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Description & Itinerary:
A family safari adventure through Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar
Take a family trip to the zoo - or better yet, see iconic animals up close and in the wild on this astounding adventure through colourful East Africa. Embark on a safari through Kenya and Tanzania where the grassy Serengeti plains offer the chance to spot the Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalo and leopards. Meet local kids, learn about rural life in small villages and farms, walk through lush mountain terrain and then be rewarded with relaxation on tropical Zanzibar beaches. This is an exciting trip the whole family will remember and cherish for years to come!
16 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 12 dinners
4x4 Safari Vehicle, Ferry, Overland vehicle
Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights), Camping (with facilities) (9 nights), Hotel (5 nights)
Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 7 years old.
A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children under 15 years of age at time of travel.
Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.
Day 1 Nairobi
Welcome to Kenya! If you are joining the trip at Nairobi, you'll most likely be flying into Kenyatta International Airport. There will be an important group meeting at 6 pm, details of which your leader will leave at the hotel reception. Settle into your comfortable room and then, if you have time, get out and explore. Why not check out the National Museum of Kenya for an introduction to the country's history, or the Karen Blixen Museum to learn more about the Danish ex-pat who wrote 'Out of Africa'. Alternatively, visiting the Bomas of Kenya cultural centre is a great way for the family to learn about some of Kenya's tribal cultures.
Notes: Petty theft is common in Nairobi, so it's important to keep your valuables safe and secure at all times. Be sure to get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk if you're heading out after dark.
Day 2 Nairobi
After breakfast, head out and enjoy a day with some of Kenya's wonderful animals. First you will drive to the Langata Giraffe Sanctuary. This not-for-profit organisation educates school children in matters of conservation. You will have the chance to interact with, and even feed, the giraffes here. You might also catch sight of the odd warthog, and there's a nice nature trail on site. Afterwards, visit the David Sheldrick Animal Orphanage to meet some of its big friendly mammals. This establishment helps protect and nurture not only elephants but rhinos, through various sponsorship programs. The rest of the day is free for you explore Nairobi or simply relax by the hotel pool.
Day 3 Arusha
Today is mostly a travel day. Depart Nairobi early this morning and drive to Arusha (approximately 7–8 hours). You will be travelling overland through Kenya and across the border to Northern Tanzania. Arrive at your well-equipped campsite, set up and settle in. Your camp is situated just outside of Arusha, which was Tanzania's second major city and is the former capital of the East African community. You'll be surrounded by lush countryside, and the majestic Mount Meru is located nearby. There are many coffee, wheat and maize estates in the Arusha area, some of which are tended by the Meru people. Arisha is Tanzania's main safari hub.
Day 4 Arusha
Go on a fun camel ride to a Maasai village this morning (if you'd rather not ride a camel you can simply walk). You'll meet members of this colourfully-dressed tribe which inhabits parts of Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Your local Maasai guide will take you through the Maasai Cultural Museum first, for an introduction to the people and what they're about. Then, armed with some background information, it's time to visit the village. This is a great insight into a semi-nomadic tribal culture, and a significant part of its population still live by its ancient traditions. While you're here, you'll visit the free clinic that's run by the campsite for the local villagers. After lunch, head back to camp to relax and prepare for your upcoming safari.
Day 5 Serengeti
Meet your jeep at the campsite, load your camping equipment and bags into it, and head out for a three-day excursion into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Start with a full drive along the rim of the Ngoronogoro Crater, stopping to take in awesome views along the way. Then continue down into the plains of the Serengeti. This is the classic East African scenery of rolling grasslands dotted with acacia trees. Elephants, lions, leopards and giraffe roam here, just to name a few. Enjoy an evening game drive around the savannah en route to camp. Your camp is ideally located, within the park itself, and has showers and flush toilets. The animals will be close, so your leader will brief you on a few key safety points. Drift off to sleep to the twitter and buzz of the African wild tonight.
Day 6 Serengeti National Park
Rise early for a game drive in the heart of the Serengeti. The early morning is the best time of day for it, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool. You'll have a great chance of seeing most of the 'big five' game while you're here – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The park is also home to the gazelle, hyena, baboon, impala, East African wild dog and of course the wildebeest (whose annual migration is the famous spectacle of the Serengeti). Keep an eye to the sky, as you might spot an eagle – one of hundreds of bird species found here. There's also the option of a balloon ride over the park today (this needs to be booked in advance). If you choose this, it will replace today's game drive. A balloon ride is an incredible experience that gives you unparalelled views of the park, and after landing you'll be treated to a five-star bush breakfast.
Day 7 Ngorongoro Crater / Mto Wa Mbu
Embrace another early start, crossing the Serengeti plains to visit the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater. This massive caldera is superb for spotting wildlife and is unsurprisingly nicknamed the 'Garden of Eden'. It's your best chance on the trip to spot a black rhino, and the variety of birds here is amazing. After exploring the crater (approximately 4–5 hours) and having some lunch you will head to your next destination, Mto Wa Mbu. Here you will camp in the grounds of a nice hotel and be reunited with your overland truck. Enjoy a well-deserved evening of free time to relax at camp or explore the town. Mto Wa Mbu is the half-way point between Arusha and the Ngorongoro crater. The Curio market is a good place to browse and perhaps souvernir a Maasai spear. Occasionally there is a local cattle market which is quite an event.
Notes: You will notice some Maasai villages in the region of the Ngorongoro crater offering a cultural experience. Intrepid recommends avoiding these villages, as they can impact negatively on the Maasai culture and travellers' perceptions of it by selling an artificial experience.
Day 8 Marangu
Set off once again in the overland truck and travel east to Marangu (approximately 5 hours). The fertile fields surrounding this town are irrigated by streams that are fed by Mt Kilimanjaro's glaciers. You will stop at night to camp in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. En route you will travel past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro, so there will be many chances to see this glorious peak – just cross your fingers for clear skies!
Day 9 Marangu
Make the short drive to the village of Mshiri. Here you will visit the Marangu Village Education Project to learn about the Chagga people. These indigenous, Bantu-speaking Africans are the third largest ethnic group in Tanzania, next to the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi people. Enjoy a delicious lunch while you're here. Afterwards, make your way back to the campsite, where your afternoon is free. Take the opportunity to relax by the pool with a book, or perhaps visit some nearby waterfalls which are only a short walk away and should give you some nice views of Kilimanjaro. If the market's on, it's a great place to explore, and there is some good locally-grown coffee available in town.
Day 10 Lushoto
Leave the slopes of Kili behind as you make your way south (approximately 6 hours). You will enter the realm of the cooler, less frequented Usambara Mountains. This is a lovely, unspoilt area of Tanzania. Unlike the coast and the north, very few tourists visit this area, which gives it a freshness that can be hard to find elsewhere. These mountains are located in the north-east of Tanzania, between Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean, and overlook the vast Masai steppe. Your base here will be the old German colonial village of Lushoto, and you'll camp in the grounds of a colonial-era hotel.
Day 11 Usambara Mountains, Lushoto
After breakfast, enjoy an easy half-day trek in the Usambara hills. Walk to the Irente Lookout to take in breathtaking views over the Maasai Steppe below. You will also visit the communities of the villages along the way. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore the area or simply relax. In the evening, you might like to take up the optional activity of stargazing in the mountains – a great way to end the day with the family.
Day 12 Dar es Salaam
Today is a travel day – head south to Dar es Salaam (approximately 7–8 hours). This is Tanzania's largest town, situated on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The city acts as the gateway to the beautiful island of Zanzibar and the port area is fascinating to visit with its ocean-bound 'dhows' and inshore 'ngalawas' (outrigger fishing canoes). Many of the buildings display Arabian influences, and the melting pot of African, Muslim and South Asian influences give Dar a vibrant atmosphere, making it well worth exploring if you have the time. You will stay in a nice, comfortable chalet at well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay, across from the city.
Day 13 Dar Es Salaam
Relax and unwind with a day of free time. In this lovely coastal spot you have a range of optional activities to choose from. Perhaps take the family out on a fishing trip to explore the lush waters of the Indian Ocean. A sunset kayak trip is also a good option – it gives you a chance to explore the mangroves near Dar es Salaam. Alternatively, visit the Wonder Workshop which provides employment and training to the local disabled community. For a dose of history, visit the National Museum and the House of Culture. Otherwise, hit the beach for some strolling and swimming.
Day 14 Zanzibar
Head to Zanzibar, the famous 'Spice Island'. To get to this stunning destination you will travel on the local commuter barge from Kigamboni to the city centre of Dar es Salaam, then take a ferry from Dar es Salaam centre to Zanzibar. The ferry (approximately 2.5 hours) is quite comfortable, with airline-style seats. On arrival, meet your local guide who will help you check into your hotel. The hotel is located in Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar city, and has excellent facilities, including a swimming pool. After a quick orientation of town, the day is yours. Historic Stone Town is a wonder explore, steeped in spice and colour. In the evening, there is the option of meeting the group for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out on the town.
Day 15 Zanzibar
Join your local guide for an informative tour of Stone Town's sights. You'll learn all about its history and diverse heritage – a unique mix of Moorish, Arab, Persian, Indian and European influences. Slave trade features heavily in its colourful history. Check out the Omani-built Old Fort among other eye-catching landmarks. The local bazaars are delightful, awash with colours and spices. You'll also venture out of town to a spice plantation where you can stroll amid the coconut palms and learn about the growth and production of various spices and fruits. Here you will enjoy a local lunch, then head back to the hotel and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Day 16 Zanzibar
Today is a completely free day for optional activities and explorations. Perhaps delve into the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean near Zanzibar. You might also like to take a dhow trip off the coast to see the sun set on this far-out part of the world. Explore the 'Prison' island nearby, or perhaps go on a scuba adventure. Nature lovers can take a walk through the Jozani Forest in search of the very rare Red Colobus monkeys – if you're lucky enough to encounter one of these odd beauties, you might hear its shrill call before you see its face.
Day 17 Dar es Salaam
Take a ferry back to Dar Es Salaam after breakfast. Your adventure ends upon your return to the beach camp in Dar es Salaam.
Tour Provider: Intrepid
Destination: Africa/Middle East/Egypt
*Conditions apply. Call for further details.
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