Day 1: Nairobi
Arrive Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi.
On arrival please clear customs and collect your bags. After exiting the arrivals hall, please look for your guide who will meet you and transfer you to Giraffe Manor where one nights' accommodation has been reserved for you.
Most passport holders do require a visa for Kenya. The visas can be applied for online or obtained on arrival (depending on your nationality). For more information please visit https://immigration.ecitizen.go.ke/index.php?id=5
"Cash is King" in Africa and we recommend you travel with US Dollars in small denominations for extras like tipping, curios, and items at the more remote camps where they either don't accept payment by credit card or levy a surcharge for payments made this way.
For us, there is no better hotel in Kenya than Giraffe Manor to start such an epic holiday! The romance of the bygone era, the history of the hotel and the location make it a firm favourite the world-over.
What makes this hotel so special is the resident Rothschild giraffe that often slope up to the hotel for a visit in the mornings and evenings, and love to poke their long necks into the windows in the hope of a treat!
Airport transfers, transportation around the Karen & Langata area (within the check-in and check-out times), all meals, house wines, house soft drinks, house beers, house spirits, laundry, wireless internet access, entrance to the AFEW Giraffe Centre and VAT.
Day 2: Amboseli National Park
This morning at around 10:00 you will be transferred by Giraffe Manor to Wilson Airport for the scheduled charter flight to the Amboseli National Park.
Wilson Airport is an exciting beginning to your safari and once you've checked-in, you may have time to have a quick cup of coffee and get to watch the beautiful small aircraft taking-off and landing.
Flights are on a scheduled basis and may stop along the route to collect or drop-off other guests.
On arrival at the airstrip, a guide from Tortilis Camp will be waiting to warmly greet you and store your luggage on his vehicle. Afterward you may be invited to have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate before the game drive transfer to Tortilis Camp. If you are lucky, you may see a host of animals from gazelles to giraffe to ostrich, elephants and even lion.
You will spend the next two nights at Tortilis Camp.
There is a maximum baggage allowance on all the charter flights of 12 to 15 kilograms per person in completely soft-sided bags (this needs includes your hand luggage and cameras etc.).
Just before landing and at the Amboseli airstrip, be on the watch to see if you can get a glimpse of Mount Kilimanjaro. If it's still on display when you land, you'll be advised to take as many pictures as you can as it may not peep its head out of the clouds again.
All meals, soft drinks, beer, house wines and selected spirits, shared safari activities including game drives, bush picnics, sundowners and guided bush walks, selected items of laundry and airstrip transfers.
Day 3: Amboseli National Park
Full day in the beautiful Amboseli National Park.
Tortilis Camp is a personal favourite of ours. The food is brilliant; we've never eaten such delicious tomatoes (thanks to their extraordinary vegetable garden), and the staff are warm and welcoming. Let's not forget the beautifully appointed rooms and the most comfortable beds and wonderful outside sitting area where we took our morning coffee listening to the bush come alive!
We would suggest you pack your swimming costumes because there's nothing nicer than a refreshing dip after a long day on a game drive.
Day 4: Mara North Conservancy
This morning you will return to the Amboseli airstrip for the return flight to Wilson Airport. You will have a quick flight change for the onward charter flight to the Mara North airstrip.
On arrival, you will be met by a guide and vehicle from Elephant Pepper Camp and transferred to their beautiful property where you will spend the next three nights.
Luxurious safari tents, comfortable beds, a warm fire, hot chocolate, delicious afternoon teas, great fireside stories, wonderful sounds of the bush at night - it is without a doubt, one of the most loved camps. It’s as if a little bit of magic has been dusted over it and its consistent repeat and referral guests are testament to this. We were astounded at their industriousness and how seriously they take their eco rating; it’s incredible to see the cuisine that the kitchen prepares and the comfort of their beds and to think of how remote their location is! It is a personal favourite of ours and our director got married there she loves it so much!
All meals, conservancy fees, soft drinks, beer, house wine and selected spirits, shared day and night game drives, bush picnics, guided bush walk sundowners, Mara North airstrip transfers and selected items of laundry.
Day 5: Mara North Conservancy
Full day in the Mara North.
The beauty of Elephant Pepper Camp is it's location in the Mara North Concession. This means that you are in the heart of the of the Masai Mara ecosystem and the game viewing is something to behold, but it also means you are not jostling for space to look at game like you would in the Masai Mara Reserve.
Included in a three-night stay is a game drive into the Masai Mara Reserve where you will have a chance to see the migration where over 1.3 million wildebeest and zebra cross from the Serengeti in search of greener pastures in Kenya.
Day 6: Mara North Conservancy
We would recommend a hot air balloon safari. After a safety briefing you will climb inside the basket and begin your ascent over the sweeping plains of the Masai Mara. We would suggest you wear layers and dress warm as it can be quite chilly.
After a sometimes eventful landing you will be treated to a hearty bush breakfast before being returned to your camp.
Day 7: Northern Serengeti
Today you will begin your journey into the Serengeti of Tanzania.
After bidding your camp hosts farewell, you will be transferred back to the Mara North airstrip for the charter flight to Migori which is on the Kenyan side of the border. From Migori you will be transferred by road into Tanzania (to clear customs) and on to the Tarime airstrip. From Tarime you will fly by charter flight to the Kogatende airstrip in the northern Serengeti.
On arrival at the Kogatende airstrip you will be met by a guide and vehicle from Serengeti Safari Camp who will transfer you on to their camp where you will spend the next three nights.
Most passport holders do require a visa to enter Tanzania. Please visit http://www.tanzaniaconsul.com/visa.html for more information.
The government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever (this does not include the US). See the complete list: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2018/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/yellow-fever#5291
That means as you will be arriving from Kenya, you will reqiure proof of yellow fever vaccination.
All meals, house drinks, shared scheduled game drives, selected items of laundry and park fees.
Day 8: Northern Serengeti
Full day in one of our favourite National Parks!
Serengeti Safari Camp is one of our favourite camps in the Serengeti which is why we think it's perfect for your holiday. The tents are wonderfully appointed and their en-suite bathrooms have new eco-flush loos and safari-style bucket showers, as well as a wash-basin with cold running water. Hot water will be delivered as and when you'd like it by your tent attendant.
The camp staff and guides are genuine and welcoming and their thoughtfulness and passion for their country and this amazing camp are something that really struck a chord with us. Their food is also amazing and the small touches such as the beautiful tray with biscuits with your morning coffee and the wide smile that comes with it are guaranteed to make your day!
Day 9: Northern Serengeti
Full day in the northern Serengeti.
Let’s not forget why you are in the Serengeti in the first place; to be in the best possible location to view the wildebeest migration as it covers hundreds of miles of the Serengeti National Park each year. The camp moves throughout the Serengeti National Park, changing location to follow the movements of the migration (it will not move during your stay). Camp movements are pre-planned in an effort to be within reach of the herds, but this cannot always be guaranteed given the unpredictability of nature and weather conditions.
Activities include morning and afternoon shared game drives (unless on private guided package which offers more flexibility) in closed 4WD vehicles (with open-roof hatches) and a guide; great birding; an opportunity to (fingers crossed) see the great wildebeest and zebra migration; large herds of plains game and the highest concentration of predators in Africa.
Day 10: Karatu
This morning after breakfast you will return to the Kogatende airstrip for the charter flight to Lake Manyara airstrip.
On arrival you will be met by a guide and vehicle and transferred to the gorgeous Gibbs Farm where you will spend the next two nights.
Gibbs is a treat for young and old and you will be welcomed to take part in what they call the "Rhythm of the Farm", which includes early morning bread making, coffee roasting, cow milking, morning bird census and vegetable harvesting, pig feeding, dinner vegetable harvesting, afternoon high tea, forest trail check, bush baby feeding and sunset gathering at Tembo Fire. It's a beautiful retreat and a firm favourite of ours!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner, farm based and local cultural activities as included at the lodge.
Day 11: Karatu
Today your private guide will take you into the Ngorongoro Crater for a game drive. A packed picnic lunch will accompany you and you can discuss your day's plans to suit you.
Had it not become the world's sixth-largest unbroken caldera, then what is now known as the Ngorongoro crater could have been a towering volcanic mountain, as high as Kilimanjaro.
The area contains over 25 000 large animals including 26 black rhinoceros. There are 7 000 wildebeests, 4 000 zebras, 3 000 eland and 3 000 Grant's and Thomson's gazelles. The crater also has the densest known population of lions, numbering 62. Higher up, in the rain forests of the crater rim, are leopards, about 30 large elephants, mountain reedbuck and more than 4 000 buffalo, spotted hyenas, jackals, rare wild dogs, cheetahs, and other felines.
Day 12: Arusha
This morning after breakfast, your private guide and vehicle will transfer you to the beautiful Lake Manyara National Park for a game drive. Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
After a packed picnic lunch care of Gibbs Farm, you will make your way on to Arusha where your last nights' accommodation has been booked for you at Arusha Coffee Lodge.
Breakfast and dinner.
Day 13: End of Itinerary
Today you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your onward flight arrangements.
Bon Voyage! Thank you so much for booking this epic East African safari with us!