Resting in the magnificent Great Rift Valley and presided over by the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, Kenya is characterised by hauntingly beautiful natural landscapes of forested hills, patchwork farms, wooded savanna and vast forests brimming with an extraordinary abundance of wildlife. The nation’s diverse range of traditional African cultures is influenced by over 70 unique ethnic groups from the Maasai, Samburu, Kikuyu, and Turkana tribes to the Arabs and Indians that settled on the coast. Add to this: an exquisite tropical coastline fringed with breathtaking golden sand beaches; gorgeous coral gardens providing excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities; and a slew of lively beach resorts, and it is easy to see why so many visitors flock here from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations.
Days 1 - 2
Situated along the Nairobi River in beautiful Kenya, the capital of Nairobi is East Africa's most cosmopolitan city. It serves as an excellent starting point for African safari trips around Kenya. Nairobi is Africa’s 4th largest city and is a vibrant and exciting place to be. There are some fascinating attractions: its cafe culture, unbridled nightlife, the National Museum, the Karen Blixen Museum and most notably, just 20 minutes from the city centre, wild lions and buffalo roam in the world’s only urban game reserve. Make sure you pay a visit to the elephant orphanage operated by the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust for a once in a lifetime experience.
Amboseli National Park
Days 2 - 4
Located in the southern reaches of Kenya, the Amboseli National Park is renowned for its excellent variety of wildlife such as Maasai giraffe, elephant, lion and cheetah and not surprisingly it is one of Kenya's most popular parks. The landscape of Amboseli is dominated by the majestic snowcap of Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as open plains, acacia woodland, swamps and the massif of Ol Doinyo Orok. The birding is excellent, especially closer to the lakes and swamps. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to large herds of elephants among other wildlife species. Other attractions include opportunities to meet the Maasai people and soak up spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Days 4 - 5
Located in the beautiful Kenya Rift Valley basin, Naivasha is a compact market town northwest of Nairobi, best known as a stopping point for spellbinding Lake Naivasha. Aspiring wildlife photographers and nature lovers will marvel at Lake Naivasha and its abundance of wondrous wildlife. Here visitors can spot wallowing hippo pods, clouds of vibrant birdlife, zebra and various other game. The nearby Lake Oloiden and Oserian Wildlife Sanctuary are great spots for those passionate about wild wonders. Shopping in the bustling town ensures unique souvenirs for mementoes as well as restaurants offering delicious local dishes with every taste in mind. Accommodations ranging from lodges to bed and breakfasts provide great conveniences for travellers looking to explore the area.
Days 5 - 6
Nakuru is a fascinating city on the shores of western Kenya’s Lake Nakuru. The capital of Nakuru County located in the Great Rift Valley, about ten kilometres from the massive Menengai Crater. A hiking trail leads up to the rim of this ancient caldera, offering bird’s eye views over the lake and surrounds, and then plunges 400 metres down to the floor below, where visitors can walk among ancient forests. Lake Nakuru National Park, surrounding Nakuru, is home to exceptional birdlife, as well as over 50 varieties of mammals including lion, leopard, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, rhino, antelope and various primates. History and culture enthusiasts should make sure to visit the incredible Hyrax Hill prehistoric site.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Days 6 - 8
One of Kenya’s undisputed natural highlights is the Masai Mara National Reserve, which sprawls across more than 1500 square kilometres of the country’s southwest. The park protects a phenomenal array of game, including elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo, as well as crocodile and hippopotamus in the Mara River. The birdlife is no less impressive, with over 450 resident bird species. However, the true highlight here is the Great Migration, recognised as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. To survive the dry months of July to September, some 1.7 million wildebeest, migrate from the parched plains of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Along with much smaller numbers of antelope, buffalo and zebra, they move to the more forgiving grasslands of the Masai Mara. In their wake come predators such as lion, hyena and cheetah, for whom these giant herds are an easy source of prey.
The name Tanzania conjures up images of wildebeest stampeding across vast savannah, rain forests teeming with monkeys and birdlife, and great plains brimming with legions of game. All of these natural wonders and more are on offer in this exceptionally diverse African nation. Visitors typically visit Tanzania to partake in at least one of the four well-known Tanzanian tourist experiences: a relaxing seaside vacation on the picturesque island paradise of Zanzibar, an underwater tour of some of the world’s most renowned dive sites around the gorgeous Spice Islands, a safari adventure in some of Africa’s most impressive game reserves, or a hiking excursion around Mount Kilimanjaro National Park. Whichever of these incredible holidays you choose, you will undoubtedly be welcomed by some fabulously friendly and peaceful inhabitants who, despite being divided into 120 different ethnic groups and cultures, live in harmony with one another and provide some of the most wonderfully exotic local cuisine you could imagine. With all of this diversity on offer, the most difficult part of your Tanzanian holiday experience is likely to be deciding where to go!
Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Days 8 - 9
The massive 6.5 million-hectare Lake Victoria is three times the size of Wales and is shared by Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Known as one of Africa’s ‘Great Lakes', it is world-renowned as the source of the Nile and is Africa’s largest lake. Its waters are rich in fish life with shimmering shoals of colourful cichlids and large Nile Perch, sought after by fishermen. The lake boasts an impressive 3440 kilometre stretch of shoreline and is dotted with over 3000 inhabited islets. Visitors can look forward to a variety of activities including excellent fishing; wildlife viewing; and boating, among others. Make sure to visit Ukerewe, the lake's largest island, and enjoy the picturesque island beaches and spectacular scenery.
Days 9 - 11
The Serengeti together with Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Park form Africa’s most famous wildlife park. The image of acacia trees on an endless grass plain epitomises Africa for many, and then add a Masai warrior and some cattle to the picture and the conversation need go no further. The annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara is the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet – with more than a million animals following the rains. You may encounter it in the Central Serengeti at certain times a year. But that is not where the game viewing ends; large prides of lions, elephants and giraffes in grasslands, gazelles and eland to mention but a few. Aside from traditional vehicle safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Serengeti plains has become almost essential and you can even do a horseback safari.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Days 11 - 12
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the famous Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and expansive plains of grassland which run all the way across to the Serengeti. Local Masai herd their cattle and goats alongside Africa's famed wildlife, as they have for centuries.
Lake Manyara National Park
Days 12 - 13
With the Lake on its east and the Manyara Escarpment to its west the Lake Manyara National Park offers breathtaking views and a large variety of habitats. Acacia woodlands, water forests, baobab strewn cliffs, algae-streaked hot springs, swamps and the lake itself. Manyara has the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world. It lends itself for a picnic stop on the way to Ngorongoro Crater.
A shallow, alkaline lake set at the base of the Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic spectacle of pods of hippos, pink flamingos and over 400 species of waterfowl or migrant birds that flock to the salty shore, a birdwatcher's paradise. In addition to the lake, visitors can embark on a game drive and explore the stunning natural mosaic of grassy floodplains, rocky escarpment, acacia woodland and hot springs of Lake Manyara National Park, and observe elephant, buffalo, cheetah, hippo, Masai giraffe, wildebeest, impala, zebra, warthogs, hyenas, and tree-climbing lions. Don't miss the Lake Manyara Treetop Walkway, which offers a magnificent bird's eye view from a series of suspension bridges perched up to 18 metres above the prolific forest.