This Best of East Africa trip offers the chance to explore East Africa's most popular game parks from the Masai Mara to the Serengetti. Cost £670 - 10 days
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Nairobi we head north, to the town of Nakuru. This afternoon we head into Lake Nakuru National Park, famous for the thousands of lesser and greater flamingos that flock to this soda lake's edge. The numbers vary depending on the water level, and when it's low, the lake almost turns pink. A truly spectacular sight!
Lake Nakuru National Park was established as a sanctuary for black and white rhino, which are often seen. This morning we head off early on a game drive in search of these pre-historic looking beasts as well as the elusive leopard, encountering buffalo, giraffe, various antelope and the occasional hippo along the way. In the afternoon, we head to Lake Naivasha where we make camp in peaceful surroundings beside the lake.
Lake Naivasha is a fresh water lake, home to many pods of hippopotami and a multitude of bird life, the most magnificent being the African Fish Eagle with his regal cry. At 1880 m, this is the highest of the Rift Valley lakes.
We depart from Lake Naivasha and enter Masai land where these habitual pastoralists are often seen tending their cattle from the side of the road. We pass through the town of Narok, before arriving at our campsite, Acacia Camp. Acacia Camp looks onto the Meguarra hills and the stream that meanders by on the bottom end forms a natural border to the Masai Mara National Reserve.
We spend the day driving through nature as it was intended to be - huge plains, rolling hills and an abundance of game matched nowhere else on earth. We keep an eye open for the Big 5 - elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion & leopard. If travelling between July and October, we may get to witness the impressive herds of over 1 million wildebeest, zebra and Thomson's gazelle in their Annual Migration. Sitting around the camp fire, watching the sun set is the perfect way to finish a day's game viewing in this "Garden of Eden."
This morning we say our goodbyes to the spectacular Masai Mara and head back to the city for the night. Due to the lack of infrastructure in this region, the drive through the bordering Masai Land is somewhat slow, but offers a great opportunity to take in the surrounding scenery & villages. We head up the Rift Valley Escarpment which offers one of the rare opportunities to see this geographical phenomenon, before reaching Nairobi in the late afternoon.
Today we head out of Kenya and after our border crossing, head via the Tanzanian town of Arusha to the Meserani Snake Park & campsite. Situated approximately 40km outside of Arusha, the Snake Park offers the opportunity to learn about the local Masai culture in the adjoining Masai Cultural Museum, as well as gaining knowledge of the many species of reptiles housed in the actual Snake Park. Tonight we prepare for our trip into the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.
This morning is spent at leisure to enjoy some of the local sights and experiences. Stroll through the Meserani Reptile Park to learn more about these misunderstood creatures, and take a guided tour through the adjacent Masai Cultural Museum and see why this magnificent tribe has survived. Alternatively the nearby market may hold some allure for those wishing to try their hand at haggling for curiosities!
This afternoon we head via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. We spend the evening at a pleasant campsite in Karatu.
This morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a miniature 'Garden of Eden' and boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa - including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we head down the Crater rim and past the 'Cradle of Mankind' on our way to the Serengeti National Park. This National Park is made famous by the annual migration, which consists of millions of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle constantly migrating over the range of the Park, following the greener pastures that sprout after the rains. The unique climate in this region ensures the continuous movement of migrating animals remains unchanged. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we camp in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness.
In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. After our morning drive, we head back across the plains and the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
This morning we head into Arusha before heading north past Mount Meru (2nd highest mountain in Tanzania) to the border between Tanzania and Kenya. We arrive back in Nairobi in the late afternoon and part ways after having experienced a trip of a lifetime.
End of Tour
Vehicle - we use custom-built Safari trucks. These are designed for the African roads and good for game viewing. There are some long days of travelling but the vehicles have a comfortable cruising speed. The emphasis of the trip is "getting out and doing things".
A local payment is required on this safari and this will be collected by the tour leader on departure. This covers a portion of the local operational costs including entrance and park fees. This ensures that a major portion of your tour price goes directly into the country you are visiting, benefiting local communities and contributing to the conservation of the area. A large part of this tours local payment is used for the National Park entrance fees.
An essential part of your OzBus African Safari is participation - from putting up your tent (while camping) or packing away in the morning to helping with meal preparation and cleaning up - it's all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!