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Grand Safari: Kenya & TanzaniaAugust 24, 2013 - September 7, 2013
Priced from: $10,990
Below please find the day-by-day itinerary for this expedition. Unless otherwise noted, daily excursion options are included in the cost of the trip. We do our best to adhere to the scheduled itinerary, but in the spirit of our expeditionary style of travel we may deviate slightly to take full advantage of encounters with the destination and its people, culture, and wildlife.
Aug 24 - Aug 26 USA / Nairobi, Kenya
Arrive on Day 2 and transfer to the historic Fairmont Norfolk Hotel for dinner and overnight.
On Day 3, your Kenya exploration begins in earnest with a visit to the Giraffe Center, established to save the rare Rothschild giraffe from the brink of extinction. Meet these engaging animals for an up-close look, with the opportunity to help the staff during feeding time. Savor lunch at the Blixen Coffee Garden then visit the home of Karen Blixen. It was here that the Danish baroness conducted her passionate but doomed love affair with a big-game hunter—as chronicled in her memoir, Out of Africa. Today’s grand finale is an exclusive visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage where rescued orphan elephants and rhinos are trained for their eventual release into the wild. Here you will meet the adorable baby elephant that has been adopted on your behalf. Return to our hotel for cocktails, dinner, and overnight.
Aug 27 - Aug 28 Amboseli National Park
Enjoy a 45-minute flight to Amboseli, a fabulous opportunity to spot wildlife from above and photograph epic vistas of African wilderness. Transfer to Tortilis Tented Camp set amid a stand of acacias and magnificently backdropped by snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro. Spend two days here embarking on early morning and late afternoon game drives, with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Over 80 different mammals are found here including some of Africa’s largest elephants, Cape buffalos, lions, baboons, a variety of antelope species, hippos, Masai giraffes, and wildebeest. Birders may spot cinnamon and golden-breasted buntings or the blue-headed coucal, among the over 400 species recorded here. Visit the Cynthia Moss Elephant Research Base to gain insight into the lives, welfare, and conservation efforts of Africa’s elephants, including the 50 elephant families living in Amboseli.
Aug 29 - Aug 31 Masai Mara Game Reserve
Board your flight and enjoy the grand scenery unfolding below. Set in the heart of the Great Plains, Masai Mara Game Reserve offers some of the best bird and wildlife viewing in Africa. Spend three nights at Governors’ Private Camp, reserved exclusively for our group, and splendidly situated on the banks of the Mara River.
Your safari begins in an area known as the Mara triangle, famous as the site where millions of wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River from Tanzania seeking fresh pastures. Given the abundance of prey, predators also abound, from lions and cheetahs to hyenas and jackals. View the age-old struggle of hunter and hunted from above during a sunrise balloon safari, followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush.
The Masai Mara is also home to the nomadic Maasai and you have the privilege to meet these strong and independent people during a visit to the Maasai Cultural Village and Mara Rianda Primary School. You also learn about the region’s first Bio-Gas Project, built by Governors’ Camp to help the Maasai conserve woodlands, reduce disease, and provide a reliable source of cooking fuel.
September 1 Arusha, Tanzania
Your scenic mid-morning flight across the Mara plains takes you to Nairobi, where you board a connecting flight to Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania, then drive to Arusha Coffee Lodge for a late lunch and an afternoon at leisure.
Sep 2 - Sep 3 Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, keep your camera ready as you drive through a variety of landscapes pausing atop the Rift Valley for magnificent views. Along the way sample traditional Tanzanian coffee and enjoy a visit with local schoolchildren. You will also meet with the local Iraqw tribe to learn about their culture and their traditional building and weaving, which has endured for more than 200 years. Arrive at The Manor at Ngorongoro set upon a sprawling coffee plantation, for dinner and overnight.
Spend a full day exploring the Ngorongoro Crater. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a giant caldera 12 miles across with a perfect ring of walls. Enjoy an elaborate, privately-catered picnic lunch as you descend 2,000 feet into the crater. The caldera is also known as “Africa’s Garden of Eden;” some 30,000 animals live here, including wildebeests, zebras, elephants, black-maned lions, leopards, buffalos, cheetahs, hyenas, warthogs, hippos, Thomson’s gazelles, elands, and reedbucks, as well as more than 100 species of birds not found in the Serengeti. The park has the most viable concentration of highly endangered black rhino, and is home to four lion prides and five cohesive clans of spotted hyena.
Sep 4 - Sep 5 Serengeti National Park
Board your flight and gaze in awe as you fly above the vast Serengeti. Covering 9,000 square miles of rolling savanna plains, this is Tanzania’s first, largest, and most famous park. The sweeping grasslands are home to countless zebras, gazelles, wildebeest, giraffes, elands, impalas, klipspringers, and more.
The aptly named Serengeti Migration Camp gives you a front-row seat to the wildlife activity with its position overlooking the Grumeti River. View crocodiles, hippos, and colobus monkeys along the thick wooded shores and head deep into the park where lions, leopards, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas hunt the millions of herbivores. Enjoy special farewell cocktails and a dinner on your last night in Africa.
Sep 6 - Sep 7 Nairobi, Kenya / USA
After one last African sunrise, transfer to Nairobi (via Kilimanjaro). Relax in your dayroom at the Fairmont Norfolk Hotel before transferring to the airport for your independent flight, arriving home on Day 15.