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Classic Safari: Kenya & Tanzania

Trip Highlights

  • Amboseli’s large elephant population
  • Diverse birdlife at Lake Manyara
  • Ngorongoro, wildlife haven and Masai homeland
  • Olduvai Gorge
  • Serengeti and Masai Mara, Africa’s best game-viewing sites
  • Top-rated game lodges

 

On safari … it’s one of the most alluring phrases in all of travel. And Kenya and Tanzania count among the most alluring places to be “on safari.” As our small group travels from grasslands to highlands, to reserves and national parks, we enjoy intimate game drives, see stupendous landscapes, stay in excellent accommodations, and meet gracious local people.

Exclusive departure: This departure is considered exclusive. The participants are U-M travelers, consisting of alumni, family, and friends.

Itinerary

Day 1

Depart U.S. for Nairobi, Kenya

Day 2 – Arrive Nairobi

After arriving in Nairobi, we transfer to our hotel. As arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned. We are free to explore or simply relax after our overseas flights. Dinner tonight is on our own.

Day 3 – Nairobi

This morning we gather for a brief­ing on the journey ahead. We then see highlights of Kenya’s cosmopolitan capital city, stopping for a tour of the Karen Blixen Museum, the one­time home of the Danish writer who, as Isak Dinesen, wrote Out of Africa. We also visit the Giraffe Centre, where we see several of the endangered Roth schild’s giraffe here up close. Tonight, we enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 – Nairobi/Amboseli

We travel by mini­bus this morning to Amboseli National Park in the shadow of snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Maasai’s “white mountain” and the world’s tallest free­standing moun­tain at 19,336 feet. The reserve comprises five main wildlife habitats: open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps, and marshland. Known for its many elephants (an estimated 1,200 elephants live here, more than in any other Kenyan preserve), Amboseli boasts wide, dry plains also teeming with herds of wildebeest, zebra, impala, and giraffe, as we may see on this afternoon’s game drive.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 – Amboseli

Early this morning we visit a nearby Maasai village to meet the people before they leave to tend their cattle, and to see everyday life up close. We also visit a local school where we have an opportunity to interact with the children and their teachers. Then we return to our lodge for breakfast and lunch followed by a late afternoon game drive. In between we have time to relax at our comfortable lodge in the foothills of Kili man jaro beneath a copse of feathered acacia trees.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 – Amboseli/Lake Manyara

We travel today to peaceful Lake Manyara National Park, one of Tanzania’s smallest and most diverse parks. Bordered by the dramatic Western Escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara is notable for its abundant birdlife, diverse vegetation, tree­-climbing lions, plains animals, and hippos. We hope to see much of the park’s diversity on our afternoon game drive.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Lake Manyara/Ngorongoro Conservation Area

This morning we enjoy a second game drive at Lake Manyara then set out for Ngorongoro, a UNESCO Conservation Area, International Biosphere Reserve, and site of Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. On the crater’s floor is Africa in microcosm: grassland, swampland, lakes, forest, mountains, and unparalleled wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 – Ngorongoro Crater

On our morning tour of the 100-­square-­mile crater we have our only chance to see all of Africa’s “Big Five” – elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion, and leopard – in one place.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 – Ngorongoro/Serengeti National Park

We’re bound this morning for the Serengeti, the Maasai’s 5,700-­square­-mile “endless plain” considered Africa’s finest park and one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. En route we visit 31­mile Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959 anthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the 1.8­million­year­old skull of Australo- pithecus boisei – and revolutionized the study of human evolution. Reaching our lodge, we embark on an afternoon game drive.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 – Serengeti

Twice a year, some two million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle migrate to new grazing lands be­tween Masai Mara and the Serengeti, sparking one of nature’s most spec­tacular sights. But the Serengeti’s vast treeless plains teem with animal life year round, and this is the best place to see lion and cheetah up close. Perhaps we will on today’s two game drives.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 – Serengeti/Masai Mara

We leave Tanzania today, crossing into Kenya and continuing on to Masai Mara by air. Kenya’s premier game reserve rich with animal life, the Mara is the traditional homeland of the native Maasai people. Known especially for the annual migration that sees some two million wilde­ beest, plus hundreds of thousands of other plains game migrate here from the Serengeti (Masai Mara being the continuation of the Serengeti in Kenya), the Mara sits in the Great Rift Valley and comprises 583 square miles of vast plains, acacia forests, grass­ covered hills, and slow-flowing rivers. We arrive at our tented camp late this morning then have our first game drive here later this afternoon.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 – Masai Mara

We spend today “on safari,” venturing out on early morning and late afternoon game drives during prime viewing hours to glimpse some of the lion, leopard, cheetah, zebra, giraffe, gazelle, wildebeest, elephant, buffalo, hippo, rhino, and other wildlife that call the Mara home.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 – Masai Mara

The Serengeti boasts Africa’s largest lion population reserve that is just slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. When not out in the bush, we are at leisure to enjoy the amenities of our luxury tented camp, including a spa and swimming pool.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 – Masai Mara/Nairobi

Today we re-enter the urban world as we fly from the Mara back to Nairobi. We have some time at leisure to freshen up and repack at our hotel. Tonight we toast our safari adventure at a farewell dinner.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 – Nairobi/Depart for Home

After a morning at leisure, we transfer to the Nairobi airport and board our connecting flights.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 16 – Arrive in Gateway City

We reach our destination and connect with our flights home.

 

Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey

Classic Safari: Kenya & Tanzania

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

  • Feb. 14–March 1, 2021
(16 days)
Starting price: $9,196
air inclusive from Detroit; single pricing $10,591
Deposit per person: $500
Africa & the Middle East
Odysseys Unlimited
Type: Land, Exclusive U-M Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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