Upon arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met and transferred to the hotel for your overnight.
For early arrivals, consider some initial exploration. At the Giraffe Centre - an education and breeding center for the endangered Rothschild Giraffe - you can feed these magnificent creatures, who might just try and kiss you with their incredibly long tongues. At The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust at nearby Nairobi National Park, you have the opportunity to visit the elephant and rhino orphans.
Welcome to Kenya
Meals: Breakfast Lodging: Panafric Hotel
Day 2 Lake Nakuru
After breakfast, drive to Lake Nakuru lodge, which is situated on the shores of Lake Nakuru, one of the many beautiful Rift Valley Lakes. It is also home to thousands of flamingos and other bird and animal life. Lunch at the Lake Nakuru lodge. You will enjoy another game drive in the afternoon. Drive to Lion Hill Lodge, or similar, for your dinner and overnight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: Lion Hill Lodge (or similar)
Day 3 Masai Mara
You will leave in the morning and head across the floor of the Great Rift Valley, the longest rift in the crust of the earth, to Masai Mara. Several days are spent in this natural paradise among zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, buffalo, elephant, antelope and gazelle. You will encounter prides of lions resting in the shade of acacia trees or lying low in the tall grass, waiting for their next meal. There is a good chance of spotting cheetah and if you are lucky, the shy leopard.
You will arrive in the Mara in time for lunch, followed by an afternoon game drive. Dinner and an overnight stay at the Mara Sarova Camp, or similar, for two nights.
Learn the ways of the Massai
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: Mara Sarova Camp
Day 4 Masai Mara
You will go game viewing before breakfast and again in the afternoon, with lunch and a siesta at the lodge. In the evening, it is time for a well-deserved shower and a refreshing drink before dinner. Overnight at Mara Sarova Camp.
View wildlife from your vehicles
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: Mara Sarova Camp
Day 5 Masai Mara / Nairobi / Arusha
Leave the lodge after an early breakfast and transfer to the airstrip for your flight to Nairobi and then on to Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania. You will be picked up and transferred to the Mount Meru Game Lodge for your overnight.
IF YOU HAVE MORE TIME: You might choose to expand this itinerary by going overland, stopping first at Lake Naivasha to see the flamingos and then continuing to Amboseli National Park on your way to Tanzania. The park is beautifully situated at the foot of snow capped Mount Kilimanjaro - Africa’s highest mountain. Arrive in time for lunch at the Amboseli Sopa Lodge, or similar. After lunch, drive to the park for an afternoon game drive. The snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro, rising above a saucer of clouds, dominates every aspect of Amboseli and forms a backdrop to an impressive display of wildlife with its population of lion, elephants, leopard, cheetah, buffalo, hippos and other savannah game. It is truly a photographer’s paradise. Return to the Amboseli Sopa Lodge, or similar, for your dinner and overnight. The next day you would depart with game viewing en-route to Tanzania, arriving at Namanga border. After customs, you will be met and assisted by your Tanzanian guide and then driven to Arusha, a 120 km and approximately 2 hour drive, arriving for lunch at the Arusha Hotel.
Today you head to Tarangire National Park, the classic Africa of lore - shimmering acacia stands, old baobab trees, and herds of elephants. In the dry-season of July-October, Tarangire National Park surpasses the Serengeti in terms of animal concentration, as big herds begin to congregate around the permanent waters of Tarangire River. It is not uncommon to see herds of 50+ elephant, as well as many other mammal species, including the rare Kudu and Oryx. There are a fantastic number of colorful birds that swoop and strut along the rough paths throughout the year. Because the park extends through two game-controlled areas, wildlife moves freely throughout. On arrival, look for wildlife as you drive toward the Tarangire Safari Lodge, beautifully situated on a bluff overlooking the Tarangire River, arriving in time for lunch. This afternoon, with your cameras loaded and binoculars at the ready, you will head out for another game drive. The drivers will have learned about the morning's best spotting, and this will determine which direction you head. Because you never know where the animals may be or what they will be doing, there is always the possibility of encountering fantastic wildlife in the late afternoon light. Return to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Today drive to Lake Manyara National Park, stopping for game and photos along the way. Lake Manyara is a small, but scenic safari park that is often skipped by touring groups. It's fantastic for bird-watching and finding elephants, tree-climbing lions, and more. The park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world. Close to the park gates in the north, woodlands are fed by freshwater flowing through the porous volcanic rock, but further south, around Msasa River, the volcanic rock gives way to ancient, crystalline rock, creating impressive Water falls down the dramatic western escarpment of the Rift Valley. The park is ideal for a few hours of exploring, a picnic lunch along the way, and wildlife viewing before heading to this evening's camp.
After breakfast, we drive to the Serengeti with picnic lunches via the Ngorongoro Highlands. The Serengeti National Park is famously known for its wide range of wildlife and birds. The name Serengeti derives from the Masai word Siringiti, meaning endless plains. Large prides of lions laze easily in the long grasses, plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trump to each other across the plains, and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers. Hopefully you will see the annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti. More than a million animals make the seasonal journey to fresh pasture to the north, then the south, after the biannual rains. The sound of their thundering hooves, raising massive clouds of thick red dust, has become one of the legends of the Serengeti plains. Feel a part of the bush and experience the incredible sounds and smells of the wild African. Dinner and overnight at Serengeti Medium Camp, or similar.
Today we have a full day to explore the Serengeti. Your driver-guide will choose your route based on his extensive knowledge of the park and local conditions but the Serengeti rarely disappoints. We carry our picnic lunches with us so as to make the most of the day, but our trip might include a trail along the banks of the Grumeti River in search of basking lions, tracking cheetah through the Gol Kopjes or hunting leopard along the Seronera River. The entire park ecostyem thrives from the seasonal and annual migration.
Today we depart the Serengeti with a final game drive en-route. Again, we take picnic lunches with us. We will visit the world famous Olduvai Gorge, a truly magical place where the Leakey's discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus Boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. In a small canyon just north of the crater, the Leakey's and their team of international archaeologists unearthed the ruins of at least three distinct hominoid species and also came upon a complete series of hominoid footprints estimated to be over 3.7 millions years old. Evacuated fossils show that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habiitation in the world. Continue through the spectacular Ngorongor highlands to your camp situated just outside of the crater.
Spend a full day in the Ngorongoro Crater with a picnic lunch and explore this fascinating wildlife ampitheatre. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the crater forests after grazing on dew-frosted grass in the morning mist. This unique crater, formed by a sinking volcano, hosts a unique cross-section of ecosystems, from soda lake to savannah and is home to almost every major species of African mammal. Our presence does not threaten the wildlife making for an exhilarating proximity to the game that we rarely encounter elsewhere. Descend down the 2,000 ft walls of the crater, a World Heritage Site and home to nearly 25,000 animals, to embark on a game drive. You will have the chance of spotting the "big five": lion, elephant, endangered black rhino, cape buffalo and leopard among others. We return to the lodge just before dusk.
After breakfast, depart from Ngorongoro to Arusha and arrive in time for lunch at Shanga River house. Transfer to Mount Meru Game Lodge dayroom before being transported to Kilimanjaro airport for your onward flight home.
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