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East Africa Safari – Kenya & Tanzania


This luxury safari is the best of both worlds combining the rugged landscapes of East Africa with the modern comforts of beautiful lodges & plush tented-camps. Kenya and Tanzania’s dramatic geography has resulted in a great range of natural habitats, harbouring a huge variety of wildlife. Both on and off the tourist routes, you’ll find warmth and openness, and an abundance of spectacular scenery – rolling savanna dotted with Maasai herds and wild animals, high Kikuyu moorlands grazed by cattle and sheep, and dense forests full of monkeys and birds singing.

On this East Africa safari track the “Big 5” across the endless plains of the Serengeti and Maasai Mara to the unique ecosystem of Ngorongoro Crater, and to several incredible Rift Valley lakes. Experience one of the greatest spectacles in the natural world, the extraordinary annual Great Migration of wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle across East Africa. This is the adventure of a lifetime and should be on everyone’s bucket list!

Contact us for a curated adventure to this incredible part of the world. Please note that this is a fully customizable itinerary and can be tailored to best suit your travel needs.


[vc_row][vc_column][trx_section][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”Highlights” tab_id=”1449208778331-f30d2fa3-c18c”][vc_column_text]Highlights include:

  • Staying at some of the best lodges and luxury camps in East Africa
  • Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Maasai Mara, Lake Manyara, and Lake Nakuru game drives
  • Catching a glimpse of Maasai life, learning about their culture and beliefs
  • Tracking Africa’s “Big 5” – lion, rhino, elephant, cape buffalo, and leopard
  • Experiencing local cuisine and visiting Gibb’s Farm
  • Trekking through spectacular East African landscapes with your local guides
  • Walking with the Giraffes on Crescent Island
  • Visiting the “Cradle of Humankind” at Olduvai Gorge
  • Tour of Nairobi including Karen Blixen House, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, & Giraffe Centre

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Day 1: Arrival in Arusha

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International airport, you shall be met by our representative and be transferred to the hotel. Nestled at the foot of Mount Meru, Arusha is a bustling, attractive city and the starting point for our safari. As today is arrival day, there are no planned activities.

Overnight: Arusha Mountain Village Lodge

Meals: Dinner

Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park & Gibb’s Farm

After an early breakfast, we travel to Lake Manyara National Park for our first game drive. Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. It offers a compact game-viewing circuit which offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.After lunch, proceed to Gibb’s Farm which was one of the first guesthouses in northern Tanzania and began as a coffee farm in the late 1920’s. Before dinner we sit around the bonfire that helps to keep elephants away from the farm, and share some of the interesting local tales.


Overnight: Gibb’s Farm (subject to change)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Travel to Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, learn about the coffee roasting process and wander around the farm’s beautiful seven acres of garden, where all the produce served on the farm is grown.

We bid farewell to our wonderful hosts at Gibb’s Farm and continue to Ngorongoro Crater, an extinct volcano that collapsed in on itself around 25 million years ago thus forming a vast bowl where the largest permanent concentration of African game is on display. This afternoon we visit a Maasai Boma (homestead) to experience first-hand the way of life of the nomadic people, still clinging to their traditional way of life.


Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater

The views from the top of the crater wall are absolutely breathtaking as we descend in our four wheel drive vehicles into this primeval paradise of woodland, lake, river, swamp and plain that shelters around 20,000 animals. Many of these are the large grazing animals such as wildebeest, buffalo, gazelle, and zebra who depend on the open grasslands in the crater. These attract the attendant predators, the black-maned lion, the leopard, and hyena. The elephant found within the caldera tend to be the lone males who have left the herds in the forested crater rim. When the water stocks are low elsewhere, animals within this micro-world turn to the swamps for fresh water and food. We search the crater for lions, elephants, zebra, hippo, buffalos, and rhino to name a few.

Our lunch today will be picnic-style lunch on the crater floor. After an exciting day of safari, you will return to the lodge.

Overnight: Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Olduvai & The Serengeti

After breakfast we head along the Great Rift Valley to Olduvai Gorge “the Cradle of Mankind” and site of one of the most important and controversial Palaeolithic finds in recent history. Visiting the information centre, we enjoy a lecture about the Leakeys and their incredible finds such as the remains of early hominids “Nutcracker Man” and “Toolmaking Man”.

From Olduvai Gorge we continue to the Serengeti where we’ll have lunch at our lodge. The Serengeti Serena Lodge is ideally located for safari game drives as well as optional activities such as balloon safaris, guided walks etc.


This afternoon you will have your first game drive in the Serengeti, Tanzania’s most famous park which covers 14,763 sq km of endlessly rolling savannah plains, rivers, swamps, and volcanic massifs. Tens of thousands of hoofed animals roam in a constant and unrelenting search for the fresh grasslands upon which their survival depends.


Overnight: Serengeti Serena Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Serengeti

The name comes from the Maasai word “siringet” meaning ‘endless plain’. Due to this diverse ecosystem it is undoubtedly one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. The Serengeti is home to over 2 million wildebeest, half a million Thomson’s gazelle, and a quarter of a million zebra, giraffe, eland, topi, impala and other antelope. The predators are also well represented by lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. In total, there are nearly 35 species of savannah animals and almost 500 species of birds including lilac-breasted rollers, barbets, and ring-necked doves living in this animal kingdom.

Today we have both morning and afternoon game-drives in the park. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at the lodge, where guided nature walks can also be taken (extra cost).


Overnight: Serengeti Serena Lodge

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Maasai Mara

This morning we depart with picnic lunches, and exit Serengeti from the Western side, close to Lake Victoria. This is where we bid farewell to our Tanzania guides and cross the border into Kenya at Isabenia and proceed to Maasai Mara. We enjoy a game-drive en route to our luxury tented camp, Ashnil Mara, located close to the Mara River. There’ll be time to take a refreshing dip in the pool before proceeding for dinner.

Overnight: Ashnil Mara Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: The Maasai Mara

Offering an abundance of herbivores, the Maasai Mara makes the ideal hunting ground for Kenya’s famous ‘big cats’ and hosts her largest population of lions. It also offers the best chance of spotting a leopard in the wild as well as other predators such as cheetah and spotted hyena.

Historically teaming with wildlife, the Mara is famous for the large herds of elephant and buffalo that meander its plains; also for the fat pods of hippo that wallow in its mud-brown rivers. Other stars of the reserve include the distinctive Maasai giraffe, plum-coloured topi, Coke’s hartebeest, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, zebra, impala, Kirk’s dik-dik, bushbuck, waterbuck, and red duiker. The Maasai Mara also boasts plentiful Nile crocodile, monitor lizard, baboon, vervet monkeys, blue and red-tailed monkeys, nocturnal bush babies, and tree hyrax plus a plethora of resident and migratory birds.


With a full day to enjoy all that the Mara has to offer, we will have a morning game drive and, in the afternoon, a chance to sample nature and some of the wildlife on foot. With a guide and in the company of an armed ranger, we walk along the edge of the park identifying birds, animals and plants along the way.


Overnight: Ashnil Mara Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: The Maasai Mara

Today we have the opportunity to further explore the Mara with game drives in the reserve in both the morning and afternoon.

Overnight: Ashnil Mara Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Soysambu Conservancy

After an early breakfast, we drive northbound to the Mbweha Camp located in Soysambu Conservancy and near Lake Nakuru National Park.

This afternoon we have a game drive in Soysambu Conservancy, a non-profit organisation that endeavours to preserve Africa’s unique Great Rift Valley ecosystem. Home to an astounding variety of flora and fauna, including Colobus Monkey and the semi-endangered Rothschild Giraffe, Lake Elmenteita’s islands are the only breeding ground of the Great White Pelican in East Africa. Both Lesser and Greater Flamingo also frequent the lake. More than 450 species of birdlife and 15 000 wildlife were recently counted on the Soysambu census.


Overnight: Mbweha Luxury Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lake Nakuru National Park

After an early breakfast, we head to Lake Nakuru National Park for a game drive. The most famous of the Great Rift Valley lakes, Lake Nakuru is renowned for its magnificent birdlife, especially the flamingos which seasonally flock there to be deemed ‘the greatest bird spectacle on earth’. Its alkaline waters, the pink-frosted shores and sky-mirrored waters of Lake Nakuru yield some of the most evocatively beautiful photo-images in Africa. This 188 square kilometre park is a paradise for those who are particularly interested in ornithology and also offers the opportunity of seeing both white and black rhino, the rare Rothchild’s giraffe, large herds of cape buffalo, and an abundance of various plains game. Sightings of leopard resting in the branches of acacia trees are very common.

We return to our camp for lunch with an afternoon at leisure. We’ll dine early so that we can participate in a night game drive in Soysambu Conservancy – a chance to see some of those very elusive, nocturnal species.


Overnight: Mbweha Luxury Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Lake Naivasha – Crescent Island – Nairobi

This morning we proceed to Lake Naivasha, a freshwater lake and the highest of the string of lakes that glitter down the vast trench of the Great Rift Valley. Towered over by the brooding bulk of Mount Longonot (2 776 m), and featuring a submerged volcanic island known as Crescent Island, this beautiful lake is best known for its high numbers of water birds. We will take a boat trip to Crescent Island, now preserved as wildlife sanctuary, where we’ll walk among giraffe, wildebeests, zebra, and impala.

After standing in the shadows of giants, we take the boat back to the lake shore for lunch in one of the nearby lodges before continuing to Nairobi. Both the capital and the largest city in Kenya, Nairobi is the most important centre in East Africa.


Overnight: Nairobi Panafric Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Nairobi & Departure

After enjoying breakfast, we drive to David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, at the edge of Nairobi National Park. The Wildlife Trust takes care of orphaned baby elephants and rhinos which we’ll have the opportunity to observe at feeding time. Continuing on from our ‘cute overdose’, we visit the Giraffe Centre, where you can feed these gentle giants. We end our tour with a visit to the charming farmhouse of the author of Out of Africa, Karen Blixen who lived there from 1914 to 1931.

We transfer this evening to Jomo Kenyatta International airport for our international flights.


Thanks for travelling with Finisterra!

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Mountain Village Lodge

Secreted in the depths of a tree-shaded coffee plantation, wreathed in multi-coloured tresses of tumbling bougainvillea, cooled by mountain streams and strung like a necklace around the shores of an idyllic wooded lake, Mountain Village offers a haven of calm and serenity just outside the hustle and bustle of Arusha, Tanzania’s premier ‘Safari Town’.


Set in the flowered gardens of a coffee planter’s farm house and surrounded by rolling groves of wax-green coffee bushes, Mountain Village offers wide timbered decks with panoramic views over Lake Duluti, and a selection of ethnically-styled ‘Rondavel’ village-cluster rooms, each one neatly thatched with ‘Makuti’ stems, lavishly embellished with ‘Makonde’ carvings and comfortably furnished in traditional safari style.


Ngorongoro Serena Lodge

Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous creepers, the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge is a triumph of ecological and architectural fusion. Sensitively constructed so as to take nothing from its environment whilst affording endless vistas over the heat-shimmering reaches of the crater below, the clustered boulder-built buildings of the Lodge hug the crater rim, linked by rope-lashed timber walkways that skirt the buttressed roots of ancient, liana-hung trees.


The interior, radiating out from the primeval log fire glowing at the heart of the Lodge, blends the concentrated hush of a game-viewing hide with the ochre, rust and charcoal images of a prehistoric cavern. Lit by flaming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carven artefacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendour and ethnic style. As for the views, from lilac-streaked sunrise, to indigo star-studded night, the immeasurably ancient Ngorongoro Crater delivers a theatre of vistas, most unchanged since the dawn of time.


Serengeti Serena Lodge

Set high on the saddle of tree-clad ridge commanding panoramic views over the endlessly rolling reaches and volcanic reefs of the Serengeti, the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate fusion of traditional African architecture and world-class style. Drawing its inspiration from the circular ‘Rondavel’ dwellings and winding paths of a traditional Maasai village, the Lodge features thickly-thatched, stone-built rooms, spaciously set amongst groves of indigenous trees that are cooled by sparkling streams and papyrus-fringed ponds.


The circular bar, its roof supported by massive carven figures of warriors, maidens and elders, looks out over the sky-blue, ‘vanishing horizon’ swimming pool towards the miles of lion-gold savannah that lie below, wherein is enacted the thunderous theatre of the million-strong wildebeest migration. As for views, from lilac-streaked sunrise, to diamond-domed night, the searingly sensational Serengeti delivers a series of timeless volcanic vistas that are second to none.


Ashnil Mara Camp

Ashnil Mara Camp, offers 30 luxury tents, while being located in the Maasai Mara National Reserve and close to the Mara River famous for the wildebeest migration.


Each with private veranda and ensuite bathroom (with hot and cold running water and flushed WC). At night, the winding paths between the widely-spaced tents are lit by hurricane lanterns imparting a uniquely magical feel to this unique tented camp.


The camp offers a central dining area and bar. The Ashnil Mara Camp menu will typically include a wide selection of typically East African Safari or Kenya favourites as well as numerous international choices (vegetarian options always available).


Panafric Hotel

When the quest for Africa’s Independence raged in the 1960’s, Sarova Panafric was the center of liberalism and hushed political meetings hosting many of Africa’s nationalists and future African statesmen. Named in honor of the Pan African movement, Sarova Panafric was inaugurated by the first president of Kenya H.E. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta on the 5th January 1965 and truly represents Neo Africa. Idyllically located 5 minutes drive from the CBD, amidst beautifully landscaped gardens in a quiet suburb of Nairobi.


Panafric has 153 Spacious bedrooms well spread in 6 storeys. 4 Suites, 13 Club in 3 twin and 10 doubles. 69 Superior on 14 twin and 55 double. 71 Standard in 65 twin and 6 double. They have 2 rooms for physically challenged and massage room. All rooms have private bath with shower and WC, direct dial telephone with voice mail, Satellite TV with remote control, Minibars in suites and all club rooms.


Enjoy leisurely meals at the lively and warm Flame tree restaurant, once the watering hole for freedom fighters, spies and foreign correspondents and named after the Flame Tree that holds pride of place in the gardens. Sarova Panafric offers state of the art banqueting and conferencing facilities with a range of meeting and function rooms equipped with the latest audio visual and WIFI equipment. To wind up the day, take a dip in the pool or go for a leisurely massage – or simply enjoy a cool drink to the soothing sounds of Africa’s rhythm.
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Tour Inclusions:

  • 12 nights hotel, lodge, luxury camp accommodation based on double occupancy (single supplement available)
  • Meals as specified (12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners)
  • Services of a Kenyan & Tanzanian driver/guides
  • Entrance fees to all the sites and parks mentioned in the program
  • Transportation in 4-WD driven by experienced driver/guide
  • Airport transfers
  • All applicable taxes

Tour Exclusions:

  • International flights
  • All tips for local guides, drivers, lodge staff, porters, etc
  • Services not specified, meals not specified
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • Visas* – at the moment $50US per person to enter Kenya (Canadians) and another $50US to enter Tanzania (Canadians) – US Passport holders pay $100US for Tanzania (*Subject to Change)
  • Optional trip cancellation insurance
  • Personal items, laundry, and beverages
  • Departure taxes (domestic and international if applicable)
  • Optional Hot Air Balloon (approx $450US)

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    • Date: Custom Departures

*Also note, the hotels and routing of this tour can be altered to best suit your needs. Prices may vary depending on time of year (high season/low season). Price will drop if more than 4 participants. 

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