Nairobi to Zanzibar - 2018

This classic trip covers the highlights of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, one of the world's most scenic and wildlife-packed regions.

After leaving Kenya's bustling capital of Nairobi, you head straight to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara for an incredible 3-day jeep safari through the National Park, with fantastic opportunities to see the 'Big 5' as well as a wealth of other wildlife. The game viewing continues after you cross the border into Tanzania, with safaris in both the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro National Parks.

You will camp near the majestic snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and explore the local village of Mto wa Mbu, famously home to many different cultures and handicrafts.

The trip ends with a journey to the famous and evocative tropical island of Zanzibar, where we explore the fascinating old town, tour the spice plantations, and relax on the idyllic white beaches.

  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Parks & Nature Reserves
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: YND1/158134
  • Starts: Nairobi, Kenya
  • Finishes: Zanzibar, Tanzania
You will Visit
  • Nairobi
  • Amboseli National Park
  • Arusha
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Marangu
  • Lushoto
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar



Day 1: Nairobi

Border Information: If you are joining the trip in Nairobi, you will most likely enter Kenya at Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

Welcome to Nairobi! There will be a group meeting today at our joining hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception or will leave a note at reception telling you where this important meeting will take place.

You will then have time to explore Nairobi fully - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Your tour leader will let you know some of our reccommendations however you are more than welcome to move through the city independently for the day!



Day 2: Amboseli National Park

Today we will head to Amboseli National Park. Here you can experience the iconic view of the African plain with Mount Kilimanjaro standing majestically in the background. We will drive through the park in our truck keeping a keen eye out for all of the animals we will pass.

Estimated Drive Time - 5-6 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).



Day 3: Arusha

Border Information: Exit Kenya at Namanga, enter Tanzania at Namanga.

We will have an early start as we head south to cross the border into Tanzania. We will go to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park. 

We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.

In Arusha we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours 


Day 4: Tarangire National Park

Today we will be met by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 4-day excursion to the Tarangire National Park, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.

We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location), and advise you to bring along a smaller daypack for your personal gear for this trip that will need to be packed soon after the group meeting before we set off. You should pack clothing for 4 days (including a warm jumper or fleece and long trousers), a waterproof jacket, toiletries (including sun screen and insect repellent), your camera and charger, a small towel, a head torch, a water bottle, books and personal snacks, etc.

We will have a safety talk with our safari guides and then on to a full day drive within Tarangire National Park. You should have many oportunities for photographs so remember your cameras!

Once we make it into our camp site we will have our evening meal before the opportunity for a night game drive to Lake Manyara.


Day 5-6: Serengeti National Park

Today we have an optional bike ride or bush walk along the shore of Lake Manyara. Then we will experience the view from the birds perspective with a tree top walkway followed by a traditional Swahili buffet for lunch. 

After lunch we will make our way down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savanna before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spots for wildlife viewing and we hope to be able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!

Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti National Park. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.

The next morning we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.

There is an option this morning to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip with Dragoman.

We will return to our campsite for lunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti early afternoon. We will head back through the conservation area to our next campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.

Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.



Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater

This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.

We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our campsite back in Arusha, where we are re-united with our truck.

We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to do some of the optional activites on offer here.



Day 8-9: Marangu

This morning we will set off again in our overland truck and head east to Lushoto via Marangu, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views of the mountain from the road. If the weather allows we will have the option to do some stargazing at camp tonight.

In Lushoto we will camp in the grounds of a hotel. We have 2 nights here. On the second day we can go on a mountain walk for the morning and visit some great viewopints. We have time to recharge before we are on the move again!

Estimated Drive Time - 6-7 hours.


Day 10: Dar Es Salaam

Today we have a long travel day south to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city on the coast of the Indian Ocean. 

In Dar es Salaam we stay at a beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city. If we have time on arrival we can do some optional activities such as kayaking and snorkelling.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Please note that, as of tonight, this trip overlaps with our "YDF - Zanzibar to Victoria Falls" trip, so you may have other customers joining your existing group once you arrive in Zanzibar. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not do our Zanzibar itinerary twice!


Day 11: Zanzibar

This morning we will head to the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar! We will travel on the local commuter barge from Kigamboni to the city centre of Dar es Salaam, and then take a ferry from Dar es Salaam centre to Zanzibar. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

When we reach Zanzibar we will meet our local guide, who will help us check in to our hotel in Stone Town and then give a quick orientation of the town before we branch off and head to lunch! We will have a free afternoon to explore the atmospheric streets of the historic centre of Stone Town, with the option of meeting for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.

In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.


Day 12-13: Zanzibar

On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea, outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere. 

On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.

In Nungwi we will spend both nights in a good hotel right on the shore of the ocean.


Day 14: Zanzibar

Border infromation: If leaving at Zanzibar, you will most likely exit Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ), however some customers prefer to return to Dar es Salaam and then exit from Dar Es Salaam Julius Nyerere International Airport (IATA code: DAR).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Zanzibar. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • Head on an unforgettable safari in 4x4s into the Serengeti, Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater National Reserves - three of the world's most incredible areas for wildlife spotting
    • Take the public ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar  
    • Guided tour of Spice Plantations and local lunch
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    • 75% Camping - 25% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • Snorkelling & Diving