Best of Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari

Nairobi, Samburu, Masai Mara, Tarangire & Ngorongoro

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our new Best of Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari tour.


Itinerary at a Glance
Day Destination
1 Depart USA
2 Nairobi (Kenya)
3 Mt. Kenya National Park
4 Samburu Game Reserve
5 Samburu Game Reserve
6 Lake Nakuru National Park
7 Masai Mara National Reserve
8 Masai Mara National Reserve
9 Masai Mara & Nairobi
10 Arusha & Tarangire National Park
11 Lake Manyara National Park
12 Ngorongoro Conservancy
13 Ngorongoro Crater & Nairobi
14 Arrive USA

If you're looking for an African wildlife safari you can afford, look no further. Savvy travelers and novices alike include Kenya & Tanzania on their list of safari tours, and for very good reason. Both countries are blessed with an abundance of spectacular wildlife and lavishly gorgeous, incredibly photogenic landscapes. Everywhere you go, from the teeming cities to the plains of the Masai Mara, the people are friendly and welcoming. Tourist infrastructure is amazing, often offering white glove service where the basics of running water and electricity appear impossible to find. Game reserves are magnificent, filled with all manner of wildlife, beautiful lakes and beaches, and sweeping vistas that seem to go on forever.

With more than 50 parks to choose from in Kenya alone, and almost 25% of Tanzania protected as nature reserves, it's hard to decide where to go. But everyone agrees that the Masai Mara and Samburu parks in Kenya and the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania are must-visit sites. Our Best of Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari includes them all plus a lot more! And like all Friendly Planet tours, you'll enjoy the best of Kenya and Tanzania at prices that are as amazing as the countries themselves.

Detailed Itinerary

Best of Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari itinerary Day 1: Depart USA. Depart from JFK this morning on your overnight flight to Kenya.

Day 2: Nairobi. Arrival in Kenya's capital city and the starting point for your safari adventure. Meet your guide and transfer to your deluxe, centrally located Nairobi hotel. Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi

Mount Kenya Day 3: Mt. Kenya National Park.Depart after breakfast and drive north into the forests of the Aberdare Mountain range to Kenya's highest mountain, Mt. Kenya. On the slopes of Mt. Kenya, some 2000 meters high, you will be surrounded by a dense rainforest, but will still be able to view breathtaking mountain panoramas. Arrive at the lodge in time for lunch. Experience game viewing from the lodge balconies and take in the trumpeting sound of nearby elephants. The waterhole is floodlit at night. In addition, there is an underground viewing platform. Serena Mountain Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Samburu warriors & children, Kenya Day 4: Samburu Game Reserve.Following breakfast, travel north to the remote Samburu Reserve via Isiolo. This is the homeland of the nomadic Samburu people, whose culture attaches great value to tending their livestock of cattle, sheep, goats and camels as their main economic activity.

Samburu Reserve Samburu is rich in species not seen in southern Kenya's more famous parks, such as Grevy's zebra, reticulated giraffe, kudu and gerenuk. You'll also have a good chance at spotting lions, cheetahs and the elusive leopard. The semiarid landscape is dramatic, with the rugged outcrop known as Mt. Ololokwe a prominent feature.

Elephants bathing, Samburu Reserve, Kenya The Ewaso Ngiro River, which forms the southern boundary of the reserve, attracts many birds and is a popular watering hole for elephants. Arrive at your lodge in time for lunch and some relaxation, then take an evening drive for more game viewing. Samburu Simba Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Cheetah, Samburu Reserve Day 5: Samburu Game Reserve. Enjoy another day of game viewing drives in the Samburu Game Reserve. The first is early in the morning, after which you'll return to the lodge for breakfast. Spend the day relaxing, then set out again in the early evening. Guided by your expert driver, you'll go exploring in a safari vehicle with roof hatch access for perfect game viewing and photography, searching for animals native to this fascinating and beautiful area. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Flamingos at Lake Nakuru Day 6: Lake Nakuru National Park. Early this morning, travel to Lake Nakuru National Park. Travel south through the town of Nanyuki and then head west via Nyahururu (still known to many as Thompsons Falls). After lunch at a nearby lodge, enjoy a game viewing drive, where you'll see at close range some of the two million flamingos that flock to the lake's edge, as well as other animals that inhabit the park.

Lion This park is a rhino sanctuary, offering the rare opportunity to see these endangered animals. It's also home to rare Rothschild's giraffes as well as buffalo, leopards and lions, which are known to climb trees. Arrive at your lodge for check-in and dinner. Sarova Lion Hill Lodge or Flamingo Hill Camp Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Migrating wilderbeest & zebras, Masai Mara Day 7: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. After breakfast, set out for the Masai Mara National Reserve, which borders Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. Every year, between June and September, millions of wildebeests and zebras migrate into the Mara in search of water. The timing of this phenomenon varies, depending on the rains, but they usually start heading back to the Serengeti in October.

Ostriches & zebras Whether you see the migration or not, the Mara almost guarantees you'll enjoy a magnificent time in Kenya. Here among the grassy plains and lush landscape, you'll find a huge variety of game, the largest in Kenya, including lions, cheetahs, buffalo and abundant bird life such as ostriches, cranes and storks. Enjoy lunch at a nearby lodge. After lunch, depart for a game drive en route to your lodge, arriving as the sun sets. Keekorok Lodge or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Giraffe on the savannah Day 8: Masai Mara National Reserve. Today you will take two safari drives, one in the morning and another in the early evening, in a safari vehicle with roof hatch access for perfect game viewing and photography.

You'll have the option of replacing one safari drive with an optional Hot Air Balloon Safari ($450), which provides a thrilling opportunity to soar high over the plains for animal viewing from above. Whether you go by air or land, you will enjoy searching for animals native to this fascinating and beautiful area guided by your expert guide, who will amaze you with his ability to spot game hidden in the bush.

This afternoon you'll have the opportunity for an optional visit to a Masai Village for an in-depth look at this colorful and pastoral people in their natural setting ($25). Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Karen Blixen house, Nairobi Day 9: Masai Mara & Nairobi. Enjoy an early morning safari, followed by a leisurely breakfast. Return to Nairobi. After lunch, visit the Karen Blixen Museum, which is the former home of "Out of Africa" author Karen Blixen and served as the farm house for her 4500 acre farm from 1917–1931.

Feeding a Rothschild Giraffe, Nairobi Next, you'll visit the Langata Giraffe Center, established to protect the endangered Rothschild Giraffe. Guests are permitted to feed the giraffes from a raised feeding platform, from which you'll also see several warthogs which roam freely with the giraffes.

Carnivore Restaurant, Nairobi This evening, join your fellow travelers for an "all you can eat" dinner at the world-famous Carnivore Restaurant. Here you'll find almost every type of meat imaginable, basted and roasted on traditional Masai swords over a huge charcoal pit at the entrance of the restaurant, then carved to order by your waiter at your table. After dinner, transfer to your hotel. Intercontinental Hotel Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Mount Kilimanjaro Day 10: Arusha & Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. This morning, fly to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania, at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano that is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world. After completing border formalities, you'll drive to Arusha, a pleasant and temperate city that serves as a trading center for the surrounding farmlands.

Elephants on the march Continue to Tarangire National Park, home to thousands of elephants, and, in the dry season, game which congregates along the river after having migrated from the Masai Mara. Large herds of antelope, zebras, gazelles, buffalo, wildebeest, leopards, rhinos and lots of smaller mammals also make the park their home. Tarangire is an ornithologist's paradise, rich in an incredible diversity of birds.

Rhino & egret, Tarangire Park Enjoy a game drive en route to your lodge located deep within the park. Lunch will be served at the Lodge followed by an afternoon game drive in Tarangire Park. Tarangire Sopa Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Flamingos Day 11: Lake Manyara National Park. After breakfast drive to Lake Manyara National Park. Located at the base of the Great Rift Valley, the park is covered with forest, woodland, grasslands, and swamps. After lunch, take a game drive in search of tree climbing lions and the flamingos that congregate in the thousands on the lake. Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania Day 12: Ngorongoro Crater. After breakfast, drive through the stunning hilly countryside of Karatu and the highlands filled with wheat and coffee plantations. Your destination is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where your lodge is perched on the edge of the famous Ngorongoro Crater. This extinct volcano, whose completely intact rim rises 1800' above the floor, offers among the very finest game viewing in Africa. It is considered one of the world's greatest natural wonders, and its abundant game, including rare species such as black rhinos and cheetahs and magnificent scenery will thrill even the most experienced safari traveler.

Wildebeest herd, Ngorongoro Crater Taking along a picnic lunch, descend into the crater. With the passage of time, the crater floor has become grassland with a lake in the middle, a sanctuary and source of water for the abundance of wildlife found here. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Day 13: Ngorongoro Crater & Nairobi. After breakfast, drive to the airport for a short flight to Nairobi, arriving in the mid afternoon. Enjoy some last minute shopping at the African Heritage. Relax at the Pollman's Club Lounge before you check in for your overnight flight to the USA. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Day 14: Arrive USA. Your magnificent adventure in Africa ends as you arrive at JFK International Airport this morning.

Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari Optional Tours

To enhance your visit to Kenya and make it more complete and memorable, here are some optional tours that will be available to you through your guide or tour manager. More information, including updates on pricing and availability, will be included with your travel documents.

Masai Village Tour
This is an opportunity to experience what the Masai tribal life is like as you walk through a traditional village compound. You'll be greeted by the village chief and be escorted around the village by a local host who will explain the history, culture and practices of the Masai. Before departing the village, enjoy a cultural performance by the young men of the tribe, the famed warrior "morans". $25 per person, credit card not accepted for this tour.
NOTE: This tour cannot be booked prior to travel.

Hot air balloons and giraffes Masai Mara: Hot Air Balloon Safari
Take to the sky over herds of wildlife in the Masai Mara game reserve, flying in a hot air balloon. The balloon can soar over the most inaccessible and undisturbed parts of the reserve and offers a bird's eye view of the plains below. Before returning to your lodge, your balloon pilot will present you with a Balloon Flight Certificate. This is certain to become a once in a lifetime experience you will remember long after returning from Kenya! (Please be advised that flight may not operate if weather conditions are not suitable for balloon flying). $450 per person.
NOTE: This tour cannot be booked prior to travel.

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