Safari & Spice and all things Nice
Where Nairobi’s big and gritty, Mto Wa Mbu’s small and chummy. Maasai warriors are tall and chummy. The giraffes in the Serengeti are tall and spotty. Cheetahs in the Ngorongoro Crater are spotty and fast. The Usambara Mountains ain’t goin’ nowhere fast. You on the other hand be goin’ to Zanzibar.
Know your Masai:
- A man's wealth is measured by the number of cattle and children he has.
- Jumping in the air is the young Masai boy's way of showing strength and agility.
- The mean eat soup made from the acacia nilotica plant because it is believed to make them energetic, aggressive and fearless (hangover cure unknown).
Day 1 - NairobiMeet your group and compare camera sizes. Get an African massage on the bumpy roads to Arusha.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm. Arriving early? Perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum (author of Out of Africa) or Bomas of Kenya.
Get acquainted with Nairobi's bars, restaurants, shops and markets
Day 2 - ArushaCross into Tanzania and spend time exploring the city of Arusha. It's in the shadow of Mount Meru, which is a bit daunting but very cool at the same time (literally, because it's in the shadow, get it?)
Depart early for Arusha on our overland truck, a drive of about 8-9 hours (300 km)
The trip includes a border crossing from Kenya into Tanzania so be sure to have your passport handy
Camp overnight in Meserani, on the outskirts of Arusha
Day 3 - Mto wa Mbu
Hang out with members of the local community in Mto Wa Mbu. There's some awesome crafts, fabrics and carvings to be found at the market. Then head away from civilisation and into the Serengeti. Things are about to get kicked up a notch.
Drive for 1.5hrs to reach the village of Mto wa Mbu
Participate in a local community village program and gain a close-up look at life in an African town
Join the local community with a guided stroll around the farming areas - including visits to a kindergarten, milling machine, local homes and farmlands
Perhaps visit the markets for some wood carvings or local artwork
Depending on the following day's schedule, either stay here for the night or travel further west to the village of Karat
Day 4-5 - Serengeti National Park
Your campsite in the Serengeti is pretty basic, but falling asleep to the sound of lions roaring across the savannah makes a room at the Hilton seem pretty boring by comparison.
Rise early and leave the truck behind to head out for your excursion into the Serengeti
View plenty of animals and birdlife, from members the Big Five to perhaps some creatures you don't expect
Camp out at night and perhaps hear lions off in the distance
An optional sunrise balloon ride makes for an unforgettable memory
You'll notice many Maasai villages in the region of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. While it's of course fascinating to visit different cultures, past experience has shown that these villages exist primarily as tourism businesses offering somewhat contrived performances of their traditional ways. You'll be charged an entry fee of approx US$20-35 and the Maasai will try very hard to sell souvenirs to you. While many clients still enjoy the experience, others have found it artificial and uncomfortable. We recommend our travellers bypass this activity as our Kenyan colleagues observe that it negatively impacts the Maasai culture and travellers' perception of this culture.
Day 6 - Ngorongoro Crater
The crater is a bit like being in Jurassic Park without all the dinosaurs (or Jeff Goldblum). You'll get really close to the animals here and one of our staff even had a lion pee on her truck.
Rise with the sun and leave the Serengeti for Ngorongoro Crater, home to some 30,000 animals (approx 3 hrs drive)
After a picnic lunch, descend onto the floor of the crater for a safari lasting four-five hours
Depart the crater in the afternoon and relive the safari experience at the bar
Day 7 - Marangu
Visit the new school at the Amani Children's Home, a project that houses and educates street kids. Stay in the village of Marangu overnight. Today in two words? Wholesome and humbling.
Climb high onto the slopes of Kilimanjaro to the village of Marangu, via Moshi (270 km, approx 5-7 hrs)
Meet the kids of the Amani Children's Home in Moshi
Drive on to the village of Marangu and set up camp for the night
Day 8-9 - Usambara Mountains
Walking tour of Mshiri village where you'll learn the ways of the Chagga people. Indulge in a Chagga meal, then head into the Usambara Mountains. This place is a real pearler, so make sure you get out there and soak it all in.
Take a walking tour of Mshiri Village, the base for the Village Education Project, and witness the day-to-day life of the Chagga people
Walk around the Chagga shamba (farm) and sample the local Chagga food, Visit nearby waterfalls and stop for views of the plains below
Gain views of Kilimanjaro, weather permitting. Head into the remote Tanzanian mountains (265 km, approx 7 hrs)
Visit some of the Usambara Mountains' small communities and to the Irente viewpoint
Make the most of a stop off at a cultural and ecological project based an Irente farm and enjoy a picnic lunch
Stay in the old German colony of Lushoto, in the grounds of one of the earliest hotels in Africa
Day 10 - Dar es Salaam
Pass Kili on the long drive to Dar (in Africa, we like to abbreviate things). Set up camp, then practice your hippo crawl and crocodile roll (aka the doggy paddle and the butterfly) in the pool. When you're suitably exhausted it's time to pull up a stool at the beach bar.
Head to the coastal city of Dar es Salaam (380 km, approx 9-11 hrs)
Enjoy the coastal vibes of Dar, and perhaps spend time relaxing or swimming in the ocean
Day 11-14 - Zanzibar
Don't feel embarrassed if you get lost in the maze-like streets. Even Bear Grylls would find himself going in circles. Make your way to the open-air food market for enormous avocados, elephant garlic and all your big name spices. Then the beach. Always the beach.
Catch a ferry to the 'Spice Island' of Zanzibar (approx 90 mins)
Explore Stone Town on foot, taking in the bazaars, shops, mosques, palaces, courtyards and myriad alleyways
Perhaps enjoy a sundowner whilst overlooking the seafront, or sample one of the local seafood curries
Drive to the spice plantations and enjoy a guided tour, with the opportunity to buy some spices to take home
Perhaps try snorkelling and diving or simply relax in a hammock underneath a coconut tree
Optional visit to Prison Island
This trip now finishes in Zanzibar at the Safari Lodge. Your leader can help you organise the return leg of the ferry if you wish which costs approximately 35USD. Ferries depart Zanzibar for Dar Es Salaam daily at 0730hrs, 0930hrs, 1230hrs and 1530hrs and take approx. 2hrs.
Please allow enough time to get back to the mainland if you need to catch your departing flight from Dar Es Salaam. Speak to your leader about the best way to do this.
There are no activities planned for the final day. Checkout time at our hotel in the Northern Beaches is 10:00am. After checkout we make our way back to Stonetown where this trip finishes. We should arrive back at Safari Lodge by around 12:00pm.
**This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**
What to Know
On this trip you will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver.
Amani Children's Home visit, Irente - walk & local lunch, Mto Wa Mbu - Village Walk & market Visit, Ngorongoro Crater - Game drive, Serengeti - Game drive, Usambara Village Education Project visit, village walk & lunch, Zanzibar Spice tour
13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.
Geckos strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Geckos makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.
PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.
UNFENCED CAMP SITES: On some trips where you will be staying within a national park, please note that at times you will stay in unfenced camp sites. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules that must be adhered to. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.
Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price Kitty Payment Total Price 28 Sep 2014 - 11 Oct 2014 Fully Booked US $1,005 On Sale Sale: US $904 US $895 US $1,799 Contact us 05 Oct 2014 - 18 Oct 2014 Available US $1,005 On Sale Sale: US $904 US $895 US $1,799 Book Now 12 Oct 2014 - 25 Oct 2014 Available US $1,005 On Sale Sale: US $904 US $895 US $1,799 Book Now 19 Oct 2014 - 01 Nov 2014 Available US $1,005 On Sale Sale: US $904 US $895 US $1,799 Book Now 26 Oct 2014 - 08 Nov 2014 Available US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 02 Nov 2014 - 15 Nov 2014 Available US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 09 Nov 2014 - 22 Nov 2014 Available US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 16 Nov 2014 - 29 Nov 2014 4 places left US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 23 Nov 2014 - 06 Dec 2014 2 places left US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 30 Nov 2014 - 13 Dec 2014 Available US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 14 Dec 2014 - 27 Dec 2014 Available US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 21 Dec 2014 - 03 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Contact us 28 Dec 2014 - 10 Jan 2015 1 place left US $975 On Sale Sale: US $877 US $895 US $1,772 Book Now 04 Jan 2015 - 17 Jan 2015 Available US $1,000 US $895 US $1,895 Book Now 11 Jan 2015 - 24 Jan 2015 Available US $1,000 US $895 US $1,895 Book Now 25 Jan 2015 - 07 Feb 2015 Available US $1,000 US $895 US $1,895 Book Now 01 Feb 2015 - 14 Feb 2015 Available US $1,000 US $895 US $1,895 Book Now 15 Feb 2015 - 28 Feb 2015 Available US $1,000 US $895 US $1,895 Book Now 22 Feb 2015 - 07 Mar 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 15 Mar 2015 - 28 Mar 2015 Available US $945 US $895 US $1,840 Book Now 22 Mar 2015 - 04 Apr 2015 Available US $945 US $895 US $1,840 Book Now 29 Mar 2015 - 11 Apr 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 05 Apr 2015 - 18 Apr 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 03 May 2015 - 16 May 2015 Available US $945 US $895 US $1,840 Book Now 17 May 2015 - 30 May 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 07 Jun 2015 - 20 Jun 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 14 Jun 2015 - 27 Jun 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 21 Jun 2015 - 04 Jul 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 28 Jun 2015 - 11 Jul 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 05 Jul 2015 - 18 Jul 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 12 Jul 2015 - 25 Jul 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 19 Jul 2015 - 01 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 26 Jul 2015 - 08 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 30 Jul 2015 - 12 Aug 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 02 Aug 2015 - 15 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 09 Aug 2015 - 22 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 16 Aug 2015 - 29 Aug 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 23 Aug 2015 - 05 Sep 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 27 Aug 2015 - 09 Sep 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 30 Aug 2015 - 12 Sep 2015 Available US $1,030 US $895 US $1,925 Book Now 06 Sep 2015 - 19 Sep 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 13 Sep 2015 - 26 Sep 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 20 Sep 2015 - 03 Oct 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 24 Sep 2015 - 07 Oct 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 27 Sep 2015 - 10 Oct 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 04 Oct 2015 - 17 Oct 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 11 Oct 2015 - 24 Oct 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 18 Oct 2015 - 31 Oct 2015 Available US $1,005 US $895 US $1,900 Book Now 25 Oct 2015 - 07 Nov 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 01 Nov 2015 - 14 Nov 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 08 Nov 2015 - 21 Nov 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 15 Nov 2015 - 28 Nov 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 22 Nov 2015 - 05 Dec 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 29 Nov 2015 - 12 Dec 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 06 Dec 2015 - 19 Dec 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 13 Dec 2015 - 26 Dec 2015 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 20 Dec 2015 - 02 Jan 2016 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now 27 Dec 2015 - 09 Jan 2016 Available US $975 US $895 US $1,870 Book Now
Kitty payment is required in cash. It needs to be paid before the end of your trip, in the local currency stated above. It is generally paid on Day 1, and covers most on-ground expenses. Kitty payments calculated using exchange rates valid on 1 Jan 2013.
Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments
At the end of each trip, we ask our travellers to provide feedback. We publish the positive, negative and neutral feedback on this page to give you an overall idea of what to expect on this trip.
Safari & Spice and all things Nice
Michael - Australia, 6 Feb, 2014
Overall an enjoyable trip with a very helpful and friendly guide Julius. Tour itself was well structured, meals were quite decent and it was a nice end to the trip to have some relaxation in Zanzibar. Alot of early starts which was to be expected, and some work relating to putting up/down tents & cleaning duties which is explained in the tour outline but I found that it actually helped foster group camaraderie. Would definitely do another tour like this again.
Safari & Spice and all things Nice
Craig - Australia, 15 Jun, 2013
The trip should be streached out a few days longer so you could spend more time in some places. And not putting up and pulling down tents in the dark.