Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas

Discover some of Africa’s most famous, sought-after wildlife experiences on this bucket list East Africa safari. See rare rhinos and the Big 5 in Kenya, witness the Great Migration of wildebeest, track endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, and much more. This is a trip you’ll remember for life!

From $14,089
per person
18 days
Includes in-country flights
Based on
2 travelers

We designed this Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation for a couple from San Francisco who wanted the adventure of a lifetime. This bucket list trip took them to Kenya and Tanzania to see the Great Migration, as well as Rwanda to track wild mountain gorillas in the forest!

They started their adventure in Kenya, exploring some of the northern safari parks: Meru National Park, famous for its large elephant herds; Ol Pejeta Conservancy, home to some of the last northern white rhinos in the world; and Samburu National Reserve, where they had fascinating cultural encounters with local Samburu tribe members.

Continuing their Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation, they visited the world-famous Maasai Mara region of Kenya and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to witness the Great Migration! They even saw a wildebeest river crossing, one of the most iconic wildlife spectacles in Africa. They also visited the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and visited a local village.

Then it was time for gorilla trekking in Rwanda—a true bucket list item! They stayed at a fabulous lodge just 10 minutes from the entrance to Volcanoes National Park, enjoying beautiful views of the misty mountains. They spent a day tracking a family of incredibly rare, wild mountain gorillas and observing them in their natural habitat. They also tracked golden monkeys in Volcanoes National Park, an experience which is often overshadowed by gorillas but just as rewarding! They loved seeing the adorable golden monkeys leaping from tree to tree.

At last, having seen all the highlights on this whirlwind adventure, their Ultimate East Africa Safari: Kenya, Tanzania, and Gorillas vacation came to an end. They headed back to the capital city of Kigali to catch their flight back home.

Day 1
Welcome to Kenya! Fly into Nairobi and make your way to your fabulous hotel for the evening. A large, plantation-style hotel, Hemingways Nairobi offers spacious and luxurious rooms, and even a private butler service. From the spa to the gourmet menu, you’ll find plenty here to keep you entertained. If you wish, you can also visit the Giraffe Centre just a few miles away and hand-feed the giraffes!
Hemingways Nairobi

Day 2 – 3
Fly to Meru National Park to begin your Kenyan adventure at Elsa’s Kopje. Unashamedly romantic and beautifully styled, this safari lodge is sculpted into Mughwango Hill. Each cottage is crafted around the rocks, with a large bedroom, open sitting room, veranda, and spacious bathroom offering breathtaking views.

Enjoy game drives in Meru National Park, which offers a thriving rhino sanctuary and is famous for large elephant herds, hippos, lions, and birdlife.
Elsa’s Kopje

Day 4 – 5
Head to Kenya’s Laikipia region and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Tucked away along an acacia studded river line, in the heart of the wilderness area, The Safari Cottages offer the comforts of home, exclusivity and a wonderful wildlife experience.

Each cottage is entirely self sufficient, including a private chef, guide, and private safari vehicle at no extra cost. Spend your days with highly trained and knowledgable guides, exploring Ol Pejeta’s open plains and secret valleys by day and night. Find lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and more on thrilling game drives. In the evenings, indulge in decadent dinners on your verandah, as your host recounts 40 years of wild and fascinating bush tales.
Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages

Day 6 – 7
Your safari adventure continues in Samburu National Reserve, where dry plains are divided by a meandering river, with a distant backdrop of dramatic mountains. Enjoy gorgeous views over the plains as you relax in your private plunge pool; you might even see elephants and other wildlife below! Meet local Samburu tribe members, indulge in scrumptious meals on the river banks, see abundant wildlife on game drives, and get a fresh perspective of the African bush with a guided safari walk.
Elephant Bedroom Camp

Day 8
Today, fly to the world-famous Maasai Mara, where your luxurious accommodations await at Karen Blixen Camp. Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking the Mara River, where the resident pod of hippos will keep you entertained. After lunch, head out on your first Maasai Mara game drive.
Karen Blixen Camp

Day 9 – 10
Spend the next 2 days on safari in the Mara. Arriving during the Great Migration, see thousands upon thousands of wildebeest, zebras, and other game thundering across the open plains. The highlight will be a Mara River crossing; watch in awe as the throng crosses the river, where hungry crocodiles are waiting to snatch their next meal.
Karen Blixen Camp

Day 11 – 12
It’s off to Tanzania today! Fly to Serengeti National Park, where you’ll be met at the airstrip and enjoy a game drive en route to Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge. Your home for the next 2 nights is a spacious, permanent tented cottage built on a wooden platform. Your private balcony offers breathtaking views of the Serengeti plains and distant mountains. The open plains provide a home for large herds of buffalo, zebras, giraffes, antelopes, elephants, and more, as well as predators like lions and cheetahs. In between exciting game drives, cool off with a dip in the pool and enjoy delicious communal meals in the dining tent.
Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge

Day 13
Next up on your East Africa adventure are two Tanzania highlights: Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater! Fly to Manyara, where your guide will meet you and take you for lunch and a local village visit. Spend the evening at Acacia Lodge, an elegant country house with breathtaking views over the Great Rift Valley.
Acacia Lodge

Day 14
After breakfast, head to the famous Ngorongoro Crater for a safari complete with picnic lunch. Enjoy a day exploring the crater, first soaking up the panorama from the 2,300-meter-high rim, then descending into the crater itself, which is home to 25,000 animals.
Acacia Lodge

Day 15
Drive to Arusha for lunch, then catch a flight to Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali and enjoy a transfer to your hotel. The evening is at leisure to unwind, take a dip in the outdoor pool, and sample the offerings of the onsite restaurants and bars. Tomorrow, it’s off to gorilla country.
Kigali Serena Hotel

Day 16
After breakfast, depart on a guided city tour, which includes a visit to the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Enjoy lunch in town, then set off on a scenic drive to the famously beautiful Volcanoes National Park—your base for gorilla trekking. Settle into your cozy chalet set amidst lush gardens, soak up the views of hazy blue mountains, enjoy delicious meals of fresh produce, and rest up for tomorrow’s adventure!
Mountain View Gorilla Lodge

Day 17
This is it—time for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park! With the help of expert guides, trek through dense, untamed jungle, passing through gorgeous vistas of green valleys and misty volcanic peaks, until you come across a family of endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Watch in awe as these incredibly human-like creatures interact with each other mere feet away. You’ll be able to spend an hour with the gorillas before returning to town.

This afternoon, visit the Iby’iwacu Cultural Village to learn about traditional local cultures and take in some music and dancing. Head back to the lodge for a scrumptious dinner and recount the day’s adventures over a crackling fire.
Mountain View Gorilla Lodge

Day 18
This morning, embark on a golden monkey trek in Volcanoes National Park. Watch these adorable, endangered monkeys leap from tree to tree after you’ve tracked them down in the forest. Return to Kigali via a scenic drive, taking in the thousand shades of green that cover these beautiful hills, and catch your returning flight home.

  • 1 night Hemingways Nairobi – includes breakfast
  • 2 nights Elsa’s Kopje, Meru National Park – includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities
  • 2 nights Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages, Ol Pejeta Conservancy – includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities
  • 2 nights Elephant Bedroom Camp, Samburu National Reserve – includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities
  • 3 nights Karen Blixen Camp, Maasai Mara – includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities
  • 2 nights Kubu Kubu Tented Lodge, Serengeti – includes all meals, local beverages, and safari activities
  • 2 nights Acacia Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater – includes lunch, village visit, and game drive in Ngorongoro Crater
  • 1 night Kigali Serena Hotel – includes breakfast
  • 2 nights Mountain Gorilla View Lodge, Volcanoes National Park – includes all meals
  • City tour of Kigali
  • Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Golden monkey trekking in Volcanoes National Park
  • Iby’iwacu Cultural Village visit
  • One-way flight from Arusha to Kigali
  • Hotel and lodge transfers throughout itinerary