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Look for wildlife on a guided game drive

East Africa Trails

Example 13 Day Tour
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Spend 13 days exploring the best of Kenya and Tanzania on this exciting small-group tour. Our tour begins in Nairobi and ends in Arusha, allowing us to experience some of East Africa's vibrant urban centers and the fascinating national parks in between. In Kenya we will explore Nairobi's leafy Karen neighborhood, visit an elephant orphanage and search for wildlife in the famous Masai Mara. Our time in Tanzania takes us to the Serengeti National Park and into the stunning caldera of Ngorongoro Crater. Return home with lasting memories of East Africa's exceptional wildlife, friendly people and beautiful scenery. 
Masai tribe woman dancingA family basks in the warm Kenyan sunA giraffe family on the savannaLook for wildlife on a guided game drive
  • Visit an elephant sanctuary in Karen, Nairobi
  • Search for wildlife in the Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park
  • Learn about the region's important role as the "Cradle of Mankind"
Activity Level: Easy Active

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

Upon your arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, meet your safari representative for a quick safari briefing before transferring to our hotel for the evening. Located in Nairobi's exclusive Karen Suburb, the Karen Residence offers a comfortable first night stay in Kenya. If you have an appetite, head down to the Club Restaurant for dinner (at own cost) before settling in to rest for the evening. 

Day 2: Lake Elmenteita

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Meet your driver guide after breakfast, setting out for a tour of the leafy Karen Suburbs. Our first stop is the Giraffe Center, where we will spend about an hour experiencing unique interactions with the resident giraffe population. Next, we are off to the Daphne Sheldricks' Elephant Orphanage. Here we will visit the baby elephants rescued from threatening situations in Kenya's various national parks and learn about this important conservation project. Our final stop this morning is at the famous "Out of Africa" Karen Blixen Museum, where we will go back in time and discover what life was like in Nairobi in the 1920s. Enjoy lunch in the museum's scenic gardens before leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi behind. 

We soon arrive at Lake Elmenteita, a beautiful soda ash lake located in the famous Great Rift Valley. Elmenteita, meaning "place of dust", is a World Heritage Site due to its prolific bird life, most notable of which is its large population of visiting flamingos. After admiring this unique landscape we arrive at our lodge. Settle in for a peaceful night sleep. 

Day 3: Lake Elmenteita

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early for a hearty breakfast before setting out a full day game drive to Lake Nakuru National Park. The lake, situated in the middle of Lake Nakuru National Park, is teeming with wildlife. Search for lion, buffalo, rhino and even a leopard relaxing in a tree beside the lake. Return to Sunbird Lodge to enjoy the sunset over the lake, toasting to the day's adventures. 

Day 4: Masai Mara

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we make our way to the Masai Mara National Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and some relaxation at camp. As the temperatures of the late afternoon drop we step back into our safari vehicles, setting out in search of the Masai Mara's famous wildlife. The Masai Mara is one of the continent's greatest wildlife reserves and game viewing is spectacular year-round; spot a pride of lions stalking prey, observe the intriguing social structure of an elephant herd, or watch a pod of hippos as they wallow in the watering hole. If visiting in July, you may have the opportunity to witness one of the greatest of nature's wonders: the great wildebeest migration and dramatic river crossings of over two million animals. An optional visit to a traditional Masai village or hot air balloon ride can be arranged at an additional cost, please inquire with your Trip Planner. 

Enjoy dinner back at the camp (Fig Tree Bush Camp or similar). 

Day 5-6: Masai Mara

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Enjoy two exciting days of game viewing and optional activities in one of the world's most memorable parks. This is the ideal time to take a hot air balloon safari across the Masai Mara, where, (at an additional cost), you can sore high above the park in search of game and a different perspective! If you opt to not book the balloon tour, we will set out by vehicle across the mara plains in search of the Big Five and other game. 

Day 7: Arusha

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast we will check out of our Masai Mara Camp and return to Nairobi, where we will board the public shuttle to Arusha, Tanzania. Transfer to Mount Meru Game Lodge, enjoying dinner and restful sleep after a long day of travel. Tanzania awaits! 

Alternatively, you can select to fly from Nairobi to Arusha for an additional cost. Please inquire. 

Day 8: Lake Manyara National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early to enjoy views of Mount Meru before heading down for a delicious breakfast. Meet your guide and set out for Tarangire National Park, a beautiful park famous for its massive herds of elephant and unique baobab trees. The elephants in Tarangire are said to reach as many as 500, and during dry the season this park becomes a haven for migratory species clustering around the various watering holes. 

As the afternoon light begins to fade, we make our way out of the park and to our next safari camp in the Great Rift Valley Escarpment. Upon arrival you will be assisted with check-in and shown to your tent. 

Day 9-10: Central Serengeti

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we set out for the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park. Spend the next two days in search of the park's massive concentrations of wildebeest, zebra and other Tanzanian wildlife as they search for new pastures and watering holes. Look on as a golden-maned lion stalks its prey, a leopard wanders in the tall grass and herds of elephants roam the vast plains. For those that choose, enjoy an optional hot-air balloon tour at dawn, just as the sun's golden rays illuminate this beautiful land. 

Day 11: Karatu

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Check out after breakfast this morning, setting out toward the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Stop along the way at the Olduvai Gorge, one of the world's most important prehistoric sites. Here we will learn why this gorge is referred to as the "Cradle of Mankind", and the vital role this area played in the African origin story of humankind. After this informative lecture and tour we proceed onward to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where we will drive through the Crater Rim to view - weather permitting - the beautiful Crater. 

Settle in at our new lodge for the evening, enjoying dinner and the lush grounds of Karatu Area. 

Day 12: Ngorongoro Crater

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rise early to maximize our day in the Ngorongoro Crater. This deep, volcanic crater is the largest un-flooded and unbroken caldera in the world, measuring about 12 miles across and 1,970 feet deep for a total area of 116 square miles. The crater's high walls serve as a natural enclosure for the abundance of wildlife existing and thriving within the caldera, offering an exceptional chance to view the Big Five. Return to our lodge in time to freshen up and enjoy one final dinner in Tanzania. 

Day 13: Arusha | Departure

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Check out after breakfast and drive to Lake Manyara National Park, our final stop in our exploration of East Africa. Lake Manyara is considerably smaller than Tanzania's other national parks, but this often overlooked gem was described by Ernest Hemingway as "the loveliest place I have ever seen". Here we will view beautiful resident flamingos, search for lions roaming the park, and the troops of baboons making their way through the rainforest. The park also boasts large herds of buffalo and zebra. 

At a time convenient to your onward plans, make your way back to Arusha for lunch. Fly home or continue your trip to the island paradise of Zanzibar!

Depending on your onward travel plans, transfer to either Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport (additional supplement of $120 per vehicle for the transfer to JRO). 


Fig Tree Bush Camp

King bed in raised tents
Sitting area on deck
Raised tents

Mount Meru Game Lodge

Mount Meru Game Lodge in Tanzania
Mount Meru Game Lodge in Tanzania

Kati Kati Tented Camp

Kati Kati traditional bushcamp in the Serengeti
Kati Kati traditional bushcamp in the Serengeti
Kati Kati traditional bushcamp in the Serengeti

Acacia Farm Lodge

Enjoy a restful stay at Acacia Farm Lodge
Enjoy a restful stay at Acacia Farm Lodge
Enjoy a restful stay at Acacia Farm Lodge

The Residences at Karen

The Residences at Karen in Nairobi, Kenya
The Residences at Karen overlooking the golf course

Sunbird Lodge

Sunbird Lodge looks out over the Great Rift Valley
Sunbird Lodge looks out over the Great Rift Valley
Sunbird Lodge looks out over the Great Rift Valley

Honeyguide Tarangire Camp

Dates & Prices

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  • 12 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 11 Dinners, 6 Box Lunches
  • 12 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Tourist Visa


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.


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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney
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