The Hakuna Matata Path

'Fighting Poverty through Education' - meet the students of the School of St Jude
Donkey Kong
Beach babes
Gorilla trekking in Parc National des Volcans
Meet cheeky chimps on Ngamba Island
Gis' a smooch
Kenyan street art
Hang out in Rwanda
Grub's up
You think your job's tough? Try riding a massive pile of bananas around all day.
Game drives in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Serengeti
Game drives in the Masai Mara
The 'Garden of Eden' of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater
Tented camp stays
Masai Mara's mammal migrations
Surfing the Nile at Jinja
The children of East Africa Mission Orphanage
The flamingos of Lake Nakuru
Drink waragi – Ugandan banana gin
Game drives in Queen Elizabeth National Park's diverse habitats
Kigali's Genocide Memorial - a monument to the courage and resilience of the Rwandan people
Lake Naivasha's hippos
  • We highly recommend putting The Lion King soundtrack on your iPod. When Elton starts belting out “Circle of Life” as the sun dips down over the savannah you'll thank us.

    (Was Complete East Africa)


    Day 1-2 - Nairobi - Arusha

    Ditch your watch, you're on Africa time now. Meet the rest of the group tonight and find your seat buddy for the trip to Arusha tomorrow morning.

    Day 1

    • Arrive at any time and get acquainted with Nairobi
    • An arrival transfer from Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport can be pre-booked through Geckos
    • There is a pre-departure meeting tonight at 6pm
    • You may choose to eat at the hotel restaurant this evening or venture out to one of the many fine restaurants that Nairobi has to offer

    Day 2 (Approximate driving time: 8 hours)

    • Cross the border at Namanga and enter Tanzania before travelling on to Arusha - the Safari Capital of Tanzania, throbs with activity  See several safaris heading off or returning after a week in the bush
    • Set up for a first night of camping in Tanzania
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - The School of St Jude - Mto Wa Mbu

    (Approximate driving time: 2 hours)

    St Jude's motto is 'Fighting Poverty Through Education'. The kids here get a free education which includes transport, uniform, stationary, snacks, water and a hot meal.

    • Visit The School of St Jude in Arusha, a school for orphans and very poor children of the area
    • Take a guided tour of the school and learn more about how it operates and the success that it has achieved
    • Take time to visit children in class, before joining them for lunch
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4-5 - Serengeti National Park

    (Approximate driving time: 8 hours; game drive times variable)

    There are no fences around our campsite, so you might wake up in the morning to find lion footprints alongside your tent. Bet that's never happened on a weekend camping trip with dad.

    • Stop on the top of the Rift Valley escarpment for an incredible view out over Lake Manyara
    • Spend two days exploring the plains on game drives as well as checking out the rocky outcrops, or 'kopjes' - a favourite for predators
    • Enjoy two nights camping inside the park - and be serenaded by the sounds of the African savannah
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6-7 - Ngorongoro Conservation Area - Arusha

    The Ngorongoro Crater is about 19km wide, so it's slightly more than just a hole in the ground. It's your best chance of seeing endangered black rhino so keep your peepers peeled. Then it's off to Arusha for a hot shower.

    Day 6 (Approximate driving time: 8 hours, including game drive)

    • Traverse the southern part of Serengeti National Park and cross over into the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area
    • Perhaps visit the small museum at Olduvai Gorge

    Day 7 (Approximate driving time: 8 hours, including game drive)

    • Transfer into Land Rovers and head down to the crater floor
    • Spend the morning exploring this outstanding wildlife sanctuary - be lucky to see the rare black rhinos
    • Leave the crater and return to the campground in Arusha
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8-10 - Arusha - Nairobi - Masai Mara National Reserve

    Visit a local Masai village and recreate your favourite "Oh, what a feeling" Toyota moment when you jump with the warriors.

    Day 8 (Approximate driving time: 8 hours; excluding time spent at border)

    • Head back to Nairobi and enjoy some free time before the next leg of the trip
    • Set off on the long drive to the Masai Mara

    Day 9-10 (Approximate driving time: 7 hours; game drive times variable)

    • Spend two nights in the Great Rift Valley and the Masai Mara region
    • Head out on a full day's safari
    • Explore the park on morning and afternoon game drives
    • Witness wildebeest, zebra, elephant, giraffe and gazelle, and with luck, even lions or cheetahs
    • Perhaps choose to visit a local village, where you can experience Masai dancing and singing
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11 - Lake Naivasha

    (Approximate driving time: 6 hours)

    Lake Naivasha is paradise for snorers. "What? Someone was snoring last night? It wasn't me. Must've been those pesky hippos."

    • Head to the freshwater Lake Naivasha and set up camp on the banks of the lake 
    • Perhaps choose to visit Elsamere, the former home of writer Joy Adamson of ‘Born Free’ fame
    • Why not take a cycling tour into Hell's Gate National Park - a safari on two wheels
    • Optional nature walk in Crescent Island Sanctuary
    • Fall asleep to the sound of grunting hippos
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12-13 - East Africa Mission Orphanage (EAMO) - Lake Nakuru National Park

    The only thing the kids at EAMO will ask you for is a cuddle, but after chatting to Ralph and May Spinks you'll realise just how much more it takes to run an orphanage for 225 kids. We'll stay overnight so there's plenty of time for soccer, a tour, hair braiding and seeing how EAMO works.

    Day 12 (Approximate driving time: 3 hours)

    • Head to the East Africa Mission Orphanage and camp on its grounds
    • Meet the children and share dinner with them at the orphanage
    • Answer the children's questions about the wider world over dinner

    Day 13 (Game drive times variable)

    • Travel to the nearby Lake Nakuru National Park for a full day of game driving
    • Perhaps spot populations of white and black rhino, Masai giraffe, Cape buffalo and the elusive leopard
    • View flamingos on the lake, which sometimes resembles a moving carpet of pink feathers
    • Return to camp at the orphanage
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14-16 - Kericho - Jinja

    A couple nights camping on the riverbank at Bujagali Falls means activities like white-water rafting, kayaking, horse riding and quad biking.

    Day 14 (Approximate driving time: 2 hours)

    • Spend time with the children of the orphanage in their classrooms
    • Sit in on class with the children and join some of them in their lessons
    • Enjoy the opportunity to learn more about the tea industry in Kenya on a tour
    • Camp in the midst of a tea plantation

    Days 15-16 (Approximate driving time: 8 hours)

    • Cross the border from Kenya to Uganda at the Busia border post - one of the busiest in east Africa.
    • Spend two nights camped at Adrift camp, on the banks of the river Nile
    • Camp near raging rapids, forested islands and an abundance of bird life
    • Optional activities abound, including whitewater rafting, kayaking, horse riding and quad biking
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 17 - Entebbe - Uganda Wildlife Education Centre

    (Approximate driving time: 3 hours)

    All the wildlife here has been rescued from poachers, illegal trade or accidents. We guarantee you'll want to adopt at least three of the monkeys before you leave.

    • Retrace the path to Lake Victoria and head on to Entebbe, where we visit the Ugandan Wildlife Centre
    • Optional boat excursion to Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 18-19 - Queen Elizabeth National Park

    (Approximate driving time: 8 hours; game drive times variable)

    It's rare to come across many other people here, which means you've basically got the animals to yourself. Break out the SPF 30+ on your boat ride along the Kazinga Channel.

    • Journey on to Queen Elizabeth National Park
    • Get an insight into rural Ugandan life en route and be greeted by waving children along the way
    • Embark on an afternoon game drive in search of some of the 100 different types of mammals and over 600 different species of birds
    • Spend two nights camped in the Mweya area, located on the edge of the Kazinga Channel
    • Spend a morning game driving
    • Take a boat trip on the Kazinga Channel - a highlight for birdwatchers (and hippopotamus watchers)
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 20-21 - Queen Elizabeth National Park - Ruhengeri

    Erin, one of our copywriters, just came back from a gorilla trek. We asked her to describe it, but she got all sniffy and misty-eyed. We made out the words "goosebumps" and "incredible" before she descended into full-blown tears.

    Day 20 (Approximate driving time: 7 hours)

    • Journey on to Rwanda
    • Get an insight into rural Ugandan life en route and be greeted by waving children along the way

    Day 21

    • Check in at the headquarters of the Parc National des Volcans for the gorilla trek
    • Take a brief safety talk and set off with our guide in search of the magnificent apes
    • Get within metres of a gorilla family we are tracking and spend an hour observing them
    • Relive the events of the day over a well-earned meal and celebratory drink back at camp
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 22 - Kigali

    (Approximate driving time: 3 hours)

    The Genocide Memorial is heavy, but it's really important that you come here. It's the perfect way to end this trip because it reminds you of how far this country has come and how lucky you are to have been there.

    • Drive through verdant, rolling hills of Rwanda and travel south-east to the capital, Kigali
    • Visit the Genocide Memorial, which opened in 2004 to mark the tenth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
    • The trip comes to an end after the memorial visit
  • What's Included

    • An experienced safari leader whilst on safari; local specialist guides join us for Ngorongoro Crater excursion and Gorilla Trek; all park fees; one pre-purchased gorilla permit; 17 nights camping, 2 nights budget hotels, 2 nights tented camp; transport by custom-built safari vehicle, boat and on foot.

    Not Included

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
  • 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.

    The Hakuna Matata Path

    Sally Ann - , 24 Dec, 2011
    Overall Rating

    All tour guides for both legs of the trip - Chris, John & Mwangi - were fantastic.  All were extremely approachable and made sure we had everything we needed.  In the case of Chris and John their excitment when we watched a lion stalk in the Serengeti was infectious and added to our excitment, as this is not a routine experience.

22 days
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4WD vehicle, Custom-built safari vehicle, On foot, Trek
17 nights Camping, 2 nights Tented bush camp, 2 nights Hotel

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