Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
Tour begins: Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa. A transfer is included from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your hotel, Arusha Serena Hotel in this safari gateway city at the foot of Mount Meru, the second-highest mountain in Tanzania.
Birds of Lake Manyara National Park
The vast Serengeti beckons as you begin a four-night safari in Tanzania, and a five-night Kenya safari. Take your first game drive through Lake Manyara National Park, where you might get your first glimpse of giraffes, baboons, hippos, and elephants along with hundreds of species of birds. Arrive in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, populated by an estimated 30,000 large mammals. Your lodge for the next two nights is on the Ngorongoro Crater rim overlooking the caldera below, an excellent spot for our welcome reception and dinner.
A Garden of Eden in Ngorongoro Crater
Thought by some to be Africa’s original "Garden of Eden," Ngorongoro Crater is one of the largest calderas in the world and contains a variety of ecosystems and an astounding concentration of birds and animals. Your four-wheel-drive vehicle, built exclusively for Tauck, provides an excellent mobile viewing platform when encountering massive herds of zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles. This area affords an opportunity to spot the Big Five – elephant, leopard, lion, buffalo, and rhinoceros. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater today.
Ancient Man in Oldupai Gorge
Study the development of humankind at Oldupai Gorge, where, over 50 years ago, archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of some of the earliest known human species, an estimated 1.8 million years old. Continue wildlife viewing while driving the rough dirt roads across the plains to your safari lodge in the Serengeti, built for unprecedented pampering. Enjoy a special barbecue dinner in your lodge's Boma Grill tonight, enhanced by a Maasai traditional dance performance.
Endless Plains in Serengeti Nat’l Park
Look for wildlife in the heart of the vast savanna of the Serengeti today on both morning and afternoon game drives. Sightings might include lions, zebras, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, buffaloes, jackals, gazelles, and giraffes. When the sunset paints the sky in the evening, enjoy the show from the luxury of your lodge in Serengeti National Park, and enjoy Pan-African cuisine at dinner tonight.
Kenya’s Amboseli National Park
Leave the Serengeti behind as you fly to Arusha, Tanzania en route to Kenya. Dominating the skyline, majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro peaks over surrounding landscapes from more than 15,000 feet up. Have lunch at the Cultural Heritage Center in Arusha prior to continuing into Kenya and begining a two-night stay at your safari lodge in Amboseli National Park, where herds of free-ranging elephants and other wildlife like to roam; enjoy a private lecture on the elephants of Amboseli before dinner tonight.
Private Game Drives in Amboseli
Private safari game drives in Amboseli National Park offer an opportunity to view elephants, hippos and buffaloes seeking the park's natural watering holes and graceful antelopes grazing in the flat grasslands. An early morning visit to a Maasai village precedes a morning game drive, after which you'll return to the lodge for breakfast. Spend time at leisure prior to lunch, then another game drive, and time to spend as you please at the lodge for the remainder of the afternoon. Enjoy an included dinner at your leisure at the lodge this evening.
Mt. Kenya’s Animal Orphanage
A morning flight brings you to the world-famous Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, straddling the Equator and your luxurious home for the next two nights. The former retreat of actor William Holden, the Safari Club, founded in 1959, was once the playground of such illustrious members such as Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. Following lunch and an Equatorial demonstration, pay a private visit to the nearby William Holden Wildlife Education Center and animal orphanage; this sanctuary for animals that have been orphaned or injured and need special care also teaches local children to cherish and appreciate the unique wildlife of their homeland.
Ol Pejeta & Village Weavers
An exciting day begins at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to the largest resident black rhino population in East Africa and other members of the Big Five. It is also home to the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, founded by Jane Goodall, which gives lifelong homes to orphaned and abused chimpanzees, and which you'll visit this morning. While at Ol Pejeta, enjoy Tauck's special access to visit a compound where endangered black rhino are bred. After lunch at your hotel, take a look at local life on a private visit to a nearby village, where villagers spin colorful tales into their handmade wool rugs, sweaters and shawls right before your eyes. Return to your celebrity resort late afternoon. Tonight, attend our private barbecue dinner held under the stars on the lush manicured lawns of the Mount Kenya Safari Club.
Welcome to the Masai Mara
Your safari continues as you pack your Tauck duffel bag and fly to the Masai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya, where you'll be welcomed by Maasai warriors. Have lunch upon your arrival at the luxurious Fairmont Mara Safari Club, where an elegant tented camp is your home for the next three nights. Spend the afternoon relaxing, swimming, taking in the views and otherwise becoming acquainted with the Safari Club and your luxury tented camp accommodations, evoking the classic safaris of yesteryear. Embark on an evening game drive across the plains of "the Mara" in search of animals that make their homes here; perhaps you’ll see lions, antelopes, elephants and zebras in their daily rituals. Return to camp for a briefing on tomorrow's hot air balloon flight, followed by dinner.
Ballooning over the plains of the Masai Mara
Today will be one that you’ll always remember as you arise before dawn to board a hot air balloon* and float over the Masai Mara's awakening plains below as the sun rises. When you land, a special champagne breakfast will be awaiting you right there in the bush! Spectacular isn’t quite strong enough a word to describe such an experience, a Tauck Exclusive on your Kenya safari! Back on the ground, look for lions, impalas, cheetahs, giraffes, and the other animals you’ve come to love as you return overland to the camp for lunch and an afternoon at leisure – and later on an evening game drive with an opportunity to use special technology to enhance your safari experience. Have dinner back at your tented camp.
More Game Drives in the Masai Mara
Unparalleled wildlife viewing is the watchword on your final day in the spectacular Masai Marai – and the last full day of your Tanzania and Kenya safari adventure – as you set out on a morning game drive... return to your tented camp for lunch, and perhaps a bit of swimming and down time... and then head back out across the plains for a final afternoon game drive in the bush. After returning to your tented camp, join us for a perfect ending to your unforgettable Kenya safari, in true Tauck fashion... a farewell dinner in the boma of the Fairmont Mara Safari Club.
Fly to Nairobi and journey home
Tour ends: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Fly to Nairobi this morning for your journey home. We have reserved a day room for you at the Nairobi Serena Hotel; depart the hotel for the airport after dinner. Allow 3 hours for flight check-in.