For that once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list vacation or a celebratory holiday or honeymoon with a difference, look no further than spending 14 days experiencing some of the most thrilling wildlife encounters East Africa has to offer.

 Kicking off with a night in Nairobi, you are soon jetting into the Masai Mara for three nights at Sand River. Here, in addition to classic game drives in search of the Big 5, you will be treated to dinner under the stars, a bush lunch and a dawn hot-air balloon ride to see the awakening herds and rising sun, followed by a champagne breakfast. Leaving Kenya behind, you fly into Tanzania for the twinkling shores of Lake Manyara, home to a mega-flock of dusty pink flamingos. 

After three nights in a luxurious suite at Escarpment Lodge near the lake, it is time to head west to Rwanda and the extraordinary Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Volcanoes National Park. Here, you will follow a guide to see one of the few remaining troupes of mountain gorillas, which are highly endangered and have such ‘human’ expressions and gestures. But there are other unusual species to see, too, such as golden monkeys, which are considered Old World monkeys and have adorable blue faces. 

Finally, bag your bags for the wonder of the Serengeti. Lemala Kuria Hills is the perfect spot for a walking safari that revitalises your senses to the sounds, smells and textures of the bush. And a balloon safari over ‘the land that moves forever’ is another unforgettable way to experience Tanzania.

From Nairobi to Rwanda, and the Big 5 to impressive silverbacks, this East African vacation has it all, with a fly-in service to every destination.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Enjoy balloon safaris in the Mara & Serengeti
  • Trek gorillas & golden monkeys
  • Savour dinner under the stars
  • Undertake a walking safari
  • Seek out the classic Big 5
  • Convenient fly-in transfers throughout

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-2

Touch down in Nairobi

After touching down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, you are whisked to Hemingways Nairobi, a classic hotel overlooking the Ngong Hills. Every comfort is on tap here, from a Michelen-starred chef overseeing the kitchen to a personal butler service to handle those little extras, like wake-up calls or last-minute shopping before you set off on safari.

If your schedule permits, unwind with a massage in the spa or venture further afield to explore the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre and the Karen Blixen Museum, which commemorates the Out of Africa writer.

Days 2-5

The magic of the Masai Mara

Having rested at Hemingways Nairobi, the excitement is palpable as you gear up to fly into the Masai Mara, an ancient land that is at once unchanged for millennia but also uniquely adapted to the 21st century. Flying over this magnificent landscape, you should be able to spot herds of buffalo and elephant grazing peacefully as they have down for eons.

Your home is a very comfortable tent at Sand River Masai Mara. In addition to excellent game viewing, the staff at Sand River will go out of their way to create breath-taking memories for you. Take a romantic dinner literally under the stars, the Milky Way shimmering above you as the lack of light pollution makes it shine brightly. Then, rise before dawn to enjoy one of Africa’s most timeless spectacles: a hot-air balloon safari at sunrise. Drifting above the treetops, be on the lookout for animals starting and ending their day: nocturnal creatures scuttling into burrows to sleep and their diurnal counterparts waking up, some, like elephants, engaging in complicated and endearing ‘good morning’ greeting rituals.

Days 5-8

On the shores of Lake Manyara

Flamingos taking off and landing in relays… thousands of these strangely engineered but elegant birds call Lake Manyara home. Your home will be a luxurious chalet at Escarpment Luxury Lodge, which has blissful views across the water, which has a pinkish tinge thanks to shed flamingo feathers.

The beautiful panoramas are matched by the peerless game viewing, especially when you travel down the escarpment and to Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera and the place on Earth where you have the best chance of seeing all of the Big 5 in a single game drive. It is an exquisite and unique environment; the minerals from ancient volcanic action fertilise the grasses, making for lush grazing for thousands of plains game.

Back at Escarpment Luxury Lodge, put your feet up, lean back and enjoy an iced drink as you watch the sun sink below the horizon.

Days 8-11

The promise of the Serengeti

Bid Lake Manyara farewell as you wing your way to what is arguably the world’s most famous safari destination: the Serengeti in Tanzania. Lemala Kuria Hills is a haven for eco-conscious travellers with spectacular in-season wildebeest migration viewing, a tranquil spa, private swimming pools outside the tents and, possibly best of all, wonderful ‘star beds’ that allow you to sleep out in the open, falling asleep to rustle of crickets and the distant whinnying of zebras and awake to the first calls of the bird chorus at dawn.

Lemala Kuria Hills is also the perfect spot for a walking safari. Setting out with an armed guide who is also an expert tracker, you will be able to appreciate the little things that you may miss in a 4x4: dung beetles being nature’s janitors, the fluttering of a butterfly, the smell of fertile earth...

Days 11-14

Primal primates

Your vacation ends on an absolute high: leaving the Serengeti behind, you take off for vibrant Kigali. A relative newcomer to the safari world compared to stalwarts like Kenya and Tanzania, Rwanda’s lush forests and ripple of dormant volcanoes are the terrain of animal not found on their grassy plains: the noble mountain gorilla.

Once critically endangered but now protected, it is indeed a privilege to be able to observe gorilla families in the wild. Setting out from Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, you are guided by an expert tracker who intimately and intuitively understands the sights, sounds and signs of the forest to find these elusive creatures. Spending an hour watching them is like saying at yourself through the prism of millennia; an awe-inspiring experience.

Sabyinyo is also ideally placed to go in search of golden monkeys. Named after their shiny bronze fur, they have beautiful blue faces and leap acrobatically from tree to tree.

After three days in the rainforest and 14 days in Africa, it is time to bid this paradise farewell. You have woken at dawn, dined under the stars, followed the game and marvelled at gorillas – where else in the world could you experience all this?


  • 1 Night at Hemingways Nairobi accommodation on bed and breakfast basis
  • 3 Nights at Sand River Masai Mara on fully inclusive basis
  • Selected shared light aircraft flights
  • Selected road transfers
  • Balloon safari and Champagne bush breakfast at Sand River Masai Mara
  • Balloon safari and Walking Safari at Lemala Kuria Hills
  • Exclusive Sundowner activity at Escarpment Luxury Lodge
  • Gorilla permit and Golden monkey permit at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge
  • 3 Nights at Escarpment Luxury Lodge on fully inclusive basis
  • 3 Nights at Lemala Kuria Hills on fully inclusive basis
  • 3 Nights at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge on fully inclusive basis


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

Additional Tour Notes

Lemala Kuria Hills is closed from 1 April until 31 May (annual closure).

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Sep 2017 - 31 Oct 2017 $15740
  • 01 Nov 2017 - 31 Dec 2017 $13830

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

"Visit Kenya & Tanzania’s most iconic areas & end your trip with a once-in-a-lifetime gorilla trekking experience. Convenient flights between areas & exclusive, personalized accommodation options throughout make this the perfect choice for the discerning traveller."



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