Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN NAIROBI, KENYA
Welcome to Africa! Hotel rooms are available for mid-afternoon check-in.
Day 2 NAIROBI
Start your PRIVATE SIGHTSEEING with a visit to the SHELDRICK ELEPHANT ORPHANAGE, founded and managed by Daphne Sheldrick. Here, you will learn about elephant conservation and meet elephant calves, orphaned by poachers, before they are re-introduced to the wild. Next, visit the KAREN BLIXEN MUSEUM, dedicated to the author of Out of Africa. Lastly, stop at the GIRAFFE CENTER, a non-profit organization focused on saving the Rothschild’s giraffe, where you will learn about this sub-species and have the opportunity to feed them.
Day 3 NAIROBI–MOUNT KENYA–SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Depart Nairobi to begin your search for the “Big 5”—lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and Cape buffalo. First, stop at the famed Mount Kenya Safari Club for lunch as you take in stunning views of Mount Kenya. After lunch, continue on to SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE, known for its arid landscape and unique wildlife. Due to the dry climate, grasses are sparse, making animals easier to spot. Meanwhile, the Ewaso Ng’iro River, which borders the reserve, provides a year-round water supply. These two factors make for a great game-viewing experience. During your AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE, you have the chance to see rare animals you will not see in other parts of the country. Commonly referred to as the Samburu “Special 5,” this includes Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, beisa oryx, and the gerenuk, a long-necked antelope that feeds while standing on its hind feet.
Day 4 SAMBURU
Today, enjoy MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES. In addition to the Samburu “Special 5,” the reserve is home to an abundance of other species. Large numbers of elephant and Nile crocodile can be seen, as well as waterbuck, Kirk’s dik-dik, and Grant’s gazelle. Where there is prey, predators can be found, so lion and leopard are often spotted. The reserve is also a great place for bird watching, with over 300 species. Between game drives, there’s time to relax at your lodge.
Day 5 SAMBURU–OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY
After breakfast, travel to OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY, the largest black rhino sanctuary in all of East Africa. After lunch, enjoy a GAME DRIVE in the conservancy, including a stop at the CHIMP SANCTUARY. In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Jane Goodall Institute, the sanctuary was established to provide a long-term home for orphaned and abused chimpanzees. Here, see the chimps and learn more about their plight.
Day 6 OL PEJETA–NYAHURURU FALLS–LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK
Leave Ol Pejeta and journey through the beautiful Kenyan highlands, one of the most fertile agricultural areas in all of Africa, where farmers grow crops such as corn, wheat, coffee, and tea. Stop at NYAHURURU FALLS, also known as Thompson’s Falls, and then on to LAKE NAKURU NATIONAL PARK. During your AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE you may see waterbuck, giraffe, impala, flamingo, and striped hyena. This is also your best chance to see white rhino, which are commonly spotted here.
Day 7 LAKE NAKURU–MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
This morning, depart for MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, Kenya’s most famous game area. “The Mara,” as it is called by locals, is part of the Serengeti ecosystem and boasts a strong permanent population of game. When the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra arrives, generally from August to early November, the population enlarges by almost 2 million. This provides a great food source for predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena. After lunch at your lodge, set out on an AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE. NOTE: The Great Migration is a natural event, and the arrival/departure of the migrating herds varies slightly year to year.
Day 8 MAASAI MARA
Rise early for a MORNING GAME DRIVE. Be sure to watch for elephant, rhino, giraffe, topi, hyena, and much more. Afterward, a special BUSH BREAKFAST has been arranged for you. Sip on a mimosa as you savor every moment of the memorable experience! Return to your camp and relax prior to your AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE.
Day 9 MAASAI MARA–NAIROBI–AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, board a plane for the quick flight to Nairobi. After a short break, drive to AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK, best known for spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa at some 19,341 feet. Embark on an AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE before settling in at your lodge.
Day 10 AMBOSELI
MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES are included today. Amboseli affords you a great opportunity to get close to the mighty elephant. You might also spot Cape buffalo, zebra, wild dog, and more. This evening, as the sun sets with “Kili” as the backdrop, savor SUNDOWNER DRINKS in the bush!
Day 11 AMBOSELI–ARUSHA, TANZANIA–LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
This morning, cross the border into Tanzania. After lunch in Arusha, proceed to your lodge along the rim of the Great Rift Valley escarpment. Check in and enjoy some leisure time prior to dinner.
Day 12 LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK–TLOMA–NGORONGORO CRATER
Embark on a MORNING GAME DRIVE in LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK. This small park is ecologically diverse, with groundwater forests, grassy plains, and alkaline Lake Manyara itself. Watch for elephant, Cape buffalo, giraffe, and more. The park is also home to the world’s largest concentration of baboons. Afterward, take in spectacular views of Lake Manyara during a special BUSH LUNCH. Then, journey to the nearby village of TLOMA. Here, you will visit a LOCAL FAMILY’S HOME to learn more about the local Iraqw culture and their traditional way of life. You will also stop at a LOCAL PRIMARY SCHOOL to visit with the children and learn about the educational system in rural Tanzania. Continue on to the rim of NGORONGORO CRATER, which is part of the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Day 13 NGORONGORO
Descend into the crater for a FULL-DAY GAME DRIVE. Ngorongoro Crater is technically a caldera—the world’s largest unflooded one, in fact—at more than 2,000 feet deep with a floor covering over 102 square miles. Game viewing here is fantastic, as most of the animals stay in this area year round. You can see lion, Cape buffalo, hippo, elephant, and flamingo. This is also your best chance to see the rare black rhinoceros. A picnic lunch will be served in the crater.
Day 14 NGORONGORO–SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Today, drive to SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK, Tanzania’s largest and most famous park. Home to the annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, generally between late November and July, it attracts visitors from around the world and is great for game viewing year round. Enjoy lunch at your lodge before an AFTERNOON GAME DRIVE. NOTE: The Great Migration is a natural event, and the arrival/departure of the migrating herds varies slightly year to year.
Day 15 SERENGETI
The Serengeti covers an area of roughly 5,700 square miles, so it is no surprise that the name comes from the Maasai word siringit, meaning “endless plains.” Continue your exploration during MORNING & AFTERNOON GAME DRIVES. You have the chance to see the big cats—lion, leopard, and cheetah—as well as an abundance of other animals, including the Nile crocodile, giraffe, gazelle, and eland. Tonight, join your traveling companions for a FAREWELL BUSH DINNER and a TRADITIONAL MAASAI DANCE PERFORMANCE—the perfect end to your safari!
Day 16 SERENGETI–ARUSHA–DEPARTURE
This morning, fly back to Arusha, where your tour ends. We have secured a day room at the Mount Meru Hotel for you to use prior to your homebound flight. Book homebound flights after 5 pm.