For the first time ever, I took a group tour. I did a 10 day overland safari through Kenya and Tanzania with G Adventures that took us from Nairobi to the Masai Mara, through the heart of the Serengeti, and down into the incredible Ngorongoro Crater. If you’re wondering what approximately 2 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania looks like with G Adventures, here it is.
Nairobi-Lake Nakuru National Park-Masai Mara-Kisii-Musoma-Serengeti National Park-Ngorongoro Crater-Arusha-Nairobi
Day 1: Nairobi, Kenya
We arrived a day before our tour began so we could spend some time in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. It’s a gritty city with a bad reputation, but we felt safe and enjoyed seeing some of the more interesting points of interest, which are the Giraffe Center and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Giraffe Center is awesome. It is home to many Rothschild’s giraffe, the most endangered subspecies of giraffe in the world. They are really friendly and come over to eat pellets out of your hand (or mouth!).
The next stop was the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. They only allow the public to view the elephants from 11am-12pm, no exceptions.
All of these elephants are orphans. Their mothers were either victims of poaching or they were seriously injured in the wild and rescued by the organization. They stay at the elephant orphanage for many years, moving up to different age groups until they are old enough to be reintegrated into the wild. At this time over 150 elephants have been saved and successfully sent back into the wild.
The baby elephants are really well cared for and happy. Part of your experience is getting to see them get their morning feeding. So cute!
Noon comes way too fast and soon it was time for us to leave the elephants. We had lunch then headed back to the hotel to rest. Trust me when I say you will want to take a nap in preparation for the tour!
Day 2: Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru National Park
The bus left Nairobi at 7:30 am on Day 2 and our first stop was a motor boat safari on Lake Naivasha, just a few hours from the capital. It was gorgeous!
The best part was getting to sit in the canoe in the purple water lilies, watching giraffe, zebra, Cape buffalo, and wildebeest graze together. I had to break out my phone and play the Lion King’s ‘Circle of Life’. No joke.
Then it was back to the bus for a few hours until we reached Lake Nakuru. At one time, this lake was home to thousands of pink flamingos, but in recent years the water level has risen to the point that the flamingos have migrated elsewhere. Still, the park was full of beautiful scenery and lots of animals, including a whole herd of white rhinos!
Days 3-4: Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Days 3 and 4 were spent driving through the Masai Mara National Reserve, home to all of the Big Five (if you’re lucky enough to see them all!) It was hot and dusty, but the animal viewing was good. Our first day we saw a lion, elephants and a cheetah. Because it was so hot during the day, our best wildlife sightings came in the late afternoon.
The Mara is also home to the extremely endangered black rhino. Less than 2,500 remain in the wild, and we were lucky enough to see a mom with a baby!
Days 5-6: Masai Mara and Kisii, Kenya
Most of Day 5 was spent driving from the Masai Mara to Kisii, a town in Kenya known for its soapstone. On the way we stopped at a traditional Masai village, which in my opinion was just a tourist trap. It was $20 USD to get in, so about 6 of us, myself included, did not go. Instead, we got to hang out with the Masai’s goats.
The drive to Kisii was beautiful, the landscape dotted with zebra, impala, and giraffe.
Day 7: Kisii, Kenya and Musoma, Tanzania
Day 7 started out with a visit to the soapstone factory in Kisii. Apparently all of the soapstone pieces made in Africa are made in this little factory. To be honest, I thought we were walking into a tourist trap, so I was super pleasantly surprised when it was really interesting to watch and learn about the process of making soapstone plates and bowls etc. There is a little carving station, and then in the back the finished product is designed and painted.
Okay, so there was a gift shop, but this was the one and only stop where literally everyone left with something. The pieces were really nice, high quality, and it was cool to see how they were made.
The border crossing from Kenya to Tanzania was relatively painless, although please note that they only accept USD and those USD must be from 2009 or later. Several of my bills were rejected because they were too old. Thankfully I brought a lot of money with us. It is $100 for Americans and $50 for everyone else.
Immediately after crossing into Tanzania, the landscape changed. Instead of gently rolling green hills, the land was full of weird, otherworldy rock formations. We later learned that a huge volcanic eruption 2,000 years ago caused these rock formations and also created the Serengeti. We camped just outside of the town of Musoma on the shores of Lake Victoria, and spent an afternoon exploring the rocks and animals that made the lake their home.
Days 8-9: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
The next two days were spent driving through the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park. Park permits are for 24 hours, so we had to kill some time before going in since we needed to sync our entrance with the time we were going to exit the next day. Even though it was the middle of the afternoon, the animals were still out in full force. They were everywhere: cheetahs (and babies!), zebras, wildebeest, impala, water buck, hippos, crocodiles, giraffe, elephants, lions…
…and tsetse flies.
The Serengeti is full of them. You may know them as the flies that cause African Sleeping Sickness, a disease that is fatal if not treated. They are big flies with painful bites and impossible to repel. They don’t care how much deet you put on, or that you’re wearing long sleeves and pants. They’ll bite right through your clothes. Most of us got bit numerous times. That was not a fun experience.
Days 9-10: Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
Ngorongoro Crater is nicknamed the Garden of Eden, and it’s easy to see why. It is one of the most beautiful, spellbinding places you will ever go in this world.
Ngorongoro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. It is home to tens of thousands of animals, very few that migrate. Ngorongoro is the safari experience concentrated. From the moment you enter to the moment you leave, you will be surrounded by animals.
We spent a good part of a day exploring the crater in a comfortable 4×4 vehicle. We saw thousands of pink flamingos, hippos. rhinos, hyena, lions, and more zebra and wildebeest than you could count. Despite the 4:30 am wake-up time, we were all wide awake and tried to take it all in while we could.
Leaving Ngorongoro was surprisingly sad, but we were treated to some amazing views at several lookout points as we headed towards Arusha that afternoon.
Day 11: Arusha, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya
Day 11. The end of the trip. We left Tanzania, crossing a crazy border back into Kenya, then arrived back in Nairobi in early afternoon with enough time to shower and re-pack before the flight home.
So there you have it; if you’re wanting to spend approximately 2 weeks in Kenya and Tanzania, this is what the 10 day safari with G Adventures looks like. Ready to go yourself?