Days
12
Price from
$1,800USD

Adventure across Kenya and Tanzania through the epic plains of Masai Mara

Time to get serious, young adventurers. This is what Africa is all about. Hippos, lions, leopards, lakes, jeep safaris, fun-loving red-clad Maasai folk, wide open grassy plains that stretch as far as the eye can see, and sunsets that would make your mother weep.

Don't leave without trying: chipsi mayai (omelette stuffed with chips). Wash it down with a drop of the ol' konyago (local gin).


Start
Nairobi, Kenya
Finish
Nairobi, Kenya
Countries
Kenya, Tanzania
Code
GAES
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why we love this trip

  • Lake Naivasha put the great in the Great Rift Valley. Cruise across the lake in search of hippos, go cycling, or just chill out and soak up that serenity. Ahh...

  • Head for the hills to hang with the fun-loving, red-clad Maasai folk. A local elder will explain to you what the tribe is all about, and they'll even show you around their house

  • The rolling plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti are quite simply epic. And that's before you get to the animals. Safaris here will blow your mind, especially if you're the Lion King type

  • Locations don't get much better than the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Check out those volcanoes, and beautiful grassy landscapes, zillions of feet below (at least a thousand feet below)

  • Starting and finishing in Nairobi, you can take your time to hit top-notch museums or feast on barbeque till your heart's content

Is this trip right for you?

  • Loita Hills is a proper adventure – you'll be in a bush camp with no showers as the Maasai guard you from the animals.

  • Similarly, camping in the Serengeti means, well, camping in the Serengeti. It's pretty cool, but remember there's no fence between you and the animals. Your leader will brief you on safety.

  • All-purpose overland vehicles are used for this trip. They're great for game viewing, with big sliding windows, but the catch is they can get hot and dusty, with no air conditioning.

  • Sometimes the going is slow – these roads aren't exactly a German autobahn. Patience is key! And a music player, preferably.

  • It's all hands on deck for this trip, so embrace the team spirit. You'll be expected to help with camp setup, cleaning and food preparation.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for this, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these to give to your leader. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Nairobi by Night - USD63
  • Nairobi - Bomas of Kenya - USD12
  • Nairobi - National Park safari walk - USD30
  • Nairobi - National Museum - USD10
  • Nairobi - Giraffe Center - USD12
  • Nairobi - Karen Blixen museum - USD14
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Petty theft is common in Nairobi. As a general rule, the safest place for your valuables is on your person in a neck wallet or money belt. Your hotel room or reception may also have a safe in which to store things. If you do decide to go exploring, make sure you get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk – particularly for later in the day. Be careful not to leave bags unattended on chairs or the floor when you're in a bar or restaurant. Without being paranoid, appearing vigilant is a great deterrence to would-be thieves. Also, make scans of important travel documents and email them to yourself – this will save you hours of time in paperwork if anything does happen.
Make the drive to your camp near Lake Naivasha. This is one of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley. It has amazing floating islands of papyrus reeds, and a pretty border of flat-topped acacias. As well as a healthy population of hippos, there are loads of different birds to see here – some 400 different kinds. Settle in and maybe grab a cool drink. Your campsite tonight is basic with showers and flush toilets. Depending on availability, there is an option to upgrade to a room. WiFi is available at the bar and there is an opportunity to access an ATM and market during the day to stock up for the remainder of the trip.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip - KES4000
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy some free time today. There are lots of optional activities to choose from. You can head over to Hell's Gate National Park, a wonderland of beautiful cliffs, gorges, rock towers, volcanoes and various geothermal phenomena. Another great choice is to take a boat trip across Lake Naivasha, which is arguably the best way to take in the atmosphere of this beautiful environment. If you're looking for something more active, hire a bike for the day and go exploring.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Naivasha - Bike hire - USD12
  • Lake Naivasha - Boat trip - KES4000
  • Lake Naivasha - Game Walk in Crater Lake Game Sanctuary - USD45
  • Lake Naivasha - Hell's Gate National Park - USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart Lake Naivasha, 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 traditional 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. Showers, upgrades and WiFi are not available at tonight's bush camp.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Loita Hills - Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Travel from Loita to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours). The road is pretty dusty when it's dry, and could be slippery and soft when wet, so the going might be slow. 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 back on board the truck and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara. You campground tonight is located outside of the national reserve and has flush toilets and showers. There is an option to upgrade, depending on availability. WiFi is not available here though.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Adventure into the reserve for a full day's 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Balloon ride (from price) - USD500
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Notes: The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
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 WiFi is available.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Lake Victoria - Guided bike excursion around Musoma - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
If you choose, you can wake up early for a guided bike excursion around the town and marketplace of Musoma. It's a great opportunity to interact with the locals. Keep in mind you'll need to have your own helmet for this, because there probably won't be one available. 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 WiFi available here.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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, now's your chance.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Serengeti National Park - Balloon Ride (from price) - USD546
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
The balloon ride is offered as a pre-booked service which will guarantee you a place. If you would rather wait and try to get a better price by booking this locally on the ground, you are welcome to, but keep in mind that this is a popular activity and places are limited.
Enjoy a game drive on your way out of the park today. After lunch you will enter the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Next stop: the crater rim (approximately 3 hours). Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanoes and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below. Camping locations don't get much better than this! Your campsite has flush toilets and hot showers available, but no WiFi or optional upgrades. It can get very cold on the crater rim, especially in winter (June to August) when temperatures drop below zero. Even in the summer months it can be surprisingly chilly at night, so don't forget your warm clothes.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro 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. You'll drive out of the crater and head to Mto Wa Mbu for a look around town and craft market before continuing to your campsite (approximately 5–6 hours). A small village community that's off the tourist trail, Mto Wa Mbu is an interesting snapshot of small-town African life. Your campsite is in Meserani, on the outskirts of Arusha, and has flush toilets and showers. Upgrades to rooms are possible, depending on availability, but there is no WiFi.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit
Optional Activities
  • Ngorongoro Crater - Morning 4x4 Game Drive - From USD91 - USD545
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Set off nice and early this morning, around 7.30 am, heading for the border with Kenya and then on to Nairobi (approximately 7–8 hours). When you get to Nairobi, you'll be dropped at the finishing point hotel. No accommodation is provided for tonight, but this can be arranged when you book this trip. You can also choose to finish your trip in Arusha this morning if you like.
Optional Activities
  • Nairobi - Nairobi by Night - USD63
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
It's important not to book any flights departing Nairobi earlier than 8 pm (or 12 pm if you're departing from Arusha).

Meals

11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

Overland Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (1 night), Camping (with facilities) (8 nights), Camping (with basic facilities) (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Loita Hills - Village Visit
  • Masai Mara National Reserve - Game drive
  • Serengeti National Park - Game drive
  • Mto Wa Mbu - Market Visit

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes upon arrival in Nairobi on Day 12. Please do not book any flights until after 8pm this evening.
3. An optional sunrise balloon ride in the Masai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park are possible on this itinerary. Please see Days 6 & 9 for full details of this activity. As the balloon only holds 16 people, places are limited and we recommend that you book in advance. Please inquire when booking your trip to book this optional activity.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.