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SKVEG 009:18-Days Extensive Safari of Ancient Egypt and Wildlife in Kenya

This safari adventure gives you a combination of the diverse array of modern and Ancient Egypt and Kenya’s finest wildlife experiences. The tour will give you an educational, historical, cultural and wildlife experience you will never forget.

Day 1: Cairo
Welcome to Egypt! On arrival at Cairo International Airport, you’ll be welcomed by our representative and then transferred to your hotel within Cairo City in an air-conditioned coach. Overnight at your Cairo hotel.

Day 2: Tour the Pyramids of Giza/Sakkara
After breakfast at your Cairo hotel, we’ll take you for a full-day tour to Sakkara, the vast Necropolis of ancient Memphis. Sakkara (Saqqara) is one of the most extensive archaeological sites in Egypt.

Sakkara is best known for the Step Pyramid, the oldest known of Egypt's 97 pyramids. It was built for King Djoser of the 3rd Dynasty by the architect and genius Imhotep, who designed it and its surrounding complex to be as grand as it was unique and revolutionary. Imhotep was the first to build stone tombs in honor of the king's majesty. His many titles included 'Treasurer of the King of Lower Egypt', 'Administrator of the Great Palace', and 'Imhotep the Builder, the Sculptor, the Maker of Stone Vessels'. Imhotep may have also designed the pyramid of Djoser's successor, Sekhemkhet.

Three major discoveries have recently been made at Sakkara, including a prime minister’s tomb, a queen’s pyramid, and the tomb of the son of a dynasty-founding king. Each discovery has a fascinating story, with many adventures for the archaeologists as they revealed the secrets of the past.

We’ll drop you at you Cairo hotel and you’ll have a free evening to relax on your own.

Day 3: Cairo and Luxor
After breakfast, we head to Cairo International Airport to take a flight to Luxor. You will be received in Luxor and transferred to the Nile Cruise, where you will spend the next four nights.

Historically, the Nile cruise was really the only way to visit the temples and tombs located along this stretch of the river. It is still a popular means of visiting upper Egypt and has many advantages to other means of travel.

Nile cruises often visit a wider variety of antiquities along the banks of the river. But equally important, they also allow the tourist to gain a prospective of the rural Egypt, where people live much the same way they did even thousands of years ago, in mudbrick homes, tending their fields with wooden plows and moving produce via donkey. It is a wonderful experience to sit on a shaded deck of a floating hotel, sipping an iced beverage while watching 5,000 years of culture slowly drift by.

Luxor is one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Egypt. Some of the biggest and best preserved temples of the ancient times can be found here. Tourist attractions to this ancient city are the temples of Karnak and Luxor.

Day 4: Nile Cruise Luxor
In the afternoon, we will visit the Karnak and Luxor Temples where you will be amazed by the wonders of ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians knew the Temple of Karnak as Ipet-isut. It is a city of temples built over 2000 years and dedicated to the Theben triad of Amon, Mut and Khonsu. This derelict place continues to overshadow many of the wonders of the modern world.

It is the mother of all religious buildings and a place of pilgrimage for nearly 4,000 years. Luxor Temple was connected to Karnak Temple by an avenue of sphinxes in ancient times. Unlike Karnak, Luxor is mainly the work of one pharaoh - Amenhotep III and was added to by Tutankhamun, Horemheb, Ramses II and Alexander the Great.

During Akhenaten’s all religion other than worship of Aten was rejected and development at Luxor stopped. When Akhenaten died, the old religions returned, along with the priests so the temple began to expand again.

Day 5: Nile Cruise Luxor, Esna and Edfu
After breakfast, we embark on a full-day tour of of the West Bank of Luxor to explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into the desert rocks, richly decorated, and filled with treasures for the afterlife by generations of pharaohs. We will also visit the Queen Hatshepsut Temple and the Colossi of Memnon. Later, we will sail to Esna, cross the lock then continue onto Edfu.

Day 6: Nile Cruise Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan
After breakfast in the Nile Cruise, we set out to the well-preserved Greek built Temple of Horus. This temple, built during the reigns of six generations of Ptolemy’s, is not only the best-preserved ancient temple in Egypt, but also the second largest after Karnak.

In the afternoon, our cruise will sail to Kom Ombo where we will visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. It stands at a bend in the Nile where in ancient times sacred crocodiles basked in the sun on the riverbank.

Day 7: Aswan and Cairo
After breakfast, we will disembark from the Nile Cruise and head to Aswan. Aswan is a city in the South of Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate. It stands on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract and is a busy market and tourist center. It contains the island of Elephantine.

We’ll take an excursion around the Aswan city visiting the romantic and majestic Temple of Philae, the Aswan High Dam, and the Unfinished Obelisk. We will also take a ride on a felucca, a typical Egyptian sailboat, around Elephantine Island.

You will be transferred to the railway station at Aswan in the evening to take an overnight Sleeper Train to Cairo. You have the option of taking a flight. If you take the flight, you’ll be transferred to your Cairo Hotel for overnight.

Day 8: Cairo City Tour
If we took the Sleeper Train from Aswan, we will arrive in Cairo today morning. You will be received at the Cairo Railways Station. We will transfer you to a hotel in Cairo. You may want to relax for the whole morning or take a tour of the capital city.

We visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which gives you an insight into the 7,000 years of Egyptian history. The Museum houses the world's greatest collection of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including 12 rooms filled with golden treasures from the world-famous tomb of the boy-king Tutenkhamun.

Our next destination is the Islamic Cairo, the beautiful and graceful Mohamed Ali Mosque, and the ancient Citadel, a spectacular medieval fortress perched on a hill above the city.

We will make a visit to the Khan El-Khalili Bazaar, reputed to be the largest bazaar in the Middle East. Originally founded as a watering stop for caravanserai in the 14th century, the bazaar has now grown to vast proportions.

Overnight at your Cairo Hotel.

Day 9: Cairo and Nairobi, Kenya
In your last day in Egypt, we allow you to have a free day to tour the city on your own. You will be transferred to Cairo International Airport late afternoon to catch a flight to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.

Day 10: Nairobi and Aberdare National Park
Our representative will receive you at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. After refreshments and a brief introduction about Nairobi, we will start our Kenya safari with a tour to the Aberdare National Park. We will drive through Central Kenya towards the Mt Kenya and arrive in Nyeri Township later in the day. Accommodation at the Treetops Hotel in the Aberdare National Park.

We have chosen Treetops Hotel, which is within sight of Mount Kenya, for you because it has a rich history. First opened in 1932 by Eric Sherbrooke Walker, the hotel was literally built into the tops of the trees as a tree house, offering the guests a close view of the local wildlife in complete safety. From the original modest two room tree house, it has grown into 50 rooms. The original structure was burned down by during the 1954 Mau Mau Uprising against the British colonialists, but the hotel was rebuilt near the same waterhole and has become a fashionably exotic adventure for many of the rich and famous.

The hotel includes observation lounges and ground level photographic hides from which guests can observe the local wildlife which come to the nearby waterholes.

Treetops shot into international limelight when Princess Elizabeth, currently Britain’s Queen Elibazeth, learned of the death of her father, George VI, which occurred on 6 February 1952, the night she was at Treetops, while in Kenya.

It was there that, uniquely, she "went up a princess and came down a Queen". She was the first British monarch since the Act of Union in 1801 to be outside the country at the moment of succession, and also the first in modern times not to know the exact time of her accession (because her father, George VI, had died in his sleep at an unknown time). On the night her father died, Sir Horace Hearne, then Chief Justice of Kenya, escorted The Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, to a state dinner at the Treetops Hotel. She returned immediately to England.

Day 11: Aberdare National Park and Lake Nakuru National Park
Depart the Aberdare National Park after breakfast and drive to Nyahururu Thompson falls. Then proceed to Lake Nakuru. Lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge. Afternoon game drive in the park. Besides the flamingos that the lake is famous for, there are approx 400 other species of birds visiting the lake. Also, many species of game can be found in the park including the introduced Rothschild's giraffe, black and white rhino, waterbuck, reedbuck, lion, buffalo, leopard, baboon and many species of plains game. Dinner and overnight at the Sarova Lion Hill.

Day 12-13: Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara
Depart Lake Nakuru in the morning and drive further along the floor of the Rift Valley to the world-famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Later in the afternoon proceed to Mara Serena Lodge. En route game drive will be provided.

The Masai Mara Game (Wildlife) Reserve is Kenya's most popular game reserve in Africa and world reknowned due to the spectacular annual migration of wildebeests. Mara is always on the Must See List of every tourist.

The park is full of life with various types of animals, including the Big Five, and birds. Masai Mara is a rolling grasslands and acacia savannah have time and again been captured on film with the movie Out Of Africa being the most famous.

The park is home the Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard and Rhino – Africa’s famous Big Five - and over 450 bird species. Apart from the big five, the Masai Mara is most famous for the spectacular annual migration of over a million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle etc from the Serengeti in northern Tanzania crossing the Mara River into Kenya in search of fresh feeding grounds, which takes place in late July or August.

During this crossing, hundreds of animals are swept away by the first moving Mara River and others are killed by the ferocious African Crocodiles.

You will do morning and afternoon game drives in this spectacular game reserve, all with superb photographic opportunities.

Overnight (2 nights) at the Mara Serena Lodge.

Day 14: Masai Mara and Lake Naivasha
Leave Mara after breakfast. Our next next destination is the enchanting Lake Naivasha, still in the Great Rift Valley and the highest and purest of the Great Rift Valley lakes. En route we will stop at Masai villages and also at a colonial club where we will have our lunch. We will stop at curio shops along the way for you to buy Kenya’s famous and beautiful carvings.

Overnight at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.

Day 15: Lake Naivasha and Amboseli National Park
Today we drive to Nairobi to arrive in time for a delicious lunch at the famous Carnivore Restaurant. Continue with our safari to the Amboseli National Park situated at the foothills of the majestic snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro - the highest mountain in Africa.
Amboseli National Park, at the foot of Africa's highest mountain, 5895m Kilimanjaro, is one of Kenya's most popular parks. It lies some 240kms, South-East of Nairobi and the ecosystem spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border.
Amboseli National Park, which is the third most visited game area in Kenya after Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Nakuru National Park, embodies 5 main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall.

Main game viewing lies in the eastern half of the park, in the vicinity of Ol Tukai lodge and lakes Engoni Naibor and Loginya. Leading here is a network of roads and tracks. Game includes elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe and buffalo. Also common game such as zebra, eland, coke's hartebeest, white-bearded Gnu, waterbuck, Thomsons and Grant gazelle and impala.

Overnight at Ol Tukai Lodge.

Day 16: Amboseli and Tsavo West National Park
We set out for an early morning game drive at Amboseli, to view wildlife against the backdrop of Mt Kilimanjaro. We later return to the Ol Tukai Lodge for breakfast. Afterwards, we continue to Tsavo West to arrive in time for lunch at Tsavo Safari Camp. Afternoon is our game viewing in this vast area in search of wildlife.

Overnight at the Severin Safari Camp

Day 17: Tsavo West and Nairobi
Leave Tsavo West and drive to Nairobi. We take you to the The Carnivore Restaurant next to Nairobi’s Wilson Airport for our farewell diner. This evening will give you a unique African experience. Every type of meat imaginable, including four choices of wild game, is roasted on traditional Maasai swords (skewers) over a huge, visually spectacular charcoal pit that dominates the entrance of the restaurant.

The waiters then carry these swords around the restaurant, carving unlimited amounts of the prime meats onto sizzling, cast iron plates in front of you. A wide selection of salads, vegetable side dishes, exotic sauces, dessert and coffee accompany the meal.

Overnight either at The Sarova Stanley Hotel, or the Nairobi Safari Club or the Nairobi Serena Hotel.

Day 18 Nairobi and Depart for Home
Our driver/guide will transfer you to the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch your flight home.

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