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Essential East Africa

10 Days | Game drives by day, star gazing by night

4.9 out of 5 based on 28 reviews submitted.
18 to 29s
EUR 1.544 €
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This trip is for the 18 to 29 year olds

Got 10 days, an adventurous bent, a desire to see as much of East Africa as you can as you can and a tight budget? We’ve designed this trip just for you – it’s a memory-maker, but not a bank-breaker. With multiple 4WD safari drives in the Masai Mara, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Parks, stops at remote market towns, spend a night in a Maasai village and another night by the largest tropical lake in the world, this tour is like a crash course in what East Africa is all about.

Trip overview

Map of Essential East Africa including Kenya and Tanzania, United Republic Of
Nairobi, Kenya
Arusha, Tanzania
18 to 29s, Overland, Wildlife
Tanzania, Kenya
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Min 18 - Max 29
Group size
Min 1 - Max 22
Trip code
This trip generates 34.63 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.
Bucket list destinations

Tick off all the popular spots and enjoy unique local experiences

Great value

Affordable trips with the freedom to choose how you spend your time

Responsible travel

You book, we donate to help support local communities

Why you'll love this trip
  • Safari, safari, safari – what East African adventure would be complete without one? Well, this trip has six in three different areas. Which brings us to…
  • The animals! Go in search of hippos, lions, leopards, giraffes and more during 4WD game drives in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Masai Mara with your experienced local leaders.
  • Spend a night hanging with the red-clad Maasai folk in Loita Hills. A local elder will explain what the tribe is all about and show you around their house.
  • Crossing the Masai Mara in a purpose-built truck is just one of those classic East Africa experiences – vast plains spotted with thorn trees and herds of animals.
  • Stops in places like Mto wa Mbu and Musoma mean you’ll get time to chat with locals, and travelling with a local (your leader) makes it even easier.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, the East African Wildlife Society. Donations help them protect endangered wildlife, support conservation and promote sustainable management of natural resources in East Africa.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Staying in Loita Hills is a proper adventure – you'll be in a bush camp with no showers as the Maasai guard you from the animals. Pretty nice for some guys you just met.
  • Similarly, camping in the Serengeti means, well, camping in the Serengeti. No barriers between you and mother nature means there's no fence between you and the animals. We take safety seriously and your leader will brief you in detail on how to set up camp so as not to attract any unwanted visitors (not hanging raw meat to dry on your lines is a good start).
  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent, occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘Big Five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page at https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.

View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2024 - 31 December 2024

Map of Essential East Africa including Kenya and Tanzania, United Republic Of



9 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 8 dinners


Overland vehicle


Hotel (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (6 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights)

  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Full Day 4WD Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4WD Game Drive
Add on activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD745
  • Mto wa Mbu - Village bike ride and lunch - USD32
  • Mto wa Mbu - Village walk and lunch - USD20

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip starts in Nairobi on Day 1 at 6pm. This allows time after the welcome meeting to explore. You have the choice on Day 10 of finishing your trip in Arusha or Nairobi. If you are continuing on to Nairobi, please do not book any flights until after 9pm this evening.
3. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park are possible on this itinerary. Please see Days 4 & 7 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.

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.

Read Essential Trip Information


4.9 out of 5 based on 28 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Alberto · Traveled October 2023
Perfect trip to live the African experience at it's fullest. The nature, fauna and landscapes will leqve you astonished. Local people are friendly and warm. I strongly recommend this trip.
Review submitted 23 Oct 2023

Jett · Traveled September 2023
Excellent experience in this short 10 day portion of this 30 day journey. This experience was enhanced by the crews vast knowledge and expertise of Kenya & Tanzania. Highly recommended to anybody that’s looking for a surreal experience.
Review submitted 25 Sep 2023

Melissa · Traveled September 2023
The essential east africa trip exceeded all its expectations. It is jam packed with amazing wildlife, people and cultural experiances. The Intrepid truck was sp resourceful and made travel easy. Thanks so much to our crew Raymond, Simon and Loyford who really made the trip the exceptional one it was. An unforgettable, wholesome first trip to Kenya and Tanzania, I can't wait to come back and explore more.
Review submitted 25 Sep 2023

Ebony · Traveled September 2023
It was the most incredible experience; unlike anything I have ever experienced before. Can not recommend Intrepid and the East African Experience crew enough; they went above and beyond and made my experience one I’ll never forget!
Review submitted 25 Sep 2023

James · Traveled September 2023
The trip was incredible and exceeded the already high expectations I had about visiting Africa. This was due to a combination of my fellow travels, the beauty of Africa and the excellent crew that made the trip run so smoothly. I have nothing but positive words for the crew members on our trip: Raymond (Crew leader), Simon (Chef) and Loyford (Driver). Individually they all performed their roles excellently. Overall, the trip was excellent in no small part due to the people mentioned above. I would highly recommend this trip, and especially this crew, to explore Africa - it truly has been an excellent experience.
Review submitted 25 Sep 2023
Essential East Africa
EUR 1.544 €