Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
Tour begins: Gran Meliá Arusha. A transfer is included from Kilimanjaro International Airport to your hotel, Gran Meliá Arusha in this safari gateway city at the foot of Mount Meru, the second-highest mountain in Tanzania.
Ancient Ngorongoro Crater
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.
Picnic in Africa's "Garden of Eden"
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.
Fly to Serengeti National Park
Today, you'll hop a morning flight from Lake Manyara to the Seronera airstrip in the heart of Serengeti National Park. As you do, you'll fly over 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. Enjoy lunch at your Four Seasons safari lodge in the Serengeti, built for unprecedented pampering, where you'll begin a three-night stay. Following an afternoon game drive in Serengeti National Park, join us this evening for a special barbecue dinner in your lodge's Boma Grill, 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.
Savor the Serengeti
Spend another glorious day in the spectacular Serengeti as you head out into the grasslands aboard safari vehicles for game drives in the early morning as well as the afternoon. In between, you'll have free time to relax and enjoy the amenities of your Four Seasons safari lodge, where you'll dine at your choice of restaurants tonight.
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. After landing in Arusha, enjoy lunch en route to a two-night stay at your safari lodge in Amboseli National Park, whose savanna grasslands spread across the Kenya – Tanzania border and where herds of free-ranging elephants and other wildlife like to roam. Enjoy a private lecture on the elephants of Amboseli and anti-poaching efforts in Kenya prior to dinner at your leisure at the lodge this evening.
Meet the Maasai & Enjoy a Game Drive
Tauck's private safari game drives in Amboseli National Park offer ample opportunity to view the elephants, hippos and buffaloes that seek out the park's natural watering holes and the graceful antelopes that graze 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 some down time at your lodge prior to lunch, then another game drive, and time to spend as you please at the lodge in the afternoon.
Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club and an 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 Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy and Animal Orphanage; this unique facility gives orphaned, injured, neglected, abused or frightened wild animals a second chance. The orphanage provides shelter and professional care with the goal to release these creatures back into the wild where they belong. Return to Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club for dinner and the evening.
Ol Pejeta Park, Chimpanzees & 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.
Fly to the Maasai Mara
Pack your Tauck duffle 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 two 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.
Balloon ride & a bush breakfast
Today – the last full day of your safari adventure – 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 in the bush. After returning to your tented camp, join us for a perfect ending to your unforgettable 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 from the Masai Mara 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.