With the Ngong Hills welcoming us, our introduction to Africa begins with a one- on-one encounter with the rare Rothschild's giraffe, that were saved from the brink of extinction. After lunch at Karen Blixen’s home, with the theme from Out of Africa in our heads, we visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and meet the baby elephant Travcoa has adopted on your behalf*. Tonight we celebrate this Journey with our festive Welcome Dinner.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Game viewing begins on our short flight from Nairobi – spotting herds of elephants and other wildlife from the air. Then, as we settle into these stunning surroundings in the shadow of Kilimanjaro, the wonder of the wild begins to sink in – the largest elephants in Africa, Cape buffalo, lions, baboons, antelope, hippos, gazelle, giraffes, and more than 400 varieties of rare birds.
On our drive to Arusha, one of Tanzania’s most popular and prosperous cities, we stop to learn about the nation’s signature gemstone, Tanzanite (and perhaps shop for a beautiful souvenir). Our Lodge is nestled amid hundreds of acres of coffee fields, and we’ll spend the day at your leisure as we enjoy our stay on the plantation.
The floor of Ngorongoro Crater**, once a volcanic peak higher than Kilimanjaro, is home to an unparalleled wildlife population. Our full-day game drive here will take you into this rare environment that has been compared to Noah’s Ark. This is a wonderful opportunity to see Africa’s big cats.
Ngorongoro Crater Serengeti National Park
A short flight takes us to the Serengeti. Nowhere else in Africa can you see more big game than on these sweeping plains. Game drives take us deep into the heart of the great Serengeti kingdom, where we will watch for the park’s signature predator, the regal black-maned lion, as well as leopard, cheetah, and spotted hyena. We’ll see the ancient dance of predator and prey in a setting unrivaled in the world.
Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya
Scenic flights take us to our private luxury camp. This is the site of the largest migration on the planet, when each year two million wildebeest and herds of zebra cross the Mara River to eat the lush grass of Kenya’s ‘long rains.’ During our three- night stay, you can check your knowledge of the Southern sky before rising early for a silent balloon safari across the plains. We say reluctant good-byes at our Farewell Dinner in this magnificent camp setting.
Nairobi & Home
This morning, after your last sunrise in the Mara, we return to Nairobi for your evening flight home or to your next destination.
* Travcoa sponsors an infant elephant on behalf of each guest on our Grand Safari. You will meet your elephant and receive photographs and information about it.
** UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hemingways Nairobi, Nairobi
This new boutique hotel, only a 40-minute drive away from Nairobi’s international airport, will elevate the standard of luxury service for travelers in the region. Magnificent in its symmetry and beautifully flooded with natural light, this plantation-style hotel will surely leave a lasting impression for all who visit. Beyond the balustrade of your private balcony, overlooking the iconic silhouette of the Ngong Hills, a breathtaking view of The Green Hills of Africa, as described in Hemingway’s novel, awaits you.
Tortilis Camp, Amboseli National Park
Within the Amboseli National Park, Tortilis Camp is a blend of rustic style and modern comfort set in scenic, unspoiled woodland in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro. There are 17 tents in the award-winning Tortilis Camp, each creating an oasis a place of peace. The camps facilities include a swimming pool and gift shop. The friendly staff are members of the surrounding Masai community. Each spacious tent is raised up on a wooden deck, and sheltered by a makuti (thatched) roof overhanging a large verandah. Your comfortable tent includes a king-sized bed and elegant en suite bathroom with modern facilities.
Arusha Coffee Lodge, Arusha
Arusha Coffee Lodge lies cradled in the endless acres of Tanzania's largest coffee plantation. This exclusive, boutique hotel lodge has been designed to recall the farms' original plantation homes, radiating the warmth and invitation of the old colonial plantation homes historically distinctive to the coffee plantations. The property also features a swimming pool, restaurant, lounge and laundry service. Amenities include a mini-bar, ceiling fan, safe, hairdryer, and a coffee grinder and percolator to offer a true coffee estate experience.
The Manor at Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Reminiscent of an elegant up-country farm home in the Cape Dutch style of architecture, the Manor at Ngorongoro is a total restoration of one of the first German-Dutch settler farm homes in the Ngorongoro Highlands. The Manor is a 1,500 acre Shangri-La Estate, located adjacent to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. With panoramic views, there are guest areas with fire pits, a lounge and bar area, access to outdoor decks and a choice of formal or casual dining areas. The lodge also offers a swimming pool, steam & sauna room, bar & wine cellar and a library with internet access. All the 20 luxurious guest cottage suites are enveloped by lush gardens and ancient trees, offering a luxury safari experience fusing East African safari hospitality with old world Afro-European architecture and décor. Cottage amenities include a private courtyard & deck, ensuite bathroom with a bathtub and rain shower, a hairdryer, a fireplace and fantastic views of the surrounding landscape.
Serengeti Migration Camp, Serengeti National Park
Hidden among the rocky outcrops or kopjes of the vast Serengeti plains, this camp exudes decadence reminiscent of old Africa. The split level lounge, cigar bar, restaurant, sundecks and swimming pool are perched among the outcrops and overlook the vast and rugged landscapes that are home to the world's greatest mammal migration. The Sunset Deck - a vast wooden deck, with a fireplace and a number of directors' chairs - is a popular evening gathering place to watch the sunset over the Lobo River, whilst enjoying a drink from the bar. There is also laundry service. Set along a stone pathway is the dining area, which like the lounge has a total open front, with views across the river. Breakfast is an extensive spread with fresh bread, cereal, yogurt and fruit. There is also a cooked breakfast option. Take along a tasty packed lunch to eat whilst you are out in the bush, or come back to the camp for the buffet style spread. For dinner the He camp restaurant offers elegant and inventive dishes. Twenty large and spacious tents have been carefully placed to provide privacy and blend into nature's architecture, overlooking the Grumeti River and its resident hippos. Surrounded by a 360-degree verandah deck, with a specious 480 sq. feet of internal floor space, each sits on a raised wooden platform with wooden doors, part stone and part canvas walls and a canvas roof. The en-suite bathrooms sit behind canvas curtains to one side of the bedroom. Here you will find a beautiful dark wooden surface, into which twin his-and-hers sinks are set. The sinks are beautifully crafted pottery in a dark glaze with a metallic quality to it. Above the sinks hang his-and-hers mirrors. To one side of the sinks, behind a small dividing wall is a proper flush-toilet, and to the other is a hot-and-cold shower. A hair dryer is also provided.
Sand River Masai Mara, Masai Mara National Park
Located on the banks of a river from which it has taken its name, Sand River Masai Mara is located within the Masai Mara National Reserve, close to the Tanzanian border. Situated on a secluded and picturesque site, Sand River Masai Mara replicates the heyday of exclusive permanent tented camps of the late 1920’s. The interior fixtures and furnishings mirror this period perfectly, reminding all who visit of those countless Hollywood movies that have paid homage to a classic era of African adventure. Sand River Masai Mara is an ideal destination at any time of the year for those wishing to enjoy exceptional game-viewing. The National Reserve is best known for its large concentrations of big cats, such as leopard, cheetah and, of course, lion. Even the dramatic arrival of the Annual Migration merely adds to an already abundant resident wildlife that awaits discovery.