A guided and well-pondered lodge based Eco-Safari combining some of East Africa’s primmest wildlife destination. This Kenya -Tanzania cross-border journey provides quality adventure and in-depth details as you discover the contrasting scenery, wildlife environments and varied African cultures. Lake Nakuru, Maasai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater – arguably the most spectacular safari destinations in Eastern Africa are all fabulous and understandably very popular tourist destinations but we’ve tailor this safari to include them all plus cultural interactions en-route to this destinations. Most tourists are driven past these unique community areas leaving only trails of dust but for us we include visits to some of the villages to enhance understanding of Africa and support the communities initiatives and eco-safari projects and ensure some benefits from tourism reach the locals directly.
Day 1: Journey to Lake Nakuru park by road / Game viewing in Nakuru park / overnight at Elementaita country lodge.
Leaving Nairobi behind, we set off early passing through the Rift Valley to Lake Nakuru Park. Lake Nakuru is a small sized park but a superbly picturesque setting teeming with wildlife and where there’s an incomparable chances of seeing the scarce rhino (both black and white species) as well as the elusive leopard and the uncommon Rothschild’s giraffe at close range. It has also had almost 400 species of birds recorded within its boundaries among them the thousands of flamingo that crowd the shoreline of lake Nakuru giving the lake it’s symbolic beauty. After the game drive we are driven out of the park to nearby Lake Elementaita and overnight at the Elementaita Country Lodge (or similar) for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Kikuyu farm visit / Journey to Maasai Loita for cultural insights / overnight Bush Camp in comfy Tents.
We have a unique chance to visit a local Kikuyu homestead at Elementita this morning to get some insights into the small scale farming, culture of the Kikuyu people leaving here then drive to small Maasai village at a spot christened Maji Moto (hot springs) on the northern tip of the Loita hills. Here we find a pre-set comfortable bush camp put up for us with large safari tents, beds and en suite. Loita hills and plains form the wildlife corridor between Maasai Mara and the Narok region and hosts a great deal of wildlife through out the year. You get a privileged chance to spend some time in true Maasailand and freely visit Maasai Bomas (homesteads) to witness the work and life of women and children. Here, we see and learn a thing about making beadwork jewellery and offer support by buying few as souvenirs. In the evening take a short stroll for a bathe in the natural hot springs or just deep you feet in. Overnight camp under giant euphorbia trees, dinner under starlit skies, story telling round campfire and doze to the sounds of the African night – often hyenas laughing nearby – don’t panic! Our camp is well guarded by watchful Maasai warriors all nightlong. (B,L,D)
Day 3: Walking Safari with Maasai warriors and cultural insights / Transfer to Maasai Mara park / overnight Mara Simba Lodge.
Start an early morning hike led by Maasai Morans (warriors) and trek through the Loita plains or hills – along the way you enjoy striking views while spotting wild animals and birds and also get to learn about healing herbs used by the locals – the Maasai have folktales on virtually all plants, animal and landmarks you come across. On return to camp we are engaged in varies warrior training activities such as body decoration, wilderness survival tactics such as making fire from rubbing sticks, folk dances, spear throwing, Arrow shooting etc. If schools are in session you may visit a local school cum rescue centre for the Maasai girl child from early marriages. In the afternoon after lunch we head to Maasai Mara wildlife park – Masai Mara is perhaps the best game reserve in East Africa and on our late afternoon game drive here we will most likely see elephants, buffaloes lions, zebras, giraffes and a myriad of other animals and birds in their natural habitat. Dinner and overnight at Mara Simba Lodge or similar.
Day 4: Optional chance for a dawn hot air balloon ride /Morning and Late afternoon Game drives in Maasai Mara / Overnight Mara Simba Lodge.
Optional chance to go on an early hot air balloon ride at an additional cost followed by a full day of game drives in the Maasai Mara park – an open country with vast plains teeming with herds of grazing animals together with the associated predators. Here, you find the largest population of lions but perhaps the most interesting annual event in Maasai Mara is the Wildebeest migration that occurs between the months of July and September. Every July, millions of wildebeests and zebra move from Serengeti to Maasai Mara on their annual migration, attracting an entourage of cheetahs, lions and other predators. Dinner and overnight once again at Mara Simba Lodge or similar.
Day 5 Early journey to Lake Victoria’s Speke bay in Tanzania / lakeside exploration / Overnight Speke Bay Lodge. Early breakfast (7am) then leave Masai Mara for Lake Victoria on the Tanzanian side of the border with a game drive en-route as we exit the park. Road conditions permitting we go through the shorter Olololo route to Isibania / Sirari border crossing for our lunch break. A further 3 hours through farmland gets as to Speke Bay Lodge in time for some sight seeing and explorations on the shores of Lake Victoria. Dinner and overnight at Speke Bay Lodge or similar. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Morning Boat ride on lake Victoria / Cultural activities / Drive to Serengeti park through Ndebaka gate / overnight Seronera Wildlife Lodge.
After breakfast is a on boat ride on Lake Victoria before we make our way to Serengeti National Park and access this vast wildlife haven through the Ndebaka gate and amazing Western Corridor to the interior of the park. The infinite expanse of the Serengeti unfolds before us as we explore the masses of wildlife and the stunning landscapes. Wildlife sightings increases steadily as we venture deeper to the interior of Serengeti which actually means “endless plains” In Maasai speech. Covering 5,700 square miles, Serengeti is adored with hills, plains, wetlands, riverline bush, acacia woodland and savannah grassland making it unrivaled in habitat diversity. A picnic lunch will be provided en-route to Seronera Wildlife lodge where we have our dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Day 7: Enjoy detailed game viewing in Serengeti Park from the comfort of Seronera Wildlife Lodge
A full day of game drives around Serengeti. Depending on the time of year and position of the migratory herds you can expect to see wildebeest, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, rhinos, bat-eared fox, golden backed jackal other species – our knowledgeable guides help us identify them all plus hundreds of birds like the beautiful purple grenadier and the red-cheeked cordon blue, secretary and the elegant crested crane. Dinner and overnight again at Serenera wildlife lodge.
Day 8: Take optional Balloon ride or early morning Game viewing / visit Olduvai Gorge / optional stop at another Maasai village / Overnight on Ngorongoro crater rim.
A pre-breakfast game drive presents the best chance to witness the predators make a hunt. Or an optional balloon safari this early morning for those interested but at an additional cost. After breakfast is a further morning game-viewing drive as we exit the park. En-route we make a stopover at the Olduvai Gorge an archaeological site where anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey excavated many fossils of early mankind, we get a chance to learn about this history and have our picnic lunch. As we proceed on towards Ngorogoro we make an optional stop at a local Maasai village and meet the Tanzania Maasai tribesmen to witness some of their longstanding traditions and contrast their lifestyle to that of the Kenyan Maasai visited earlier. Dinner and overnight today is at Ngorogoro wildlife lodge on the crater rim or a similar lodge.
Day 9 Explore Ngorogoro crater in informative style / Overnight at Lake Manyara.
Early this morning with our picnic lunches, we set off for the Ngorongoro crater and descend to its floor for a memorable game viewing session. The caldera of Ngorongoro marks the ancient walls of a collapsed volcano with a circular crater that is 12 miles across and with steep walls of over 2,000 feet stretching out to over 7,500 feet above sea level – home to over 25,000 herbivores and a proportionately high density of predatory cats. Because of permanent water supply and a precise balance of predator and prey, most of the wildlife remains here year-round, you can expect to see lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, flamingos, jackals, rhinos, antelopes and many more animal species and birds.
Day 10: Cultural orientation and exploration of Mtu Wa Mbu multi ethnic villages / Journey back to Arusha by road.
We have a colourful morning exploring the cultural melting pot that is Mto wa Mbu village. We leisurely walk through farmlands and villages paying attention to the various income generating projects e.g the carvers, beer brewing, horticulture and community projects some of which we offer support for. We have a special African lunch at the Boma camp before our transfer to Arusha to conclude this unique African Holiday.