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
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Countries
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
YXOHC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 22
Carbon offset
1 104kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • 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

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
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 your flight arrives too late, we recommend that you consider arriving a day early and book a night's accommodation prior to the trip 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 all details on hand to provide to your leader.
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
If you arrive early, you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.

As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you're wanting to head out. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.
Drive north-west past great views of the Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park, situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley (170 km, approx 3-4 hrs).
Lake Nakuru National Park's small and compact area, based around the often flamingo-filled lake, makes it a great location for spotting wildlife. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru harbours rhinos and there will be a good chance of taking a great picture of these magnificent beasts.
Our exclusive camp outside the park is well situated and has flush toilets and showers. There is no option to upgrade to a room tonight and WiFi is not available.
Head off to a nearby village where our guide will introduce us to local life. This is the best time and place to interact with the local villagers.
Drive from Lake Nakuru to our camp near Lake Naivasha (110 km, approx 3 hrs).
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.
Our campsite is basic with showers and flush toilets. Depending on availability there is an option to upgrade to a room. WiFi is available at the bar and there is an opportunity to access an ATM and a market during the day to stock up for the remainder of the trip.
Enjoy some of the optional activities on offer - Hell's Gate National Park, Lake Naivasha boat trip or bike hire.
We depart Lake Naivasha making a short stop in Narok to do a spot of food shopping, taking our lunch break en route to our camp site at Loita Hills (220 km, approx. 5-6 hours).

Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's immense and spectacular great divide, and takes us into the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the traditional Maasai people. Here we visit the Maasai, 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 our tents, it is time to meet our Maasai hosts as we receive a fascinating talk offering insights into this remarkable and ancient culture from a local elder. Enjoy being shown around a traditional Maasai home and their cattle enclosures.
Tonight we stay in a bush camp with no shower facilities. There is no upgrades available or access to WiFi
It is 70 km from Loita to Masai Mara, which will take us approximately 1-2 hours. The road is dusty when dry and could be slippery and soft when wet.
The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and the world's most iconic animals living within its boundaries.
After setting up camp (outside the park) and having lunch, we jump back on board the truck for a game drive through the Mara.
Our campground is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade tonight (depending on availability) however there is no WiFi available.
Venture in to the Masai Mara National Reserve for a full days game drive exploring this diverse environment and view a multitude of wildlife.

An optional balloon ride over the Masai Mara at sunrise is an unforgettable experience. If you have pre-booked this activity (please see 'Important Notes') you will be picked up and driven to the launch site and receive a safety briefing from your pilot. You then glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, providing amazing wildlife photography opportunities; sometimes ascending to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. Upon landing you'll be treated to a bush breakfast before being returned to your vehicle. Please note if you are taking a balloon ride over the Mara you will be taken to the launch place from our campsite before dawn and returned to the group when you have finished your ride.

Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
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).

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting tomorrow to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and meet your new fellow travellers.
Nairobi - which takes its name from a Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi meaning 'place of cool waters' - has a cosmopolitan atmosphere. There are plenty of good bars and restaurants, while markets and shops have most things you could want or need, as well as various arts and crafts from the region.
While here you can head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village.
While brazen crime is thankfully fairly uncommon in Nairobi, petty theft unfortunately is not and recently arrived visitors to the capital can often make for tempting targets. Your trip leader will verse you in a few worthwhile precautions at the welcome meeting, but if you are arriving early please heed a few simple safeguards.

As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt, though your hotel room or reception may have safes in which it would be advisable to store things if you're wanting to head out. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk - particularly when it's getting on in the day. Thieves and pickpockets have also been known to operate in bars and restaurants, so don't let up keeping your wits about you once you're inside somewhere. Don't leave day packs or handbags unattended on chairs or the floor. There's no need to be paranoid, but appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Finally, make colour scans of any important travel documents before you leave and email them to yourself: in the event that you are the unlucky victim of a theft, this will save you hours of police, embassy and travel insurance hassles.
Depart early for Mto Wa Mbu on our overland truck, a drive of about 8-9 hours (370 km). The trip includes a border crossing from Kenya into Tanzania so be sure to have your passport handy.
While on the road there will be a stop at an ATM and market/shop to stock up on any forgotten supplies.
A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail.
Stay at a campsite with flush toilets,showers and optional upgrades (subject to availability).
Rise early and leave the truck behind, putting our camping and personal gear into six-person jeeps and heading out for our excursion into the Serengeti.
The wide, open plains of the Serengeti - green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season, and home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators - are perhaps the quintessential image of Africa. Flat and rolling with long grasses and dotted with acacia trees, the plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet - 'the place where the land moves on forever'.
Game viewing in the Serengeti is amazing and as you camp out at night, don't be surprised to hear lions in the distance as you recount your wildlife sightings from the day. In normal circumstances, we would expect to see 4 out of Big Five during our stay in the Serengeti - Rhino's are often hard to find.
Our 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 tonight.
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives with a chance to relax at camp during the warmer part of the day.
For an unforgettable experience, you might like to do an optional sunrise balloon ride over the Serengeti. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and it is recommended you book this activity in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to secure this optional activity.
If you have pre-booked this activity, you'll be picked up and driven to the launch site where you receive a safety briefing from your pilot. You'll then float over the Serengeti as the sun comes up gaining an overview of the immensity of the Serengeti, seeing the abundance of wildlife in their early morning activity and sometimes descending to tree height for amazing wildlife photography opportunities. Upon landing, you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast before being returned to your truck and leader.

Please note that we offer this activity as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a spot in a balloon. If you choose to wait and book this activity locally on the ground you may get a better price. However this is a popular activity and places are limited. It is at your own discretion if you wish to pre-book this service with us or try and book it locally while you are on your trip.
Rise with the sun as we make an early start, exiting the Serengeti and heading for the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater (approx 3 hrs drive). After a picnic lunch, we descend onto the floor of the crater.
Make the most of our safari in the crater, spending between four and five hours exploring this area. A huge, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals including endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent game viewing all year round and the photographic opportunities here are unrivalled.
Departing the Crater late in the afternoon, we return to our campsite at Karatu for an evening relaxing at the campsite's bar reliving our safari experience. With red dirt streets, green hills in the distance and plenty of smiling children, Karatu is a small town near the gateway to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Our campsite tonight has flush toilets, showers and optional upgrades.
Back on board our truck, we make our way towards to the village of Marangu, via Mto Wa Mbu (265 km, approx 4-5 hrs).
Join the local community of Mto Wa Mbu with a guided stroll around the farming areas - including visits to a kindergarten, milling machine, local homes and farmlands. This is a great way to have fun and find out more about the life of the locals. 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 this area.
We then drive on to the village of Marangu where we set up camp for the night. Our camp ground is basic with flush toilets and showers situated on the lush green slopes of Kilimanjaro.
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, long established as crop-growers on the fertile slopes of Mt Kilimanjaro. Walk around their shamba (farm) and have the chance to sample the local Chagga food, which is very filling. For more information on the Village Education Project visit www.kiliproject.org.

Visit nearby waterfalls and stop to admire the view of the plains below. If the weather is clear, get a view of Kilimanjaro - the magnificent snow-capped mountain and Africa's highest peak at 5,895 m (19,340 ft).
It's time to get off the well-beaten track and head into the remote Tanzanian mountains (225 km, approx 7 hrs).
The Usambara Mountains are a lovely unspoilt area of Tanzania. Unlike the coast and the north, very few tourists visit this area so it has a freshness that can be hard to find elsewhere. The mountains are located in the north-east of Tanzania, between Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean, and overlook the vast Masai steppe. They are wonderfully lush and green and the area has been dubbed the Galapagos of the plant world. The forests stretch across the mountains and are ideal for easy hikes and guided walks. As beautiful as the place is, its real jewels are the local people and villages.
Our base is the old German colony of Lushoto where we stay in the grounds of one of the earliest hotels in Africa. Our campsite has flush toilets, showers, WiFi and upgrades possible.
Explore the beautiful Usambara Mountains and experience this area's gentle hospitality on a visit to some of its small communities. From our base, we'll organise a walking trip out to the beautiful Irente viewpoint. We recommend you pack some water and snacks in a day pack for the trip. On our way back, visit a local cultural project based at Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Leaving the mountains behind, a long travel day takes us further south towards the coastal town of Bagamoyo (280 km, approx 6-7 hrs).

Our camp at Bagamoyo is by the beach. Upgrades are available, however there is no Wi-Fi and only cold showers.
Drive to Dar es Salaam and then catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar.
Filled with idyllic beaches, winding cobblestone alleyways and fragrant bazaars, Zanzibar's rich history involves everything from slave traders to Arabian sultans and fruit exporters. The sight of traditional dhows sailing along the coast invokes images of what the island was like back in the days of Livingstone.
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 bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad intricate alleyways. When the sun is setting, why not enjoy a sundowner from a bar overlooking the seafront before trying one of the island's local seafood curries at one of the town's many restaurants.
Spend a night in Stone Town at a basic inn with double/twin-share rooms and access to WiFi.
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and 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 where you'll receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. After lunch we head to the northern beaches and enjoy white sand and sparkling blue sea - the Indian Ocean at its best.
Try snorkeling, eat sumptuous seafood or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree with a good book.
After checkout we make our way back to Stonetown where this trip finishes. We should arrive back at Safari Lodge by around 12:00pm where the trip comes to an end.
Ferries depart Zanzibar for Dar Es Salaam daily at 0730hrs, 0930hrs, 1230hrs and 1530hrs. Please 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.
Post trip accommodation can be pre-booked at the Beach Resort or in Stone Town.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
20 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 14 dinners
Transport
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Overland vehicle, Ferry
Accommodation
Bungalow (2 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (12 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
Included activities
  • Lake Nakuru - game drive
  • Lake Nakuru - Village walk
  • Loita Hills - Cultural talk and village visit
  • Masai Mara - Game drive
  • Serengeti - Game drive
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive
  • Village Education Project (Marangu) visit, village walk & lunch
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit
  • Irente - walk & local lunch
  • Zanzibar Spice tour

Dates

There are currently no departures for this trip.

{{departure_day.departure_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}} {{departure_day.arrival_date | date:'EEE d MMMM yyyy'}}

Style: {{departure.style}}

Boat/Ship: {{departure.vehicle_name}}
On sale Hot deal Departure guaranteed On request
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.base_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
{{product.currency_code}} {{room.discount_price | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}
Fully booked Bookings closed

Total price per person {{room.room_type | lowercase}}
Includes {{departure.kitty_currency_code}} {{departure.kitty | noFractionCurrency:departure.kitty_currency_symbol}} kitty
Includes {{extra.extras_code}} {{extra.extras_symbol}}{{extra.extras_value}} in local payments Single supplement available from {{product.currency_code}} {{departure.single_supp | noFractionCurrency:product.currency_symbol}}

Contact us to arrange an alternative departure for you

Book {{departure.places_left}} spaces left! space left!


Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
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.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Best of East Africa trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Best of East Africa , September 2015

Best of East Africa , August 2015

Was this page helpful?