Nairobi to Arusha

13 days from 4,479pp

Few travel experiences compare to encountering the legendary wildlife of the Serengeti and Masai Mara alongside expert naturalists. On this two-week trip through the grasslands of Kenya and Tanzania, explore incredible national parks and stay at beautifully outfitted safari lodges and camps. Experience the East African savannah with all five senses as you search for the “big five”.
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13 days Nairobi to Arusha

From 4,479 per person

Is this tour for me?

Travel Style: National Geographic Journeys

Greater exploration, insider access, and the freedom to roam – all without sacrificing comfort.

Service Level: Upgraded

Quality accommodations and more inclusions than on other G Adventures tours, like meals, private transport, and activities.

Physical Rating: 2 – Light

Light walking and hiking suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.

Trip Type: Small Group

Small group experience; Max 6, Avg 5.

Age requirement: 12+

All travellers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Day 1: Nairobi

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer included.

Our trips throughout Kenya and Tanzania have a maximum group size of six travellers in addition to a CEO and a driver who are both trained safari guides. That means everyone gets a window seat and twice the insight about the astounding wildlife all around you.

This trip covers long distances to visit 3 different wildlife parks in a short period of time and is a very busy trip. Please be prepared for a lot of driving over some very rough, bumpy and often unmaintained roads, which is the norm for Kenya.
Private Vehicle
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport – Nairobi

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting:
1h

The adventure begins tonight. Feel free to explore before your welcome meeting, but make sure you’re back in time to meet the group. After introductions, your CEO will review the details of your tour. Please note that normal check-in times apply at our start hotels, but you can usually store your luggage for the day if you arrive early.

Optional Activities – Day 1

David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Visit
Nairobi5h30m-6h

26-65USD per person

Established in memory of the founder of Kenya’s giant Tsavo East National Park, David Sheldrick, this organization strives to help save the lives of orphaned elephants and rhinos before they are released back into the wild. Entrance fees assist in feeding and nurturing the animals.

National Museum
Nairobi

21-33USD per person

Take a stroll through this museum to get a better understanding of Kenya’s rich heritage through a range of cultural and natural-history exhibits. Learn more about the region’s bird population at the Birds of East Africa exhibit, a huge gallery of at least 900 stuffed specimens. Get a refreshing take on Kenyan history counterpoint to colonial historiographies at the Historia Ya Kenya display. Entrance fee and hotel pick-up included.

Railway Museum
Nairobi

6USD per person

Adjacent to the Nairobi railway station, this museum contains exhibits from the East African Railways opened in 1971.

Karen Blixen Museum
Nairobi

34-73USD per person

Converted from the former home of pioneer coffee farmer and acclaimed writer Karen Blixen, this museum provides visitors insight into life of a Danish settler in pre-Independence Kenya. Take a walk through the home, and magnificent gardens that provide a stunning view of the Ngong hills. Hotel pick-up and entrance fee included.

The Carnivore Restaurant
Nairobi

51-82USD per person

Feast on a range of familiar and exotic meats roasted over an open flame barbecue pit. Ever wanted to try ostrich or crocodile? Here’s your chance to do so (at a world-renowned restaurant, at that). Price includes the price of a meal (without a beverage) and hotel pick-up.

Accommodation

Jacaranda Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Nairobi/Masai Mara

Travel to our comfortable tented camp located in the heart of the wildlife reserve. Enjoy a wildlife safari drive this evening, then settle back at the camp and enjoy views overlooking the plains of the reserve.

After breakfast, we depart for the world famous Masai Mara National Reserve. With its vast open plains and flat-topped acacia trees, no visit to Kenya would be complete without a visit here. In the afternoon, we will arrive in the area, and get settled at our safari camp, our base for our time here. Then we’ll make our way into the reserve for an afternoon wildlife safari drive, with excellent chances of seeing the Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino.

The road in and back out of the park is very rough and very bumpy but once you catch a glimpse of the stunning wildlife, it is worth a bit of discomfort.

Safari vehicle
Nairobi – Masai Mara6h386km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

Masai Mara Wildlife Safari Drive
Masai Mara

Masai Mara is one of the world’s top safari destinations, known for its abundance of big cats – cheetahs, leopards, and lions – as well as the two million wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, and zebra that migrate annually across the vast grasslands in search of water. Set off on safari with our driver/guide and keep your eyes and ears peeled for movement and memories. Watch elephants and giraffe grazing, photograph zebras and wildebeest, and with a little luck, you’ll even spot animals feasting on a recent kill.

Accommodation

Fig Tree Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 3: Masai Mara

Enjoy an early morning wildlife safari drive. The day continues with more wildlife viewing as you cross the rolling hills of the African savannah. Also enjoy a late afternoon/evening safari.

Safari vehicle
Masai Mara

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

Masai Mara Wildlife Safari Drive
Masai Mara

Masai Mara is one of the world’s top safari destinations, known for its abundance of big cats – cheetahs, leopards, and lions – as well as the two million wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, and zebra that migrate annually across the vast grasslands in search of water. Set off on safari with our driver/guide and keep your eyes and ears peeled for movement and memories. Watch elephants and giraffe grazing, photograph zebras and wildebeest, and with a little luck, you’ll even spot animals feasting on a recent kill.

Free Time
Masai Mara

In the evenings, settle back at the camp with a cool drink and enjoy sweeping views of the plains of the wildlife reserve.

Optional Activities – Day 3

Masai Mara Balloon Safari
Masai Mara

450USD per person

The adventure begins just before dawn and lasts an hour in the sky. Fly over the Mara River, plains, and forests of the Masai Mara. Toast your return to earth with a champagne breakfast, cooked wherever you land.

Please note that single passengers can book on this activity, the balloon will require a minimum of two passengers to take flight. In the rare case that this minimum is not reached by the time of your flight, passengers will be refunded for this activity.

Accommodation

Fig Tree Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4: Masai Mara/Lake Nakuru National Park

Depart early on a long, but beautiful, drive to Lake Nakuru. En route, stop in at a G Adventures for Good-supported project, Ubuntu Café — an initiative that trains and creates local jobs for women. Visit the craft centre, meet some of the Mamas in the program, then sit down to a delicious farm-to-table lunch. Continue to our safari lodge inside the Lake Nakuru National Park. Enjoy a late afternoon wildlife safari drive, paying special attention to the rare rhinos who make this area their home.

On this afternoon wildlife safari drive, keep an eye out for the resident black and white rhino, buffalo, impala, and the elusive leopard.

Today is a very long driving day but we do break it up with a wonderful visit and lunch at the Ubuntu Cafe.

Safari vehicle
Masai Mara – Maai Mahiu4h Morning210km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Made

Enjoy a guided tour of the centre and meet some of the mothers who work here creating handicrafts. Learn how the lives of these “mamas” have been impacted and, in turn, their communities empowered through this G Adventures-supported initiative.

G Adventures for Good: Café Ubuntu

In the rural settlement of Maai Mahiu is the very special G Adventures for Good supported project, Ubuntu Café. A true social enterprise in the heart of Kenya, this initiative empowers the community, creating over 400 sustainable local jobs for mothers of children with disabilities, and supporting pediatric health and education programs in the region. Sit down to a delicious, organic farm-to-table lunch.

Safari vehicle
Maai Mahiu – Lake Nakuru National Park2h30m Afternoon120km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

Lake Nakuru Wildlife Safari Drive
Lake Nakuru National Park1h30m Evening

Search for rhinos, buffalo, impalas, hyenas, and even lions and leopards on the wildlife safari drive in this renowned national park. Head to the shores of Lake Nakuru to see pelicans and cormorants. The park is also rich in other bird life, including grebes, white winged black terns, stilts, avocets, and ducks.

Accommodation:

Lake Nakuru Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5: Lake Nakuru National Park/Amboseli National Park

After a morning wildlife safari drive, venture south to famed Amboseli National Park located at the foot of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. The snow-capped peak of the mountain dominates every aspect of the park, providing the ultimate photo backdrop.

Lake Nakuru Wildlife Safari Drive
Lake Nakuru National Park2h

Search for rhinos, buffalo, impalas, hyenas, and even lions and leopards on the wildlife safari drive in this renowned national park. Head to the shores of Lake Nakuru to see pelicans and cormorants. The park is also rich in other bird life, including grebes, white winged black terns, stilts, avocets, and ducks.

Safari vehicle
Lake Nakuru National Park – Amboseli National Park

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

Accommodation:

Kilima Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 6: Amboseli National Park

Enjoy morning and afternoon wildlife safari drives today. During your down time, relax at camp, enjoying views of Mt Kilimanjaro and wildlife visiting the camp’s watering holes. Gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding poaching and elephant conservation during a lecture by an accredited speaker from the Kenya Wildlife Service.

Amboseli Wildlife Safari Drive
Amboseli National Park

Charge up your camera batteries and get ready to document the drama of Amboseli. Big sky. Big mountain. Big elephants. Visit with some of the 1,500 African elephants that roam the park. Look for other wildlife and meet the resident Maasai along the journey. Marvel in the beauty of Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free-standing mountain, as it reigns over the landscape of this uniquely African location.

Safari vehicle
Amboseli National Park

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kenya Wildlife Service Amboseli Talk

Amboseli National Park is renowned for its incredible elephant population. Gain a deeper understanding of the issues surrounding human and wildlife conflict and elephant conservation during a lecture here by an accredited speaker from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The KWS strives to sustainably conserve and develop Kenya’s wildlife and its habitats, as well as create programs to enable communities living in wildlife areas to benefit from wildlife revenue. National Geographic has supported many research projects working jointly with KWS researchers in the field. The chairman of the KWS is renowned conservationist Richard Leakey, a long-time collaborator and multiple grantee of the National Geographic Society.

Accommodation:

Kilima Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 7: Amboseli National Park/Arusha

After a morning of wildlife viewing, continue the journey to Arusha, gateway to the Serengeti and the northern parks of Tanzania.

Today we cross into Tanzania, stopping at Arusha, a picturesque town that sits at the foot of rugged Mt Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets, and try a sample or two of the fresh locally grown coffee.

Upon arrival into Arusha, you may be joined by other G Adventures travellers starting the Tanzania safari portion of the trip in Arusha.
Amboseli Wildlife Safari Drive
Amboseli National Park

Charge up your camera batteries and get ready to document the drama of Amboseli. Big sky. Big mountain. Big elephants. Visit with some of the 1,500 African elephants that roam the park. Look for other wildlife and meet the resident Maasai along the journey. Marvel in the beauty of Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest free-standing mountain, as it reigns over the landscape of this uniquely African location.

Border Crossing (Kenya – Tanzania)
Namanga

Ready for a little more ink in your passport? Grab your bags and get ready to check another country off your bucket list.

Private Vehicle
Amboseli National Park – Arusha7h-8h286km

Settle in and scan the scenery from the convenience of a private vehicle.

Accommodation:

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 8: Arusha/Lake Manyara National Park

Visit Mto wa Mbu village for a guided cultural walk and a traditional lunch with a local family. Continue to our safari camp located outside Lake Manyara National Park. The camp provides unobstructed views of the Rift Valley Escarpment. Embark on an afternoon wildlife safari drive with phenomenal wildlife viewing and search out the famed tree-climbing lions.

This western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment is truly stunning. It provides a backdrop for your search of the park’s bird life, tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, and baboons. The afternoon is spent viewing wildlife along the main road that winds through a lush, cool forest that’s dominated by large ficus trees covered in bromeliads and ferns.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park2h-3h130km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

G Adventures for Good: Mto wa Mbu Village Visit and Lunch

Take part in a cultural walk to learn about life in this East African town. Mto wa Mbu has attracted some 18,000 residents from 120 different tribes. During the two-hour tour, visit the village’s local market, go right to the farmer’s fields, see how huts are constructed, and meet artisans in their shops.

Afterwards, sit down with our new friends and enjoy a traditional lunch of meat and plantains.

Lake Manyara National Park Safari
Lake Manyara National Park

This western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment is truly stunning. It provides a backdrop for your search for the park’s phenomenal bird life (including raptors), tree-climbing lions, elephants, zebras, hippos, baboons, and buffalos. Look up and see some of the more than 400 species of birds, including pink flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, and storks.

Beyond wildlife, Lake Manyara NP is home to giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees, and grassy flood plains. The contrasts of this area are simply breathtaking; the open plains, huge escarpment, central alkaline lake, dense woodlands, and distant volcanic peaks coming together in an area best described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I have seen in Africa.”

Accommodation:

Rift Valley Photographic Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9: Lake Manyara National Park/Serengeti National Park

Travel through the Rift Valley and visit a Maasai village to learn about the Maasai people and the G Adventures-supported Clean Cookstove project. Enjoy an exclusive presentation by one of the Maasai women and hear how participation in the project has impacted her life and empowered other females around her. Take a guided tour of the village, meet the women that have been trained as stove engineers, visit bomas (traditional homes), and observe (or get your hands dirty) by helping the Stove Team build a stove in a home. After, stop at the Olduvai Gorge Museum and Visitors’ Center before continuing to our safari camp located inside Serengeti National Park.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Lake Manyara National Park – Serengeti National Park5h-6h220km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

G Adventures for Good: Clean Cookstove Project Visit

Visit a Maasai village in the Monduli District and witness the benefits of the G Adventures-supported Clean Cookstove Project. In Tanzania, 95% of people rely on cooking with wood and coal. Women and girls spend hours walking to collect wood every day (making them vulnerable to assault and unable to use their time to go to school). Indoor smoke from open-fire stoves causes cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, blindness, and burns. Take a guided tour of these villages and meet the women that have been trained as stove engineers, visit bomas (traditional homes), and observe (or get your hands dirty) by helping the Stove Team build a stove in a home. See the beneficial impact of the clean-burning stoves on the health and daily lives of the Maasai villagers, especially the women.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Clean Cookstove Project Talk

G Adventures has partnered with the Masai Stoves and Solar Project to install more efficient cookstoves across the Serengeti in order to cut down on smoke-related illnesses. Enjoy an exclusive talk with some of the “Masai mamas” and learn how their lives have been impacted and their community empowered.

Olduvai Gorge Museum
Olduwai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is a steep ravine in the Great Rift Valley of Tanzania. It is one of the world’s most important paleoanthropological sites. Beginning in 1931, excavations by Louis Leakey revealed evidence of early man dating back nearly 2 million years. Visit the Olduvai museum and see bone fossils and fragments of ancient stone tools. This UNESCO World Heritage site provides an intriguing glimpse into the origin and evolution of man in these Serengeti Plains of Africa.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

Accommodation:

Serengeti Tortilis Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 10: Serengeti National Park

Embark on morning and afternoon wildlife safari drives in our compact, safari 4×4, that features a pop-up roof for optimal wildlife observation. Visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, where wildlife researchers and scientists are working on projects within the National Park and surrounding protected areas. Enjoy a lecture by one of the visiting researchers. Topics will vary based on the studies being done at the time. Opt to take a sunrise balloon safari.

If you have pre-booked a Serengeti Balloon Safari, your flight will be early in the morning. You will miss the morning wildlife safari drive, but you will have a much better view from above.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Serengeti National Park

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture

Visit the Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre, where most of the wildlife researchers and scientists are based for projects within Serengeti National Park and surrounding protected areas. Enjoy a lecture by one of the visiting researchers; topics will vary based on the studies being done at the time.

Optional Activities – Day 10

Serengeti Balloon Safari
Serengeti National Park

599USD per person

Spirited aloft in a hot-air balloon, view the wildlife and terrain of the Serengeti that only the birds see. Enjoy a champagne breakfast and keep that shutter-finger good and limber—you’ll be using it plenty over the course of your hour in the air.

Accommodation

Serengeti Tortilis Camp (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 11: Serengeti National Park/Ngorongoro

Continue viewing wildlife on the drive out of the Serengeti to our comfortable tented camp. Relax this evening enjoying the African sunset on the deck with a cool drink.

Please note that due to the high-altitude location of our camp, temperatures can drop at night. We recommend bringing extra layers to wear during the evening and following morning.

Serengeti National Park Safari
Serengeti National Park

This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.

7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro4h160km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

Accommodation:

Pembeni Rhotia (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 12: Ngorongoro/Arusha
Depart early into Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a wildlife safari drive and picnic lunch. In the afternoon, drive to Arusha.
7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle
Ngorongoro – Arusha4h-5h200km

Get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top.

Ngorongoro Crater Wildlife Safari Drive
Ngorongoro Crater

Set the alarm and prepare for an early start to see the wonders of the Ngorongoro Crater. Here you’ll see Maasai herdsmen in the morning mist. Your driver/guide will take you down into the crater and to all the best spots to view wildlife. Spot zebra, gazelles, buffaloes, and warthogs. The swamp and forest are home to hippos, rhinos, elephants, baboons, and monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready to capture a pride of lions or a lone leopard walking along the crater floor.

Accommodation

Ilboru Safari Lodge (or similar)

Meals included:

Breakfast | Lunch

Day 13: Arusha
Depart at any time.
Departure Day

Not ready to leave? Your CEO can help with travel arrangements to extend your adventure.

Optional Activities – Day 13

IIkidinga Village Hike & Visit
Arusha4h-6h

110-185USD per person

Take a guided walk (about 1.5 hours) from Arusha to IIkidinga village. Visit a local home, coffee plantation, and banana plantation. This is a full day tour that includes lunch.

Arusha Cultural Heritage Centre
Arusha

Free

Take a visit to the Cultural Heritage centre for an opportunity to browse a collection of locally hand-made items, African antiques, sculptures, and contemporary art. Be sure to make your way to the Makonde Museum to view the centres array of intricately carved masks.

Arusha National Park Tour
Arusha6h-8h

200-500USD per person

Home to the second highest peak in Tanzania, Mount Meru, Arusha National Park has abundant animal and bird life. Opt to participate in a full day safari tour of the area with views of Mount Kilimanjaro in the background.

Meals included:

Breakfast

What’s Included

  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Café Ubuntu and Ubuntu Made, Maai Mahiu
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Kenya Wildlife Service Amboseli Talk, Amboseli National Park
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Clean Cookstove Project Talk, Mto wa Mbu
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Serengeti Wildlife Research Centre Lecture, Serengeti National Park
  • G Adventures for Good: Café Ubuntu , Maai Mahiu
  • G Adventures for Good: Mto wa Mbu Village Visit and Lunch, Mto wa Mbu
  • G Adventures for Good: Clean Cookstove Project Visit, Mto wa Mbu
  • Arrival transfer
  • Wildlife safari drives in Masai Mara National Reserve, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, Lake Manyara, and the Serengeti
  • Entrance to Olduvai Gorge Museum
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities

Accommodations

Hotels (3 nts), safari lodge (1 nt), comfortable tented camps (8 nts).

Meals

12 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 9 dinners
Allow USD165-215 for meals not included.

Transportation

7-seat 4x4 safari vehicle, private minibus, walking.

Staff & experts

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, certified driver/guide.

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