CAMPING SAFARI: Go in search of wildlife in Kenya's famed Masai Mara Reserve before exploring neighboring Tanzania on this 13-day overland camping safari. Continue your safari adventure in the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and visit the coastal towns of Bagamoyo and Dar es Salaam. Then take the ferry to Zanzibar, for three days, exploring Stone Town and relaxing on beautiful palm fringed beaches.
Nairobi - Masai Mara. We leave Nairobi early this morning and make our way to the famous Masai Mara National Reserve. The Mara is adjacent to the Serengeti, forming one of the world's last surviving great wildernesses. We will be travelling in specialized safari vehicles for this part of the tour for a more intimate wildlife-viewing experience, and will join up with our main vehicle later.
During our time in the Mara, we enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in search of the huge herds of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope which inhabit the plains and the predators that hunt them. Also keep your eyes peeled for other iconic species like rhino, elephant and giraffe. We camp on the edge of the reserve, close to the action!
Please note: The pre-departure meeting is held at 18:00 on the evening prior to departure. The tour departs at 08:00 on Day 1 so please arrive in Nairobi the day before your tour. Refer to the Joining Instructions in the Trip Notes for more information. We can book accommodation and transfers on request.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Lunch, Dinner
Today we continue exploring the Masai Mara with morning and afternoon game drives to different areas of the park. As well as the iconic Big Five, we will hopefully spot some of the less glamorous species, but creatures that are important to the ecozystem. Hyenas and vultures scavenge the remains of prey, warthogs scurry through the undergrowth and endangered African wild dogs hunt intelligently in packs. We break in the middle of the day for lunch before game driving back to our camp for the evening.
Overnight: Masai Mara | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Crossing into Tanzania
Nairobi - Arusha (Tanzania). We leave Kenya, crossing into neighboring Tanzania at the Namanga frontier. We then drive to the country's safari capital, Arusha, arriving late afternoon. Situated in the shadow of Mount Meru and close to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, it is a great base for exploring the region. If time allows, we stop to browse the local markets and join a walk around a traditional Masai village before heading to our camp at the Meserani Snake Park.
Overnight: Arusha | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Arusha - Serengeti National Park. We leave our overland truck behind and transfer to designated safari vehicles to embark on an exciting two day Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater excursion. Entering the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we drive around the rim of the crater and onto the wildlife-rich plains of the Serengeti, one of the last great wildernesses in the world.
Millions of wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate across these plains throughout the year, followed by the predators, such as lions, leopards, and cheetahs. We game drive to our unfenced campsite, where we can listen to the sounds of the bush and hopefully see some wildlife roaming nearby.
Overnight: Serengeti National Park | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha. Game driving out of the Serengeti on day 6, we can search for any species we have not managed to spot so far. We travel back to the Ngorongoro Crater, camping on the rim of this UNESCO-listed natural caldera, one of Africa's most spectacular wildlife areas.
On day 7 we drive down a steep road into the crater itself for an unforgettable morning game drive. You will have the chance to spot every major African animal, except for giraffes. Interestingly, they cannot manage the steep climb down the crater rim!
Returning to camp for lunch, we pack up before making the journey back to Arusha.
Overnight: Ngorongoro Crater (1), Arusha (1) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2
Onwards to the coast
Arusha - Bagamoyo. Today we have a long but scenic drive as we travel away from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and towards the Indian Ocean coast. We will pass Mount Kilimanjaro en route, and if the weather is clear we should be able to enjoy magnificent views of Africa's highest mountain.
The port town of Bagamoyo was founded towards the end of the 18th century and was an important trading port along the East African coast. Today it is a center for dhow building, with many of the boats being sent to Zanzibar and nearby areas. We camp on the outskirts of the town, near the palm-fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean.
Overnight: Bagamoyo | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Bagamoyo - Dar es Salaam. It's only a relatively short drive south along the coast to Dar es Salaam today. The city is Tanzania’s main port and is a hub of commerce and industry - a hot, humid, and bustling seaport city of high rises, colorful markets, and Arab-influenced architecture on the coast. We set up camp on the beach just outside the city tonight, and you'll have time to go for a swim.
Overnight: Dar es Salaam | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Dar es Salaam - Zanzibar. On the morning of day 10, we take the ferry to Zanzibar, leaving our overland truck on the mainland. Evocative and exotic, Zanzibar conjures up images of idyllic, sandy, palm-fringed beaches, romantic winding cobbled alleys, and lush tropical forests.
Enjoy free time on the island. Independently explore historic Stone Town on day 10 before we drive to one of the beautiful beaches in the north of the island for two days of Indian Ocean relaxation. Perhaps visit a spice plantation, spend some time on the tropical beaches and enjoy snorkelling at the coast, home to a wealth of marine life. Other optional excursions you can book include massages and yacht trips. You can also enjoy a sunset dhow cruise. Please see the Trip Notes for more details about the optional activities available in Zanzibar.
In Zanzibar, we stay in simple hotels, with breakfast included. We typically spend day 10 in Stone Town and days 11 and 12 at one of the northern beaches, but this can be flexible.
Overnight: Zanzibar | Breakfast x 3
Zanzibar - Dar es Salaam. Enjoy a final swim in the turquoise ocean or do some last-minute shopping before we board the ferry back to the mainland. Feeling refreshed after your three-day beach break, it is time for our tour to come to an end.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 6 persons. Prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a tent / room. Solo travellers will be matched up and share a tent / room with another solo traveller of the same gender.
Local payment - $1390pp paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.
Wildebeest Eco Camp (campsite), Nairobi
An oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, Wildebeest Eco Camp is set in tropical gardens home to hundreds of native birds. It is conveniently located near shops, banks, markets, restaurants and Nairobi National Park. The campsite is shaded and shared bathroom facilities with solar-powered hot showers and flush toilets are available. There's an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace for guests to enjoy and the onsite restaurant serves a variety of African, European, and American dishes. Free Wi-Fi is also available.
Meserani Snake Park (campsite), Arusha
Founded in 1993 on the outskirts of Arusha, the Meserani Snake Park was once a barren wasteland, now it's a lush wildlife park, with hundreds of trees planted which are also home to native bird species. Travellers can visit a local Maasai village guided by a Maasai warrior and can explore the Snake Park zoo itself, home to 48 African snake species including the deadly Black spitting cobra and reptiles including crocodiles. The Snake Park hosts a monthly medical clinic for the local community too, serving more than 1,000 patients monthly. The campsite offers shared ablutions with hot water and you will camp amongst the birdsong-filled trees. The onsite Snake Park Bar is famous in the area for its array of memorabilia.
Simba Camp (campsite), Ngorongoro Crater
An unfenced campsite boasting stunning views of the Ngorongoro Crater and with wildlife free to roam around the campsite, Simba Camp is the perfect base for enjoying a wildlife safari in the Ngorongoro Crater. There are well-maintained shared bathroom facilities with hot water, and firewood can be purchased onsite. Take a short walk from camp for unrivalled views of the crater, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife as you go.
Firefly Camp (campsite), Bagamoyo
The campsite at Firefly is just a few metres from the beach in Bagamoyo. There are shared toilets and showers and the communal areas, outdoor swimming pool and Wi-Fi connection are free for campers to use too. Food is served all day at the camp's restaurant and bar, including free coffee in the morning. Guests can also browse the souvenir shop, relax in the spa, or hire bicycles to further explore Bagamoyo.
Kipepeo Beach Village (campsite), Dar es Salaam
The Tanzanian bush meets the blue waters of the Indian Ocean at Kipepeo Beach & Village, situated on the south coast of Dar Es Salaam. The campsite is right on the beach itself and is a popular destination for watersports adventures or simple relaxation. Facilities include a beach bar and restaurant. There are shared bathroom facilities and electric hook-up is available.
All Seasons Hotel, Zanzibar
A great base for exploring Stone Town, the All Seasons Hotel is located in the heart of the old part of Zanzibar City and just a few hundred metres from the beach. Rooms are simple but comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms, air-conditioning, TV and a terrace. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the property. Guests can dine at the onsite restaurant, and the hotel is situated within easy distance of an array of other restaurants and attractions, including the Old Fort of Zanzibar and the Persian Baths.
Sunset Bungalows, Zanzibar
Sunset Bungalows hotel is located on the northern Kendwa Beaches of Zanzibar's main island. This tropical paradise is the perfect place to while away a few days before getting back on safari. Recently renovated rooms come with four-poster or twin share beds, air-conditioning, seating area and ensuite bathrooms. The onsite Sunset Restaurant serves a delicious variety of Swahili and international cuisine, as well as a selection of cocktails. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the property and a beachside swimming pool offering wonderful ocean views.