On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close with the Big Five - 2018

Nairobi • Amboseli • Lake Manyara • Ngorongoro Crater • Serengeti • Masai Mara

  • JOIN EAGLE-EYED DRIVER-GUIDES TO SEEK OUT WILDLIFE IN SOME OF AFRICA’S BEST PARKS AND REFUGES
  • TOUR THE FERTILE AND SCENIC COFFEE PLANTATIONS AT THE RENOWNED GIBB’S FARM, A TANZANIA INSTITUTION
  • GET A WARM WELCOME AT HOMES, A SCHOOL AND A BANANA PLANTATION IN THE TRADITIONAL VILLAGE OF MTO WA MBU
  • VISIT SHANGA RIVERHOUSE AND LEARN HOW TRADITIONAL CRAFTS ARE MADE, THEN STAY ON AS THE GUESTS OF A TRADITIONAL HOME-HOSTED LUNCH

The Best Value in Deluxe Travel — Guaranteed!

NEW FOR 2018: Now including gratuities for local guides & drivers!
FREE Single Supplement available on every departure — limited availability.
Small Groups: Never more than 16-24 travelers – guaranteed!
 

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TRAVELER REVIEWS

There's no better way to learn what a trip is like than from the firsthand experiences of your fellow travelers, and our Traveler Reviews are the real deal—unbiased and unedited—giving you an honest appraisal of the experiences that await you on this trip.

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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:JOHN HIGGINS
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:3
Traveled:February 2017

Although we saw the "Big 5" during our Best of South Africa vacation, seeing them in the wilds of Kenya and Tanzania was an Over the Top experience! Among other amazing sights we saw a leopard kill and take a gazelle up a tree, 2 male lions stalk and catch a cape buffalo for dinner, and a baby wildebeest being born! Be sure to sign up for the pre-trip extension to Sweetwater and the hot air balloon ride over the Sarengeti -- Both were AMAZING!

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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:FRANK and CONNIE WICKS
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:February 2017

What a fabulous experience to see the animals in their natural setting, and learn so much about their habits. Scenery was really spectacular. Resorts were distinctive and luxurious. We did the Serengeti ballon ride and it was incredible experience. Unsure before we went which one to select, but glad we did the first option. If it was not able to fly due to weather, we would still have the possibility at the Mara. As it turned out, had we done the Mara balloon, we would have missed the best game drive of the trip that morning (saw all BIG FIVE). Driving in the jeeps for two weeks can be a physical challenge, as roads are often bumpy and dusty. Our driver guides were safe, experienced and knowledgeable. Glad we did February. Although it was the dry season, we were able to see the animals in the grasses and many new calves. Temperatures in the 80's, but no rain, and no humidity. It's a very long way home to Arizona from the Maasai Mara, maybe an overnight somewhere along the way home would have been a consideration in retrospect. Overall we really enjoyed the trip.

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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:JACK ONEIL
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:20
Traveled:August 2016

GREAT experience.

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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Willow
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:1
Traveled:January 2016

The animals were extraordinary and we did see the big five! I enjoyed the in- depth explanations and knowledge of our drivers Carlos (Kenya) and Mate(really knows his stuff! Tanzania). They were both beyond awesome and kept us safe. I felt the optional trip to the Masai village was very staged and they tried to rip us off price wise for their goods.
I truly enjoyed an unscheduled stop with "Martin" and his Iraqw family. We learned a lot about their way of life, they were extremely gracious and shared their great grandfather's 125 year old dwelling with us. Goods were fairly priced. Seif Mohammed our director went out of his way to be flexible with our group and to share his knowledge.
I must say though I was unprepared for the number of times our group was asked to donate to different facilities and causes. I'm not uncharitable as need is obvious and I did bring materials to share, but the constancy of appeals did remove some of the enjoyment of the trip. Future travelers should be warned of the condition of the roads in the parks and getting in and out of the jeeps. We had several people who had trouble with their backs and had to fly back to Nairobi at additional cost to them. Overall I'm glad I had the experience due to my fellow travelers and the glorious animals.

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On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:WAYNE CARPENTER
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:5
Traveled:January 2016

The trip in January 2016 was fantastic. We saw hundreds of animals and David, the director, was FANTASTIC....The number of animals that we saw was incredible. This is a great trip. The riding on the dirt roads was rough but well worth the trip.

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:DAVID MICHITSCH
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:7
Traveled:December 2015

This was our second trip to the African continent. We had done South Africa with Vantage in March. We enjoyed this trip the most. We loved So. Africa, but the animals were much more abundant on this trip! It is such a fantastic experience to encounter the lions, elephants, etc. up close. It is such a thrill to see your first lion, and we saw so many I can't even count. The hotels, and the tented camp were just amazing. We especially like Masai Mara, but all of there were wonderful. They even gave us a catered breakfast on the river (by the hippos, and crocks) the there. A fantastic treat. You won't see those animals at your normal breakfast venue! Our guide was great, and really knew his stuff. We were fortunate enough to only have 4 people in our vehicle, so could really enjoy the sights and were able to stand up in the vehicle to take pictures any time we wanted to. Again, Vantage did a great job with the whole trip. I would go again if I could, it is truly a trip of a lifetime.

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Best Trip Ever

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:DAVID MICHITSCH
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:6
Traveled:December 2015

This was the most amazing trip we have ever taken. The animals were awesome, the lodging wonderful, food great, and tours very good!! We thought South Africa was the best until we came to Kenya and Tanzania. If you are thinking of doing it, don't hesitate-you will be so happy you did!!!!

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:DAVID MICHITSCH
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:7
Traveled:December 2015

This was my favorite trip ever! The animals were amazing, we saw all 5 of the "big 5". I can't even count the amount of lions we saw. The accomadations were great, my favorite was Masai Mara and the Tented Camp was very cool. Our guide Hoti was wonderful, and we still facebook. Overall, for the money, I would say we got our moneys worth, and then some! Don't hesitate, just do it.

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:SHARON WITT
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:October 2015

Vantage exceeded our expectations.
The itinerary was well designed as a loop to visit and see the animals and birds of
East Africa. We enjoyed each stop and appreciated unapacking only every other day.
The tented camp was EXTRA special. We have meories to last a lifetime.
Thank you, Blair and Sharon Witt

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:BARBARA LEVY
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:August 2015

This was the perfect trip and a great value. Our tour guide was David Kalama who turned out to be one of the best guides we could have hoped for. He was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, good humor and helpful with everything. The jeeps we used were all more comfortable than I had originally thought they would be. The lodges were fantastic and extremely comfortable with gorgeous views from every room. Each day on safari we spotted something exciting. Two different mornings we spotted a leopard in a tree with the morning kill, we watched a male and female lion mating, we saw the wildebeest's and zebras crossing the river in the migration and a crocodile grabbing one of the baby's. We saw giraffes, a rhino, loads of hippos sleeping in the river, monkeys, etc. The pace was perfect and we never were really tired. Some of the driving between national parks was long but we stopped along the way. The tented camp we stayed in for two nights was absolutely a 5 star. The tents were large, bathrooms with granite counter vanities and the dining was with white table clothes with superb food and service. What a delight in the Serengeti !! Traveling through the towns or villages was an experience seeing a lot of poverty. These people work very hard to make a living whereas there is no welfare given to them. Everyone of them were friendly and greeted us with open arms. Hopefully Vantage will do a post trip with this tour in the future to Rwanda for some gorilla trekking. I will repeat this trip if they do. Well worth the time and the money !!

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:JAMES JACOBS
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:1
Traveled:August 2015

Tour director David K. and driver Prosper the best.

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:CHRISTIANA DUGOPOLSKI
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:5
Traveled:July 2015

This was a fantastic trip. If you want to see and be surrounded by the animals of Africa, this is the trip for you. We saw the big 5, the small 5 and all types of wildlife in between. The guides and drivers were top notch and the hotels couldn't have been better. This was quite an emersion into Africa. One of the highlights was the balloon ride over the Serengeti. This optional tour was worth every penny.

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:JACK CLYMER
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:3
Traveled:June 2015

Kenya / Tanzania. was nzourrie sana, which is Swahili for beautiful ! A wonderful time had by my wife Elizabeth and myself. The tour director, George Killas, took us on a wonderful safari to villages, a school and all of the Serena Lodges in 5 National Parks. Each day held something more magical than the day before and the sites were incredible !The animals were all on show and we certainly saw them all, but my memories are mostly filled with the people we met and traveled with. My thanks to George, to Ole and to Firoz ! They made the trip outstanding ! Thank you Vantage, Jack Clymer

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:BARBARA HOPPER
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:April 2015

Magnificent tour, well planned and all our guides were outstanding. Seeing all these animals in their natural habitat was thrilling. I would recommend the balloon rides (I took both) but even one would be breathtaking if you've never done one. I would take this tour again in a heartbeat.

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The Heart of Africa: on Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:PATRICIA V ORMSBY
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:3
Traveled:March 2015

Would do this one again! Excellent accomodations, food, and travel mates. The animal sightings were one of the most memorable highlights of the trip. Very knowledgeable drivers who had a wonderful sense of humor and helped our small group feel like family or at least very good friends.

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Tanzania: Hidden Safari

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Michael & Annemarie Shetka
Gender: Male
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:February 2014

This Safari was an incredible experience. The Tanzanian people were warm, friendly, accommodating and very gracious.Most of our travelling companions had been on previous safari's and chose this one because we visited large pristine conservation areas. It was great to travel to remote Parks and Game Reserves via light aircraft, land on strips while being observed by elephants and other wild animals; avoid long hours on African Roads and arrive refreshed and ready to enjoy amazing game drives almost immediately. Sitting on our deck overlooking the Ruaha River observing hippos, giraffes and a huge variety of birdlife while sipping South African wine was priceless. At our camp in Selous Game Reserve we were thrilled to hear the grunting of nearby hippos every night and enjoyed the adventure of being escorted by Masai to our tented residence after dinner. We were in Ruaha and Selous in late February and the lush green landscape was breathtaking. We saw many elephants, lions, hippos, varieties of antelope, Giraffe, Zebra and buffalos. Everyday provided new experiences and the small group made the travel smooth and manageable. In Saadani National Park, about 60 miles south of Dar Es Saalam on the Indian Ocean we experienced a relatively new Park, excellent lodging and great sea food. They key was the sense of remoteness and exclusivity that we enjoyed while being educated about the flora and fauna by our excellent Program Manager, George Killas and our extremly helpful and knowledgeable naturalist guides and drivers. Uncrowded, wild and comfortable a real adventure to three of the exquisite jewels of the Tanzanian Park and Conservation effort executed in the classic Safari style. Truly a Deluxe World Travel experience that will live in our memories for the rest of our lives.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Richard & Mable Seymour
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:April 2013

This trip was excellent in every regard and far exceeded our expectations. We saw much wildlife on every game drive. The program manager, Seif Mohammed, was excellent as were our driver-guides, Mo and Oni. The hotels were first class and the food was excellent. We had breakfast in the bush on one occasion and it was prepared as though we were right in the hotel. The jeeps were a little cramped at times with all of the luggage and photography equipment, but everyone shared the rotation of seating and all worked out very well. We could not have asked for more or enjoyed a trip more. It was phenomenal! Thank you to Vantage, Seif, Mo & Oni for truly making this a trip of a lifetime!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:David & Kelley Groesser
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:April 2013

I can not say anything negative about this trip. Unbelieveable is an understatement. The hotels were perfect and the scenery was out of this world. I recommend that if you have a love for animals and adventure that this is the trip for you. Our guides were informative and very helpful in every aspect. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Richard & Mable Seymour
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:April 2013

This trip was excellent in every regard and far exceeded our expectations. We saw much wildlife on every game drive. The program manager, Seif Mohammed, was excellent as were our driver-guides, Mo and Oni. The hotels were first class and the food was excellent. We had breakfast in the bush on one occasion and it was prepared as though we were right in the hotel. The jeeps were a little cramped at times with all of the luggage and photography equipment, but everyone shared the rotation of seating and all worked out very well. We could not have asked for more or enjoyed a trip more. It was phenomenal! Thank you to Vantage, Seif, Mo & Oni for truly making this a trip of a lifetime!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:David & Kelley Groesser
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:April 2013

I can not say anything negative about this trip. Unbelieveable is an understatement. The hotels were perfect and the scenery was out of this world. I recommend that if you have a love for animals and adventure that this is the trip for you. Our guides were informative and very helpful in every aspect. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Billie Jean Ford
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:March 2013

This was the trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget! There was nothing negative about it as the accommodations, food, seeing of game, etc was outstanding. David, our program manager was extremely knowledgable about the animals that we saw and made certain that we saw "The Big 5" among many, many others. My highlight was the "wedding" David had arranged for me to marry a Maasai warrior and I was given the robe that the Maasai wear as a keepsake. It was absolutely thrilling and still fun to watch it on my camera. I truly had the best trip ever and it was worth every penny and more!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Billie Jean Ford
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:March 2013

This was the trip of a lifetime and one I will never forget! There was nothing negative about it as the accommodations, food, seeing of game, etc was outstanding. David, our program manager was extremely knowledgable about the animals that we saw and made certain that we saw "The Big 5" among many, many others. My highlight was the "wedding" David had arranged for me to marry a Maasai warrior and I was given the robe that the Maasai wear as a keepsake. It was absolutely thrilling and still fun to watch it on my camera. I truly had the best trip ever and it was worth every penny and more!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Barrie & Mary Ann Rich
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:October 2012

This was an unbelievable experience. The Program Director, David, was absolutely fabulous. The people in our group were wonderful and the sights were amazing. You were up close to the animals, right in their backyard. We are planning to go to South Africa after having experienced this Safari. Nothing can compare.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Barrie & Mary Ann Rich
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:October 2012

This was an unbelievable experience. The Program Director, David, was absolutely fabulous. The people in our group were wonderful and the sights were amazing. You were up close to the animals, right in their backyard. We are planning to go to South Africa after having experienced this Safari. Nothing can compare.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Glenna Keller
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:September 2012

Vantage planned and followed though with everything. All of our travel arrangements and tours were handled with care so that we were always comfortable, on schedule but with ample time to enjoy and learn about what we were touring. Our guides were experts on the safaris, animals and their habitats. We saw every animal and even the migration thanks to our guides knowledge and persistent. Our every needs were met. The lodging was exceptional, as were the meals. The group was not large, so that we actual developed lasting friendships within our group. I would recommend this trip to anyone wishing a life time adventure with memories that will stay with you forever.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Glenna Keller
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:4
Traveled:September 2012

Vantage planned and followed though with everything. All of our travel arrangements and tours were handled with care so that we were always comfortable, on schedule but with ample time to enjoy and learn about what we were touring. Our guides were experts on the safaris, animals and their habitats. We saw every animal and even the migration thanks to our guides knowledge and persistent. Our every needs were met. The lodging was exceptional, as were the meals. The group was not large, so that we actual developed lasting friendships within our group. I would recommend this trip to anyone wishing a life time adventure with memories that will stay with you forever.

Cruise Director Excellence

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Deluxe Tanzania Safari & the History of Zanzibar

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Brenda Davenport
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:7
Traveled:June 2012

This was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this trip for those seeking a true adventure. The camp at Ruaha was exciting and dinners on the dry river bed were unforgettable. The local guides for outings in the jeep were exceptional in all three camps. A terrific trip.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania.

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Joan Frederick
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:1
Traveled:March 2012

I have traveled to many other countries, but none have moved me in quite the way Africa has. It is not just a place to visit and say I've been there. There is something unexpected that makes you fall in love with the country, the people, its culture and heritage. And I felt a definite cultural connection with the country, the people, their way of life and what they want for their country and the people in the future. I hope some day to travel to South Africa as well.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania.

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Joan Frederick
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:1
Traveled:March 2012

I have traveled to many other countries, but none have moved me in quite the way Africa has. It is not just a place to visit and say I've been there. There is something unexpected that makes you fall in love with the country, the people, its culture and heritage. And I felt a definite cultural connection with the country, the people, their way of life and what they want for their country and the people in the future. I hope some day to travel to South Africa as well.

Cruise Director Excellence

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Harvey & Barbara Gershenson
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:3
Traveled:February 2012

Africa is the most photogenic place in the world. No matter how many pictures you take there will be another photo op around the next bush or tree. This visit was number one on my bucket list. We would return to Africa every year if we could.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Harvey & Barbara Gershenson
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:3
Traveled:February 2012

Africa is the most photogenic place in the world. No matter how many pictures you take there will be another photo op around the next bush or tree. This visit was number one on my bucket list. We would return to Africa every year if we could.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Roberta Kane
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:October 2011

My safari to Kenya and Tanzania was an AMAZING ADVENTURE. I am a widow and no one in my family wanted to go so I went alone and met my Vantage group in Nairobi, Kenya. This trip was everything I had dreamed about and more. The warmth of the African people, the amazing sunrises and sunsets on the savannah and the incredible numbers and variety of animals we saw. Our guides Newton and Witress were so knowledgeable about the animals and in spotting them. We were lucky, we saw the BIG5 -leopard, lion, elephant, cape buffalo and the black rhino. We saw them so close you almost felt you could touch them but we were in the cages(jeeps) and they were roaming free. Our lodges were wonderful - beautiful rooms, terrific food, amazing views from our verandas and relaxing "Sundowners" at the end of the day. This was my 8th trip with Vantage and if there ever was one trip I would be delighted to repeat, this would be it. I could be packed in an hour!!!

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Roberta Kane
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:2
Traveled:October 2011

My safari to Kenya and Tanzania was an AMAZING ADVENTURE. I am a widow and no one in my family wanted to go so I went alone and met my Vantage group in Nairobi, Kenya. This trip was everything I had dreamed about and more. The warmth of the African people, the amazing sunrises and sunsets on the savannah and the incredible numbers and variety of animals we saw. Our guides Newton and Witress were so knowledgeable about the animals and in spotting them. We were lucky, we saw the BIG5 -leopard, lion, elephant, cape buffalo and the black rhino. We saw them so close you almost felt you could touch them but we were in the cages(jeeps) and they were roaming free. Our lodges were wonderful - beautiful rooms, terrific food, amazing views from our verandas and relaxing "Sundowners" at the end of the day. This was my 8th trip with Vantage and if there ever was one trip I would be delighted to repeat, this would be it. I could be packed in an hour!!!

Cruise Director Excellence

Accommodations Excellence

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Anna Marie Henry
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:6
Traveled:July 2010

This is and probably will remain my favorite trip with Vantage. Awesome is the only word that come to mind for this experience. To see and experience the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the entire trip was a marvel. I did this trip as a single traveler and would do it again.

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The Heart of Africa: On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

OVERALL RATING
Traveler:Anna Marie Henry
Gender: Female
Vantage Journeys Taken:6
Traveled:July 2010

This is and probably will remain my favorite trip with Vantage. Awesome is the only word that come to mind for this experience. To see and experience the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater, the entire trip was a marvel. I did this trip as a single traveler and would do it again.

Cruise Director Excellence

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