There are some experiences that are simply so extraordinary that they become iconic – places that you can’t imagine not visiting when traveling to a certain region, where coming back always feels like coming home. We know these hidden gems in East Africa that are recognized as the best by the world’s most discerning travelers, year after year.
Motivated by your feedback, we have put together your most loved East Africa safari, featuring all those perennial properties that regularly appear in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. Traversing Kenya and Tanzania’s best known safari landscapes, this is the African adventure that our guests come back to over and over again, whether to catch the thundering herds of East Africa’s spectacular Great Migration or to enjoy the wealth of resident wildlife and the magnificent scenery throughout the remainder of the year.
On arrival at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport you will be warmly welcomed by a member of our team, who will drive you to your hotel in vibrant Nairobi.
Kenya’s capital is one of the largest and most influential cities in Africa, an important commercial and financial hub. It is the port of entry for most travellers to Kenya and offers bustling markets, interesting history and numerous attractions. Named after a Maasai watering hole, “enkare nyarobi”, which means “place of cool waters”, Nairobi is known for its leafy streets and parks. With its towering skyscrapers and imposing architecture, the city’s skyline also draws the attention. Visits to the city’s beautiful Uhuru Park and an informative excursion to the Karen Blixen Museum are not to be missed.
Surrounded by vast acres of indigenous forest, the elegant Giraffe Manor is famous for its resident herd of giraffe, which casually wander around the hotel grounds. Beautifully furnished rooms include comfortable four-poster beds and well-appointed bathrooms.
Spend the night in a standard room with ensuite bathroom at Giraffe Manor in Nairobi
After an early breakfast, you will be driven to Wilson Airport, where you will board a flight to Kichwa Airstrip in the Masai Mara. On arrival, you will be welcomed by a member of the team from &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp, who will drive you to the camp.
As Kenya’s most renowned wilderness destination, the Masai Mara National Reserveoffers exceptional game viewing, including the opportunity to witness the seasonal Great Wildebeest Migration, one of nature’s greatest wildlife spectacles. The park takes its name from the Mara River, which flows through the reserve, as well as from the Maasai people. Covering an area of 1 510 km² (580 square miles), the Masai Mara is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The reserve is a photographer’s and naturalist’s paradise, with abundant elephant, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah sighted year round alongside the migratory wildebeest and zebra.
Steeped in the aura of classical safari, the recently refurbished &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp boasts 12 classic tents, 20 superior tents and eight superior view tents. While all the tents look out onto the open grasslands or the shady forest surrounding the Sabaringo River, the superior view tents boast exceptionally beautiful, uninterrupted views of the Masai Mara. The superior tents feature Maasai-inspired interiors that showcase a simple and contemporary use of local materials.
Experience the beauty of the Masai Mara on a hot air balloon flight. Take off at dawn and float in whichever direction the morning winds take you. Your altitude may vary from treetop height or lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities, to 300 metres / 1 000 feet, showcasing the wonderful panorama. From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below. The flight lasts about an hour and is followed by champagne and a full English breakfast.
Spend two nights in a superior view tent at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp. Your stay includes accommodation, three meals daily, teas and coffees, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, two scheduled game drives per day, transport to and from Kichwa Tembo Airstrip and emergency medical evacuation insurance.
Depart the Masai Mara on a flight to Migori Airstrip, where you be welcomed and driven to Tarime, where you will cross the border into Tanzania to board another flight to the Serengeti National Park.
With its name meaning “endless plains” in the Masai language, the Serengeti National park is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated wildlife areas and is an ongoing source of inspiration to writers, filmmakers and photographers. It is Tanzania’s oldest game reserve, renowned as site of the annual Great Migration, when an estimated three million antelope (mostly wildebeest) migrate to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve. This epic, seasonal journey is a deeply moving experience and a wonderful photographic subject. Visitors to the park can roam its sprawling plains on exhilarating game drives or hop into a hot air balloon for an once-in-a-lifetime safari adventure.
&Beyond Grumeti Serengeti Tented Camp is set in the remote Western Serengeti and offers one of the best wildlife experiences in this incredibly picturesque area, which enjoys far fewer tourist numbers than many other parts of the park. The camp is situated on a by-water of the Grumeti River, known for its dramatic wildebeest crossings and enormous Nile crocodiles. Tucked into a strip of riverine forest, guests thrill to the antics of the hippo resident in the tranquil pool in front of the camp and the spectacular pied colobus monkeys, found nowhere else in the Serengeti. Every year, in June and July, Africa’s renowned Great Migration passes through the Grumeti region and hundreds upon thousands of wildebeest, zebra and other herbivores cross the Grumeti River, risking the jaws of some of Africa’s largest crocodiles.
During the remainder of the year, the area offers exclusive game viewing far from the crowds, with the open Western Serengeti plains attracting the elegant cheetah and large prides of lion, as well as clans of hyena that number up to a hundred individuals. The riverside thickets are the ideal dwelling place for leopard and elephant. This area also lies in the path of the annual movement of exceptional numbers of topi antelope.
Spend two nights in a spacious tent with ensuite bathroom with open air shower at &BeyondGrumeti Serengeti Tented Camp.
Enjoy an early morning breakfast before being driven to the Grumeti Airstrip, where you will board a flight to Lobo Airstrip. Upon landing, you will be collected for a scenic game drive to &Beyond Klein’s Camp.
&Beyond Klein’s Camp is situated on a private concession on the edge of the Serengeti National Park, where night drives and bush walks allow guests to explore the nocturnal world of the predators or to get an intimate glimpse into the details of the African bush. Overlooking the wooded hillsides, rolling grasslands, lush marshes and forested river banks of the Serengeti and with Kenya’s renowned Masai Mara directly to the north, Klein’s Camp is one of the most strategically positioned wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Set on the edge of the Kuka Hills, it commands breath-taking views of the valley below, through which huge herds of wildebeest and zebra migrate each year. While the Great Migration is an annual highlight, guests can experience excellent year-round lion, leopard and cheetah sightings. Huge herds of buffalo and breeding herds of elephant are all resident and birdwatching in the seasonal marshlands is exceptionally rewarding. Several species of raptor breed on the cliffs above Klein’s Camp and numerous birds of prey, including vultures and eagles, are frequently spotted soaring on the updrafts.
Spend two nights in an intimate cottage with ensuite bathroom with shower only at &BeyondKlein’s Camp.
Enjoy an early morning game drive and a wholesome breakfast before being driven back to the airstrip for a flight to &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas.
The luxurious tented camps of &BeyondSerengeti Under Canvas move around the park year-round, attempting to anticipate the movements of the Great Migration and exploring the remote and beautiful corners of the Serengeti with excellent resident game. Using only private campsites, these mobile camps are entirely intimate and exclusive, featuring spacious safari tents, each with a double bed, indoor seating area, ensuite bathroom, separate w.c and al fresco bucket shower. Redolent of classic safari style, custom-made Indian rugs, crisp linens, sparkling crystal and polished brass lend flair to the simplicity of camping. Carefully planned according to the projected movements of the Great Migration, the camps aim to bring guests within comfortable driving distance of the herds. However, the wildebeest masses move with the rains, which may occur at a different time each year, so it is not always possible to accurately predict where they will be. &Beyond’s expert guides will always try to place guests in the midst of the thronging wildebeest but, should the animals not appear when expected, the guides’ intimate knowledge of the ample resident game will ensure a rich game viewing experience.
Spend two nights in a spacious tent with ensuite bathroom with outside bucket shower at &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas.
Enjoy an early morning game drive, followed by a delicious breakfast, before being driven back to the airstrip for a flight to Manyara Airstrip. On arrival, you will be welcomed by a member of the &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge team, who will drive you to the lodge.
The Ngorongoro Crater in Northern Tanzania, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. Today, long since having collapsed and eroded, it is an extensive highland area with the famous 600 m deep Ngorongoro Crater as its focal point. Nearly three million years old, the ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth. Endangered black rhino are protected within its rim, giant tusked elephants wander the forests, black-maned lions stalk the grasslands and flamingos crowd the soda lakes. An estimated 25 000 large mammals are resident in this bowl of plenty, including a population of approximately 6 000 resident wildebeest, 16 highly endangered black rhino and around 70 lions. Cheetah move in and out of the Crater, while leopard are most often encountered in the spectacular Lerai Forest.
Perched above cool, swirling mists on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, the sumptuous safari suites at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge offer breath-taking views. Inspired in design by the Maasai mud and stick manyatta, or homestead, this is without doubt one of the most spectacular lodges in Africa. Three separate and intimate camps totalling just 30 suites are reminiscent of a bygone era. Steeped in romance, each stilted, handcrafted mud and thatch suite is adorned with graceful antiques, grand chandeliers and elegant African treasures. The bedroom, sitting room and ensuite bathroom boast floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the magnificent Crater below.
Indulge in a gourmet feast served in one of the most unique settings in Africa. Descend into the scenic landscape of the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy the incredible density of wildlife before making your way to a private picnic spot on the Crater floor. Tables set with snowy tablecloths and sparkling silver cutlery are laden with the most delectable of dishes. An army of butlers spring into action to attend to your every wish as you indulge in a mouth-watering meal served against the backdrop of groups of zebra strolling along the Crater floor.
Spend two nights at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Accommodation is in a suite with ensuite bathroom with bath and shower. Your stay includes three meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, scheduled safari activities, refreshments on game drives and laundry.
Today, we wave a fond farewell. After a scrumptious breakfast, you will be collected for your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport from Lake Manyara Aistrrip, where you will board your flight home.