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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

2017 The Best of Kenya & Tanzania

80% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

18 Days from only $6795 including international airfare

Nairobi • Lake Nakuru • Amboseli • Tarangire • Lake Manyara • Ngorongoro Highlands & Crater • Serengeti National Park

Courtesy Josh Hayward
In Kibera: A Girl's Life

Venture to Kibera, Kenya's largest slum, where young girls are working hard to turn their dreams into realities.

Courtesy David Conover & Paul Villanova
Travelogue: Arusha, Tanzania 1950

Venture back nearly 70 years to witness Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater and Maasai tribal lands in this vintage 16mm footage.

Courtesy of MediaStorm
African Air

Witness the beauty of Africa’s diverse landscapes from the eyes of a paraglider.

Courtesy of Stephen Fish
Ngorongoro Crater

Uncover Ngorongoro Crater’s treasure chest of natural beauty—from elephants to zebras and lions.

©2014 The New York Times
The Rhythms of Tanzania

Sway to the rhythms of Tanzania, and learn how its diverse population influences its music.

including international airfare
17 DAYS FROM $5195 Land Adventure Only
  • 3 nights from only $695
    Single Supplement: $195
Extend Your Trip

Witness the diverse mix of tribal cultures at a village in the Rift Valley. Learn more


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Enjoy a Stopover in Amsterdam en route to Kenya.
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Find the Adventure That’s Right for You

Our Activity Level rating system ranks adventures on a scale of 1 to 5 to help you determine if a trip is right for you. See the descriptions below for more information about the physical requirements associated with each rating.

Activity Level 1:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 25 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 1-2 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last at least 1-2 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 2:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Easy

Travelers should be able to climb 40 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 2-3 miles over some uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for at least 2-3 hours at a time. Altitude can range from zero to 5,000 feet.

Activity Level 3:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 60 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 3 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 3 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 5,000 to 7,000 feet.

Activity Level 4:

1 2 3 4 5

Moderately Strenuous

Travelers should be able to climb 80 stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 4 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 7,000 to 9,000 feet.

Activity Level 5:

1 2 3 4 5


Travelers should be able to climb 100 or more stairs consecutively, plus walk at least 8 miles over some steep slopes and loose or uneven surfaces without difficulty. Walks typically last for 4 or more hours at a time. Altitude can range from 10,000 feet or more.

Itinerary Overview

Small Groups: Never more than 10-16 travelers—guaranteed!

Travel Africa on safari and experience east Africa’s stunning national parks ... its Maasai tribespeople, who can often be seen herding their cattle across the plains ... its big game, from lions to hippos ... the towering, cloud-shrouded peak of Mount Kilimanjaro ... and of course, the awe-inspiring migration of the wildebeest across the vast Serengeti plains. On this popular African safari, you'll discover all of this and more, as we explore the wild beauty of Kenya and Tanzania. Talk with local residents in a Maasai village and school, tour the home of Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, and stay in intimate lodges in breathtaking locations—including the heart of the Serengeti.

Make It Your Adventure

Personalize your trip to meet your individual needs, from preferred flights and air routing, to “breaking away” to spend more time in a destination.

  • O.A.T’s team of Adventure Specialists makes every effort to provide you with non-stop flights and acceptable connection times to and from your destination. You also have several other options for personalizing your air itinerary, which include:

    • Choose your departure city and airline: We list the most popular gateway cities on our website, but not all of them. If you don’t see yours listed, or there’s one that better suits your needs, let us know. You can also tell us if you have an airline preference and we will try to accommodation your request.
    • Depart from one city and return from another: Just because your flight leaves from one city doesn’t mean you have to return there. Maybe you flew out of Boston and wish to visit friends in Los Angeles after your trip is over. Tell us where you want to go and we’ll do our best to get you there.
    • Fly the way you want to: We’ll gladly arrange a flight upgrade to business or premium economy class if it’s available. And when you fly economy class, we’ll do our best to see that you get your choice of seating preference or even add a special meal request if you have dietary restrictions or needs.
  • Beginning with September 2017 departures, you can break up your lengthy flight to Nairobi, Kenya, and take time to relax, refresh, and add another stamp to your passport with a visit to Amsterdam before your main adventure—or before your pre-trip extension. An O.A.T. representative will meet you at the airport in Amsterdam and assist with your transfer into the city for three nights in a centrally-located hotel—the rest is up to you!

    From re-visiting the Old Masters at the Rijksmuseum to heading outside the city to explore picturesque Haarlem, there’s always something new to discover in this world-class city. Amsterdam Stopovers include three nights at the NH Barbizon Palace (or similar), daily breakfasts, and roundtrip airport transfers. Single Supplement is $195.

    Suggested Activities in Amsterdam

    • Gaze at an original Picasso sculpture as you stroll through Vondelpark. Created in 1965 to commemorate the park’s 100th anniversary, Figure découpée l’Oiseau—or, “The Bird”—is located in the southern end of the park.
    • Take a tour of the Heineken Brewery that dates back to 1867. Enjoy an interactive tour where you’ll get to sample beer and learn about the brewing process.
    • See the architectural stylings of 7 countries on one street. Commissioned in the late 19th century, this row of 7 houses on Amsterdam Street (called Zevenlandenhuizen) displays an eclectic mix of architecture from Spain, England, France, Russia, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands all in one place.
    • Take a short train ride to St. Bavokerk Church in Haarlem, the Netherlands and view an organ that Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Händel played.
    • Visit Jacob Hooy & Co, an 18th century herbalist’s shop near Nieuwmarkt. Dating back to 1743 when visitors sought to cure illnesses with opium and tobacco, the shop retains its original décor and transports travelers back to a simpler time.

  • You can extend your time abroad and "break away" anywhere you'd like to do more exploring on your own. Stay for a day, a week, or even a month in a favorite locale. Our Adventure Specialists can provide you with information on the accommodations we will use at the beginning of your trip so that you can make your own arrangements. That way, you'll know that you will be exactly where you need to be to meet your group.

  • Many of our travelers choose to take another trip directly after their first one ends. Think about it: If you’re already overseas, why not see more of the region and avoid the expense and length of another international flight? Many of our travelers have taken two or three consecutive trips before returning home. The most common adventure to combine with The Best of Kenya & Tanzania is Ultimate Africa, so we created Out of Africa: Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya & Tanzaniaa combination of the two trips. And now you’ll save an additional $250-$350 per person when you reserve two trips right after one another.

  • Many O.A.T. travelers simply don’t want their trips to end. With an array of pre- and post-trip extensions to choose from, you have the chance to experience more of the places you’ve traveled so far to see, including Kenya's Masai Mara Game Reserve and Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking. Plus, you lower your average per-day costs because you’re taking advantage of your already included international airfare.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

  • 3 nights from only $695

    Break up your lengthy flight to Nairobi, Kenya, with a 3-night Stopover in Amsterdam before your main adventure or before your pre-trip extension. An O.A.T. representative will meet you at the airport and assist with your included transfer into the city for three nights in a centrally-located hotel—the rest is up to you! Take advantage of this opportunity to relax, refresh, and explore the lovely canals, art museums, and old European charm of the historic capital of the Netherlands before your Africa safari adventure. Breakfasts and roundtrip airport transfer are also included. Single Supplement is $195.

    Looking for ways to fill your free time in Amsterdam? Check out some of our suggestions.

    Learn More
  • 4 nights from only $1795

    Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve is a gem of wild beauty. Rolling grasslands yield to breathtaking views of distant mountain ranges. Rich in wild fauna, Masai Mara celebrates Africa at its most untamed. Travel this fascinating land on an affordable extension.

    View Extension Itinerary
Nairobi Serengeti National Park Expand All
  • You depart the U.S. in the late afternoon on an overnight flight to Amsterdam.

  • We arrive in Amsterdam this morning. After a short layover, we fly to Nairobi, and arrive in the evening. You will be met and transferred to your hotel, where we'll enjoy a Welcome Drink and a briefing on our upcoming explorations. We’ll also be joined by fellow travelers who took our optional pre-trip extension, Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.

    • Meals included:
    • Accommodations:

    With a morning at leisure, you can opt to enjoy this time to relax at our hotel. Or perhaps you'll decide to join our optional tour to Kibera, a slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, where you'll meet the people who live here. Perhaps you'll also have a chance to discover the Nubian Quarter, which houses the descendants of soldiers who once fought for the British army and whose families first settled this land during World War I. Kibera comes from the Nubian word Kibra, meaning “land of forest.” Although they've struggled historically for tribal recognition by the government, the Nubian people have a significant legacy here.

    Following lunch at a restaurant near the Nairobi National Museum, we'll delve a little deeper into Kenya's rich heritage during a tour of the museum, where a host of exhibits showcase the best of east Africa's past and present, from natural and cultural wonders to a fascinating history that archaeologists say extends back as far as the origin of our species.

    Then, we explore one of Africa's most cosmopolitan cities—Nairobi—during a city walking tour with our Trip Leader. Though it began as a simple trading post for the British East Africa Company, today's Nairobi is an active business and political capital with more than two million residents, and serves as the African headquarters for organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Program and the World Health Organization.

    After our walk, you'll have time to freshen up at our hotel before we enjoy a Welcome Dinner together at a local restaurant.

  • After breakfast at the hotel, we travel to the nearby Karen region, named for famed author Karen Blixen. Our first stop is the Giraffe Center, where you can get close to these towering animals and photograph them. In 1974, Jock and Betty Leslie-Melville relocated five orphaned and rare Rothschild giraffe to their home here, which was quickly dubbed "Giraffe Manor." Over the years, the giraffe have thrived, and now have their own young. The center plays an important part in the conservation of the Rothschild giraffe species.

    Leaving the Giraffe Center, we visit a museum dedicated to Karen Blixen, who wrote Out of Africa under the pen name Isak Dinesen. The Kikuyu people she wrote about with great affection are still one of Kenya's major ethnic groups. The Danish writer, as you may know, "had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills," where she lived from 1914 to 1931. The Danish government gave her beautiful house to the country of Kenya upon its independence, and today it is a museum furnished with much of her original period furniture and is open to visitors. A visit to this museum offers a fascinating peek into the lives of early 20th-century Kenyan settlers.

    After enjoying a lunch at the Karen Country Lodge, we'll depart for the Lake Nakuru area, traveling through the Rift Valley, enjoying splendid views as we go. Our lodge is located near Lake Nakuru National Park, in a setting that boasts more than 430 different avian species.

    We'll arrive in time to enjoy dinner at our lodge this evening.

  • After breakfast, we'll travel overland to Lake Nakuru National Park in time for a morning game-viewing excursion. Lake Nakuru is famous for the seasonal migration of vast rings of flamingos that often transform its placid waters into a shimmering sea of pink. The park is also home to a relatively large population of black and white rhinos. These are normally elusive due to their dwindling populations, but recent conservation efforts have made Lake Nakuru one of the most likely spots in East Africa to lay eyes on one of these stunning beasts.

    After lunch at our lodge, we embark on an afternoon nature walk. Be sure to keep those cameras ready—we'll have another great chance to explore the diverse landscape and colorful birdlife here. Dinner tonight is at our lodge.

  • Departing Nakuru, we leave the Great Rift Valley and continue overland to Amboseli National Park, set on the border of Tanzania and in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. We enjoy a game-viewing drive en route to our camp. Along the way, we'll pause for a picnic lunch in the park.

    On arriving at Amboseli, we check in at our permanent tented camp and then enjoy an afternoon game-viewing drive. The park shelters more than 400 bird species, including pelicans, flamingos, kingfishers, and ibis. But by far, elephants are the kings of the park. Amboseli's elephants, which are said to be among the largest in the country, are fond of the swamps, where they share the cool waters with the hippos that hide beneath the papyrus. Amboseli is also home to a large population of wildebeest and Burchell's zebra. Dinner is at our camp this evening.

  • We rise early to enjoy a light breakfast before traveling to experience A Day in the Life of a Maasai village and visit Amboseli Primary School (when in session). We will join the local children for their walk to school. At the school, we'll meet more students, take part in some morning activities, and discuss the school's future with the headmaster.

    Upon our return to the village, we'll learn more about Maasai culture, including how they tend their livestock, make their natural medicines, and create their ceremonial dress. We'll take part in daily activities both inside and outside the boma huts and enjoy free time to mingle with the villagers.

    After bidding our Maasai hosts farewell, we return to our tented camp in time for lunch.

    After lunch and a short rest at our lodge, we embark on an afternoon game-viewing drive. Look for the elusive gerenuk, a delicate antelope with a long, giraffe-like neck that enables it to browse the middle branches of acacia trees. You may see families of giraffe, herds of zebra and antelope—and if you are lucky, you may spot the rare serval cat. Because Amboseli's abundant elephants are tracked almost constantly by researchers, they largely escaped the ravages of 1980s poaching, so you are apt to see some older “tuskers” here. You'll be fascinated by the abundant birdlife—from the colorful little lilac-breasted roller and the comical guinea fowl to graceful hawks and eagles. We return to our camp in the early evening in time to relax before we gather for dinner.

  • After breakfast, we depart for the Kenya-Tanzania border, enjoying a game-viewing drive en route. We continue to the town of Arusha, Tanzania, where we lunch at the Arusha Coffee Lodge.

    We then transfer to Tarangire National Park, where we'll settle into our lodge. Upon arrival, we'll have the option to join a guided walk of our surroundings before dinner at our lodge.

  • Today, we rise early to experience Tarangire's diversity on a full-day game-viewing drive, during which we'll pause to enjoy a boxed lunch in the park. As Tanzania's third-largest national park, it features nine distinct vegetation zones ranging from grassland to woodland, from deep gully vegetation to scattered rocky hilltops, Tarangire offers a diverse geological landscape, as well as diverse wildlife—including the largest recorded concentration of breeding bird species in the world. Baobab trees dot the landscape, and the valley of the Tarangire River dominates the entire scene. Each of our driver-guides has extensive knowledge of the behavior of the native animals.

    After our full day in the park, we'll return to our lodge for dinner this evening.

  • After breakfast this morning, we head north to Mto Wa Mbu village, located at the foot of the Rift Valley. In the early 1950s, the land around Mto Wa Mbu was irrigated, turning the dry and uninhabited area into a fertile, bustling community of Tanzanians from all over the country. Today, more than 120 tribes are represented here.

    We’ll see this mix of cultures at play as we walk through the town, watching artists of various tribes at work creating crafts, woodcarvings, and paintings. We’ll also sample the local specialty, banana beer, at bar in town.

    We enjoy lunch today at the Swahili Canteen, a popular local restaurant where traditional Tanzanian fare is cooked over a jiko, a charcoal-burning stove. We'll savor a spread that may include fish, chicken, spinach in peanut sauce, ugali (maize meal) and pili pili (chili sauce).

    Later, we’ll walk to the shore of Lake Manyara to see the view and get a glimpse of our adventures here tomorrow.

    We depart Mto Wa Mbu for Karatu, arriving late this afternoon. Dinner will be at our lodge this evening.

  • Today, we embark on an early morning game-viewing drive at Lake Manyara National Park, in the heart of the Great Rift Valley. Encompassing an area of just 125 square miles, the park is relatively small, but is still one of East Africa's most popular and beautiful wildlife sanctuaries. Lake Manyara National Park is known for its tree-climbing lions. Chances are also good we'll see wildebeest, giraffe, blue monkeys, vervets, impala, zebra, buffalo, bushbuck, and baboons.

    We’ll stop at the park’s hippo pool, then enjoy a picnic lunch by the hot springs. From here, we’ll get a unique perspective of the nearby wetlands as we walk along a boardwalk.

    As we make our way back to Karatu, we’ll see the valley unfold below us and with Lake Manyara stretching in the distance. We may see baboons or other wildlife along the roadside.

    We arrive at our lodge with some time to rest or take a stroll through the extensive grounds before dinner.

  • This morning, we experience a rare opportunity to visit two neighboring tribes: the Hadzabe and Datoga peoples. We'll depart from Karatu with a packed breakfast and arrive at Lake Eyasi, where we'll first spend time visiting with the Hadzabe tribe. These hunter-gatherers have changed very little in 10,000 years and use a clicking based dialect. From there, we'll move on to discover the Datoga tribe. The Datoga are skilled farmers and craftsmen, and can be recognized by circular scarification patterns on their faces.

    We then return to our lodge, where we'll enjoy lunch before continuing our explorations nearby.

    We enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner is at our lodge tonight.

  • After breakfast, we depart on a morning game drive through the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage. We'll discover the diverse flora and fauna that make up this vast expanse of highland plains, savannah, savannah woodlands, and forests. Then, we'll enjoy lunch at a picnic site in the famous Crater before beginning our climb through the cloud forest and out of the Crater floor.

    We'll return to our lodge in the late afternoon for time at leisure before dinner.

  • This morning after breakfast, we'll set out for Serengeti National Park, perhaps the most famous wildlife-viewing destination in Africa. We'll embark on a game-viewing drive into the infinite expanse of the Serengeti Plain, where masses of wildlife roam the stunning landscape. We enjoy lunch in the park and another game-viewing drive en route to our lodge, where we'll arrive by the late afternoon.

    The Serengeti stretches over 5,700 square miles of plains, riverine bush, and acacia woodland, with savanna grassland as the dominant environment.
    During the next few days, we venture out from our lodge in our safari vehicles to try and spot a wide range of wildlife species—lion, cheetah, hyena, and jackal stalk herds of gazelle, zebra, wildebeest, and impala. Comical warthog bend down on their front knees to graze and elegant cheetah rest in the shade of acacia trees after a hunt. Isolated rock groups, called kopjes, provide shelter to lion, leopard, and cheetah—and to the tiny rodent-like rock hyrax, closest relative of the elephant.

    We dine at the lodge this evening.

  • This morning, you may have the option of rising before dawn for a balloon flight. As you float high over the Serengeti, watch the morning sun wash across the plains. The views you'll observe during this one-hour ride are spectacular. On this optional tour, you'll celebrate with a Champagne toast. After touchdown, enjoy a special breakfast out on the plains with your fellow travelers.

    For those who did not take the optional balloon tour, we'll set out on an early-morning game-viewing drive with a packed breakfast. The Serengeti's varied landscape of savannahs, grassy plains, and riparian woodlands make it one of the world's most hospitable places for wildlife, which you will likely see in large numbers.

    Those on the optional tour will then join the rest of the group as we continue our game drive, followed by a picnic lunch. Then, we all head into the bush again for an afternoon game-viewing drive when animals resume activity.

    Dinner is at our lodge this evening.

  • We set out in the morning for a game-viewing drive, and then we'll have a relaxing picnic lunch at the Seronera Visitor and Information Center before returning to the bush in the afternoon for a second game-viewing drive. The great diversity of Serengeti wildlife is also evident here—look for buffalo, hippopotamus, elephant, lion, giraffe, antelope, and Thompson's and Grant's gazelle. In certain seasons, you may also see the spectacular migration of the wildebeest herds, which travel from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara each year.

    We return to our lodge in the early evening and gather for dinner.

  • After breakfast, we continue to explore the vast ecosystem of the Serengeti at a pace that allows us to truly focus on observing animal behavior and interaction.

    After the morning game-viewing drive, we return to our lodge before heading out to enjoy one more game-viewing drive with a packed lunch in the park.

    Our final night in the Serengeti is spent at our lodge, where we enjoy our Farewell Dinner under the vast expanse of the African skies.

  • Today, we rise early, departing the Serengeti for our flight to Arusha, where we'll enjoy lunch at our hotel for the day. Travelers joining our post-trip extension to Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking will depart after lunch for their flight to Kigali. 

    Later this afternoon, we'll check out and travel overland to Kilimanjaro International Airport for our overnight flight back to the U.S. 

    Rwanda: Gorilla Trekking

    4 nights from only $2695

    Journey to Rwanda to experience one of the world’s greatest wildlife encounters—the rare Mountain Gorilla. Trek through the mist-shrouded forest of Rwanda’s Ruhengeri region for an intimate encounter with these magnificent, gentle creatures. You’ll also discover the warmth of the Rwandan people, discover how local beer is produced, and learn about the atrocities of Rwanda's civil war at the Kigali Genocide Museum.

    View Extension Itinerary

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