This classic trip covers the highlights of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, one of the world's most scenic and wildlife-packed regions.
After leaving Kenya's bustling capital of Nairobi, you head straight to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara for an incredible 3-day jeep safari through the National Park, with fantastic opportunities to see the 'Big 5' as well as a wealth of other wildlife. The game viewing continues after you cross the border into Tanzania, with safaris in both the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro National Parks.
You will camp near the majestic snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and explore the local village of Mto wa Mbu, famously home to many different cultures and handicrafts.
The trip ends with a journey to the famous and evocative tropical island of Zanzibar, where we explore the fascinating old town, tour the spice plantations, and relax on the idyllic white beaches.
Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).
There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular Dragoman crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow.
Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Zanzibar.
In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.
Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!
Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!
Your Dragoman crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.
On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere.
On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.
In Nungwi we will spend both nights in a good hotel right on the shore of the ocean.
Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.
In Dar es Salaam we stay at a beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city.
Today we join our overland truck and set off early to beat the morning trafiic in Dar es Salaam. We have a full day's drive to Lushoto, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro.
In Lushoto we will camp in the grounds of a hotel.
Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
After breakfast we head west to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park. On the drive to Arusha we will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views from the road.
We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.
In Arusha we will stay in a well equipped campsite.
Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.
Today we will be met by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 4-day excursion to the Tarangire National Park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.
We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 4 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.
We will have safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a full day drive within Tarangire National Park. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!
Once we make it into our camp site for the evening will will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.
Today we have an optional bike ride or bush walk along the shore of Lake Manyara. Then we will experience the view from the birds perspective with a tree top walkway followed by a traditional Swahili buffet for lunch.
After lunch we will make our way down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spot for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!
Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti National Park. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.
The next morning we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.
There is an option this morning for to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip with Dragoman.
We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.
Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.
This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.
We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.
We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.
Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Namanga, enter Kenya at Namanga.
Today we will head to Amboseli National Park. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.
Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.
Welcome to Nairobi, the final stop on our trip!
You will have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!
Border Information - if you are leaving the trip here, you will most likely exit Kenya from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).
Today is the final day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi.
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Mic's friendly personality was appreciated by all the passengers and we really enjoyed meeting up with her again after our travels with her last year in India. Matt again drove us safely along some very trying roads.Overall Rating
I haven't been on this sort of trip before so I didn't know what to expect, nor have I anything to compare it to - so as far as my own experience goes it was excellent!Overall Rating
Dave a Frenchie were excellent. They were the best pair of leaders/co leaders have had on a trip. They were extremely helpful, created a relaxed, fun atmosphere and went the extra mile to make the trip a unforgettable experience (for example arranging breakfast in a local market).Overall Rating
Dave and Frenchie were so great at creating "harmony" within the ranks of 21 people on the 21-day Gorilla Loop. Denford is the best cook ever and catered to ever complaining vegetarians, gluten free issues, etc.Overall Rating
Our cook made the most awsome food, even lasagne on a fire!Overall Rating
Trip Name: Zanzibar to Nairobi - 2018
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: $1,088
Supplier Tour ID: YND2/158135
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