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Nairobi to Zanzibar
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Overlanding is the only way to see East Africa! This classic trip covers the highlights of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, one of the world's most scenic and most wildlife-packed regions - it is a popular trip and thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the best trips in Africa. Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. 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, both packed with animals and home to some truly spectacular scenery. 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 wonderful spice plantations, and relax on the idyllic white beaches on the Indian Ocean. Sun, sea, Swahili and safari is a good summary of the trip! An amazing adventure, packed into a an accessible 14 days - join us for this phenomenal African experience!


Duration: 14 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Parks & Nature Reserves, Local Culture & Cuisine, Community Project , Historical Sites Physical rating: Light
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 158134
Starts: Nairobi, Kenya Finishes: Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
You will visit
  • Nairobi
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve
  • Arusha
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Mto Wa Mbu
  • Marangu
  • Lushoto
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar

Itinerary

01

Day 1-1: 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! If you would like to explore Nairobi fully, we advise you arrive a day earlier to give yourself the time to see some of the highlights in the city - possible activities include visiting the Karen Blixen Museum, the National Museum and the Langata Giraffe Centre. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Nairobi before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Nairobi.

There will be a group meeting today at the Kivi Milimani Hotel at 10:00am - your tour leader will meet you at the hotel reception. Please do not be alarmed if there is no welcome note on your arrival, as the previous day is often a travelling day for the tour leader and they will often be unable to reach the Kivi Milimani until this morning's meeting.

Address - Kivi Milmani Hotel, Milimani Road, Nairobi.

After the group meeting, we will be met by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear (but we will not need our camping equipment) and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.

We will also be leaving our large bags behind (where they will be stored in a secure location in Nairobi), 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 3 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.

On arrival, we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara National Park before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!

On both nights at the Maasai Mara, we will stay in a basic campground on the outskirts of the National Park. The campsite has set-tents and bedding, but is self-catered (we will use our kitchen equipment brought from the truck).

02

Day 2-2: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Today we will go out for the full day game driving in the National Park before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a sunset balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your Dragoman trip to avoid disappointment.

Tonight we will stay at the same campsite on the outskirts of the Maasai Mara.

03

Day 3-3: Nairobi

Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading back to Nairobi and our campsite in Karen, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm. This is where we will meet our overland truck and start using the truck's camping equipment.

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.

04

Day 4-4: Arusha

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

We will have an early start to beat the Nairobi traffic and 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.

Tonight we stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 8 hours (please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

05

Day 5-5: Serengeti National Park

Today we will be met at the campsite 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 3-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.

Today will be a full drive along the rim of the Ngoronogoro Crater (stopping to take in the awe-inspiring views!) and then down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savannah before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spot for wildlife viewing and we hope to 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.

06

Day 6-6: Serengeti National Park

Today 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 for 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 brunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti at around lunch time. We will head back through the conservation area to our second 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.

07

Day 7-7: 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 next campsite in the small town of Mto Wa Mbu, where we are re-united with our truck.

We will have a well-deserved free afternoon to relax at our excellent campsite or to explore the town of Mto Wa Mbu.

Tonight we stay at a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a good hotel.

08

Day 8-8: Mto Wa Mbu

This morning we will go on a fantastic community walk around the town where we will see local craft workshops, learn a little about the life here, and enjoy a lunch of delicious specialities from the area.

We will set off again in our overland truck and head east to 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.

Tonight we will camp in the grounds of a hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 5 hours.

09

Day 9-9: Lushoto

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.

Estimated Drive Time - 12 hours. 

Please note that if the group and leader prefer to split this drive into 2 days, we may spend this night in Lushoto in the Usambara Mountains (approximately half way to Dar es Salaam), where we will camp in the grounds of a local hotel. We would then complete the drive to Dar es Salaam the next morning.

10

Day 10-10: Dar Es Salaam

Today is a free day to explore Dar es Salaam or relax at the beach campsite.

If we stayed in Lushoto last night, we will complete the drive to Dar es Salaam today.

Please note that as of 6:00pm tonight, this trip overlaps with our "YDF - Dar es Salaam to Victoria Falls" trip, so there will likely be new customers joining your group for the trip to Zanzibar. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not go to Zanzibar twice!

11

Day 11-11: 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 is quite comfortable with airline type seats, and 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.

12

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 Jozano Forest.

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

13

Day 14-14: Dar Es Salaam

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

Today we will return to Stone Town and take the return ferry to Dar es Salaam, where we return to our campsite on the south side of the bay or head straight off to onward flights.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Dar es Salaam. 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. Please do not book flights for today out of Dar es Salaam before 8:00pm, so that you have enough time to cater for a slow ferry and heavy traffic in the city.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Head out on a phenomenal 2-night/3-day safari in 4x4s into the Maasai Mara - one of the best areas in Africa for wildlife and scenery
    • Head on an unforgettable 3-day/2-night safari in 4x4s into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater National Reserves - two of the world's most incredible areas for wildlife spotting
    • Learn all about the locals' way of life on a village walk with the Mto Wa Mbu village community project
    • Take the public ferry from Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar  
    • Explore the beautiful and historic streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town
    • Take a guided tour of Zanzibar's historical sites, markets, and the spice plantations
    • Ferry back from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    Accomodation
    • 75% Camping - 25% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Community Project
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • Snorkelling & Diving
  • Adventure Activities
  • History & Culture