This Budget Kenya & Tanzania Family Safari takes you on an affordable and exciting journey to East Africa's leading wildlife destinations and scenic gems, including the legendary Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park.
This lodge tour offers plenty of optional and included activities to keep you and the kids enthralled, from boat trips, cultural excursions and wildlife sanctuary tours to game drives and hot air balloon safaris. Accommodation is at family-friendly lodges and comfortable tented camps, with the itinerary designed to keep driving distances to a minimum. The ideal mid-range trip for families wanting to experience the best of East Africa!
On the first day of this Budget Kenya & Tanzania Family Safari, you are collected from the international airport upon arrival in Nairobi. From the airport, you are transferred to our centrally located hotel in the bustling capital of Kenya.
There are plenty of things to do and see in and around Nairobi if you feel like exploring. Visit any one of a number of animal sanctuaries in the city, visit a water park or picnic at Karura Forest. Alternatively, sample some real Kenyan coffee in a local cafe or unwind at the hotel which has a rooftop swimming pool.
The first day is yours to explore Nairobi or rest at the hotel.
On day two, we have breakfast at the hotel before visiting two of Nairobi’s must-see destinations, the Giraffe Center and the Daphne Sheldrick’s Wildlife Trust. At the Giraffe Centre, you and your family can stand on a raised platform to feed giraffes as they gently take food from you with their long, blue tongues. At Daphne Shedrick’s Wildlife Trust you will meet orphaned baby elephants who are cared for by their attentive keepers. This amazing animal encounter is followed by lunch at the renowned Carnivore restaurant.
After lunch, we leave Nairobi and travel to Lake Naivasha via the spectacular Great Rift Valley. We settle in at our safari lodge for dinner and our overnight stay. Accommodation is at one of two family-friendly lodges near Lake Naivasha. We usually stay at the lodge which is set along the shores of the lake on expansive grounds where giraffe, waterbuck and monkeys are regularly spotted, with hippos grazing the lawns at night. Our alternative lodge is also set on a large property and features plenty of recreational facilities for families.
Today we explore Lake Naivasha and nearby attractions, including Hell's Gate National Park. The freshwater gem of Lake Naivasha, surrounded by grassy banks, is the Rift Valley’s highest lake. Lake Naivasha is a wetland area known for its abundance of resident avifauna as well as migratory visitors that arrive between October and March. In addition to the abundant birdlife that surrounds the lake, you can also see hippo, buffalo, zebra, eland, impala, waterbuck and other grazers. There are many ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Naivasha including boat rides, a visit to Crescent Island, a tour of Ol Karia Geothermal Power Station and even a visit to Elsamere, the home of the late author Joy Adamson, of Born Free fame.
On Lake Naivasha’s doorstep, you will also find Hell’s Gate National Park. Hell’s Gate is perfect for walking and cycling as there are no large predators. Its exceptional topography makes for interesting excursions and the abundance of other wildlife make it an unforgettable experience.
After breakfast on day four of our Budget Kenya and Tanzania Family Safari, we depart for the legendary Masai Mara National Reserve. We take packed picnic lunches to be enjoyed along the way. In the afternoon we arrive at our camp near Masai Mara, arguably Africa's most renowned safari destination.
Kenya’s most popular and most visited game park, the Masai Mara is famous for hosting one of nature’s truly spectacular events - the Great Migration. From July to August, millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle migrate from the Serengeti, across the Tanzania border and the Mara River to reach the sweet-grass plains of Masai Mara. The drama of the migration is heightened as predators gather to meet the massive herds of grazers with the struggle for survival unfolding before you.
In the afternoon, embark on a game drive across the plains, getting your first taste of this classical African landscape and its wild inhabitants. We return to our tented camp near Mara in the evening for dinner and a relaxed evening around the campfire. We stay at one of two authentic safari camps in the heart of the African bushveld, near Masai Mara Reserve.
On day five, we rise with the sun in the African wilderness. The cool morning hours are the best time to see many animals as they are more active. A plethora of game - zebra, wildebeest, elephant, rhino and more wait to be discovered. Masai Mara is also considered one of the best places for viewing big cats in Africa, so keep an eye out for lions, leopards and cheetahs. After our exciting game drive in Masai Mara, we return to our camp for breakfast. After your meal, relax and enjoy being out in the African bushveld.
In the afternoon, after lunch, we depart on a memorable two-hour nature walk with a Masai guide. Your guide is an expert on the plants and animals of the Masai Mara and will give you an insider’s perspective of this marvel of nature. Learn about the medicinal value of the plants, the hidden secrets of the savannah animals, where to find them and how to behave in their presence. The Masai have lived on these plains for centuries and your guide will share his experience and knowledge with you.
The next stop in our action-packed day is a visit to a Masai manyatta or village. Here, a local Masai guide will give you an intriguing account of the Masai people and their age-old traditions. You will have the opportunity to see their ancient way of life that still survives on the plains today. Finally, join the local Masai for some traditional dancing before returning to our tented camp for a hearty dinner.
Today, we take full advantage of the Masai Mara National Park, spending the entire day exploring on game drives. We go in search of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo), as well as a host of other wild animals like cheetah, hyena, impala, wildebeest and much, much more.
From July through October, we may catch the spectacle of the Wildebeest Migration, one of nature’s greatest migrations. This awe-inspiring phenomenon sees wildebeest, various antelopes and zebras go in search of fresh grazing, crossing the Mara River from the Serengeti plains into the Masai Mara. The journey is fraught with danger as crocodiles line the river and predators lie in ambush in the long grass. On request (own expense), you can float above the plains in a hot air balloon for an unforgettable birds-eye-view of the Masai Mara.
In the evening we return to our camp in the middle of the bush for a relaxing meal and night under the stars. One of our tented camps is located on the banks of Oloirigynyisho River where zebras, wildebeest, elephants and other wild animals are regularly seen. The other tented camp is on the western edge of Masai Mara in a wild area where animals and birds are often spotted too.
Day seven of our Kenya & Tanzania Budget Family Safari starts with breakfast at our authentic safari camp near Masai Mara National Park. Then, we head off to the Isebania Border where we cross into Tanzania and exchange vehicles before heading on to Lake Victoria.
In the afternoon, after lunch, you can get off the beaten track by taking a 2 to 3 hour guided mountain bike tour (own expense) in the untamed bush adjacent to the lodge. In this area, vehicles are not allowed and the trip provides you with insight into the way that much of rural Tanzania still looks beyond the tarred roads.
In the evening relax and enjoy dinner at your comfortable lodge as you recharge for an exciting day in the Serengeti tomorrow.
Our exciting day begins with breakfast after which you have the option of joining local fishermen on an outing. Those taking the excursion will be picked up by local fisherman in their traditional canoes (own expense). The fisherman will row you along the shoreline to a nearby village. Here, on foot and with an experienced guide, you can explore the village and learn about local fishing techniques and the way of life. The trip takes about 2 hours before you return to the lodge serenaded by the fisherman.
Later in the morning, we leave Lake Victoria with a packed lunch and venture into the Serengeti National Park. Get your first taste of this iconic destination during our afternoon game drive. Expect to see all sorts of game from antelope and zebra to the big cats and more.
We return to our Serengeti tented camp for a relaxing evening surrounded by nature. We stay at one of two traditional safari camps in the central region of Serengeti, both providing luxury tented accommodation close to the wildlife-rich plains.
An exhilarating day of wildlife viewing in the epic Serengeti National Park lies ahead. We set off early this morning and spend a full day exploring Tanzania's largest game park, covering some 14 736 km² wilderness. The vast Serengeti Plains constitute the quintessential scenes of wild Africa - undulating hills and grasslands dotted with acacia trees as far as the eye can see, with herds of wildebeest and other herbivores roaming freely amongst the prowling predators.
Keep your cameras and binoculars ready for the plethora of game, including Thomson’s and Grant's gazelle, impala, topi, eland, Kirk’s dik-dik, klipspringer, roan, oryx, oribi, waterbuck, buffalo and giraffe. Then there are the carnivores and scavengers from lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena to golden jackals and bat-eared foxes.
At the end of our after a rewarding day on the plains of Serengeti, we return to our tented camp for a tasty dinner and laid-back evening around the campfire.
Day ten begins with breakfast at camp followed by a scenic drive south from the rolling Serengeti Plains into the lush Ngorongoro Crater Highlands.
Reaching the natural wonder of Ngorongoro Crater we descend into the massive caldera, rated as one of Africa's top wildlife destinations. We embark on a rewarding game drive in the ancient crater with packed lunches on hand. The crater covers approximately 8 292 km² and was formed about 2.5 million years ago when an inactive volcanic cone sank. Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as the Eden of Africa given the high concentration of big mammal species, some 30 000 resident animals, found in the conservation area. Almost all of Africa's big game animals are represented in this unique ecosystem, including the Big Five, along with an impressive diversity of bird species.
After our game drive in the beautiful crater, we ascend the 600 m high crater walls, enjoying sweeping views en route to our next overnight lodge. In the late afternoon, we join a tour of one of the local coffee plantations. Visiting the coffee plantation you will get to see how coffee is grown and produced in the highlands. Follow the process from handpicking, cleaning, sorting and drying all the way through to the grading and roasting of the beans. The day ends back at our comfortable lodge where dinner is served, followed by leisure time to relax. Our two lodge options for tonight are both farm guesthouses with spacious rooms, set in lush gardens on plantations in the Karatu area.
Our final morning is free for you to rest and enjoy the beautiful hilly surroundings.
Later we drive to Arusha, arriving in time for lunch and any last minute shopping you may like to do. After lunch, a private transfer takes you back to Nairobi in Kenya. Arriving in Nairobi at about 18h30 you are dropped off at the international airport or your post-tour accommodation in the city, bringing our memorable East African adventure to a close.
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This tour does take children.
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