Reserve through the month of November 2020 for $1!
My favorite travel partner has just announced this incredible sale on small group travel for 2021! Through November 2020, you can reserve your spot on a dream trip for only US$1; one dollar gives you something to look forward to in 2021. I’m highlighting sample itineraries in this blog, but won’t be able to cover the HUNDREDS of options. If you have a travel wish, contact me for details!
Why I love this travel operator …
Join a small group of like-minded travelers that, like you, are eager to safely and confidently experience all the things that make our world worth exploring.
SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
They have always created their tours by building meaningful relationships with local communities, directly benefiting the people and places they visit.
BOOK AND TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE
They have measures in place to help keep you safe from the moment you book to the moment you (reluctantly) head home, earning a badge from the World Travel and Tourism Council. WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols
FLEXIBILITY, FREEDOM AND FUN
No matter the Travel Style, their tours balance well-planned itineraries with the flexibility to do your own thing and make the experience your own.
They don’t have tour guides — they have Chief Experience Officers. And they are all locally based, meaning they know the area you’re exploring like the back of their well-traveled hand.
When you travel with them, you experience first-hand their commitment to making travel a force for good is in everything they do.
STARTING AT $2694
DAY 1: NAIROBI
Arrive at any time; there are no planned activities until an evening welcome meeting. Meet your trip leader and fellow travelers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.
Bomas of Kenya Tour, 26-65USD/person: This tour gives you a glimpse into the life of 42 different tribes of the country that make up Kenya’s rich culture. Get a better understanding of village life by visiting homesteads and enjoy a display and sounds of folk dances performed. Entrance fee and hotel pick-up included.
Karen Blizen Museum, 34-73USD/person: Converted from the former home of pioneer coffee farmer and acclaimed writer Karen Blixen, this museum provides visitors insight into life of a Danish settler in pre-Independence Kenya. Take a walk through the home, and magnificent gardens that provide a stunning view of the Ngong hills. Hotel pick-up and entrance fee included.
National Museum, 21-33USD/person: Take a stroll through this museum to get a better understanding of Kenya’s rich heritage through a range of cultural and natural-history exhibits. Learn more about the region’s bird population at the Birds of East Africa exhibit, a huge gallery of at least 900 stuffed specimens. Get a refreshing take on Kenyan history counterpoint to colonial historiographies at the Historia Ya Kenya display. Entrance fee and hotel pick-up included.
The Carnivore Restaurant, 51-82USD/person: Feast on a range of familiar and exotic meats roasted over an open flame barbecue pit. Ever wanted to try ostrich or crocodile? Here’s your chance to do so (at a world-renowned restaurant, at that). Price includes the price of a meal (without a beverage) and hotel pick-up.
David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage Visit, 26-65USD/person: Established in memory of the founder of Kenya’s giant Tsavo East National Park, David Sheldrick, this organization strives to help save the lives of orphaned elephants and rhinos before they are released back into the wild. Entrance fees assist in feeding and nurturing the animals.
Accommodation: Hotel Boulevard (or similar)
DAY 2: NAIROBI/ARUSHA
Spend the day traveling to Tanzania. Journey across the border into Tanzania, arriving in the picturesque town of Arusha in the afternoon. Spend some time exploring the town and its bustling markets, and have another night in the comfort of a hotel.
Accommodation: Outpost Lodge (or similar)
DAY 3: ARUSHA/MTO WA MBU
Experience the Mto wa Mbu village with a guided cultural walk and traditional lunch with a local family, meeting the women who run the village tours and enjoy a delicious home made traditional lunch. Mto wa Mbu has attracted some 18,000 residents from 120 different tribes. During the two-hour tour, visit the village’s local market, go right to the farmer’s fields, see how huts are constructed, and meet artisans in their shops. Afterwards, sit down with our new friends and enjoy a traditional lunch of meat and plantains.
Take a wildlife safari drive in Lake Manyara NP. 7-seat 4×4 safari vehicle; get a better view and take better snapshots aboard this off-road ride with a pop-up top. Spend the afternoon viewing wildlife along the main road that winds through a lush cool forests of Lake Manyara National Park, overgrown with ficus trees and covered with bromeliads.
This area is truly stunning, as the western wall of the Rift Valley escarpment provides a gorgeous backdrop. Search for the phenomenal birdlife (including raptors), tree-climbing lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippos. Look up and see some of the more than 400 species of birds, including pink flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, and storks.
Beyond wildlife, Lake Manyara NP is home to giant fig trees, acacia woodlands, mahogany trees, and grassy flood plains. The contrasts of this area are simply breathtaking; the open plains, huge escarpment, central alkaline lake, dense woodlands, and distant volcanic peaks coming together in an area best described by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I have seen in Africa.”
Accommodation: Twiga Campsite (or similar)
DAY 4: MTO WA MBU/SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Enjoy a wildlife safari drive en route to the central Serengeti; driving through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and on to Serengeti National Park. En route marvel at the sheer vastness of this territory, and spot the multitude of animal and birdlife while cruising through this acacia-accented savanna.
Serengeti National Park: This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.
Accommodation: Seronera Campsite (or similar)
DAY 5: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Rise early for a morning wildlife safari drive, returning in time for lunch. Continue the search for the “big five” in the afternoon while taking in the vastness of the Serengeti plains.
This is the reason you came to Africa. Charge your camera, grab your binoculars, and set out on safari. Your eagle-eyed driver will keep an eye out for wildlife – buffaloes, elephants, lions, wildebeests, zebras, and more. Tanzania’s Serengeti tends to be less crowded than some of Kenya’s reserves, so enjoy the scenery, the vast expanse of the grasslands, the play of light and shadow, and the up-close look at wild Africa.
Serengeti Balloon Safari, 599USD/person: Spirited aloft in a hot-air balloon, view the wildlife and terrain of the Serengeti that only the birds see. Enjoy a champagne breakfast and keep that shutter-finger good and limber—you’ll be using it plenty over the course of your hour in the air.
Accommodation: Seronera Campsite (or similar)
DAY 6: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK/NGORONGORO
Take a morning wildlife safari drive as you depart the Serengeti, then continue wildlife viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater, before getting a spectacular view of the crater from your campsite on its rim.
Head down into the crater and to all the best spots to view wildlife. Spot zebra, gazelles, buffaloes, and warthogs. The swamp and forest are home to hippos, rhinos, elephants, baboons, and monkeys. Keep your eyes peeled and camera ready to capture a pride of lions or a lone leopard walking along the crater floor. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of more than 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals.
Please note that due to the high-altitude location of our camp, temperatures can drop at night. We recommend bringing extra layers to wear during the evening and following morning.
Accommodation: Simba Campsite (or similar)
DAY 7: NGORONGORO/ARUSHA
Visit a Maasai village in the Monduli District and witness the benefits of the Clean Cookstove Project. In Tanzania, 95% of people rely on cooking with wood and coal. Women and girls spend hours walking to collect wood every day (making them vulnerable to assault and unable to use their time to go to school). Indoor smoke from open-fire stoves causes cancer, emphysema, pneumonia, blindness, and burns. Take a guided tour of these villages and meet the women that have been trained as stove engineers, visit bomas (traditional homes), and observe (or get your hands dirty) by helping the Stove Team build a stove in a home. See the beneficial impact of the clean-burning stoves on the health and daily lives of the Maasai villagers, especially the women.
Accommodation: The Outpost Lodge (or similar)
DAY 8: ARUSHA
A free day to explore Arusha, or relax at the lodge.
Accommodation: The Outpost Lodge (or similar)
DAY 9: ARUSHA/STONE TOWN
Transfer to the airport for a short, but scenic flight to the island paradise of Zanzibar, and transfer to the hotel. Arrive in Stone Town in time for lunch and an orientation walk. If you opt to continue on for a longer tour of Stone Town, you will be visiting the Old Slave Market, House of Wonders, Palace Museum; entrance to these sites are optional and are to be purchased on site.
Christ Church Cathedral and Old Slave Market, 5USD/person: Tour the site of what was once one of East Africa’s most notorious slave markets, and the Anglican cathedral that was constructed in its place.
Sultan’s Palace Museum, 3USD/person: Tour this opulent palace built by the second sultan of Zanzibar in 1883 as an extravagant Arab mansion.
House of Wonders, 5USD/person: Explore one of the first buildings in Africa to have electricity and an elevator. Its mix of European and Zanzibari traditional design make it a unique, and beautifully ornate architectural achievement on the island.
Stone Town Walking Tour, 20-40USD/person: Enjoy a walking tour along the bustling narrow streets of Stone Town and admire the historical old buildings and homes that are part of a preservation program funded by UNESCO and the Aga Khan Foundation. Also, visit the historical site of the slave market and learn about this dark aspect of history. Continue to the local fruits and vegetable market, fish market, Tip tipu house, and National Museum.
Accommodation: Tausi Palace Hotel (or similar)
DAY 10: ZANZIBAR BEACH RESORT
Visit a local spice plantation for a guided tour. Delight your senses with a guided tour and learn about an assortment of spices, such as cloves, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, breadfruit, jackfruit, vanilla, and lemongrass, and their various uses. It was the spice plantations that brought the beginnings of Zanzibar’s infamous slave trade dating back to the 1840s.
Continue to the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters of Zanzibar’s beautiful coast. Grab your bathing suit and go for a refreshing swim.
Accommodation: Fun Beach (or similar)
DAY 11-12: ZANZIBAR BEACH RESORT
Enjoy free time to lounge on the beach, snorkel, or tour the island; do as much or as little as you’d like on this island slice of paradise.
Scuba Diving, 65USD/person: Take a boat to Mnemba, a small island surrounded by a circular reef boasting an an abundance of colorful coral and marine life. Suit up and enjoy the excellent visibility allowed by the turquoise waters of this region. If you are lucky, you just might be able to spot the bottlenose dolphins that are known to visit this area.
Swahili Cultural Tour, 70-200USD/person: Take a couple of hours to get to know the life of a Zanzibarian by being immersed in the local culture. Follow a guide through a rural village to see elements of day to day life, sit with men of the village to see how they weave palm fronds to make the thatch roofs for their huts, opt to play a game of Bao (Zanzibar favorite game past time), and enjoy a traditional dance performance.
Snorkeling, 35-60USD/person: Enjoy a day of snorkeling in the safety of an experienced snorkel guide in the area of one of Zanzibar’s most well-known reefs surrounding Mnemba island. Lifejackets, short wetsuits and buoyancy aids available. Price is dependent on pick-up location.
Jozani Forest Tour, 35-150USD/person: Known for the red colobus monkeys, a visit Jozani forest is a highlight when in Zanzibar. Explore the nature trails while following in the footsteps of a guide who will inform about the impressive flora and fauna surrounding you.
Swimming: Grab your bathing suit and go for a refreshing swim.
Accommodation: Fun Beach (or similar)
DAY 13: STONE TOWN
Morning group transfer from the beach. Depart Stone Town upon arrival in the late morning.