This 10-day Kenya & Tanzania Safari visits the best of East Africa’s national parks including the lesser-known hidden gem of Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. Our group of no more than seven guests travel in a 4x4 Land Cruiser, where every guest is guaranteed a window seat. On this affordable wildlife safari, we have the luxury of time to fully immerse ourselves in the African bushveld.
Travel from Kenya to Tanzania to explore Masai Mara, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Lake Nakuru, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti on safari drives. In traditional African safari style, the best way to experience the bush, most of our nights are spent in tented camps, close to nature and lulled to sleep by the sounds of wildlife.
This African budget safari promises to be an unforgettable wildlife experience that will leave you wanting more.
After a quick tour briefing in Nairobi, we leave the city behind and travel to Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located on the equator. This hidden gem, which started life as a working cattle ranch, is a model for wildlife conservation and its transformation was made possible by some generous donations. It is home to the endangered African Wild Dog, two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino and has the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.
Arriving in the afternoon we soon embark on our first wildlife viewing drive. Ol Pejeta is home to some big cats so keep an eye out for lion, cheetah and leopard although the leopard is elusive, so if you do see one you are privileged. The conservancy has five main habitats - grasslands, open bush, dense bush, riverine and swamp - the open bush, peppered with acacia trees, the fruits of which is the black rhino's main food source, covers the largest area of the conservancy. The grasslands also cover a large area and are a very important habitat for white rhino, antelope and unusually, domestic grazing animals.
We return to Serena Sweetwaters Camp (or similar) in the evening, where we may enjoy a sundowner on our tent's private terrace, watching the wildlife stroll by. Welcome to Africa!
We're up early this morning, typical behaviour when on safari and, after breakfast, we make our way to Nakuru National Park. We pause for a look at Kenya's highest waterfall in Nyahururu watching the water making its 72-metre descent. Back on the road, we pass villages and arrive at Nakuru in time for the afternoon wildlife viewing drive. This area is known as a bird lover's paradise and particularly beautiful are the large flocks of flamingos that colour the water with a pink hue although this sight is dependent on water levels and the time of year. You may also be fortunate to spot the rare Rothschild giraffe which makes its home here along with black and white rhino.
As night falls we head to Flamingo Hill Tented Camp (or similar), our home tonight. We enjoy a hearty dinner and relax around the campfire chatting with our fellow travellers.
Today promises a special treat as we leave Nakuru and head south to world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve and the land of the enigmatic Masai. We cross the Great Rift Valley, pass by Lake Naivasha, known for its flower cultivation industry and the inactive Mt Suswa volcano on our journey to one of the most spectacular places on the African continent. The first of many wildlife viewing drives starts quite soon after we arrive. We leave with our knowledgable guide in search of the Big 5 that are resident in this reserve.
We spend two nights on the bank of the Talek River at Julia’s River Camp (or similar), a charming camp where wildlife come to drink at the river. You may spot that elusive leopard here!
Heading out bright and early we have the whole day to explore the Masai Mara Game Reserve. If you visit during the Great Migration when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and zebras follow the rain and migrate to Kenya from Tanzania’s Serengeti, make a stop at the Mara River. Here you may be in luck and witness a river-crossing when the animals cross the river, trying to avoid the jaws of a hungry crocodile. Given we have two full days here we are in no rush and can experience each moment to the fullest. Everyone wants to see the Big Five, but turn your eye to the other animals: hyenas and cheetahs roam the savannah, waterbucks and zebras come to the rivers to quench their thirst, while hippos protect their sensitive skin from the sun in the murky waters.
On day four we return to Julia’s River Camp (or similar) for stories around the dinner table and another night in the bush.
On day 5 we explore the western side of the reserve which helps to give us a feel for the ecosystem here. Our guide is a fountain of knowledge and will help us understand the context and fragility of our natural surroundings. He has by now taught us so much about the flora and fauna, shown us signs that point to the animals' behaviour patterns, watched us marvel at superb African sunsets and ensured we see as much wildlife as possible. His knowledge and experience are invaluable.
Tonight we stay at Mara West Camp (or similar) which is remotely located and offers panoramic views across the Mara.
Today we say goodbye to the wildlife and Kenya and make for Lake Victoria in Tanzania and some relaxation. First, we have to go through immigration as we cross the border into Tanzania, but once there, we make for Serenity on the Lake (or similar) on the shores of Lake Victoria, our retreat for the night. Here we can brush off the dust of the bush, relax at the pool or in the spa, even catch up on social media if you are missing the connections. Today is all about leisure.
Wake up in a comfy bed in Tanzania a hop and a skip from the entrance to the Serengeti and more wildlife encounters. The name Serengeti translates into 'endless plains' and it is soon obvious how this area earned this sobriquet. The grasslands are dotted with kopjies, a favourite spot for a lion's afternoon nap. The Serengeti is known for its large prides of lion, lazing under shade-giving acacia trees. Keep your eyes peeled on the branches of the trees and you may spot a leopard, devouring its recent kill. No day on safari is like the other and you will be amazed by the sightings on your great East African safari. Along with the Mara, Serengeti is host to the great migration of wildebeest and zebra, so if you missed it in Masai Mara you may see it in the Serengeti bearing in mind this is a seasonal occurrence. What's interesting is that before you see the millions of animals you hear them coming in a cacophony of sound that fills the air.
In the middle of the afternoon, we arrive at Kati Kati Tented Camp (or similar) an exclusive, unfenced camp putting you as close to nature as possible. The mess tent in the middle of the camp is a congenial spot to enjoy meals, drinks and the campfire with fellow travellers.
Wake up to birdsong as the sun rises in this exclusive camp in Central Serengeti and tuck into a hearty breakfast in the bush. We head out on to the plains of the Serengeti waiting to discover what sights we will encounter today. The plains are alive with herds of elephant, wild dog, cheetah, jackal, hyena, zebra, antelope ...... And the birds, over 500 species from storks to lovebirds, ready to delight you with their antics.
As the day draws to a close we head back to our camp in the bush and an evening around the campfire.
Leaving the Serengeti early this morning we should take the opportunity and watch out for more predators – when the temperatures are cooler, big cats are more active and embark on the hunt. We arrive in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the late morning and drive into the world-famous crater just before lunchtime for the spectacular last game drive of our safari. This large inactive volcanic caldera is seasonally home to more than 25 000 animals. Large herds of zebras, buffaloes and prides of lion roam the crater floor. The steep crater walls covered in thick mountain forest are always visible, marking the boundaries of this haven for wildlife – a unique place.
After your game drive, you continue to nearby Karatu and spend the last night of your safari in the Ngorongoro Farm House (or similar), a former working farm and located on a coffee plantation.
Our final day of this unforgettable experience has dawned. After a relaxed breakfast, we head to Arusha and our onward journey.
This safari is also available as a private tour on any day of the year. If you are interested in booking it on a private basis, please contact African Budget Safaris for pricing details.
You will stay in hotels, safari lodges or permanent tented camps (with en-suite bathrooms). Safari lodges are solid buildings, whereas tented camps are permanently set-up, walk-in safari-style tents that offer the same service as hotels and lodges. Whenever possible, we accommodate our guests at small and personal tented camps, avoiding the big lodges.
We only use specially converted 4×4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Land Cruiser) that are able to take on the harsh Kenyan road conditions. Each guest will enjoy a window seat and during game drives the roof will open, ensuring unspoilt views.
This tour does take children.
There is no official age limit, but due to the many hours spent in the vehicle, we don’t recommend this trip for children under the age of 6 years. However, if parents can confidently say that their children are comfortable in travelling long distances, they are of course welcome. However, parents are responsible for their children at all times.
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