Essential East Africa


Got 10 days, an adventurous spirit and a desire to see as much of East Africa as you can on a tight budget? Then this is the trip for you! With multiple 4WD safari drives in the Masai Mara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, you’ll have the best opportunity spot the Big Five and all your bucket list wildlife! Stop at remote market towns, spend a night in a Maasai village and another night by the largest tropical lake in the world and soak up all the chances to chat with the locals and learn about their culture. This trip is like a crash course in what East Africa is all about!

10 days, from

$2,125

per person

GROUP SIZE

22 people max

ACTIVITY LEVEL

 
2
Trip code: YGYE
Style: Basix
Theme: 18 to 35s

Details

Countries Visited:  Kenya Tanzania, United Republic Of
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (6 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights)
Transportation: Overland vehicle
Included Meals:

  • 9 breakfasts
  • 8 lunches
  • 8 dinners

Group size: Minimum 1, Max 22
Minimum Age: 18

  • Safari, safari, safari – what East African adventure would be complete without one? Well, this trip has six in three different areas. Which brings us to…

  • The animals! Go in search of hippos, lions, leopards, giraffes and more during 4WD game drives in the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Masai Mara with your experienced local leaders.

  • Spend a night hanging with the red-clad Maasai folk in Loita Hills. A local elder will explain what the tribe is all about and show you around their house.

  • Crossing the Masai Mara in a purpose-built truck is just one of those classic East Africa experiences – vast plains spotted with thorn trees and herds of animals.

  • Stops in places like Mto wa Mbu and Musoma mean you’ll get time to chat with locals, and travelling with a local (your leader) makes it even easier.

Itinerary

Show Full Itinerary

Day 1: Nairobi

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive early, why not check out the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya where traditional homesteads of some Kenyan tribes are displayed at an outdoor village.

Day 2: Loita Hills Maasai Experience

Depart Nairobi, with a short stop in Narok for a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), then stop, chill out and get some lunch. Today's drive crosses the Great Rift Valley, Africa's huge great divide, takes you into the remote region of Loita Hills. This is the home of the Maasai people. You will visit the Maasai, who are known for their dazzling red dress and elaborate jewellery, and gain an insight into the culture and ancient ways of this proud East African community. After setting up your tent, meet your Maasai hosts. A local elder will deliver a fascinating talk about the Maasai and what they're about. You'll be shown around a traditional Maasai home and see where the resident cattle are kept. Upgrades and Wi-Fi are not available at tonight's bush camp.

Day 3: Masai Mara National Reserve

Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours).The Masai Mara is one of the classic African experiences – wide open plains, postcard-perfect skies and some of the world's great wild animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it's time to jump aboard your 4WD vehicle and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. Your campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. Wi-fi is not available here though.

Day 4: Masai Mara National Reserve

Adventure into the reserve for a full day's 4WD game drive. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a lots of different wildlife. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is well worth considering. If you have pre-booked this activity (see the 'Important Notes' section) you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, which provides amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite to meet up with your group.

Day 5: Lake Victoria

Travel towards the Kenya-Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's biggest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. It shares its shores with Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. You'll arrive late afternoon, in time to chill out lakeside with a cold drink and watch the sunset. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of wilderness adventures. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma. Depending on availability, you might be able to upgrade to a room, but no Wi-Fi is available.

Day 6: Serengeti National Park

Today you will travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours) and enjoy a picnic lunch at the entrance to the park. Enter the Serengeti and take a game drive en route to your campsite. These plains – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – are home to thousands of hoofed animals and fierce predators, so see how many you can spot. Your campsite is right in the action, within the park itself, so listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep at night. There are no upgrades or Wi-Fi available here.

Day 7: Serengeti National Park

Start the day with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing, as the animals do, depart again in the afternoon for another adventure through the wild. You'll return in time for dinner. There's the option of an early-morning balloon ride here too, so if you didn't take one in the Mara, today's your chance!

Day 8: Karatu

Rise and shine for a final chance to spot Serengeti wildlife as you make your way out of the park this morning. At Nabi gate, hop aboard a jeep and descend into Ngorongoro Crater. This gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor is great for game viewing all year round, and the photo-opportunities here are next level. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater before heading back out on safari all afternoon. After, travel onwards to Karatu town and arrive at camp by 6 pm where a freshly prepared dinner awaits.

Day 9: Mto Wa Mbu

Take it a tad easier this morning with a relaxed breakfast at camp before setting off at 9 am for Mto Wa Mbu with your crew. You’ll have the rest of the day free to explore. Mto wa Mbu offers a snapshot of small-town East African life. You might consider joining in a guided village walk or bike ride around the farming areas, spotting milling machine and local homes and farmlands, or round up your fellow travellers to check out the craft market.

Day 10: Arusha / Nairobi

Pack up camp after breakfast for the final leg of your journey to Arusha where your adventure comes to an end. A departure transfer can be booked, at an additional expense, to either Kilimanjaro Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK). Alternatively, you can continue on with our crew to finish in Nairobi around 5 pm. Please see 'Special Information' below for more details.