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Zanzibar to Nairobi

Overlanding is the only way to see East Africa! This classic trip covers the highlights of southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, one of the world's most scenic and most wildlife-packed regions - it is a popular trip and thoroughly deserves its reputation as one of the best trips in Africa. Dragoman have been leading the way in African overland expeditions since 1981, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading into the wilds, well away from the usual tourist trail. After leaving Kenya's bustling capital of Nairobi, you head straight to the grasslands of the Maasai Mara for an incredible 3-day jeep safari through the National Park, with fantastic opportunities to see the 'Big 5' as well as a wealth of other wildlife. The game viewing continues after you cross the border into Tanzania, with safaris in both the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro National Parks, both packed with animals and home to some truly spectacular scenery. You will camp near the majestic snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and explore the local village of Mto wa Mbu, famously home to many different cultures and handicrafts. The trip ends with a journey to the famous and evocative tropical island of Zanzibar, where we explore the fascinating old town, tour the wonderful spice plantations, and relax on the idyllic white beaches on the Indian Ocean. Sun, sea, Swahili and safari is a good summary of the trip! An amazing adventure, packed into a an accessible 14 days - join us for this phenomenal African experience!

  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Community Project, Historical Sites, Local Culture & Cuisine, Parks & Nature Reserves
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Tour code: 158135
  • Starts: Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Finishes: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
You will Visit
  • Dar Es Salaam
  • Zanzibar
  • Marangu
  • Arusha
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Mto Wa Mbu
  • Nairobi
  • Maasai Mara National Reserve

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Zanzibar

Border Information: If joining at Zanzibar, you will most likely enter Tanzania from Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (IATA code: ZNZ).

There will be an informal meet-and-greet and orientation of Stone Town with our local Zanzibar guide at 6:00pm - please meet at the reception of the joining hotel at this time if you wish to take part in this orientation. Please note that you will not usually meet your regular Dragoman crew tonight, as they will be arriving in Dar es Salaam this evening and will travel to Zanzibar with members of their previous group tomorrow. 

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Zanzibar before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Zanzibar.

In Stone Town we will stay in a good local hotel.

Please note that the first 4 days of this trip overlap with our "YDF - Victoria Falls to Zanzibar" trip, so some of the group that come to Zanzibar will leave before we take the ferry to Dar es Salaam. This is because Zanzibar is part of both trips, so it means customers going all the way through do not follow our Zanzibar itinerary twice!

02

Day 2: Zanzibar

Today will be a free day to explore Stone Town, the atmospheric old town on the exotic and beautiful island of Zanzibar!

Your Dragoman crew will arrive on Zanzibar this afternoon, and there will be an important meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - there will then be the option going for sunset drinks at Africa House and heading out to the night markets for a local dinner.

03

Day 3-4: Zanzibar

On our second day on Zanzibar we will join our local guide for a very interesting and informative tour around the sights of Stone Town and learn about the history of the island. We will then head away from town and take in a tour of a spice plantation, enjoy a local lunch with our guide, then head to Nungwi beach at the very north of the island. Nungwi is the Indian Ocean at its best - bright white sand, sparkling blue sea outstanding seafood and a fantastic chilled atmosphere. 

On our third day on Zanzibar, we will have free time to enjoy Nungwi beach and relax, or to try snorkeling, diving, or other beach activities, or maybe go further afield looking for Red Colobus monkeys in the Jozani Forest.

In Nungwi we will spend both nights in a good hotel right on the shore of the ocean.

04

Day 5: Dar Es Salaam

Today we will return to Stone Town and then take a ferry from Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam, before travelling on the local commuter barge from the city centre to the suburb of Kigamboni. The ferry will take about 2 hours and 30 minutes. The rest of the afternoon will be free to relax at the campsite.

In Dar es Salaam we stay at a beautiful and well-equipped beach camp on the southern side of the bay across from the city.

05

Day 6: Marangu

Today we join our overland truck and set off early to beat the morning trafiic in Dar es Salaam. We have a full day's drive to Marangu, where we have a nightstop camping in the grounds of a beautiful colonial hotel at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. We should have good views of the mountain on the drive in (if it is not covered in cloud!).

In Marangu we will camp in the grounds of a hotel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

06

Day 7: Arusha

After breakfast we head west to the town of Arusha, where we will stop for food shopping in preparation for our excursion to the Serengeti National Park. On the drive to Arusha we will go past the whole length of Mount Kilimanjaro where we'll hope for clear skies and fantastic views from the road.

We will then head to our campsite on the outskirts of Arusha. On arrival we should have time to go on an optional walk to a nearby Maasai village, or visit a reptile house and snake-bite clinic that are run by the campsite. We will also prepare and re-pack for the Serengeti excursion starting the following day.

In Arusha we will stay in a well equipped campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

07

Day 8: Serengeti National Park

Today we will be met at the campsite by our fleet of 6-person 4x4 jeeps - we will load the jeeps with our camping and personal gear, and then head out for our 3-day excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, leaving our truck behind.

Today will be a full drive along the rim of the Ngoronogoro Crater (stopping to take in the awe-inspiring views!) and then down into the plains of the Serengeti. We will take an evening game drive around the savannah before heading to our campsite - the area is one of the world's premier spot for wildlife viewing and we hope to able to find elephants, lions, leopards, giraffe and other big game during our time here!

Tonight we will stay at a campsite within the Serengeti National Park. The camp where we stay is very basic (with showers and flush toilets, but no other facilities) but is located right in the middle of the plains, surrounded by animals and their nocturnal noises! Your leader will outline the basic safety rules to be followed when camping in an unfenced location where wild animals are present.

08

Day 9: Ngorongoro Crater

Today we will get up very early and we set off in our jeeps for an early morning game drive in the heart of the Serengeti plains. The early morning is the best time of day for wildlife viewing, as many of the animals are at their most active while it is still cool.

There is an option this morning for to take a hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti instead of the game drive - demand is high for this activity, so this must be pre-booked at the time that you book your trip with Dragoman.

We will return to our campsite for brunch, and then aim to exit the Serengeti at around lunch time. We will head back through the conservation area to our second campsite, on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, where we will arrive in the early evening.

Again, the campsite tonight is very basic and unfenced. It can often be quite cold on the crater rim so it is recommended that you take some warm clothes for this night.

09

Day 10: Mto Wa Mbu

This morning we will have another early start to descend into the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater for a morning game drive. Again, the Ngorongoro Crater is an outstanding area for wildlife spotting, often described as a 'natural wildlife enclosure'. This is the best chance on the excursion to spot black rhinos as well as a myriad of other big game.

We will spend as long as our entry tickets allow in the Ngorongoro Crater before departing, which will usually give us about 3-4 hours of game driving. We will then be dropped off at our next campsite in the small town of Mto Wa Mbu, where we are re-united with our truck. Here we will go on a fantastic community walk around the town where we will see local craft workshops, learn a little about the life here, and enjoy a lunch of delicious specialities from the area. We will then head back to our camp for a relaxing evening at the campsite!

In Mto Wa Mbu we stay at a well equipped campsite in the grounds of a good hotel.

10

Day 11: Nairobi

Border Information: Exit Tanzania at Namanga, enter Kenya at Namanga.

Today we will set off again in our overland truck and head over the Kenyan border and on to the capital of Nairobi. Here we will prepare and re-pack for our Maasai Mara excursion the following day.

In Nairobi we will stay in a well equipped campsite in the suburb of Karen on the outskirts of the city.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours.

11

Day 12-13: Maasai Mara National Reserve

This morning we will be met at the campsite by our 6-person 4x4 jeeps that will take us on our 2-night excursion to the Maasai Mara. We will load the jeeps with our personal gear (but we will not need our camping equipment) and then head off to Maasai Mara, leaving our truck behind.

On arrival we will have the chance for a short evening game drive in the Maasai Mara National Park before heading to our campsite. The Maasai Mara is an incredibly scenic area and is one of the world's greatest places for wildlife spotting which is absolutely teeming with giraffe, buffalo, zebra, elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, and other big game!

On the next day, we will go out for the full day game driving in the National Park before returning to our campsite for a second night. There is also the opportunity for a sunset balloon flight over the savannah - demand for this activity is very high so you must reserve this at the time of booking your Dragoman trip to avoid disappointment.

On both nights we will stay in a basic campground on the outskirts of the National Park. The campsite has set-tents and bedding, but is self-catered (we will use our kitchen equipment brought from the truck).

12

Day 14: Maasai Mara National Reserve

Border Information - if you are leaving the trip here, you will most likely exit Kenya from Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA code: NBO).

Today we will have a final game drive in the Maasai Mara in the early morning, before heading back to Nairobi and our campsite in Karen, arriving at about 4:00pm or 5:00pm.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Nairobi. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below. If leaving today please do not book flights departing from Nairobi earlier than 8:00pm, to allow plenty of time to get back from the Maasai Mara.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Explore the beautiful and historic streets of Zanzibar's Stone Town
    • Guided tour of Spice Plantations and local lunch
    • Ferry back from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam
    • 48 hrs on Jeep safari in the Serengeti National Park
    • Visit to the Mto Wa Mbu village community project
    • Head out on a phenomenal safari in 4x4s into the Maasai Mara - one of the best areas in Africa for wildlife and scenery
    Tour Staff
    • 3 crew members including an African camp master
    Accomodation
    • 75% Camping - 25% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • Community Project
  • History & Culture
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • Snorkelling & Diving


Reviews (5)
Patricia P. Posted on: 

Mic's friendly personality was appreciated by all the passengers and we really enjoyed meeting up with her again after our travels with her last year in India. Matt again drove us safely along some very trying roads.

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Waiter R. Posted on: 

I haven't been on this sort of trip before so I didn't know what to expect, nor have I anything to compare it to - so as far as my own experience goes it was excellent!

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Robin L. Posted on: 

Dave a Frenchie were excellent. They were the best pair of leaders/co leaders have had on a trip. They were extremely helpful, created a relaxed, fun atmosphere and went the extra mile to make the trip a unforgettable experience (for example arranging breakfast in a local market).

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Yvonne G. Posted on: 

Dave and Frenchie were so great at creating "harmony" within the ranks of 21 people on the 21-day Gorilla Loop. Denford is the best cook ever and catered to ever complaining vegetarians, gluten free issues, etc.

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Andreas Martin A. Posted on: 

Our cook made the most awsome food, even lasagne on a fire!

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