Get ready for a safari adventure in Africa that covers not one incredible country but two. It begins in Kenya with visits to elephant and giraffe sanctuaries, plus a camping trip with tribal warriors. After viewing wildebeests and gazelles at the Maasai Mara Reserve, you'll hop the border and take a safari on the famous Serengeti to see lions, leopards, and more. The trip culminates with a drive over the volcanic crater at Ngorongoro to witness black rhinos in the wild.


  • Visit wildlife conservation centers in Nairobi
  • Go on a camping trip with Maasai warriors
  • Embark on game drives in the Maasai Mara and Serengeti
  • Spot thousands of wild animals in Ngorongoro 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Nairobi Nairobi
Day 2 Conservation & Culture Tour of Nairobi Nairobi
Day 3 Transfer to Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp Maji Moto
Day 4 Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai Mara
Day 5 Maasai Mara Game Drives Maasai Mara
Day 6 Maasai Mara to Lake Victoria Lake Victoria
Days 7-8 Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park Serengeti National Park
Day 9 Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Ngorongoro
Day 10 Ngorongoro to Nairobi, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi

Nairobi city
Nairobi, Kenya

Welcome to Kenya! This country is home to all the exotic wildlife and natural beauty people associate with Africa, from herds of zebras galloping across the open savanna to maned lions prowling in search of their prey. You'll arrive in the capital of Nairobi, a unique metropolis that sits at the edge of Nairobi National Park. In this protected area, Africa's exotic wildlife roam free on grass plains against the backdrop of the city. 

Upon arrival at the airport, your driver will transfer you to your 4-star hotel. After unpacking and settling in, feel free to explore. Besides its proximity to national parks, Nairobi is a rich cultural destination. Head out from your hotel and visit the city's flea markets to browse for souvenirs. If you're hungry, do like the locals and head to a food stall for ugali (a dense maize porridge) or nyama choma (grilled goat meat).

For a more formal experience, you can always partake of Nairobi's increasingly multi-cultural food scene. There's a restaurant here to suit most tastes, be it Thai, Indian, Japanese, Italian, and of course, traditional Kenyan seafood. And if you want to enjoy a nightcap in style, head to the trendy Westlands neighborhood, where popular and chic bars are abundant. 

Day 2:  Conservation & Culture Tour of Nairobi

David Sheldrick Elephants
Spend time with rescued elephants

Start the day with a visit to the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Here you'll see young elephants that have been rescued and cared for until they're ready to be released back to the wild. On top of viewing the elephants, visitors have the option to sponsor an orphan. If you do, you can return later in the day to help feed and tuck your newly adopted elephant into bed.

Afterward, you'll visit the Giraffe Centre. Operated by the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW), this sanctuary exists to conserve Rothschild's giraffes by breeding them and releasing them into the wild. At the time of AFEW's foundation in 1979, a mere 130 wild Rothschild giraffes survived in Kenya; but today, thanks to this organization, that number stands at around 300. You can snap photos of the current residents from a raised viewing platform and even help with their feeding. There is also a bird sanctuary and a self-guided nature trail.

Next up are a couple of cultural experiences. First, spend an hour visiting the Utamaduni Craft Center. Located in an old colonial mansion, this emporium specializes in a wide range of handcrafted items from clothing to housewares to antiques and more. There is also a collection of items made by Nairobi street kids. This is a great place to pick up a souvenir or gift for a loved one.

Then head to the Kazuri Bead Factory for a tour. This is another community economic project aimed at providing employment and trade skills to disadvantaged members of Kenyan society. The result is a factory that produces artisanal ceramic jewelry and pottery made by hand with local clay.

Day 3: Transfer to Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp

Maji Moto Warrior Training
Make friends with real Maasai warriors

In the morning, your driver will pick you up for a trip outside Nairobi to the Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp. This is not a commercial experience but a real visit to an authentic Maasai community where tribespeople still live according to ancient traditions. It's a fascinating opportunity to interact with an authentic African culture that has changed little over the centuries. 

Activities include walking in the hills with Maasai warriors, witnessing warrior training, and stopping at a natural hot spring. You'll also visit a Maasai widow village. Because Maasai women traditionally marry older men, many are often widowed with young children. To offset these hardships, initiatives were created to help teach Maasai widows skills to earn a living, like crafting and beadwork. Besides visiting the village, you'll tour community projects like a school, tree nursery, and beekeeping operation. 

In the afternoon, trek across the plains to a bush campsite. With the help of tribespeople, you'll construct a traditional Maasai camp and sleep out under the stars. If you have the constitution for it, you can participate in slaughtering a goat in the traditional Olpul style. This celebration for returning warriors and elders includes much singing and merrymaking. Then everyone will join in the feast as they share stories and blessings around the campfire. You'll also share the local ceremonial brew made from aloe root, honey, and herbs.

Spend the night at the bush camp, on traditional leafy beds, and rest easy knowing mighty Maasai warriors will protect you.
Plan your trip to Tanzania
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Transfer to Maasai Mara National Reserve

Maasai Mara Cheetah
A family of cheetahs on the Maasai Mara
After breakfast, you'll leave Maji Moto and drive west to the Maasai Mara National Reserve. This 580-sq-mile (1,510-sq-km) game reserve is one of Africa's most famous safari destinations, and it borders the equally renowned Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Together, these two contiguous protected areas host the Great Migration, an annual occurrence that spans July to November. Millions of wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles migrate across the grassy plains.
The reserve on the Kenyan side was named in honor of the regional Maasai people. The unspoiled savanna, woodlands, and natural springs make this a haven for massive and diverse populations of animals. Besides wildebeests, zebras, and other plains game, there are also great numbers of lions, leopards, cheetahs, and African bush elephants. You'll see many of them on an afternoon game drive in a 4x4 around the reserve—be sure to keep your camera ready. 
You'll arrive just in time for lunch. Then embark on a game drive and enjoy your first African safari of the trip. Afterward, head into the heart of the reserve and to your tent lodge, where you'll overnight.

Day 5: Maasai Mara Game Drives

Embark on a hot-air-balloon safari

Today you'll embark at first light on a game drive as you travel around the Maasai Mara in a 4x4. Dawn is the best time to go wildlife spotting because the animals are at their most active as they search for food. You can see the wildebeests grazing on the savanna as the big cats hunt for prey. After lunch, you'll enjoy another game drive and follow these animals as they search for shade and water.

One optional activity is a sunrise safari in a hot-air balloon. Hop in a balloon basket and enjoy a one-hour ride above the great savanna for birds-eye-views of the Maasai Mara. Capping the experience will be a sumptuous champagne breakfast on the plains. You'll then spend the remainder of the morning in camp, have lunch, and embark on the afternoon game drive. Afterward, enjoy another meal on the plains before returning to camp, where you can spend the evening relaxing.

Day 6: Maasai Mara to Lake Victoria

Cormorants on the shore of Lake Victoria

You'll have one last morning game drive on the Maasai Mara, then travel to the Tanzania border. After passing through immigration, you'll meet your new Tanzania guide and safari vehicle. Then continue to the eastern side of Lake Victoria, where you'll overnight.

Though you won't have much time here, Lake Victoria is impressive. This body of water is notable for Africa's largest lake and the second-largest freshwater lake globally. It spans 210 miles (337 km) from north to south and 150 miles (240 km) across, with a coastline of more than 2,000 miles (3,220 km). One popular activity is to grab a fishing pole and see if you can catch some tilapia.

Days 7-8: Lake Victoria to Serengeti National Park

Game drive in the Serengeti
After breakfast, you'll head to Serengeti National Park. This legendary wildlife reserve is the archetypal safari destination. In the Maasai language, the name Serengeti means "endless plains," and this protected area's 5,700 sq miles (14,763 sq km) deliver on that promise. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve that supports the world's largest concentration of plains game. This includes famous Big Five animals like lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, and black rhinos.

You won't waste any time, as, upon arrival in the Serengeti, you'll embark on both morning and afternoon game drives. Should you choose, you can opt for a full-day game drive with a packed meal to eat on the plains rather than returning to camp for lunch. Today will be filled with incredible wildlife sightings, as you're all but certain to spot elephants, giraffes, lions, buffalo, and more. In the evening you'll return to your tent camp, where you'll overnight.

Day 9: Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro

Ngorongoro Conservation Area
In the morning, you'll transfer from Serengeti National Park to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, named after the Ngorongoro Crater. It's the world's largest volcanic caldera, measuring 1,968 feet (600 m) in depth and covering 100 sq miles (260 sq km). As for wildlife, on the crater floor, you can spot buffaloes, elephants, hippos, hyenas, jackals, lions, ostriches, servals, warthogs, bushbucks, elands, hartebeests, reedbucks, waterbucks, and vast herds of both Thomson's and Grant's gazelles. 
Also, thanks to anti-poaching patrols, the crater is one of the few places in East Africa where visitors are sure to see black rhinos. Other familiar sights are leopards and cheetahs lounging under trees, plus countless flamingos loitering in the crater's alkaline lakes. The only animal you won't see here is giraffes because they can't make it over the crater's rim.
After enjoying lunch and wildlife spotting, you'll drive to your lodge for the night, located on the volcano caldera.

Day 10: Ngorongoro to Nairobi, Depart

Until next time
Spend your last day in Africa on a 6-hour game drive around the Ngorongoro Crater. Afterward, a driver will transfer you to the airport for the flight to Nairobi and your connection home. Safe travels!

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