Kenya and Tanzania have long been renowned as premier safari destinations for good reason. The diversity of landscapes and habitats encompassed in the Great Rift Valley is truly exceptional. This diversity extends to both the cultures and wildlife, ensuring that two weeks traversing central Kenya and northern Tanzania packs in the full range of memorable African safari experiences. Mount Kenya offers majestic views and wildlife and the soda lake of Nakuru offers the spectacle of innumerable pink flamingos. Add to this the legendary wildlife reserve of the Masai Mara. Experience a true African safari with game drives in the famous Serengeti National Park and renown Ngorongoro Crater. Dotted amongst these extraordinary landscapes are some of Africa's classic safari lodges, where you enjoy hospitality and accommodation as stunning as the surrounding environments. Escorted by professional guides, this itinerary allows travellers to equally enjoy the adventure of a safari and classic lodge hospitality.
Day 1: Arrive Nairobi.
Arrival in Nairobi, the capitol city of Kenya, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Evening is at your leisure; the hotel has a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool. (Overnight Fairview Hotel or similar). If you are not arriving on Day 1 of the trip, airport transfers can be arranged at additional cost.
Day 2: Nairobi to Samburu National Reserve.
We leave Nairobi after breakfast and drive to Samburu National Reserve in time for lunch at the lodge. After lunch we proceed on an afternoon game drive returning to the lodge by sunset. (Overnight Samburu Simba Lodge, Samburu or similar.) Please note that for the permanent campsite/ lodge combination trip, tonight and tomorrow night are based at Murera Springs Camp (or similar) at Meru National Park. This version of the itinerary does not visit Samburu National Park at all.
Day 3: Explore Samburu Reserve, game drives.
Today we spend a full day at Samburu National park. Depending on your preference, we can do a morning game drive, stay out in the park with a picnic lunch and then do an afternoon game drive. Alternatively, we can do a morning game drive and then return to the lodge for lunc, spending the afternoon by the pool. Overnight safari lodge. (Overnight Samburu Simba Lodge, Samburu or similar.) Please note that for the permanent campsite/ lodge combination trip, the day will be spent at Meru National Park, following a similar program of game drives.
Day 4: To Mount Kenya National Park, game viewing.
After breakfast we proceed to Mt Kenya, Kenya's highest mountain (approx. 3 hrs drive) arriving in time for lunch at our mountain lodge. We enjoy afternoon game viewing from the lodge. This lodge offers clear mountain air, sweeping views across the tree-canopy, sparkling streams, and gentle forests. (Overnight Mountain Lodge, or similar.)
Day 5: Lake Nakuru.
After breakfast we drive to Lake Nakuru, also known for its flamingos which frequent the lake in large numbers. It also has a healthy white rhino population and offers a stunning photographic outlook from Baboon Cliff. Enjoy an afternoon game drive, after lunch. Lake Nakuru National Park is a fenced park in the bottom of the Rift Valley comprising of a shallow soda lake teeming with millions of flamingos, surrounded by acacia forest and lush riverine plains. (Overnight Lion Hill Lodge, Nakuru or similar.) Please note that for the permanent campsite/ lodge combination trip, tonight will be spent at Maili Saba Camp, just outside the national park. All game drives take place inside Nakuru National Park.
Days 6-7: Exploring the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Today we continue south (+/- 5 hours) to the unparalleled Masai Mara National Reserve, with time for lunch and a rest before your first game drive. The Masai Mara is one of the world’s greatest wildlife arenas and home to Africa’s ‘Big 5’. With one of the highest populations of predators on the continent including lion, leopard and cheetah, the Mara is in a class of its own. We spend two days exploring the park on morning and afternoon game drives, when animals are most active and the light is at its best. The outstanding Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya’s most renown wildlife reserve; with its gentle rolling grasslands and abundant wildlife. Famous for the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, there wildlife year round is plentiful. (Overnight Keekorok Lodge, Masai Mara or similar.) Please note that for the permanent campsite/ lodge combination trip, the next two days will be based out of JK Mara Safari Camp.
Day 8: Drive to Nairobi, fly to Arusha.
After breakfast we drive back to Nairobi. Please note that the road for this section of the journey is an adventure in itself. On arrival in Nairobi we will be transferred to the airport for our flight to Tanzania. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, we will be met by our driver-guide who will transfer us to Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha for overnight. (Overnight Mount Meru Hotel, or similar.).
Day 9: To Tarangire National Park.
After breakfast we depart with packed lunches towards Tarangire National Park. This park boasts a great amount of wildlife and is famous for its large concentration of elephants and lions. The hilly landscape dotted with baobab trees is diverse with a mixture of bushland, Savannah and swamps. We will enjoy some game viewing in the park before proceeding to the lodge built on the Rift Valley escarpment with beautiful views over the valley below. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge / Tarangire Sopa Lodge, or similar.
Day 10: To Serengeti National Park.
After breakfast we travel towards the Serengeti National Park, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. We will have game viewing en route to the lodge located in the centre of the park, arriving late afternoon. (Approximate 5 hours transfer and 3 hours game viewing in Serengeti.) The Serengeti National Park is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage area for its wildlife and natural beauty. Mornings and late afternoons are the best times for wildlife spotting, as the animals retreat to the shade of trees to escape the heat of the day. Dinner and overnight at Seronera Wildlife Lodge, or similar.
Day 11: Explore Serengeti National Park.
We have a full day in the Serengeti, where we make the most of the time when wildlife is most active. We will wake with the sun and go out early searching for wildlife. Depending where we find most game, we may take a picnic lunch and stay out all day or return to the lodge over lunch for a siesta before going out again in our 4WD safari vehicle to explore the different habitats found within the park. Famed for its annual migration, the Serengeti offers amazing game viewing at any time of the year: herds of buffalo, groups of elephant and giraffe, zebra, eland, topi, kongoni, impala and gazelle, among other wildlife. We hope to experience a blazing Serengeti sunset, with silhouetted acacia trees, to top of a magical day. Seronera Wildlife Lodge (or similar).
Day 12: Game drive en route to Ngorongoro Crater.
Early morning game viewing before breakfast then we depart the Serengeti, again with packed lunches, travelling towards Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is possible to see more game en route. We will arrive at our lodge superbly located on the Ngorongoro Crater rim with views over the crater itself. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, or similar.
Day 13: Ngorongoro Crater.
At nearly 2300 m, the highlands around Ngorongoro Crater have brisk mornings and low cloud sometimes covers the area. Please bring some warm clothing as it can be cold here. After breakfast we drive for about an hour to the Ngorongoro Crater and make our way down into it for some truly incredible game viewing. The Crater is one of the last refuges for the endangered black rhino in northern Tanzania; the rhino population here is carefully protected and they are quite commonly seen. With over 30,000 animals, the Ngorongoro Crater can be regarded as a “Garden of Eden”. The 100 sq km caldera also has the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa and forms a natural enclosure for all its inhabitants. We stay in the crater all day and lunch will be taken at a picnic site there. In the late afternoon we return to our lodge. Dinner and overnight Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge, or similar.
Day 14: Return to Arusha.
After breakfast we travel back to Arusha, savouring the wildlife encounters of the preceding days. The final evening of our trip is spent at leisure in Arusha. Overnight Mount Meru Hotel, or similar.
Day 15: In Arusha, trip concludes.
After breakfast our safari ends with a transfer to the airport for onward flights if you are leaving today. If you are departing Arusha on any day other than Day 15, we can arrange private transfer to the airport at additional cost.
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