An African safari touches something deep within all of us, for it is an experience that will never be forgotten. This 13-day adventure takes you to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the planet in search of wildlife, especially the Big Five, and intriguing cultures. The safari visits five national parks, one national reserve and the conservation area that covers the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. The driver-guides are all very experienced and will certainly make this safari feel special. This programme is available in two separate formats, using different accommodation throughout. Please contact the tour designer for further details.
Flamingos: See lakes take a shimmering pink appearance when thousands of these birds flock to them in wet season
Big cats: Observe lions, leopards and cheetahs relentlessly track wildebeest during the wet season Great Migration (subject to wildlife movement)
Maasai: Passing many Maasai villages between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, and watching herdsmen bring their cattle to graze on rim of the crater
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Taqi Moledina for rates and conditions
Maasai Mara National Reserve: Located in the African Great Rift Valley and a habitat for the Big Five.
Lake Nakuru National Park: Fully fenced park that is a refuge for flamingos as well as black and white rhinos among others.
Amboseli National Park: Stunningly located at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.
Lake Manyara National Park: The first of the Tanzanian parks is home to tree-climbing lions and huge hippos.
Serengeti National Park: Home to millions of wild animals and setting of the great wildebeest migration every year.
Ngorongoro Crater: The planet’s largest intact volcanic caldera is a world within a world where humans and wildlife cohabit.
Tarangire National Park Lush and green wetlands provide an ideal habitat for hundreds of species of birds.
Upon arrival in Nairobi, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at your own leisure, perhaps taking advantage of the luxurious facilities or visit Nairobi city centre.
Leaving Nairobi after breakfast, travel towards Kenya's fertile highlands and head down the Rift Escarpment on a road built by Italian prisoners of war during World War II. Keep an eye out for the charming chapel they built at the foot of the escarpment. Pass the futuristic Longonot earth satellite station as you head across the valley to Narok, and then travel through fields of wheat and barley, before reaching the Maasai Mara and the lodge for check-in in time for lunch. Afterwards, it’s time for the first game drive of the tour.
Enjoy an early breakfast before departing to a Maasai village followed by a morning game drive. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is home to millions of wild animals, including the fabled Big Five of lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and black rhinos as well as antelopes, gazelles and wildebeest among others. Return to the lodge for lunch and perhaps a siesta before setting off for an afternoon game drive, then returning to the lodge as the sun sets.
Bid farewell to the Maasai Mara after breakfast and travel across the ‘breadbasket’ of Kenya. Acres of wheat and barley dominate the landscape as you head north to Narok, the district headquarters of this part of Maasailand. Cross the vast plains on the floor of the Great Rift Valley, keeping an eye out for herds of giraffes and gazelles as you head up the Mau Escarpment, before arriving at Lake Nakuru at about midday. The waters here are often coloured a shimmering pink, from the thousands of flamingos that line its shores. After lunch, depart for an afternoon game drive in Lake Nakuru National Park. As well as all the beautiful flamingos, both black and white rhino are being carefully protected and given a new lease of life in this fully fenced 188 square kilometre park. The rhino population numbers more than 50 and continues to grow. The Rothschild’s giraffe is another rarity and the park has its fair share of buffaloes, leopards, zebras, elands, waterbucks and lions.
Rise early for breakfast before continuing the adventure with a drive south for a boat ride on Lake Naivasha, which provides a habitat for hundreds of bird species and hippos. The lake is located at one of the highest elevations in the Rift Valley, which is left behind as the tour proceeds towards Nairobi for a picnic lunch. Head south to Amboseli National Park, arriving at the lodge for check-in by late afternoon.
Feast on a fine breakfast in preparation of a morning and afternoon spent on game drives in Amboseli. Most of the park consists of a partially dry lake bed of evaporated salts and fragile grassland with patches of acacia woodland. You can see most types of game in the park, including rhinos, giraffes, gazelles, lions, cheetahs and leopards. Birdlife is prolific, too, especially around the swamp areas. This entire experience is carried out under the shadow of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, which rises some 5,000 metres above the national park. Return to the lodge as the sun sets over this magical landscape.
After breakfast, make the short journey to the border with Tanzania and then on to the city of Arusha for lunch. At about 14:00 hours, depart Arusha and pass through the Maasai Steppe, a landscape dotted by many picturesque tribal villages as well as maize, coffee and banana plantations. Turn north-west at the town of Makuyuni and continue through a scenic escarpment that brings you to the lodge for check-in.
Begin the day with a fabulous breakfast before a morning game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, which is renowned for its varied birdlife – notably flamingos – in wet season and large mammal viewing in dry season. Tree-climbing lions, large-tusked elephants and one-and-a-half-tonne hippos are among the denizens of this mesmerising park. Return to the lodge for lunch before heading north-west across the wheat and coffee plantations of the hilly countryside of the highlands to the north of Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The Serengeti is famed for being home to millions of animals and the annual Great Migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles but the dramatic landscapes in which the wildlife prowls are themselves worthy of admiration. Riverine forests and woodlands, rocky outcrops called kopjes and a volcano are just some of the backdrops in which the animals can be spotted during the morning and afternoon game drives. With some luck, here you will see the Big Five and, with great luck, the harder-to-spot species grouped as the Little Five: the ant lion; the rhino beetle; the elephant shrew; the buffalo weaver; and the leopard tortoise. Birds and reptiles are also plentiful in the Serengeti National Park
Take to the road after breakfast for a breathtaking drive to Ngorongoro Crater. There will be a pause along the way for a picnic lunch while viewing game in the Serengeti plains. Continue to the lodge for check-in.
A spellbinding experience awaits you this morning as you explore what is considered to be the world’s largest wildlife zoo. After breakfast, descend through the early morning mists to the basin of the crater, some 600 metres below the rim, for a picnic lunch. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and due to its size – it has a diameter of 19km – and diversity, the crater floor features distinct areas that range from forests, swamps, lakes and springs to open grasslands and sandy dunes. The crater has traditionally been inhabited by the Maasai people, who share it with more than 25,000 wild animals, including black rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, eland, gazelles, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, spotted hyenas, jackals and cheetahs to name but a few. It’s an awesome wildlife experience. Return to the lodge in the late afternoon.
Depart the Ngorongoro Crater after breakfast and head south-east towards Lake Manyara, Mto wa Mbu village and Tarangire National Park. Through the highlands and the Karatu district, pass scenic wheat plains and coffee plantations, journeying down a spectacular escarpment before arriving at the park and on to the lodge for check-in, enjoying a game drive en route. After lunch, the remainder of the afternoon is spent on a game drive of the park, which is home of one of the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa and other game, including zebras and tree-climbing lions the elusive leopard. More than 550 bird species can be spotted here as well.
Say goodbye to Tarangire after breakfast and drive to Arusha, arriving in time for lunch. Continue to Nairobi in the afternoon and onto a central Nairobi restaurant for dinner (about 19:00 hours) before drop off at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or a city centre hotel.