East African Wildlife Safari

Our classic East African Safari will take you to Kenya and Tanzania's most celebrated game parks, the very places where the concept of wildlife safaris originated in the 1890's. It will include the Masai Mara, Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru National Parks in Kenya and the Serengeti / Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Lake Tarangire and Arusha National Parks in Tanzania, plus many other less visited reserves, conservation areas, cultural and historical attractions.

At the conclusion of the 16-day safari, fly to the exotic Tanzanian island of Zanzibar for a five-night stay; three-nights in historic Stone Town and two-nights at a beach resort, located on the islands beautiful north coast.

Game-viewing in the wild with no fences is an amazing experience; as watching the animals at such close range, you are in their world. You'll never forget the awesome moments: watching a pride of lions carefully guide its cubs as they approach a waterhole, seeing herds of wildebeest and zebras moving across the grasslands and elephant families teaching the young ones to dig for water in a dried-up river bed. Observing an elusive leopard patiently waiting for his "dinner" to come within strike range or the lightning speed of a cheetah on the chase.   

In East Africa,  we have found the wildlife to be very prolific and varied. The animals appeared largely unconcerned by our presence so we have always enjoyed close viewings and exciting photographic opportunities. For example, in the Masai Mara, we saw the "Big 5" in one afternoon and we captured memorable images of them all!

An African Safari really is a most magical experience and a photographer's delight!  

Draft Itinerary outline: 

Day 1: Flight via Dubai - depart early evening

Day 2: Nairobi - Arrive early afternoon, Overnight at Hotel Eka or similar.

Day 3: Lake Naivasha - Begin our safari by visiting the Nairobi Giraffe Centre before driving to our first lodge on the shores of Lake Naivasha. Overnight, Elsamere Lodge, the lakeside home of Joy Adamson.

Day 4: Lake Naivasha - Visit Hell's Gate National Park and walk a river-bed canyon before returning to the lake for a sunset cruise.

Day 5: Lake Nakuru -  Transfer to Lake Nakuru National Park where we will have our first game drive. Overnight Lake Nakuru Lodge or similar.   

Day 6: Masai Mara - The most spectacular feature of this stunning game reserve is the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle that cross the Tanzanian border and crocodile-infested rivers to reach the Masai Mara’s lush grasslands. Overnight, Keekorok Lodge or similar

Day 7: Masai Mara -  We will have two full days to explore this extensive game reserve, each day visiting a different area. Apart from the seasonal migration, game viewing is excellent all year round as the Mara is perhaps the only region left in Kenya where visitors may see animals in the same super-abundance as existed a century ago.

Day 8: Masai Mara - Today, those doing an early morning Balloon Ride over the Masai Mara will depart early and after breakfast, we will all visit yet another sector of this spectacular reserve.    

Day 9: Speke Bay - Drive to the Tanzanian border and on to Lake Victoria, the World's 2nd largest lake. Overnight, Serenity Lodge or similar.

Day 10: Serengeti National Park Central - A morning visit to a fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria before entering the Serengeti National Park and game-driving our way to our tented-camp.  Overnight, Osinon Camp or similar.

Day 11: Serengeti Central - game drives

Day 12: Serengeti National Park North -  Drive north towards the Kenyan border and the region of the Great Migration crossings.  Overnight,  Bush Camp or similar.

Day 13: Serengeti North -  Today we will focus on the Mara River area, as we endeavour to catch a "crossing".  Please be aware that seeing a migration "crossing" can never be guaranteed.

Day 14: Serengeti Central/Olduvai Gorge - Visit the Olduvai, the gorge where Dr. and Mary Leakey found early hominid fossils in the 1930's. Overnight, Bougainvillea Lodge or similar.

Day 15: Ngorongoro Crater -  An early morning game-drive in the famous crater. Later visit an art and craft market in Karatu before returning to our Lodge.

Day 16: Lake Manyara National Park - This park has a large concentration of monkeys and if we are lucky, you may see the park's famous tree-climbing lions. Overnight, Sangaiwe Tented Lodge or similar.

Day 17: Lake Tarangire National Park - Tanzania's third-largest national park provides sanctuary to a large population of elephants. Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them. The animals are concentrated along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. Overnight, Ambureni Coffee Lodge or similar in Arusha.

Day 18: Arusha National Park/ Olpopongi -  Arusha National Park is a small but beautiful park on the slopes of Mt Meru. After our visit, we will leave the park and drive to the Olpopongi Masai Cultural Village, for a fascinating village-stay experience.  Overnight, Olpopongi Masai Village.

Day 19: Stone Town (Zanzibar) - A short flight to Zanzibar for a 3-night stay in ancient Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its rich cultural heritage of Arabian, Persian, Indian, European and African elements. Overnight, at a central Stone Town hotel.

Day 20:  Stone Town - A morning walking tour of Old Stone Town and in the afternoon take a boat trip to nearby Prison Island, now a turtle colony, swimming an option.

Day 21: Visit the Jozani Forest Reserve to see the rare Red Colobus monkeys and later, visit one of Zanzibar's famous Spice farms.

Day 22: Northern Beach  - To end the tour we will have a spot of R & R, with a two-night stay at a beach resort on Zanzibar's beautiful northern coast.

Day 23: Northern Beach - a final day to enjoy beautiful Zanzibar, swimming, snorkeling or just strolling the beach.

Day 24:  Dubai - A late morning flight to Dar es Salaam and on to Dubai, where you will connect with tomorrow's early morning flight to Auckland. Those who prefer to pay extra and stay overnight in Dubai will take tomorrow's mid-morning flight to Auckland. 

Day 25: Flights - depart Dubai, either at 02:30am or 10am 

Day 26: Auckland - Arrive early or late-morning, depending on which flight you took from Dubai. 

 

Transport: High-quality long wheel-based  4 x 4 Safari vehicles with four or five people + driver in each, depending on final group numbers.  The vehicles are 7-seaters + driver, so we will have plenty of room.   

Accommodation:  Hotels, very comfortable Safari Lodges and tented-camps with private facilities. One night in a Masai Cultural Village, with shared facilities.  Single rooms are unlikely to be an option on this trip, but if they are a supplement will apply. 

Meals: All meals during the 16-day safari are included. The anticipated non-included meals being;  1 dinner in Nairobi, 4 lunches and 5 dinners on Zanzibar and any meals taken at airports. The number of excluded meals will be confirmed when the itinerary details are finalised.    

Water: Unlimited mineral water is provided during the Safari. For the remainder of the time, bottled water is readily available.

What is Included:  Economy airfares Auckland return (without an overnight in Dubai), a fully inclusive safari with driver/guides and a New Zealand leader, all entries and park permits, lodges and good quality tented-camps with ensuites and all meals plus one night in a Masai Cultural Village. Flights to and from Zanzibar, 5 nights on Zanzibar with excursions and a basic group-tipping fund for our drivers, guides, hotel/camp staff etc. However, please be aware that a supplement over and above this base-fund will be required once the services are settled and the full extent of our group tipping obligation can be calculated.    

Not Included: The group tipping supplement (to be advised) and your personal tipping for requested services e.g. laundry, porters and bar bills, personal shopping expenditure, visas, balloon ride, Dubai extra night/any additional fare required and any other item not listed as included.

All bookings are subject to the Grassroots Booking conditions which can be found on the Grassroots Booking Form.

FACT FILE

Trip Code: EA 221

Projected Date:  mid to late September 2022  

Duration: 26 days

Party:  Min., 9+1 leader, Max.,15 + 1 leader.

Price Guide:  2020 price was $18,000 / $18,250 - 2022 final price range to be confirmed. 

Current Status:  2020 trip cancelled due to Covid19, next departure now Sep 2022,  also an add-on to see the Gorillas in Rwanda available prior to the safari - ask for information.