TTS32 – 12 Nights
Prices As Follows:
|1||Nairobi||Welcome to Nairobi the Capital City! Meet local driver/guides then transfer to your Karen Coffee Garden Hotel.
Dubbed the “Safari Capital of the World” cool, clear and cosmopolitan Nairobi is the natural departure point for most safari itineraries and most of the famous safaris of colonial history set out from here. A city of contrasts, it is simultaneously the largest, the youngest, the most modern, the highest 5500ft. and the fastest growing city in East Africa. High-altitude Nairobi enjoys a pleasant tropical climate all year round.
Nairobi, meaning “place of cool waters” came into being in May 1899 as an artificial settlement created by the European builders of the East African railway, halfway between Mombasa and Uganda. Set in bleak swamps, it began life as a supply depot and campsite for the thousands of Indian laborers that were employed to build the so-called “Lunatic Line”. Thereafter it developed rapidly and by 1907 was firmly established as the colonial capital of the newly formed “British East Africa”. Today, it is a thriving business capital and a vibrant cultural melting pot.
Kenya is sometimes called the cultural microcosm of Africa, people from all over the continent having migrated here over the last 4,000 years, each bringing with them a distinctive features of their homeland to add to the richness of the cultural kaleidoscope. The result is a vibrant mosaic of peoples that melds 40 different ethnic groups into one colorfully harmonious whole. In much the same way, the people of Nairobi reflect a refreshing blend of a number of different tribes. Later this morning depart to experience the best of Nairobi, David Scheldricks Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Center. Lunch at the Carnivore restaurant, a wild culinary extravaganza!, dinner at the hotel. Sleep fast tonight, tomorrow you will be on SAFARI!
|2||Amboseli||After breakfast you drive from Nairobi over the scenic Athi Plains and into the bush country of Amboseli Park. Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Amboseli is the home to the legendary Maasai tribesmen and is world-famous for its tremendous variety of big game. You arrive mid afternoon for a late lunch at the Amboseli Serena Lodge. Spectacular game runs are planned for the next two days. Kilimanjaro dominates the view from every direction. Animals are seen browsing in the grasses and drinking in the waterhole directly outside the lodge.
Tonight you will enjoy the wonderful atmosphere of the Amboseli Serena Lodge, inspired by local Maasai architecture in total harmony with the environment. Each bungalow conveys a distinctive Maasai Manyatta mood and furnished with authentic African murals painted by a local artist.
Framed against the glorious backdrop of Africa’s highest mountain, the magnificently beautiful Mount Kilimanjaro, surrounded by miles of rolling grasslands, patrolled by vast herds of elephant, shaded by the lush, feathered-green of an acacia grove and hugging the banks of a gently flowing river, this very traditional yet supremely luxurious lodge is the safari destination of a lifetime.
Dinner tonight at the lodge, AMBOSELI SERENA LODGE.
|3||Amboseli||Amboseli National Park provides the classic Hollywood image of Africa. Set in rolling savannah scenery it is dwarfed by the presence of the pink-tinged, snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro which, at 19344 ft. is the highest free-standing mountain in the world and topped by one fifth of all the ice in Africa. Against this magnificent backdrop roam vast herds of elephant accompanied by a kaleidoscope of other fabulous beasts – lion, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, baboon, gazelle hippo and wildebeest to name but a few. There are also over 400 species of birds, all manner of reptilian, f1ora and fauna and some of the most soul-searing views in Africa. Today enjoy an early morning and late afternoon game/drive. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon writing post cards or cooling off in the inviting swimming pool.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: AMBOSELI SERENA LODGE
Early morning after breakfast you depart from magical Kenya and Amboseli to the famous game parks of Tanzania. After clearing immigration and customs at the border town of Namanga you continue adventure arriving Arusha for lunch. Arrive lake Manyara, late afternoon, Standing high on the bluff of a dramatic ochre and terracotta streaked cliff above the flamingo frosted expanse of Lake Manyara’s gleaming alkaline waters, the Lodge commands panoramic views across the volcano-studded floor of the Great Rift Valley.
Designed to reflect the brilliance of Lake Manyara’s unique birdlife, the Lodge draws on an inspirational architectural motif that melds swooping avian curves with the gent]c concentric patterns of traditional Maasai ‘Bomas’ (encampments) whilst the vibrantly colored frescoes lining the walls are designed to depict the colorful intricacy of bird migratory patterns.
Although Lake Manyara National Park covers an area of only 123 sq miles, its terrain is so diverse that its mammal and bird lists are some of the most impressive in Tanzania. The Park includes not only a substantial portion of the lake and its shores but also large areas of ground water forest with giant fig and mahogany trees alternating with acacia woodland and open swamplands. The Park is bordered to the west by the dramatic western escarpment of the Rift Valley and to the east by the Lake which spreads out in a shimmering heat haze backed by a narrow band of forest and the sheer red and brown cliffs .of the escarpment. The name is derived from the Maasai word for the Euphorbia tirucalli bush which the tribesmen plant as a Living stockade to keep their cattle from straying.
As to wildlife, the park offers abundant sightings of; monkey, jackal, mongoose, hyena, hyrax, zebra, hippo, warthog, buffalo, Masai giraffe, duiker, waterbuck and impala. Significant numbers of elephant are also resident in the Park whilst sightings of black rhino and leopard are not uncommon. Manyara is also especially noted for its wealth of bird life, being visited by many thousands of sugar-pink Lesser Flamingos, significant numbers of Greater Flamingoes and a host of other woodland, plains and water birds. Manyara will reveal all its spender and beauty, as you look for its treasure chest of birds and animals. Look for the tree-climbing lions! Dinner and overnight at the lodge looking out over the Great Rift Valley.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: LAKE MANYARA SAFARI LODGE
This morning after breakfast drive along the top of Rift Valley, where you’ll have a beautiful views over the park and surrounding farmlands. Take a break at a colonial style hotel in the town of Karatu to enjoy traditional Tanzanian hospitality.
The friendly staff will meet you on arrival at Gibbs Farm, where you will stop for a wonderful home made lunch. You’ll take a tour of the property to see a vast ten-acre fruit and organic vegetable garden and a working coffee farm. You will also visit the local Iraqw’s tribe to view the women weaving, see how they live today and learn about their culture. If time permits, visit a local village school.
Depart Gibbs Farm and continue to the legendary Ngorongoro Crater, known as “Africa’s Garden of Eden.” Here, you’ll gaze upon one of the greatest natural wonders in the world. Ngorongoro Crater is a designated World Heritage Site likened to Noah’s Ark in its preservation of diversity.
Rising from the eastern arm of the Rift Valley, Ngorongoro was once a gigantic volcano, perhaps taller than Kilimanjaro. When the volcano collapsed, a caldera (vast bowl-like depression) was formed. Measuring about 12 miles across, Ngorongoro Crater is ringed by an amphitheater of steep 1 ,640-foot-high walls. It is one of the most perfectly formed – and certainly the most spectacular – calderas on the planet.
The Ngorongoro Crater shelters forests, grasslands, fresh springs, a large lake, and a dazzling abundance of animals of all sorts. The sunken cone of the extinct volcano serves as a natural cradle for the wildlife, which remains here all year around.
You arrive late afternoon, checking into our high altitude deluxe accommodations. Perched on the jagged rim of the crater, wreathed in morning mist, camouflaged in river-stone and cloaked in indigenous crcepC1″S, 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 t1aming wall-lanterns, clad in gigantic volcanic boulders and decorated by the iron spears, bright-beaded robes and intricately carven artifacts of the Maasai, the Lodge is a unique blend of world-class luxury, timeless volcanic splendor 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. Local entertainment and dinner at the lodge and then the miracle of sleep tonight with the sweet smells of Africa at 8000 ft.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: NGORONGORO SERENA CRATER LODGE
This morning adventure awaits, after breakfast you head out for a full day in the crater. Nothing can prepare you for the extraordinary sights as you descend 2,000 feet into the mouth of the crater and onto the crater floor. You’ll discover yourself in a sea of unspoiled plains swarming with animals. The caldera encompasses a self-contained ecosystem, which sustains one of the greatest concentrations of wildlife on earth.
An African Eden, it teems with 30,000 wild animals, almost half of them being zebra and wildebeest. Animals resident within this vast intact ecosystem include some of Africa’s last black rhino, giant-tusked elephant, black-maned lions, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, hyena, warthog, hippo, Thomson’s gazelle, eland and reedbuck. You’ll experience a thrilling full-day game drive in a closed Land Rover with a pop-up roof and enjoy a picnic lunch within the crater.
For those who wish to see the fierce cats of Africa, the crater is a dream come true, an abundance of predators are drawn by the vast herds of antelope. The golden jackal is frequently seen during the day, while the black-backed jackal and bat-eared fox are most active after dark. A small, but growing population of black rhino live on the Crater floor, being the most viable concentration of this highly endangered species in Tanzania. Wonderful sightings of black rhino bulls, or mothers and their calves, are commonplace and provide excellent photographic opportunities against the backdrop of the Crater rim.
Four powerful lion prides and five cohesive clans of spotted hyena are the super-predators in this ecosystem, often coming to blows over prey. The resident elephant population includes many old and magnificent bulls, sporting huge ivory tusks of record sizes. Breeding herds of females and young keep to the dense forested slopes and are rarely seen. About 400 bird species occur in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Interestingly, over 100 species of birds not found in the Serengeti have been spotted in the Crater area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is not a national park, but an integrated region that strives to meet the social and developmental needs of the resident Maasai people. The conservation area is also involved in soil, water catchments and wildlife conservation, as well as the sensitive development of ecotourism. Local Maasai people have grazing rights on the NCA plains, and you may well be surprised by the sight of them tending their herds alongside zebra and other wild animals.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: NGORNGORO SERENA CRATER LODGE
Once again an early morning departure, a spectacular drive with promises to see the greatest natural animal show on earth!
Drive to the legendary Serengeti National Park, visiting en route the legendary Olduvai Gorge, or more precisely Oldupai Gorge (the correct Maasai name), is where many of the world’s most important archaeological finds have been made. You’ll find the drive to the gorge is breathtaking, with panoramic views of volcanic mountains in the distance, and wildflowers alongside the road. Some of mankind’s earliest ancestors are known to have lived in the Ngorongoro area, where the rich fossil sites of Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli have earned this part of the continent the title “Cradle of Mankind.”
Features thickly- thatched, stone- built rooms, spaciously set amongst groves of indigenous trees that are cooled by sparking streams and papyrus-fringed ponds. The circular bar, its roof supported by massive carven figures of warriors, maidens and w-elders, looks out over the sky- blue, ‘vanishing horizon’ swimming pool towards the miles of lion- gold savanna but lie below, wherein is enacted the thunderous theater 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. After an incredible morning we arrive at the lodge for a late lunch and short rest, maybe a refreshing swim. Then were off again to conquer the world- famous Serengeti. Derived from the Maasai phrase meaning “endless plains, “the Serengeti is the scene of the greatest wildlife migration on earth, sweeping back and forth in ancient rhythm with the seasons. The vast and sensational Serengeti covers over 9,000-square miles of endlessly rolling savannah plains. It is Tanzania’s first established, largest and most famous park.
In the great Serengeti kingdom, the large predators- lion. Leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena-remain locked in an age-old battle for supremacy, with millions of herbivores as their quarry. You will be privileged to witness the savage rituals of predator and prey acted out of each day on these plains of plenty. Hundreds of animals, have you lost track? We all deserve a quite and relaxing evening, dinner at the lodge and plenty of rest! Tomorrow you will need to smell like a leopard to spot all the possible prey and excitement.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: SERENGETI SERENA LODGE
|8||Serengeti||Full day in the world famous Serengeti.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: SERENGETI SERENA LODGE
|9||Serengeti||Today morning and evening game drives, plenty of free time in the afternoon to swim.
Your action- packed game drives will afford you a glimpse of the black-maned lion for which the park is renowned, as well their prey – zebra, giraffe, Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, eland, impala and klipspringer. The million- plus wildebeest are the predominate herbivorous and also the main prey if a huge cast of large carnivores- principally lion, cheetah and hyena. There are unparalleled ornithological opportunities in this unrivaled natural area, where the glory and harmony can be appreciated as nowhere else on earth.
They then head west on the first leg of a roughly triangular 800- km circuit that takes approximately 3-4 months and ends in the Maasai Mara National reserve of Kenya. When the grazing here is exhausted the tide of herbivorous turns and reverses its progress returning to the short grass plains of Tanzania. Your last day in the Serengeti, so many stories to tell and so many questioned answered.
Dinner and over night at the lodge: SERENGETI SERENA LODGE
Morning safari drive through the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara, two countries but one ecosystem. We are going to cross the border from Tanzania into Kenya, after completing formalities we continue onto our Maasai influenced lodge for check- in and lunch. For the next three nights will be privileged to share and experience one of the worlds most prolific and dynamic animal reserves, also home to famous people Secreted deep within the Masai Mara National Reserve, the Mara Serena Safari Lodge is the ultimate safari destination. Set high on a bush- cloaked hill, embraced by arcing vistas and washed by a sea of richly rolling grasslands, it stands centre- stage to one of Africa’s most dramatic wildlife arenas and has a ringside for the greatest wildlife show on Earth, the legendary migration of the wildebeest.
During stay in the Maasai Mara you will enjoy morning and afternoon games drives daily, afternoons at leisure. Swimming pool is always available for your use during daylight hours. All meals will be served at the Serena Lodge. Look forward to special farewell party in your last night in the Mara. Sweet and tasty smells as were enjoy a delightful African styled BBQ at sunset!
Dinner and over night at the lodge: MARA SERENA LODGE.
|13||Nairobi||All good things must come to an end, but you have one last morning to enjoy one last game drive. Bask in the glory of nature and savor the treasures of Africa, truly a dream come true and an adventure never to be forgotten! After breakfast transfer to the airstrip for your short flight to Nairobi. Day rooms at the Karen Coffee Garden Hotel, Enjoy lunch, relax the complete your shopping before transferring to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for return flight home.|
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