The Wilds of Africa
Nairobi ... Amboseli National Park ... Lake Manyara National Park ... Ngorongoro Crater ... Serengeti National Park ... Masai Mara Game Reserve
Day One - Departure Nairobi, Kenya - Arrive in Nairobi, we are transferred to our hotel. A microcosm of the African continent, this capital city is your gateway to a dramatic procession of natural spectacles in Kenya and Tanzania, among the most thrilling destinations in the world.
Day Two - Amboseli National Park | Game And Mountain Vistas - Drive to Amboseli National Park, known for its thriving big-game population, especially elephants, more than 1,000 of which live in the park. From a distance, take in views of the highest mountain in Africa, the snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro, with its impressive Uhuru Peak soaring to 19,341 feet. Arrive at our lodge set beneath acacia trees in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. After lunch, explore the acacia woodland, freshwater swamps, scrub brush and open plains in search of wildlife. Part of the park is composed of a dried-up lake bed, where mirages rise from the shimmering heat. This evening, share in a special welcome dinner.
Day Three - Amboseli National Park | Mountainside Sightings - Set out on early morning and afternoon game drives, crisscrossing the landscape in search of the park’s large herds of elephants, as well as zebras and wildebeests, along the salt pan trails. Prepare for predator sightings, as opportunistic animals begin roaming the plains in search of prey. Return to our lodge for dinner followed by a relaxing evening under African skies.
Day Four - Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania | Rift Valley - After crossing the border into Tanzania, stop for lunch in Arusha. Then, continue to your lodge, located in a picturesque spot above the Great Rift Valley. On arrival, settle in, freshen up and relax a bit before venturing to a nearby escarpment for stunning views of the valley below. Here, enjoy a refreshing Scenic Sundowner as the equatorial sun slips toward the horizon. This evening, we gather with for a hearty dinner.
Day Five - Ngorongoro Crater | Spot the Tree-Climbing Lions - Set out this morning on a game drive in Lake Manyara in search of nonchalant baboons; dik-diks, which forage for food beneath acacia trees; and large herds of buffalo, wildebeests and zebras, which gather on the grassy, sun-drenched plains. Along a narrow belt of acacia woodland, you may even spot the region’s storied tree-climbing lions, which ascend branches for a cool breeze. After a farm-fresh lunch, travel to the Ngorongoro Crater, ascending its outer wall through dense vegetation. Ngorongoro is the largest unbroken ancient caldera in the world and a likely place to view lions, elephants, hyenas and gazelles.
Day Six - Ngorongoro Crater | Explore a Natural Wildlife Haven - This morning, descend into the crater, arriving ahead of most visitors — thanks to the ideal location of your accommodations on the crater’s rim — to view the resident wildlife at its most active time of day. The prairies of this “Lost World” are great spots for watching buffalo and elephants as well as the countless other species that roam the crater’s 100-square-mile floor. You may even sight flamingos (when in season) or the rare black rhino. Following lunch, visit a Maasai village to gain a better understanding of the nomadic cattle-herders’ daily life and culture.
Day Seven - Serengeti National Park | In Ancient Footsteps - Drive to vast, wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park and through its spectacular mix of savanna grassland and volcanic hills, stopping en route for a privately guided tour of Olduvai Gorge, one of the key sources of prehuman hominid fossils. Renowned paleontologists Mary and Louis Leakey made many notable finds here, including “Nutcracker Man,” who lived approximately 1.75 million years ago. Visit the on-site museum, take in views from the lookout point and examine the excavations, which revealed 3.7-million-year-old footprints and the 1.8-million-year-old skull of a human. Continue to your lodge, which is framed by commanding views of this land of lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs, giraffes and topi. The park also serves as a setting for the Great Migration when it passes through each year. Enjoy your rondavel room with private balcony and unique decor styled to showcase cultural heritage and traditional art.
Day Eight - Serengeti National Park | Iconic Safari Quarry - Today, revel in true safari country, as you Ride Like a Local, searching for the Big Five (lions, leopards, Cape buffalo, elephants and rhinos), along with giraffes, gazelles and zebras. Along the rivers, plains and rocky outcroppings, you may also spot some of the Serengeti’s more diminutive denizens, such as leopard tortoises and rhinoceros beetles.
Day Nine - Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya | Into the Wild - Fly to the vast Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya’s finest wildlife spectacle, offering excellent game viewing year-round. The unending landscape hosts some 450 bird species, 95 animal species and all of the great predators, including the country’s largest lion population. After familiarizing yourself with your luxurious tented accommodations, ideally situated at the confluence of the Mara’s four game-viewing regions, drive through the famed reserve.
Day Ten - Masai Mara Game Reserve | Endless Discovery - Explore a region bestowed with over 500 square miles of savannas, woodlands and tree-fringed rivers on morning and afternoon game drives. You may observe crocodiles basking in the sun, see ever-alert hippos wallowing in muddy water and catch the antics of mischievous monkeys overhead. Watch, too, as African elephants rumble along the forest edge and giraffes snatch leaves from branches high above.
Day Eleven - Masai Mara Game Reserve - Venture forth on a morning game drive. Set Out on a Guided Bird Walk for the opportunity to spot some of the nearly 500 species of birds in the region. Make Beads with the Maasai, learning the craft of beading from tribal members and creating your own jewelry. Throw the Rungu with Maasai Warriors, testing your skills with their traditional wooden hunting club. Then, go on a late-afternoon game drive for a final look at the Mara’s treasures. Later, enjoy a Scenic Sundowner, sipping traditional cocktails while marveling at the incredible open plains just before dusk — a relaxing prelude to a memorable farewell dinner.
Day Twelve - Depart Nairobi - Return to Nairobi. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in a reserved dayroom before your international departure flight home.