Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar

SKVEG 010: The Best Secrets of Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar

This amazing safari across Africa takes you through ancient and modern Egypt, Tanzania and Kenya’s prime wildlife reserves and a beach holiday in Zanzibar Island. You will explore the wonders of Egypt on the amazing Nile Cruises, then enjoy wildlife in the jungles of Kenya and Tanzania and wind up your tour at the Indian Ocean waters.

Day 1: Cairo

Welcome to Cairo! 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 Hotel.

Day 2: Cairo and Aswan

After breakfast in Cairo, you’ll check out of hotel and travel by train to Aswan. You are met on arrival in Aswan and transferred to your hotel.

We later take a full-day excursion around the Aswan city visiting the Temple of Philae, the Aswan High Dam, and the Unfinished Obelisk.

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.

You have a free evening.

Day 3: Aswan/Nile Cruise

Today we join an orientation cruise around Kitchener Island – land of the botanical gardens and Elephantine Islands. Transfer to your Nile cruise ship for check-in. Free evening on the cruise and overnight sailing to Kom-Ombu.

Nile cruises may very considerably, but typical Nile cruises are either three, four or seven nights. The usual cruise is aboard a Nile cruiser, often referred to as a floating hotel. Indeed, the better boats have most the accommodations of a land based hotel, including small swimming pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, nightclubs, good restaurants, stores and even small libraries. Depending on what one is willing to pay, rooms may be very utilitarian and small, or larger then some land based hotel rooms.

A first time visitor to Egypt who wants a classical experience would do well to book a Nile cruise. 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.

Day 4: Kom-Ombo, Edfu, and Nile Cruise

We’ll disembark from the cruise to visit the dual temple of Sobek and Haroeris in Kom-Ombu, and then back to the cruise to continue sailing on the way to Edfu to visit the most well-preserved temple in all of Egypt, dedicated to Horus, the Falcon God. Overnight on cruise, sailing on the way to Luxor.

Day 5: Nile Cruise and Luxor

Welcome to Luxor! 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. We will visit the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and Colossi of Memnon in the West Bank.

You have a free evening. Our journey back to Cairo will be by train.

Day 6: Cairo City Tour and Nairobi

We arrive in Cairo and transfer you to your. We’ll later take a full-day excursion 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 will also visit the Islamic Cairo, where the 12th Century Citadel of Salah El-Din stands, followed by a visit to Christian Old Cairo where the Romans constructed the fortress of Babylon.

Known as the Hanging Church, Saint Virgin Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the oldest churches in Egypt and the history of a church on this site dates to the 3rd century.

We’ll also tour the Egyptian Museum, where the treasures of King Tut Ankh-Amun and most of the pharaohs are kept.

You will be transferred to Cairo International Airport late afternoon to catch a flight to Nairobi, Kenya’s capital city.

Day 7: Nairobi

On arrival meet and assist at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Transfer to your Nairobi Hotel. Rest of the day at leisure/tour of Nairobi city. Later in the evening, transfer to The Carnivore Restaurant for dinner. Accommodation at Nairobi Serena Hotel

Day 8: Samburu National Game Reserve

Breakfast at Nairobi Serena and then leave at 0700 Hrs for Samburu through Central Kenya and North across the equator to Samburu National Reserve.

Samburu Reserve was one of the two areas in which world-famous conservationists George Adamson and Joy Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness, which was made famous in the best selling book and award winning movie Born Free.

Once inside the reserve, there are two mountains visible: Koitogor and Ololokwe. Samburu National Reserve is very peaceful and attracts animals because of Uaso Nyiro River (meaning “brown water" and pronounced U-aa-so-Nyee-ro) that runs through it and the mixture of acacia, riverine forest, thorn trees and grassland vegetation.

There is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at the reserve. Several species are considered unique to the region, including its ts unique dry-country animal life: All three big cats, Lion, Cheetah and Leopard, can be found here, as well as Elephants, Buffalos and Hippos.

Other mammals frequently seen in the park include Gerenuk, Grant’s Gazelle, Kirk’s Dik-dik, Impala, Waterbuck, Grevy’s Zebra, Beisa Oryx and Reticulated Giraffe.

There are over 350 species of bird. These include Somali Ostrich, Kingfisher, Sunbird, Bee-eater, Marabou Stork, Tawny Eagle, Bateleur, Guinea fowl and Vultures. The Uaso Nyiro River contains large numbers of Nile crocodile.

Arrive at Samburu Serena Lodge in time for lunch. Afternoon game drive. Dinner and overnight at the lodge. Approx driving time 5½ hrs

Day 9: Samburu

Morning and afternoon game drive at Samburu National Reserve. All meals and overnight at Samburu Sarova Lodge.

Day 10: Samburu and Lake Nakuru National Park

Depart Samburu after breakfast and drive to the lower slopes of Mt. Kenya. Lunch at 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.

Day 11: 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.

Days 12-13: Masai Mara

Morning and afternoon game drive. (Full day game drive is an option with packed lunch) in Maasai Mara.

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.

Day 14: Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park

This is your last day of the Kenyan part of the safari. You will check out of your Mara lodge with packed lunch and depart for Serengeti via the Isabenia border. On arrival at the border point, you will be met by your Tanzania driver/guide and proceed to Serengeti to arrive late in the evening. Accommodation at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

Day 15: Serengeti

Full day in Serengeti. Serengeti National Park, undoubtedly the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world is a large national park in Serengeti area, Tanzania. It is most famous due to annual migration of over one million white bearded wildebeest and 200,000 zebra to Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve in search of pasture.

The Seronera Valley in the Serengeti is famous for the abundance lion and leopard that can usually be seen quite easily. The adult male lions of the Serengeti have characteristic black manes.

All meals and overnight at Serengeti Sopa Lodge.

Day 16: Serengeti and Ngorongoro

Breakfast at Serengeti Sopa Lodge and check out. Drive to Ngorongoro with game drive en route in Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge. Arrive for lunch at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a huge area containing active volcanoes, mountains, archeological sites, rolling plains, forests, lakes, dunes and of course, Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge.

The views at the rim of Ngorongoro Crater are sensational. On the crater floor, grassland blends into swamps, lakes, rivers, woodland and mountains – all a heaven for wildlife, including the densest predator population in Africa. The crater is home to up to 25,000 large mammals, mainly grazers – gazelle, buffalo, eland, hartebeest and warthog.

Day 17: Ngorongoro

After breakfast descend down to the crater floor for ½ day crater tour. Later return to your lodge. Later in the afternoon at leisure. Accommodation at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge.

Day 18: Ngorongoro, Arusha and Zanzibar

After breakfast at the Ngorongoro lodge, you drive to Arusha International Airport for immediate transfer to the Coastal flight to Zanzibar. The journey from Arusha to Zanzibar International Airport takes one hour and a half.

You will be met at Zanzibar International Airport and transferred by road to Mapenzi Beach Club to stay for 5 nights in a standard room with breakfast & dinner included.

We highly recommend Mapenzi Beach Club, because it offers an all-inclusive package holiday where everything is arranged for you.

Mapenzi Beach Club is located on the North-Eastern side of Zanzibar on a great stretch of beach. There are several advantages to staying here. Firstly, Mapenzi offers an all-inclusive rate (one of the few on Zanzibar not solely targeted at the Italian market). Since all your meals, drinks (including alcohol) and selected water sports are included in our rate, you don’t have to spend your holiday worrying about the bill at the end of your honeymoon safari.

Secondly, Mapenzi is located some distance away from the other hotels in this area so you are able to enjoy a long stretch of palm-fringed beach shared only with the local fishermen bicycling past.

Thirdly, Mapenzi offers a programme of activities and entertainment so you never have to worry about being bored in paradise. And there are many ways to work off any over-indulgences at the buffet table – water sports, swimming pool, aerobics and beach games. But do save some energy (and that little black dress) for the disco at night.

Days 19-22: Zanzibar

Your last leg of the safari will be spent on this island where we’ll organise many activities for you. We will make your dream of a perfect Zanzibar holiday come true.

Leisurely enjoy the endless beaches of Zanzibar. Have fun and relax while snorkeling, scuba diving, boat trips, going for Spice Tours to learn about spices and herbs Zanzibar is famous for and more beach activities. Breakfast and Dinner at your hotel.

Day 23: Depart

Transfer to Zanzibar International Airport for a flight to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to catch a flight to your home country.