Showcasing a panoramic north-south selection of Kenya’s most famous national parks in Kenya and crossing into Tanzania’s mighty Serengeti and thereafter descending into the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, the sensational Ngorongoro Crater. Leaving the crater behind proceed to conclude in Tarangire National Park. Uniquely varied, this essential travel itinerary also includes stays in both traditional tented safari lodges and luxury tented camps.
Wildlife Highlights: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, cheetah, hippos, crocodiles, wildebeest, zebra, antelope, gazelle, impala, waterbuck, topi, eland, plains game, giraffe and rhino.
Accommodation: The Boma, Ashnil Samburu Camp, Serena Sweetwaters Tented Camp, Naivasha Sopa Lodge, Ashnil Mara Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, Maramboi Tented Camp.
Day 1: Arrival in Nairobi
Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the 5-star hotel The Boma. Dinner (not included) can be taken at the hotel or at any of the cities many restaurants.
Day 2: Nairobi to Samburu
After an early breakfast, drive north of Nairobi up the Great Rift Valley to the Samburu/Buffalo Springs National Reserve arriving in time for a late lunch at the Ashnil Samburu Camp which features 24 tents. The tents are widely spaced along the banks of the Uwaso Nyiro River, surrounded by doum palms and acacia trees. The main guest area, also shaded by a canopy of acacia trees, offers a comfortable reception and lounge, a spacious dining room, atmospheric bar and a broad deck, which offers unparalleled game-viewing across the wide reaches of the Uwaso Nyiro River, which is the lifeblood of this otherwise arid northern region. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Distance/drive time: 380 km / 5½ hours
Day 3: On safari in Samburu
Enjoy a full day on safari in Samburu (morning and afternoon game drives). In the evening, there is an option of sundowners before dinner in the central dining room.
A place of endless skies, dust-red plains and palm-fringed rivers, Samburu National Reserve lies on the fringes of the vast and arid desert once known as the Northern Frontier District, whose heat-scorched scrublands extend all the way to the jade-green waters of Lake Turkana and beyond. Physically dramatic, the 104 sq km landscape of the Reserve features rocky battlements, craggy scarps, dry river beds and fallen boulders rising out of the thorn scrub against a backdrop of the far-distant hills and the great red table mountain known as Ololokwe.
Day 4: Samburu to Ol Pejeta
Leave the camp after breakfast and travel south to Nanyuki and check-in to Sweetwaters Tented Camp. A sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and safari luxury. Located on the plains of Mount Kenya, the camp features thirty-nine luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The central Rhino Restaurant, housed in the former manager’s house of this once colonial farm offers both regional and international cuisine. Also within the house is the Kashoggi Bar and lounge, which centers on a blazing log fire. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game-viewing hide, overlooks the waterhole and offers unrivalled wildlife-watching.
Distance/drive time: 220km / 3 hours
Day 5: Ol Pejeta to Lake Naivasha
After breakfast, drive south to Lake Naivasha in time for lunch at the charmingly located Lake Naivasha Sopa Lodge. The lodge stands in 120 acres of lakeside land, most of which is covered in green riparian meadows, which sweep down to the shores of the lake, one of the most beautiful in the Great Rift Valley. A jetty has been built out onto the lake, from where guests can watch the antics of the hippos in the lake and experience 360 degree views, which include Crescent Island, Mount Longonot, the Mau Escarpment and the misty outline of the Aberdares. The grounds are alive with a colourful selection of birds, and the trees with monkeys.
Afternoon crescent Island walk.
About Lake Naivasha
A freshwater lake, the highest of the string of lakes that glitter down the vast trench of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is infamous for its rapidly shifting moods. Enigmatic, and dotted with floating islands of Nile cabbage (water hyacinth) and papyrus, Lake Naivasha has no known outlet, and legends abound regarding the vast tunnels that supposedly run beneath its surface. Towered over by the brooding bulk of Mount Longonot (2,776 m), and featuring a submerged volcanic crater known as Crescent Island, this beautiful lake is best known for its high numbers of water birds. Also for the haunting cry of the fish eagles, which feed on the black bass and tilapia of its waters.
Distance/drive time: 240 km / 3.5 hours
Day 6: Lake Naivasha to the Masai Mara
Leaving the lodge after breakfast, continue up the floor of Rift to arrive in the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, and at the Ashnil Mara Camp in time for a late lunch. In the afternoon, enjoy your first game-drive in the Mara. World renowned for the breathtaking spectacle of ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth’, the awe inspiring annual migration of the wildebeest, the Mara is Kenya’s most visited protected area. Technically an extension of Tanzania’s renowned Serengeti National Park, the Mara constitutes only 4% of the entire Serengeti ecosystem but its rolling grasslands, meandering rivers and towering escarpments offer one of the world’s most rewarding and evocative wildlife arenas. Returning to the camp, enjoy some relaxation on your private veranda, sundowners and dinner in the central restaurant.
Distance/drive time: 365 km / 5½ hours
Day 7: On safari in the Mara
Spend all day on safari in the reserve with morning and afternoon game drives and breakfast, lunch and dinner at the lodge. When it comes to game-viewing, there is nowhere in Africa richer in wildlife or more eventful in encounters than the Mara. A pristine wilderness of haunting beauty, it promises its visitors a profusion of wildlife, prolific bird life and the unprecedented opportunity of catching up with all the members of the ‘Big Five’ in one morning.
Day 8: The Mara to Serengeti
After breakfast transfer to Ol Kiombo Airstrip in Masai Mara for a scheduled Airkenya Flight to Serengeti Seronera Airstrip via Migori and Tarime Airstrips near the border of Kenya and Tanzania respectively. The flight which departs Masai Mara approximately 0910hours is half an hour to Migori Airstrip where upon arrival you are put on a road transfer across the border for immigrations and custom procedures, then on to Tarime Airstrip to connect to Tanzanian domestic flight departing 1030hours to arrive approximately 1105hours in Serengeti National Park and to Serengeti Serena Lodge, which is ideally located for safari game drives as well as optional activities such as balloon safaris, guided walks etc. Lunch and afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
About the Serengeti
Covering 14,763 sq km of endlessly rolling savannah plains, the Serengeti is Tanzania’s first-established, largest and most famous park wherein tens of thousands of hoofed animals roam in a constant and unremitting search for the fresh grasslands upon which their survival depends.
Distance/drive time: 250km / 5 hours
Day 9: On safari in the Serengeti
With a full day’s game-driving in the park, your options are wide. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the camp, where guided nature walks can also be taken. Game drives can be taken morning and afternoon. Whilst the annual migration is the Serengeti’s most famous attraction, the Park is also renowned for its lion, many of which have been fitted with radio-transmitter collars so that their movements may be tracked, and additionally for its wealth of cheetah, zebra, giraffe, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, eland, impala, klipspringer, hippo and warthog.
Day 10: The Serengeti to Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast depart with game drive en-route, drive through the Serengeti to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, stopping en route for a visit to the world-famous Olduvai Gorge Palaeolithic site and reputed ‘Cradle of Mankind’. Enjoy picnic lunch at the site and thereafter proceed leisurely to Ngorongoro to check in and spend rest of the day at leisure. Dinner at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, which offers the finest location of all the crater rim lodges, lying on the southern rim of the crater, directly above the yellow fever trees of the Lerai Forest.
Distance/drive time: 195 km / 3½ hours
Day 11: Ngorongoro Crater to Tarangire
In the morning after breakfast descend for half day game drive in the crater.
Often referred to as ‘the eighth wonder of the world’ the Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife arenas. A World Heritage Site, it is also one of the largest volcanic craters in the world (almost 20 kilometres wide, 610-760 metres deep and covering a total area of 264 square kilometres). An utterly unique biosphere, the Crater harbours grasslands, swamps, forests, saltpans, a fresh water lake and a glorious variety of birdlife, all enclosed within its towering walls. Due to its high concentration of wildlife, close-range viewing opportunities and striking scenery it is also Tanzania’s most visited destination.
After Crater Tour drive to Tarangire to arrive in the late afternoon for check in, dinner and overnight at Maramboi Tented Camp
Distance/drive time: 150 km / 2½ hours
Day 12: On safari in Tarangire National Park
Spend a full day on safari in Tarangire National Park with morning and afternoon game drives.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the camp.
Day 13: Tarangire to Arusha
After breakfast at the camp, drive to Arusha and take lunch at Arusha Coffee Lodge. Depart for your flight home.
Distance/drive time: 260km / 4 hours