near Lake Manyara, another Rift Valley lake renowned for its unique rainforest micro climate. Our destination is E Unoto Lodge, luxury safari accommodation in a Maasai-inspired environment. E Unoto Retreat resembles an authentic Tanzanian Maasai village and has been designed to blend with the natural surroundings. The lodge was also constructed incorporating traditional Maasai methods and with environmental awareness. The handcrafted and imported furnishings and fittings compliment the lodge’s theme and provide guests with an exotic Tanzanian flavour.

On arrival, after lunch, guests can visit a nearby Maasai boma, or village, meet the locals and learn about the Maasai culture and way of life. The Maasai are a nomadic people of the plains who are in constant search for adequate grazing ground for their large herds of cattle and other livestock. When two Maasai meet, the first greeting they exchange is Keserian ingra? Keserian ingishu? (How are your wife and children? How are your cattle?). To have one without the other is to be poor. To have both is to be rich! Other activities include cycling or hiking to an attractive nearby waterfall. The lodge also has a great pool.

Overnight at E Unoto Lodge.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 8 Ngorongoro Highlands - Olduvai Gorge - Serengeti National Park
This morning we depart E Unoto and transit the Ngorongoro Conservation en route to the Serengeti. We make a stop at Olduvai Gorge, site of the Leakey excavations in the 1960s and 1970s that established this region as the prehistoric habitat of some of the earliest species of hominids, with some finds dating back 1.8 million years. Pundits in the life sciences have argued that the Olduvai contribution to the story of human origins remains unsurpassed by any other prehistoric site in the world. A small museum on site outlines the unique geological and human history of the area.

We continue across the seemingly endless plains. Indeed the name "Serengeti" derives from a Maasai word meaning "Land-without-end." This is a land of superlatives, both in the vast landscape that surrounds you and the incredible biodiversity it supports. It is here that you have a chance to witness one of the most compelling natural dramas on earth--the annual migration, a sight unparalleled anywhere in the natural world. Our afternoon game drive provides an excellent introduction to this fantastic landscape and the biodiversity it supports.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park. Serengeti Sopa Lodge or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 9 Serengeti National Park
Today we have a full day of game viewing on the Serengeti. We will visit the "kopjes," a series of low, incongruous hills dotting the open landscape that often provide a vantage point for hungry predators contemplating the endless stream of hoofed animals parading past them. During this time, up to 1.5 million wildebeest and a half a million zebra embark on a single-minded and perilous quest for water and grazing land. Following this spectacle, of course, are the meat-eating
opportunists, hoping to capitalize on the physical toll this journey exacts on the desperate grazers.

Overnight in the Serengeti National Park.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Serengeti - Ngorongoro Conservation Area
After an early breakfast we retrace our route to the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We take in the hypnotic view from the crater rim before descending to the crater floor to experience one of the world's most amazing places. If the Garden of Eden did indeed exist, then this is it!

The crater is the world's largest unbroken volcanic caldera, 610m deep with a floor of 260 sq km. The steep sides of the crater mean that it has become a natural enclosure for a very wide variety of wildlife, including most of the species found in East Africa. Aside from herds of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest, the crater is home to the "big five": rhinoceros, lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, and there are an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater. Lake Magadi in the centre of the crater is, like many in the Rift Valley, a soda lake supporting flocks of flamingo.

After our game drive we ascend the crater to our lodge, spectacularly located on the rim.

Overnight in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Sopa Lodge or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 11 Ngorongoro - Gibb's Farm - Arusha
Today we travel back to Arusha via Gibb's Farm and a leisurely lunch. Founded during German colonial times and still privately owned, Gibb's Farm is now a small hotel perched on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Highlands, surrounded by coffee plantations with long views over lush and beautiful agricultural country.

We arrive in Arusha in time to enjoy the lush grounds of our hotel before dinner.

Overnight near Arusha. Mountain Village Serena or similar.

Meal plan: breakfast,lunch,dinner

Day 12 Departure
Departure from Arusha.

SAFIRI SALAMA!

Meal plan: breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Sarova Lion Hill Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Nairobi
Country: Kenya

Set on a plateau above Lake Nakuru, the lodge has 67 chalets all overlooking the lake. It is the perfect
... to experience one of the world's largest ornithological spectacles, the pink flamingo, or a rich concentration of wildlife including black and white colobus monkey and black and white rhino. Private shower, verandah, tea / coffee making facilities.


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Maasai Mara Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Maasai Mara
Country: Kenya

Located on the slopes of Oloongams Hills, it is one of the first lodges to be built in the Maasai
... 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 Maasai Mara game reserve. 50 traditional round buildings with thatched roofs, each with 2 rooms with private bath.

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Mara Serena Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Maasai Mara
Country: Kenya

Located at the very centre of the famous ‘Mara Triangle' of the world-renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Serena
... Lodge is the ultimate safari destination. Set high on a bush-cloaked hill with long views over the savannah and down to the winding coils of the hippo-filled Mara River, it stands centre-stage to one of Africa's most dramatic wildlife arenas, with a ringside seat for the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth', the legendary migration of the wildebeest.

Styled to echo the circular motif of a traditional Maasai manyatta, our Masai Mara lodge blends international sophistication with raw African beauty, while featuring twin rows of individual rooms, each with its own view of the famous Mara River. The central bar and dining areas enjoy spectacular views, as does the rock-surround swimming pool. Each uniquely-presented room is accommodated in its own stand-alone modular unit, with uninterrupted views, private balcony and spacious seating area. Activities include two daily game drives in custom-built traditional safari vehicles, ‘sundowners' in the bush, breakfast by the hippo pool, lunch in the wilderness, dinner in the bush, balloon safaris or relaxation and reinvigoration in the panoramic new Maisha Safari Spa and Gym.

World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth', the awe inspiring annual migration of the wildebeest, the Mara is Kenya's most visited protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania's renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world's most rewarding and evocative wildlife arenas.

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Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Serengeti National Park
Country: Tanzania

Scenically located in a glade, known as ‘the place of the klipspringer' (mbuzi mawe), and guarded by three million year-old
... towers, this luxury tented-camp in the Serengeti is unique. Cleverly located on one of the main annual migration corridors for over one million wildebeest, half a million zebras and gazelles, and their accompanying cast of predators it is also located at the very epicentre of one of the world's most famous national parks.


Our tented camp is located in the Western Serengeti, 335 kms from Arusha. By road: transfers by road from Arusha take approximately 8-10 hours.By air: the camp is adjacent to both the Seronera and Lobo airstrips and a ‘meet and greet' and transfer service is offered.

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Serengeti Migration Camp

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Serengeti National Park
Country: Tanzania

This luxury camp is hidden amongst the rocky outcrops, or kopjes, in Northern Serengeti, exuding decadence reminiscent of Old Africa.
... lavish and spacious tents on wooden decks with either king or twin beds, comfortable leather armchairs, coffee and writing tables. The tents are en-suite with showers and double vanities, surrounded by a verandah with rocking chairs.


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Serengeti Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Serengeti National Park
Country: Tanzania

Nestled in the acacia woodland on the edge of the escarpment overlooking the plains of the south-western Serengeti. 69 standard
... all with 2 queen size beds, carpeted, and tastefully furnished with local fabrics and pictures. The rooms have en-suite bathrooms and hairdryers.


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Gibbs Farm

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Country: Tanzania

Immerse yourself in the peace and serenity of Gibb’s Farm. Overlooking the centuries-old Great Rift Valley and Ngorongoro Forest, Gibb’s
... was one of the first guesthouses in Northern Tanzania. Established as a coffee farm in the late 1920s and refurbished as a warm, rustic luxury inn, Gibb’s Farm is a welcome retreat for a few days’ respite while on safari or for an extended vacation or honeymoon getaway.

The main farmhouse and 17 cottages offer the warmth and charm of another era, with all of the modern amenities you could ask for. Inside, beautiful architectural details, such as the farmhouse’s original wooden beams, and colourful artwork reflecting the inspirations of local African artists greet you. Outside, the farm’s organic vegetable and terraced flower gardens provide a wonderful sanctuary for afternoon tea or a quiet walk to impart a sense of contentment and well-being.

Beyond the farm’s coffee fields, Ngorongoro Forest and the local village beckon. Experience a sense of place as you bicycle the back roads of Karatu, learn about Iraqw culture while visiting a local family or explore centuries-old waterfalls and elephant caves. To calm and restore, Gibb’s Farm offers indigenous Maasai healing treatments in the privacy of your room. After a full day of adventure, Chef Lisa Campbell’s delicious organic cuisine—fresh from our gardens, bakery and dairy—will replenish you.

Surround yourself with the rich traditions of East African life, exclusive to Gibb’s Farm, and share an eternal sense of history and community. Generations of local families have helped to create a truly special and authentic experience, based upon East African traditions and hospitality. Gibb’s Farm’s deep and long-standing connection to the community continues to inspire excellence and the farm’s sustainable, renewable practices serve as a model for living in harmony with nature.

During your stay you will often hear the Swahili word “karibu,” expressing the genuine, innate pleasure we take in welcoming our guests—an attribute at the heart of our hospitality.

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Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Country: Tanzania

Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers,
... Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Lit by flaming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carved artifacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendour and ethnic style.


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Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Country: Tanzania

Facing the always magnificent sunsets to the west, and located at the highest point on Ngorongoro crater’s entire rim, Ngorongoro
... Lodge stands well over half a kilometre above the crater floor and offers unparalleled views across this enormous caldera.

Themed around traditionally circular African houses with conical roofs, and decorated with examples of Africa’s rich tapestry of artistic traditions by way of rich woodcarvings and sculptures, the lodge harmonizes perfectly with its dramatic surroundings. But the drama does not just stop with the great outdoors: it also flows through the split level interiors of the main building which all offer an unsurpassed generosity of space while somehow managing to combine an almost magically welcoming ambience of both warmth and cosiness.

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Arusha Coffee Lodge

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Arusha
Country: Tanzania

Arusha Coffee Lodge is located within one of Tanzania's largest coffee plantations. It is designed around the original plantation house
... one the feel of the long bygone days. The rooms have mosquito netting hanging from a spacious wooden frame. The decor is inspired by the concept used in plantation houses: fire places, wooden floors, low lighting, and woven floor rugs. The bathroom is spacious, with basin, bath tub, shower, hairdryer and bath robe.

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Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

FAMILY PRICING: Age 12 and under at time of travel 30% off land price, based on sharing with 2 adults; sharing with 1 adult 15% off

Most meals are included (local restaurants and hotels). All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Two bottles of bottled water per person daily. Gratuities for driver-guides, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuities, some lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees, and any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on shopping, visas.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered twice a year, avoiding the "long rains" in April and May when travel and game viewing can be less than optimal. Nov-Jan: "short rains" when landscapes are green and many animals are giving birth. June-August coincides with the coolest and driest period, though also the busiest and most expensive due to European holiday period.

Transport and Travel Conditions

SUITABILITY: Age 6 and up. Some road journeys are very long and very rough, possibly dusty. In Kenya we travel via well-maintained, rugged minivan with six passengers each. At the Tanzania border we switch to 4x4 Land Rover / Land Cruisers. The same vehicles, with roofs that pop up, will be used for our game drives in parks and reserves. Please note that air-conditioned safari vehicles are non-existent in East Africa.

Accommodation

Hotels and lodges used are 4-5 star properties with hot water, electricity, mosquito netting, dining areas, bar, swimming pools. Remote lodges are not air-conditioned though many are at higher elevations where heat is not a factor. Hotel porter service is available throughout (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins. Many lodges are quite spread out and you will need to be able to walk up to 10 minutes from public areas to your room.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, local driver-guides.

Kenya / Tanzania: Groups of six or fewer participants (one vehicle), will be led / guided by one of our local driver-guides. Only multi-vehicle groups will be assigned an Adventures Abroad Tour Leader.

Group Size

10-21 (plus Tour Leader)