Best of East Africa

Starting From

$8,399/person

Number of days

19

Start Location

Tanzania

Group Size

4-7

Operated by

World Expeditions

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Journey through Kenya, northern Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda to appreciate the highlights of East Africa

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Join Nairobi

Upon your arrival, you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel for relaxation and overnight. Accommodation: Eka Hotel or similar

To Amboseli National Park

After breakfast, we explore Nairobi with a visit to the Karen Blixen Museum. The museum is the beautiful and historic farmhouse where Karen Blixen, author of “Out of Africa”, lived between 1917 and 1931 until she left Kenya after a series of personal tragedies. Thereafter, we head to the Giraffe Centre and the Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage for a visit. The institution is named after the wife of the late famous Naturalist, David William Sheldrick who was the founder warden of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya from its inception in 1948 to 1976. At 11:00, the baby animals are brought from the national park for a mud-bath at the orphanage, where for an hour you can get close to them. Lunch will follow before driving down to Amboseli National Park, arriving in the afternoon. Accommodation: Kibo Safari Camp or similar Approx. distance: 240 km Approx. driving time: 4-5 hours

Amboseli game drive

Today we will head into the Amboseli National Park for a full day of game viewing in one of Kenya’s most famous parks. Amboseli is known for its huge elephant bulls with their magnificent tusks, which make for the ultimate safari picture with the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. Accommodation: Kibo Safari Camp or similar

Drive to Arusha, Tanzania

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, we make our way to the border and then onwards to Arusha. En route, we pass the Marangu waterfalls – which is a moderately strenuous walk (we do recommend sturdy shoes and a degree of walking fitness). We continue to Arusha via Moshi town – the gateway to the Kilimanjaro National Park. Accommodation: Moivaro Coffee Plantation or similar Approx. distance: 210 km Approx. driving time: 4-5 hours (border crossing dependent)

Lake Manyara National Park

Your safari begins after breakfast this morning. Our first stop is Arusha town, for any last minute purchases before we head off on an exciting safari experience! We set off towards Lake Manyara National Park, with the drive being in the region of about 2 hours. Manyara NP is not only known for its large flocks of flamingos, but also for the elusive tree climbing lions. Accommodation: Rift Valley Photographic Lodge or similar Approx. distance: 200 km Approx. driving time: 4-5 hours (including game drive speeds)

Cultural experience, day walk and Masai village visit

After breakfast, we set out to experience the cultural diversity of Mto-wa-Mbu, starting at the market and visiting a Chagga family producing banana beer and passing by many different farms. On the way, your guide will introduce you to the various fruits and vegetables growing in the area and explain the irrigation system that sustains local crops. After a delicious, home-cooked meal in a local Mama’s home, we will take a walk starting from the Miwaleni waterfall which falls down from the Rift Valley and has created a green oasis. We will walk towards the Papyrus Lake (approx 5 km), where the Rangi people collect the materials for their mats and baskets. Along the way you can see rice farming and visit Sandawe families who still make traditional bows and arrows for hunting. Late afternoon we enjoy a visit to the Masai Boma for the cultural encounter of a life time. The Masai people are semi-nomadic herders, who choose to live a traditional lifestyle and are known for their distinctive traditional attire. On completion we return to the lodge for dinner & overnight. Accommodation: Rift Valley Photographic Lodge or similar NOTE - On Day 6 of this trip, you may be offered the opportunity to visit an orphanage and school. World Expeditions clients, and other passengers on this trip, will have the option to participate in the Papyrus Lake walk instead. Please see the Responsible Travel paragraph in this document for more information on why World Expeditions does not support 'orphanage tourism’.

To Tarangire National Park

After breakfast, we will depart for Tarangire National Park for a full day’s game drive. The breath-taking views of the Maasai Steppe, and the mountains to the south, make a stop at Tarangire a truly memorable experience. Tarangire is as well known for its huge elephant population and baobab trees. It forms the centre of an annual migratory cycle that includes up to 3000 elephant, 25,000 wildebeest and 30,000 zebra. Accommodation: Rift Valley Photographic Lodge or similar Approx. distance: 130 km Approx. driving time: 2-3 hours

Ngorongoro Crater game drive, drive to Serengeti

This morning we have an early departure for a game drive in the world renowned Ngorongoro Crater. For many, this wildlife spectacle is the pinnacle of their safari experience! At nearly 2300m, the highlands around Ngorongoro Crater has brisk mornings and low cloud sometimes covers the area. Please bring some warm clothing as it can be cold here. The Crater is one of the last refuges for the endangered black rhino in northern Tanzania; the rhino population here is carefully protected and they are quite commonly seen. With over 30,000 animals, the Ngorongoro Crater can be regarded as a “Garden of Eden”. The 100 sq km caldera also has the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa and forms a natural enclosure for all its inhabitants. The Ngorongoro Crater boasts all of the ‘Big 5’, including a small population of endangered black rhino. After a picnic lunch, we head towards the Serengeti through the stunning Southern Plains sector of the park. This is the area that the Serengeti is best known for – the endless, undulating grass savannah with rocky outcrops that serve as isolated wildlife refuges. Accommodation: Kisura Kenzan Tented Camp or similar Approx. distance: 400 km (including the Crater) Approx. driving time: 6-7 hours (mostly at game drive speeds)

Serengeti

Today you will be spending a full day game driving around the Seronera area of the Serengeti. The Serengeti is divided into three main areas: Seronera is the most central and accessible region and this is where the Park HQ is based, as well as most of the larger lodges and communal campsites. This part of the Serengeti is characterised by open plains of grassland, packed with animals. The Seronera River is the lifeblood of the Serengeti and this area is renowned for great game viewing all year round. It is also particularly good for lion and cheetah sightings, as well as the most elusive of all big cats, the leopard. The Serengeti National Park, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage area for its wildlife and natural beauty. Accommodation: Kisura Kenzan Tented Camp or similar

Serengeti

We have another exciting day of exploring the Serengeti National Park ahead of us. Famed for its annual migration, the Serengeti offers amazing game viewing at any time of the year: herds of buffalo, groups of elephant and giraffe, zebra, eland, topi, kongoni, impala and gazelle, among other wildlife. With lunch boxes provided we continue with game drives throughout the day, scanning the endless plains, spotting many animals and truly realizing just why this national park is so famous. In the late afternoon we drive back to the lodge for overnight. Accommodation: Kisura Kenzan Tented Camp or similar

Speke Bay on Lake Victoria

After breakfast we make our way to Lake Victoria. We pass through the villages of the Sukuma tribe, who grow ground nuts, sorghum and cassava as well as keeping livestock. Life carries on here simply as it has done for ages, but with a few poignant reminders of the 20th century. Some leisure time in the afternoon, or to possibly take a bird walk along the lake shore. Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge or similar Approx. distance: 250 km Approx. driving time: 4-5 hours (including game drive speeds)

To Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This morning you have the opportunity to take part in a boat excursion to one of the local fishing villages, before we bid Lake Victoria farewell and continue our journey northwards across the border into Kenya. Here we head to the Masai Mara, the traditional land of the Maasai people, who are permitted to graze their cattle in this area. The Masai Mara covers an area that includes the riverine forests along the banks of the Mara and Talek Rivers, acacia forests and the open plains of the savannah. Accommodation: Mara Eden Safari Camp or similar Approx. distance: 270 km Approx. driving time: 6-8 hours (border crossing dependent)

Masai Mara game drive

Today we spend the whole day game viewing in the world famous Masai Mara National Park. Here the various habitats are home to a great variety of game including lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, wildebeest (gnu), giraffe, buffalo, jackal, topi, gazelle, impala and elephant. Hippopotamus and crocodile are also plentiful in the rivers and the bird life is very abundant. Accommodation: Mara Eden Safari Camp or similar

To Nairobi

After breakfast we head off towards Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. We have the afternoon at leisure or to explore the city. Time allowing, we visit the Kazuri Beads Centre and workshop for those interested in shopping. Kazuri means "small and beautiful" in Swahili and it describes each striking ceramic bead which is shaped by hand by the women employed at the Kazuri workshop. Nairobi is a cosmopolitan, lively and interesting city. Its central business district is nicely compact and it is therefore a great place to tune into modern urban African life. Later in the afternoon, we head to the hotel for dinner and overnight. Accommodation: Eka Hotel or similar Approx. distance: 280 km Approx. driving time: 5-6 hours

Fly from Nairobi, Kenya to Kigali, Rwanda

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your outbound flight to Kigali, Rwanda. NOTE - The flight from Nairobi to Kigali is not included in the tour cost. On arrival at Kigali airport, you will be met by our Rwandan guide and transferred to our hotel in Kigali. The rest of the day is at leisure. Kigali, with population of more than 1 million (2012), is the capital and largest city of Rwanda. It is situated near the geographic centre of the nation. The city has been the economic, cultural, and transport hub of Rwanda since it became the capital at independence in 1962. The main residence and offices of the President of Rwanda are located in the city, as are the government ministries. Accommodation: Lemigo Hotel or similar

Drive from Kigali, Rwanda to Uganda (cross border)

After breakfast we drive towards Uganda, and have lunch or a picnic lunch enroute. After completing border formalities, we transfer to our comfortable lodge in Uganda and prepare for our gorilla tracking the following day in either the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park. Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge or Silverback Lodge (Uganda) or similar Approx. distance: 200 km Approx. driving time: 7-8 hours (including border crossing)

Gorilla Trek in Uganda

Today we will trek deep into the forest in search of these mountain gorillas in either Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park. While trekking for mountain gorillas in Uganda we will be accompanied by specialist local guides and national park rangers in accordance with local permit regulations, and allowed no more than one hour with your allotted gorilla family. To find your family group the guide will lead you to where the gorillas were sighted on the previous day and then literally track them through the forest. The terrain is very rough, often over steep slopes covered with matted vegetation. Be prepared for rain, mud and giant stinging nettles – long trousers, gloves and a waterproof jacket will help. It will be necessary to take your own water and snacks – eg: biscuits or sweets – with you in case you have to trek for a while before finding the gorillas. Be prepared to walk between 3-9 hours to find the gorilla family. You may be joining other travellers for these treks, not only those in your group. Please remember that Mother Nature is unpredictable, and no gorilla sightings can be guaranteed. Under no circumstances are refunds given if you do not see these primates. Accommodation: Chameleon Hill Lodge or Silverback Lodge (Uganda) or similar

Drive to Kigali, Rwanda (cross border)

After breakfast we drive back to Kigali Rwanda, and have lunch or a picnic lunch enroute. After completing border formalities, we transfer to our hotel in Kigali for overnight. Accommodation: Lemigo Hotel or similar Approx. distance: 200 km Approx. driving time: 7-8 hours (including border crossing)

Kigali city tour, trip concludes

After breakfast we undertake a short morning tour of this interesting city, including a visit to the genocide memorial. Group arrangements conclude in Kigali with a departure transfer to the airport. (Please note: earliest departure time is 14:00hrs.) NOTE - This trip also starts in Nairobi.

Additional Information

This remarkable journey is truly all encompassing, including the best safari and wildlife viewing in Kenya and Tanzania whilst returning at night to superb permanent tented camps and lodges. Including all the areas frequented by the migration on their annual route, you will have the best opportunity to witness one of the most spectacular wildlife sightings in the world. From Arusha we visit Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, before experiencing the cultural heritage of the various tribal groups who live nearby. We spend a day exploring the Ngorongoro Crater then continue west to the world famous Serengeti National Park where we have a chance to view vast herds of grazing animals and the magnificent predators that follow them. Crossing the border into Kenya, we enjoy fantastic game viewing in the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park. The undoubted highlight of the journey is our time in the rainforest of Uganda where we follow remote trails in the mist shrouded forests of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest or Mgahinga National Park in search of the famous mountain gorillas. With a wonderful variety of wildlife, culture and adventure, this is a truly unforgettable experience.

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