Kickstart your African safari adventure in Kenya. Meet your Trafalgar Representative and embark on a 4 x 4 journey in your Toyota Landcruiser vehicle to your hotel. Spend the evening with your fellow explorers and your Kenya Driver Guide enjoying a delicious Welcome Reception at the world-famous Carnivore restaurant.
This morning Connect With Locals during a Be My Guest Experience at Shangilia Children's Home, a centre for street and orphaned children in Nairobi. A highlight of your visit will be the opportunity to watch Shangilia’s older children go about their daily music, acrobatics and dance practice. Your visit is a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience and contributes to the home's efforts to transform the lives of these vulnerable children. After lunch, you'll make tracks north to the Aberdare Highlands. For the next two nights, this wildlife sanctuary will be your home – as it is for large herds of zebra, warthog and impala which you’ll often spot grazing nearby. Take advantage of a quiet afternoon and relax at the pool, or join an Optional Experience through the forested ravines and open moorlands that characterise the distinctive landscape of Aberdare National Park.
Embark on a half-day game drive exploration of Solio Game Reserve, a privately-owned wildlife conservancy recognised internationally as the most successful rhino breeding reserve in Kenya. Since its founding in the 1970s, the reserve has been a safe haven for black and white rhino, the reserve being home to the world's largest population of the latter. Trafalgar guests are in for a real treat here. The reserve remains a fairly well-kept secret on the safari circuit and special safari moments will be shared with the resident wildlife, with few other safari vehicles in sight. This is your opportunity to spot large numbers of rhino and other wildlife, such as buffalo, zebra, giraffe, leopard and lion. Immerse yourself fully in your natural surrounds and enjoy the iconic savannah views against the backdrop of Mount Kenya. You'll have an afternoon at leisure which you could choose to spend strolling around the beautifully landscaped grounds of your accommodation or on an optional nature walk within its sanctuary.
Keep your camera ready for a photo stop at the spectacular Thomson's Falls. Connect with the soul of Africa's Great Rift Valley as you journey to Lake Nakuru National Park. Renowned as a bird watcher's paradise with more than 400 species recorded here. Lake Nakuru National Park's secrets are revealed by your expert Driver Guide who will help you spot some of these this afternoon, along with searching for lion and leopard. Your overnight stay is in the National Park with views of the lake.
Rise with the birds and join your Driver Guide at sunrise on the lake shore to spot pink flamingos, pelicans and several other species of water birds. Look out for rhino, zebra and buffalo which may be grazing nearby. As you continue with your 4 x 4 game drive, you'll navigate more of Lake Nakuru National Park's landscapes. Immerse yourself in the sounds and smells of the bush - the damp scents of the surrounding savannah and cheery calls of birds provide a stirring backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience. Journey to Lake Naivasha for lunch and enjoy a boat ride in search of the resident hippo. Next up, head over to Crescent Island and join a 'Local Specialist' to walk among wildlife such as zebra, impala and giraffe.
Venture across the Great Rift Valley to the savannah wilderness of Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve, whose promise of some of the best game viewing in the world attracts safari enthusiasts the world over. Your home for the next two nights is in the heart of the National Reserve, ensuring you'll have the opportunity to see wildlife from the moment you head out on your safari game drives.
Get close to the wildlife that find sanctuary in Maasai Mara's wilderness, on a full-day safari to seek out the Big 5. 'Dive Into Culture' during a visit to a Maasai village, where you'll watch the warriors display their jumping prowess, then tour the village to gain in-depth insights into the daily life of this colourfully clad tribe. Later, indulge in a bush picnic - the sounds of the bush the perfect accompaniment while you keep your eyes peeled for the flash of resident Bee-eaters, Rollers and Hoopoes flitting from tree to tree, before continuing your game drive in one of the worlds' most famous safari destinations.
Bid Kenya a fond kwaheri (goodbye) along with your Kenyan Driver Guide as you arrive this morning at the Kenya/Tanzania border crossing. After immigration formalities, your Tanzania Driver Guide is waiting to welcome you for the second part of your trip. Board your Tanzania 4 x 4 vehicle and travel on to Africa's largest lake, Lake Victoria, where your accommodation is located on the shoreline. Make sure you take the short stroll down to the waters' edge tonight to see the spectacle of a beautiful sunset over the lake.
Take a stroll along the tranquil shores of Lake Victoria this morning. It's the perfect way to start another soul-stirring day in Africa, which will see you head to the UNESCO-listed Serengeti National Park. The endless and vast plains of the Serengeti provide an exquisite backdrop for a 4 x 4 safari game drive. Keep your eyes on the bush and follow the tracks of lion, leopard and cheetah - sometimes difficult to spot because they love to laze beneath the shade of trees and in between the tall grass. After lunch at your accommodation, you'll have a second opportunity to discover the many secrets of this spectacular National Park.
The Serengeti's reputation for wildlife viewing is second to none. This is the home of the greatest annual wildlife spectacle on earth - the Great Migration. Embark on your full-day game drive with your Driver Guide who will tell the story of how over a million wildebeest cross the Mara River annually in search of green pastures. Keep your eyes peeled for flashes of wildlife across the plains dotted with shady Acacia trees. You'll gain a true sense of the vastness of this national park and the diversity of its ecosystems and landscapes along the way.
Leaving the Serengeti behind this morning, we'll journey to the neighbouring UNESCO-listed Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Descending hundreds of metres down to the floor of the vast Ngorongoro Crater, you'll have an opportunity to explore its forests and grass plains in search of elephant, lion, zebra and wildebeest, among other species. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater before beginning your climb back to the crater rim. Your overnight accommodation is nestled within lush green farmlands offering spectacular panoramic views.
A short drive this morning brings us to the village of Mto wa Umbu. Rub shoulders with the locals as you 'Dive Into Culture' and embark on a walking tour to soak up the community spirit. Stroll through farmlands, past the local school and market, learning all about village life along the way. There's time to catch a glimpse of how the tasty local banana beer is made and a chance to sample some yourself, before heading up the dusty road for lunch. The local ladies have been cooking up a storm of traditional dishes and will gladly explain how each one is made. You'll hear how by simply savouring this local meal, you've contributed to the livelihood of their families. Later, enjoy an afternoon game drive through Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its tree-climbing lions.
Our first stop today is Tarangire National Park. Arriving in time for lunch at our lodge, enjoy a short siesta or one-on-one encounter with the tree hyraxes that cling to the lodge's trees. We've left the best for last. On this final game drive of the trip, you'll encounter a natural landscape so entirely different from anything you've seen so far in Tanzania. Giant baobabs, flat-topped acacias and termite mounds dot the unusual landscape. Tarangire is renowned as one of the best places to view elephants and your Driver Guide will scout for the vast herds that roam these plains so you can admire these gentle giants as they plod their way along in search of the juiciest vegetation. Tonight, as the sky radiates red, yellow and orange, enjoy a bush sundowner and take some time to contemplate the incredible sights you've encountered during your East Africa adventure.
Travel to Arusha this morning. The rich aroma of local coffee lingers in the air as you savour lunch at one of Tanzania's largest coffee plantations. Then it's time to say a sad farewell to your new friends and Driver Guide, as you take your transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for your outbound flight. (Onward flights should not be booked to depart until after 4 pm). Should you have a late evening flight departure, you may wish to consider booking a day use room at the KIA Lodge airport hotel. Please Note: This trip is operated on a small group basis. Guests will travel in a 4 X 4 safari vehicle for the full duration of the itinerary, including all road travel and safari game drives. The trip will travel over a variety of terrains, resulting in some rough and bumpy journeys. Guests must travel with a soft sided bag or medium size suitcases due to limited space in the safari vehicles.