Serengeti, Masai Mara, Ngorongoro, Zanzibar: highlights don't get much more famous than this.

Discover the best of East Africa on this 10-day journey beginning in Nairobi, Kenya. Travel to some of Africa's most famous areas including the Masai Mara National Reserve, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, where you'll take multiple game drives in search of the Big Five animals and more. Take in the enormity of Africa's largest lake and switch Africa's animals for people as you spend time with the Maasai people and learn about both their ancient traditions and more modern way of life from an elder.


Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Destinations
Kenya, Tanzania
Style
Original
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YGSZC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Visit a street market and haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens before delivering these sustainable food sources to villages on the outskirts of Nairobi. Sit down in a local’s home afterwards for tea and coffee and learn about life in Kenya.

  • Meet Maasai warriors and experience Kenya's tribal life at an afternoon village visit in Loita Hills.

  • Venture into the incredible Masai Mara National Reserve for a full-day game drive in 4WDs.

  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth, with two early morning and two late afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena.

  • Take a mind-blowing safari across the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater in an open-roof 4WD for a chance to see the endangered black rhinoceros.

  • Snorkel with tropical fish on a dhow cruise in the transparent waters of northern Zanzibar.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping in the Serengeti National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival.

  • 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 (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), 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: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

  • There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

  • The section of this trip that takes place in Zanzibar is unescorted. You will not have a designated local leader while you are here. However, our local representatives are on hand should you need any advice or assistance.

Itinerary

Welcome to Nairobi, the world's only major city containing a game reserve. You'll meet your group at 6 pm but if you arrive early, perhaps jump on one of the Nairobi Urban Adventures (urbanadventures.com). Just be sure to leave the 'From Farm to Feast' adventure for tomorrow. Once you've met your new travel buds, join them for an optional group dinner or alternatively strike out on your own.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Giraffes & Elephants Urban Adventure - USD70
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until tonight's important welcome 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.

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
This morning you'll take part in a unique experience: a 'From Farm to Feast' Urban Adventure. During this tour, which explores the relationship between farming and food, you'll deliver a supply of chickens and pigs to a local community and find out how a local non-profit is helping to alleviate poverty and malnutrition in Kenya, one chick and piglet at a time. Haggle alongside locals for pigs and chickens at the street market, then sit down in a local's home for tea and coffee to learn about life in Kenya and the challenges these communities face. All of your tour costs will go to supporting nutrition efforts in local communities. In the afternoon, your leader will take you on a brief walking tour of Nairobi and the evening is then free for you to enjoy as you wish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nairobi - Farm to Feast Community Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer from Nairobi to the famous Masai Mara, a journey of approximately six or seven hours. This is one of the best game reserves in all of Africa and on the way you'll stop in Loita Hills, a remote region that's home to the traditional Maasai people. This is one of the key places where the Maasai people still practice their traditional way of life, with little influence from the western world. Make a stop at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. You’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors by way of traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts and enjoy a fascinating talk, full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture. Take a walk to the community village which was founded for widows who had lost their cows due to drought, and can never remarry. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Here the women are engaged in making handicrafts and sewing eco-friendly handbags, washable sanitary pads, and backpacks to sell to visiting travellers and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home, and their cattle enclosures. Continue to the outskirts of the Masai Mara, where your permanent tented camp can be found.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore the Masai Mara in 4WD safari vehicles with game drives in both the morning and the afternoon. This is the quintessential African experience and with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most impressive animals, one you won't soon forget. Keep your eyes peeled for wildebeest, lions, leopards, antelope and giraffes, to name but a few.
Accommodation
  • Permanent tented camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is well worth considering. 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 the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite to meet up with your group.
Prepare for a long travel day as you head towards the border separating Kenya and Tanzania, then on to the small town of Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria. Not only is this the largest lake in Africa, it's also the largest tropical lake in the entire world and shares its shores with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The next three days will be spent in the wilderness, so make the most of your afternoon and evening by stocking up at the local market, grabbing cash from the town's ATM and kicking back with a beach side cold drink as the sun goes down.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
If you're up for it, wake early this morning for a guided bike excursion around Musoma. You'll scoot around town and visit the marketplace, which is a great opportunity to interact with the local community. Travel on from Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park (approximately three hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the famous expanse. Continue to your campsite on your first Serengeti game drive, keeping an eye out for the hoofed animals and predators that call this place home. Tonight you'll have a true African safari experience, camping in an unfenced site within the national park, right in the heart of the animal action. Your leader will give you a full safety briefing once you arrive.    
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Musoma - Guided Bike Excursion - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Wake to another glorious day in the Serengeti. Start the day with an early morning game drive to search for animals when they're at their most active, then return to the campsite for a relaxed brunch. Spend the hottest part of the day relaxing in camp – don't stress, the animals will be doing the same – then head off again in the afternoon for another drive through the park. Return to the campsite for dinner and another night under the Serengeti's stars.

Note: there's also an option of an early hot air balloon ride here. Please ask your leader at the start of your trip if you're interested. 

Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD599
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 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.
Enjoy a final game drive through the Serengeti as you exit the park this morning. After lunch, you'll drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation area en route to Karatu, a small town on its outskirts. Ngorongoro is a World Heritage site, the highlight of which is the Ngorongoro Crater, a gigantic volcanic caldera that you'll visit tomorrow in search of the Big Five.
Accommodation
  • Lodge (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning you'll descend to the Ngorongoro's crater floor for a 4WD excursion. If all goes to plan, you'll see some or maybe even all of the Big Five animals that reside here and better yet, the vehicle has an open roof so you can really feel like a part of the action. The animals here are less wary of humans and vehicles and as a result it's easier to watch them from up close. Take in the spectacular views from the rim of the crater as you make your way to the bottom, where animals roam the lakes, rivers, woodlands and hills. Keep an eye out for wildebeest, lion, zebra, cheetah, buffalo, gazelle and the endangered black rhino, as well as the colourfully dressed Maasai people who often water their cattle at the lake here. In the afternoon, you'll drive to Arusha and maybe enjoy an optional group dinner to celebrate this trip and say farewell to your new friends.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning bid farewell to your crew, transfer to Arusha Airport and take an included flight to Stone Town, Zanzibar. Your tour will be unescorted from here on in, however our local representatives will be on hand to look after you. Zanzibar is an archipelagic gem filled with idyllic beaches, vibrant markets and a varied, and sometimes dark, history. This is a place rooted in slavery, where Arabian sultans once lived and Swahili and Islamic influences blend together to create an exotic island paradise steeped in centuries of history. Why not throw yourself into the midst of Stone Town’s maze of narrow streets – every twist and turn alive with an enticing mix of fragrant bazaars, enchanting mosques and charming ruins. Perhaps head to one of the bars on the seafront and soak up the salty ocean air with a cocktail in hand. Alternatively, if you would like to hear more about Stone Town and the islands history our local representative can organise an afternoon tour.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
You will be unescorted for the flight and Zanzibar portion of this trip. However, our local representatives will be on hand to look after you.
Venture out of Stone Town this morning and drive to the spice plantations for your optional guided tour, or head directly to the perfectly pristine northern beaches. If you choose to explore the spice plantations, you’ll learn all about the history of this town's renowned spice trade. Take the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices – such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger – then sample some delicious teas! After lunch, head to the northern beaches, where white sands and sparkling blue seas await for an afternoon at leisure. This is the Indian Ocean at its best.
Accommodation
  • Beach Cottage (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Wake up in paradise and perhaps take the opportunity walk along this pristine coast before a beach side breakfast. Today is an included dhow cruise and snorkelling trip in the transparent waters among the incredible tropical fish.
The late afternoon is free to dine on freshly caught sumptuous seafood or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
Accommodation
  • Beach Cottage (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end today. Please advise us at the time of booking if we can help with transfers to Stone Town Airport or Ferry terminal. If you’d like to spend more time in this island paradise, post trip accommodation can be pre-booked at your beach resort or in Stone Town.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
From Stone Town the easiest option is to fly out of Zanzibar Airport. However, if you have arranged to fly out of Dar es Salaam Airport ferries depart Zanzibar 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 local representative or hotel reception about the best way to do this.

Meals

12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights), Lodge (1 night), Permanent Tented Basic Lodge (2 nights), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Beach Cottage (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Nairobi - Farm to Feast Community Visit
  • Loita Hills - Maasai Village Visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game Drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - 4x4 Game Drive
  • Zanzibar - Snorkelling

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip on all nights of this trip, subject to availbility.
2. This trip includes 2 nights camping within the Serengeti National Park. Tents, sleeping mats and sleeping bags will be provided. Please bring a pillow (or travel pillow) for these 2 nights.
3. You will be unescorted for the flight and Zanzibar portion of this trip. However, our local representatives will be on hand to look after you.
4. This trip finishes on the northern beaches of Zanzibar. Pre-bookable transfers back to Stone Town are available though your bookings consultant or your hotel can assist in arranging a taxi.
5. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Serengeti National Park is possible on this itinerary. Please see Day 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

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