Stop for hot coffee during your morning game drive in Ngorongoro Crater.

Kenya & Tanzania | Mara, Migration, Flamingos & Crater | 11 Nights The Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area

While Tanzania and Kenya differ in important ways, they enjoy many strong bonds, from their shared Maasai culture to the Great Wildebeest Migration. This 11-night luxury safari encompasses the very best of each country, going back in time to the places where man began, and working towards conserving the future.

Three nights at Bateleur Camp

A restful night in the serene surroundings of the House of Waine luxury boutique hotel in the Nairobi suburb of Karen meant that we awoke refreshed and ready to begin our luxury safari in Kenya and Tanzania.As our flight touched down on Kichwa Airstrip, my eye was caught by the friendly waves of our reception committee. We had barely set foot on the red ground when each of us was handed a cool, scented handtowel and a homemade lemonade. We’d arrived in Kenya’s fabled Masai Mara National Reserve. Our transfer segued into an excellent first game drive, and the refreshments became the local Tusker beer, icy from the vehicle’s fridge. We knew that the Great Wildebeest Migration was still in the Serengeti and that we’d catch up with it later on our trip. For now, we focused on the resident wildlife – and almost infinite views – on the edge of the Oloololo Escarpment.There’s nothing like waking to the smell of fresh coffee – especially Kenyan coffee, in Kenya. Dappled early morning light slanting through the forest branches propelled us out of bed, and straight onto our morning safari. Over dinner the night before we’d listened spellbound to the sawing, coughing call of a male leopard, and we were keen to find him. The chef had promised us a bush breakfast, and these two highlights coincided wonderfully: as we were honing in on a tree to sit under we spotted the leopard lazing in its branches. We chose another for our breakfast, but only after getting some gorgeous pictures.Nothing could cast a shadow over our time in the Masai Mara, but on our second morning we cast one ourselves, as we glided serenely along in a hot-air balloon. It was the first time I’d seen elephant from this perspective. One of the calves in the herd kept himself – and us – entertained by chasing egrets through the grass, and they rose with indignant squawks even as we came into land for our champagne breakfast. We enjoyed the reclining leather seats as we drove back to the camp, and spent the rest of the afternoon there lazily spying on more elephant from the privacy of our verandah.

A restful night in the serene surroundings of the House of Waine luxury boutique hotel in the Nairobi suburb of Karen meant that we awoke refreshed and ready to begin our luxury safari in Kenya and Tanzania.

As our flight touched down on Kichwa Airstrip, my eye was caught by the friendly waves of our reception committee. We had barely set foot on the red ground when each of us was handed a cool, scented handtowel and a homemade lemonade. We’d arrived in Kenya’s fabled Masai Mara National Reserve. Our transfer segued into an excellent first game drive, and the refreshments became the local Tusker beer, icy from the vehicle’s fridge. We knew that the Great Wildebeest Migration was still in the Serengeti and that we’d catch up with it later on our trip. For now, we focused on the resident wildlife – and almost infinite views – on the edge of the Oloololo Escarpment.

There’s nothing like waking to the smell of fresh coffee – especially Kenyan coffee, in Kenya. Dappled early morning light slanting through the forest branches propelled us out of bed, and straight onto our morning safari. Over dinner the night before we’d listened spellbound to the sawing, coughing call of a male leopard, and we were keen to find him. The chef had promised us a bush breakfast, and these two highlights coincided wonderfully: as we were honing in on a tree to sit under we spotted the leopard lazing in its branches. We chose another for our breakfast, but only after getting some gorgeous pictures.

Nothing could cast a shadow over our time in the Masai Mara, but on our second morning we cast one ourselves, as we glided serenely along in a hot-air balloon. It was the first time I’d seen elephant from this perspective. One of the calves in the herd kept himself – and us – entertained by chasing egrets through the grass, and they rose with indignant squawks even as we came into land for our champagne breakfast. We enjoyed the reclining leather seats as we drove back to the camp, and spent the rest of the afternoon there lazily spying on more elephant from the privacy of our verandah.

Three nights at Serengeti Under Canvas

An early start today, as our journey would include crossing the border into Tanzania. A painless process, involving nothing more than two stamps and a cheery, ‘Karibuni!’ as we were welcomed to the second country on our luxury safari.Our international journey put us in a nomadic mood, which was entirely appropriate for our next destination. Serengeti Under Canvas is luxury mobile camp, that changes location within the Serengeti National Park, drawing on the guides’ knowledge to anticipate the movements of the Great Wildebeest Migration. They were spot on this time, as our afternoon game drive saw us threading our way through massed herds of wildebeest. They were so intent on grazing, and the long journey ahead, that we could admire them without causing the slightest disturbance. Like our fellow guests, we could talk of nothing else over dinner in the open-mess tent.In a world where everyone is on the move, it’s easy to go with the flow, but we chose to indulge in a ‘sleeping safari’ the next morning and make the most of our remarkable Bedouin-style tent (another nod to the peripatetic lifestyle). As it turned out, an elephant feeding right outside our tent meant we didn’t sleep late, but what a thrill to have only a canvas flap between us and such a beautiful creature. Once he’d moved off, we could enjoy our hot outdoor ‘bucket’ shower – much more luxurious than it sounds! Lunch – or was it brunch? – was delicious and our thoughts turned to our next safari.It’s not so much that we were off the map, as moving around it… Our guide explained that in a week the camp would be moved again, as the herds began to depart. This morning we were in the thick of it, and of the wildebeest. Things speeded up in the late afternoon light as a cheetah made a run at a calf, only to be chased off by its extremely brave mother who refused to flee. The cheetah looked a little forlorn afterwards – our guide joked that this was probably because scientists are still debating if a cheetah is really a cat. It’s certainly a handsome beast.

An early start today, as our journey would include crossing the border into Tanzania. A painless process, involving nothing more than two stamps and a cheery, ‘Karibuni!’ as we were welcomed to the second country on our luxury safari.

Our international journey put us in a nomadic mood, which was entirely appropriate for our next destination. Serengeti Under Canvas is luxury mobile camp, that changes location within the Serengeti National Park, drawing on the guides’ knowledge to anticipate the movements of the Great Wildebeest Migration. They were spot on this time, as our afternoon game drive saw us threading our way through massed herds of wildebeest. They were so intent on grazing, and the long journey ahead, that we could admire them without causing the slightest disturbance. Like our fellow guests, we could talk of nothing else over dinner in the open-mess tent.

In a world where everyone is on the move, it’s easy to go with the flow, but we chose to indulge in a ‘sleeping safari’ the next morning and make the most of our remarkable Bedouin-style tent (another nod to the peripatetic lifestyle). As it turned out, an elephant feeding right outside our tent meant we didn’t sleep late, but what a thrill to have only a canvas flap between us and such a beautiful creature. Once he’d moved off, we could enjoy our hot outdoor ‘bucket’ shower – much more luxurious than it sounds! Lunch – or was it brunch? – was delicious and our thoughts turned to our next safari.

It’s not so much that we were off the map, as moving around it… Our guide explained that in a week the camp would be moved again, as the herds began to depart. This morning we were in the thick of it, and of the wildebeest. Things speeded up in the late afternoon light as a cheetah made a run at a calf, only to be chased off by its extremely brave mother who refused to flee. The cheetah looked a little forlorn afterwards – our guide joked that this was probably because scientists are still debating if a cheetah is really a cat. It’s certainly a handsome beast.

Two nights at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

We flew over many thousands more wildebeest as we headed south, before our attention was arrested by the changing landscape and the vast rent in Africa that is the Great Rift Valley. The string of lakes that punctuate it shimmered in the light as we soared above them.Our destination was arguably the most beautiful of these: Lake Manyara, set in a landscape described by safari veteran Ernest Hemingway as ‘the loveliest I had seen in Africa’. We were not about to disagree! Set in a charming old mahogany forest, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was different in style again, and entirely in keeping with our luxury approach to safari. During our siesta, we commented on the fact that by snoozing in the treetops we were emulating the famous tree-climbing lion, and resolved to try and find them that afternoon.The landscapes here were truly astonishing. The escarpment towered some 500m above us as we drove along the narrow strip of land that separated its foot from the lake. In some places we passed through delightful green tunnels of interlaced branches, with the lake – and its huge flocks of flamingo – a constant presence. Our guide was a sunset connoisseur and found a spot where ancient boulders served as seats, while a single Maasai warrior stood guard, balanced on one leg just like the flamingo still busy feeding on the lake. Their pink plumage provided some serious competition for the colours of the sky as the day ended.

We flew over many thousands more wildebeest as we headed south, before our attention was arrested by the changing landscape and the vast rent in Africa that is the Great Rift Valley. The string of lakes that punctuate it shimmered in the light as we soared above them.

Our destination was arguably the most beautiful of these: Lake Manyara, set in a landscape described by safari veteran Ernest Hemingway as ‘the loveliest I had seen in Africa’. We were not about to disagree! Set in a charming old mahogany forest, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge was different in style again, and entirely in keeping with our luxury approach to safari. During our siesta, we commented on the fact that by snoozing in the treetops we were emulating the famous tree-climbing lion, and resolved to try and find them that afternoon.

The landscapes here were truly astonishing. The escarpment towered some 500m above us as we drove along the narrow strip of land that separated its foot from the lake. In some places we passed through delightful green tunnels of interlaced branches, with the lake – and its huge flocks of flamingo – a constant presence. Our guide was a sunset connoisseur and found a spot where ancient boulders served as seats, while a single Maasai warrior stood guard, balanced on one leg just like the flamingo still busy feeding on the lake. Their pink plumage provided some serious competition for the colours of the sky as the day ended.

Two nights at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge

We’d watched a National Geographic documentary about the Ngorongoro Crater, but even that couldn’t prepare us for what lay ahead – or should that be below? We were about to discover that a descent could be a highlight!Our safari of contrasts continued as we admired the architecture and décor of the ‘Maasai Versailles’ – traditional manyata-style exteriors fused with ornate chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows for breathtaking views down into the crater from our vantage point on its rim. We couldn’t get enough of this incredible vista, so we were easily persuaded to spend the afternoon on a crater walk around the edge of what is the world’s largest intact caldera, the result of a massive, prehistoric eruption. The chanting of Maasai warriors drew us to an especially spectacular view, and their leaping dances were another high point of our safari.We made sure we had an early start on the solitary road down into the Ngorongoro Crater, and for the first hour we were almost alone there. It was a completely new experience for us – every animal we saw had the rugged crater walls as a backdrop. Our favourites were the black rhino, and we were early enough to catch them out in the opening before they withdrew to the thickets. Thrilled by the sight of a pride of lion on the move, we were amazed to see a Maasai herdsman lead his cows right by them. Proof, we realised, that humans and wildlife can live in harmony.

We’d watched a National Geographic documentary about the Ngorongoro Crater, but even that couldn’t prepare us for what lay ahead – or should that be below? We were about to discover that a descent could be a highlight!

Our safari of contrasts continued as we admired the architecture and décor of the ‘Maasai Versailles’ – traditional manyata-style exteriors fused with ornate chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows for breathtaking views down into the crater from our vantage point on its rim. We couldn’t get enough of this incredible vista, so we were easily persuaded to spend the afternoon on a crater walk around the edge of what is the world’s largest intact caldera, the result of a massive, prehistoric eruption. The chanting of Maasai warriors drew us to an especially spectacular view, and their leaping dances were another high point of our safari.

We made sure we had an early start on the solitary road down into the Ngorongoro Crater, and for the first hour we were almost alone there. It was a completely new experience for us – every animal we saw had the rugged crater walls as a backdrop. Our favourites were the black rhino, and we were early enough to catch them out in the opening before they withdrew to the thickets. Thrilled by the sight of a pride of lion on the move, we were amazed to see a Maasai herdsman lead his cows right by them. Proof, we realised, that humans and wildlife can live in harmony.

What sets it apart

Being able to cover so much ground – and yet never feel rushed – was a real highlight of our luxury safari in Kenya and Tanzania. A careful selection of camps and lodges meant that we managed to see the very best of some of East Africa’s most iconic safari destinations, without ever being caught up in crowds (unless you count the wildebeest of course!).The highs and lows we experienced on our safari were purely topographical: we loved the contrast between the soaring Great Rift Valley escarpment, and the vertiginous descent into the incredible natural sanctuary of the Ngorongoro Crater. As we ‘migrated’ ourselves, we certainly felt in tune with the rhythms of nature, and this sense of belonging was heightened by the opportunities we had to interact with local people. Realising that they are as much a part of each ecosystem as the wildlife was an important moment of understanding for us.While no two days on our safari were the same, there was a consistent thread of luxurious accommodation and personal, attentive service throughout. It would be impossible to choose a favourite between Kenya and Tanzania; if we had to choose only one country to come back to, we’d pick both!With striking bird’s-eye views over the wilderness, the flights between camps were much more than mere commutes. We also rediscovered our love of walking, putting some good kilometres on our new hiking shoes, and returning home reluctant to wash off the red dust of Africa. Even when we do, the intensely colourful memories will remain.

Being able to cover so much ground – and yet never feel rushed – was a real highlight of our luxury safari in Kenya and Tanzania. A careful selection of camps and lodges meant that we managed to see the very best of some of East Africa’s most iconic safari destinations, without ever being caught up in crowds (unless you count the wildebeest of course!).

The highs and lows we experienced on our safari were purely topographical: we loved the contrast between the soaring Great Rift Valley escarpment, and the vertiginous descent into the incredible natural sanctuary of the Ngorongoro Crater. As we ‘migrated’ ourselves, we certainly felt in tune with the rhythms of nature, and this sense of belonging was heightened by the opportunities we had to interact with local people. Realising that they are as much a part of each ecosystem as the wildlife was an important moment of understanding for us.

While no two days on our safari were the same, there was a consistent thread of luxurious accommodation and personal, attentive service throughout. It would be impossible to choose a favourite between Kenya and Tanzania; if we had to choose only one country to come back to, we’d pick both!

With striking bird’s-eye views over the wilderness, the flights between camps were much more than mere commutes. We also rediscovered our love of walking, putting some good kilometres on our new hiking shoes, and returning home reluctant to wash off the red dust of Africa. Even when we do, the intensely colourful memories will remain.

Day 1

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya.

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and assisted through customs and immigration. A private transfer will take you to House of Waine boutique hotel, where you’ll spend one night.

Day 2–4

A guided walking safari in the Masai Mara gives you a chance to stretch your legs. © &Beyond

Following a private transfer from House of Waine to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. You’ll then take a transfer to Bateleur Camp, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 5–7

Although you’re camping, expect fresh fare when dining at Serengeti Under Canvas. © &Beyond

Following a transfer from Bateleur Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Nairobi. You’ll then take a scheduled light aircraft flight across the Kenya–Tanzania border to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, where you’ll be assisted through customs and immigration. After a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Serengeti, a transfer will take you to Serengeti Under Canvas, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 8–9

End your day at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge with sundowners in the bush. © &Beyond

Following a transfer from Serengeti Under Canvas to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Manyara. A slow three-hour game drive will take you to Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 10–11

Go all out with a private rose-petal dinner at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. © &Beyond

A slow three-hour game drive will take you from Manyara Tree Lodge to Manyara. After a short break, a scenic hour-and-a-half-long drive will take you on to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, where you’ll spend two nights.

Day 12

Tanzania is the perfect stage for both epic natural events and intimate shared moments.

A scenic hour-and-a-half-long drive will take you from Ngorongoro Crater Lodge to Manyara, where you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport. You’ll then be assisted through check-in for your international flight.

  • Our safaris are tailor-made to match your personal safari dream, taking into account when you’d like to travel, how long you’d like to be away for, who you’d be travelling with, what safari lodge style you’d prefer, and more.
  • This luxury safari trip idea is simply to show you what’s possible. To see what this type of safari costs, and what’s generally included, click hereFor a general overview of African safari prices, you can click through to our blog.
  • We also offer a curated selection of Kenya & Tanzania safari packages, wrapped and priced for your convenience, click here to explore them.

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