May 2 – 15/19, 2018 (14/18 days)
From the source of the world’s longest river to its highest free-standing mountain, and every savannah and rainforest in between, Africa offers uniquely breathtaking experiences. We’ll have opportunities to encountertheMasai, see all of the most sought-after big game and marvel over incredible diverse landscapes.
Places: Manyara - Mwanza - Migori - Babati - Arusha - Serengeti National Park Serengeti - Nairobi
Flight from various departure cities.
We break our journey in Amsterdam for the night.
Depart Amsterdam for Nairobi, where we are met at airport and transferred to our hotel. Once checked in, we will have dinner and a get together with our local Safari coordinator to learn about the adventures ahead. (D)
This morning we drive down the Great Rift Valley floor to the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve, named for the term in the Maa language meaning “spotted plains”. We check-in upon arrival, enjoy lunch and the early afternoon is spent at leisure. We depart at 1600hrs to seek the resident wildlife which includes The Big Five (Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros) amongst impala, Thompson gazelle, Grants gazelle, topi, eland, giraffe, caracal, cheetah, jackal, fox, crocodile and hippo at the Mara River. We return for dinner. (B,L,D)
The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most dramatic wildlife arenas, home to the ‘greatest wildlife show on earth.’ We’ll strive to see all The Big Five (Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhinoceros) traditionally the most highly prized as the most dangerous and difficult prey by the big game hunters. The Reserve is also famous for the great wildebeest migration each year between June/July & October. Millions of wildebeest, zebras & gazelles migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara here in Kenya.
The next two days are spent on game drives, or full day game drives accompanied by picnic lunches. Our experienced professional driver/guide will add to our enjoyment by helping us spot the animals and many birds found here. (B,L,D)
There are also some optional activities possible, such as visits to Masai Boma and local schools, or a hot air balloon excursion for some amazing aerial vistas. The optional activities are at your own discretion and incur an extra cost, requring advance booking or payment on site.
Another fabulous day to explore the Masai Mara. (B,L,D)
After breakfast and check-out, we depart with a game viewing drive en route to Isebania, the Kenya-Tanzania border point. After the immigration formalities we will be met by our driver and guides for Tanzania and proceed to our lake lodge, arriving later in the afternoon. (B,L,D)
Depending on weather and personal preference, you can have a guided exploration of the lake and a nearby village in a small group excursion (4 people per canoe) for which a small fee would be paid locally.
After breakfast we proceed to Serengeti National Park and enjoy an afternoon game drive. One of Africa’s premier game parks, Serengeti is to Tanzania what the Masai Mara Game Reserve is to Kenya, though with an area of 14,763 sq km, it is actually over 7 times the size! (B,L,D)
We take a picnic lunch to experience an full day safari exploring the Serengeti! (B,L,D)
We’ll have a chance to spy some active morning wildlife as we travel form the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, renowned as Africa’s best game viewing. We’ll stop en route at Olduvai Gorge, site of archeological findings where traces of pre-historic man have been discovered dating back 3.5 million years. We have a chance to visit the on-site museum and witness a panoramic view of the historic excavation site.
Then we’ll proceed to Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world. At 2000ft. deep, it’s a contender for the 8th Wonder of the World, and the views from the Ngorongoro Crater rim are breathtaking. This fascinating ecosystem guarantees and abundance of ever-present wildlife, due to the permanent water supply on the crater floor. The rich pasture and water here support a resident population of more than 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. This afternoon we’ll have a chance to tour the Ngorongoro Crater, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B,L,D)
We continue on to Mto wa Mbu which means Mosquito River. We’ll tour a typical village which has over 18,000 inhabitants from 120 tribes. The village includes a local market, several different farms, local huts and artisan shops -an opportunity to glimpse authentic northern Tanzanian culture. After our visit we will lunch , possibly at a banana plantation, before continuing on to Manyara. Apart from its abundant bird life, Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for its tree-climbing lions. An afternoon game drive promises some wonderful wildife activity. (B,L,D)
Depart for Tarangire National Park with a picnic lunch. The name Tarangire is derived from the Tarangire River which provides a constant water source for wildlife. In addition to a wide variety of mammals, over 300 species of bird life have been recorded in this park. (B,L,D)
This morning we depart for Arusha with an optional stop over at the Cultural Heritage center to view the art gallery and perhaps find some handcrafted souvenirs. On a clear day you will see Mt. Meru standing tall over the city of Arusha.
Upon arrival at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, we’ll enjoy lunch in the lush green gardens.
Later we transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport where you may depart for home. (B,L)
Or extend your trip a few days in stunning Zanzibar!
Arrive Amsterdam for subsequent flight home, where we will arrive the same day.