The Best of East Africa

Itinerary overview
Day 1 – Nairobi to Amboseli National Park (Kenya) Day 2 – Amboseli National Park
Day 3 – Amboseli National Park to Karatu (Tanzania) Day 4 – Lake Manyara National Park
Day 5 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Day 6 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Serengeti National Park
Day 7 – Serengeti National Park
Day 8 – Serengeti to Lake Victoria
Day 9 – Lake Victoria
Day 10 – Lake Victoria to Masai Mara
Day 11 – Masai Mara
Day 12 – Masai Mara
Day 13 – Nairobi to Masai Mara

Description

Itinerary overview
Day 1 – Nairobi to Amboseli National Park (Kenya) Day 2 – Amboseli National Park
Day 3 – Amboseli National Park to Karatu (Tanzania) Day 4 – Lake Manyara National Park
Day 5 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Day 6 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Serengeti National Park
Day 7 – Serengeti National Park
Day 8 – Serengeti to Lake Victoria
Day 9 – Lake Victoria
Day 10 – Lake Victoria to Masai Mara
Day 11 – Masai Mara
Day 12 – Masai Mara
Day 13 – Nairobi to Masai Mara

Itinerary

Day 1 – Nairobi to Amboseli National Park (Kenya)

Upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi you will be met by a representative from African Insight Safaris and introduced to your driver/guide. You will then be driven from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park, a journey of approximately 3.5 hours. Amboseli is best known for its unrivalled views of Kilimanjaro and the local elephant population. There are over 1,000 elephants within the park, including some of the largest in Africa.

You will arrive in time for lunch at your lodge, the Amboseli Serena Lodge. This lodge is very secluded, situated within a grove of acacia trees and offers uninterrupted views of Mount Kilimanjaro beyond the golden savannah plains. Close by, the only source of water in this arid and starkly beautiful park can be found in the form of emerald green swamps, fed by the melting snows of Kilimanjaro and attracting huge numbers of wallowing elephants, hippos, buffalos and other plains game.

Take an afternoon game drive with sundowners at the prehistoric site of Observation Hill, and enjoy watching the sun set over Kilimanjaro.

Included meals: Lunch & Dinner Lodging: Amboseli Serena Lodge

 

Day 2 – Amboseli National Park

After a traditional breakfast you will depart in the early morning on your first game drive of the day.

Amboseli, with the white snows of Kilimanjaro forming the perfect backdrop to one of Kenya`s most spectacular displays of wildlife, is a photographer’s dream. Today you’ll get the chance to see and photograph lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, buffalos and a host of other plains game.

After lunch back at the lodge we will set out on another game drive in the late afternoon down on the plains. In addition to seeing this park’s incredible game from a vehicle you could also go for a hike, go bird watching and or go on a walking safari. It is also possible to learn about the culture and way of life of the local indigenous peoples through homestead visits while you are here.

Tonight you can choose to have dinner inside the lodge or underneath the great starry African sky with the chorus of the bush quietly humming in the background. The choice is yours!

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Amboseli Serena Lodge

 

Day 3 – Amboseli National Park to Karatu (Tanzania)

This morning, you will leave the scenic landscapes of Amboseli behind, as you begin your journey into Kenya’s equally charming neighbour, Tanzania. Your first stop will be for lunch in Arusha town, which is the central point between Cairo and Cape Town and the hub of all Tanzania safaris.

You will then continue your journey across the Great Rift Valley floor to the foothills of the Ngorongoro Crater, where you will spend the afternoon and overnight at Plantation Lodge. Plantation Lodge is a green oasis resting on the soft, red-brown hills amidst the vastness and silence of East Africa.

The individually furnished rooms and suites at Plantation Lodge are dotted around within the beautiful flower-filled garden, offering comfort and relaxation. Plantation Lodge is boutique lodge infused with an extremely intimatel atmosphere and a home-away-from-home feel. The furnishings in each room have been individually selected with great attention to detail, and the service leaves no wish unfulfilled.

You can enjoy a variety of activities during your stay, such as bird-watching or plant spotting. You can alo go on a visit to a farm or coffee plantation or simply relax and enjoy a massage.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Plantation Lodge

 

Day 4 – Lake Manyara National Park

A short drive from Plantation Lodge is Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its population of flamingos in its alkaline soda-lake and often under-stated.

Lake Manyara National park is home to three very distinct habitats – a lush groundwater forest, open floodplains and acacia woodlands, favoured by Manyara`s legendary tree-climbing lions. There are also elephants here with impressively large tusks!

The grassy plains provide the perfect habitat for large herds of buffalos, wildebeests and zebras as well as giraffes. In this scenic setting it is possible to see banded mongoose darting between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. This is a great park and definitely worth a visit.

Lunch is taken at a scenic picnic location in the park, before returning to Plantation Lodge for dinner and our night’s rest.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Plantation Lodge

 

 

Day 5 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Today you will have the opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular wonders of the world – the Ngorongoro Crater. Located within the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area, covering over 8,300 square kilometres, the actual crater is 260 square kilometres wide and 620m deep. It is thought that the original volcano was probably as high, if not higher than Kilimanjaro.

In order to maximise your experience and avoid the crowds, we recommend rising early for a half day game drive in order to be on on the crater floor as the sun begins to rise. It would be difficult not to be amazed by this natural phenomenon before you. Home to about 25,000 animals, the Ngorongoro crater is one of the last places in Tanzania where the Big Five can be seen.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is unique as it is a multi-use conservation area where the animals and the environment are protected, whilst the Masai continue to enjoy their pastoral is considered one of the World Heritage Sites, and also one of the International Biosphere Reserves. Additionally, the NCA is unique because it is a multi-use conservation area – where the animals and environment are protected but the Masai are allowed to live and continue their pastoral lifestyle.

You will enjoy a picnic on the edge of one of the crater’s lake as you watch elephants quench their thirst from afar. Return to the lodge to relax and enjoy a well-earned feast.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Plantation Lodge

 

 

Day 6 – Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Serengeti National Park

Leaving the great spectacle of the crater behind you will drive to Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed as one of the 7 natural world wonders of modern time, the Serengeti National Park.

With an en route game drive you will soon arrive at the luxurious Mbalageti, your accommodation for the next two days. Mbalageti Serengeti is located in the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park. The lodge offers a breathtaking 360-degree panorama view of the Serengeti plain lands and the Mbalageti River, where one of the main attractions is the annual migration of wildebeests and zebras. You will enjoy luxurious safari-style tents, each with an en-suite bathroom and a spectacular view, The private veranda with its cooling thatched roof is a tranquil oasis and acts as an extension of your bedroom.

Chill out in the afternoon alongside the swimming pool offering a 360 -degree view of the Serengeti – the perfect opportunity to cool off after a hot and dusty game drive.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Mbalageti Serengeti Lodge

 

 

Day 7 – Serengeti National Park

There’s nothing like an early morning start allowing you to experience one of the most ultimate game viewing experiences.

After a hot cup of tea or coffee you will soon be wide-awake as you watch wildlife at its most active time. The park is renowned for its annual migration; when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.

For something completely different, we can arrange an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti. On this trip you will be able to see large pods of animals and watch the sun rise over the park’s seemingly endless plains, only to finish off this relaxing journey with a champagne breakfast. After lunch at camp, we can return to the park’s open plains in search of more wildlife viewing and experiences.

As the evening light fades you will be served sundown cocktails at a picturesque location within the park.

Please note that the balloon safari is an optional extra. See pricing information for more details.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Mbalageti Serengeti Lodge

 

 

Day 8 – Serengeti to Lake Victoria

Wake up early this morning before setting out to the lakeside town of Musoma. Here you will board a boat, which will shuttle you to the amazing Lukuba Island Lodge, set on a secluded, soft sand beach on the eastern side of Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world.

Countless species of bird flock to its granite boulders, fish eagles and snowy egrets floating over the ripples, as Nile monitors and spotted neck otters swim up on the rocks to sun themselves. Enormous fig and mahogany trees create a lush green canopy which not only filters the equatorial light, but also provides a home for the vervet monkeys and red and blue agama lizards that frequent them. This is a nature lover’s paradise.

The Lukuba Island Lodge is comprised of eight traditionally designed stone bungalows with grass thatched roofs, all with lake views and just steps away from the beach. Set under massive fig trees and flanked by granite monoliths, the rooms provide a beautiful view of the rock islands scattered across the channel and yet are private enough to enjoy the quiet songs of the visiting shore birds.

The lodge is the perfect place to relax after a few days on safari. Lukuba provides everything you’ll need to unwind, to take a deep breath and let the sounds and views of Lake Victoria overtake you.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Lukuba Island Lodge

 

Day 9 – Lake Victoria

At dawn the sun rises slowly over the lake islands, and as you eat your breakfast you will watch as cormorants warm their wings with its rays and fishing boats sail past. Breakfast is served in an open, stone-walled dining room overlooking the bay, and afterwards you can go for a leisurely boat ride around the island, or venture off on a hike. Otherwise you might decide to try your hand at fishing with a traditional bamboo fly-rod, or perhaps just sit in one of the canvas beach chairs and listen as the morning waves gently wash up against the shoreline.

Lukuba Lodge exists in harmony with its environment. From Sunset Rock, its highest point, you can watch the sun set over the great African lake, the afternoon’s languid pace catching the rhythms of the island.

Lukuba offers an unparalleled way to experience the scenic beauty, watch the wildlife, and get a feel for the history and culture of Lake Victoria and your stay here will be as unforgettable as it is relaxing.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Lukuba Island Lodge

 

 

Day 10 – Lake Victoria to Masai Mara

After two days of relaxing on your own private island you leave for a full day of travel to Kenya. An interesting and scenic drive, you will again cross back to Kenya at the Isebania border making your way to the prestigious Masai Mara.

For your three-night Mara stay, Albatros Travel Africa’s own Karen Blixen Camp will accommodate you. This camp offers an authentic ‘yesteryear’ experience for visitors wishing to gain that little extra from their safari, where one can obtain a sense of the exiting explorer days when such areas were seldom visited and sometimes after months of travelling – elaborate and comfortable camps were set up providing a luxurious and stylish retreat to come back to at the end of each day’s adventure.

Arrive for sundowners and experience a dinner with breathtaking views over the river, where the dramatic escarpment provides the perfect backdrop. Meals are made from the finest fresh ingredients prepared by experienced chefs; they offer pan-African, Italian and Asian fusion gourmet cuisine served alongside a comprehensive selection of wine.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Karen Blixen Camp

 

 

Day 11 – Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is also home to the seasonal awe inspiring annual wildebeest migration, which has been described as `the greatest wildlife show on earth`. This breathtaking spectacle is enabled by the Mara being an extension of the renowned Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.

The diversity of the Masai Mara scenery, including meandering rivers, towering escarpments and rolling grasslands, provide the perfect habitat for the abundance of game, including the Big Five, which can be found here.

Depending on the time of year, today will involve a drive down to the river or across the plains in search of the scores of wildebeest who gather here at certain times of the year, or admiring the resident game which can be found all year round.

Dinner will be served and you will stay tonight at the Karen Blixen Camp. Included meals: Full Board
Lodging: Karen Blixen Camp

 

 

Day 12 – Masai Mara

This morning, there is the opportunity to rise early and experience a game viewing adventure from an entirely different perspective! A hot air balloon safari across the Masai Mara which takes off in the crisp morning air, and lasts for approximately an hour, allows for a beautifully peaceful experience floating silently high above plains, forests and rivers. Upon landing a fully cooked champagne breakfast awaits.

More game viewing opportunities arise later that morning en-route back to camp and in the afternoon. In addition to the spectacular game to be found here, there are also over 450 species of birds that have been identified in the Masai Mara Ecosystem.

Dinner will be served and you will stay another night at the Karen Blixen Camp.

Please note that the balloon safari is an optional extra. See pricing information for more details.

Included meals: Full Board Lodging: Karen Blixen Camp

 

 

Day 13 – Nairobi to Masai Mara

It may be the last day of safari however your game viewing does not stop. After breakfast, experience an on-route game drive to the airstrip, before out of the Mara and onto Nairobi. You will arrive in Nairobi late afternoon, and will be transferred to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in time for your onward journey or international flight.

Note: If you want to extend your stay in Nairobi or Kenya, simply contact one of our travel advisors and they will be able to arrange hotel accommodation or an extension to your holiday on one of Kenya’s beautiful beaches.

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch

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