(Nairobi, Masai Mara)
(Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Zanzibar)
Immerse yourself in an archipelago best known for intoxicating spices, vibrant coral reefs and dreamlike beaches that stretch for miles.
Of all the glorious destinations on the African continent, few offer the same extraordinary opportunity to view a profusion of wildlife that Kenya and Tanzania do. Adventure travel at its best, this tour introduces you to some of the most dramatic landscapes, world-renowned game parks and pristine beaches that stretch alongside the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. From roaming the plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara Game Reserve in search of lions, elephants, rhino and giraffe to traversing the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, you’ll feel the unforgettable exhilaration that only an African safari can inspire. In the evenings, relax in charming tented camps and game lodges that allow you to commune with the natural world around you.
In the company of an experienced Masai guide explore the bush by open 4x4 vehicle or on foot for spectacular game viewing. Explore the crocodile and hippo infested waters of the Mara River and the vast plains of Lobo and Wogakuria, which is a major destination for all manner of wildlife during the great migration. Cross the border into the vast plains of the famed Serengeti in search of the Big 5, then head for the Ngorongoro Crater, home to over 20,000 mammals and some of the only black rhinos in existence today. Fly to Zanzibar and delight in its white sand beaches and beautiful coral reefs that accentuate the already stunning waters of the Indian Ocean. Kayak the crystal clear waters, snorkel among the vibrant fish and whimsical sea anemones, and keep your eye out for passing whales and dolphins. Your time in Africa will leave you breathless and with memories that will last a lifetime.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Kensington Tours has its own offices in Nairobi, Kenya. Our prices include the support of our own dedicated team on the ground! Another reason we deliver unbeatable value.
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer to and from the airport.
While you are in the care of Kensington Tours, your safety and security are our number one priority. As such, in the unlikely event of serious illness or injury, all Kensington Tours clients are covered by “Flying Doctors” Insurance policy. This emergency evacuation insurance covers the cost of the evacuation flight back to Nairobi for treatment. This insurance policy however DOES NOT cover the cost of any medical treatment received. We highly recommend travel insurance for full coverage.
The Fairmont Norfolk Hotel is situated in the centre of the bustling city of Nairobi, in Kenya, and has grown over time with the city. Surrounded by private tropical gardens, the 165 guest rooms and suites are comfortable and with all the necessities of home. Dining is offered at a number of onsite restaurants, and the breakfast buffet is especially delightful. Spend some time getting to know the city, and then escape to the tranquility of the hotel. At your pleasure enjoy the wonderful swimming pool facilities, the health club and a relaxing spa.
Sit back and relax during this short, scenic flight from Nairobi to Masai Mara today. The flight duration is approximately 45 minutes. On all services the luggage allowance is 15 kilos in soft bags. This allowance shall include all hand baggage.
A representative from your lodge will pick you up and transfer you between the lodge and airstrip.
Head out in the afternoon on a game drive with others at the lodge. Drives typically head out around 4pm when the game is becoming more active and emerging out from shade as the hot sun decends. See if you can spot a herd of elephants as they approach watering holes and rivers to cool down with a drink and mud bath.
Elephants are the largest living land animals on Earth today. When pregnant, an elephant's gestation period is 22 months, the longest of any land animal. At birth, an elephant calf typically weighs 105 kilograms (230 lb)!! They typically live for 50 to 70 years, but the oldest recorded elephant lived for 82 years. The smallest elephants, about the size of a calf or a large pig, were a prehistoric species that lived on the island of Crete. Aristotle once said the elephant was "the beast which passeth all others in wit and mind." The word "elephant" has its origins in the Greek ?λ?φας, meaning "ivory" or "elephant". Today African elephants are the largest of their species. Healthy adult elephants have no natural predators, although lions may take calves or weak individuals. They are, however, threatened by human intrusion and poaching.
Sanctuary Olonana is an award winning tented camp on a private stretch of the Mara River, at the foot of the impressive Siria Escarpment. Located close to the border with Tanzania, the game concentration is high and during the annual wildebeest migration, the action happens right on the camp's doorstep. This small and exclusive camp was built along sustainable lines, along with Sanctuary's innovative wetlands and tree planting projects have earned it a silver award from Ecotourism Kenya.
Today as you set on the early morning game drive with your expert guide from your lodge. The Masai Mara Park will offer you a diverse range of animals. The park is home to the Big Five (Lion, Rhino, Elephant, Buffalo and Leopard) and numerous other antelopes including Thomson's and Grant's Gazelles, Impalas, Topics, Hartebeest, Zebra and Masai Giraffe. It's also home to over 450 species of birdlife among these are vultures, marabou storks, secretary birds, hornbills, crowned cranes, ostriches, long-crested eagles and African pygmy-falcons.
Your expert guide will meet you, and other guests, at your lodge for an afternoon game viewing drive in and around Masai Mara. See if you can spot lions in the park today. Lions live for 10-14 years in the wild. They typically inhabit savanna and grassland, although they may take to bush and forest. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together. Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognised by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognised animal symbols in human culture.
The lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats, 3 of which are found in Africa - lion, lepard, cheetah. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, lions are the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Until about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. However the lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of thirty to fifty percent over the past two decades in its African range. Outside of designated reserves and national parks, you will rarely if ever see a lion. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Reserves have helped to boost the lion population and help to bring back their numbers.
Early this morning you will meet up with others at the lodge for your game drive. Drives are typically done in the morning at 6:30am for a few hours. See if you can spot the ellusive leopard.
The smallest of the four "big cats" the leopard was once distributed across eastern and southern Asia and Africa, from Siberia to South Africa, but its range of distribution has decreased radically because of hunting and loss of habitat. It is now chiefly found in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of its declining range and population, it is listed as a "Near Threatened" species. Compared to other members of the Felidae family, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. The species' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth. The leopard consumes virtually any animal that it can hunt down and catch. These stealthy animals are one of the prize sightings you may see in Masai Mara.
This afternoon's game viewing will be exciting as you are searching for game with your guide and others from the lodge. Today keep your eyes open for giraffe.
The giraffe is the tallest living terrestrial animal in the world. Its specific name refers to its camel-like face and patches of color on a light background, which bear a vague resemblance to a leopard's spots. The giraffe is also noted for its extremely long neck and legs and prominent horns. It stands 5–6 m (16–20 ft) tall and has an average weight of 1,200 kg (2,600 lb) for males and 830 kg (1,800 lb) for females. The giraffe's scattered range extends from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east. Giraffes usually inhabit savannas, grasslands, and open woodlands. They prefer areas with plenty of acacia trees, which are important food sources, and can browse at heights that most other herbivores cannot reach. While adults are nearly invulnerable to predation, lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and wild dogs prey on baby calves. Giraffes commonly gather together to eat or socialize for a few hours and then roam off to graze separately. Males establish social hierarchies through "neckings", which are combat bouts where the neck is used as a weapon and they butt their necks against each other. Dominant males gain mating access to females, who bear the sole responsibility for raising the young.
Today you will drive to the local airstrip to catch your charter flight to Migori, Kenya. You'll be met upon arrival and driven to Isebania, at the border between Kenya and Tanzania.
Be sure to have your passport, money for your visa along with your Yellow Fever Certificate handy, as you will pass through a customs office to clear Kenya immigrations and enter Tanzania. Visas can be purchased at the border: Tanzania $100pp for Americans, $50pp for other nationalities. After this, you'll continue on to the Tarime airstrip, where you'll board your charter flight to continue your safari in the Serengeti.
Note: Visas are paid for, using US cash (no bills older than 2006 due to local counterfeiting safeguards). Single entry visa is valid for 3 months and can be used for multiple entries between Kenya and Tanzania. Please be sure to have your Yellow Fever certificate handy.
Time spent at Olakira Camp is channelled into game drives and wildlife viewing. Whether the camp is on the Mara River or the Southern Plains of Ndutu, the aim is to get you as close into the thick of the action as possible. Game drives can be either half day or full day with a picnic bush lunch enjoyed overlooking the Serengeti plains.
Olakira Camp is a relaxed mobile tented camp of 6 guest tents and 2 common area tents, located on the Mara River in one of the most vied after areas of the extraordinary Serengeti National Park. 'Olakira' means 'star' in Maasai, and this one definitely shines. The spaciousness and comfort of the camp is added to when one dines in the vast expanse of these plains, with their meals lit up by the sparkly sky above. The days are eventful with game drives and activities, while others look forward to the magic of the night, where storytelling and fire light mix as travellers share tales of their adventures.
Game drives from Olakira have a variety of diverse areas to enjoy: The crocodile and hippo infested waters of the Mara River, the unexplored bush of Bolongonja, and the vast plains of Lobo and Wogakuria. With very few other camps in these areas, Olakira manages to retain a sense of exclusivity, key to its mobile bush camp ideals. In June, the leading herds of topi and eland are usually starting to make their way north from the Western Corridor and Central Plains. Gradually the herds of zebra and wildebeest, which have been spread out over these areas, head towards the Mara River and begin to accumulate on the surrounding plains. Olakira Camp is soon caught up in the midst of the action as 1.5 million mammals begin to cross back and forth through the treacherous waters of the Mara River. Olakira in the South As the Migration answers its age old call and begin to move south, so Olakira Camp holds true to its migratory nature. The camp is closed during the month of November when it is packed up and moved to the great Southern Plains of the Serengeti. Between December and March the camp positions itself east of Ndutu, just inside the border of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area (NCCA). From here game drives can venture south within the NCCA, or cross the border to explore the Southern Serengeti. Each year the herds of wildebeest and zebra return to these nutrient rich grasslands to give birth, followed closely by a multitude of predators. Situated in the shade of a small forest, the camp overlooks a seasonal stream and the vast plains beyond. The Southern Serengeti can get quite busy during this period, but Olakira has managed to establish itself in a very private area immersed in the heart of the action. "You cannot get more in the thick of things than at Olakira Camp"
A representative from your lodge will pick you up and transfer you between the lodge and airstrip. Depending on time, they will fit in a bit of a game drive to/from the lodge.
Take your flight from Serengeti to Manayara (LKY) today. The flight duration is approximately 1.5 hr.
Luggage restriction applicable to this flight: 15kg (32 lb) per person, for both carry-on and checked luggage. Your checked luggage needs to be soft-sided - no wheels / no spine, a duffel bag is recommended. A small purse/backpack, is recommended as a carry-on, to keep your camera, passport, hat, sunblock or other items you need within easy reach.
Your guide will drive you from Manyara to the mighty Ngorongoro Crater. The trip to this massive Tanzanzian landmark will take approximately 1 hour to reach.
The Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge is set on 50 acres of virgin Tanzanian bush in the Ngorongoro volcanic landscape. This log cabin style retreat is located a few steps from the Game Reserve Gate and 20 minutes drive away from the Ngorongoro Crater that is said to have the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa. The property features 20 spacious private log cabins with fire place, a restaurant, a bar and conference facilities. Indulge in moments of relaxation at the swimming pool or at the Mvua African Rain Spa after a full-day game drive.
Explore one of the most recognized wildlife conservation areas in Tanzania today. Depart your camp or lodge in a privately driven vehicle, along with a local expert guide, for approximately a 20 to 30 minute drive towards the Ngorongoro Park Gate. It will then take you another 20 minutes to reach the crater rim itself. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera. This geological masterpiece was formed as a result of an extremely large volcanic explosion which caused the volcano to collapse in on itself, thus creating a crater. The crater is roughly 20 kilometers wide and some 2000 feet deep, making the trip from crater floor to rim around 45 minutes by 4x4. The extremely fertile crater floor is the reason why there is such a highly concentrated amount of wildlife here. Over 20000 mammals call the crater home, including some of the only remaining black rhinos in the world. The crater floor also boasts one of the highest carnivore densities in the world including large prides of lions, packs of hyenas and solitary predators like cheetahs and jackals. A keen eye and expertly recommended search patterns from your guide may help you spot some of the less common species like leopards, servals, and bat-eared foxes.
You are provided with a personalized, experienced tracker-guide and private transportation today whilst exploring around the Ngorongoro National Park grounds.
Your guide will drive you from Manyara to Arusha. This trip will take an estimated 2.5 hours to complete.
Take your flight from Arusha (ARK) to Zanzibar (ZNZ) today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hr and 40 minutes.
Transfer between airport and your beach resort with private vehicle and driver.
The north east part of Zanzibar Island is known as Matemwe. This area is famous for its fine white sand beaches, the contrasting colours of the Indian Ocean and the beauty of the coral reef around the Mnemba Island. Matemwe borders a small fishing village where local fisherman set out on a daily basis in their traditional dhows passing close to Matemwe. The stretch of perfect beach alongside the lodge is shared only with the fishing village, which is situated on the far side of the soft sand. There are not many beaches in Zanzibar still featuring only one resort; care has been given to ensure privacy and exclusivity through out the resort. Matemwe is just 60 minutes drive from Stone Town, allowing for easy day trips and excursions to the many different and varied interesting places on offer in Zanzibar. While at Matemwe your stay is inclusive of all meals, accommodation, coffee & tea, water during meals, cockail of the day, snorkelling, guided reef and village walks and kayaking.
Matemwe is strategically perched on a grouping of coral rock. Elegantly surrounded by the area's best beaches which offers spectacular diving and snorkeling. The friendly staff, relaxed atmosphere, lush tropical gardens, fine white sand, intimate swimming pools, massages, and magnificent food specializing in fresh seafood make Matemwe the ultimate tropical paradise on the intriguing island of Zanzibar.
Matemwe is a perfect place for relaxation as well as water activities. When staying here, ocean trips with snorkeling equipment can be easily arranged for you. You can sail or motor out to the local reef and discover the little island of Mnemba Atoll- right opposite Matemwe. Diving trips can also be organized with a professional diving center and you can discover the breathtaking underwater world of the Indian Ocean. You can also snorkel straight from the beach or during reef walks. Kayaks are available to explore the crystal clear sea. Local snorkeling / diving sites are suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to experienced divers. Soft and hard corals, sponges and anemones abound, you will be amazed by the sheer range of fish species in these waters. You might find dolphins in the water that come close to your boat or for the lucky ones even spot a whale passing by the reef (best chance for whales in the period August - October). Visits to the neighboring village can be arranged for those who want to explore the local Zanzibar culture and village life and for those who wish to learn about the community projects that Matemwe is involved in. From Matemwe, day-trips can be arranged to the historic centre of Stone Town, Jozani Forest or Prison Island. We can also organize a Spice Tour for you, an interesting way to learn about the great variety of spices that the island is famous for.
You'll have another day at leisure at this beautiful island paradise.
Please be aware that an additional Departure Tax of USD 40.00 is required to be paid by all whom visit the island of Zanzibar. This must be paid on-site before departing.
Enjoy this scenic flight from the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar (ZNZ) to the Kenyan urban hub, Nairobi .The flight duration is approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes. Please note that USD49.00 per person needs to be paid locally as a departure tax in Zanzibar.(Flight runs every two hours from Zanzibar to Nairobi, be aware that the airline reserves the right of canceling your flight and placing you on the next available flight. Kensington recommends ample connecting time in Nairobi if you are flying internationally).
The opportunity to explore the local markets and shops presents itself today as so you can interact with the local vendors in search for the perfect handicraft or souvenir for yourself or your loved ones.
Depart from Nairobi international airport - end of itinerary.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Irene Saurwein ,
April 21, 2014
"I thought that both Raymond and Mike were outstanding guides. Our trip was wonderful. The only point I want to make that the food at the Farm House was not very good. Pretty disappointed. Our stay at the Serena in both locations was great. Overall great trip that we will never forget."
Francis Quinn ,
April 21, 2014
"The Mbugani Camps were nice but the beer was warm and they don't have ice. The owner was a great guy. Enjoyed Mara West. The staff and food were great. The second evening the loud mouth owner conducted a business meeting on the front porch disrupting a peaceful cocktail hour. It was totally inappropriate since he was very loud and discussed his business dealings with Kensington with others. They also need an ice machine. They ran out every night. Albert is probably the best guide I have ever had. Very knowlegeable. Mike was great too. Fabulous trip. You guys did a great job. We had a wonderful time."
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"Our party of 4 believe that we were given incorrect information regarding the type of suitcase that we should purchase for this trip. We were advised to buy a suitcase that was soft sided and no wheels. We arrived in Africa to see many others going on Safari with suitcases that had wheels. It was difficult for us to manouever our bags. I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We learned a great deal from Wasari . Our tour guide in the Mara was just ok . It would have been great to have the tour guide that we had in Serengeti for the complete trip. We understood that he could have crossed over from Tanzania into Kenya to get us . There was one flight within the country that we felt we may have been better off driving. We all believed that our Sales consultant could have spent more time with us on the phone going over the itinerary and guiding us through some of the decisions that we were making. For example Lake Manyara was not really necessary and perhaps we could have used that extra day in Zanzibar . These are some of the decisions that we felt our consultant could have assisted us with . We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. The only negative during our entire trip was the routing of the airline flights. Was there no way to avoid the flight from Rio to Manaus and then Manaus to Rio for our flight home. We seem to have travelled 2000 miles to the same starting location. Next time I would appreciate a more thorough exploration of all possible routes that would be more expedient and less strenuous for the travelers. I realize that there are limitations but I rely on Kensington to assist me in making the best decision for my wife and me."
Michael Melvin Marsh ,
April 21, 2014
"The trip was very special and i credit Sunita Singh for helping to make it such. We worked on the itinerary for three months and she was very helpful, knowledgeable and present."
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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