Unravel the complexities of beautiful East Africa.

Find the best of East Africa on this Intrepid adventure as you traverse across Kenya and into Tanzania. Discover the wildlife, history, people, culture and beauty of this incredible spot. Begin your adventure in the busy heart of Kenya – Nairobi – and then turn your attention to the wild as you see flamingos in Lake Nakuru, game and wildlife in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, and all manner of birds and beast as you travel the wide-open plains. Swap the savanna for a higher elevation when you visit Usambara Mountains, and then leave all your cares behind as you relax on the endless white sands of the beaches in Zanzibar. Leave this East Africa adventure with a deeper understanding and appreciation of this fabulously intricate and enchanting part of the world.


Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Stone Town, Tanzania
Countries
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YXOHC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why we love this trip

  • Experience Kenya's tribal life with Maasai warriors at an overnight village visit in Loita Hills

  • Spot Black and White Rhino in Lake Nakuru National Park

  • Explore the stunning Serengeti and discover animals unlike any you have ever seen

  • Partake in community activities in Mto wa Mbu with a guided stroll around the farming areas

  • Wander around Stone Town’s bustling bazaars and fragrant spice markets and receive a guided tour of the spice plantations

Is this trip right for you?

  • In Loita Hills we stay in a bush camp while Maasai warriors guard us from the animals.

  • Camp in the Serengeti National Park itself without fences between you and the animals. Your leader will brief you on the safety measures the group will need to take for the 2 nights spent in the park.

  • At Usambara Mountains the group will do a an easy hike to the beautiful Irente viewpoint.

  • We use our purpose-built overland vehicles for the duration of this trip. This multi-purpose truck allows for great game viewing with large sliding windows. As such the trucks do not have air-conditioning and conditions can be dusty and hot.

  • The overland vehicle is large enough to seat up to 22 passengers and carries all the camping equipment needed for the duration of this trip. Therefore the going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads.

  • This is a participatory camping trip. You will be expected to set up and take down you own tent as well as assist with food preparation and cleaning.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader. If you arrive early, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed at an outdoor village.

Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt. Your hotel room or reception may also have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or the floor when you're in a bar or restaurant. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of time in paperwork if anything does happen.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1200
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive north-west past splendid views of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park (approximately 3–4 hours). Situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around the often flamingo-filled lake, makes a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five game, Lake Nakuru is home to rhinos, and there will be a good chance of spotting and photographing one of these magnificent beasts. Your exclusive camp, outside the park, is well situated and has flush toilets and showers. Accommodation upgrades and WiFi are not available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Nakuru - Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head to a nearby village with your guide. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the local folk and get a feel for everyday life here. Then you'll drive from Lake Nakuru to your camp near Lake Naivasha (approximately 3 hours). One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha has floating islands of papyrus reeds and a border of flat-topped acacias. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds. There will be an opportunity to access an ATM and visit a market today to stock up for the remainder of the trip. Your campsite tonight is basic, with showers and flush toilets. Depending on availability, there may be the option to upgrade to a room. WiFi is available at the bar.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lake Nakuru - Village walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy some free time today. There are various optional activities to choose from. Perhaps venture to Hell's Gate National Park, which boasts beautiful cliffs, gorges, rock towers, volcanoes and a range of geothermal phenomena. Another great choice is to take a boat trip across Lake Naivasha – perhaps the best way to take in the atmosphere of this lush area. If you're looking for something active, perhaps hire a bike for the day and make some of your own discoveries, venturing beyond the cacti and olive trees.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Naivasha - Bike hire - USD12
  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip - KES4000
  • Lake Naivasha - Game Walk in Crater Lake Game Sanctuary - USD45
  • Lake Naivasha - Hell's Gate National Park - USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart Lake Naivasha, making a short stop in Narok to do a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), stopping for lunch en route. Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide, and takes you into the remote region of Loita Hills. This is the home of the traditional Maasai people. You will visit the Maasai, who are known for their vibrant red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African community. After setting up your tent, meet your Maasai hosts. A local elder will deliver a fascinating talk about the Maasai and their history and culture. You'll be shown around a traditional Maasai home and see where the resident cattle are kept. Showers, upgrades and WiFi are not available at tonight's bush camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours). The road is dusty when dry, and could be slippery and soft when wet, so the going may be slow. The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most tremendous animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it's time to jump back on board the truck and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. You campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. WiFi is not available here however.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Venture into the Masai Mara National Reserve for a full day's game drive. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a multitude of wildlife. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and of the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite.

Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leave the open expanses of the African bush behind and return to the urban environment of a Nairobi hotel with ensuite, bar, pool and WiFi (240 km, approx 5-6 hrs).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location.
Today is a free day until your group meeting at 6 pm. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. During the day perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
  • Nairobi - Langata Giraffe Sanctuary - KES1200
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Nairobi - Carnivore Restaurant - KES3600
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart early for Mto Wa Mbu in your overland truck (approximately 8–9 hours). The trip includes a border crossing from Kenya into Tanzania, so be sure to have your passport handy. While you're on the road, there will be a stop at an ATM and a market or shop to stock up on any supplies you might need for the coming days. Arrive in Mto Wa Mbu and acquaint yourself with this delightful small village – it's a fascinating snapshot of small-town African life, situated well off the tourist trail. Tonight you'll stay at a campsite with flush toilets, showers and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Get up early, put your camping and personal gear into a six-person jeep and head out for an excursion into the Serengeti via the Ngorongoro Crater. Enjoy a safari in the crater, spending between three and four hours exploring this incredible, perfectly intact volcanic crater. Watch for black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round (some 30,000 animals live here) and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Next it's on to the wide open plains of the Serengeti. Green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, this is perhaps the quintessential image of Africa – the home of thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Your campsite is within the Serengeti itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep. No upgrades or WiFi are available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
You will notice some Maasai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater offering a cultural experience. Intrepid recommends avoiding these villages, as they can impact negatively on the Masai culture and travellers' perceptions of it by selling an artificial experience.

Our camp within the Serengeti National Park does not have a fence to separate the camp from the animals. This is quite the experience as animals such as buffalo and hyenas often come close to camp after sundown. On arrival at the camp your leader will give a detailed safety briefing on what is required to ensure the safety of the group.
Awake at dawn and embark on a game drive. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the middle of the day relaxing, just like the animals do, head out again as the day begins to cool. You'll return from this second game drive in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today (in place of some of the morning game drive). If you have pre-booked this activity (please see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast, then be returned to your camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Rise with the sun and enjoy another game drive as you exit the Serengeti. Jump back into your overland vehicle and head for Mto wa Mbu. Take a stroll and acquaint yourself with this delightful small village – it's a fascinating snapshot of small-town African life, situated well off the tourist trail. Tonight you'll stay at a campsite with flush toilets, showers and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you will join the local community for a guided stroll around the farming areas, milling machine, and local homes and farmlands. You'll also have the chance to look around the town and visit the local market. You may wish to indulge in a spot of shopping –wood carvings and local artworks are the specialities of the area. Continue your drive to the village of Marangu (approximately 4–5 hours) and set up camp for the night. The camp is basic, with flush toilets and showers, situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Marangu - Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & market visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people, who are long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and perhaps sample the local Chagga food. Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, you can get a glimpse of the magnificent, snow-capped Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak (5,895 m). Then it's time to venture well off the beaten path and into the remote Tanzanian mountains (approximately 7 hours). Your base is the old German colony of Lushoto, and you'll stay in the grounds of one of the oldest hotels in Africa. The camp has flush toilets, showers, WiFi optional upgrades.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore the beautiful Usambara Mountains, a lovely unspoilt area of Tanzania. Unlike the coast and the north, very few tourists visit this part of the country, so it has a freshness that can be hard to find elsewhere. As beautiful as the surrounding mountains and rainforests are, however, the real jewels here are the local people and villages. You'll experience some gentle hospitality on a visit to some of the small local communities. From your base, you will take a walk out to the gorgeous Irente viewpoint. It's best to pack some water and snacks in a day pack for this trip. On your way back, visit a local cultural project based at Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Irente - Lushoto hike & local lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Leaving the mountains behind, travel still further south to the coastal town of Kipepeo Beach in Dar es Salaam (380km, approximately 9-10 hours). Your camp at Kipepeo is by the beach, so make the most of it – perhaps take a stroll along the shore after you arrive and settle in. The camp is on the grounds of a hotel with upgrades usually possible
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar. Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar has a colourful history – everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast evokes what the island must have been like in Livingstone's day. The old part of Zanzibar's main city is known as Stone Town. The best way to see this exotic port town is on foot, exploring the markets, shops, mosques, palaces and courtyards. When the sun is setting, perhaps enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront, and a seafood curry at a local restaurant. Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers. Please note the Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.
Check out of your Stone Town hotel and drive to the spice plantations. Here you will receive a guided tour, during which you can learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. You will also have the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices, such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger. Sample some teas made with these spices too. After lunch you will head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy free time in this beautiful archipelago today. There are many ways you can spend your day – perhaps talk to your leader for any recommendations they might have. Snorkelling in search of exotic fish is an excellent option. You might also like to feast on a sumptuous lunch of grilled local seafood, or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Accommodation
  • Bungalow (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Zanzibar - Dhow Trip - USD60
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling - USD60
  • Zanzibar - Prison Island Tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After checking out this morning, you will make your way back to Stone Town, arriving at Stone Town around 12pm. Your trip comes to an end here. Ferries depart Zanzibar for Dar es Salaam daily at 7.30 am, 9.30 am, 12.30 pm and 3.30 pm. It's important to allow enough time to get back to the mainland if you need to catch your departing flight from Dar es Salaam. Speak to your leader about the best way to do this.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
If you wish to stay on in Zanzibar, post trip accommodation can be pre-booked at the Northern Beaches beach resort or in Stone Town.

Meals

20 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 14 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (12 nights), Bungalow (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Lake Nakuru - Game Drive
  • Lake Nakuru - Village walk
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Marangu - Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village walk & market visit
  • Irente - Lushoto hike & local lunch
  • Zanzibar - Spice tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see the itinerary above for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.
3. This is a combination trip made up of 3 shorter trips. This means the composition of your group may change in Nairobi and Stone Town as some group members leave and new ones join you.
4. The Zanzibar portion of your itinerary may have a few more passengers than the maximum group size of 22 as we have a crossover of trips starting and finishing in Zanzibar.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Best of East Africa trips score an average of 4.33 out of 5 based on 3 reviews in the last year.

Best of East Africa, January 2017

Thomas Robertson

Best of East Africa, January 2017

Thomas Robertson