Epic Tanzania, Kenya & Rwanda Safari (Jul-Nov)
19 days, 18 nights
Price Range: $12,288 – $30,383
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
This grand adventure encompasses every element of East Africa that a discerning safari-goer yearns to experience. Iconic wildlife destinations like the Masai Mara and Ngorongoro Crater are included, of course, though lesser-known reserves are equally spectacular—you’ll encounter far more animals than people in the Lewa Conservancy and Tarangire National Park. Cap it off with three days in Rwanda’s dense mountain forests, to meet mountain gorillas face to face.
Our Expert Says
I have lived in both Kenya and Tanzania and have been forever changed by the scenery, wildlife and people. East Africa is a truly unique destination and, by combining the diversity of species found on the open plains with the mountain gorillas that inhabit the forest in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park, this safari highlights the impressive variety of wildlife found in this corner of the world.
– Sarah Knight
Day 1: Arusha
Arusha is the safari capital of the world, the jumping-off point for the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro. In the shadow of Mount Meru, where lush forest intersects grassy savanna, Arusha sits within an agricultural region famed for coffee and tea. Originally a German settlement, Arusha today is a lively city with an international flair. Arusha is noted for handcrafts, and the Cultural Heritage Center boasts an array of carvings, paintings, batiks and baskets.
Days 2-4: Tarangire Nat'l Park
Tarangire, the “Baobab Capital of the World,” boasts Tanzania’s largest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti, including 550 bird species that frequent its seasonal swamps. The Tarangire River sustains wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and huge herds of elephant during the dry season. Impala, gazelle and eland crowd the lagoons, while wild dog roam the red-dust plains. Tarangire is also home to two rare antelope, the fringe-eared oryx and gerenuk.
Days 5-6: Ngorongoro Crater
Within the walls of the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera is the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. The crater floor, 12 miles across, is a wonder of the natural world. More than 30,000 animals live in this primeval Eden, including huge herds of gazelle and the lion and hyena that prey upon them. Wildebeest, zebra, eland and giraffe are abundant, with leopard and cheetah in pursuit. The very fortunate may also spot the endangered black rhino.
Day 7: Nairobi
A rough outpost amidst a highland swamp as the colonial capital of British East Africa in 1907, Nairobi today is the urban heartbeat of independent Kenya and one of Africa’s most important cities. Nairobi has long been a meeting point for adventurers and travelers from all over the world, and most Kenya safaris still originate here. Nairobi’s national museum and the historic home of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, are popular attractions.
Days 8-9: Amboseli / Chuylu Hills
Elephants abound in Amboseli, and to see these African icons against the backdrop of snow-topped Mount Kilimanjaro is a timeless image of the continent. This mosaic of dusty plains and swampy springs is also home to buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hyena, lion, leopard, cheetah and a third of Kenya’s nearly 1,100 bird species. The nearby photogenic black lava Chyulu Hills are a captivating area of ancient craters, rolling grasslands and aromatic cedar forest.
Days 10-11: Lewa / Laikipia
The dramatic Laikipia region, wild and sparsely populated, has become a center for global conservation leadership. Much of Laikipia is comprised of privately owned ranches that have been combined by local communities to create vast conservancies, with free-ranging wildlife including elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and abundant plains game. Renowned among Laikipia’s sanctuaries is Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, which has played a critical role in sustaining endangered rhinoceros, Grevy’s zebra and sitatunga.
Days 12-14: Maasai Mara Nat'l Reserve
The famed Maasai Mara is one of Africa’s most acclaimed wildlife reserves, renowned for its wildebeest migration, prides of lion and huge herds of plains animals. The Mara is the northern portion of the Serengeti Plains, and we find excellent wildlife viewing all year long in these grasslands. The reserve is named for the Maasai tribespeople, the traditional inhabitants of the area who graze cattle here, and the Mara River that runs through it.
Day 15: Nairobi
Return to Nairobi to overnight before continuing in the morning into Rwanda and Volcanoes National Park.
Days 16-18: Volcanoes Nat'l Park
Track gorillas in the early morning on the forested slopes of the ancient Virunga volcano chain in Africa’s oldest national park. Established in 1925 to protect the mountain gorilla, the park was the base for famous American naturalist Dian Fossey’s research. On the western edge of Rwanda bordering parks in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the combined region is home to approximately 480 mountain gorillas, just over half the world’s total.
Day 19: Kigali/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Kigali, Rwanda.