This innovative safari combines the must-see wildlife regions of Kenya and Tanzania. The Mara-Serengeti eco-system is one of the richest on earth, and after heading straight to the rolling plains of the Mara to immerse yourself in ‘Big Cat Diary’ territory, you’ll fly to the Serengeti to begin your journey through northern Tanzania’s most popular national parks.
Wanderlust Safaris 01
Day 1: UK to Nairobi Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Nairobi via Doha.
Day 2: Nairobi to Maasai Mara On arrival in Nairobi you’ll waste no time in heading straight out on safari. Transfer to the domestic airport (Wilson airport) and board a light aircraft for your flight to the Musiara airstrip in the Maasai Mara. This exceptionally wildlife-rich corner of the Mara is the territory of the BBC’s ‘Big Cat Diary’ and home to the authentic Governors’ camps. Nestled in the forest by the Mara River banks, Governors’ Main Camp’s setting was once reserved exclusively for Kenya’s colonial governors. Today, it is the largest and most popular of the three Governors’ Mara camps, yet still has only 37 tents to ensure a welcoming atmosphere. And it’s unfenced, so grazing animals often pass through – even at mealtimes. You’ll spend some unforgettable days heading out on game drives here, and memorable nights under canvas. On going to bed you’ll find a hot water bottle waiting for you, and each morning before your first game drive there’ll be a welcome hot drink brought to your tent to ease you into the day. The classic safari tents all have double or twin beds and an en-suite bathroom area divided by a canvas wall, complete with a hot shower. Each tent also has electric lamps, charge points for cameras and phones, and a deck for wildlife viewing. Some lie secluded along the riverbank, while others sit out in the open with views of the rolling plains. For families, there are family tents sleeping two adults and two children. Stay: Governors’ Main Camp: L, D.
Day 3: Maasai Mara This morning there’s the opportunity for a hot-air balloon ride over the plains at sunrise. This is our most highly recommended activity in the Mara, and after landing in the bush your guides will set up a breakfast feast complete with Champagne. Then head out on game drives in the Mara, discovering about the lives of its resident big cats and other wildlife. Stay: Governors’ Main Camp: B, L, D.
Day 4: Maasai Mara to Serengeti After breakfast you’ll head back to the Musiara airstrip and fly to Migori. Here you’ll travel overland across the border to Tarime airstrip in Tanzania and board another short flight to the Seronera airstrip in the central Serengeti. The whole journey from the Maasai Mara to the Serengeti takes just two hours, and there’s no overnight city stay required in Nairobi or Arusha in between. Travel on to the Serengeti Sopa Lodge for lunch, and then set off for an afternoon game drive where you can hope to spot more big cats as well as the Big Five. Return to the Serengeti Sopa Lodge for the night. This unique lodge is earthy in colour on the outside, with a flat roof offering the optimum spot for sundowners, and houses a vibrant interior and spacious rooms. Stay: Serengeti Sopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 5: Serengeti Venture out on morning and afternoon game drives on the Serengeti’s open savannah. Stay: Serengeti Sopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 6: Serengeti to NgorongoroSet off for Ngorongoro, stopping en route to visit Olduvai Gorge – a rich archaeological site where evidence of the first signs of human life was found. After a picnic lunch, continue on to the NgorongoroSopa Lodge. This large lodge is the only accommodation located on the eastern rim of the crater and enjoys spectacular sunsets. Approx. journey time: 4½ hours. Stay: NgorongoroSopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Wake early for a morning game drive down into the crater. Discover the diverse areas of forest, swamplands, lakes and open grasslands in this volcanic caldera that’s home to the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. There’s good game viewing year-round, as most animals do not leave the crater. You might also spot Maasai tribesmen guiding their cattle down the steep crater walls to graze. Return to the lodge for lunch and in the afternoon visit a Maasai village with your group. This two-hour cultural experience will introduce you to a local manyatta where generations of Maasai live along with their cattle and other livestock. You’ll meet with the village elder or guide and gain an insight into local life, speaking to the Maasai and watching a traditional song and dance performance. Afterwards, there’s the option to buy local curios. Stay: NgorongoroSopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 8: Ngorongoro to TarangireEnjoy a leisurely breakfast before driving on to Gibb’s Farm in Karatu in the heart of the highlands. This working farm dates back to 1929 and is surrounded by floral gardens, coffee plantations and wheat plains. A farmhouse walk with a Maasai guide will introduce you to the medicinal plants of the region. After lunch, drive down a spectacular escarpment with distant views of Lake Manyara on your way to Tarangire. Enter Tarangire with a game drive en route to your lodge in this national park that is scattered with ancient baobab trees and is dominated by the valley of the Tarangire River. Accommodation tonight is the TarangireSopa Lodge, a traditional unfenced lodge that lies hidden amidst the ancient baobab trees and offers up-close wildlife viewing. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours. Stay: TarangireSopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 9: Tarangire Game drives in Tarangire will give you the opportunity to spot herds of elephant, giraffe, gerenuk, lions and leopards. The park is also a haven for birders, with more than 500 species found here. Stay: TarangireSopa Lodge. B, L, D.
Day 10: Tarangire to Arusha After breakfast, pass through the Maasai Steppe on your way back to Arusha, where you’ll have lunch. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours. Then transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK via Doha, arriving the following day. B, L.
Private vehicle Upgrade to a private 4×4 with a driver/guide on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £562 per vehicle