The Experience

Embark on a comprehensive, diverse safari through Kenya and Tanzania’s fabled parks and reserves, watching for the ‘Big Five” through Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti plains, Amboseli and the Masa Mara, visiting a Maasai village and taking an optional hot air balloon ride along the way. Day 1: ARRIVE IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA
Arrive in Arusha by overnight flight, and meet your representative, who escorts you to your hotel.

Mount Meru Hotel
Day 2: NGORONGORO CRATER / School Visit
Pause at idyllic Gibb’s Farm for lunch prepared using farm-fresh ingredients, on our delicious Culinary Connection. Following lunch, take a walk to the nearby coffee farm and vegetable garden. Continue your journey to Ngorongoro Crater, a collapsed volcano and bucolic sanctuary supporting a wide array of wildlife, including the elusive black rhino. Stay the next two nights at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, perched on the rim of the 2,000-foot-deep natural amphitheater, overlooking a landscape, where people and animals coexist in harmony.

Start your morning with a visit to A&K Philanthropy-supported Ilboru Primary School, one of the few in the region with programs for deaf and special-needs children, making for a heart-warming Neighborhood Connection.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge | Meals: B L D
Day 3: NGORONGORO CRATER / Inspiring Animals
Descend to the crater floor, beginning your search for the storied Big Five, lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalo as well as hyenas, zebras, gazelles and flamingos. Pause for a picnic lunch near a pool where hippos wallow. The crater lies within the territory of the nomadic, colorfully garbed Maasai herdsmen. Experience their way of life during an afternoon visit with a Maasai village elder, who introduces you to the local community, culture and traditions.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge | Meals: B L D
Day 4: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK / Land of the Migration
Depart the crater for Serengeti National Park, stopping en route for a privately guided visit to Olduvai Gorge, where many significant archaeological finds have been made. Examine the fascinating excavations, where Mary and Louis Leakey found 3.7 million-year-old human footprints and the skull of a 1.8 million- year-old man. Once settled in to your accommodations, embark on an afternoon game drive if time allows. Here, the annual Great Migration draws a rush of wildebeests and zebras in search of fresh grass.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge | Meals: B L D
Day 5: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK / Wonderful Wilds
Spend the next day on safari, in search of cheetahs, lions and leopards in pursuit of prey. Take an optional hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti plains (at an additional cost), viewing wildlife hippos, wildebeests and Thompson’s gazelle from above. The Serengeti houses abundant life beyond its mammal population, including over 500 species of birds. Watch, too, for eagles, known to glide effortlessly over the Lobo Hills and sun-scorched landscape; lightning-fast cheetahs, who prowl the southeastern plains; and untold plains-grazers, who become unwitting prey. During down time, relax at the pool, pore over a good book in your room or absorb the warm, golden glow of African sunset.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge | Meals: B L D
Days 6-7: AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK / Mountain Vistas
Fly to Arusha and travel overland to Kenya’s Amboseli National Park at the foot of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro. Africa’s highest mountain dominates sightlines at the reserve, home of the nomadic, vibrantly dressed Maasai tribe. View game en route to your acacia-shaded lodge, tucked deep within the breathtaking park. Enjoy an evening of on-site entertainment, including, perhaps, a traditional Maasai dance performance. During morning and afternoon game drives, keep your camera close at hand, as lions, elephants, leopards, cheetahs and buffalos are in residence. A prolific bird population resides here, as well. A shimmering, dried lakebed comprises part of the reserve, a common site for mirages. Swamps and springs, fed by underground rivers from Kilimanjaro’s melting snows, form permanent watering places for countless species during times of drought.

Ol Tukai Lodge | Meals: B L D
Day 8: MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE / Spectacular Game
Depart Amboseli for Nairobi, stopping for lunch at open-air Carnivore restaurant, known for its game meat. Afterward, board a flight for the Masai Mara Game Reserve. A jewel in Africa’s crown, the fabled park is rich in plains game and houses a prolific population of predators. Here, too, the spectacular Great Migration plays out, when over two million wildebeests, zebras and gazelles migrate in search of food and water. Embark on an afternoon game drive amid the lion-dense landscape, and return to the Fairmont Mara Safari Club and your tented accommodations for the next three nights. Perched along the steep banks of the Mara River, this luxurious retreat is a gateway to the African wilds.

Fairmont Mara Safari Club | Meals: B L D
Days 9-10: MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE / Jewel of Africa
Spend the next two days embarking on morning and afternoon game drives in the Masai Mara, 583 square miles of rambling, acacia-dotted savanna, woodlands and tree-fringed rivers. Its diverse ecosystems support a vast mammal population, of which 95 species have been recorded. Lions are found in abundance throughout the park, as are elephants, giraffes, a variety of gazelle species and zebras. Cheetahs, rhinos and leopards also make regular appearances. The Mara is presided over the nomadic Maasai people, the region’s primary cattle-keepers, who act as guardians of this fascinating natural estate. For an unforgettable view of the reserve, take an optional early morning balloon flight (at an additional cost). As you soar over the endless landscape, see animals as they return from their noctural activities or begin their morning routines.

Fairmont Mara Safari Club | Meals: B L D
Enjoy a final game drive and fly back to Nairobi. There, you may relax in a dayroom until your flight home.

Fairmont The Norfolk (dayroom) | Meals: B

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