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Gail’s Classic East African Safari in Rwanda, Kenya & Tanzania with Zanzibar Beach Bliss

Gail’s Classic East African Safari in Rwanda, Kenya & Tanzania with Zanzibar Beach Bliss

16 Days

East African Safari – 1 night Kigali | 2 nights Volcanoes National Park | 1 night Nairobi | 3 nights Masai Mara | 2 nights Serengeti | 2 nights Ngorongoro Crater | 3 nights Zanzibar

Overview

Such a powerful experience at the Genocide Memorial. And an unprecedentedly mountainous and beautiful country. Fantastic. The lodge was amazing! The gorillas were incredible!

 

Today was incredible. We saw more animals than we’ve ever seen. Everything except Rhinos. Amazing day, as was yesterday. You’ve done us great! You’ve outdone yourself. This trip is even better than the last one. We’ve now seen the Big 9. Lions, Buffalo, Zebra, Rhino, Hippo, Leopard, Giraffe, Cheetah, Elephant.

Upon arrival at the Kigali airport, you will be welcomed and transferred to your overnight accommodation in the city.

Transfer time: Kigali International Airport to hotel: approx. 25 minutes

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, you can have a lazy morning getting over your late night arrival before enjoying your next two days in Kigali city.

Kigali was founded in 1907 as small colonial outpost by Dr. Richard Kant, the first German colonial resident of Rwanda. The city has made tremendous progress since 1994 genocide. Considered one of the safest and friendliest of African capitals, Kigali is blessed with a moderate high altitude climate. It is inhabited by approximately 1 million people who now enjoy the benefits of peace. You will be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable it feels to be among the gentle people of Rwanda who will be delighted to welcome you to their beautiful, exceptionally friendly country.

After a leisurely morning breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel and transfer you to the Volcanoes National Park in the north western part of the country; the area best known as the home of the Mountain Gorillas.

The drive is through beautiful rolling hills, awesome landscape, bypassing coffee and banana plantations on a comfortable paved road and is approximately 3 hours from Kigali to your lodge. Upon arrival at your lodge you will check in, have lunch and the remainder of your day is at leisure enjoying the beautiful natural surroundings of the lodge.

Transfer time: Kigali to Volcanoes National Park and your lodge – approx. 3 hours

Volcanoes National Park is situated along the border with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. The international border stretches across the whole Virunga Range and the park’s boundary in Rwanda extends over some 65km from the Congo border near Gisenyi all the way to the Uganda border near Kisoro. The Volcanoes National park covers an area of 16000 hectares and is the home for the famous habituated Mountain Gorillas where ten Gorilla families are available for trekking and three families are for research.

After an early morning breakfast, you will go on a morning tour to see the Golden Monkeys. It is normally an easy trek which might take between 1 – 2 hours. After the Golden Monkey Trek you will return to your lodge, refresh a bit, have lunch and later transfer to the airport in Kigali for your flight to Nairobi, Kenya.

On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, you will be met and assisted through customs and immigration before being transferred by road to your overnight accommodation in the city. You will be given a short briefing of your safari routine for the next few days.

Transfer time: Volcanoes National Park to Kigali International Airport – approx. 3 hours

Flight time: Kigali, Rwanda to Nairobi, Kenya – approx. 1 hour 20 minutes

Transfer time: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi to hotel – approx. 40 minutes

Today after breakfast, you will traverse the Rift Valley and ascend its western rim into the Masai land. Red-clad, with spear in hand the Maasai warriors tend their herds of cattle among the wildlife, admirably unmoved by the presence of large predators. The Masai Mara, is the northernmost extension of the Serengeti and a gem in itself. You will enjoy lunch at the camp and thereafter set off on your first game drive.

Transfer time: Nairobi to Tipilikwani Mara Camp – approx. 5 hours

Possibly the most famous of the reserves and arguably the greatest wildlife destination in Africa the Masai Mara has become synonymous with the safari and is currently being featured in the BBC’s new series Planet Earth Live.

Nature doesn’t recognize borders and the 700 square miles of the Masai Mara Reserve effectively continue the northern sweep of neighboring Tanzania’s Serengeti plains, thus forming one huge ecosystem. The Mara lands are famous for the annual Wildebeest migration which occurs from June to October when the Mara becomes host to an almost unimaginable half a million wildebeest seeking the grasses raised by the spring rains of April and May. Having exhausted the grazing in the northern Serengeti the wildebeest head north en masse. This is an awesome sight in the true meaning of the word which, when coupled with the sound of thousands upon thousands of hooves pounding the earth, makes it an unforgettable spectacle.

The wildebeest are not the only tenants of the land. The Mara is also the home to among others, zebra, elephants, and to the big cats; cheetahs, lions and leopards. Hyena, jackal, buffalo, eland, topi, impala, gazelle, warthog add to this huge diversity of wildlife.

This morning after an early breakfast you will be transferred to Mara Ol Kiombo Airstrip for your flight to The Serengeti via Tarime. At Tarime you will go through customs and immigration and onto your flight to Kogatende in the Serengeti National Park.

On arrival at Kogatende, you will be met by your camp driver/guide at the airstrip and taken on a short game drive en route to the camp for lunch. The vast grasslands of the renowned Serengeti National Park provide what many consider to be the quintessential African game viewing experience.

Transfer time: Camp to Mara Ol Kiombo Airstrip – approx. 1 hour 15 minutes

Flight time: Mara Ol Kiombo to Tarime – approx. 1 hour 55 minutes

Flight time: Tarime to Kokatende – approx. 1 hour

Transfer time: Kokatende to Camp – approx. 1 hour

As dawn breaks over the Serengeti, a gentle tap on your door will wake you to the delights of a new day. Your guide will discuss what you hope to see that day over fragrant tea or coffee and morning biscuits or rusks. Set out our specially designed 4×4 safari vehicle in the company of your guide.

Return to the lodge for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Choose from eggs, oats, waffles or a number of other options. If you prefer, you can take a packed breakfast and prolong your morning game drive. There’s time for a quick siesta before lunch, which is served in the main restaurant

Head off in search of the wildlife in the cooler late afternoon. The herds head out to drink before settling down for the night, while the predators are warming up for the night’s hunting. Stop at a scenic spot for sundowners as the sun sinks beneath the endless plains before returning to the lodge for a mouth-watering dinner and discussions of the adventures of the day.

After breakfast you depart with a picnic lunch and drive through the Ngorongoro Highlands to your lodge situated on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. The crater covers over 102 square miles (250 square kilometres) of land and is the home of the rare black rhino, prides of lion, elephant, cheetah and great herds of buffalo, antelope and wildebeest. Lunch at the lodge and afternoon at leisure to enjoy the sunset.

“It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the Wonders of the World” quote by the late Professor Bernhard Grzimek – famous and respected naturalist. Spanning roughly 8,300 sq kms (3,192 sq miles), the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a perfect microcosm of East Africa: it combines spectacular scenery and valuable archaeological sites with mountains, forests, grassland plains, extinct volcanoes and a staggering profusion of wildlife. Central to the Area is the Ngorongoro Crater, the floor of which covers an area of 260 sq kms (100 sq miles). The road meanders along the rim of the crater affording breathtaking views and descends 2,000 feet to the crater floor. Ngorongoro Crater is really a caldera, the sunken or collapsed cone of a volcano. It is the largest inactive, unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. Living on the floor of the crater are bull elephants, lions, hyena, zebra, wildebeest among others living on the grasslands and acacia forests. The crater also has a soda lake – Lake Magadi, the word magad translates to salt water in Maasai. The lake attracts greater and lesser flamingo and other water birds. The crater is best known as a highly successful sanctuary for the endangered black rhino. The settings in which you watch the animals are beautiful; the crater is an outstanding place for photography as well as direct observation. The ground water springs are said to be highly nutritious and the Maasai bring their cattle into the crater daily to drink as they have done for centuries.

Transfer time: Camp to Ngorongoro Crater – approx. 5 hours

After breakfast, you will descend 2000 feet (0ver 600 meters) to the floor of the crater for a full day crater tour with a picnic lunch. Explore the forest areas that are inhabited by monkey and elephant, the lake area, where you may see the flamingos and the open savannah where the lions hunt for food. You will return to the lodge at sunset to enjoy an African sundowner before dinner.

Today you will enjoy your final breakfast on safari. You will be picked up from your lodge and transferred by road to Arusha Airport for your flight to Zanzibar. Upon arrival at Zanzibar Airport you will be met and transferred to your resort.

Transfer time: Lodge to Arusha – approx. 4 hours

Flight time: Arusha to Zanzibar – approx. 1 hour 30 minutes

Transfer time: Zanzibar Airport to Resort – approx. 1 hour

The “spice island” of Zanzibar, located 26 miles off the coast of Tanzania, is a prime location from which to enjoy the Indian Ocean’s clear turquoise waters. Combine this with the stirring slave-trade history that comes alive in Stone Town, and you have the perfect complement to your African safari adventure.

Your days on Zanzibar will be leisurely ― you can enjoy snorkeling, swim with dolphins, try your hand at windsurfing, indulge in a luxurious spa treatment or two, walk through a forest filled with monkeys, or simply relax on the beautiful white-sand beaches. Enjoy the many amenities of your beautiful Indian Ocean beach resort. Embark on an exciting excursion to Kizimkazi where it is sometimes possible to swim with the dolphins.

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It’s a very early departure this morning. You will be picked up at your resort and transferred to Zanzibar Airport for your further flights home.

Transfer time: Resort to Airport – approx. 1 hour

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Cost Per Person Sharing

When this tour took place, the cost per person sharing was: $9863

Remember

This is an actual itinerary, 100% tailor-made to meet this client’s expectations. We can use this itinerary as a starting point for you.

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Meet the Team

Susan Pattison-Wait
Susan Pattison-Wait
Managing Director & Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7873 EMAIL ME
Melanie Macphail
Melanie Macphail
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7868 EMAIL ME
Heidi Bedford
Heidi Bedford
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7872 EMAIL ME
Anya Jarvis
Anya Jarvis
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7875 EMAIL ME
Gail Davis
Gail Davis
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7869 EMAIL ME
Tammy Harding
Tammy Harding
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7870 EMAIL ME
Kerry Ririe
Kerry Ririe
Tour Consultant
+27 87 353 7871 EMAIL ME

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