Day 1: Welcome to Kenya!
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international airport you will be met by a representative from Matoke Tours who will pick you up and drive you to your accommodation in Karen, a peaceful suburb to Nairobi, named after one of its former residents, the author Karen Blixen.
Hotel Rudi is close to several tourist attractions like Nairobi National Park, the Giraffe Centre, the Elephant Orphanage at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Karen Blixen Museum and the Bomas of Kenya. Depending on your time of arrival you can visit these sites today. All activities today are at your own expense.
||No meals included today
Day 2: Game Drive in Lake Nakuru National Park
Your Matoke Tours guide will pick you up at the hotel today at 8 am. That's the safari cycle, early to bed and early to rise, to make the most out of your day!
Today's destination is Lake Nakuru National Park. The drive is spectacular with scenic stops along the way at Thomson Falls and the Rift Valley view point.
On the floor of the Great Rift Valley, surrounded by wooded and bushy grassland, lies the beautiful Lake Nakuru National Park. You will enjoy the ecological diversity and varied habitats that range from Lake Nakuru itself to the surrounding escarpment and picturesque ridges. Lake Nakuru National Park is ideal for game drives, bird watching and hiking.
At the lodge you can enjoy lunch and some relaxation before you head out on an afternoon safari when the temperatures are slightly cooler and the light at its most beautiful. Be on the lookout for lions, buffalos, antelopes, warthogs and other wildlife.
Note: Lake Nakuru is well-known for the abundance of flamingos who come to the lake to mate and feed. In later years however, the number of lesser flamingos around the lake have decreased. This is due to water levels rising and the increase of fresh water in the lake. With the lake being less alkaline, the main food group of the flamingo, the spirulina algea, cannot survive which has led to the flamingos moving on to other lakes like Lake Magadi or Lake Natron and Lake Manyara in Tanzania in search of food. There is still plenty of other wildlife that you are sure to enjoy in this national park.
Day 3: To the Masai Mara
After an early breakfast you will head to the world-renowned Masai Mara Game Reserve. Located in southwestern Kenya, on the border with Tanzania, the Masai Mara is a land of breathtaking views, endless plains and an excellent year-round concentration of wildlife. In the months of July-October it is also home to over two million Wildebeest making their yearly trek north from the Serengeti in Tanzania.
The next three nights you will spend at the sublime Amani Mara Camp. Strategically located in a remote area of the Masai Mara, this beautiful lodge promises spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes and possibilities of spotting diverse wildlife, from herds of wildebeest and zebra to majestic lions and elegant cheetahs.
After lunch you will have the opportunity to explore your new surroundings on foot. Led by a professional and highly knowledgeable guide, your nature walk will teach you the intricate workings of the micro ecosystems of the bush, from exotic flora to the region's plentiful birdlife.
||Amani Mara Camp
||Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 & 5: Full Day Game Drives in Masai Mara
Sunrise is a great time for wildlife spotting as animals tend to be the most active during the “golden hours”, when the first rays of sunshine come to rest on the savannah. Few predators hunt during the heat of the day, so the early morning is the best time to observe the thrill of the chase, or at least the aftermath of a hunt.
For your safari adventure over the next two days you can decide if you want to take a packed lunch for a full day game drive or come back to the camp for a hot lunch before returning to the bush in the afternoon.
||depending on game drive
||Amani Mara Camp
||Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Want to go on a Hot Air Balloon Safari?
A hot air balloon safari launches in the early morning, just in time for sunrise. For about one hour you will be floating peacefully above the ground, with a bird’s eye view of the African bush below. The capacity for this activity is limited making this a very special and exclusive experience. Please note that this activity is weather dependent and may need to be rescheduled due to poor weather.
The additional cost for this optional activity is USD 490 per person.
Day 6: Boat Safari on Lake Naivasha
Before departing the Masai Mara today you will be invited by the lodge to plant a tree. The nature around the lodge used to be dry and desert like. With sustainable practices and dedication to nature this family-owned lodge has managed to grow a whole forest, eventually bringing water and wildlife back to the area. Planting your own tree is a nice way to give back to the land that has given you a piece of itself over the past couple of days.
After breakfast your journey continues east toward Lake Naivasha. The lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife including a sizeable population of hippos and being a freshwater lake, it also has a healthy fish population including Black bass, Tilapia and Crayfish which attract a variety of fish-eating birds such as Long-tailed and Great Cormorants, Fish Eagles, Pelicans, and various types of Kingfishers. You will get the chance to explore the lake and its inhabitants today on a boat safari.
Tonight you will spend the night in the beautiful Naivasha Sopa Lodge. Set in one hundred and fifty acres of grassland studded with Acacia bushes and trees, the resort is not only home to the resident giraffe, waterbuck and both Vervet and Colobus monkeys, but it is also a nightly stop for hippos who come up to graze on the nice property lawns.
Optional accommodation for the history buffs!
Elsamere Lodge is located on the shores of Lake Naivasha and is the former home of Joy and George Adamson, who settled in Kenya in the late 1930's. Joy later founded the Elsa Conservation Trust, whose work in wildlife education and conservation projects has had a significant impact in the region. The lodge contains a museum housing the Adamson's collection of books, paintings, and memorabilia from the movie "Born Free" based on Joy's international bestselling book about Elsa the Lioness. The museum gives a fascinating insight to the lives of the pioneering couple who brought wildlife in Africa to a worldwide audience.
This lodge is a bit off the beaten track and quite unique. Should you want to stay here during your visit to Lake Naivasha, instead of Naivasha Sopa Lodge, please let your Travel Consultant know at the time of booking.
Day 7: Return to Nairobi & Flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport (Tanzania)
Enjoy your last African sunrise today and the tranquillity of nature all around you. Your guide will drive you back Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.
Flight departure: 5.00 PM
Flight arrival: 6.00 PM
You will be met at the airport in Tanzania by your private Matoke Tours guide, who will take you to your lodge in the outskirts of Arusha and the lush foothills of Mt Meru.
||African View Lodge
Day 8: Village walk in Mto Wa Mbo & Lake Manyara National Park
One of the very many wonderful things about Tanzania is its friendly people. And today you will experience their warmth and hospitality on a cultural visit to Mto Wa Mbu.
Mto wa Mbu is a town wedged between Lake Manyara National Park and the impressive Rift Valley escarpment. Besides being the gateway to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti this lively town is home to a farming community of around 18,000 people, representing nearly 120 different Tanzanian tribes.
On a village walk you will discover the very social side of rural life in Tanzania; from the small farms to schools, markets and churches. You will observe the Makonde tribe’s intricate wood carving and tribal painting techniques and learn how the Chagga tribe brew their “Mbege”, a traditional banana and millet beer.
Your walk will end in a shaded spot under a cluster of banana trees where the very talented Miss Bibi will cook you a delicious Swahili meal. You are very welcome to walk around to the open-air kitchen area and see how the local dishes are prepared.
Want to swap the village walk for a Mountain Bike tour?
On thisguided two-wheel journey you will pass through banana plantations, rice fields and busy market streets. One of the highlights of the tour is reaching the sparkling shores of Lake Manyara.
In the afternoon you will have time to explore Lake Manyara National Park.The park is smaller than most of Tanzania’s parks in the northern circuit, but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in content.
The park is host to 11 ecosystems, ranging from savannah to marshland and the only evergreen rainforest in Tanzania. In the forest you can find large troops of baboons, elephants and if you’re lucky, the famous tree-climbing lions!
In the shallow alkaline lake you will see hundreds of flamingos in the dry seasons, as well as pelicans and other water birds. The park is a favorite spot among bird lovers who come to observe over 300 species of migratory birds passing through this place each year. The grassy shores are perfect grazing grounds for buffalo, zebra, herds of wildebeest and giraffe.
Want to go on a Bush Walk?
The park is a completely different place when you are removed from the constraints of a safari vehicle. Your senses are aware of every sound and movement in the bush and you see things at ground level that you would otherwise miss. With an experienced guide you will also learn a lot about the inhabitants of the park from the incredible social structures of the termite mounds to identifying the droppings of a giraffe. You can choose to do this walk instead of a game drive this afternoon, or save it for the early morning of Day 3, before heading to the Serengeti.
This activity is optional at an additional cost of USD 55 per person.
Day 9: Serengeti National Park
A trip to Tanzania is not complete without visiting one of the most iconic safari destinations in the world; the Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti means "endless plains" in the language of the Maasai, a description that the park more than lives up to. Spanning over 14.000 sq km, this park hosts the most extensive population of wild animals on earth. It is here that wildebeest and zebra migrate in herds millions strong, following the ancient rhythms of Africa’s seasonal changes. This is one of the most impressive natural events in the world.
No matter which part of the park you visit or whether you want to experience the migration or not, very few people forget their very first encounter with the Serengeti.
||2-3 hrs to Serengeti park gate
||Serengeti Tortilis Camp
||Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 10: Full day game drive in Serengeti National Park
Today is all about the Serengeti. You can decide to go on a full-day safari with a picnic lunch in the park or head out just before daybreak to experience a safari at sunrise. Few predators hunt during the heat of the day, so the early morning is the best time to observe the thrill of the chase. It is also a magical time in the Serengeti, with soft light dappling the landscape, birds awakening and the sense of adventure beginning to unfurl. With a sunrise safari you will return back to your accommodation for brunch and head out on safari again in the early afternoon.
On your safari today you will be exploring the heart of the Serengeti, Seronera Valley. The area is known for its high concentration of big cats like lions, leopards and cheetahs, but you will also see a whole range of wild animals roaming these grassy plains; from the skittish zebra to the naughty mongoose.
Back at camp you can recount your safari tales around the camp fire to the songs of nature around you.
Want to dine under the stars on a private Bush Dinner?
You’ve never seen a starry sky as spectacular as on the African plains. To fully appreciate the celestial landscape why not opt for a bush dinner instead of dining at the camp? In this intimate setting you and your travel companions will be dining in a secluded place, away from the main camp, while being serenaded by the inhabitants of the park all around you. Your attentive staff will make sure you are not disturbed by any unexpected visitors.
The additional cost for this optional activity varies from lodge to lodge. Please ask your Travel Consultant for more details.
Want to go on a Hot Air Balloon Safari?
Serengeti National Park may be the most beautiful spot in the world for a balloon flight. There are no power lines, fences and few roads. Just enchanting scenery all around you. A hot air balloon safari launches in the early morning, just in time for sunrise. For about one hour you will be floating peacefully above the ground, hopefully seeing some animals not too far below. The capacity for this activity is limited making this a very special and exclusive experience. You will end your flight in style with a champagne bush breakfast in the middle of the park! Please note that this activity is weather dependent and may need to be rescheduled due to poor weather.
The additional cost for this optional activity is USD 500 per person.
Day 11: Game drives in Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater
An en-route game drive will take you out from the flat grassy plains of the Serengeti to the rugged forested hills of the Ngorongoro Highlands, passing picturesque Masai villages along the way. Your destination today is the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the top highlights of a trip to northern Tanzania.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a unique biosphere which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. The crater is the most densely populated wildlife area in the world, with an estimated 25,000 animals roaming the grassy crater floor.
Deep within the crater, enclosed by towering walls, you have a good chance of spotting ‘The Big 5’: lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. Depending on the time of year, you may also see flocks of pink flamingos around the shores of the shallow Lake Magadi, while the surrounding swamp area is inhabited by large pods of hippos.
Add an extra day to explore the Ngorongoro Highlands on foot!
The best way to experience the Ngorongoro highlands is no doubt on foot. Its diverse landscapes of elevated volcanoes and craters, lush forests and vast grassy plains offers spectacular views for those walking through the area. Besides beautiful scenery, hikers will get a glimpse into the life of the Maasai people who inhabit these highlands and learn how they coexist with the nature and wildlife around them. There are several hikes available in the region, from easy jaunts to challenging treks up to the surrounding peaks. Let your Travel Consultant know your fitness level and duration preference when you book this optional activity.
Day 12: To Kilimanjaro International Airport
Enjoy your last African sunrise in this spectacular country before you return home. Depending on the time of your departure flight you may have time for some activities in Arusha as you pass through on your way to the airport. Speak to your Travel Consultant for some suitable options. All activities today are at your own expense. Your guide will arrange your transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport well before your departure time.
||Not included today
Did we hit all the items on your travel bucket list for Kenya & Tanzania?
If not, don’t worry. We specialize in tailor-made tours and can customize this program to create your dream trip. Get in touch with your personal Travel Consultant to create your personalized program.
Don't want the fun to end?
Why not combine this tour with a beach holiday on the Kenyan coast? We take care of everything from flights to transfers and accommodation so that you can relax and enjoy your holiday. Explore our other destinations or speak with your personal Travel Consultant for some expert advice on suitable combinations.