Arrival Kenya – Nairobi
Welcome to Nairobi, the City in the Sun. An awaiting Birding Safari Guide accompanies you to the elegant Hemingways Nairobi.
Day 2 & 3
This morning we fly to Maasai Mara, winging our way over the scenic Great Rift Valley and the unspoiled savannah that the Mara shares with the legendary Serengeti. Below us lies the Africa of your dreams! A country of rolling grass- lands, dense thickets and groves of acacia woodland, the Mara is home to an incredible variety of wildlife. Deep for- est grows along the Mara River and its tributaries, where many hippos and crocodiles bask lazily in the sunlight. Here we find the largest population of lions in Africa, care- fully watched by their neighbors, the stunning Coke’s har- tebeest, large herds of topi and the stately African buffalo. Black rhinos are also to be found. Huge herds of elephant often block the roads. Glorious creatures are everywhere— it is difficult to decide where to look first!
Birds in this area and around our tented camp should be plentiful. Bright little Purple Grenadiers, cordon bleu, and White-bellied Canaries peck seeds from the ground, while Golden-breasted and Cinnamon-breasted buntings sing their exuberant songs from the tops of stunted acacias along hillside slopes. Shrikes abound—Magpie Shrikes, various fiscal shrikes, Brown-crowned Tchagras, and migrant Red-backed and Isabelline shrikes. Brightly colored Superb and Hildebrandt’s starlings are commonplace, as are Wattled Starlings, Red-billed and Yellow-billed oxpeckers, Red-billed Buffalo-Weavers, dull little Swahili Sparrows, and Grayish Flycatcher. Raptors are a constant sight in the skies and this area is particularly fine for them. We have excellent chances of encountering anything from the huge Martial Eagle to the tiny Pygmy Falcon, including snake-eagles, the iconic and striking Bateleur, Long-crested Eagle, wintering groups of Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers, and Lesser Kestrels.
As will your accommodations tonight at the utterly glorious Governor’s Il Moran Camp.
Arrival Tanzania via Kilimanjaro International Airport - JRO
Welcome to Arusha, Tanzania—the gateway to the treasures of Tanzania. Our friendly Birding Safari Guide accompanies us to Legendary Lodge—an idyllic escape tucked away in a private verdant. We stay at this beautiful lodge and can take advantage of the many amenities on offer here: swimming in the pool, cozying up to the fireplace or simply enjoying a view of majestic Mt. Meru from our private balcony.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Legendary Lodge; it is a luxury lodge located on the outskirts of Arusha, built at a lush tropical garden surrounded by an active coffee farm. Enjoy the majestic views of Mount Meru from the privacy of your own garden cottage while their staff takes care of your every whim. Conveniently located, the lodge is a 10 minutes' drive from the Arusha Airport and 1 to 2 hours' drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport — JRO.
Arusha National park.
After breakfast depart to Arusha national park for full-day birding tour and late afternoon drive back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
Arusha National Park consists of three spectacular features: Momela Lakes, Mount Meru (the second highest mountain in Tanzania at 4560 m.), and Ngurdoto Crater. The vegetation and wildlife vary with the topography, which ranges from forest to swamp.
The park is also famous for its 575 species of bird life, both migrant and resident. Animals found in the park include elephant, buffalo, giraffe, hippopotamus, hyena, zebra, baboon, black and white Columbus monkeys, and a wide range of antelopes. Guided walking safaris are popular here. Patches of semi-arid acacia along the way may reveal species at the extreme southern edge of their range, such as the statuesque Buff-crested Bustard, the squeaky Pink-breasted Lark, the diminutive Pygmy Batis, and the colorful Somali Golden-breasted Bunting.
Dinner and Overnight stay at Legendary Lodge.
Day 6 & 7.
Ngorongoro Highland and Lake Manyara National Park.
This morning we fly to Ngorongoro highland via Lake Manyara Airstrip. We will spend some time here enjoying the bird variety on display. Colorful Red-and Yellow and Usambiro Barbets are common throughout. Kingfishers are well represented with African Pygmy, Grey-headed and Woodland easily found. Other good birds include Chestnut Sparrow, Yellow-spotted Petronia, Black Bishop, Vitelline Masked Weaver, Crested Guineafowl, Crimson-rumped Waxbill and Cardinal Quelea.
Stretching 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. Large buffalo, Tree climbing lions, elephants, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes, some so dark that they appear to be black from a distance.
Over 400 species of birds have been spotted, lesser flamingos, storks, cormorants, greater flamingos, egrets, and geese. The unusual groundwater forest at Manyara holds Ashy Flycatcher, Mountain Wagtail, Tambourine Dove and often other species of interest. Our professional birding guide is always delighted to share with you lots of behind the scene ideas, how was the Great Rift Valley was formed and much much more..!
Enjoy your memorable 2 nights stay at Gibb’s Farm.
Fresh food, fresh air, and fresh perspectives abound at Gibb’s Farm (Travel + Leisure World’s Best List #1 African Safari Lodge 2017 and 2018). After full days of exploration, relax in your eco-friendly cottage, set amidst the farm’s lush gardens. Enjoy an outdoor shower, in-room spa treatment, farm-to-table dining, and learning about local culture from the attentive staff.
Today we descend 2,000 feet into this ancient collapsed volcano, passing lush rainforest and thick vegetation, and then we see it: the largest concentration of animals in Africa. A variety of environments—grassland, swamps, forests, and lakes—yield a staggering variety of animals: lions, zebras, buffaloes, rhinos, elephants, gazelles and wildebeests just to name a few. And because the grasses are short, it is infinitely easy to spot the remarkable creatures here…each turn of the head brings an exciting new vista.
Birds also abound, from diminutive Pectoral-patch Cisticolas to Ostrich. The swamps attract a variety of waterfowl, including the curious Cape Wigeon, and a ribbon of soda-loving Lesser Flamingoes paint a swath of vivid rose around the central lake. White and Abdim’s Storks scour the grassland for grasshoppers, Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers hunt for small birds, and every corner holds something of interest. After a picnic lunch, we ascend the crater walls into the forest around the rim, looking out for the silky-crested Schalow’s Turaco, regally dressed Golden-winged Sunbird and inquisitive-looking Montane White-eye.
We return to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in time for evening cocktails and to recall the dizzying array of wildlife we saw that day.
Day 9 & 10
Serengeti National Park
This morning we fly to the Serengeti. Her vast rolling plains spread out before us...the greatest wildlife spectacle in the world offers up views of over three million large animals—ele- phant, zebra, gazelle, rhino, cheetah and more. Within this huge park a complex ecosystem gives us the opportunity to view every variety of habitation, from the dry south where the grasslands stretch out in a sultry dance with the breeze to the park’s centre, a green oasis of open woodlands and thicket. Streams are lined by dense, brilliantly green forests. Weathered domes of granite and gneiss are a favourite retreat of the big cats, a place to rest and to watch the surround- ing vegetation for both danger and for prey. Giraffe browse in small groups among the trees. Bohor reed- buck and waterbuck restrict their travels to the vegeta- tion near the rivers and streams. Great numbers of ostrich, Grant’s gazelle, topi, hartebeest, impala and African water buffalo abound. Lion, cheetah, wild dog and hyena! Leopards are seen resting in the trees. Superb and Hildebrant’s Starlings, Silverbird, Ruaha Red-billed Hornbill and Grey-headed Silverbill are just some of the birds that we’ll encounter here. We’ll explore the area’s riverine loops, game. No matter what your expectations, you will not fail to be astounded by life in the Serengeti. We have delightful accommodation at Kirawira Tented Camp—Kirawira, a reincarnation of Victorian-era elegance standing high on the bluff, and Grumeti, a vibrant and avant-garde interpretation of African chic along a river’s edge.
Morning Game viewing | Drive to Mwanza city
We awake, and piping hot coffee is already waiting for us. We may wish to take one last game viewing and explore more the Serengeti before returning to the camp for a sumptuous breakfast.
Early morning is the best time for game viewing as most of the killings take place around this time. Our professional guide is always happy to share with you lots of hidden secrets in the Serengeti, why Serengeti shall never die, how Darwin's theory, survival of the fittest applies in the Serengeti and much much more...
After breakfast collect your picnic lunch and drive to Mwanza city - 'the Rocky city' for the mighty Lake Victoria
Birding along the Shore of Lake Victoria
Today we walk along the shore of the world’s second largest freshwater lake, its natural grass stretch to the water’s edge and its exotic trees are a haven for birds— 369 species of them including African Fish Eagle! With renowned hospitality, delightful hosts and indulgent accommo- dations, Malaika Beach Resort is divine. Romance resides in breathtaking sunsets over the lake, moonlit dinners on the jetty and can- dlelit champagne along the shore of Lake Victoria. Get settled in your waterfront chalet, beds dramatically draped in sheer white netting, offer splendid views from verandas facing the sweep of the lawn to the lake beyond.
Fly Back home
We awaken to a chorus of birdsong. Stately fish eagles, iridescent sunbirds, and swift kingfishers start our day, enjoyed the fare-well meal at Malaika Beach Resort and continued to the airport to board your local flight to either Kilimanjaro International airport or Jomo Kenyatta International airport and connect with your flight back home. What an African trip!