Kenya & Tanzania Tour | Masai Mara Safari



Journey Type

Kenya & Tanzania Tour | Masai Mara Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Nairobi, Amboseli, Masai Mara | Tanzania: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha



Journey Type

Kenya & Tanzania Tour | Masai Mara Safari

Cities and Landmarks

Nairobi, Amboseli, Masai Mara | Tanzania: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha


Amboseli, Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro.  For those in the know, these are the names of destinations where Nature reigns supreme.  Places where daily the battle for survival is played out in dramatic fashion – where the hunter and the hunted have been locked in combat since before ‘civilized’ eyes ever laid eyes upon them.  These are places that sustain and regenerate themselves through the spilling of blood and the falling of rain.  These are places both fragile and robust – each an intricate tapestry of life, some enmeshed and some isolated – but all showcasing life in abundance.  

These are places sought out by a select few who, whether knowingly or not, will reconnect their primal selves with the land of their ancestors.  These are places of awe and humility, where each day’s revelations give context to the importance of matters.  For without these places, we cannot exist.  And without those who come to witness their wild spectacle, these places will – sadly – fade into the pages of history.  These are places from which you will return enriched and  forevermore, you will want to re-visit.

And in these places, we have selected for you the finest lodgings, to which you will be transported with seamless efficiency.  Places that salute the grandeur of their respective landscapes and pay homage to them through careful stewardship of the land on which they stand, and lovingly sharing the story of its people and the wildlife alongside which they live – proving that man and beast may yet coexist.  Embracing the charms of the Romantic Safari Era, we present Africa as it is today.  

Amboseli – where the elephants still rule and shape the landscape.

Masai Mara – where the herds come to feed, and the predators come to feast.

Serengeti – where life begins and ends and begins again – the starting point of The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth.

Ngorongoro Crater – an ancient relic whose encircling walls have both preserved its wild inhabitants and trapped them in time, where lineages are measured in eons but life can be fleeting.

And to ensure that your transition into and out of safari–mode is as effortless as possible, we’ve book-ended the itinerary with two divine overnight stays, each dripping with safari nostalgia and local flavor.

Come with us to see East Africa’s wildlife in all its majesty.  Be awed by the power of the pride, the determination of the herd, and the passion of its custodians.  Enjoy the best of the East African safari experience, gathering memories, friendships, and inspiration.  Magical Africa Awaits!


Arrive Nairobi, Kenya

Your adventure begins with a friendly greeting of “Jambo!” from our representative at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenya.  They will accompany you to your lodgings for the first night in a leafy neighborhood at the foot of the Ngong Hills, the setting of Karen Blixen’s much-loved romance – Out of Africa.

Hemingways Nairobi is an elegant plantation-style boutique hotel and a member of the prestigious Small Luxury Hotels of the World.  Set on manicured gardens rich with birdsong, this is the ideal place at which to acclimatize and immerse yourself in the history and tradition of safari – starting with a refreshing G&T at the bustling bar, which you will soon learn is a tradition readily repeated.  From the bar, the buzz of safari gossip continues in studded leather lounges, breezy terraces, and its renowned restaurant – The Brasserie.  Attend your therapeutic needs in the spa, gym, or gift shop, or take a dip in the sparkling pool.

As throughout the hotel, the decor and furnishings in your spacious suite are reminiscent of the romantic safari era of the 1930s, complete with a steamer trunk and four-poster bed.  Blending the classical and contemporary, every imaginable amenity is catered for, and the luxurious en-suite bathrooms are polished elegance personified.  This is truly a cocoon in which to metamorphose into safari life, and you will awaken refreshed in anticipation of your coming adventures. 

Hemingways Nairobi

Amboseli National Park

In the morning, brimming with anticipation, you will be taken to the airport where you will set off to your first safari camp on Kenya’s southern border.  As you descend, you may glimpse the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro in neighboring Tanzania, peeking out above the clouds.  A representative will be standing by at the airstrip and you may well have your first wildlife sightings en route to your lodgings for the next two nights at Tortilis Camp Amboseli.

Named for the ubiquitous Umbrella Thorn tree (Vachellia Tortilis), the camp is perched on a hill overlooking plains dotted with woodlands and herds of game.  It is a remote corner of the Amboseli National Park, with access to a neighboring private wildlife concession, which means that it is both quiet and offers exclusive rights for activities not available within the park.

A timber and thatch building forms the central hub of the camp, where you will find an inviting lounge, bar (Would sir care for another G&T?), and the dining room.  With a panoramic view of the surroundings, you can catch up with news of the latest sightings, get a soothing massage, or lounge around the pool.

Your accommodation is a luxurious tented suite (which, you will learn as the safari progresses, is a tent in name only).  Spacious and private with a spectacular view, it is decorated in bold African prints, with traditional African art interspaced among comfortable furnishings.  An en-suite bathroom and private veranda complete the ensemble.  And yes, wifi is available if you feel the need to show off to your friends back home.

The monolithic presence of Kilimanjaro looms large on the horizon, a fitting backdrop to land that is home to some 1,400 African elephants.  The name Amboseli (meaning salty dust)  refers to the dust devils that twirl across the central salt marsh in the dry season.  Covering over 150 sq. miles, Amboseli’s habitats range from salt pan to wetland to savanna and mixed woodland.

Typical safari life is best enjoyed with an early start, not only to appreciate your first African sunrise but also in that the cooler morning hours find wildlife more active than it will be in the heat of the day.  You will set off in the company of an experienced wildlife guide in a customized four-wheel-drive vehicle, full of anticipation at what you might see.  

While there should never be any promises made on game drives, your guide appreciates that many have a species’ wishlist and they will do their best to fulfill your hopes.  Tortilis Camp offers a second game drive in the mid-afternoon, which may extend into the early evening, with a chance of seeing some of the nocturnal residents, such as porcupine and civet.

One keynote resident that you are almost certain to see is the elephant.  Once you’ve recovered from seeing just how big they are, take time to appreciate their gentle and particular behavior, especially how they tend to their young.  The other creature that Amboseli is renowned for is its pink flamingos, thousands of which can be seen stepping daintily in the shallows of the briny lakes.

Predators are another popular sighting – and Amboseli’s population of Africa’s large carnivores is sure to exceed your expectations.  An estimated 100 lions vie for dominance over their competitors – which include cheetahs, leopards, and their fiercest rival – spotted hyenas.  Naturally, all these predators suggest an abundance of prey, and again, you will not be disappointed.  

From the numerous Cape buffalo that enjoy the lush grasses of the marsh to the zebra, wildebeest, and antelope that frequent the savanna, and the kudu and giraffe that browse in the woodlands, it seems that each bend in the track promises a surprise sighting.  Another treat that may await is Africa’s famed sundowner stops.  Take a moment to appreciate the setting sun, while sipping on another – you guessed it – gin and tonic.

For a more intimate appreciation of the ecosystem, join your Maasai guide on a nature walk.  Not only will you get to learn more about the park’s smaller inhabitants and the traditional uses of the indigenous plants, but it is also a great opportunity to add to your bird list, and some 600 species have been recorded in the area.   

To learn more about the Maasai people and their nomadic ways, ask to visit a nearby ‘manyatta’, where the friendly residents will gladly share more of their proud heritage and ancient way of living alongside the wildlife.

Tortilis Camp Amboseli

Masai Mara National Reserve

From Amboseli, your next flight heads northwest along the border to your next camp on the Kenyan leg of the safari.  Your destination is hailed as one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves, documented in innumerable wildlife films and books.  It is perhaps most widely celebrated as the northern reach of the epic wildebeest migration when it welcomes about 1.5-million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of accompanying ungulates.

You will stay at one of two exclusive camps for the next two nights, each revered for its luxurious accommodation and access to the area’s abundant wildlife.  Please note that while you may choose your preferred camp, it is subject to availability at the time of booking.  There is a slight variation in the activities on offer – please inquire on arrival.


OVERNIGHT OPTION 1:  Bateleur Camp

The first option in the Masai Mara is Bateleur Camp, which lies on the slopes of the Oloololo escarpment in a shady stretch of forest overlooking the reserve’s vast plains.  The camp is made up of two portions, each with a central mess tent, which houses a lounge, bar, and dining area – all of which lead onto a broad viewing deck. 

Nearby, you will also find a pool deck, massage sala, gym, and gift shop where you can pick up a unique memento of your stay.  Consistent with all the camps you will visit, the cuisine is as tempting as it is varied, served in a variety of settings – under canvas in unfavorable weather, under the stars on clear nights, on the deck of your tents, or on an elaborate bush banquet at a remote location on the private land.  

Your tented suite, situated for privacy and appreciation of the view, is beautifully decorated with the colonial safari theme.  In keeping with this, your butler is on hand to acquaint you with the facilities and attend to any special requests.  Your en-suite bathroom, clad in wood and stone, and encased in glass is luxuriously appointed, with both a shower and a free-standing bathtub.


OVERNIGHT OPTION 2:  Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp

A stone’s throw away from Bateleur Camp, Kichwa Tembo, has a more contemporary feel – although it remains true to many of the traditions of an authentic safari experience.  Social activities such as meals and drinks convene at a central hub where the open-fronted lounge, bar, and indoor dining area lead out onto an expansive veranda overlooking a river at the foot of the escarpment.  

Dining at the camp is an interactive experience, with guests welcome to visit the kitchen to discuss the day’s menu options.  It is not uncommon for guests to sacrifice a game drive in favor of staying in the camp, with plentiful opportunities to spot passing wildlife from the veranda, pool deck, or your tent.  This also gives you time to enjoy a wonderful wellness treatment, browse the gift shop, or cool off in the large swimming pool.

With a view of the landscape, an outdoor sala, and a beautiful four-poster bed bedecked in fine linen, your suite is the epitome of comfort and luxury.  Clean lines and minimalist decor invoke a sense of tranquility in keeping with the surrounding environment.

Whichever camp you visit, on arrival you will be acquainted with the camp and the activities that each has to offer.  As is the case at all the camps you will visit, daily game drives are the norm, with each camp’s guides both familiar with the terrain and many of the individual animals that make it their home.  Guided walks are led by Maasai, elegant in their deep red robes, and at home on the land of their forefathers, which will reveal aspects of the ecosystem that might be missed from a vehicle.

The opportunity to learn more about their traditions, culture, and relationship with the land on a visit to a local manyatta, is a learning experience not to be missed.

And, for a touch of the unusual, both camps offer guests the opportunity to drift over the savanna, on an early morning hot air balloon experience.  It truly is a unique and memorable experience that will stay with you for years.

While the wildebeest migration, which occurs between July and November is a certain drawcard, the wildlife experience for the remainder of the year is nevertheless spectacular.  The general game sightings are varied and prolific, with breeding herds of elephants and buffaloes crisscrossing the landscape.  Zebra, wildebeest, various antelope, and warthogs nibble the grass, while stately giraffes stroll with apparent nonchalance from tree to tree.  

With prey available year-round, predators are a constant presence.  The Masai Mara has a very healthy population of lions, whose only competition on the plains comes from clans of well-organized spotted hyenas.  Solitary predators, such as leopards have evolved hunting strategies that reduce the risk of losing their prey to larger animals.  Stealth and camouflage in the case of leopards, while cheetahs use outright speed and agility to hunt while the other predators rest. 

Bateleur Camp ( Option 1 )

Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp ( Option 2 )

Serengeti National Park

Today it is time to leave Kenya.  A flight to Nairobi is followed by an international flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport, Tanzania, and once customs are cleared, a final flight to your lodgings for the next three nights in the Serengeti National Park.

Once again, there is the option of two lodges to choose from – The Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge, or the Four Seasons Lodge Serengeti.  As before, while the activities and ambiance may vary, each has been selected for its superior hospitality and access to wonderful wildlife.

OVERNIGHT OPTION 1:  Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge

The Grumeti Serengeti River lodge lies on the banks of a river in a far-flung, exclusive corner of the park.  Overlooking seasonal hippo pools which attract all kinds of wildlife, you will feel immersed in the surroundings from the moment you arrive.  The interesting decor and color palette was inspired by the fishing communities of nearby Lake Victoria and utilizes bold prints against a neutral background.  With furnishings made for comfort, the main lodge is a place to socialize and relax.

Over drinks at the bar, during convivial meals, or while sunning yourself at the pool deck, you’ll feel welcome and at peace amid the contemporary styling.  The kitchen welcomes your visits; an opportunity to discuss the menu – or simply leave it to the chefs to impress you with their epicurean ingenuity.  The lodge offers gym facilities, while massage treatments can be booked at your accommodation.

It is no exaggeration to say that the lodge and its accommodation would not look out of place in a fancy architectural digest.  The decorative themes are carried into the cottages, which feature private decks with a plunge pool, glorious en-suite bathrooms, and views from the bed that might tempt you to lie in for the day.  The decision is all yours.  Do keep a lookout for the delightful black-and-white colobus monkeys which are found nowhere else in the park.


OVERNIGHT OPTION 2:  Four Seasons Safari Lodge

The Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is centrally located within the park, and it too overlooks a productive waterhole frequented by wildlife throughout the day.  Maintaining a theme of safari sophistication, the main lodge is decorated with an eclectic collection of African art pieces.  The furnishings invite you to spend time getting to know the friendly Maasai staff and your fellow guests.  Outside, tiered viewing decks overlook the sprawling Serengeti plains – and on the lower deck, the incredible infinity pool has to be seen to be believed!  For your wellness needs, the lodge has a beautiful spa that offers a broad range of treatments ranging from healing massages to mystical body treatments.  Yoga practitioners can also arrange a special sunrise guided meditation on a nearby hilltop.

There are various dining options at the lodge, starting with the Maji Bar & Terrace – an all-day outdoor lounge serving tapas, pizzas, and cocktails.  Kula’s Restaurant serves a wholesome breakfast buffet and in the evening live cooking stations turn out a hearty range of dishes with an African twist.  For an authentic African feast around the fire, visit the Boma in the evening where grilled dishes are accompanied by a Maasai cultural display.  And finally, in-room, poolside, and bush banquet options are all available upon request.  Please inquire at the lodge.

Under different management, the activities on offer do differ slightly.  Both lodges offer guests game drives and nature walks, which set out daily to explore the vast expanse of the Serengeti ecosystem.  On arrival, you will be furnished with further details.

Early on the morning of your third day, Magical Africa has arranged for you to enjoy an unforgettable hot air balloon trip, as part of the Majestic Safari luxe experience.  After drifting on the breeze in near silence, taking in the magnificence of the Serengeti and its bountiful wildlife, you will touch down to enjoy a delicious champagne breakfast.

The word Serengeti is derived from the Maasai word ‘siringit’, meaning endless plains.  The park is perhaps most widely recognized as the southern reach of the great wildebeest migration.  While the park delivers fantastic viewing year-round, the peak periods are January-February (dry season) and June through September (wet season).  During these periods the great herd is either on the move, or more settled for the calving season, respectively.

A highlight of the dry season is experienced when the herd forges across rivers, anxious to avoid the crocodiles and other predators that take advantage of the chaos of the moment.  In the wet season, some 400,000 calves are born within days of one another.  This flurry of new life attracts predators eager for an easy meal – although the protective herds do their best to prevent this.

Like the Masai Mara, predator numbers are spectacular and with the bush telegraph humming, you are almost assured of daily sightings of lions, leopards, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas.  The plains are also home to smaller predators –  including diminutive dwarf mongooses, African wildcats, servals, caracals, and many more.

By now, you might start to recognize some of the myriad bird species – in particular, the multi-colored lilac-breasted roller and the imposing martial eagle.

The varying habitats, from riverine to savannah to woodland, support different herbivores whose diet has evolved to the plants found in that niche.  Waterbuck and bushbuck are often found near the rivers, wildebeest, zebra, and topi prefer the more open country of the grasslands, while kudu and giraffe browse in the woodlands.  You will also find plentiful herds of elephants, buffaloes, and hippos wherever there is water.

Grumeti Serengeti River Lodge ( Option 1 )

Four Seasons Safari Lodge ( Option 2 )

Ngorongoro Crater

In the morning you leave the Serengeti behind, taking a short flight to the Manyara airstrip, where a representative will be standing by to shuttle you to your final safari destination, and home for the next two nights.

Choose between Ngorongoro Crater Lodge or The Manor at Ngorongoro.  As before, while the activities and ambiance may vary, each has been selected for its superior hospitality and access to wonderful wildlife.

OVERNIGHT OPTION 1:  Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is perched on the rim of the caldera – commanding a view that is unsurpassed in the region.  Comprising three camps, each has a main building with a fabulously opulent lounge, a cozy bar, and both indoor and outdoor dining areas.  Authentic African objet d’arts are dotted among baroque furnishings, giving the lodge a hint of the whimsical.  Visit the Safari Shop to pick up some authentic mementos or safari-chic fashion.  Should you be feeling in need of a little pampering, the lodge offers a wonderful spa experience.

The culinary experience at the lodge is second to none, and you are encouraged to inquire about the various unique locations where these can be hosted – from sundowners perched on a cliff to an elaborate brunch under a shady tree on the crater floor.

It almost goes without saying that the view from your suite is breathtaking.  With swirling mists dancing on the crater floor in the morning and fluffy clouds drifting by at eye level through the day, the effect is otherworldly.  You will savor all of this in a suite furnished with elaborately carved wooden pieces, clothed in the finest fabrics – every detail dedicated to your absolute bliss.  Whether curled up at the fireplace or luxuriating in the en-suite bathroom’s freestanding tub or shower, you will come to know African tranquility.  And if any need occurs to you, your butler is on hand to ensure it is met with grace.

Aside from game drives, the lodge also offers an archaeological excursion, cultural experiences with the Maasai and Hadzabe people, hikes, and a visit to see the work of a local conservation project.  For those traveling with children, a special program is also offered.  Please enquire about these at the lodge.


OVERNIGHT OPTION 2:  The Manor at Ngorongoro

The Manor at Ngorongoro is regarded by many as the most enviable address in the region.  It is located on a beautiful coffee plantation a short distance from the entrance to the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, which you will visit for your safari activities.

Built in the grandiose Cape Dutch style, the Manor pays homage to the safari traditions of yesteryear, blending opulence with the innate warmth of African hospitality.  The decor within fuses Afro-European influences – with plush furnishings oozing luxury throughout the establishment.  You will feel transported to a bygone era, playing croquet on the lawn or taking in the estate on horseback.  Other activities on the estate include a coffee tour, cycling, and a visit to the spa.

Beautiful cottages dot the lawns, each with a private entrance and sun terrace.  Within, you are ensconced in comfort, the spacious interior boasting a lounge, fireplace, and en-suite bathroom complete with a ball & claw tub and a rainfall shower.  

True to the traditions of the era, high tea is a grand affair – a selection of sweet and savory treats enjoyed on the terrace.  After cocktails, dinner is an extravaganza of aroma and taste, fittingly followed by a cognac and a game or two of billiards.

The Ngorongoro Crater formed about 2.5-million years ago when a volcano erupted with such force that it caused the cone to implode, resulting in what is today the largest intact caldera on the planet.  Over the following millennia the floor of the crater developed rich soils, and with perennial water, became an isolated haven for wildlife.  At just over 100 sq. miles, the crater floor is packed with game dispersed across a variety of habitats.

Both lodges offer daily game drives into the crater, which tend to continue throughout the day (or shorter if required), with a break for a picnic along the way.  Night drives and off-road driving are unfortunately not permitted.

At the foothills of the crater wall, a woodland supports browsers like bushbuck and kudu, along with playful monkeys in the trees.  Moving inwards, the grasslands predominate and host grazing species like Coke’s hartebeest and eland.  As you near the sulfurous Lake Magadi, patches of swampy wetland are frequented by Cape buffalo and elephants.  On the lake itself, a shimmering pink mirage reveals itself to be thousands of flamingos, daintily stalking the shallows in a never-ending natural fashion parade.

Ngorongoro is synonymous with predators, with some 70 lions stalking the plains.  The abundance of prey suggests meals are easy to come by, but for most large predators, only 10% of attempts are successful.  Spotted hyenas are the most successful – using teamwork and incredible stamina to run down their prey.  With intricate social behaviors and a regimented matriarchy, their questionable appearance belies a highly intelligent and successful creature.  

Leopards are Africa’s most widespread large predator, able to live unseen in close proximity to man.  In an isolated haven like the crater though, they positively thrive.  Cheetahs on the other hand have seen their numbers depleted across the continent, primarily due to habitat loss through human encroachment.  Coupled with poor genetics and a slight frame, they are truly vulnerable and numerous projects across the continent are working to ensure that the sight of a cheetah streaking across the plains is preserved for future generations.

The crater also offers your best chance of seeing a highly endangered (and temperamental) black rhinoceros – with 16 of these prehistoric-looking pachyderms closely monitored for their protection.  The one thing you won’t see here is giraffes.  They appear to be unable to navigate the steep crater walls and have never been known to occur here.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge ( Option 1 )

The Manor at Ngorongoro ( Option 2 )


What better way to transition back to the familiar than an overnight stay at one of Africa’s top 5 hotels?  Today, you leave Ngorongoro by air and touch down in Arusha where you will be chauffeured to the Arusha Coffee Lodge, situated on a working plantation on the rolling foothills of Mount Meru.

Lush gardens shaded by coffee trees await – the air awash with the aroma of coffee and chorus of birds.  The original homestead forms the hub of the facilities, housing a lounge, bar, spa, and gift shop.  You may also choose to enjoy a meal, either at the Bacchus Restaurant for a fine dining experience or at the intimate bistro for something a little less formal.  Compare safari notes with your fellow guests around the pool or on the terrace, before retiring for a well-earned rest.

The luxurious plantation-style chalets are the epitome of understated luxury.  Inviting interiors are warmly dressed in earthy colors, the stained wooden furnishings ready to embrace you in their comfort, as you reminisce about your safari experience before a crackling log fire.  And, as you slip between the covers of your beautifully veiled bed, you will know that you have tasted the majesty of Africa – her wild and wide-open spaces, her creatures in all their varied abundance, her people whose open smiles put you instantly at ease – and you will know, that for all you have seen, you would love to see more.

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Homeward Bound

Today, you will be returned to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your homeward flight.  At this point, we wish you a fond farewell with an open invitation to return.  Magical Africa Awaits!

Options & Extensions

A gorilla sitting in the woods, surrounded by tall trees and lush greenery. It looks calm and peaceful in its natural habitat.

Gorilla Trekking In Rwanda

Without exception, those who have been privileged to spend time with gorillas report a near-mythical experience, as if glancing into our ancestral past.  Sharing upwards of 98% of DNA, the link between our species is undeniable.  While they are massively powerful creatures – with males weighing over 400 pounds – they are by nature shy and placid.  Primarily herbivores, they spend much of their day alternating between foraging and rest.

A picturesque beach setting under a vibrant blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.

Zanzibar Beach Retreat

For those wishing to enjoy a little pure downtime, perhaps following an action-packed safari, our Zanzibar itinerary offers the perfect blend of luxury, simplicity and all the idyllic pleasures of beach life. We have chosen from among Zanzibar’s best beach lodges options which are suitable for either families or those seeking an intimate, sophisticated retreat surrounded by the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean

With table mountain in the background with blue skies, the vibrant Cape Town bay with different ships docked

In & Around Cape Town

With its spectacular landscape, diverse activities and well-developed infrastructure, Cape Town offers the modern traveler the ideal destination for leisure and adventure.  It is frequently voted among the best cities to visit on vacation by noteworthy publications – and much of the local economy thrives thanks to a robust tourist industry.  Visitors from across the spectrum are sure to find the range of accommodation, cuisine and places of cultural and historical interest highly appealing.

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Feel free to get in touch with us to begin planning your personalized dream safari today. Our team specializes in crafting bespoke safari experiences that cater to your specific preferences. Whether you’ve always dreamed of witnessing the Big Five in their natural habitat, marveling at the mesmerizing Great Migration, or simply savoring the enchanting African sunsets, we’re here to turn your safari dreams into reality.


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