Amazing East Africa
Day 1 Nairobi
Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting and dinner at the hotel.
Accommodation - Kenya Comfort Hotel (1nt)
Day 2 Amboseli
Check out and drive to Amboseli National Park. Upon arrival in Amboseli there will be an afternoon game drive en route to our lodge. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a comfortable lodge located in the heart of Amboseli NP with stunning views of Mount Kilimanjaro, which looms dramatically on the skyline. The name Amboseli comes from the Maa word for ‘salty, dusty place’, a reference to the salty volcanic ash that spewed from the volcano tens of thousands of years ago. The park is one of the most fascinatingly diverse on the continent, with five distinct habitats – open grasslands, acacia woods, scrub steppe, swamps, and marshland.
Accommodation - Amboseli Sopa Lodge (2nt)
Day 3 Amboseli
Venture into Amboseli NP for a full day's game drive. A game drive through Amboseli takes you across a vast lake bed - often dry, but still very swampy in areas. Amboseli is best known for its great herds of elephant - you'll often find many of them standing knee-deep in the water, spraying themselves to keep cool. But there's a lot of other game here too - cheetah, buffalo, giraffe, many types of gazelle, and other plains game - and it's all set against the amazing backdrop of majestic Kilimanjaro.
Day 4 Marangu
We depart Amboseli after breakfast with an enroute game drive via Oloitoktok border crossing into Tanzania. We continue to the village of Marangu and proceed on to our hotel for check in. The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure.
Accommodation - Marangu Hotel (2nt)
Day 5 Marangu
A morning walking tour of Mshiri Village begins our day. We will visit the Village Education Project and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people, who are long established as farmers on the fertile slopes of Kilimanjaro. We can walk around their shamba (farm) and sample the local Chagga food. A visit to a nearby waterfall and stops to admire the view fill our afternoon. If the weather is clear, you can get a glimpse of the magnificent, snow-capped Kilimanjaro from its southeastern side. The rest of the day is free. Tonight we will enjoy a community dinner in the village.
Day 6 Ngoro Ngoro
After breakfast, board your vehicle and depart for Ngoro Ngoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater with its spectacular crater views and memorable sunsets. Today’s views include Kilimanjaro plus Mt Meru, and of course, every drive in Africa is a potential game drive.
Accommodation - Ngoro Ngoro Wildlife Lodge (2nt)
Day 7 Ngoro Ngoro Conservation Area
Today you will explore the world-renowned Ngoro Ngoro Crater, widely regarded as a microcosm of natural habitats in Africa and often touted as a veritable Garden of Eden. Within this crater lie many types of ecosystems, including riverine forests, open plains, plus freshwater and alkaline lakes. The scenery is spectacular as you descend almost 2000 feet to the crater floor. There is a good chance to see all of the 'big five'. Wildlife within the Ngoro Ngoro Crater is less shy of people and safari vehicles, so it's easier to get close. The most commonly seen animals are lion, wildebeest, zebra, eland, bushbuck, cheetah, jackal, buffalo, Grant's gazelle, and Thompson's gazelle. We should even catch a glimpse of the highly endangered black rhinoceros. In the afternoon we will leave the crater and return to the lodge for a second night. The late afternoon can be spent relaxing at the lodge, enjoying the wonderful views.
Day 8 – Serengeti
After breakfast we head out for Serengeti National Park. Upon entering the park we’ll have a game drive en route to our lodge. The wide open plains of the Serengeti – green after the rains, are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators. Flat and rolling, with long grass and acacia trees, these plains get their name from the Maasai word Siringet – 'The place where the land moves on forever'.
Accommodation - Lobo Wildlife Lodge (3nt)
Days 9 & 10 Serengeti
We’ll start each day with a game drive at dawn. Early in the day is when the animals are at their most active and photography is best. We’ll return to our comfortable lodgings at midday to relax and have lunch. Then depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild, returning in time for dinner. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park.
Day 11 – Lake Manyara
After breakfast, we drive to Lake Manyara NP. At Manyara we’ll stay in a permanent tented camp, tucked away in a quiet corner of an acacia forest. Manyara is renowned for its black-maned, tree-climbing lions and large herds of buffalo and elephant, not to mention the flocks of flamingos and pelicans that can be found on the shores of the lake itself. There is an option of enjoying a walking safari on this day. We’ll conclude our safari activities with a night game drive.
Accommodation - Migunga Tented Camp (1nt)
Day 12 Arusha - Tour Over
After breakfast we will drive to Arusha or its airport (your choice) where we conclude our tour.
Rwandan Gorilla Extension
Day 1 Kigali - Ruhengeri 3/22
For those extending from the March 11 tour, upon arrival at Kigali Airport you will be met by our local representatives. For those beginning here, we will rendezvous mid morning. Together we will drive through the verdant rolling hills of Rwanda on to the park headquarters where we’ll be briefed on the gorilla trek by the guides of Parc National des Volcans. The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure before we have dinner together in our hotel.
Accommodation - Best View Hotel
Day 2 Gorilla Tracking 3/23
Today is our big day! This is what we came for. We leave the hotel after early breakfast and are transferred to Volcanoes National Park headquarters for Gorilla tracking registration. Thereafter, we will be divided into groups of 8 per park guide who will conduct a tracking briefing. This is perhaps one of the most breathtaking wildlife experiences on earth!!! Tracking the gorillas through the light mountain forest on the slopes of the Virunga is a magical experience. Depending of where the Gorilla family is located on that particular day, the treks vary from a half hour up to 6 hours in duration. Tracking gorillas in the dense forest can sometimes be wet, muddy, and uncomfortable. The terrain is by no means easy, so it can be strenuous and humid. We need to be fit enough to walk up to 6 hours or longer at a relatively high altitude. However, the sheer thrill of coming across a group of gorillas is indescribable. We can usually get very close to the mountain gorillas, who are placid and gentle. After the tracking we return to our hotel for lunch with the rest of the afternoon to relax with a chance to reflect on what is sure to be a memorable day.
Day 3 Kigali 3/24
After breakfast, we will travel back to Kigali. Those with sufficient time before their flights will visit the Genocide Musuem. The extension ends with transfers to Kigali airport. Those connecting with the March 24 tour will take a late afternoon flight to Nairobi (included).