East Africa Encompassed - 16 days
FROM USD $2,245
Go wild on this game viewing adventure through the best of East Africa's reserves. From Kenya's Rift Valley lakes and the Masai Mara to the vast plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania and then relax on the idyllic island of Zanzibar.
Please note this itinerary is for travel in 2014. Passengers travelling in 2013 please contact us for your correct Go Guide.
Monday. Welcome to Nairobi! We’ll be there to collect you at Nairobi Airport and transfer you to the Kenya Comfort Hotel. Tonight you will stay in shared dorms. There will be a pre departure meeting at 17.00. Overnight - Nairobi
Nairobi - Masai Mara. After breakfast we continue on to the Masai Mara National Reserve. We enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, and continue our drive possibly getting a glimpse of some wildlife along the way. The main section of road between Nairobi and the Reserve is in a very poor state, so be prepared for a rough ride! We arrive at our campsite, Acacia Camp in the evening. Acacia Camp looks on to the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Reserve remains unfenced, allowing wildlife to roam freely across into the surrounding area and if they choose – through our own camp! No need to be afraid, as the local ‘Askari’ will keep a look out for any unwanted predators. Overnight - Masai Mara N.P.
East Africa Encompassed - 16 days Go Guide
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Masai Mara. We depart shortly after sunrise on our game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve. The Masai Mara is well known as one of East Africa’s best National Reserves and is home to a wide variety of wildlife species. Most famous for the Annual Migration, that consists of the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle that cross over from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania; the Masai Mara is most popular between July and October when these vast herds feast on the fresh grazing here. Following these herbivores are Africa’s predators that are often seen at a kill during this period. We game drive through a section of the park in search of the ‘Big 5’- elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard; along with the many other species of animals, reptiles and birds who make call this wilderness home.
After our game drive, we have the option to visit one of the nearby Masai Manyatta’s – this is a traditional hamlet where the Masai still live in their traditional way. This evening we sit around the camp fire, and watch the sun set over this “Garden of Eden”. Overnight - Masai Mara N.P.
(B, L, D)
Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru. We overnight outside Nakuru at a lovely campsite on a local farm. Nakuru is Kenya’s 4th largest town and capital of the Rift Valley Province and lies adjacent to the small but wildlife rich Lake Nakuru National Park. Overnight - Lake Nakuru
(B, L, D)
Lake Nakuru NP. This morning we begin our exploration of the Lake Nakuru National Park - famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake’s edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it’s low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight! The park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. We spend the day searching for these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. After our game drive, we head to the campsite, arriving in the late afternoon. Overnight - Lake Nakuru
(B, L, D)
Day 6: Kisii & the Gusii Highlands
Lake Nakuru - Kisii/Kericho Area. After breakfast we leave the Masai Mara and head to Kisii/Kericho passing through the picturesque tea plantations along the way. These towns are the main commercial centres in the Gusii Highlands, where cash crops like tea and coffee thrive because of its equatorial climate. We replenish our stocks before heading for Tanzania tomorrow. Overnight - Kisii/Kericho Area (B, L, D)
Day 7: Musoma
Kisii/Kericho - Musoma. We depart Kenya and head south into Tanzania. After border formalities, our drive takes us through the scenic granite landscapes adjacent to Africa’s largest lake – Lake Victoria. We spend the night at a campsite on the banks of Lake Victoria in the fishing town of Musoma. Overnight - Musoma (B, L, D)
Musoma - Serengeti. Today we head to the Serengeti National Park, entering the park after lunch. The Serengeti (Masai for “endless plains”) is famous for its enormous concentration of game (especially the big cats) and for the annual migration of millions of wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelles. The abundance of plains game in this area is truly astounding. We enter the park through the lesser travelled western corridor and game drive en-route to our campsite in the centre of the park. Tonight we bush camp (no ablutions) in the wild surrounded by the sounds of the African bushveld, pierced only by the calls of the nocturnal wildlife. Overnight - Serengeti N.P.
(B, L, D)
Day 9: Ngorongoro Crater
Serengeti - Ngorongoro Crater. After an early start we pack up our camp and continue our game drive through the Serengeti National Park in search of the resident wildlife and head to the southern part of the park where we have the chance to see the endless plains this park is renowned for. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! We cross from the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Conservation area at lunch time and begin our climb up the steep Crater edge. Tonight’s camp (basic ablutions) on the crater rim sharply contrasts the warmer plains below - we suggest you bring your winter woollies as it can get very cold at night. Overnight - Ngorongoro Crater
(B, L, D)
Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha. The Ngorongoro Crater with its 600 m high walls and 20 km width is a natural marvel. The Crater’s rim offers spectacular views, but the true scale of this caldera is only appreciated from the floor itself where the abundance of its animal inhabitants becomes apparent. It is home to nearly every species of African animal and offers a chance to view an incredible concentration of East African mammals, such as elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo, lion and plain’s game. After spending the morning game driving in The Crater we continue to our campsite outside Arusha where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience. Overnight - Arusha
(B, L, D)
Day 11: Pangani
Arusha - Pangani. This morning we continue our journey towards Dar es Salaam. On the way we drive through the town of Moshi situated at the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro – Africa’s highest mountain. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions, and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit - a photo opportunity not to be missed! We pass through vast sisal plantations surrounded by The Usambara and Pare Mountain ranges, before reaching our lovely campsite nestled between these mountains, midway between Arusha and Dar es Salaam. Overnight - Pangani (B, L, D)
Pangani - Dar es Salaam. Today we continue on to Dar es Salaam. Travelling through lush scenery and palm trees, we near the warm Indian Ocean. Upon arrival in Dar es Salaam we make our way to our lovely seaside campsite and prepare for our departure to Zanzibar the next morning.
Overnight - Dar es Salaam
(B, L, D)
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar (optional). A ferry from Dar Es Salaam takes us to ‘Spice Island’, where we have the option to spend the next three nights.* Zanzibar is steeped in history and offers a wealth of experiences. Wander the streets of Stone Town, take an excursion around a spice plantation or simply laze on one of the pristine white sandy beaches, the choice is yours! Accommodation is not provided on Zanzibar, allowing you the freedom to choose where you spend your time on the island. Your trip leader can arrange accommodation for you locally should you wish.
* For those opting not to visit Zanzibar, 3 days can be spent at leisure at the beach campsite or exploring Dar Es Salaam. Overnight - Dar es Salaam (3) OR optional Zanzibar (3) (B:1)
Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam. Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening, when our adventure comes to an end.