Kenya and Tanzania
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Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi, Kenya
Upon arrival you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. This evening you will meet your fellow travelers at an orientation meeting.
Day 2: To Sweetwaters Reserve
This morning we drive to the Sweetwaters Wildlife Sanctuary, one of only four private game reserves in Kenya. Sweetwaters boasts the "big five" plus an exciting catalogue of giraffe, zebra, eland, oryx, waterbuck, Grant's gazelle, Thompson's gazelle, cheetah, silver-backed jackal, hartebeest, baboons and several hundred bird species. We will enjoy our first safari this afternoon upon arrival.
Day 3: Sweetwaters and Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Today we enjoy morning and afternoon game drives through the reserve.
Day 4: To Lake Naivasha
After an early morning game drive inside the Sweetwaters Reserve, we make our way to Lake Naivasha.
Day 5: To Maasai Mara National Park
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. 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 camp.
Day 6: Maasai Mara National Park
The Maasai Mara, located in the Rift Valley Province in the southwestern part of Kenya, was established back in 1967. About 10 centuries ago the Cushitic people settled in this region and the Maasai, a warrior tribe, are descendants of these people. The Maasai can still be found in these regions living off the cattle they herd. They migrate in search of water and vegetation. The open savannah of flat grasslands and woodlands made up of acacia trees are a great place for elephants, giraffes and so much more.
Day 7: To the Serengeti, Tanzania
After breakfast, we depart for the Kenya-Tanzania border. Crossing into Tanzania, we continue to the Serengeti National Park.
Days 8 - 9: Wildlife Viewing in the Serengeti
After a relaxed breakfast, watch for big game as we travel to the Serengeti National Park. Enjoy a brief rest after lunch and then we are off on our 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 favored 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.
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge
After breakfast, we continue our 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.
Day 11: Ngorongoro Crater
One of the most identifiable sights in Africa, the Ngorongoro Crater is approximately 12 miles wide and has numerous species of animals 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 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 our picnic lunch in the crater, we make our way to our accommodations near Lake Eyasi in time for dinner.
Day 12: Lake Eyasi Bushman Experience
We have an early morning start to the day as we drive to Lake Eyasi where we will encounter the Hadzabe hunter-gatherers.
Day 13: 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 UM-to WAM-bu) 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 followed by an opportunity to meet and trade stories with the villagers.
Day 14: To Tarangire
Today we enjoy a morning at leisure before we depart for Tarangire National Park. Here we'll stay in comfortable tents in a secluded area of the park. Upon arrival, we enjoy a guided walk before dinner.
Day 15: 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 and includes; elephants, lions, cheetahs, buffalo and a wealth of birdlife. The elephants 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.
Day 16: To Arusha, Fly to Zanzibar
After breakfast we drive to Arusha, arriving in time for lunch. After lunch, we continue to the airport for your flight to Zanzibar.
Day 17: Nungwi Beach
Today is a day to relax. Spend your day swimming, snorkeling, diving or simply do nothing but enjoy the ocean and the relaxed pace of Zanzibar.
Day 18: Explore Historic & Cultural Zanzibar
After breakfast we return to Stone Town. Along the way we visit the Kizimbani spice farm where we will be shown some local spices, fruits and plants and be given an explanation about their uses and special properties. Afterwards we will enjoy lunch at the farm, and later return to Stone Town for dinner.
Day 19: Sights and Sounds of Stone Town, Dhow Sunset Sailing
Today we will explore the city of Stone Town by foot, exploring local markets and breathtaking scenery.
Day 20: 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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