From Nairobi to Ngorongoro, East Africa is a safari haven. From the “Big Five” mammals to flamingoes and giant tortoises, you’ll see all the wildlife you’ve ever dreamed of, and more. Along the way, travel through the Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of humanity, and the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact crater, making sure to stop in Zanzibar for a fix of sun and sea. So get into your Jeep and keep your binoculars to hand on this incredible safari adventure.
Fly into Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Your first port of call should be stocking up on safari kit—binoculars are essential. Head to the Nairobi National museum for a dose of Kenyan culture, before heading to the outskirts of the city. Here, in view of the high-rise blocks of the city center, you’ll already be able to mingle with zebras and giraffes—a taste of what’s to come.
2. Rift Valley
Travel west from Nairobi into the Great Rift Valley. Stop at Lake Nakuru National Park for your first taste of safari. Head out along the banks of the lake across sweeping plains, keeping a lookout for lions, rhinos, and leopards from viewing spots such as the aptly named Baboon Cliff. Look down to the lake for hoards of flamingos in the shallows, relaxing in the afternoon heat.
3. Masai Mara Safari
The Masai Mara is one of Kenya’s greatest game reserves, founded in 1961 to protect the country’s incredible wildlife. Together with your Tourlane Travel Expert, organize a hot air balloon to view the Big Five, which is made up of: the lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, and rhino. After a day’s safari tour, head back to your luxury campsite for a sumptuous barbecue illuminated by the campfire.
4. Serengeti Safari
Cross the southern border into Tanzania, home to 130 languages, bustling cities, and the Serengeti. Meaning “endless plains” in Swahili, the Serengeti is Tanzania’s oldest national park, home to the incredible migration of the wildebeest. Keep your eyes downwards on this enormous plain, where the local black-maned lions are on the prowl for giraffes, and crocodiles patrol shallow waters. Watch baboons and warthogs rustle around in the bush—in the Serengeti, every day is spent side-by-side with the wildlife.
5. Ngorongoro Crater
The world’s largest volcanic crater, Ngongoro is a truly unique natural phenomenon in Tanzania. As your jeep takes you uphill, you’ll arrive at the world’s largest unbroken crater rim, home to the world’s densest population of lions. Take a trip to the nearby Olduvai Gorge, the site of discovery for prehistoric human remains that date from 1.9 million years ago.
6. Tarangire National Park
Drive southeast, towards Arusha, where you’ll stop off at Tarangire National Park. Don’t miss the huge herds of elephants, who are known to love this part of the world more than any other. Wider than the elephants are the Baobab trees, whose thick trunks hold up to 32,000 gallons of water. Look out to the wider branches for balls of grass hanging underneath—the nests of Weaver Birds.
7. Amboseli National Park
Head back over the border into Kenya, where the Amboseli National Park awaits. Amboseli is beloved for its soaring views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, proving a perfect backdrop while you view the wildlife. Head to the shores of Lake Amboseli, where elephants walk through the shallows covered in reeds, oxpecker birds landing on their back to hitch a ride.
8. Stone Town, Zanzibar
Head to Zanzibar, the beautiful island off the coast of Tanzania. Stone Town, Zanzibar’s old city, was settled in the 16th century by the Portuguese, before the island was taken over by the Sultan of Oman. Take your time while exploring to marvel at the Arabian doorways, whose intricate stylings signified wealth, before heading down to the idyllic white beach. Sip a cocktail and look out to sea after a perfect tour of East Africa.
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