Luxury Small Group Journeys: The finest small-group travel experience
Witness East Africa's abundant wildlife on game drives through the region's most stunning parks and reserves, staying in our best boutique camp and luxury lodge accommodations.
DAY 1. ARRIVE NAIROBI, KENYA
Arrive in Nairobi and transfer to your luxurious accommodations. Probably Kenya’s most famous hotel, Fairmont The Norfolk is in many ways the heart of Nairobi and has been welcoming generations of safari-goers since it first opened its doors on Christmas Day, 1904.
DAY 2. AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK | AT THE FOOT OF KILIMANJARO
Today, drive to Amboseli National Park at the base of soaring, snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro, which, at 19,341 feet, is the highest freestanding mountain in the world. Set out in search of the region’s spectacular wildlife — African savanna elephants, leopards, cheetahs and hosts of plains game — all roaming freely amid swamps, springs, and a shimmering, dried lakebed. This evening, gather with fellow guests for a welcome dinner celebrating the start of an unforgettable safari adventure.
DAY 3. AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK | A FULL DAY IN THE BUSH
Spend a full day exploring wildlife-rich Amboseli National Park, watching for lions and buffalo. Enjoy a morning on safari before breaking for lunch. This afternoon, make another game drive, capped with a refreshing sundowner.
DAY 4. TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK | ABUNDANT GAME VIEWING
Drive to the Tanzania border, stopping for lunch in Arusha. Fly from Arusha to Tarangire National Park and settle into your luxurious accommodations. Sanctuary Swala’s large tents are built on raised decks under umbrella acacia trees overlooking the Gurusi flood plains. The layout is very open with resident herds of impalas often grazing in camp. Wide panoramas of wooded savanna stretch in every direction in the park, which is nurtured by the permanent Tarangire River and populated by abundant big game, such as lions, elephants and buffalo. Its dusty red landscape also hosts a large bird population. Tonight, dine in camp.
DAY 5. TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK | INTO THE WILD
Today, embark on morning and afternoon game drives, seated six to a vehicle so that every guest enjoys a window seat. Explore Tarangire National Park backdropped by the spectacular, rusthued Great Rift Valley. At Tarangire, find a stunning concentration of animals — herds of elephants, impalas and zebras. Look, too, for pythons and the twitching tails of leopards, who hide high above in sausage trees. As dusk falls, you may opt for a night safari, available at an additional cost, to search for nocturnal animals rarely seen by visitors. You may encounter an African wildcat, the elusive leopard or spy the round eyes of a bushbaby. With specialized lighting, look for lions and hyenas and smaller creatures — spotted genets, servals, bat-eared foxes and nightjars. While at Swala, you also partake in a Chef’s Table experience, including a cooking demonstration of local dishes such as ugali, makande and kachumbari, followed by an opportunity to taste them.
DAY 6. NGORONGORO CRATER | WILDLIFE-RICH HAVEN
Learn how Africans live today, exploring in and around the village of Mto wa Mbu, as you Ride Like a Local by tuk-tuk, a major form of transport here. See rice fields and a banana plantation, and try banana beer at a local bar. In the village, enjoy a walk through the local market to see the colorful produce on display. After lunch in the village, head toward Ngorongoro Crater. Arrive at Gibb’s Farm, on the forested slopes of Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Established as a coffee farm in the 1920s and refurbished as a luxurious boutique inn, Gibb’s Farm offers you the charm of another era.
DAY 7. NGORONGORO CRATER | MAASAI VILLAGE VISIT
Today, set out on a full-day game drive in Ngorongoro Crater, exploring the panoramic, short-grass prairies along the floor of this ancient volcanic caldera, home to rare black rhinos as well as lions, hyenas and gazelles. The diverse and profuse wildlife dwelling within the encircling crater walls led this incredible “Lost World” to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also see colorfully garbed Maasai herdsmen, who call the stunning landscape home. This afternoon, visit a Maasai village and meet with an elder to learn about local culture and traditions, and witness a traditional beadwork demonstration as part of an artisan visit.
DAYS 8-10. SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK | TELLING EXCAVATIONS
Drive to Serengeti National Park, pausing for a privately guided visit at archaeologically rich Olduvai Gorge en route. The vast Tanzanian landscape hosts one of earth’s last remaining wildlife spectacles: the annual Great Migration, when millions of herbivores trek across the Serengeti plains in search of water and fresh grass, with hungry predators awaiting them. Over the next two days, your adventure may reveal giraffes, wildebeests, elephants and far more on morning and afternoon game drives. You may also opt for a hot air balloon ride across the boundless Serengeti, at an additional cost, for an exciting new perspective on the wildlife.
DAY 11. MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE | KENYA’S CROWN JEWEL
Fly to the Masai Mara, the northern extension of the Serengeti. After settling into your riverside accommodation within the Masai Mara, immerse yourself in the wild during an afternoon game drive. Follow the Mara River to see crocodiles basking in the sun; hippos as they wallow in muddy water; and monkeys, busy sparking mischief overhead. Here, too, reside over 500 species of birds, among them eagles who glide effortlessly above the sun-soaked landscape. During your time in the Mara, enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your large, comfortable tents — complete with en suite bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers — await you at each day’s end. Each tent also features a private veranda for game viewing, reading or simply absorbing the magical scenery around you. Tonight, join fellow guests for a Scenic Sundowner, followed by an elegant dinner.
DAYS 12-13. MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE | UNMATCHED WILDLIFE
Spend two full days exploring the open savanna, woodlands and tree-fringed rivers of the Masai Mara, where patience is rewarded with unique sightings: leopards, who retrieve kills from acacia branches high above, or elephants protecting their young from opportunistic lions. Game viewing is never dull in the Mara, especially when the dramatic annual Great Migration unfolds. Amid the stunning scenery, watch as Maasai tribesmen traverse the plains or herd goats and cattle. During one of your mornings here, enjoy another opportunity for an optional hot air balloon ride over the sprawling Mara. Connect with local residents when you visit a village and primary school supported by A&K Philanthropy. Observe and learn firsthand how AKP’s e-reader program is improving literacy rates here by providing students greater access to books.
DAY 14. DEPART NAIROBI
Fly back to Nairobi and spend the afternoon at leisure in a comfortable dayroom. In the evening, transfer to the airport for your departure flight or begin a Post-Tour Extension to Uganda.