TRAVEL DAY DEPARTURE
Depart your hometown for Nairobi. Though airfare is not included in the tour cost, Java Africa Safaris is always happy to assist you with the necessary travel arrangements. Java Africa is a preferred partner of Kenya Airways.
DAY 1 ARRIVAL & WELCOME
Java Africa Safaris representative will meet you upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transfer you and your luggage to Fairmont’s The Norfolk Hotel. Our representative will assist you with check-in formalities so you can relax and recharge after your journey. Overnight at The Norfolk Hotel. Dinner under own arrangements.
Since opening its doors in 1904, The Norfolk Hotel has welcomed a steady stream of dignitaries and safari-goers. A true Kenyan landmark, it is an oasis of calm, refined luxury in the heart of bustling Nairobi. Tomorrow you will set out on safari from its broad verandah, just as adventure-seekers have done for more than a century.
OVERNIGHT – THE NORFOLK HOTEL
DAY 2 AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
This morning after an early breakfast, you will be transferred from your hotel to Wilson Airport for your short flight to Amboseli. Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide who will drive you to Tawi Lodge, located on a 6,000 acre private conservancy just five minutes from Kimana Gate, the eastern entrance to Amboseli National Park. Later this afternoon, enjoy a game viewing drive in the park, returning to the lodge for dinner and overnight. With Mount Kilimanjaro looming large in the background, Tawi Lodge offers stylish accommodation while on safari in Amboseli. The lodge actively supports projects that promote harmonious coexistence of wildlife and the Maasai people along the corridor between Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills.
OVERNIGHT – TAWI LODGE AMBOSELI
DAY 3 AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
This morning, take in the stunning view over a full breakfast before heading out for an early morning game drive. Return to the lodge for lunch and set out once more in the afternoon for more wildlife viewing. Dinner and overnight at Tawi Lodge Amboseli. Amboseli National Park is situated in the shadow of 19,341-foot Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest mountain and the largest freestanding mountain in the world. The snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro, floating like a saucer above the clouds, dominates every aspect of Amboseli and forms a backdrop to an impressive display of wildlife including lions, elephants, leopards, cheetah, buffalo. It is a photographer’s paradise and well-known as one of the best places in the world to view elephants. The bull elephants here have some of the largest tusks in Kenya.
OVERNIGHT – TAWI LODGE AMBOSELI
DAYS 4 & 5 SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
DAY 4: After another lovely breakfast this morning, we head back to the Amboseli airstrip for our flight to Samburu, connecting in Nairobi. Java Africa representative will meet your plane and transfer you to Elephant Bedroom Camp in time for lunch. An afternoon game drive through Samburu is followed by dinner at the camp.
DAY 5: Enjoy the entire day in Samburu with early morning and late afternoon game drives. Return once more for dinner and overnight at Elephant Bedroom Camp. Elephant Bedroom Camp consists of just twelve splendidlyappointed tents set along the banks of the Ewaso River. Luxurious and intimate, Elephant Bedroom Camp is one of the finest in Kenya. Don’t be surprised to find an elephant wandering down the path in this aptly-named camp. Samburu National Reserve lies within the lands of the Samburu, cousins of the Maasai. The reserve is one of the best places to find several endemic northern species including gerenuk, reticulated giraffe, and Grevy’s zebra. The area is quite arid, causing the game to congregate near the Ewaso Nyiro river which runs through the reserve. This concentration of wildlife makes game viewing particularly good.
OVERNIGHT – ELEPHANT BEDROOM CAMP
DAY 6 MAASAI MARA
Setting out after breakfast, we depart Elephant Bedroom Camp for the airstrip for your flight south to the Maasai Mara. Upon arrival in the Mara, you will be met by your new guide and driven to Elephant Pepper Camp. Stopping to view game en-route, you arrive in time for lunch. This luxurious and ecologically sensitive camp is located in the heart of the bush. The Maasai Mara Game Reserve is widely considered to be one of Africa’s greatest reserves, where the Maasai community coexists in harmony with the local fauna. This co-existence of man and wildlife makes this one of the world’s most unique wilderness regions. The Mara is home to a breathtaking array of life. The vast grasslands are teeming with herds of zebra, giraffe, gazelle, and topi. The acacia forests abound with monkeys and bird life. Elephants and buffalo wallow in the wide Musiara Swamp while the Mara and Talek rivers brim with hippos and crocodiles. From July through October, the Mara plays host to one of the greatest spectacles on the planet as millions of wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and topi head north from Tanzania into Kenya. Those fortunate enough to witness The Great Migration are treated to spectacular viewing and photographic opportunities. Enjoy an afternoon game drive in this natural paradise, returning to the lodge for dinner, relaxation around the fire pit, and overnight.
OVERNIGHT – ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP
DAYS 7 & 8 MAASAI MARA
Spend the entire two days exploring the splendors of the Mara with morning and afternoon game-viewing drives. We return to camp each day for lunch and relief from the mid-day African sun. One afternoon, we visit a local Maasai village to meet and learn about
this semi-nomadic tribe, famous for cattle herding and distinctive red clothing. Each night begins with drinks and hors d’oeuvres around the camp fire followed by a candlelit dinner in the main tent.
OVERNIGHT – ELEPHANT PEPPER CAMP
DAY 9 NGORONGORO CRATER
After an early morning game drive, return to the camp for a full breakfast. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the nearby airstrip for your flights to Tanzania. Java Africa representative will be waiting in Nairobi to assist you with your connecting flight to Kilimanjaro Airport. Once in Tanzania, you will meet your guide and enjoy a picnic lunch before pressing on to the Karatu region and a visit to a local Maasai community. We arrive in time for dinner at the exceptional Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge. If you wish, enjoy a cocktail before retiring to the comfort of your private villa for a restful night’s sleep. Ngorongoro Crater was an ancient active volcano whose cone collapsed some three million years ago, leaving a deep crater. It is the largest unbroken caldera in the world, the second largest extinct crater, and today shelters arguably the most beautiful wildlife haven left on earth with a spectacular concentration of animals and stunning views. Known as “Africa’s Garden of Eden”, the crater is undoubtedly the best place in Tanzania to see black rhinos as well as prides of lions with magnificent black-maned males. Elephant, leopard, buffalo, cheetah, zebra, warthog, a dozen antelope species, and nearly one hundred species of birds not found even in the Serengeti also live within its walls. The crater rim is wooded with mountain forest vegetation and is abloom in acres of pink, blue, and white lupines, candle white lilies, and blue hyacinth. The short grasses on the crater’s floor make game easy to spot and photograph.
OVERNIGHT – EXPLOREANS NGORONGORO LODGE
DAY 10 NGORONGORO CRATER
After breakfast, the driver guides your vehicle nearly 2,000 feet down into the crater for a full day of exploration. In addition to the viewing larger game, we will drive across the dense forest on the rim to the soda lake to view the outstanding bird life. Today, we enjoy a picnic lunch inside the crater and ascend back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
OVERNIGHT – EXPLOREANS NGORONGORO LODGE
DAY 11 OLDUVAI GORGE & THE SERENGETI
After breakfast, we drive to Olduvai Gorge, the “cradle of mankind” where the Leakey family uncovered fossils of Homo Habilis that have been dated to over 1.75 million years old. After a picnic lunch, you rejoin your vehicle and continue on to the Serengeti and the Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp. Enjoy game viewing enroute and arrive in the evening for dinner at the camp. After, unwind amidst the Edwardian luxury of your private terrace as you look out across the plains of the world-famous Serengeti. The Serengeti National Park, at 5,700 mi2, is larger than the state of Connecticut. Protected since the 1940s, the area was made a national park in 1951 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fantastic in its natural beauty and unequalled in its scientific value, this vast expanse of land is home to more than four million different types of animals. Large herds of antelope of every description can be found here: Patterson’s eland, klipspringer, dikdik, impala, zebra, gazelle, water buck, topi, kongoni, Cotton’s oribi, grey bush duiker, roan antelope, buffalo, and wildebeest. Storks, flamingoes, vultures, fish eagles, and ostrich are among the nearly five hundred species of birds that also call the Serengeti home. Include cheetah, lion, leopard, giraffe, hippopotamus, and rhinoceros, and there are precious few animals that cannot be seen in this ecological wonderland. From open grass plains in the south, savannah and scattered acacia in the center, hilly wooded grasslands in the north, and black clay plains in the west, the landscape is as varied as the wildlife that lives upon it. The Serengeti’s low vegetation means that game viewing is relatively easy. Small rivers, lakes, and swamps dot this magnificent landscape where animals roam in complete freedom. Vast herds of ungulates arrive from the Maasai Mara and begin to congregate in December, culminating in the calving of half a million wildebeest in early February. This southern portion of The Great Migration lasts from December until May, when the herds head out of the Serengeti and into the Mara once more.
OVERNIGHT – KIRAWIRA LUXURY TENTED CAMP
BALLOON SAFARI ADD-ON
Optional but highly recommended, the Balloon Safari is a very popular excursion among visitors and can be added to a safari that includes a night at any of the camps/lodges in the Mara. Meeting your pilot early this morning, you will receive a briefing and watch as the balloon is inflated. You lift-off at dawn, rising with the sun and gently float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. Below are the majestic plains of the African savannah, teeming with life. At times, your balloon will be piloted at treetop level, offering unique perspectives of the wildlife and many great photo opportunities. Other times, the pilot will ascend to nearly 1,000 feet, offering a breathtaking perspective of the Mara, allowing you to appreciate its profound size. On landing, enjoy a delicious champagne breakfast served in the bush under an acacia tree. Total flight time from lift-off until touch-down is approximately one to two hours.
DAY 12 THE SERENGETI
We set out after an early breakfast amongst the splendor of an African sunrise for a full day of game viewing. Negotiating the roads and tracks away from the camp, you are transported into a world of timeless natural wonder; one where the sights, sounds, and pageantry of life continue on just as they have for thousands of years. As the day progresses, your driver’s deep knowledge of the land becomes apparent as he leads you to a one spot of outstanding beauty after the next, allowing you to observe the wildlife quietly and at your leisure. As the animals take refuge from the hot mid-day sun, we find a secluded spot to stop and enjoy a picnic lunch before pressing on. You arrive back at the lodge at dusk, pleasantly tired after an exhilarating day. After a well deserved hot shower, you head to the main lodge for dinner. As you settle in for the night, you can take in the wildlife grazing nearby. The atmosphere is remarkably peaceful as night falls, leaving you with dreams of this diverse and wonderful country.
OVERNIGHT – KIRAWIRA LUXURY TENTED CAMP
DAY 13 LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
This morning, you wake one last time to the expansive view of the Serengeti your tent. After breakfast, we drive to Lake Manyara National Park, viewing game en-route to our lodge and arriving in time for lunch. After getting settled in, set out for an afternoon game drive and hope to see the park’s famous tree-climbing lions. A wealth of bird life and large game roam the park and its lake, with the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley forming a stunning backdrop to it all. The lodge is perched high above the lake with magnificent views from your room and the grounds. Dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge. The beautiful Lake Manyara covers two thirds of this national park; the rest consists of steep mountainside, swamps, dense woodlands, open grassy areas and hot springs. One of the many alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley, it was formed three million years ago and is quite shallow – perfect for the 350 species of birds including pelicans, ibises, storks, Egyptian geese, and flamingoes. Baboons and black monkeys can be heard chattering in the woodlands near the park’s entrance and a multitude of large game can be found traversing the low, grassy areas near the lake’s shore.
OVERNIGHT – LAKE MANYARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE
DAY 14 ARUSHA & FAREWELL
You have one last chance to photograph the Great Rift Valley before departing for Arusha and lunch at Arusha Coffee Lodge. After lunch, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your scheduled flight back home. Sadly, the adventure comes to an end, but the memories are forever. ** End of Arrangements **
Optional Supplements: Balloon Safari: $490pp in Mara | $500pp in Serengeti
Note: A supplemental holiday surcharge of $45 per person per night may apply for travel over Christmas and Easter holidays. Accommodations listed are subject to availability.
From the moment you arrive until your departure, we make sure you are free to relax and enjoy your safari!
4x4 Land Cruiser vehicle
All air transfers within Kenya & Tanzania
Bottled mineral water while on safari
Transfers to/from airport upon arrival/departure
Full board accommodation while on safari
Overnight accommodation and breakfast in Nairobi
Lunch at Arusha Coffee Lodge
All park entrance fees
Game drives as specified in the itinerary
Shared use of 4x4 Land Cruiser for game drives in Kenya
All Kenyan government taxes & service charges
Flying Doctors evacuation insurance
International flights to Nairobi (NBO) / from Arusha (JRO)
All items of a personal nature
Tips and gratuities
Add-ons and supplements (balloon safari in Mara or Serengeti)
All other items not mentioned in inclusions