Kenya & Tanzania: Traveling Overland & Camping
This enthusiastic operator combines iconic safari game viewing plus camping on the shores of Lake Victoria with exotic Zanzibar. If you're up for camping, this adventure will be fun and a great value!
East Africa: Drink It In
Welcome Aboard the
Kenya and Tanzania are home to some of the most prolific game-viewing locations not just in Africa, but the world. This itinerary takes in a number of the national parks in and around the Great Rift Valley, giving the opportunity to observe some of the best wildlife and scenery Africa has to offer and finishing on the spice island of Zanzibar, a tropical paradise with white sand beaches. Enjoy game drives in Lake Nakuru National Park and the famous Maasai Mara, plus see the wildlife in the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.
- • Experience classic safari game drives in the Maasai Mara, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.
• View endangered White and Black rhinos in Lake Nakuru National Park.
• Travel overland with this enthusiastic operator, camping along the way and seeing East Africa's famed highlights.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
From $5,849 per person
Policies and protocols provided before you book.
Dec 17-30, 2023
Jan 7-20, 2024
Jan 28-Feb 10, 2024
Feb 18-March 2, 2024
Aug 4-17, 2024
Ask us for later dates.
Hover here for specific dates
Trip Sustainability Awards
Trains local porters and provides scholarships for female guides
Ban the Bottle campaign - 99% elimination of single-use plastics
Upholds a strict, industry-leading animal welfare policy
Day 1: Start Nairobi
There are no activities planned today so you are free to arrive in Nairobi at any time.
Accommodation: Heron Court Hotel or similar (standard hotel)
Day 2: To Kembu Farm
After the arrival of the group flights in the early morning, we travel west into the Great African Rift Valley to Kembu, stopping in Nakuru en route to do some shopping and look around this typical African town. We stay on a farm tonight and have an opportunity to do a farm walk this afternoon.
Accommodation: Kembu Farm or similar (full-service camping)
Full-Service Camping: This is a full-service camping safari therefore tents will be erected and meals will be prepared for you unless you wish to help! We have our own cook who shops, prepares and cooks all camping meals.
Day 3: Full Day of Game Drives in Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning we drive to Lake Nakuru National Park where we enjoy a superb game drive. Although this is a small park it is home to an amazing variety of animals and birdlife. The park contains a soda lake, which is sometimes home to thousands of flamingos. We hope to see the endangered White and Black rhinos, lion and if we are very lucky the elusive leopard. There is a stunning view from baboon cliffs above the lake, and here we may see the small furry Rock hyrax, which is related to the elephant! Tonight we camp just outside the park in a campsite with good showers and flush toilets.
Accommodation: Nderit Campsite or similar (full-service camping)
Day 4: To Maasai Mara; Late Afternoon Game Drive
Today we travel into the Maasai Mara, one of the most famous ecosystems in the world. This vast grassland is teeming with life; plains game including wildebeest, gazelle, topi, zebra and buffalo abound in the rolling savannah, and never far away lay the predators: cheetah, lion and hyena. Between mid-August to late October one of the greatest spectacles on Earth takes place in the Mara - the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra trampling their way across the long grass. Nothing is guaranteed on safari, but with the help of our brilliant guides you should see and learn a huge amount about the Maasai Mara's resident wildlife as we game drive through the park this afternoon. Stay in a campsite just outside the reserve for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Mara Springs Camp or similar (full-service camping)
Day 5: Full Day of Game Drives in Maasai Mara
A full day game drive in the Maasai Mara to increase our chances of encountering many of the wildlife species found in the reserve. We'll find a quiet spot inside the park to enjoy lunch by our vehicle, looking out across the plains. There are also several optional excursions that you can enjoy today in addition to the game drive. Get up early for a sunrise Hot Air Balloon Safari (including champagne and breakfast) or visit a traditional Maasai village to meet the locals.
Accommodation: Mara Springs Camp or similar (full-service camping)
Day 6: To Lake Victoria
Our long drive today is up through the Western highlands and allows plenty of time to appreciate the superb scenery. The road begins to descend, and we leave behind the neatly ordered rows of tea bushes as we cross the border into Tanzania at Isebania. We camp in a pleasant spot at Musoma on the shore of Lake Victoria.
Accommodation: Tembo Beach or similar (full-service camping)
Days 7-8: Two days of Game Drives in Serengeti National Park
Today, we turn east and enter the vast Serengeti Plain, one of the largest parks in Africa. There is a choice of routes into the Serengeti, depending on the weather: if it is dry, the 130km of the Western Corridor, usually full of plains game, is open. If it is wet, however, this road, which is built on black cotton soil, is impassible, and we have to enter the park from the north, at Ikoma gate. We spend two nights in the park so we plenty of time to enjoy the vast open spaces and the variety of game. We camp at Seronera where there are various camping areas, all of them in open bush, with no fences to prevent the animals from visiting during the night. A real taste of wild Africa!
Accommodation: Serengeti Public Campsite or similar (full-service camping)
Day 9: Morning Game Drive; to Ngorongoro Crater
We leave early and it is often possible to watch elephants and other animals browsing close to the campsite. The morning is spent game driving in the eastern part of the park, where it is unusual not to spot a pride of lions, in their favourite place - under a big, shady tree. After crossing the vast grasslands we come to the Ngorongoro entry gate at Naabi Hill. We travel up towards the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, the wide-open plains below stretching as far as the eye can see. Finally reaching the top, the crater opens up in front of us, a huge, natural caldera, one of the great sights of Africa.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest unbroken caldera, formed when its volcano top erupted leaving fertile plains in its place. Before this happened, it was actually the highest mountain in Africa, towering over nearby Kilimanjaro. The crater is essentially made up of grassy plains, lush forest and a soda lake which houses flamingos and an array of birdlife. From the rim, at an altitude of 2400m, the cliff plunges down some 600m to the crater floor with a whole host of extinct volcanoes ringing the valley. Our campsite here is very basic indeed and can be very cold at night so please come prepared.
Accommodation: Ngorongoro Ngiri Campsite or similar (full-service camping)
Day 10: Explore the Ngorongoro Crater; Drive Along the Rift Valley to Arusha
We descend to the crater floor in 4WD vehicles and spend the morning watching large numbers of plains game, and the ever-present predators around them. We'll search for hippos in the murky pools and try to protect our food at lunchtime from the fearless Brown kites, as they swoop and snatch anything that appears to be edible!
After a fantastic morning we continue our journey to the edge of the Rift Valley, where there is a great view over Lake Manyara (often tinted pink around the edges from large numbers of flamingos) and on to Arusha.
Accommodation: Meserani Snake Park or similar (full-service camping)
Day 11: Flight to Zanzibar; Afternoon in Stone Town
Take a morning flight over to the island of Zanzibar, 35km from the mainland. First visited by Arab traders in the 8th century, and countless travellers in the following centuries, the island is most famous for its spices, and infamous for being the centre of the East African slave trade. We spend our first night in Stone Town and then three nights by the beach. Stone Town is a myriad of small alleys and markets. We recommend a spice tour, around the island's plantations, with chances to taste and buy.
Accommodation: Abuso Inn or similar (standard hotel)
Days 12-13: Free Days for Optional Activities
After a free morning in Stone Town, we transfer to our hotel by the beach. There is plenty to occupy your days here. You can visit Prison Island, where difficult slaves were kept, or relax on the eastern and northern beaches, with excellent snorkeling, sailing in a dhow and plenty of fresh seafood. The local buses are efficient and enable you to travel all over the island, although hiring a jeep for a day or two is a more exciting way of getting about and not expensive. It's a fascinating mixture of culture, history and wonderful beaches.
Accommodation: Cristal Resort or similar (standard hotel)
Day 14: End Zanzibar
Our adventure ends after breakfast. Those on the group flights will be transferred back to Stone Town for their flight to London.
Meals: All meals are included except lunch and dinner on Zanzibar; you should allow a further US$200 for these.
Activity Level: Moderate. This trip has been graded Leisurely/Moderate with "moderate" referring to the long hours in vehicles. Please see below for vehicle timing.
Camping Notes: Campsites in East Africa usually offer only basic facilities. You should not expect hot showers, flushing toilets and western standards of cleanliness at some of the places we stay. There will be hot showers at some of the campsites, but at several a hot shower is not guaranteed. In the Serengeti you should expect cold showers. At the campsite in Kembu the toilet is a long drop (although it does have a toilet seat); at all other campsites there are flush toilets. Occasionally upgrades are possible at some of the campsites to a room or banda. This can only be arranged locally.
Transportation: Transport is in a specialist overland vehicle. These are ideal vehicles for seeing Africa, being robust enough to cope with some of the inevitable bad roads and having good visibility for the excellent scenery and game parks. The truck carries all the necessary camping equipment and is equipped with a large drinking water tank. e travel in 4WD vehicles in Ngorongoro Crater. During the rainy season 4WD may be used in the Masai Mara.
The driving distances are as follows. Approximate driving time including stops in is brackets:
Nairobi – Kembu Farm: 182km (approx. 5.5 hrs)
Nakuru – Masai Mara: 227km (approx. 9 hrs)
Masai Mara – Lake Victoria: 310 km (approx. 10 hrs or more, depending on the border crossing)
Lake Victoria – Serengeti: 190km (approx. 9 hrs)
Serengeti - Ngorongoro: 135 km (approx. 8 hrs)
Ngorongoro – Arusha: 159 km (approx. 8 hrs)
Life On Board
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I found this itinerary that includes Zanzibar and Lake Victoria very refreshing. If you're active and don't mind camping plus a lot of overland travel, this would be a great option for you.
Joy Martinello, Founder
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