Lionesses help raise each other's cubs, so these cuties might not be siblings.

Kenya & Tanzania | Mountaintop, Maasai & Migration | 10 Nights Samburu Region, The Masai Mara & Serengeti National Park

This luxury safari in Tanzania and Kenya is a great reflection of what the two countries have to offer. While enjoying the craggy landscapes of Samburu and the boundless savannah of the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem, you’ll see the Samburu Special Five, migrating wildebeest and more.

Three nights at Saruni Samburu

On our arrival from Nairobi, our pilot had to circle around the Samburu airstrip while a small herd of Grévy’s zebra crossed it. We didn’t mind – we’d seen one of the Samburu Special Five before we’d even landed!Our drive up to Saruni Samburu was unforgettable. Decked out in his full Samburu warrior finery, our guide, Chris, expertly manoeuvred the vehicle up the steep, rocky ‘road’ to the lodge… and gave us a moment to catch our breath. Not from the altitude, but the astonishing view. Just in front of us, the land plunged away down a precipitous slope to the valley floor. Below us, giraffe gathered at the waterhole, and an eagle swept past. Dinner had a deliciously Italian flavour – the owner, Riccardo being Italian.Chris advised us to concentrate on the Kalama Conservancy the next day, and we were happy to follow his advice. The wildlife we saw was a fascinating mix of the familiar – including our favourites, elephant – and also species that were entirely new to us. Bizarre-looking gerenuk antelope stood on their hind legs to reach into the thorn bushes, and we got closer to the impressive airstrip zebra (Chris explained that they like the security of being in the open). Vulturine guinea fowl with striking blue chests ran squawking ahead of us, not thinking to get off the track; Somali ostrich were more circumspect, but we hoped to spot them later.A morning in the Samburu National Reserve was spent meandering along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro, weaving between sawing doum palms and watching elephant trek down to slake their thirst with its brown water. After a riverside breakfast, we spent the afternoon in camp, browsing the authentic Samburu beadwork in the store and enjoying the antics of the tiny dik-dik antelope. The setting sun found us in the incredible infinity pool at the summit of our mountain, being served Champagne. Like the pool, it was at the perfect temperature for maximum bliss, and we toasted Ololokwe, the Samburu sacred mountain visible from our vantage point.

On our arrival from Nairobi, our pilot had to circle around the Samburu airstrip while a small herd of Grévy’s zebra crossed it. We didn’t mind – we’d seen one of the Samburu Special Five before we’d even landed!

Our drive up to Saruni Samburu was unforgettable. Decked out in his full Samburu warrior finery, our guide, Chris, expertly manoeuvred the vehicle up the steep, rocky ‘road’ to the lodge… and gave us a moment to catch our breath. Not from the altitude, but the astonishing view. Just in front of us, the land plunged away down a precipitous slope to the valley floor. Below us, giraffe gathered at the waterhole, and an eagle swept past. Dinner had a deliciously Italian flavour – the owner, Riccardo being Italian.

Chris advised us to concentrate on the Kalama Conservancy the next day, and we were happy to follow his advice. The wildlife we saw was a fascinating mix of the familiar – including our favourites, elephant – and also species that were entirely new to us. Bizarre-looking gerenuk antelope stood on their hind legs to reach into the thorn bushes, and we got closer to the impressive airstrip zebra (Chris explained that they like the security of being in the open). Vulturine guinea fowl with striking blue chests ran squawking ahead of us, not thinking to get off the track; Somali ostrich were more circumspect, but we hoped to spot them later.

A morning in the Samburu National Reserve was spent meandering along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro, weaving between sawing doum palms and watching elephant trek down to slake their thirst with its brown water. After a riverside breakfast, we spent the afternoon in camp, browsing the authentic Samburu beadwork in the store and enjoying the antics of the tiny dik-dik antelope. The setting sun found us in the incredible infinity pool at the summit of our mountain, being served Champagne. Like the pool, it was at the perfect temperature for maximum bliss, and we toasted Ololokwe, the Samburu sacred mountain visible from our vantage point.

Three nights at Ngare Serian

Our final memory of Saruni Samburu was special – a view of Mount Kenya peeping through the clouds. Then it was our turn to climb – by plane – and head south towards the Masai Mara.I’d learned that ‘Ngare’ was a Maasai word meaning ‘by the river’ – the perfect name for our new home. We reached the camp on foot, using a long rope bridge to cross over the Mara River. Once on the far bank we were perfectly located for both the Mara North Conservancy and the Masai Mara National Reserve. For our first afternoon game drive, we elected to stay in the conservancy, a 30,000ha extension to the reserve, and head for Leopard Gorge, the setting for the BBC’s Big Cat Diary series.The annual Great Wildebeest Migration had yet to reach the Masai Mara, but this was not a worry for us – we would check in with the herds when we reached Serengeti National Park. For now, we wanted to concentrate on the resident wildlife, of which there was no shortage. Today’s undoubted highlight was running (well, driving) with the pack – a pack of wild dog, no less. This was a first for us and we could tell that our guide was excited too; sadly there aren’t many of these creatures around. One of the dogs stopped and looked back at us as if to say ‘keep up’, then yawned, showing a set of sharp, gleaming teeth.We had debated a hot-air balloon safari, but decided to save that for our next trip (there will definitely be another!) as we were having so much fun at ground level. Our game drive in the Masai Mara yielded a sighting of some very full, sleepy lion – even before the herds arrived, they were clearly doing well. Our picnic lunch at The Nest treehouse was a lovely surprise, and later we watched giraffe cross the Mara River.

Our final memory of Saruni Samburu was special – a view of Mount Kenya peeping through the clouds. Then it was our turn to climb – by plane – and head south towards the Masai Mara.

I’d learned that ‘Ngare’ was a Maasai word meaning ‘by the river’ – the perfect name for our new home. We reached the camp on foot, using a long rope bridge to cross over the Mara River. Once on the far bank we were perfectly located for both the Mara North Conservancy and the Masai Mara National Reserve. For our first afternoon game drive, we elected to stay in the conservancy, a 30,000ha extension to the reserve, and head for Leopard Gorge, the setting for the BBC’s Big Cat Diary series.

The annual Great Wildebeest Migration had yet to reach the Masai Mara, but this was not a worry for us – we would check in with the herds when we reached Serengeti National Park. For now, we wanted to concentrate on the resident wildlife, of which there was no shortage. Today’s undoubted highlight was running (well, driving) with the pack – a pack of wild dog, no less. This was a first for us and we could tell that our guide was excited too; sadly there aren’t many of these creatures around. One of the dogs stopped and looked back at us as if to say ‘keep up’, then yawned, showing a set of sharp, gleaming teeth.

We had debated a hot-air balloon safari, but decided to save that for our next trip (there will definitely be another!) as we were having so much fun at ground level. Our game drive in the Masai Mara yielded a sighting of some very full, sleepy lion – even before the herds arrived, they were clearly doing well. Our picnic lunch at The Nest treehouse was a lovely surprise, and later we watched giraffe cross the Mara River.

Four nights Serengeti Mobile Camp

Crossing the border into Tanzania was a simple procedure, but reinforced the sense that we were on a journey of our own as we headed to the Serengeti to join the migrating herds.Our Serengeti Mobile Camp was exactly that – a luxury camping experience that moved as the herds did, changing location several times each year as the Great Wildebeest Migration progressed. Driving from the airstrip, we saw ample evidence that with the short grass plains green after the rains, the wildebeest calving season was in full swing. We soon spotted our first calves – although very young, they were already confident on their feet, and able to keep up with the adults. As we were to see, that was a crucial skill in a dangerous world – survival of the fittest was the order of the day.We’d hoped to see more births than deaths, but it turned out we witnessed both within minutes. Coming upon a female wildebeest in a curious stance, we held our breath as her calf emerged and plopped to the ground. The mother licked it as it got to its feet, albeit a little uncertainly. A watching lioness sauntered across, batting the still wobbling calf to the ground with a huge paw. There was nothing the mother could do. It was a sobering moment for us, but our guide’s reminder that the vastness of the herd was testament to its overall survival certainly helped. What a privilege to witness this timeless cycle unfolding before our very eyes.So many wildebeest calves being born within just a few weeks presents a great bonanza for the area’s predators. The real specialists on these short grass plains were the cheetah, who could make the most of their phenomenal speed. We were lucky enough to see one this morning, although it couldn’t have been moving any slower: lying up on a termite mound, it barely glanced at the wildebeest. This did however allow us to get some wonderful portrait pictures. Afterwards, our guide made a joke about us being hungrier than the cheetah as we arrived at our bush picnic spot beneath a lone acacia tree. He was right!We spent the morning simply enjoying the feeling of camping out in Africa, appreciating all the little touches that made our tent so perfect. After a leisurely lunch, with a Serengeti lager each (what else?), we embarked on a late afternoon drive which transitioned seamlessly into sundowners and then a night drive through back to the camp. We tried to distinguish the eyes reflected in the red-filtered spotlight – wildebeest of course, but also eland, impala and Thomson’s gazelle. We wished the Serengeti goodnight, and goodbye.

Crossing the border into Tanzania was a simple procedure, but reinforced the sense that we were on a journey of our own as we headed to the Serengeti to join the migrating herds.

Our Serengeti Mobile Camp was exactly that – a luxury camping experience that moved as the herds did, changing location several times each year as the Great Wildebeest Migration progressed. Driving from the airstrip, we saw ample evidence that with the short grass plains green after the rains, the wildebeest calving season was in full swing. We soon spotted our first calves – although very young, they were already confident on their feet, and able to keep up with the adults. As we were to see, that was a crucial skill in a dangerous world – survival of the fittest was the order of the day.

We’d hoped to see more births than deaths, but it turned out we witnessed both within minutes. Coming upon a female wildebeest in a curious stance, we held our breath as her calf emerged and plopped to the ground. The mother licked it as it got to its feet, albeit a little uncertainly. A watching lioness sauntered across, batting the still wobbling calf to the ground with a huge paw. There was nothing the mother could do. It was a sobering moment for us, but our guide’s reminder that the vastness of the herd was testament to its overall survival certainly helped. What a privilege to witness this timeless cycle unfolding before our very eyes.

So many wildebeest calves being born within just a few weeks presents a great bonanza for the area’s predators. The real specialists on these short grass plains were the cheetah, who could make the most of their phenomenal speed. We were lucky enough to see one this morning, although it couldn’t have been moving any slower: lying up on a termite mound, it barely glanced at the wildebeest. This did however allow us to get some wonderful portrait pictures. Afterwards, our guide made a joke about us being hungrier than the cheetah as we arrived at our bush picnic spot beneath a lone acacia tree. He was right!

We spent the morning simply enjoying the feeling of camping out in Africa, appreciating all the little touches that made our tent so perfect. After a leisurely lunch, with a Serengeti lager each (what else?), we embarked on a late afternoon drive which transitioned seamlessly into sundowners and then a night drive through back to the camp. We tried to distinguish the eyes reflected in the red-filtered spotlight – wildebeest of course, but also eland, impala and Thomson’s gazelle. We wished the Serengeti goodnight, and goodbye.

What sets it apart

The sense of exclusivity at each camp was a real plus – in each case, we had the choice of game drives in the adjoining national parks and reserves, or of spending more time in private safari areas. These gave us not just the pleasure of having wildlife sightings all to ourselves, but also meant that we could try out different activities (like walking safaris and night game drives) that are not permitted in the more public areas.The Great Wildebeest Migration was of course a focal point of our luxury Tanzanian and Kenyan safari, and focusing on the southern Serengeti meant that we witnessed both the joy and heartbreak of the calving season. Our time at Samburu in northern Kenya provided a wonderful counterpoint, not just in terms of its radically different scenery but also in discovering wildlife that was completely new to us.Each camp had its own distinctive style. Starting at Saruni Samburu was a restful, serene entry into our safari – the sense of splendour heightened still further by the juxtaposition of the camp with the rugged, soaring landscapes.As we journeyed south, the style of the Masai Mara and Serengeti camps – while equally magnificent – neatly evoked the sense of being on a voyage, and the elements of nomadic style paid homage to the ceaseless wanderings of the wildebeest.At each camp, the views were breathtaking… whether of brooding, snowy Mount Kenya, the burbling Mara River or of the Serengeti plains embroidered with snaking queues of wildebeest.

The sense of exclusivity at each camp was a real plus – in each case, we had the choice of game drives in the adjoining national parks and reserves, or of spending more time in private safari areas. These gave us not just the pleasure of having wildlife sightings all to ourselves, but also meant that we could try out different activities (like walking safaris and night game drives) that are not permitted in the more public areas.

The Great Wildebeest Migration was of course a focal point of our luxury Tanzanian and Kenyan safari, and focusing on the southern Serengeti meant that we witnessed both the joy and heartbreak of the calving season. Our time at Samburu in northern Kenya provided a wonderful counterpoint, not just in terms of its radically different scenery but also in discovering wildlife that was completely new to us.

Each camp had its own distinctive style. Starting at Saruni Samburu was a restful, serene entry into our safari – the sense of splendour heightened still further by the juxtaposition of the camp with the rugged, soaring landscapes.

As we journeyed south, the style of the Masai Mara and Serengeti camps – while equally magnificent – neatly evoked the sense of being on a voyage, and the elements of nomadic style paid homage to the ceaseless wanderings of the wildebeest.

At each camp, the views were breathtaking… whether of brooding, snowy Mount Kenya, the burbling Mara River or of the Serengeti plains embroidered with snaking queues of wildebeest.

Day 1–3

There are just six villas at Saruni Samburu. © Saruni

You’ll be met as you disembark from your international flight at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and assisted through customs and immigration. Following a private transfer to Wilson Airport, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Samburu. You’ll then take a transfer to Saruni Samburu, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 4–6

The baths at Ngare Serian, with views over the Mara River, are arguably the best in the world. © Alex Walker's Serian

After a transfer from Saruni Samburu to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to the Masai Mara. A transfer will take you to Ngare Serian, where you’ll spend three nights.

Day 7–10

Take in glorious Serengeti views right from your king-sized bed at Mwiba Lodge. © Legendary Expeditions

After a transfer from Ngare Serian to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Migori. A transfer will assist you across the Kenya–Tanzania border to Tarime, where a scheduled light aircraft flight will take you to the Serengeti. A transfer will take you to Serengeti Mobile Camp, where you’ll spend four nights.

Day 11

Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya.

After a transfer from Serengeti Mobile Camp to the airstrip, you’ll take a scheduled light aircraft flight to Arusha Airport. A private transfer will take you to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you’ll be assisted through check-in. A scheduled light aircraft flight will take you across the Tanzania–Kenya border to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, where you’ll be assisted through customs and immigration. A private transfer will take you to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, where you’ll 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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