Let your feature stays take you close to nature, from a camp deep within the Masai Mara Game Reserve and a lodge on a private reserve in Greater Kruger, to a camp on the banks of the Chobe River and chalets in the Naukluft Mountains of Namibia.. Enjoy a front-row seat for incredible wildlife viewings on a series of 4×4 game drives in the Masai Mara, the Namibian desert, Chobe National Park and Kruger National Park, with expert guides at the helm.. Get a different view of your surroundings during a sunset cruise with a private chef on the Zambezi River and a full-day boat cruise through little-explored channels of the Chobe River.. Visit a local Maasai community known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. Be welcomed by traditional Maasai warrior song and dance and learn about this remarkable and ancient culture.
Embrace the adventure of a lifetime on a 31-day Premium journey through Africa. Take in quintessential East Africa in the Masai Mara, search for wildlife in the Greater Kruger region, be amazed by the showstopping Victoria Falls, search for a wealth of elephants in Chobe National Park and marvel at the desert landscapes of Swakopmund and Sossusvlei. From the vast grasslands of Kenya to the national parks of Southern Africa and Botswana, and the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia, few places on the planet offer such spectacular diversity and wildlife.
Welcome to Kenya! Your adventure begins in the capital city, Nairobi. You will be collected from the airport for a short transfer to your hotel, where you will meet your local leader and small group for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive before this time, your wonderful hotel offers plenty to keep you occupied – overlooking the Nairobi National park, you can enjoy spectacular views of zebras, giraffes, antelope and buffalo lounging near the waterhole. There’s also a fantastic restaurant, swimming pool and large deck for spotting wildlife. After your meeting, head out with your leader and fellow travellers to a colourful roadside restaurant offering traditional favourites with a modern touch. Sharing food is a big part of the culture here and a great way to get to know your new travel companions – enjoy sharing platters and tasty sides like samosas, fried plantains and tilapia.
Lake Naivasha / Lake Nakuru
Depart Nairobi for Elsamere after breakfast and head north, driving along the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley. Elsamere is the former home of the writer Joy Adamson, whose 1960 book 'Born Free' helped bring wildlife conservation into the mainstream. The house is a veritable museum dedicated to the works of Joy and George Adamson, with many photos of Elsa, the lioness that started it all. Enjoy a high tea lunch on the very grounds Joy cherished for so many years. You'll then embark on a boat trip on Lake Naivasha, the highest of all lakes in the Great Rift Valley and home to many a hippopotamus. Later, enjoy lunch with the lake as a serene backdrop. After lunch, continue to your Lake Nakuru lodge, arriving in the early evening. From your lodge you’ll enjoy remarkable views of Lake Nakuru and the surrounding national park, alive with the call of birds and rich in wildlife. What better way to take it all in than from your lodge’s infinity pool.
Lake Nakuru National Park
This morning you will visit Lake Nakuru National Park by four-wheel drive vehicle (4x4) – the park’s lake is its stunning centrepiece. Mornings can be cold here so it's important to bring warm clothes. You might see why this great soda lake has been described as the world's greatest ornithological spectacle; great seas of flamingos often turn the landscape a sweeping shade of pink. Flooding in recent years has unfortunately caused a decline in birdlife, however the park boasts substantial numbers of other species, including waterbuck, reedbuck and gazelle. Leopards are also to be found here, and the chances of sighting one are significant. Return to the lodge and take some time out for lunch, then head back out for another afternoon game drive. Keep your eyes peeled for one of Africa's most endangered creatures, the elusive black rhinoceros. While white rhino sightings are fairly common, spotting a black rhinoceros is a real treat.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Head southwest to the Masai Mara, one of the finest game reserves in Africa. Cross the striking Great Rift Valley and pass by the remote region of Loita Hills, home of the Maasai people. This is one of the few places they still practice their traditional way of life with little influence from the western world. Stop at Tepesua Village where you’ll be welcomed by Maasai Warriors by way of traditional song and dance. Meet your Maasai hosts, take a walk to the community village and enjoy a fascinating talk full of insights into this remarkable and ancient culture. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Widowed women are engaged in sewing eco-friendly handicrafts to sell to visitors and locals. Learn about village life and be shown around a traditional Maasai home, and their cattle enclosures. Continue on your journey and arrive at the Ashnil Mara Camp, your feature stay accommodation for the next three nights. Positioned in the Masai Mara National Reserve near the Mara River, there’s few better settings for wildlife lovers. Spacious permanent tents feature large, comfortable beds, en suite bathrooms and private wooden decks offering unbeatable views of the plains and wildlife reserve. Blending seamlessly with its surroundings, the camp connects the wilderness with modern comforts, and staying here is really something special.
Masai Mara National Reserve
Explore more of the park by 4x4 today with further game drives in the morning and afternoon. Witness the wonderful procession of wildlife that inhabits the area. Wildebeest, zebra and gazelle are plentiful, and you might even spot predators keeping a casual eye on their movements. Elephants, giraffes and elands are also commonly sighted, along with plenty of bird life. The area is known for its rolling green plains and riverine woodlands, and amongst the many species of game, a black-maned lion, leopard or cheetah might appear, with some luck. As the sun starts to set, stop and take a moment to soak it all in with a drink in hand – there’s few better ways to wrap up a day of wildlife spotting in one of the world’s most magical places. As dusk falls, a variety of animals might be visible in the vicinity of your camp also.
Masai Mara National Reserve
The morning is yours to do as you wish. You may like to sit back with a cup of coffee on your private deck, keeping an eye out for animals in the reserve, or forgo a sleep-in in favour of an early morning game drive or walking safari. If you’d like to see the Masai Mara from a different perspective, a sunrise hot air balloon ride is a truly memorable experience. Balloon rides can be booked ahead of time or on the ground (subject to availability) and the suppliers are committed conservationists, with a portion of the profits from every flight going straight to worthy conservation projects within the park. You will be collected before dawn and glide through the sunrise, sometimes at tree height, making the most of the amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you'll ascend to get an overview of the enormity of the Masai Mara plains and the early-morning movements of the teeming herds. In the afternoon, regroup for another exciting 4x4 game drive in the park.
Say goodbye to the Masai Mara and return to Nairobi. You can expect to arrive in the late afternoon, and enjoy an evening at leisure.
Today you will leave Kenya behind and catch a direct flight to Johannesburg in South Africa, where you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. A meeting will take place here at 6pm to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your journey. After your meeting, join your leader and fellow travellers for dinner at a local family owned grill house. South Africa enjoys a diverse food scene flavoured by its multicultural influences. This evening you may like to try some boerewors, a spiced South African sausage, or perhaps some springbok carpaccio.
Greater Kruger National Park
Set off early for a drive to Greater Kruger National Park, arriving just in time for lunch at an exceptionally intimate lodge, your feature stay accommodation for the next three evenings. Hidden away on a private reserve in Greater Kruger, the lodge is in perfect harmony with its wild surroundings. Chalets feature first-class amenities, with private en suites, indoor and outdoor showers, air-conditioning and a gorgeous swimming pool for cooling off. Sit back and relax in the cosy lounge of the main lodge or one of several viewing decks and take in spectacular views of the Drakensburg Mountains. In the afternoon you'll be taken to a neighbouring game reserve for your first open 4x4 vehicle game drive. Experience close encounters with wild animals in their own habitat, and if you’re lucky, you may meet lions, elephants, rhinos and leopards. Retire to your lodge in the evening.
Greater Kruger National Park
Rise early and make the journey into the heart of Kruger National Park. Upon entry, you'll find yourself in the perfect position to catch a glimpse of one, or hopefully all, of the Big Five. Take a packed breakfast at a picnic spot then proceed with a full day of wildlife safari, stopping off at waterholes and various other points to observe these animals in their natural habitat. One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park is not only home to members of the Big Five, but also 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species. The endangered African wild dog, herbivores like hippo, zebra, giraffe and numerous different types of antelope also enjoy the park’s rich mosaic of habitats, including savanna, mixed acacia woodland, rocky hills and mopane woodland. Return to the lodge this evening to relax and relive your favourite moments from the day.
Greater Kruger National Park
Return to Kruger National Park for another thrilling game drive. This is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of any animals the group didn't see the day before. Today's game drive will finish in time for sunset and dinner on one of the viewing decks at your lodge. Enjoy a wonderful meal and take a moment to sit back and hear the sounds of the bush – maybe even the roar of a lion in the distance. After to dinner, retreat to a bonfire under a canopy of stars.
Rise early and depart for Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, where you will say goodbye to South Africa and board a mid-morning flight to Livingstone airport in Zambia, your gateway to the Victoria Falls. On arrival, cross the Victoria Falls bridge into Zimbabwe and get your first preview of the magnificent cascades. Continue to your lodge accommodation, which serves up stunning views of uninterrupted wilderness and a waterhole frequented by elephant, buffalo, kudu and more. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or spotting wildlife from any of the multiple viewing decks around the lodge. This evening head above the falls onto the Zambezi River and embark on a small and intimate Sundowner River Cruise. The specially designed jet-propelled boats allow you to reach the shallow water among the islands directly above the Victoria Falls. Your own chef will prepare canapes and serve drinks while the captain navigates the islands above the thundering Victoria Falls. Sit back in your comfortable lounge chair and look out for crocodiles lazing on the banks or elephants and hippos submerging themselves in the river – this is truly an experience to remember.