Ultimate Africa Adventure: Southern & East Africa Deluxe Safari - 2020

Johannesburg • Chobe National Park • Hwange National Park • Victoria Falls National Park • Kruger National Park • Nairobi • Amboseli National Park • Lake Manyara • Ngorongoro Crater • Serengeti National Park • Masai Mara National Park
  • $533
  • 30
  • 52
32 DAYS FROM $15,999
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Cape Town, South Africa

6 DAYS FROM $1,599

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If you’re planning the ultimate African safari, it can be almost impossible to choose between southern and East Africa. Each of these destinations offer so much that is unmissable and unforgettable. In southern Africa, the thrill is in the hunt. Every bend in the road or twist in the river promises exciting discoveries and unexpected sightings. In east Africa, where the great wildebeest migration turns the plains black from horizon to horizon, the joy is in witnessing the incredible abundance of wildlife and the unbroken circle of life.

Now, you can experience both sides of safari in a single journey — which has recently been enhanced! We’ve combined two of our most highly rated adventures — Best of Africa and On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania — to create the quintessential safari offering unsurpassed value. You’ll visit eight of Africa’s greatest game parks — three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites — and enjoy 52 excursions and Cultural Discoveries, including a wealth of game drives and wildlife encounters (including 2 extra game drives!), and visit a stunning nine national parks.

This also includes NEW enhancements, including an additional night in the esteemed, luxurious Kirawira Tented Camp (2 indulgent nights total) and two additional game drives... adding to what is already the best value in deluxe travel. Plus, on our optional Cape Town extension, you can now enjoy a thrilling, bucket-list-busting experience: Shark Cage Diving!  This will truly be an unforgettable adventure.

Your journey starts in southern Africa, where you’ll explore the elephant-rich wilds of Chobe National Park in Botswana and Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, and track game in one of the most predator-rich parts of South Africa’s Kruger National Park. In east Africa, you’ll watch nature’s drama unfold against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, share the shade with tree-climbing lions, descend into the Ngorongoro Crater’s Garden of Eden, and trek the endless plains of the Serengeti and Masai Mara.

But that’s only part of the story. You’ll stand before the awesome might of Victoria Falls and dine in the starlit bush beside the Zambezi. You’ll meet children at their schools and villagers in their homes, learn about the heroic efforts to save the painted dog, hear poignant stories about apartheid in Soweto, and ancient tribal tales around the campfire.

Of course, you’ll be traveling in true comfort and classic safari style. All our hotels and lodges have been selected for their impeccable quality and ideal locations. You’ll also stay at three remarkable tented camps, one of which is the Vantage-exclusive Iganyana Tented Camp, a secluded 15-tent getaway that will make us feel as though we have the African wilderness all to ourselves.

To top it off, you’ll benefit from substantial savings by combining two journeys into one — including FREE international airfare. And, if you’re traveling solo, there are limited free Single Supplements available. Join us on this ultimate African adventure and enjoy the best value in deluxe safari travel.

Click here to get a glimpse of the wildlife you may encounter on this adventure — plus, tips on how to capture the perfect photo for a lifetime of memories.

Johannesburg to Nairobi

Pre-Trip Extension

Cape Town, South Africa

FROM: $1599 PER PERSON | 6 DAYS | $266 PER DAY
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DAY 1:

Depart home for Johannesburg, South Africa

Your adventure begins with an overnight flight to South Africa, arriving in Johannesburg on Day 2.

Please note: Arrive to your destination or home rested and refreshed! Convenient gateway city stopover options mean you can break up longer flights easily — just ask our Flight Experts for assistance.

DAY 2:

Arrive in Johannesburg, one of Africa’s most important cities

Today you’ll arrive in Joburg, as it’s affectionately known — one of Africa’s most exciting and energetic cities. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a Vantage representative and transferred to your sophisticated and centrally located hotel. You have the rest of the day to rest and relax after your journey.

DAY 3:

Tour Soweto and visit Nelson Mandela’s former home

After breakfast, we head off to Soweto — an abbreviation of “South-Western Townships.” This historic township was at the heart of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, and many of the country’s most important leaders lived here at one time or another. In fact, Vilikazi Street in Soweto is the only street in the world where two Nobel Peace Prize winners have lived: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Once a run-down shantytown, Soweto has become an important part of Joburg’s economy, and is now home to many successful businesspeople and several affluent neighborhoods. Our guide will show us both sides of Soweto and provide us with fascinating descriptions of life here. We visit Vilikazi street, stopping at the house where Nelson Mandela lived before he was arrested, and tour the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, which commemorates the role students played in the struggle against apartheid. Cultural Discovery: We’ll enjoy a traditional lunch at a vibrant local restaurant, where we’ll get a taste of township hospitality.

After lunch, we’ll return to our hotel and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation around the pool with its magnificent views over the city. This evening, we’ll all get together for an orientation meeting and a Welcome Dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 4:

Fly to Chobe National Park in Botswana and take a sunset river cruise

This morning, it’s back to the airport — but this time our flight will be much shorter. When we land in Kasane in Botswana, we’ll transfer to Chobe Safari Lodge on the banks of the Chobe River, right next door to Chobe National Park.

We’ll have time to relax and unwind at the lodge before we head out on a sunset cruise on the Chobe River. The river, which forms the northern boundary of Chobe National Park, is a magnet for wildlife year-round, and especially in the dry season. Hippos and crocodiles patrol its waterways, and huge numbers of elephants come to bathe and drink. We may also see the rare and unusual puku antelope, along with zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo. Bring your binoculars along, as the birdlife on this river is exceptional. When the sun has set and stars start to twinkle, we’ll return to the lodge for a delicious buffet dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 5:

Spot wildlife on a Chobe game drive and relax on a Vantage-exclusive river cruise

This morning, we’ll go for an early game drive inside Chobe National Park — one of Africa’s great wildlife destinations. We’ll explore its beautiful landscapes of lush forests and thick bush while keeping an eye out for the thousands of elephants, huge herds of buffaloes, and majestic prides of lions who live here.

After our game drive, we’ll return to the lodge to freshen up before we board the luxury Chobe Explorer. On our Vantage-exclusive Chobe River cruise, we’ll float along in effortless comfort, relaxing in the comfortable lounge or swinging in suspended, shaded loungers on the upper deck. From our elevated position, we’ll watch the scenery go by, soaking up the beauty of this incredible wetland. We’ll also keep an eye out for pods of chortling hippos, herds of playful elephants, languorous crocodiles, and graceful red lechwe antelope that are common in these parts.

At lunchtime, we’ll go down to the restaurant on the lower deck for a traditional African "braai," or barbecue. (For those who aren’t big meat eaters, there will be vegetarian options.) Later, as the sun sets, bathing the landscape in a golden glow, we’ll return to our lodge for a leisurely dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 6:

Experience a professional photo safari followed by an afternoon game drive in Chobe National Park

You’re in for a real thrill today: a pro photo safari on the Chobe River. After an unhurried breakfast at the lodge, we’ll board special boats equipped with swivel chairs and mounted, state-of-the-art DSLR cameras with zoom lenses.

Your guide is a photography expert who’ll teach you how to use the camera equipment and show you how to get the best wildlife photographs. As you float along the Chobe River, you’ll be able to take frame-worthy pictures of elephants, crocodiles, hippos, fish eagles, and more. And, when you leave, you’ll take the memory card with you: a treasure trove of spectacular wildlife photos you took yourself.

But the excitement isn’t over yet. After lunch at the lodge, we’ll go for an afternoon game drive in Chobe National Park. With our newly honed photography skills, we’ll be able to make the most of the gorgeous light of the "golden hour" and capture even more memorable moments. We’ll return to the lodge for dinner with our senses saturated in the wild beauty of the bush.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 7:

Travel to Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe and explore our private concession on a game drive

After breakfast, we’ll cross the border into Zimbabwe and drive to Hwange, to reach our luxury tented safari camp, partaking in lunch en route. Iganyana Tented Camp is a Vantage-exclusive property that recalls the safari days of yore while offering delightfully modern indulgences. Once we’ve settled into our spacious, air-conditioned tents we’ll seek out wildlife on an afternoon game drive on our private concession.

Throughout our Hwange stay, we'll have the privilege of exploring a carefully managed private concession, so we’ll encounter fewer vehicles and be less likely to frighten animals away. We’ll be sure to scan the surroundings for wild dogs, as this part of Zimbabwe is famous for them.

On our return, we’ll sip sundowner drinks on the raised viewing deck and watch as elephants and other game wander up to the nearby water hole for their evening drink. After a delicious dinner, we’ll relax with stargazing around the fire and see if we can spot the Southern Cross constellation, known to locals as The Giraffe Stars. Then we’ll head to bed for a blissful night’s sleep, lulled by the sounds of the African bush.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Chobe in Style - Luxury Morning River Cruise with a 4-country lecture

Chobe in Style - Luxury Morning River Cruise with a 4-country lecture

  • Approximate Cost: $129 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 2 hours
  • Location: Chobe, Botswana
  • When: Morning Tour
Before you say your final goodbye to the Chobe River, take one last luxury cruise on its iconic dark waters. This morning, you’ll be collected at the jetty to board your luxury private boat, The Chobe Style, with comfortable lounge seaters. Choose between a water-level view on the lower deck, or a bird’s eye view on the upper deck, and settle into the luxurious leather seating. As you cruise in style past hippos, elephants, and other wildlife, a local storyteller will tell you about the history of this fabled river where four countries meet. You’ll hear some fascinating stories about the area’s journey from a war-torn region to one of the most sought-after safari destinations, the meeting of two iconic African rivers whose floods feed the mighty Victoria Falls, and much more. But, that’s not all. The gentle cruise will take you to the famous Raft Restaurant in the middle of the Chobe River, where you’ll be greeted with a traditional song by the smiling and beautifully dressed staff. Here, you’ll be treated to a private exclusive Champagne farewell with delicious hot canapés. With 360-degree views of the river and overlooking what is arguably the most game rich island in the whole of the Chobe region, you’ll enjoy your last wildlife viewing on the Chobe River in a setting and style like no other. This tour would be a wonderful treat for a loved one, or a great way for solo travelers to get to know each other. To keep this excursion as comfortable and exclusive as possible, we have limited guests to a maximum of 15 people, so make sure to book early!

DAY 8:

Spot wildlife in Hwange on morning and afternoon game drives and hear traditional tribal tales

An early morning safari in Hwange National Park is an excellent opportunity to see some of the magnificent predators this park is known for. In the cool of the early morning, nocturnal hunters are still out and about. If we’re lucky, we may see lions stalking their prey, or spot a leopard snoozing in a tree with the tasty remains of an unfortunate impala after a successful night’s hunt.

Lunch will be served back at our tented camp, then we’ll set out for an afternoon game drive in our private concession. For animals in Africa, afternoons are the peak time to head to their local water hole for a drink. And, since Hwange has a plethora of well-frequented water holes, afternoon game drives are always productive here. As animals of all sizes, from baboons to buffalo, gather around the water, so too do their predators, hoping for an opportune moment for an easy kill.

Excited by a day full of wildlife sightings, we’ll return to camp for dinner, cooked over the coals by our accomplished chef. Then we’ll gather around the fireside once more. Cultural Discovery: Here, under the sparkling blanket of the Milky Way, a local storyteller will enthrall us with traditional tales of the Shona and Ndebele tribes.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 9:

Special explorations: A walking safari and a night game drive in Hwange

After breakfast, we’ll don walking shoes and neutral-colored clothes. We’re about to go on a walking safari! These thrilling adventures are only offered in special parts of national parks and we’ll be led by a highly experienced professional safari guide.

On foot, we’re much closer to the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of the bush. We may trace the outline of a lion’s paw-print in the sand; crumble fragrant wild basil between our fingers; track the call of a giant eagle owl; sneak up on prancing zebras; or discover the mystery at the heart of an ant lion’s den. Every walking safari is different; every square foot of wilderness has stories to tell — and our guide knows them all.

After lunch at camp and a relaxing afternoon, we enjoy another exclusive safari adventure: an evening game drive. As dusk falls, our guide will use his sharp eyes and a spotlight to find elusive nocturnal animals such as big-eyed bush babies, spotted hyenas, and bat-eared foxes. Nighttime in the bush is simultaneously serene and exhilarating and we’ll return for dinner with rosy cheeks and hearty appetites.

Cultural Discovery: This evening, enjoy a special performance of traditional African dance — a perfect coda to our day.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 10:

Learn about African painted dogs and take a tour of the Victoria Falls

This morning we bid a reluctant farewell to the friendly staff of Iganyana. But, before we leave Hwange, we stop to visit the camp’s namesake. Iganyana means Painted Dog, and, as Vantage travelers, you’ll be contributing to the conservation of these beautiful but severely threatened animals.

At the Painted Dog Conservation Center, we’ll learn more about these distinctive dogs with their Mickey Mouse ears and coats brushed in black, white, and gold. Once plentiful, only a few thousand of these graceful hunters remain. We’ll hear about their lives and what threatens them. We may even have the chance to see some of the rescued dogs the center rehabilitates.

We drive on to the town of Victoria Falls, where we check into the utterly elegant Victoria Falls Hotel. We’ll enjoy lunch overlooking the lush hotel lawns, which offer a spectacular view of the mists from the Victoria Falls. But, we’ll be getting much closer to them soon!

On a guided tour of the Victoria Falls National Park, we’ll be able to stand right on the edge of the fern-covered cliffs and gaze into the boiling depths of the Devil’s Cataract. The roar of the falls is overwhelming, and the spray so heavy that we recommend wearing a raincoat. After soaking up the unforgettable sight and awe-inspiring might of the falls, we return to the colonial tranquility of our hotel for a splendid dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 11:

Choose to fly over the falls, visit a craft market and enjoy dinner with a local family

This morning, you may decide to wake up early to take the "Flight of Angels." This spectacular helicopter ride will give you an angel's eye view of the falls. And, the extended “Zambezi Spectacular” flight also includes aerial game viewing along the river. The falls are impressive from any vantage point, but soaring over them is an experience that promises to entrance you.

After breakfast, we’ll visit a local market. Cultural Discovery: This is a fun opportunity to interact with local artists and, of course, the perfect chance to bargain for souvenirs, such as the distinctive stone carvings Zimbabwe is famous for.

We have the afternoon free to stroll around the town of Victoria Falls, or luxuriate in the sunshine beside the hotel pool. Cultural Discovery and Unforgettable Moment: Tonight, we’re invited into the home of a local family for dinner. Zimbabweans are some of the friendliest people in the world, and these evenings are always full of laughter and fellowship.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: “Flight of Angels” over Victoria Falls,

“Flight of Angels” over Victoria Falls

  • Approximate Cost: $179 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 12-15 minutes
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Morning Tour
When David Livingstone wrote about his first sight of the Victoria Falls, he said that “scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. The ‘Flight of Angels’ actually gives you the chance to see the falls as an angel — or an eagle — would. The most popular of the helicopter flights, it lifts off less than two miles from Victoria Falls town center and takes you over the Zambezi River to fly a complete circuit above the Falls in both directions. The 12 to 15-minute flight gives you the best possible views of the falls, and will certainly leave you agreeing with Dr Livingstone.

Zambezi Spectacular Flight

Zambezi Spectacular Flight

  • Approximate Cost: $349 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 25 minutes
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Morning Tour
For a longer ride than the ‘Flight of Angels’, treat yourself to an unbelievable helicopter flight over Victoria Falls and the mighty Zambezi River. This 25-minute scenic helicopter flight over Victoria Falls guarantees spectacular views, making a complete circuit over the Falls in both directions. You’ll also fly over the zig-zagging Batoka Gorge and see the eight past positions of the Victoria Falls, carved away by the water over the millennia. Finally, you’ll fly over Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve, where you can spot wildlife from the air.

DAY 12:

Meet children at a Vantage Cares school and enjoy a bush dinner in Victoria Falls National Park

This morning you can enjoy a long, leisurely breakfast, or you may opt to go on an exciting early morning Elephant Encounter. This powerful experience allows you to interact directly with these majestic creatures, and even feed them. Being so close to them, and learning about the work being done to save them, is both enlightening and rewarding. 

Cultural Discovery / Vantage Cares: This afternoon, we’ll visit Chinotimba Primary School, where we’ll be greeted with smiles and songs from the children, and get a chance to interact with them and learn about their lives. Vantage Cares, our philanthropic arm, supports the school, so you can see firsthand the good you’re helping to do by traveling with us. Many travelers say this is one of the unexpected highlights of the trip.

Later, you may choose to take a cruise on the Zambezi River. Glide along this timeless waterway, and be treated to a talk about the "Trails of David Livingstone." You’ll be floating along the very same stretch of river the legendary explorer once navigated, and a third-generation Zimbabwean storyteller will reveal Livingstone lore that few history books include.

Cultural Discovery and Unforgettable Moment: This evening, we’ll drive into Victoria Falls National Park for an unforgettable African experience: an exclusive three-course dinner in the bush beneath a blanket of stars. Safari guides will be on hand to enhance the evening with their knowledge, and we’ll be entertained by local dancers as we dine.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner
Optional Tour: Elephant, Vic Falls Wildlife Trust laboratory, and Local Village Experience,

Elephant, Vic Falls Wildlife Trust laboratory, and Local Village Experience

  • Approximate Cost: $295 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 3.5 hours
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Morning tour
Pay a visit to The Wallow, a large, thatched boma overlooking the Masuie River, which provides a magnificent setting for guests to enjoy an elephant interaction in the Wild Horizons Wildlife Sanctuary.

Arrive to fresh welcome towels and tea, coffee, croissants and muffins. After an introductory talk, you’ll notice the elephants emerging from the bush to take up their positions in front of the deck, according to hierarchy. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to get so close and to elephants, and you’ll be able to stroke them, and feed them treats. The staff are knowledgeable, and the love, trust and understanding between handlers and elephants is heart-warming to see.

You’ll then hear more about the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust (a Vantage Cares program), and have an opportunity to exclusively visit the Wildlife trust’s laboratory for a lecture and firsthand experience on the great efforts that goes into wildlife conservation. The tour continues with a visit to Mpisi village, where the chief will do a presentation and take you to visit a few households. Here you’ll get to see the various huts families live in, and learn about the daily chores and work done in a traditional household. At the kraal, you’ll see their livestock and get to know about traditional animal husbandry practices.

Trails of David Livingstone - Zambezi River Cruise

Trails of David Livingstone - Zambezi River Cruise

  • Approximate Cost: $99 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 2.5 hours
  • Location: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
  • When: Afternoon tour
Although Victoria Falls is famous for its spectacular cascades, the wide and smooth stretch of the Zambezi River above them should certainly not be overlooked. On this special cultural cruise, we’ll sip sundowners and watch the sun set over this timeless waterway, while listening to a talk about the ‘Trails of David Livingstone’. Our sightseeing boat will be floating along the very same stretch of river the legendary explorer once navigated, and our third-generation Zimbabwean storyteller will reveal Livingstone lore that few history books include. After hearing these riveting tales, we’re sure to look at Livingstone’s life a little differently. Your guide will also help point out wildlife along the river’s edge, including hippos, crocodiles, and even elephants. Snacks and drinks are included.

DAY 13:

Fly to Kruger National Park in South Africa

After breakfast at our hotel, we transfer to the Livingstone airport for our flight to the Kruger National Park. It’s a short drive from here to our tented safari camp on the banks of the Sabie River.

This riverside lodge is conveniently close to the park gates, and provides us with a tranquil base to explore one of the largest game reserves in Africa, and South Africa’s first national park. We’ll spend the afternoon at leisure, perhaps taking a brief hike on the grounds, or simply sitting on the banks of the Sabie River with a chilled glass of Chardonnay. Dinner is at our lodge tonight.

Included Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 14:

Explore the Kruger Park on a full-day game drive

After breakfast at the lodge, we’ll get our cameras and binoculars, ready for a full-day game drive in the Kruger National Park.

The route we’ll take offers one of the best chances of seeing lion in Kruger, as there’s always prey along the river. And, the sheer number of animals in the Sabie River area means that there's a high kill rate here. Many game trails cross the road, so we’ll probably drive very slowly, as there’s always the prospect of good sightings.

Birders will want to train their binoculars on the large trees lining the watercourses. The marulas, matumis, Jackal-berries, and acacias are important food sources for the many birds in this area. We’ll also look out for birds of prey such as vultures and eagles over the floodplains. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch at a scenic spot inside the park, returning to our lodge in time for dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 15:

Go on two more exciting Kruger game drives

By now we’re well on our way to becoming safari experts, so we’ll appreciate the opportunity to experience Kruger in the early morning and evening. We’ll be up with the birds this morning for our first game drive, hoping for a sighting of predators still out hunting, or enjoying the spoils of a successful kill.

We’ll return to our lodge in time for lunch and a little down time, before we return to Kruger Park for one last, lovely game drive here. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy dinner at our lodge.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 16:

Depart Kruger for Nairobi, Kenya

Today, we say goodbye to southern Africa and begin our journey to the continent’s legendary eastern region. We’ll transfer to Nelspruit Airport where we’ll catch our flight to Nairobi via Johannesburg. Arriving in Kenya’s capital, we’ll transfer to our deluxe hotel and enjoy an evening at leisure as we look forward to our continued adventures.

Included Meals:


DAY 17:

Meet orphaned elephants, feed giraffes, and visit the home of Karen Blixen

After breakfast this morning, we’ll take a short drive to Nairobi National Park to visit the Daphne Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. Born from one family’s passion for Kenya, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. A keeper will give us a talk about the baby elephants and we’ll be able to get very close to them. The orphanage also takes in rhinos, so we may get the chance to see a young rhino.

From here, we’ll visit the Giraffe Centre. First opened to protect the endangered Rothschild's giraffe, the Giraffe Center offers you the chance to see and even feed the giraffes from an elevated viewing platform.

We’ll continue to the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, where we’ll have lunch in the historic farm manager’s house, dating back to the early 1900s. After lunch here, we’ll visit the Karen Blixen Museum nearby, which was once the home of the author of Out of Africa. Here we’ll see how she lived, and admire artifacts from her days in the bush. This visit transports us back in time to the golden era of safari, when Blixen herself said, “There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows . . . bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”

We’ll return to the hotel to relax before dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 18:

Arrive in Amboseli National Park and take an afternoon game drive

After breakfast, we begin our Kenyan safari with a drive through unspoiled savannas to Amboseli National Park. If it’s a clear day, we’ll be able to see the snowcapped summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, looming above us.

We’ll arrive at our lodge in time for lunch in the restaurant. After some time to relax and settle in, we’ll meet for coffee and tea, and a safari briefing on the verandah. Then we’ll set out on our first game drive.

The name "Amboseli" comes from a Maasai word meaning "salty dust" — a reference to the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli. We’ll explore a range of habitats here, from wetlands with sulphur springs to savanna plains and woodlands — all against the majestic backdrop of Kilimanjaro. Wildlife is prolific here, and we’re sure to spot all sorts of game, from herds of elephants and zebras, to lazy lions and towering giraffe. We’ll return to our lodge for dinner and a pleasant night’s rest.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 19:

Explore Amboseli and spot wildlife on two game drives

Today we’ll fall into the rhythm of safari life. On most safari days, we rise early to catch sight of predators as they finish their nighttime hunts. We usually rest in the middle of the day, just as the animals do, before setting out again on our afternoon "hunt."

Every detail has been considered to ensure you have fruitful game-viewing experiences. Your guides know the bush inside and out, and can offer fascinating insights about the ecosystems and environment. Specially outfitted six-seat safari vehicles ensure you have a window seat, and the pop-up roof allows for excellent viewing and photography. Your sharp-eyed driver-guides help you spot even the most elusive wildlife.

On our morning game drive today, we’ll also get to witness a way of life virtually untouched for thousands of years when we visit a local Maasai village. Cultural Discovery: Despite the encroachment of Western civilization, the Maasai people have clung tenaciously to their traditional ways, making them one of the world’s last great warrior cultures. We’ll be welcomed by a dance display, and be shown around their huts. We’ll see a fire-making demonstration, visit the kindergarten, and witness a spear throwing contest.

After lunch and a relaxing afternoon at the lodge, we’ll return to the bush in the late-afternoon for another game drive, followed by a delicious three-course dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 20:

Learn about Tanzanite gemstones and visit a community workshop on your way to Lake Manyara

After breakfast, we’ll bid farewell to Amboseli and start our journey to Tanzania’s Lake Manyara National Park. Our drive is long today, but it will be enriching, filled with breathtaking vistas.

We’ll pause at Namanga for border formalities, then drive through the town of Arusha, which is famous as the gateway for Mount Kilimanjaro. The foothills of Kilimanjaro are also the only place in the world where the unique Tanzanite gemstone is found. Displaying incredible blue and violet hues, it was first discovered in 1967. New York jewelers Tiffany & Co. declared it “the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in 2,000 years.” We’ll visit the famous Tanzanite Experience to learn more about its formation and history.

Next, we’ll pay a visit to Shanga, an open workshop for glass-blowing, weaving, sewing, tingatinga painting, bead-making and metal work. Cultural Discovery: Here we’ll see how Tanzanians with disabilities create unique, high-quality, handmade jewelry, glassware and homeware using recycled materials.

After a traditional Tanzanian lunch at Shanga, we’ll continue our journey. We’ll arrive at our luxury lodge inside Lake Manyara National Park in time to relax and enjoy dinner overlooking the stunning Rift Valley.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 21:

Visit a local village and look out for tree-climbing lions

After breakfast, we travel through sweeping farmland to Mto Wa Mbu village. Cultural Discovery: Here we’ll meet the local people and have the chance to glimpse their daily lives inside a home, church, primary school, and working banana plantation. Seeing the village from different perspectives, we gain insights on what life is like, as well as how it has evolved for the people of the village.

We’ll return to our lodge for a leisurely lunch, and then we’ll set out on a safari game drive in Lake Manyara National Park. The park offers a spectacular setting for game viewing, with its soda lake speckled with thousands of flamingoes, and dense woodlands where lions lounge in the trees. Large herds of buffalo, Masai giraffe, and impala roam the lake shores and the forested valley slopes.

This evening we’ll be entertained by a local song and dance performance around the pool before enjoying another sumptuous dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 22:

Tour a local coffee plantation and arrive at ‘Africa’s Garden of Eden’

Today’s destination is the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Created when a massive volcano exploded more than two million years ago, the crater is the largest intact caldera in the world.

Cultural Discovery:

On our way, we’ll stop at the renowned Gibb's Farm, a model for sustainable, environmentally respectful practices. The farm has won numerous awards and we’ll take a fascinating guided tour of its vegetable gardens and coffee plantations. Then, we’ll feast on a lunch of organic cuisine, fresh from the farm’s gardens, bakery, and dairy.

At last, we’ll ascend to the rim of the Ngorongoro crater, where our lodge overlooks its vast expanse. Named by the Maasai pastoralists after the sound produced by cowbells, this huge bowl is still grazed by herds of Maasai cattle, accompanied by their red-cloaked herdsmen. It’s also home to a staggering number of wild animals, most of whom never leave the crater. As livestock and wildlife live peacefully side by side here, the nickname Africa’s "Garden of Eden" seems quite apt.

There are no hotels or lodges inside the crater, but, because our lodge is right on its rim, we’ll enjoy easy access to it tomorrow. Meanwhile, we’ll relax at our lodge this afternoon, taking in the spectacular views and enjoying a memorable dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 23:

Spend the day exploring the incomparable Ngorongoro Crater

We set off early today on a magnificent full day safari game drive to experience one of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We’ll drive 2,000 feet down into the crater, then spend the day exploring its 100-square-mile floor.

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to see zebras, gazelle, wildebeests, buffalo, and black-maned lions — and perhaps even the rare black rhino. In all, more than 30,000 animals range across the wide grasslands, which are watered by a burbling spring and a large soda lake. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch inside the crater and continue our game viewing all afternoon, returning to our lodge in time for dinner.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 24:

Visit the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on your way to the Serengeti

To the Maasai people, Serengeti means “endless plains.” To the rest of the world, it’s synonymous with unspoiled Africa, brimming with iconic African flora and fauna, from acacia and baobab trees, to leopards and hippos. One of the oldest and most important ecosystems on Earth, the Serengeti is believed to have changed very little in more than a million years. This morning, we’ll depart early for a full-day transfer into this primordial wilderness.

On our way, we’ll visit Olduvai Gorge. Cultural Discovery: Dubbed the "Cradle of Mankind," this gorge revealed the earliest evidence of the existence of our human ancestors. It was here, in 1959, that Drs. Louis and Mary Leakey uncovered hominid fossils more than 2.5 million years old. In addition to the fascinating archaeological insights we’ll gain here, the realization that humanity had its roots in this valley is poignant. Thousands of miles from home, we’re reminded of where it all started.

Continuing our journey, we’ll arrive at the entrance to the Serengeti National Park in time for a picnic lunch. We’ll then take a game drive through the park to reach our lodge, where we’ll relax and enjoy dinner together.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 25:

Go on an optional balloon safari and two remarkable Serengeti game drives

Early risers may take advantage of the experience of a lifetime today: an optional Serengeti Balloon Safari. There’s nothing quite like soaring over the seemingly limitless plains of the Serengeti as the sun rises and the savannah awakens.

After breakfast, we’ll go for a morning game drive through the park, returning for lunch, followed by another game drive in the afternoon. We’ll take in the vast seas of grass swarming with wildlife, and witness the largest community of migrating plains game in the world. The Serengeti truly is the classic Africa of your imagination — and it’s all right here in front of you.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Serengeti Balloon Safari with Champagne Breakfast

Serengeti Balloon Safari with Champagne Breakfast

  • Approximate Cost: $549 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 - 5 hours
  • Location: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
  • When: Early morning tour

One of the most magically memorable of the Serengeti experiences, a balloon safari allows you to drift in silence above the splendor of the plains. Awakened by an early morning cup of tea, you’ll be driven to the balloon take-off point. There, you’ll meet your fully qualified balloon pilot and watch as the team inflates the enormous rainbow-colored balloon.

As dawn breaks and the balloon slowly rights itself, you’ll be helped into the wicker basket. Then the sandbags are cast off and the balloon rises majestically into the cool of the morning air and floats in whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. You may dip down to visit the hippo pools of the Grumeti River, or float just above the tree-tops to enjoy a bird's-eye view of the wildlife theater as it is enacted below you.

After a 45-minute flight, your balloon will descend to the plains, where the ground crew will greet you with a glass of chilled champagne. Then you’ll be treated to a full English breakfast, which is traditionally cooked on the burners of the balloon. After breakfast, enjoy a leisurely game drive back to the lodge.

DAY 26:

Enjoy a classic safari experience in a tented camp in the Serengeti

Today we’ll take a game drive to the Serengeti’s famous Western Corridor for an unforgettable safari experience at a luxury tented camp. Situated high on a ridge, with sweeping views of rolling terrain and volcanic outcroppings, the camp is styled to replicate the elegant camps of legendary hunters such as Denys Finch Hatton and Baron Bror Blixen. Your safari adventure here will be complemented by attentive personal service and five-star amenities.

After a fabulous lunch at the camp, you'll embark on an afternoon game drive, getting to know your ruggedly beautiful environs and seeing some of the creatures in this remote part of the Serengeti. Tonight, after a delicious dinner in the opulent dining tent, the sounds of the African night will lull you to sleep.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 27:

A full day of exploring the legendary Serengeti

Safari life is enchanting . . . each day seems to bring new vistas, special moments, and exhilarating discoveries. You’ll set off on morning and afternoon game drives today, scouring these timeless wilds for some of the Big Five and the countless other species that roam here.  Between game drives and after you can revel in the luxuries afforded you at Kirawira Tented Camp, perhaps enjoying a dip in the pool or a refreshing beverage at the Edwardian-style bar. The gourmet meals you’ll savor here will be another highlight of a day filled with them.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 28:

Visit a local fishing village on your way to the famed Masai Mara

We continue our circular route today, with special permission to cross the Kenyan border into the Masai Mara National Park. Cultural Discovery:

On our way, we’ll stop to visit a local fishing village at Lake Victoria, the world’s largest tropical lake and the source of the White Nile. The lakeshore supports some of Africa’s most vivid bird species, and we might be able to watch as fishermen bring in their catch to market. Upon arrival at our lodge, we’ll relax and sit down to dinner overlooking a water hole where animals come to drink.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 29:

Explore the Masai Mara on game drives and consider an incomparable balloon safari

This morning you have another opportunity to go on an optional hot air balloon safari. Float above the Mara plains at dawn in unsurpassed tranquility and beauty. Glide over the treetops and be wafted gently over the plains, cruising close to enjoy the spectacular scenery.

We’ll explore this prolific park on morning and afternoon game drives today. After so many spectacular safari adventures, what can we possibly experience that we haven’t already? The Masai Mara may surprise us. It’s globally famous for its exceptional population of lions, leopards, and cheetahs, so we may be lucky enough to have some close encounters with spotted cats. This seems particularly appropriate, since the word "Mara" means spotted in the local Maa language. And, while there are never guarantees on safari, it’s not unheard of to see all of the Big Five in a single game drive here.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner
Optional Tour: Masai Mara Balloon Safari with Champagne Breakfast

Masai Mara Balloon Safari with Champagne Breakfast

  • Approximate Cost: $549 USD per person
  • Approximate Time: 4 - 5 hours
  • Location: Masai Mara National Park
  • When: Early morning tour

Enhance your African safari tour by floating above it all as you embark on the balloon ride of a lifetime. This one-hour flight, starting early in the morning, will give you a bird’s-eye view of the best east Africa has to offer, in the magnificent setting of the Great Rift Valley just as the sun begins the rise. A champagne breakfast in the bush after you land adds to the buzz you’ll get from the early morning air, and the sense of serenity that comes from drifting silently above one of the world’s most beautiful wildernesses. A morning game drive back to your lodge offers an excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing, as early morning is the ideal time to see wild animals on the plains.

DAY 30:

Return to Nairobi for a memorable Farewell Dinner

After a last breakfast in the bush, we’ll drive back to Nairobi, stopping for a picnic lunch along the way. Back in the city, we’ll enjoy a Farewell Dinner at the hotel, where you'll get a chance to try several exotic meat dishes.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner

DAY 31:

Bid farewell to Africa and fly home

Our African wildlife safari comes to an end today. After breakfast and some last-minute souvenir shopping, we transfer to the airport for our flight home. You have now joined a collection of intrepid adventurers who have roamed Africa’s wildernesses and fallen under their spell. The memories will last a lifetime.

Included Meals:


Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or local representatives at the destination.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Note: That hotel ratings are based on the hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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