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Your 15-day trip encompasses an epic East African journey on a grand scale of adventure and romance, from the teeming herds of the Mara and Serengeti, via the iconic reserves of the Ngorongoro Crater and Selous, to a grand finale on the exotic isle of Zanzibar.

Begin your journey in Nairobi, where you spend a night at Ngong House, at the foot of Karen Blixen’s Ngong Hills. The adventure then begins as you fly into Tortilis Camp in Amboseli, where herds of elephants are set against the compelling backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro. You then continue into the Masai Mara, where the famed Governor’s Camp on the bank of the Mara River will be your home for two magical nights.

Crossing the border into Tanzania, Ubuntu Camp on the vast, teeming plains of the Serengeti is your next port of call, where the herds of the Great Migration raise the thunder in your blood. Next, you travel to the Ngorongoro Crater via the magical Lake Manyara National Park, where astonishing wildlife concentrations of a different kind await you.

As a final safari destination on this epic journey, it cannot get better than Siwandu Camp, deep in the wilderness of the Selous Game Reserve, where you are able to seek out big game adventures by boat, game drive vehicle and on foot.

Unwind from this incredible safari experience on the pristine beach at the Hideaway at Nungwi on Zanzibar, where crystal-clear waters and utter relaxation are the order of the day.

This action packed adventure is perfect for wildlife enthusiasts of all persuasions. Whether you are an old safari hand or newcomer, this journey promises excellent big game encounters in Kenya and Tanzania’s premier national parks and reserves. As a perfect counterpoint to the dramas and adventures of this safari, the tranquillity and peace of Zanzibar is a fitting conclusion.

Itinerary Highlights

  • ‘Tree house’ accommodation in Ngong Hills
  • Views of Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Excellent Big 5 game viewing, including endemic white-bearded wildebeest
  • Hot-air balloon ride over the Masai Mara
  • Stay in a mobile camp
  • Boat cruises in Selous Game Reserve
  • Water sports, fishing & diving in Zanzibar
  • Spice plantation & Stone Town tours

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Kenya welcomes you

On arrival at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you will be transferred to Ngong House. Set in acres of private grounds surrounded by virgin bush, Ngong House looks out over the wilderness to the iconic Ngong Hills, made famous by the words of Karen Blixen.

Your suite is a gorgeously appointed tree house set on a raised platform to maximise the splendid views and, inside, two levels incorporate an expansive lounge area and an en suite bedroom with a huge 4-poster bed romantically swathed in mosquito netting.

The ideal place to relax after your journey to Kenya, Ngong House has tranquil tropical gardens and an inviting swimming pool area, perfect to flop on a lounger and bask in the rays of the sun. If you wish to venture further afield, the staff will happily arrange excursions to the nearby Sheldrick Elephant Sanctuary, the Giraffe Centre or Nairobi National Park.

Day 2

An Amboseli adventure

You depart Ngong House after breakfast and head to Wilson Airport for your flight south to Amboseli.

Your guide will meet you at the airstrip and take you on a game drive to Tortilis Camp. Set on the south-western side of Amboseli National Park in the private Kitirua Conservancy, Tortilis is away from the busier eastern side of the park and can thus guarantee a far more exclusive and private Amboseli experience.

The first thing you will notice on arrival at the camp is the absolutely spectacular view of Mount Kilimanjaro it enjoys. The snow-capped summit and slopes of this, the largest free-standing mountain in the world, are a dramatic focal point from wherever you are standing.

Named after the famous-flat topped acacia trees that characterise this landscape, Tortilis offers a beautifully designed yet eco-friendly camp that offers every comfort you may need. The spacious tented suites are built below makuti thatch roofs with a large bedroom, en suite bathroom and expansive verandah from which to enjoy the stunning view.

Amboseli is famous for its elephant herds, as well as for being home to some of the largest tuskers in Africa. To encounter an enormous elephant bull, with the iconic bulk of Kilimanjaro in the background is one of the most iconic safari moments possible. The guides at Tortilis often know the herds and individuals within the park, and this gives you an opportunity to gain a deeper level of understanding of these extremely intelligent, sensitive and gentle animals.

Lush and green oases are fed by permanent springs in the centre of the park, and these are a favourite gathering point for hippos, birds and crocodiles. A multitude of plains game inhabit Amboseli, including the eastern white-bearded wildebeest which is genetically distinct from the Serengeti variety. With the antelope come their predators, and your chances of encountering lions are good.

Days 3-4

Into the Masai Mara

After breakfast, you depart Amboseli for your flight to the fabled plains of the Masai Mara. Your guide meets you at the airstrip and you enjoy a short game drive to Governor’s Camp.
Set in a stunning location on the banks of the Mara River, Governor’s boasts views of hippos, crocodiles and birdlife in the river on one side, and the endless plains of the Mara on the other. The entire camp is under canvas, ensuring a minimal environmental footprint, but the facilities are equal to any hotel. Your suite is bright and spacious, and the wooden deck supporting the structure extends to a large verandah from which to take in the view.

Setting off in the golden light of the late afternoon, you are filled with the anticipation of what nature could throw at you in this incredibly wild and open landscape. The Masai Mara is home to a huge variety of big game at all times of the year, but between the months of July and October, the scene becomes spectacular. This is when the Great Migration passes through the region, and the plains become covered with great herds of zebra and wildebeest as they make their endless trek through the Serengeti ecosystem in search of water and fresh grazing. The Mara River is a major obstacle they have to cross, where enormous crocodiles lie in wait for the teeming masses that build up daily on the banks. Away from the rivers, they are relentlessly pursued by predators intent on taking their share of the bounty: lions, leopards and cheetahs all take their turns at the herds in the unending dance of predator and prey, instinct and survival.

An early start in the morning sees out on the golden plains while the air is still fresh and the animals are still active. One morning your adventure entails an entirely different perspective of the Mara, and possibly the most compelling. You gently drift up into the sky in a hot air balloon, and soon you are soaring like a bird of prey over the endless plains, gazing at the animals below, utterly spellbound by the magnificence of the scene. Gliding silently through the air, the only sounds you hear are the calls of the herds below and the whisper of the wind in your ears.

Days 5-6

Into the Serengeti

In the morning, you depart Governor’s Camp and make your way to the airstrip for your charter flight to the Serengeti, landing to cross the Tanzanian border along the way, before taking the flight onwards.

Your destination is Ubuntu Camp, which is an intimate and authentic safari camp that moves with the flow of the migrating herds. During July to November it is in the northern Serengeti, and from December to March it is in the Ngorongoro region in the endless grasslands of the south. From May to July it is in the Western Corridor, close to the Grumeti River, where another perilous crossing stands between the wildebeest and their goal.

Venturing out from Ubuntu Camp you are soon absorbed in the drama of the Migration as it unfolds around you. The constant battle between predator and prey is only a part of the larger battle for survival; and this is the way of the wild that has always been. The sight of a lioness bringing down a wildebeest or zebra may raise a chord of sympathy for the victim within you, but this is tempered by the discovery of her cubs, who emerge from the long grass to feed once the dust has settled. Thus is the way of nature, which is red in tooth and claw.

Besides the grand drama and scenes of the Migration, there are many sights and encounters for you to enjoy in this incredible landscape - the resident species that remain before, during and after the passage of the multitudes are equally fascinating. Elephant herds cross the plains like desert caravans, lone bulls stand below acacia tree like sentinels, and the palpable joy of a herd coming to water is a heartwarming sight. Add in sightings of hundreds of birds, smaller predators like caracals, genets and honey badgers: the experience is both holistic and uplifting, set below a gigantic dome of sky with the golden plains sweeping off to the distant hills in every direction.

Day 7

Lake Manyara

You set off in the morning from Ubuntu, with Lake Manyara as your next destination.

This small but vital national park has a great variety of varied habitats that in turn support a plethora of different species of animals and birds. The lake itself supports prolific birdlife, from tiny plovers to magnificent swarms of flamingos that turn the shores pink with their plumage. On the surrounding grassy plains, herds of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra congregate in numbers, and they are preyed upon by the region’s famous tree-climbing lions.

Deep forests of fig, acacia and mahogany trees are alive with birdsong and troops of monkeys crashing through the canopy, and the area is known for its impressively tusked elephants.

As the afternoon wears on, you leave the park and drive to Gibb’s Farm, on the outskirts of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This delightfully restored historic farmhouse sits in lush grounds and gardens overlooking the Ngorongoro Forest in the valley below it.

Day 8

The Ngorongoro Crater

An early start sees you driving to the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, where one of the most stupendous views in Africa is laid out before you. This is the caldera of an extinct volcano, whose walls contain a density of animals rarely seen elsewhere. Descending the steep slope to the valley floor, you are pass through a variety of habitats on your way to the open grassy plains that spread out from Lake Magadi that shimmers like the centrepiece of this vast depression. Dense forests cling to the valley walls where elephants move like grey ghosts below the canopy, and huge tuskers, buffalo and hippos frequent the marshes around the lakes. The natural barricades of the crater provide a refuge for black-maned lions and rhinoceros, and here it is entirely possible to encounter the Big 5 on one game drive. 

Day 9

Arusha Coffee Lodge

After a relaxing morning and a delicious breakfast on the terrace, you bid Gibbs Farm farewell and continue your journey to Arusha.

You arrive in this vibrant and bustling town at midday, and a driver collects you to take you to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Set in a vast coffee plantation on the gentle slopes of Mount Meru, the lodge is a haven of tranquillity and relaxation. The original 1900’s plantation house forms the central building housing the lounge, restaurant and bar with a secluded pool area off to one side. Continuing the plantation house motif, a series of guest cottages are dotted around the property within the tropical gardens.

You enjoy a delightful lunch on the terrace, and then the afternoon is yours to enjoy, whether you wish to explore the bustle of Arusha and its colourful markets, take a tour of the coffee plantations or simply relax in the beautifully tranquil gardens or at the poolside.

Days 10-11

Into the Selous

After a leisurely morning and breakfast, you depart Arusha Coffee Lodge and head for the airport, where a charter plane awaits to wing you south to the Selous Game Reserve.

Touching down at Siwandu airstrip, your guide will take you for a short game drive before you arrive at Siwandu Camp.

Set on the shores of Lake Nzerakera, part of the watery channels and loops of the Rufiji River system, the camp is nestled in a grove of palms with glorious views out over the lake. The guest suites are well spaced along the shore ensuring privacy and lovely sightlines of the water and the animal activity along its edge. Each canvas suite is built on a large wooden deck that incorporates an expansive outdoor seating area, and the entirety of the structure is sheltered by a makuti thatch roof, which in combination with the large mosquito-screen windows allows the cooling passage of air through the building. The interiors are beautifully decorated with subtly elegant touches of brass and wood. The large beds have a huge 4-poster mosquito net romantically draped around them, and the en suite bathrooms lead out to a delightful open-air shower area.

Setting off for an afternoon game drive after high tea, you almost feel as if you have the entire Selous Game Reserve to yourself, it is just that vast. Four times the size of the Serengeti, the reserve straddles the transitional zone between East and Southern African biomes, which translates into a great variety of habitats and vegetation types, which in turn support and astonishing amount of biodiversity. Huge populations of elephants, buffalo and lions are recorded here, as well as the critically endangered African wild dog, which is often high on any safari-goers list of animals to encounter. The landscapes change in turn as you traverse the area around Siwandu, from floodplains near the lake to open grasslands, rocky outcrops and dense woodlands where leopards often lurk. Encountering the incredible array of wildlife in such a scenic landscape is what makes the Selous such a special place.

After a delicious breakfast as the sun brings the world around the lake to life, you embark on a walking safari with your guide and an armed askari. This is a way of encountering facets of the wilderness that you would not normally notice from a vehicle, as well as providing you a fascinating insight into the functioning of the ecosystem. You learn of animals tracks and termite mounds; signs of the passage of animals during the night by the hoof and paw marks on the ground; the many uses of the plants you encounter, whether as medicine, rope fibre or as a toothbrush; your surroundings suddenly become a different place once your perspective has been altered by your guide’s enormous knowledge.

In the warm light of the late afternoon, you encounter boisterous pods of hippos as they splash and honk amongst each other in the deeper water. Closer to the shoreline, you keep an eye out for enormous crocodiles, their immobility making them perfectly camouflaged. Water birds of every description are everywhere: from majestic African fish eagles perched on trees to tiny plovers scurrying along the water’s edge. You watch spellbound as a herd of elephants emerges from the forest to drink, and from this low vantage point you are given a unique perspective as they demonstrate their sheer delight in water. The older cows stand in the shallows and slurp with gusto, but the youngsters cannot control their enthusiasm and wrestle, dunk and tussle with each other in a heartwarming display of youthful exuberance. Tiny calves that cannot control their trunks kneel down to sip the water on their knees, while their mothers stand guard over them, their legs like defensive pillars on either side of their little bodies. A deep rumble then fills the air, and with the matriarch’s signal, the herd turns and slowly melts back into the forest.

Pulling up on a sandbank, you stop to observe the now-familiar sundowner ritual. As the setting sun paints the sky in a kaleidoscope of colour, you stand with an ice cold drink in hand, savouring the absolute peace, tranquillity and magic of this moment in the wilds of Africa.

Days 12-14

The spice island of Zanzibar

After a leisurely breakfast on the terrace overlooking the lake, you bid Siwandu farewell and head to the airstrip for your flight to Zanzibar.

You fly over the wilderness of Tanzania below you until the sparkling Indian Ocean appears on the horizon, and set within it like an emerald, the verdant island of Zanzibar. On landing, you are met by a representative and driven through the tropical jungle and spice plantations to the island’s northern tip.

The Hideaway of Nungwi sits upon a perfect white-sand beach, lapped by crystal-clear waters - the very image of an Indian Ocean paradise. Situated in acres of tropical gardens, the resort reflects the history and ancient charm of this fascinating island with an eclectic blend of East African style and a rich Indian Ocean heritage. The gardens slope down through a grove of palm trees swaying in the breeze, past a huge sparkling pool and onto a pristine white sandy beach with the azure ocean beyond.

You are graciously welcomed and shown to your suite, with its panoramic view of the sea stretching out before you. This is the moment you settle into the utter calm and tranquillity of Nungwi. Slipping off your shoes and discarding your watch, you walk onto squeaky white sand and dip your feet into the limpid tropical water.

A choice of dining venues are dotted about to tempt you - whether you wish to enjoy your first lunch on the terrace or with your feet in the sand at the water’s edge. As the blissful afternoon moves toward a sublime sunset, you sit back and admire the tangerine sun slipping into the ocean in a blaze of colour- a fitting display for your first night in paradise.

You indulge in a delicious dinner of surf-fresh seafood at Aqua Restaurant overlooking the waves gently lapping at the shore, while the warm tropical air brings the scent of spices and frangipani on the breeze.

The days and their pace are yours to decide, with the resort offering a range of activities, you are encouraged to be as active or as relaxed as you wish: choose from diving and snorkelling the coral reefs to deep-sea fishing for ocean adventure experiences, or visit the watersports centre to try your hand at wind surfing, kayaking or kite boarding. If this is all too much, the poolside is the perfect spot to relax with a cocktail and listen to the waves gently lapping the shore, or visit the spa for a revitalisation of body and soul.

The island of Zanzibar holds many attractions, with a visit to the spice plantations or the ancient cobbled streets of Stone Town being the most popular; the long and fascinating history of this island contains many stories and secrets that will hold you in their thrall.

With lazy days spent in the sunshine, exciting activities out on the ocean and pleasant tropical evenings spent enjoying delicious meals at a choice of restaurants, the Hideaway of Nungwi is the perfect place to unwind and relax in an atmosphere of calm and tranquillity.

Day 15

Farewell to Africa

After a final dip in the Indian Ocean, you depart Hideaway of Nungwi and return to the airport for your flight back to Dar es Salaam, and then on home. Looking down at his vast continent from the airplane, the images of the past days come flooding back: the sight of elephants splashing in the Mara River, the sound of hyenas whooping in the night as you lay beneath the covers, the narrow, ancient streets of Stone Town, redolent with the aroma of spices. These are experiences of Africa that will hold you in its spell, and compel you to return one day. 

Inclusions

  • 14 nights accommodation on full board basis
  • Game drives
  • Hot air balloon safari
  • Flights as specified in the itinerary
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Kenyan park and reserve fees
  • Tanzanian park entrance fees
  • Tanzanian government taxes and levies
  • Tanzanian medical evacuation cover

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Aug 2014 - 22 Aug 2014 $13100
  • 23 Aug 2014 - 13 Sep 2014 $13100
  • 14 Sep 2014 - 05 Oct 2014 $13100
  • 06 Oct 2014 - 27 Oct 2014 $13010

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Maureen Stover

Maureen Stover

Africa Safari Expert

"This safari offers small & intimate accommodations ensuring a personalized and exclusive experience off the main tourist routes."

From

$13010

Per person sharing

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