Day 1: Arrival Nairobi, Kenya. Arrive at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at 19:30 pm. Nairobi, the Capital City and business center of the Kenya Nation is the largest and most modern city in East and central Africa with a population of well over 3.5 million people. Nairobi was established just over 100 years ago during the construction of the Kenya/Uganda railway in the times immediately after the scramble and subsequent partition of Africa amongst the European powers. Over the years, Nairobi has grown into a vibrant, cosmopolitan city very much in touch with today’s world.
Lying just some 220 km south of the equator, the city enjoys spring-like weather most of the year round making it wonderful to visit all year round. It is the base for travel to all the exciting nature wildlife and cultural parks in the north and south of Kenya in additional to the countries of Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. Trips to the historic beach Islands of Mombasa, Zanzibar and Lamu are also organized from Nairobi.
Nairobi prides itself of being the only third world city hosting a major UN headquarters, the United Nations Environment Program. Numerous European, Asian and American Diplomatic Missions and UN Agencies are also housed in Nairobi making it a truly international city. Nairobi is also accessed by many different European and other International Airlines making it a regional travel hub.
Interesting sites within Nairobi include the landmark Kenyatta International Conferene Centre, the Parliament Buildings, the Kenya National Museum, the Kenya National Archives, Karen Blixen Museum, AFEW’s Giraffe Centre, the Kazuri Bead Factory, Bomas of Kenya, the Nairobi National Park and numerous other very interesting touristic sites. A tour of Nairobi is never really complete without shopping for African artefacts. After clearing customs and immigration formalities, you will be met at the airport arrivals section by our representative and transferred to Jacaranda Hotel.
The Jacaranda hotel opened in 1964 and is a beautiful garden hotel set in 4 acres of colorful gardens. All the 121 quiet and tastefully furnished rooms come complete with a central ceiling fan, satellite TV and all the usual requirements of businessmen, couples, groups, newly-weds and families. Its location in the heart of Westlands suburb makes the charms and attractions of the city easily accessible. This is an ideal hotel for the visiting businessman, for a conference or as a Nairobi base for the start of a safari. Balance of the day spent at leisure with lunch and dinner under own arrangements. Overnight: Jacaranda Hotel
Day 2: Nairobi – Maasai Mara. After breakfast, you will be transferred to Wilson Airport where you will board the scheduled flight to Maasai Mara National Reserve (10:00/10:45). The 1510 sq. km Maasai Mara is one of the most famous wildlife reserves in the world with one of the highest concentrations of wild game anywhere in the universe. Maasai Mara open savannah, woodlands and tree-lined rivers is part of the Serengeti/Mara ecosystem which plays host to thousands of animals and bird species all year round. Wildlife includes large numbers of lion all over the park, cheetahs are easily found, elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe and numerous species of gazelle and other animals. The elusive leopard is regularly seen.
Every year, almost 3 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and other herbivores embark on the phenomenal annual wildebeest migration that begins in southern Serengeti in the first months of the year and enters the Maasai Mara from late July to stay on until September. Joined by opportunistic predators out for a kill including lions, hyenas and cheetahs, the wildebeest migration provides visitors with an unforgettable experience, to view wild game in their highest concentration. Demand for accommodation in Maasai Mara is c normally high during the wildebeest migration months because they also happen to be the best months weather-wise, August/September are dry months. It is advisable to book early to secure accommodation.
But life in Maasai Mara is never dull. There are numerous resident game scattered across the entire reserve and a visit at any time of the year is always rewarded with excellent game viewing opportunities. Maasai Mara is the principal home of the Maasai people. The Maasai morans (warriors) criss crossing the wilderness, young boys herding goats, elders gathered under a tree discussing community issues, the women fetching firewood and water are all a sight to behold, their tribal music/dances are an absolute wonder and fascination to watch.
On arrival at the airstrip in Maasai Mara you will be met by an Ilkeliani Guide and transferred to camp. Ilkeliani, an exclusive luxury tented camp is centrally located within Maasai Mara on the banks of Talek river, a tributary of the great Mara River. The camp provides visitors with a genuine African experience in an environment little changed from the great white hunters strode the African bush. The 12 guest tents, each with its private viewing deck are situated on the banks of Talek River, under the luxury of indigenous trees and are spaced out to provide seclusion and privacy from each other. After checking in to your tent, lunch will be served at the restaurant. In the afternoon, you will join other camp guests on a scheduled afternoon game viewing drive. Dinner and overnight at Ilkeliani Camp
Days 3-4: Maasai Mara Game Reserve. You have two full days to spend in the ‘dotted plains’ of Maasai Mara enjoying this magnificent reserve’s flora and fauna on morning and afternoon game viewing drives in shared camp based vehicles. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included while personal nature items like drinks are charged as extras. Dinner & Overnight: Ilkeliani Camp.
Optional Excursions in Maasai Mara available at extra charge:
- A hot air balloon flight over the Maasai Mara plains
- A sightseeing/fishing excursion to Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water lake
- Nature/bush walks in the Maasai Mara bush
Day 5: Maasai Mara/Arusha. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for a schedule flight to Nairobi (11:00/12:15). Upon arrival at Wilson Airport, you will be met by our representative and assisted to connect to the scheduled flight to Arusha, Tanzania (12:40/13:35). Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International airport, you will be met by our driver and assisted through customs and immigration formalities. Thereafter, drive to Arusha the nerve center of East Africa, and getaway to several national parks in the north of the country.
Nestled between Mountt Meru and Mountt Kilimanjaro, Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge is located within a lush coffee plantation, 140 acres, with natural streams flowing through the property, from Mountt Meru. The lush vegetation and the magnificent views of the snow capped Mt Kilimanjaro and the looming Mt Meru, right in front of the lodge, is an absolutely awesome sight. This lodge is ideally located between Arusha town and Kilimanjaro International Airport, 27 km either way.
Day 6: Arusha – Tarangire National Park. After breakfast, drive to Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania. This delightful park, covering an area of 2,600 sq km was established in 1970, and it is the numerous baobab trees that will initially catch your eye. The Tarangire National Park derives its name from the Tarangire River that rises in the highlands of central Tanzania and winds its way through the game sanctuary. The river irresistibly lures the herds of plains migrants from the parched surrounding area to its shrunken – but permanent – brackish waters during the dry season.
The animals come by thousands from as far north as the shores of Lake Natron, dramatically swelling the resident population with wildebeest, zebra, eland, elephant, hartebeest, buffalo and fringe-eared Oryx. Tarangire is said to have the highest recorded number of breeding bird species for any habitat in the world. As the rainless days continue the Tarangire pools are clotted with thirsty migrants, and elephants begin to dig for underground streams in the dry riverbed. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire sopa lodge
Day 7: Tarangire National Park. After breakfast, you will explore Tarangire National Park and the large herds of elephant that reside there. Spend morning and afternoon in the park. The Tarangire Sopa Lodge is built as a "low profile" structure and nestles into a wooded hill side valley overlooking Tarangire Hill. This all suite property truly reflects Sopa's policy of providing "luxury in the bush".
Marble floors, fountains, waterfalls and magnificent views through double story windows are the stunning features of the main areas. The swimming pool is intriguing with its island. It's large rooms have two queen size beds with en suite shower & toilet, a balcony and a lounge with mini bar. The lodge offers alfresco dining on its raised barbecue terrace. Meals and overnight at Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Day 8: Tarangire - Serengeti National Park. With a picnic lunch,depart for Serengeti via stopping en route at Olduvai Gorge, the site of Dr. & Mrs. LSB Leakey’s discovery of Zinjanthropus bosei. Here, you will enjoy a short talk from one of the Deputies of Antiquities, who will explain to you what has been done and what continues to happen. The Gorge was discovered accidentally by a German butterfly collector, Professor Kattwinkle, in 1911, but it was not until 1959 that Dr. Mary Leakey unearthed the Zinj skull believed to be 1.8 million years old.
After Olduvai continue driving north game viewing en route to your lodge situated Serengeti Sopa is located in the Nyarboro Hills in the south west of the Serengeti National Park, and is the only tourism development in this section of the Park. The vicinity of the lodge boasts a fair amount of game due to the year-round water and the acacia woodland. This offers a pleasant stay as you spot game at your doorstep. Dinner & Overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge
Days 9-10: Serengeti National Park. Two full days of excitement awaits you as you depart from the lodge at sunrise in order to capture the dawn activities, and the early morning light. You will return to lodge for a late breakfast, and have an opportunity to relax in the lodge – enjoying your natural environment watching a heard of Impala wander not far from the lodge.
Day 11: Serengeti - Ngorongoro Conservation Area. After breakfast, you will drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area arriving in time for lunch at your lodge located on the crater rim.After lunch visit an authentic maasai boma in Ngorongoro area.The maasai have very much maintained their traditional ways as cattle herders.They believe that all cattle in the world belong to them, even though some may have temporarily found themselves in the possession of others. Thus, the Masai are always justified in raiding their non-Masaai neighbors in order to "return" the cattle to the rightful owners.
The Maaasai have very elaborate "coming of age" traditions. Boys are circumcised in their early teens in a ceremony attended by the entire village. The boy who flinches during this procedure brands himself as a coward and disgraces his family. Once circumcised, the young man becomes a member of the warrior class – a moran – and must live apart from the village with the other warriors. Eventually, at some point in his late teens or early twenties, a moran is chosen to become a junior elder, earns the right to marry and returns to live in the village.
For centuries the Masai have hunted the lions on, both as a test of manhood and to protect their cattle. The lions have learned to recognize the red robes (and spears, no doubt) and instinctively keep their distance. Dinner & Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Day 12: Ngongoro Conservation Area. After breakfast, descend into the crater for a full day of game viewing. A picnic lunch will be taken on the crater floor. The crater supports up to 25,000 large mammals. Grazers dominate: zebra, wildebeest – accounting for almost half the animals – gazelle, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and wart hog. Giraffe, for example, stay away because there is insufficient food at tree level; topi because they compete directly with wildebeest.
An odd feature of the crater elephants is that they are almost exclusively bulls. Breeding herds – comprising large numbers of females and young with a few attendant older males – are probably unable to find sufficient quality food in the crater. Ngorongoro has carnivores in quantity, drawn by the large herds of prey animals. It has the most dense population of large predators, mainly lion – about 100 – and more than 400 spotted hyena, living in eight clans of up to eighty individuals. Both lions and hyenas will scavenge from each other, depending on weight of numbers and of course, hunger. Dinner & Overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Day 13: Ngorongoro - Arusha -Depart. After breakfast return to Arusha, on arrival you will have time to go on shopping before driving to KIA lodge where you will have lunch. After lunch a day room will be provided to freshen-up till late evening when you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International airport where you will board your home bound flight.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Kenya Tanzania Nature & Wildlife National Parks