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Big Five in Masai Mara Game Reserve | Predators in Serengeti National Park | Ngorongoro Crater/Olduvai Gorge | Flamingos at Lake Nakuru | Amboseli National Park/Mt. Kilimanjaro | Lake Manyara National Park| Lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant | Optional Balloon Safari over Serengeti | Nature Walk in Lake Manyara | Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park

DAY 1     

Depart USA, overnight transatlantic flight.             

DAY 2     

Europe

Arrive in Europe early in the morning. This evening, leave on an overnight flight to Nairobi.

DAY 3     

Nairobi

Arrive this morning in cosmopolitan Nairobi, the largest city between Johannesburg and Cairo. You are met by a Shades of Africa representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the morning is a free day. In the afternoon, you join a city tour of Nairobi, including a visit to the National Museum and the Snake Park.

Hotel Intercontinental Club (Breakfast and Dinner):  

DAY 4     

Nairobi/ Masai Mara

Your classic Old World safari begins today. In Swahili, safari means journey or expedition. This morning, the journey begins by driving to Masai Mara Game Reserve, often considered the finest game sanctuary in Kenya. The Mara is home to an incredible concentration of plains animals, as well as the annual wildebeest migration (July – September). Early morning and afternoon game drives are scheduled. Your English-speaking driver/guide is an expert game tracker and will search for a great variety of species, including zebra, buffalo, impala, topi, lion, cheetah, rhino, hippo, elephant and diverse birdlife. You may also see the proud Masai herding cattle. Masai tribesmen live on the reserve’s boundaries and share tourism revenue.

Keekorok Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 5     

Masai Mara

On your early morning game drive, look for birds of all shapes, sizes and colors. Over 450 species of birds call the Mara home, including 53 varieties of birds of prey. For example, the large orange-buff Pel’s fishing owl is a common sight along the river, but rare elsewhere. Migrant birds include Caspian plovers and white storks. Also taking wing in the Mara are the rock cisticola, rufous-bellied heron, kori bustard, secretary bird, red-tailed chat, African fish eagle and the magpie shrike. To get your own bird’s eye view of the Mara, an optional hot-air balloon safari lifts off each morning and ends with a champagne brunch on the sweeping plains. Another optional excursion is a visit to a Masai Village where you will learn about the customs and culture of the red-robed pastoralists.

Keekorok Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner): 

DAY 6     

Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru

After breakfast at Masai Mara, travel to Lake Nakuru, well known for its splendid birdlife, including pelicans, herons, cormorants and eagles. Lake Nakuru is part of the shallow lakes formed on the floor of the Rift Valley. Its most celebrated resident is the flamingo whose great numbers literally turn the shores of Lake Nakuru pink. Hippos and otters can also be found in the lake, while both black and white rhinos inhabit the forest. You will easily observe buffalo, leopard, lion, Rothschild’s giraffe, black and white colobus monkeys, eland, steenbok and impala. It will take a keen eye to spot the tiniest antelopes -- dik dik and klipspringer. Horseback riding is an optional activity here.

Lake Nakuru Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 7     

Lake Nakuru – Nairobi - Amboseli National Park

After breakfast, drive to Nairobi via Lake Naivasha. Take an optional boat ride on this freshwater lake. A souvenir stopover is also recommended in this area. Your lunch today will be at the unique and famous Carnivore Restaurant, featuring a variety of wild game roasted on spits. After lunch, head south from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park, set against the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. Amboseli is home to the Big Five of African wildlife -- elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard. The view of the Amboseli plains, with elephant lumbering below the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, is one of the most photographed vistas in Africa. A network of swamps and wetlands ensure excellent game viewing year-round. Enjoy an afternoon drive with an expert game tracker/driver and guaranteed window seat each day in your private safari vehicle.

Amboseli Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):  

DAY 8     

Amboseli National Park

The best time for viewing wildlife is in the relative coolness of the morning and the late afternoon. A typical day on safari begins with an early morning game drive. This will usually last until mid-morning, when you return to your lodge for breakfast. You can then either choose to relax or join another game drive in the late afternoon until sunset. The lodges provide safe and tasty meals in their rustic dining rooms. Bon appetite!

Amboseli Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 9     

Amboseli - Arusha - Ngorongoro Crater

Say a fond kwa heri (good bye in Swahili) to Kilimanjaro and drive to the Kenya/Tanzania border. After assistance with the border formalities, continue onward to Arusha for lunch. Today we venture into Africa’s Garden of Eden, the Ngorongoro Crater. Your lodge hugs the rim of this collapsed volcano, providing you with a spectacular view of the great natural amphitheater.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):                

DAY 10  

Ngorongoro Crater

A full day of game viewing. Within the Crater’s walls lie short grasslands, swamps, forests and lakes, inspiring continual migration of animals. From your 4 x 4 vehicle, you will have an opportunity to spot the Big Five -- buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black manned lion and the endangered rare black rhinoceros. Zebras, wildebeest and gazelles are common here. A picnic lunch in the heart of the crater is the highlight.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) :

DAY 11  

Ngorongoro – Serengeti

After breakfast at Ngorongoro, start a trek back in time to the Serengeti. Visit Olduvai Gorge and explore the history of mankind. It was here that the Leakey family unearthed ancient stone tools and prehistoric human remains. Serengeti (“endless plain” in the Masai language) is the size of Connecticut. The most famous features of the ecosystem are the spectacular concentration of plains animals found nowhere else in the world, and the annual wildebeest migration. Think of the North American buffalo which once roamed the western plain states. It is a rare and important conservation achievement by Tanzania and Kenya to have preserved this undisturbed wilderness area, which even today allows animals to migrate freely.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):  

DAY 12  

Serengeti

Morning and afternoon game drives take you into the heart of the vast Serengeti savannah. You may spot lion prides, zebra herds, packs of hyena, solitary leopards, as well as cheetah, elephant, rhino, hippo, buffalo, jackal, gazelle and various primates. Nothing is quite as memorable as an African sunset in the famous Serengeti.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 13  

Serengeti - Lake Manyara

A final Serengeti morning game drive winds its way to Lake Manyara National Park, arriving for lunch. Discover the ecological and medicinal value of the park’s flora and fauna as your experienced driver/guide takes you for a short nature walk. You’re likely to see hippos, baboons and big herds of elephants. Leaving the lakeshore, you will pass through an area of extensive umbrella acacia tress. Look for a dangling leg from the acacias. It may be a lion! Simba likes to sprawl out lazily (they are cats!) on a stout branch. No one knows why Manyara lions take to the trees. We think it’s to get away from the big elephant and buffalo herds. An optional canoe safari offers unique up-close viewing of hippos, pelicans and kingfishers.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner):  

DAY 14  

Lake Manyara –Arusha – Nairobi

Drive to Arusha for lunch. Then across the border to Nairobi arriving in the evening. Dinner is on your own. Try a meal in the hotel restaurant or visit the Tamarind for fresh seafood.

Hotel Intercontinental (Breakfast and Lunch): 

DAY 15  

Morning transfer to the airport for departure to Europe. Arrive in London that evening and connect to your USA-bound flight, arriving later in the day.

15 Days Kenya & Tanzania Treasures

The most famous attractions are on your itinerary:

    Big Five in Masai Mara Game Reserve

    Predators in Serengeti National Park

    Ngorongoro Crater/Olduvai Gorge

    Flamingos at Lake Nakuru

    Amboseli National Park/Mt. Kilimanjaro

    Lake Manyara National Park

    Lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant

    Optional Balloon Safari over Serengeti

    Nature Walk in Lake Manyara

    Nairobi National Museum and Snake

    Park

DAY 1     

Depart USA, overnight transatlantic flight.             

DAY 2     

Europe

Arrive in Europe early in the morning. This evening, leave on an overnight flight to Nairobi.

DAY 3     

Nairobi

Arrive this morning in cosmopolitan Nairobi, the largest city between Johannesburg and Cairo. You are met by a Shades of Africa representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the morning is a free day. In the afternoon, you join a city tour of Nairobi, including a visit to the National Museum and the Snake Park.

Hotel Intercontinental Club (Breakfast and Dinner):  

DAY 4     

Nairobi/ Masai Mara

Your classic Old World safari begins today. In Swahili, safari means journey or expedition. This morning, the journey begins by driving to Masai Mara Game Reserve, often considered the finest game sanctuary in Kenya. The Mara is home to an incredible concentration of plains animals, as well as the annual wildebeest migration (July – September). Early morning and afternoon game drives are scheduled. Your English-speaking driver/guide is an expert game tracker and will search for a great variety of species, including zebra, buffalo, impala, topi, lion, cheetah, rhino, hippo, elephant and diverse birdlife. You may also see the proud Masai herding cattle. Masai tribesmen live on the reserve’s boundaries and share tourism revenue.

Keekorok Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 5     

Masai Mara

On your early morning game drive, look for birds of all shapes, sizes and colors. Over 450 species of birds call the Mara home, including 53 varieties of birds of prey. For example, the large orange-buff Pel’s fishing owl is a common sight along the river, but rare elsewhere. Migrant birds include Caspian plovers and white storks. Also taking wing in the Mara are the rock cisticola, rufous-bellied heron, kori bustard, secretary bird, red-tailed chat, African fish eagle and the magpie shrike. To get your own bird’s eye view of the Mara, an optional hot-air balloon safari lifts off each morning and ends with a champagne brunch on the sweeping plains. Another optional excursion is a visit to a Masai Village where you will learn about the customs and culture of the red-robed pastoralists.

Keekorok Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner): 

DAY 6     

Masai Mara - Lake Nakuru

After breakfast at Masai Mara, travel to Lake Nakuru, well known for its splendid birdlife, including pelicans, herons, cormorants and eagles. Lake Nakuru is part of the shallow lakes formed on the floor of the Rift Valley. Its most celebrated resident is the flamingo whose great numbers literally turn the shores of Lake Nakuru pink. Hippos and otters can also be found in the lake, while both black and white rhinos inhabit the forest. You will easily observe buffalo, leopard, lion, Rothschild’s giraffe, black and white colobus monkeys, eland, steenbok and impala. It will take a keen eye to spot the tiniest antelopes -- dik dik and klipspringer. Horseback riding is an optional activity here.

Lake Nakuru Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 7     

Lake Nakuru – Nairobi - Amboseli National Park

After breakfast, drive to Nairobi via Lake Naivasha. Take an optional boat ride on this freshwater lake. A souvenir stopover is also recommended in this area. Your lunch today will be at the unique and famous Carnivore Restaurant, featuring a variety of wild game roasted on spits. After lunch, head south from Nairobi to Amboseli National Park, set against the legendary Mount Kilimanjaro. Amboseli is home to the Big Five of African wildlife -- elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard. The view of the Amboseli plains, with elephant lumbering below the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro, is one of the most photographed vistas in Africa. A network of swamps and wetlands ensure excellent game viewing year-round. Enjoy an afternoon drive with an expert game tracker/driver and guaranteed window seat each day in your private safari vehicle.

Amboseli Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):  

DAY 8     

Amboseli National Park

The best time for viewing wildlife is in the relative coolness of the morning and the late afternoon. A typical day on safari begins with an early morning game drive. This will usually last until mid-morning, when you return to your lodge for breakfast. You can then either choose to relax or join another game drive in the late afternoon until sunset. The lodges provide safe and tasty meals in their rustic dining rooms. Bon appetite!

Amboseli Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 9     

Amboseli - Arusha - Ngorongoro Crater

Say a fond kwa heri (good bye in Swahili) to Kilimanjaro and drive to the Kenya/Tanzania border. After assistance with the border formalities, continue onward to Arusha for lunch. Today we venture into Africa’s Garden of Eden, the Ngorongoro Crater. Your lodge hugs the rim of this collapsed volcano, providing you with a spectacular view of the great natural amphitheater.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):                

DAY 10  

Ngorongoro Crater

A full day of game viewing. Within the Crater’s walls lie short grasslands, swamps, forests and lakes, inspiring continual migration of animals. From your 4 x 4 vehicle, you will have an opportunity to spot the Big Five -- buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black manned lion and the endangered rare black rhinoceros. Zebras, wildebeest and gazelles are common here. A picnic lunch in the heart of the crater is the highlight.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) :

DAY 11  

Ngorongoro – Serengeti

After breakfast at Ngorongoro, start a trek back in time to the Serengeti. Visit Olduvai Gorge and explore the history of mankind. It was here that the Leakey family unearthed ancient stone tools and prehistoric human remains. Serengeti (“endless plain” in the Masai language) is the size of Connecticut. The most famous features of the ecosystem are the spectacular concentration of plains animals found nowhere else in the world, and the annual wildebeest migration. Think of the North American buffalo which once roamed the western plain states. It is a rare and important conservation achievement by Tanzania and Kenya to have preserved this undisturbed wilderness area, which even today allows animals to migrate freely.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):  

DAY 12  

Serengeti

Morning and afternoon game drives take you into the heart of the vast Serengeti savannah. You may spot lion prides, zebra herds, packs of hyena, solitary leopards, as well as cheetah, elephant, rhino, hippo, buffalo, jackal, gazelle and various primates. Nothing is quite as memorable as an African sunset in the famous Serengeti.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner):

DAY 13  

Serengeti - Lake Manyara

A final Serengeti morning game drive winds its way to Lake Manyara National Park, arriving for lunch. Discover the ecological and medicinal value of the park’s flora and fauna as your experienced driver/guide takes you for a short nature walk. You’re likely to see hippos, baboons and big herds of elephants. Leaving the lakeshore, you will pass through an area of extensive umbrella acacia tress. Look for a dangling leg from the acacias. It may be a lion! Simba likes to sprawl out lazily (they are cats!) on a stout branch. No one knows why Manyara lions take to the trees. We think it’s to get away from the big elephant and buffalo herds. An optional canoe safari offers unique up-close viewing of hippos, pelicans and kingfishers.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner):  

DAY 14  

Lake Manyara –Arusha – Nairobi

Drive to Arusha for lunch. Then across the border to Nairobi arriving in the evening. Dinner is on your own. Try a meal in the hotel restaurant or visit the Tamarind for fresh seafood.

Hotel Intercontinental (Breakfast and Lunch): 

DAY 15  

Morning transfer to the airport for departure to Europe. Arrive in London that evening and connect to your USA-bound flight, arriving later in the day.

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