WEDNESDAY: ARUSHA – LAKE MANYARA
Distance: 120 KM / Driving Time: 2 hrs
At 14:00 hrs, collected from your Arusha hotel and depart for Lake Manyara region passing through the Maasai villages as well as corn, coffee and banana plantations.
At Makuyuni city, turn northwest and continue the journey through a scenic escarpment that takes you to your Lodge, located on the edge of the rift Valley stunning views of Lake Manyara.
Dinner and overnight at LAKE MANYARA SERENA LODGE.
Lake Manyara National Park, named after the Wild Sisal that grows in the area, is dominated by the soda lake that extends over an area of 230 sq Km, or a third of the total area of the park. Lake Manyara National park is a complex and exciting park: the ever-changing vegetation which starts with thick forests of mahogany, fig trees and wild mango, fed by tens of underground streams which drain the Ngorongoro Highlands, provide a haven for colourful birds, monkeys and shy dwarf antelopes, and open up in to woodland, a favourite for elephants and impala, and then unfolds in to open savannah, teeming with herds of buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffes… before spilling in to Lake Manyara, home to hundreds of thousands of water birds including flamingos and pelicans. This means that you never know what to expect- every corner taken brings endless possibilities… you could end up at the Hot Springs, or perhaps at the hippo pools, or if you are lucky, you could chance upon the park’s famous tree-climbing lions!
THURSDAY: LAKE MANYARA – SERENGETI
Distance: 220KM / Driving Distance: 4.5 hrs
After breakfast, head out for your first game viewing drive in Lake Manyara National Park in search of the famous climbing lions.
Return to the Lodge for lunch.
Commence your drive due northwest of Manyara through the stunning highlands sceneries, which are filled with wheat and coffee plantations and then into Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Upon arrival at Serengeti National Park commence game viewing to culminate with dinner and overnight SERENGETI SERENA LODGE.
14673sqKm of endless plains, the Serengeti National Park lies in north western Tanzania, straddling the border with Kenya. The Park encompasses half of the 30,000 sq Km Serengeti- Mara Ecosystem, a range of land defined by the limits of the Wildebeest movements throughout the year. Tanzania’s oldest park, with its even more ancient landscape forged by the past volcanic activity of the several volcanoes in the nearby Ngorongoro Highlands; the rich grasses of the plains play host to the most spectacular numbers of wildlife in the world.
Full day of game veiwing at Serengeti National Park.
During the rainy season, migration herds are found in almost all the wide Plains of the Park.
All meals and overnight at SERENGETI SERENA LODGE.
Optional Activities: Payable direct
01 Hour Balloon Safari culminating in a champagne Breakfast
Almost every African animal species is represented in the Serengeti, birthplace of the millions of plains game that continually circle the ecosystem. Huge granite boulders, known as kopjes, are characteristic of the park, and provide sanctuary for birds, colourful Agama lizards and sombre snakes, adorable rock hyraxes, as well as the big cats that seek shelter from the elements. Although famed for its plains, the Serengeti encompasses woodland, thornbush, swamps and Lakes Lagaja and Magadi, supporting over 30 species of large herbivores and over 500 species of birds, including Eurasian migrants, with its diversity. The Gol and Moru Kopjes, the central Seronera area which is an oasis of springs, pools and surprisingly, palm trees, and the equally mysterious “Whistling Thorn” country- the Western Corridor which leads to the Grumeti River, home of Africa’s largest crocodiles, are some of the natural obstacles which the wildebeest and zebra encounter and must cross, during their annual migration up north towards the Masai Mara.
SATURDAY: SERENGETI – NGORONGORO
Distance: 155KM / Driving Time: 3 hrs
Return to the Lodge for lunch.
At 14:00hrs, depart the Lodge and commence your drive towards Ngorongoro Conservation area with enroute game viewing as you exit Serengeti National Park.
Arrive at the Lodge located at the Edge of the cráter in the evening for dinner and overnight NGORONGORO SERENA LODGE.
Visit to a traditional Maasai village
Part of the Serengeti- Mara Ecosystem, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area covers an area of 8, 280 sq Km. An area of outstanding natural beauty, indeed one of the most breathtaking in the whole of Africa, the Ngorongoro area embraces rolling fertile green hills covered with flowers during the rainy season, while in the sheltered valleys and plains, Clusters of villages that are the home of the red-robed Maasai herdsmen, fierce in the protection of their prized cattle and traditions, abound. Forests, rivers, lakes and swamps, the silent silhouettes of mountain and volcanic craters, including some of the oldest in AfricaThese extinct volcanoes, whose past activity contributed to the landscape and lush vegetation of Ngorongoro as well as that of the nearby Serengeti plains, include Lemagrut, Sadiman, Oldeani, Olmoti, Sirua, Lolmalasin and Empakaai, always a favourite with hikers, and last but not least, the Ngorongoro Crater- a World Heritage Site. Heading out of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and out towards the Serengeti, we find the Olduvai Gorge, an important archaeological site.
SUNDAY: NGORONGORO – LAKE MANYARA
Distance: 65KM / Driving Distance: 1.5hrs
Early Breakfast at the Lodge.
Descend to the bottom of the Crater for a morning Crater tour.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. Due to its size and diversity, the base of the cráter consists of several distinct regions, ranging from forests, marshes, lakes and springs to open grasslands and some sand dunes.
Lunch will either be a picnic or back at the Lodge.
After the visit, exit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and drive to the nearby Lake Manyara for dinner and overnight at LAKE MANYARA SERENA LODGE, perched at the Edge of the Great Rift Valley.
The Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world measuring over 600m deep and some 8-19Km in diameter, is believed to be about 8 million years old. The steep descent into the crater is almost as exciting as the scene that awaits you within the crater; a fantastic showcase of nature’s best. The diverse landscape within the crater, in which the savannah blends in to swamps, rivers, marshes, forests and cliffs, provides sanctuary for the black-maned lions, cheetahs, buffalos, elephants, and leopards that live side by side with thousands of wildebeest, gazelles and zebras, both black-backed and golden jackals. The Crater is also home to some of Tanzania’s last remaining rhinos. Flamingos and hippos inhabit the alkaline lakes and fresh water pools; old elephants can be seen patiently wading through the papyrus ponds, while way up, on the slopes of the crater, unique and beautiful Afro-Alpine vegetation blankets the ground in a rich green cover, occasionally hidden by the mist and fog that occurs at the rim, which stands at over 2300m.
MONDAY: LAKE MANYARA – ARUSHA
Distance: 120KM / Driving Distance: 2hrs
Leisurely breakfast at the Lodge.
Remainder of the morning free for optional activities within Lake Manyara or mto wa Mbu area
(Excursions at an additional cost).
At 11:00 hrs, commence your return drive to Arusha to arrive in time for lunch.
Remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight at KIBO PALACE HOTEL.
(Meals not included)
TUESDAY: ARUSHA – NAMANGA – AMBOSELI
Distance: 190 KM / Driving Time: 3.5 hrs
Breakfast at the Hotel.
At 08:00 hrs pick up from your Arusha Hotel and drive due North of Arusha along the Arusha / Namanga highway for the first 110 KM (1.5 hours’ drive) before turning west towards Mount Kilimanjaro.
Upon arrival at the Tanzania / Kenya border assissted with the immigration and custom formalities and then change the vehicle (and driver/guide) for your drive to Amboseli National Park.
Continue drive traversing through the typical Africa Savannah dotted with local farms and colorful Masai shepherds grazing their cattle.
Arrive at the Lodge, located in the heart of the Park in time for Lunch.
At 15:00 hrs head out for your first game viewing drive in Amboseli National park, famous for its large herds of elephants.
When the weather permits, you will get a chance to watch the vibrant sunset over Mount Kilimanjaro – a spectacular scene to capture through your lenses.
At sunset, return to the Lodge for dinner and overnight at OLTUKAI LODGE.
Known as the “Land of Giants”, Amboseli National Park lives up to its name. A 4-hour drive away from the Capital City, Nairobi – easily connected from Masai Mara Game Reserve – this is one of the best safari parks with a dramatic scenery. The snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro stands majestically in the background, complementing the endless plains of the dry salt pan of Lake Amboseli that occasionally comes to life during the long rainy season. Large elephant herds, buffalos, wildebeest, Maasai giraffes, Common zebras, gazelles and other plains game tread daily to the hippo-guarded marshes and swamps of Ol Tukai – an oasis that derives its name from the Maa word for the predominant Doum Palm trees in this area – that is fed by the underground rivers from the gargantuan mountain. The prolific birdlife, which includes several endemic species and a handful of rare species, is an exhilarating attraction for birders. The midday mirage, the occasional daytime dust devils and the sun rays that pierce through the cloud in the evening form a perfect photography canvas, making Amboseli a popular photography destination.
WEDNESDAY: AMBOSELI - NAIROBI
Distance: 260 KM / Driving Time: 4 hours
Dawn game viewing drive with a chance to catch the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro at its spectacular best – weather permitting!
Return to the Lodge for breakfast.
At 09:00hrs, return drive to Nairobi arriving in the afternoon and transferred to your now familiar hotel.
Rest of the day at leisure.
At 18:30 hrs, transferred to Carnivore restaurant for a welcome Kenya dinner – a typical Nyama Choma (barbecued meat) – ‘beast of a feast’ affair.
Thereafter return transfer (al leisure) to the SAROVA PARANAFRIC HOTEL. for overnight.
The largest metropolis city, the central point and start of any safari in Kenya, Nairobi, the Capital City of Kenya. It flourished and expanded once the Kenya- Uganda Railway construction set up a supply depot at “Mile 327”, in 1899. Today, a small Railway Museum pays tribute to the workers and engineers who worked on the tracks that opened up the interior of the country, and has on display original wagons and engines that had originally been shipped in by the British, piece by piece, from India. “The Green City in the Sun”, as it has come to be known, Nairobi is dotted with several recreational parks and the Nairobi Arboretum, which showcase the spectacular flora species of Kenya. The National Museum has on display historical art and weapons from Kenya’s 42 tribes, archaeological exhibits from diggings carried out in various parts of the country, and a modern art and culture section which frequently hosts plays and concerts. There are several restaurants, clubs, shops and markets to be visited, as well as the Karen Blixen house, the Giraffe Centre, the Snake Park and Aviary, the Bomas of Kenya Cultural Centre which presents traditional dances daily, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust- an orphanage for elephants and rhinos which are rehabilitated prior to being released back to the wild, and the Nairobi National Park, home to Kenya’s largest cheetah population and also site of one of the top black rhino sanctuaries in East Africa.
THURSDAY: NAIROBI - ABERDARE
Distance: 180 KM / Driving Time: 4 hours
A leisurely breakfast at the Hotel.
At 08:30 hrs commence drive out of the City, heading to Nyeri, traversing the scenic and agricultural rich Central highlands of Kenya, awash with pineapple, tea and coffee plantations.
Arrive in time for lunch at the Aberdare Country Club.
Afternoon transfer to The Ark Lodge (in Club vehicles) for an evening and night of game viewing from the Lodge precincts.
Dinner and overnight at THE ARK LODGE.
Note: For the night at the Ark Lodge you will only carry a backpack with essential personal ítems as the space is small The rest of your luggage will remain at the Aberdare Country Club- the base hotel.
Boasting a large number of elephants as well as black rhinos, Aberdare National Park lures those who want more than just a safari. With dense forests, 300m-high waterfalls and amazing hikes, this park is as much about the flora as it is the fauna. The Kikuyu name for the mountains is Nyandarua (drying hide), due to its distinctive outline. It is a 492 sq Km fairy tale paradise of dense highland forest and misty spaces of Afro-alpine moorland, deep gorges and ravines where icy rivers plunge in glorious cascades and waterfalls such as the Gura (791ft) or Karura Falls (894ft). The Salient, stretching out towards the nearby town of Nyeri, was once an elephant migration route. These great animals remain within the park together with buffalo, a wide variety of antelope, giant forest hog, the elusive bongo antelope, black rhino, lions, leopards and hyenas. Encountering a group of elephants at a narrow bend in the road, in the middle of this thick luxuriant vegetation is a completely new sensation. At 2000m, forest gives way to dense clusters of bamboo. At 3500m, the vegetation is already scarce and is mostly composed of tracts of heather. Here, Giant Lobelias and Giant Senecio, which grow to heights of 5m, flourish. The highest point is Ol Doinyo Lesatima, at 3999m. The region has three distinctive vegetation zones: thick highland forest, bamboo forest and Afro-alpine moorland. A visit to either of these areas provides a bird-watching opportunity of no less than 13 species of sunbirds; including the northern double-collared, golden-winged, tacazze, green-headed, variable and scarlet-tufted malachite, along with the larger birds of prey such as the Mountain Buzzard and African Goshawk.
FRIDAY: ABERDARE - LAKE NAKURU
Distance: 200 KM / Driving Time: 3.5 hours
After breakfast at the Ark return transfer to the Aberdare Country Club, where you re-join your Safari driver/guide and depart for the Lake Nakuru National Park, with a brief visit/stop at Thompson Falls in Nyahururu.
Arrive at your Lodge in time for Lunch.
Late afternoon game drive at the Park to culminate in dinner and overnight at SAROVA LION HILL LODGE.
Lake Nakuru is among Kenya's finest national parks. Flanked by rocky escarpments, patches of acacia forest and at least one waterfall, the park is often described as an ornithologist’s paradise. It was once christened the ‘Pink Lake’, due to the over 1 Million Lesser flamingos that resided on the shores of the shallow, alkaline lake. But the rising water levels in 2014 forced the flamingos to flee (although they are slowly returning). Hundreds of other water birds, including pelicans, marabou storks, seagulls, avocets, plovers and stilts can also be found at the lake itself, while the acacia trees and rocky cliffs of the park house Verreaux’s eagles, splendid fish eagles, vultures and wood hoopoes. The parklands are filled with numerous buffaloes, waterbuck, gazelles and impalas, while the majestic and rare Rothschild giraffes roam the riverine forest of acacias, occasionally walking across the open plains. Lions, leopards, hyenas and jackals are commonly sighted, as are the black and white rhinos, who have found refuge in Kenya’s prime rhino sanctuary.
SATURDAY: LAKE NAKURU – MAASAI MARA
Distance: 280 KM / Driving Time: 5.5 hours
After breakfast, (at 07:30 hrs.) depart for the world famous Maasai Mara National Reserve, driving along the Rift Valley floor, past lakes Elementaita and Naivasha, via Mai Mahiu Town, where you turn left towards the Maasai Mara – going past Narok Town (the Maasai Capital).
Arrive at the camp in time for lunch.
Afternoon game viewing drive (at 16:00 hrs) in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve, generally acclaimed as the finest game viewing area in the world!
Return to the Lodge at sunset, for dinner and overnight at SAROVA MARA CAMP.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) covers some 1,510 km2 (583 sq mi) in south-western Kenya. It is the northern-most section of the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem, which covers some 25,000 km2 (9,700 sq mi) in Tanzania and Kenya. It is bounded by the Serengeti Park to the south, the Siria escarpment to the west, and Maasai pastoral ranches to the north, east and west. Rainfall in the ecosystem increases markedly along a southeast–northwest gradient, varies in space and time, and is markedly bimodal. The Sand, Talek River and Mara River are the major rivers draining the reserve. Shrubs and trees fringe most drainage lines and cover hillslopes and hilltops. The terrain of the reserve is primarily open grassland with seasonal riverlets. In the south-east region are clumps of the distinctive acacia tree. The western border is the Esoit (Siria) Escarpment of the East African Rift. MASAI MARA RESERVE AND MARA TRIANGLE The reserve covers 583 square miles (1510 square kilometres) of outstanding wilderness in South West Kenya. With one of the highest diversity of species, and concentrations of animals, the acacia-dotted plains of the Mara offer wonderful scenery and a spectacular abundance of wildlife. Elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, topi, giraffes, hartebeest, serval cats, bat eared foxes; regal black- maned lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and jackals; monkeys and baboons, vultures, secretary birds, saddle bill storks, hundreds of migratory birds; countless pods of hippos around every bend of the Mara River, carefully watched by the other denizens of the rivers in the Masai Mara - the crocodiles, infamous for their spectacular role in the “Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth”- the annual wildebeest migration between the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, in which millions of wildebeest, zebra and topis brave the river, and the predators encountered daily, in their continuous annual treks in search of water and grazing, coming up to the Mara from Serengeti in the neighbouring Tanzania. The Mara Triangle lies in the western sector of Masai Mara where the Mara River forms a natural boundary line that embraces one-third of the Mara Reserve. Most of the Mara Triangle is part of the main reserve and is not a private conservancy. In addition to the dividing river, the area of the Mara Triangle is also defined by the Oloololo Escarpment (Siria). The area covers 510 sq. Km and is managed by a non-profit organisation – Mara Conservancy. Due to its superb location, animals wander freely between the neighbouring wildernesses; however, the river acts a natural fence that keeps most of the wildlife in the triangle. This outback also boasts an incredible, diverse landscape that includes rivers, streams, swamps, plains, volcanic features and much more. Being the entry and exit point for the Migration, it is the most strategic locations to game drive in Masai Mara especially during the migration season.
SUNDAY: MAASAI MARA
Morning and afternoon game viewing drives in the extensive Maasai Mara Game Reserve, if lucky, opportunity to see the big five in one day!!!
In consultation with your drivers / guides, there is an option of a full day game viewing drive with packed lunches, this allows you time to explore greater areas of the reserve without need to return to the Lodge / Camp for lunch.
All meals and overnight at SAROVA MARA CAMP.
The migrators of Masai Mara National Reserve are present from approximately late June – early August until end of October – early November. But the Mara offers year-round game viewing. The reserve and surrounding conservancies offer diverse resident species experiences. Frequently to be seen are impalas, topis, giraffes, elephants, zebras, buffalos, warthogs and other grazing herbivores. With so many prey animals, Masai Mara is a veritable bonanza for large predators, such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles and other stealthy, powerful hunters. The abundance of terrestrial animals is enhanced by the presence of more than 450-winged species, including 57 birds of prey. Masai Mara Game Reserve offers varied tour activities to explore the plains landscape and see incredible animal behaviours. The adjoining conservancies offer distinct activities that are not allowed in the reserve. Game drives in the reserve are perfect for those who seek to be immersed in Kenya’s bush country and see larger animals. For guests interested in observing the nocturnal animals, these are available in the form of night game drives in some of adjoining private conservancies. The Serengeti-Mara ecosystem is recognized for an enormous diversity of flora and fauna, and some small details are missed during game drives. Most conservancies offer bush walks for an intimate look at the micro-ecosystems of the area. To complement these walks or a general visit to the Mara, a balloon safari experience, for a bird’s-eye view of the area, is a memorable experience. Lastly, the Maasai community is key to the advancement of wildlife management in the area. It is hence recommended for one to take time learning more about these noble people by visiting one of their villages for a life-changing cultural experience in understanding their modest and simple lives.
MONDAY: MAASAI MARA - NAIROBI
Distance: 260 KM / Driving Time: 5 Hours
Breakfast at the Camp.
Commence your return drive back to Nairobi.
Arrive in Nairobi at approx. 14:00 hours and transferred to Eka Hotel where you can make use of the public facilities and the café while waiting for your departure flight.
Later, transfer to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for your departure flight back home.