Rift Valley Explorer

13 days
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£5,099
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Trip code: 
WYJA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Safaris
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–12

Excellent game viewing and spectacular scenery in Kenya and Tanzania.

The national parks and game reserves in Kenya and Tanzania are amongst the best in Africa. The Masai Mara has an astonishing abundance and variety of game; the Serengeti is one of the largest and most famous national park in Tanzania; the Ngorongoro Crater, with its blue-green vistas and unparalleled concentration of wildlife, is simply unbeatable. Staying in lodges and tented camps, this itinerary offers a more comfortable option for enjoying the East African game parks.

Highlights

  • Enjoy sarfaris in the Serengeti and Masai Mara
  • Explore stunning Ngorongoro Crater
  • Window seat guaranteed throughout

Key information

  • 6 nights permanent tented camps and 4 nights comfortable hotels (land only clients also spend the first night in a hotel in Nairobi)
  • Travel in 4WD 7-seater land-cruisers
  • Some drives on rough roads

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 10 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • London flights (if booking incl. flights)
  • Airport transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Depart London.

  • Day 2

    Arrive Nairobi, to Lake Naivasha. Visit Hells Gate N.P.

    After the arrival of the group flights in the early morning we collect the rest of the group and travel west into the Great African Rift Valley. This two hour journey is the perfect opportunity to meet your guide and get to know your fellow travellers. Our destination today is Lake Naivasha, one of the few freshwater lakes of the Rift Valley that is full of waterbirds, hippos and floating papyrus. An optional one hour boat excursion on the lake can be organised today. After lunch we make an excursion to Hells Gate National Park, where we can have a short walking safari through the park for our first wildlife encounter.

    Accommodation: Lake Naivasha Crescent Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    To the Masai Mara.

    Today we travel for around 5 hours to the Masai Mara, one of the most famous ecosystems in the world. This vast grassland is teeming with life; plains game including wildebeest, gazelle, topi, zebra and buffalo abound in the rolling savannah, and never far away lay the predators; cheetah, lion and hyena. Between mid-August to late October one of the greatest spectacles on Earth takes place in the Masai Mara - the annual migration of thousands of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra trampling their way across the long grass. Nothing is guaranteed on safari, but with the help of our brilliant guides you should see and learn a huge amount about the Masai Mara's resident wildlife during our game drives. Following a picnic lunch on the plains, we spend around three hours game driving through the park before arriving at our permanent tented camp which is located inside the reserve overlooking the Talek River. This is a wonderful spot for a sundowner!

    Accommodation: Ilkeliani Tented Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Game drives in the Masai Mara.

    Today is split into a morning and afternoon game drive. An early start gives us the best chance of encountering wildlife at its most active. Hot tea or coffee will be brought to your tent prior to our morning game drive. Breakfast is taken with us and eaten around 9am once we have located a quiet spot on the plains to stop and eat. Depending on wildlife sightings, morning game drives usually return to camp around 11am - 12pm, so you will have a chance to freshen up and have lunch before we leave camp again for our afternoon game drive, usually at around 3:30 - 4pm. There are also several optional excursions that you can enjoy today in addition to the game drives - taking a hot air balloon safari across the Masai Mara is a wonderful experience!

    Accommodation: Ilkeliani Tented Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    To Lake Victoria.

    This morning we begin a long travel day to reach Lake Victoria in Tanzania. The initial part of our journey crosses the Mara North Conservancy with chances of seeing game en route. The rest of the distance is covered on tarmac roads - we travel a total of 340km which can take approximately 9 hours depending on how long the border crossing takes. There will be the chance to exchange some money or visit an ATM today if needed. We hope to arrive at our comfortable lodge on the shores of Lake Victoria by the late afternoon - this is a beautiful spot with lush gardens full of exotic flowers and birds.

    Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Boat excursion to fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria.

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast looking out onto Lake Victoria before a team of local fishermen pick us up in their traditional canoes and row us along the shoreline to a nearby village for a guided tour. Here you can explore the village on foot, visit the market, learn more about the different methods of fishing and way of life in the village and meet some of the youngest members of the community! Other optional activities available today include hiring a bike, joining a bird walk or simply relaxing on the shore of the lake in the lovely grounds of our lodge.

    Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    To Serengeti N.P.; afternoon game drive.

    A fairly relaxed start this morning before we enter the vast Serengeti Plain, one of the largest parks in Africa. The Serengeti is the epitome of most people's vision of wild Africa and lives up to the meaning of its name in the Maasai language - Seregenget or Siringitu - ‘the place where the land moves on forever’. These endless plains are the habitat for an estimated 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra and 400,000 Thomson's gazelle. Today we drive through the park to the core area named Seronera, our location in the savannah for the next two nights. Here you will have time to enjoy lunch with views over the plains before we set off for an afternoon game drive.

    Accommodation: Kati Kati Camp or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Game drives in the Serengeti.

    Today is split into a morning and afternoon game drive to give us the best chance of encountering wildlife at its most active time of day. We set out in our vehicle to pick up on today's 'bush telegraph', concentrating on the Seronera region of the Serengeti. This area is very scenic and considered to be the heart of the national park, located to the northern part of the grassy plains. There are often good sightings of leopard, cheetah and lions in this area - it is a popular area of the park with a relatively high vehicle density, particular during the migration. We usually arrive back to our accommodation between 11am-12pm for lunch and a rest at the hottest time of day, before setting off on our afternoon game drive around 4pm. Tonight's accommodation has wonderful views over the plains and is a great spot to enjoy a sundowner looking out onto the wilderness.

    Accommodation: Kati Kati or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    To Ngorongoro Crater.

    After breakfast at the lodge we drive towards the Ngorongoro Crater, stopping for any interesting sightings en route. These southern plains are dotted with kopjes (rocky outcrops) which provide good lookout points across the fertile grasslands, often used by lions. We exit the Serengeti via the Naabi gate, where the Ngorongoro Conservation Area begins. The noticeable difference here is the presence of Maasai grazing their cattle on the land.

    The Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest unbroken caldera, formed when its volcano top erupted leaving fertile plains in its place. Before this happened, it was actually the highest mountain in Africa, towering over nearby Kilimanjaro. The crater is essentially made up of grassy plains, lush forest and a soda lake which houses flamingos and an array of birdlife. From the rim, at an altitude of 2400m, the cliff plunges down some 600m to the crater floor with a whole host of extinct volcanoes ringing the valley. We should arrive at our lodge in time for a late lunch. Perched on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, there are dramatic views into the huge caldera below which plays host to a procession of wild animals. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax at our lodge and enjoy the incredible scenery of the crater.

    Accommodation: Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater.

    This morning we descend down into the crater and spend a full day exploring the woodlands, lakes and wide-open plains of this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ngorongoro Crater offers unsurpassed viewing of rare Black rhinoceros and its other 25,000 residents, such as lion, elephant, hyena, wildebeest, buffalo, hippo and ostrich. We stop at a designated picnic spot for lunch (with toilet facilities) and then continue our game drive, returning to our lodge in the late afternoon.

    Accommodation: Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    To Tarangire N.P.; afternoon game drive.

    After breakfast we drive to Tarangire National Park, a journey of around 4 hours that includes some time game driving before we arrive in time for lunch at our accommodation with dramatic views overlooking the river. Tarangire is particularly famous for its swamps which attract enormous herds of elephants. There are also many woodland areas with acacia trees and huge boababs dotting the landscape - this is a place where one can truly visualize what the world was like at the cradle of mankind. After a few hours relaxing at our camp we depart for an afternoon game drive to see the varied birdlife and substational elephant and antelope populations.

    Accommodation: Tarangire Safari Lodge or similar
    Comfortable Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    To Arusha and depart.

    An early breakfast means that we can fit in one last game drive on our way out of Tarangire National Park. It is then approximately a three hour journey to Arusha, where our adventure ends. Those on group flights will be transferred to the airport in time for their return flight to London. Alternatively why not add on some time on the island of Zanzibar to finish off your holiday!

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

Essential Info

Visas

Kenya

Most nationalities do now require a visa for Kenya, including Britons, most EC nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians.From September 2015 it will no longer be possible to obtain a visa on arrival. Instead you must arrange for an eVisa. For information about the application process please visit Kenya Visa applications (you can apply via the button at the foot of the page). Please ensure that you have at least one blank page free of immigration stamps in your passport to enter Kenya.

Tanzania

Most nationalities require a tourist visa for Tanzania, including British nationals, most EC nationals, Australians, New Zealanders, Americans and Canadians. The visa is available at the border and the cost for British and most other European Nationals is USD50 cash, whilst for US citizens it is USD100 cash.

Vaccinations

Kenya

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Tanzania

Please note that although Tanzania does not officially require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, at most airports and other points of entry you may be required to show a certificate of vaccination or an exemption certificate. This includes coming from Europe via, or transiting through an endemic country including the airports of Nairobi (Kenya) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). If visiting Zanzibar from mainland Tanzania border officials have been known to demand proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or an exemption certificate.

Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A. Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 11 lunches and 10 dinners included.

The service can be either a la carte or buffet, depending on the lodge. For early game drives and in order to maximise the time spent in the parks, a packed breakfast or lunch may be provided in some instances. The food provided is a mix of good local and international food throughout. It is possible to cater for vegetarians or clients with special requirements, however please make sure you will advise your Sales Consultant at time of booking or our Customer Operations department before departure.

Weather

Although this part of East Africa lies in the tropics, the temperature depends more on altitude than on season. Kenya and Northern Tanzania have temperatures ranging from 18-21ºC in March and dropping to 15ºC in August, or perhaps a little lower, which can feel cold. The long rains, during which we do not operate these tours, occur in April and May, and there are intermittent 'short rains' between November and January, though these normally have no great effect on the safari. Near to the coast it is much warmer, usually in the low 30sºC, and very humid but there is often a cooling breeze.

Lake Naivasha, Kenya

Is this trip for you?

This is an excellent trip for wildlife, scenery and a taste of life in East Africa.
To pack so much into a short time there are some long drives, and although the distances are not great, some of the roads are quite poor and bumpy especially after the rainy seasons.
We include breaks for toilet facilities, shopping, photos and meals. The spectacular scenery and glimpses of village life when travelling make the journeys more enjoyable but come prepared with a sense of adventure and a sense of humour for a holiday of a lifetime.

Accommodation

Permanent Tented Camps & Hotels

On this trip we will spend 6 nights in permanent tented camps and 4 nights comfortable hotels, all en suite (Land Only clients spend the first night in a hotel in Nairobi)

The accommodation on this trip is a mixture of hotels, lodges and permanent tented camps. All the accommodation is en suite and comfortable, though not luxurious. We have selected, whenever possible, properties in or near the national parks we visit to enrich the wilderness experience of this trip. Some of the hotels have pools and most have wifi/internet.

Single accommodation is available on this trip for a supplement.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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