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Dazzling Dubai & Kenya Safari

The glamorous desert oasis of Dubai, then Nairobi, a boat safari on Lake Naivasha, a game drive in Hell's Gate and three game drives in Masai Mara


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Check out the open departures.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packages, may accommodate up to 30.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 16 travelers max
Themes ActiveNature & Wildlife
Activity Level Recreational
What to Expect This moderately-paced, partially escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads and may have limited rest stops. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
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Prepare to be dazzled twice on this innovative tour package to Dubai and Kenya. Dubai is home to the world's tallest building, a man-made island archipelago created for luxury living and vacationing, an indoor ski resort complete with ski lift, plenty of fine dining, and an ancient culture that has leapt from desert tent to skyscraper condo in less than 50 years. But your vacation in Dubai is only one-half of this exotic tour package.

In Kenya, you'll explore legendary game reserves filled with magnificent wildlife and sweeping vistas that seem to go on forever. Everywhere you go, from Nairobi to Lake Naivasha and the plains of the Masai Mara, the people are friendly and welcoming.

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Coach
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round trip flights from NYC via Emirates Airlines including taxes & fees
  • 8 nights accommodations in deluxe hotels and safari camps plus day use room on Day 10
  • 18 meals: 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches & 5 dinners
  • All transfers and ground transportation
  • Guided panoramic tour of Dubai
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours and game-viewing drives in Kenya
  • Hell's Gate National Park, boat safari on Lake Naivasha
  • 3 game drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserves
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours in Nairobi by local English-speaking guide

Optional add-ons

  • Exciting optional excursions in Dubai and Kenya
  • Optional day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
  • Flights from Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Newark (EWR), Orlando (MCO), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), and Washington D.C. Dulles (IAD). Request pricing when making your reservation.

Why you'll love it

  • Enjoy the glitz and glamour of Dubai and some of the best wildlife safari experiences that Kenya has to offer!
  • Wander Dubai's bustling souks, catch a birds-eye-view of the city from the deck of the Burj Khalifa, or join one of our many optional tours including a full-day excursion to the sophisticated city of Abu Dhabi.
  • Visit the elephant babies that inhabit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphans' Nursery.
  • Gaze upon the cliffs, rock towers, and volcanoes at Hell's Gate National Park, one of the most atmospheric Parks in Africa.
  • Embark on a safari boat ride on Lake Naivasha to observe wildlife in this rich environment.
  • Search for lions, cheetahs, ostriches and more roaming the grassy plains of the Masai Mara National Game Reserve.
  • Explore the Karen Blixen Museum, once home to "Out of Africa" author Karen Blixen.
  • Feed giraffes at the Langata Giraffe Center, established with the goal to protect the endangered Rothschild's giraffe.

Itinerary at a Glance

Dazzling Dubai & Kenya Safari map


Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA

  • Check in for your overnight flight to Dubai

Day 2 Dubai

  • Arrive in Dubai, meet our representatives, and transfer to your centrally located hotel
  • NOTE: The flight from Washington D.C. Dulles (IAD) arrives early in the morning in Dubai (around 8 am). Check-in at the hotel is at 3 pm. If you wish to check-in immediately, please add early check-in to your reservation

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai or similar

Day 3 Dubai

  • Enjoy a guided city tour of Dubai -- see the highlights of this amazing place
  • Visit the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world
  • Learn about Islamic life in the UAE during a lecture at Jumeirah Mosque

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Dubai Museum

Today's exciting half-day tour will take you to picturesque Dubai Creek, the Ancient Greeks called the River Zara. The first settlements by the Bani Yas tribe were along its banks, and later it served as a port for ships from as far as India and East Africa. Today, this saltwater creek divides the modern city into two parts, Deira on the north and Bur Dubai to the south, and remains a busy waterway both for traditional dhows and sleek luxury yachts. 

Next stop is the Bastakiya district, where traditional courtyard houses, with characteristic wind towers that cleverly catch the breezes to cool the houses, line the narrow alleys. Many of the houses in this picturesque area of Dubai, previously home to the city's merchants, have been lovingly restored by proud locals who wish to preserve the unique ambiance of the district.

Continue to the Dubai Museum, housed in the massive, restored Al Fahidi Fort. Inside, lifelike dioramas offer a fascinating view of life in Dubai before the discovery of oil. You'll learn the importance of the date palm to the desert culture, the maritime traditions of fishing and pearl-diving, boat building, and much more. Take a walk through the bustling, exotic souks, where you'll find beautiful, bargain-priced textiles, spices, and gold. Another highlight of your city tour is a chance to take one of Dubai's most reliable and inexpensive forms of transportation, the Abra water taxi.

Later, visit the Burj Khalifa (formerly known as Burj Dubai), which officially opened in 2010 as the tallest building in the world. This miracle of international cooperation and coordination houses a luxury Armani hotel, offices of some of the world's most successful companies, and homes that are as high as the clouds for a lucky few. Take in sweeping city views from the breathtakingly high "At the Top" observation deck.

Stop at Jumeirah Mosque to gain insight into Islamic life in the United Arab Emirates during a lecture by one of the Mosque's clerks. Feel free to ask questions!

Return to your hotel and spend the remainder of your day at leisure, or enjoy an optional Desert Safari and BBQ Dinner.

Optional Excursion: Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner, $115
Jeep ride over sand dunes

For those in the mood for adventure, in the late afternoon, set out on an optional desert safari tour and discover the vastness and stark beauty of the desert surrounding Dubai. Experience an exciting jeep ride over the neighboring dunes. You'll also enjoy a traditional BBQ dinner and live belly dancing entertainment on this exciting optional tour. *The sand dunes jeep ride is not recommended for people with neck, back or cardiac concerns.

Purchased as a package with Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner (Day 3) and Abu Dhabi (Day 4(Min of 4 passengers).

Day 4 Dubai

  • Relax and explore on your own, or join an optional excursion to Abu Dhabi

JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai or similar Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

The day is yours to explore at your pace, or take an optional excursion to Abu Dhabi.

Optional Excursion: Full Day Abu Dhabi, $170
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Today, see another sophisticated city in the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. Enjoy a panoramic view of Jebel Ali, the largest man-made port, en route to the iconic symbol of Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Later, drive along the sweeping curve of the Corniche, replete with parks and fountains, from which you'll enjoy a contrast of modern skyscrapers against the sparkling waters of the Persian Gulf. Visit the Heritage Village, and learn about the history of Abu Dhabi in a reconstructed oasis. Walk through the open-air museum and see artisans demonstrate traditional skills. Later, pass by the Sheik Khalifa Palace, home to the president of the UAE. Afterward, take a photo stop at Yas Island, where the Ferrari World theme park and Formula 1 race track are located. Return to Dubai.

Purchased as a package with Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner (Day 3) and Abu Dhabi (Day 4(Min of 4 passengers).

Day 5 Dubai & Nairobi

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Nairobi
  • Upon arrival in Nairobi, following customs and immigration formalities, meet our representative and transfer to your hotel

EKA Hotel Nairobi or similar Breakfast

Day 6 Nairobi & Lake Naivasha

  • Visit the Karen Blixen Museum
  • Visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage
  • Depart Nairobi for the Great Rift Valley
  • After lunch and check-in, enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure

Lake Naivasha Country Club or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphans' Nursery

After breakfast and check-out, proceed to visit the Karen Blixen Museum. "Out of Africa" author Karen Blixen formally owned the house and surrounding 4500-acre farm from 1917 until 1931, before becoming a museum in 1991.
Later, visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, where young orphaned elephant babies are hand-raised until they are returned to the natural habitat in the Tsavo National Park. Here they can mingle freely with the wild community.

Next, depart Nairobi and travel west through Kenya's fertile farmlands and into the Great Rift Valley. Arrive at your lodge, set amidst acacia trees, overlooking Lake Naivasha. After lunch, check in and spend the remainder of the day leisurely. Tonight, enjoy dinner at the lodge.

*Note: Visiting Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage requires advanced booking with limited tickets available per day and has become increasingly difficult to secure advanced tickets. A visit to Nairobi Animal Orphanage, located just outside the Nairobi National Park, will be substituted should Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage be unavailable.

Day 7 Lake Naivasha

  • After breakfast, take a game drive in Hell's Gate National Park
  • Return to the lodge for lunch
  • Embark on a safari boat ride on Lake Naivasha

Lake Naivasha Country Club or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Eland grazing Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

After breakfast, discover Hell's Gate National Park, named for the intense geothermal activity within its boundaries. It is a remarkable quarter of the Great Rift Valley. Spectacular scenery, including the towering cliffs, water-gouged gorges, stark rock towers, scrub-clad volcanoes, and belching plumes of geothermal steam, make it one of the most atmospheric parks in Africa. You may see African buffalo, zebra, eland, hartebeest, Thomson's gazelle, baboons, klipspringer antelope, and Chandler's mountain reedbuck. Return to the lodge for lunch. In the afternoon, embark on a safari boat ride on Lake Naivasha.

Day 8 Masai Mara Game Reserve

  • After breakfast, depart for the Masai Mara
  • Arrive at the lodge and enjoy lunch
  • Take your first game drive this afternoon

Keekorok Lodge or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Elephant, Masai Mara Photo by Eric Heininger on Unsplash

After breakfast, depart for the Masai Mara. This park offers terrific scenery and plenty of game viewing. In addition, it is perhaps the only region remaining in Kenya where visitors can see animals in the same abundance and variety as they existed a century ago. You'll find lions, cheetahs, buffalo, and abundant bird life such as ostriches, cranes, and storks among the grassy plains and lush landscape.

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. Whether you see the migration or not, the Mara almost guarantees you'll enjoy a magnificent time in Kenya. Enjoy lunch at your lodge, then relax until later this afternoon when you'll take your first game drive through this haven of wildlife, lasting until sunset.

Day 9 Masai Mara Game Reserve

  • Morning game drive, or take an optional hot air balloon safari
  • Lunch at the lodge, followed by some free time to relax
  • Late afternoon game drive

Keekorok Lodge or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Cheetahs, Masai Mara

Continue your discovery of the many species of wildlife in the park today on two game drives, one this morning and another later in the afternoon. You can replace the morning drive with an optional balloon safari, which provides an exciting opportunity to soar high over the plain 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 driver, who will amaze you with his ability to spot game hidden in the bush. You may see a variety of antelope, including wildebeest and Thomsons and Grant gazelles. The "Big 5" are all found in the Masai Mara, cheetahs, bat-eared foxes, and wide other varieties of wildlife.

After lunch, enjoy some leisure time at the lodge, including a refreshing swim in the pool.

Optional Excursion: Masai Mara Hot Air Balloon Safari & Champagne Breakfast, $465
Balloon safari, Masai Mara

Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a balloon ride across the Masai Mara. Weather permitting, your flight begins in the pre-dawn hours, when the view over the park is most magnificent. Toward the end of your adventure, you'll rise to 1,500 feet for a panoramic view of the twisting Mara River and the savannah below. After an hour in the air, your safari finishes with a champagne breakfast in the bush, cooked on the balloon's burners. Flight may not operate if weather conditions are not suitable.

Optional Excursion: Masai Village Tour (purchased locally), $25
Masai traditional dance Photo by Pawan Sharma on Unsplash

This afternoon, get an in-depth look at these colorful and pastoral people in their natural settings. Experience the Masai tribal life 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." Credit cards are not accepted for this excursion.

Day 10 Masai Mara & Nairobi/Depart Kenya

  • After breakfast, depart the Masai Mara for Nairobi
  • Enjoy a farewell lunch at the famous Carnivore Restaurant
  • Next, stop at the Langata Giraffe Center
  • Enjoy time to relax in your day-use room
  • Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight back to the US

Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport or similar Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Feeding a Rothschild's giraffe, Langata Giraffe Center

After breakfast, depart the Masai Mara for Nairobi. Upon arrival, enjoy an "all you can eat" farewell lunch at the famous Carnivore Restaurant. After your meal, visit The Langata Giraffe Center, which protects the endangered Rothschild's giraffe. Several warthogs roam freely with the giraffes. Guests may feed the giraffes from a raised feeding platform. Then transfer to your day-use room to relax and freshen up.

Bid farewell to Kenya as you transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight. Arrive in the USA the following day.

Optional Excursions Package Dubai: $225

Pre-book a Dubai Optional Excursions package that included our most popular optional excursions:

  • Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner (Day 3)
  • Abu Dhabi (Day 4)


The optional excursion package is operated for Friendly Planet groups only. (A minimum of 4 passengers is required for optional excursions to operate).


JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai
JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai

The 5 star JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai is conveniently located in the business district of Dubai. Its location offers guests easy access to notable attractions, such as the world-renowned Dubai Mall and the jaw-dropping Burj Khalifa.

More information

EKA Hotel Nairobi
EKA Hotel Nairobi
First Class

EKA Hotel is conveniently located along Mombasa Road in Nairobi, near the city's many attractions including Nairobi National Park, the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum, Bomas of Kenya, and the Giraffe Centre. It is also near the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the Wilson Airport, the bustling central business district and entertainment venues.

More information

Lake Naivasha Country Club
Lake Naivasha Country Club
First Class

First opened in the 1930's as a staging post for Imperial Airways flying boat service from Durban to Dublin, Lake Naivasha Country Club has since transformed into a sprawling 55-acre property with a variety of accommodations and guest facilities. It is located just an hour drive from Nairobi and overlooks the lake. Perfect for both the active and leisure traveler, Lake Naivasha Country Club offers an abundance of activities to please all tastes.

More information

Keekorok Lodge
Keekorok Lodge
First Class

Amid the vast sweeping savanna plains stands Keekorok Lodge, Masai Mara's first game lodge. Against the backdrop of Kenya's most magnificent scenery, the lodge offers a unique and luxurious safari experience, blending contemporary African style with the magic and charm of the region. Enjoy the sunset as you watch hippos, birds and other animals from the walkway, all without even leaving the lodge.After a day of game-spotting, take a dip in the outdoor swimming swimming pool or relax in one of the lounge chairs. The lodge also has a gift shop that stocks every conceivable item for a comfortable safari as well as hand-crafted gifts, paintings and sculptures.

More information

Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport
Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport
First Class

The Hilton Garden Inn Nairobi Airport is a 175 room hotel with a convenient location close to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. The hotel features complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24 hour business center, a heated rooftop swimming pool, fitness center, complimentary self-operated laundry.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

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