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Day 1: Arrive Nairobi, Kenya
Upon arrival you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening enjoy a welcome drink as you meet your fellow travelers at an orientation meeting. Overnight Nairobi.
Day 2: Giraffe Center/Karen Blixen Museum/Overland to Lake Naivasha
We begin our day by visiting the Rothschild Giraffe Sanctuary. In 1979 when the center was founded, it was believed that there were only 120 animals left and efforts to save the sub-species began. In another suburb of Nairobi we will make a fascinating stop at the house where Karen Blixen lived from 1914 to 1931. Denys Finch-Hatton's books are still on the shelves. A drive of a couple of hours will bring us to Lake Naivasha, a shallow freshwater lake surrounded by grasslands - perfect habitat for the 400 species of bird that live here. Hippos may also be found around the lake. Overnight Lake Naivasha.
Day 3: Explore Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park is a shallow alkaline lake on the bed of the Great Rift Valley; and home to thousands of greater and lesser flamingos and various water birds. The rich acacia savannah shelters numerous bird species, eland, leopard, lion, buffalo and other game. The park also has a well-guarded rhino sanctuary for both the black and white rhino. Overnight at Lake Naivasha.
Day 4: Overland to Maasai Mara /Afternoon Game Viewing Drive
Today we leave the lake behind, travelling towards Kenya's fertile highlands, as we head down the Rift Escarpment and continue to Maasai Mara National Reserve, easily one of the world's most famous parks. The reserve is home to the "big five" and a profusion of all types of wildlife. Over 400 bird species have been recorded in the park. The annual migration is a spectacle worth seeing as millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle move from the Serengeti plains in late June and reside in the Mara until October. Explore this famous national park with game drives enroute to our wilderness lodge. Overnight in Maasai Mara National Park.
Day 5: Maasai Mara National Park
What better way to explore this very special region than with a full day of game drives. Between game drives, when the sun is at the hottest, relax by the pool or sit by the river in the hope of seeing hippos floating around. Take in the beautiful surroundings in the Maasai Mara on the direct path of the wildebeest migration path. This African Mecca is full of wonder and you will get to experience it first hand with wildlife all around you.
Day 6: Maasai Mara/Overland to Tanzania
After breakfast, we depart for the Kenya-Tanzania border. Crossing into Tanzania we continue to the Serengeti National Park. Overnight in Serengeti National Park.
Days 7 - 8: Wildlife Viewing in Serengeti National Park
After a relaxed breakfast watch for big game as we travel to the Serengeti National Park. A brief rest after lunch and then we are off on an afternoon game drive. The Serengeti could easily be the most famous national park in the world. The primeval paradise, roughly the size of Northern Ireland or Connecticut, has been the subject of countless wildlife films, each seeking to capture the unique spirit of these exhilarating eco-systems that was, until recently, the domain of the favoured few.The unfurling plains provide the stage for the most dramatic wildlife spectacle on the planet when the massive herds of millions of wildebeest congregate on the short grass plains for the great migration north to the Maasai Mara. The gently undulating hills of Lobo stretch up to the Kenyan border, an idyllic landscape, dotted with kopjes and shady arbors, in which we track the resident wildlife. Overnight in Serengeti National Park.
Day 9: Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge
After breakfast, we game drive out of the Serengeti National Park heading towards Ngorongoro Crater. Enroute we will stop at the viewpoint overlooking the Olduvai Gorge. A river canyon cuts 300 feet into the volcanic Serengeti Plains which was once the home of our earliest ancestors. The Gorge was made famous by the discoveries of fossil fragments of Homo sapiens by the Leakey family in 1959 and we will visit the small, but excellent museum. While we have our picnic lunch, we can listen to a talk from museum staff about the discoveries made in the valley below us. We continue driving to Ngorongoro with the road offering spectacular views - sometimes over the Serengeti Plains and other times into the Crater itself. Overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater
One of the most identifiable sights in Africa, the Ngorongoro Crater is approximately 12 miles wide and has numerous species of animal found in East Africa. The views from the crater rim are spectacular, but once you get down to the crater floor, you will know why it has been compared to Noah's Ark. We will drive into the crater to get up close and personal with the wildlife to be found here. There are lions, elephants, buffaloes, wildebeests, Thomson's gazelles, zebras, reedbucks, rhinos, monkeys, baboons, hippos, hyenas, jackals and thousands of flamingos in the soda lake, Lake Magadi. After a picnic lunch in the crater, we'll depart for our Lodge.
Day 11: Lake Eyasi Bushmen Experience
Early morning start to the day as we drive to Lake Eyasi where we will enjoy the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers experience.
Day 12: Mto Wa Mbu Village Visit
Tanzania has over 120 different tribes and we will visit a village for a chance to meet with many of them. The cultural experience in Mto wa Mbu (pronounced ìUM-to WAM-buî) includes having lunch - we may even have the opportunity to help in the preparation. Food is grown locally and includes 30 varieties of banana - they even make banana beer! We can see local craftsmen from different tribes, visit their farms to see their innovative irrigation methods, visit the local school and most important, have the opportunity to meet and trade stories with the villagers. Overnight in the shadow of the Rift Valley Ridge.
Day 13: Tarangire National Park
This morning is at leisure before our transfer to Tarangire National Park, where we'll stay in comfortable tents in a secluded area of the park. Upon arrival there is time for a guided walk before dinner. Overnight in Tarangire.
Day 14: Safari in Tarangire National Park
Today enjoy the wildlife one final time as we experience Tarangire's diversity on a full-day game-viewing drive. The variety of wildlife here is excellent, from elephant, lion, cheetah, and buffalo to a wealth of birdlife. The elephant are especially plentiful here, traveling in large herds that are not often seen elsewhere in Africa. After our full day in the park, we'll return to our camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 15: Arusha Flight to Zanzibar
After breakfast, we drive to Arusha arriving in time for lunch. After lunch, we continue to Arusha Airport for your flight to Zanzibar.
Day 16: Snorkellng, 'Dhow' sunset sailing
Today we will kick back and relax, go swimming, snorkeling, diving or simply do nothing, but enjoy the ocean and the relaxed pace of Zanzibar.
Day 17: Zanzibar City exploration
After breakfast we will make our journey back to Stone Town. Enroute, enjoy a guided exploration of Zanzibar's history including the slave trade, a visit to the slave market and the Anglican Church, and learning about Livingstone. Visit Kizimbani spice farm where you will be shown a few local spices, fruits and plants and be given an explanation about their uses and special properties.
Day 18: Sights and Sounds of Stone Town
Today we will explore the city of Stone Town by foot exploring local markets and breathtaking scenery. Enjoy your afternoon at leisure. In the evening enjoy our farewell dinner. Overnight in Stone Town.
Day 19: Depart Zanzibar
After breakfast enjoy your morning at leisure. You will be transferred back to the airport in Stone Town in the afternoon for your departure flight.
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