Best of Kenya & Tanzania Wildlife Safari

Nairobi, Samburu, Aberdare, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Amboseli, Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro plus Optional Dubai stopover

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

Wildebeest and Zebra migration in Masai Mara Savvy travelers and novices alike include Kenya & Tanzania on their list of dream destinations, 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 on the top three must-visit parks in Kenya, Masai Mara, Samburu and Amboseli, and the #1 top must-visit site in Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater. Our all-new “Best of Kenya & Tanzania" 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.

Plus, when you book, we'll make a donation to Doctors Without Borders.


Detailed Itinerary

Man-made Palm Island, Dubai Day 1: USA/Kenya. Depart from JFK this morning on your overnight flight to Kenya, via Dubai, aboard award-winning Emirates Airlines.

Day 2: Nairobi, Kenya. Arrival this afternoon in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city and the starting point for your safari adventure. Meet your guide and take a city orientation tour en route to your deluxe, centrally located Nairobi hotel. Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi

Samburu warriors & children, Kenya Day 3: Samburu Game Reserve. Depart after breakfast and drive north via Nanyuki and Mt. Kenya to the remote Samburu. 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 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 Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Cheetah, Samburu Reserve Day 4: Samburu Game Reserve. Enjoy another day of game viewing drives in the Samburu Game Reserve during 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. Guided by your expert driver, enjoy searching for animals native to this fascinating and beautiful area. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

The Ark
The Ark
Day 5: Aberdare National Park. After breakfast, enjoy the scenic drive to the Aberdare region, also known as Nyandarua, whose diverse topography includes waterfalls, rain forests, rivers and, at the highest elevations, open moors. After lunch at the Aberdares Country Club or Outspan Hotel, take time to relax and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Here you will be able to experience game viewing from the lodge balconies which overlook a game watering hole. The Ark Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Flamingos at Lake Nakuru Day 6: Lake Nakuru National Park. Early this morning, you'll drive to down the floor of the Great Rift Valley escarpment to the Kigio Wildlife Sanctuary, a 3500 acre conservancy between Nakuru and Naivasha. Later this afternoon, travel to Lake Nakuru National Park to enjoy a game viewing drive to view some of the two million flamingos at close range as well as other animals that inhabit the park.

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. This evening, take a guided nature walk in the sanctuary. Kigio Wildlife Camp Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Migrating wilderbeest & zebras, Masai Mara  © Christophe Poudras - Fotolia
Migrating wilderbeest & zebras, Masai Mara   © Christophe Poudras - Fotolia
Day 7: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. After breakfast, board your touring coach 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 your lodge then relax until later this afternoon when you'll take your first game drive through this haven of wildlife.

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

Game viewing
Game viewing
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 will have the option of replacing one safari drive with an optional balloon safari ($459) which provides a thrilling opportunity to soar high over the plain for animal viewing from above.

Giraffes, Masai Mara Whether you go by air or land, you will enjoy searching for animals native to this fascinating and beautiful area guided by your expert driver, who will amaze you with his ability to spot game hidden in the bush. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Amboseli National Park Day 9: Amboseli National Park. This morning after breakfast, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Nairobi. After lunch, you will drive to Amboseli, which lies in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The combination of salt flat and marshland provides one of the most dramatic settings in Kenya, and the mountain makes an amazing background for photographing animals. Enjoy lunch en route at Toona Tree Restaurant, then continue to Amboseli, with opportunities for animal viewing en route to your lodge. Ol Tukai Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Young Masai woman Day 10: Amboseli National Park. Waking up for an early morning game viewing drive you return to your lodge for breakfast. From your lodge you enjoy unrivalled views of Mt Kilimanjaro and Meru which can be clearly seen in the morning, particularly before 10 am. The rest of the morning is spent at leisure perhaps enjoying the panoramic views of the park, particularly atop Observation Hill, where you'll also find young Masai ready to have their pictures taken (for a fee).

Burchell Zebras, Amboseli National Park In the evening you undertake another game viewing drive to appreciate the abundance of wildlife that thrives here. Amboseli is known for its elephant herds, amazing to watch as they and buffalo stand in the marshes to keep cool, drink water and munch on vegetation. Other animals, such as zebras and wildebeests and even lions are also found here. This park, like others you visit, is a bird-watcher's paradise. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Elephants on the march Day 11: Arusha & Tarangire National Park, Tanzania. After breakfast, board your touring coach and drive to the Kenya/Tanzania border at Namanga. Continue to Arusha and enjoy lunch at the Arusha Hotel. After lunch drive 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.

Rhino & egret, Tarangire Park Tarangire is an ornithologist's paradise, rich in an incredible diversity of birds. In addition, large herds of antelope, zebras, gazelles, buffalo, wildebeest, leopards, elephants, rhinos and lots of smaller mammals make the park their home. Arrive at your lodge later in the afternoon, with game viewing en route. Tarangire Sopa Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Flamingos Day 12: 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 13: Ngorongoro Conservancy. After breakfast drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area arriving at in time for lunch at the lodge. This extinct volcano, whose completely intact rim rises 1800 ft 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 After lunch, descend into the crater, whose floor, with the passage of time, has become grassland with a lake in the middle that is a sanctuary and source of water for the abundance of wildlife found. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.

Day 14: Tanzania, Kenya, Departure. After an early breakfast, say a reluctant goodbye to Africa as you drive back to Nairobi. Stop along the way for a picnic lunch and arrive in time to check in for your overnight flight to the USA via Dubai. Breakfast & lunch provided.

Day 15: Arrival in USA. Your magnificent adventure in Africa ends as you arrive at JFK International Airport this morning.


Kenya and 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 Mara: 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.

Hot air balloons and giraffes Masai Mara: Hot Air Balloon Safari & Champagne Breakfast
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. At the conclusion of your incredible flight, you'll be treated to a champagne breakfast in the bush. 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). $459 per person.


Optional Dubai Stopover

Dubai Skyline Whether you travel with us to Kenya only or you add Tanzania to your tour, we invite you to take advantage of a special stopover package in Dubai on your way back to the USA from Africa. Dubai is one of the hottest new destinations around, and it has been extensively featured in such prestigious travel publications as Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and others.

Man-made Palm Island, Dubai You'll find some of the world's most lavish and luxurious hotels and resorts in Dubai, and for duty-free shopping, it's pretty much in a class by itself. Our 3-night stop-over package includes 3 nights at the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers or the Radisson SAS Dubai Deira Creek, buffet breakfast daily and transfers.Take advantage of optional tours, spend your time shopping or indulge in both! At these prices, this is one special opportunity you definitely won't want to miss!


Creating a Friendlier Planet

Doctors Without Borders For every passenger who travels to Kenya in 2008, Friendly Planet will make a donation to relief efforts in Kenya by Doctors without Borders. Learn more.


Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Kenya, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Tanzania, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Dubai, click here.

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