Few travel experiences compare to encountering the legendary wildlife of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. On this 12-day safari through the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania, you will explore incredible national parks, staying in safari lodges and camps. Starting in Nairobi, you spend one night in this bustling city before driving to Lake Nakuru then onto the Masai Mara National Reserve. From there you cross the border to visit the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park, before returning to Kenya to spend your last two nights in Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Day 1: The Sarova Stanley, Nairobi
A representative will warmly meet you upon arrival at the Jomo Kenyatta International airport with our traditional, unique & special welcome (bubbly, wet towels and presentation of authentic safari hat and a beautiful authentic canvas pouch filled with safari essentials). We will then transfer you to the Sarova Stanley Hotel, located in the heart of the central business district. Enjoy overnight.
Day 2: Mbweha Camp, The Rift Valley
Our guide driver will pick you from the hotel after breakfast, drive to Lake Nakuru with a brief stop at the Rift valley view point. We arrive at the lodge to a very warm welcome, check-in then lunch. This afternoon we depart on a game viewing. Some of the interesting places to visit include the baboon cliff, the lion hill and the Mau escarpment. The park is one of the best game viewing parks with various animal species including prides of lion, Cape buffalo, waterbucks, wart hogs, the endangered Rothschild giraffes, the black & white Rhino, the Burchell’s zebra, impalas, and the elusive leopard among many others. Over 300 bird species have been recorded here too. Lake Nakuru National Park is one of the best places to see the endangered black and white Rhino. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the Lodge.
Day 3: Tipilikwani Mara Camp, Masai Mara
A hearty early morning breakfast then drive to the Masai Mara National Reserve, offering wonderful scenery and plenty of game. We arrive at the intimate, 20-tent Tipilikwani Camp to a very warm welcome for lunch, some leisure. This afternoon is the moment we have been longing for – we depart on an exciting game viewing drive. The Rolling plains and grasslands, stretching far into the horizons as far as the eye can see is home to the black-manned lion, the savannah elephant, the Cape buffalo, wildebeests, the elusive leopard, cheetah, the spotted & stripped hyena, the rhino, topi, Burchell’s zebra, the Masai giraffe among many others. The Mara game reserve is one that can never disappoint. One is spoilt by the variety of bird and wildlife species in this game reserve. For a long time, Mara Game Reserve has stubbed her authority as the ‘granary’ of wildlife in Kenya. We return back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Tipilikwani Mara Camp, Masai Mara
Sumptuous breakfasts then we depart for a full day adventure. Be on the look-out for the big five that Masai Mara is famous for. These include the lion, savannah (African) elephant, the Cape buffalo, the leopard and the black rhino. In the early 20th century, Kenya was a famous hunting destination. Killing any of the big five game one pride, a sense of class, a feeling of heroism. We may even be so lucky to witness a leopard or a cheetah sprint and make a kill! We return back to the camp for dinner and overnight.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Balloon Safari over the Mara plains followed by a champagne breakfast or visit a traditional Masai Manyatta (off the beaten track) and experience the culture of this world-famous community. The Masai still live as they did for centuries -interact with these nomadic people and experience their way of life as you learn about their customs and traditions.
Day 5: Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Central Serengeti
We enjoy a hearty breakfast then depart with picnic lunch boxes via the Isebania and Sirari border where our guide drivers will help you through the immigration procedures then continue into Tanzania. Covering an area of 14,763 square kilometres, the world-famous Serengeti National Park is Tanzania's oldest park, and one of the world's last great wildlife refuges. The Serengeti ecosystem supports the greatest remaining concentration of plains game in Africa, including more than three million large mammals. We arrive at our lodge for check-in, dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Central Serengeti
This morning after breakfast, we depart with picnic lunch boxes for a full day of game viewing drives on the vast Serengeti plains. In the early morning and evening light, the Serengeti landscape is stunningly beautiful. The Rolling plains and grasslands, stretching far into the horizons as far as the eye can see is home to the black-manned lion, the savannah elephant, the Cape buffalo, wildebeests, the elusive leopard, cheetah, the spotted & stripped hyena, the rhino, topi, Burchell’s zebra, the Masai giraffe among many others. Serengeti National Park is one that can never disappoint. One is spoilt by the variety of bird and wildlife species in this game reserve with game-viewing drives. Enjoy dinner and overnight at our lodge.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Dawn Balloon Safari over the Serengeti Plains ending with a champagne breakfast.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, we depart to Ngorongoro. We stop at the Oldupai Gorge, one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world to learn on human evolution. We will enjoy an on-site talk on the interpretation of the gorge by the resident guide. We arrive at our crater rim lodge to a warm welcome, check-in then lunch. This afternoon we relax and from our lodge enjoy the breath-taking spectacular views of the crater below. Ngorongoro Crater has the largest unbroken caldera in the world. It has been described as one of the great natural wonders of the world. Eight million years ago, the Ngorongoro Crater was an active volcano, but its cone collapsed, forming the crater that is 610 meters deep, 20 kilometres in diameter, and covers an area of 311 sq. km. Spectacular as it is, the crater accounts for just a tenth of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The crater is home to many species of wild game and birds. With the exception of impala and topi (due to fierce competition with the wildebeest) and the giraffe (because there is not much to eat at tree level), almost every species of African plains mammal lives in the crater, including the endangered black rhino, and the densest population of predators in Africa. The birdlife, which includes the flamingo, is mainly seasonal, and is also affected by the ratio of soda to fresh water in Lake Magadi on the crater floor. Dinner and overnight at crater lodge.
Day 8: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast we descend some 610 metres into the crater, which is home to an abundance of wildlife and a photogenic paradise, for a full day of game-viewing drive with picnic lunch. Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world teams with an abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor. Prides of lions, herds of Cape buffalo, impala, Thompson gazelles, rhino, giraffes, golden & black-backed jackal, zebra, cheetah, leopard and the spotted hyena freely roam on the crater floor plains.
Unmatched for its natural variety & breath-taking beauty, there are few places on earth where such a tremendous diversity of landscapes exist inside a region this size. Apart from its wildlife riches, the crater is also of great archaeological importance, with the remains of some of mankind’s earliest ancestors discovered in the area, also a home to hundreds of bird species, refreshing in the small lakes in the crater floor. Return late afternoon to your lodge. Enjoy dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Tarangire National Park
Enjoy your breakfast then depart to Tarangire arriving at your lodge for lunch. This afternoon we depart on an exciting game viewing drive in this area dotted with majestic baobab trees, stately eland antelopes among other game. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry Tarangire river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared Oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. Enjoy dinner and overnight at your lodge.
Day 10: Amboseli Serena Lodge, Amboseli National Park
Enjoy an early morning breakfast then depart via the Namanga border to Amboseli National Park. We arrive at the lodge to a very warm welcome, check-in then lunch. We depart on an afternoon game viewing drive. Amboseli is home to lions, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, baboon, gazelle hippo and wildebeest among many others. It is also an ornithological paradise with over 400 species of birds, flora and fauna and some of the most soul-searing views in Africa. Enjoy dinner and overnight at your lodge.
Day 11: Amboseli Serena Lodge, Amboseli National Park
Morning and afternoon game viewing drives. Amboseli offers some of the most breath-taking views in Africa. Her scenery - one of the best places for a photogenic view of Mount Kilimanjaro (weather permitting) is next to none. This is best seen on a clear day. Amboseli National Park provides the classic Hollywood image of Africa. The park is famous for her large herds of giant elephants. Enjoy meals and overnight at the lodge.
Day 12: End of Itinerary
This morning we enjoy our breakfast then check-out. Unbelievable but true, our good bush moments have come to an end. We bid farewell to our wonderful lodge manager and his team then depart back to Nairobi. Not empty handed though. With us are photographs – a capture of the special moments we have had on this tour to immortalize the experience. Our guide driver will transfer you to the Carnivore restaurant for lunch transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your home-bound flight.