East Africa Family Adventure Holiday: Nairobi to Dar Es Salaam

Company : Oasis Overland
Activities: Family Adventures Holidays / Tours
Countries: Kenya / Tanzania
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 weeks
Approx Costs: 1250 to 1750 £ Pound (UK)

A family overland adventure encompassing the highlights of East Africa; from the game rich open plains of the Serengeti and the unique Ngorongoro Crater to the beaches and spices of Zanzibar.

This is a trip that will provide lasting family memories.


Trip Specifics

  • Minimum age: 7 years
  • Start Location: Nairobi
  • End Location: Dar Es Salaam
  • Duration: 18 Days
  • Trip Style: Family Adventures



Day 1
Nairobi-today is arrival day. There will be a meeting with your Tour Leader at our start hotel at 18.00hrs. You are free to spend the day exploring Nairobi, or relaxing at your hotel.

Day 2
Lake Naivasha-we will leave Nairobi after breakfast and head out to the Giraffe Sanctuary and David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage. The Giraffe Sanctuary is extremely child friendly and contains a wealth of simply presented information on wildlife conservation generally and giraffes. One of the highlights is the feeding platform where you will have an opportunity to feed giraffes and have some great photos taken with them!

The Elephant Orphanage is also a highlight of many people's trips. It operates one of the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programmes in the world and takes a lead in wildlife conservation and habitat protection in East Africa. During our visit you will watch the baby elephants being bottle-fed, wallowing in the mud and learn about the perils caused by ivory poaching and habitat destruction. Again, there are great photo opportunities, and this visit is very popular with children, of all ages!

From here, we head out through the Rift Valley to Lake Naivasha. The Rift Valley, perhaps Kenya's most important topographical feature, acts as both a human and natural divide and is part of a continental fault system that runs 600km clean across Africa from Jordan to Mozambique. There are some stunning view-points down in to the valley along the way.

We spend the night, at a campsite, on the shores of Lake Naivasha.  The lake is well-known for it's protected hippo population-listen out for the sounds of them feeding on the grass of the campsite during the night! The birdlife here is impressive too-from splendid fish eagles to the grotesque, but fascinating marabou stork. Colobus monkeys are generally plentiful on the camp site too. 

Day 3
Lake Naivasha-today we spend the day at Lake Naivasha and there are a variety of activities available for the day. Without leaving the campsite you can organise a boat trip out on to the Lake to visit Crescent Island Game Sanctuary. Once there you're free to wander at will. The island is barely two square kilometres, but is home to hundreds of species of birds as well as gazelle, giraffe and waterbuck. During the boat journey there you will usually get to see hippos and giant kingfisher.

Elsamere, former home of Joy Adamson and Elsa the lion, is a short distance away and is a good place to spend a few hours learning about her life and the continued work of the Elsa Conservation Trust. The house is beautifully located on the shores of the Lake and also does great tea and cakes! For anyone feeling particularly energetic you can hire mountain bikes and cycle or walk, to and through Hell's Gate National Park-one of the few remaining places in Kenya, where you can walk among the herds of plains game-buffalo, eland, zebra, gazelle..to name a few! Alternatively, you can visit Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, with it's breathtaking jade lake. If you don't feel like doing anything there is always the option to spend the day relaxing by the lake!

Day 4
Western Highlands- We leave our lakeside camp after breakfast and head north-west through the Rift Valley to the Equator. We will have an opportunity to stop here, put one foot in either hemisphere and carry out the 'classic water down the plug hole experiment!' Our journey continues, south-west to Kericho, in the Western Highlands-the agricultural heartland of Kenya and home to many of Kenya's world-famous runners. The area is predominantly covered with miles of tea plantations. We spend the night here and there will be an opportunity to undertake a guided tea tour, describing how tea was introduced into the region and the tea-growing process.

Day 5
Serengeti Gate- this morning we leave Kericho and head south to the Tanzanian border. We will have an opportunity to stop in Kisii, renowned for it's soapstone carvings, before crossing the border into Tanzania. We will spend the night just outside the Serengeti National Park's Ndabaka Gate at the Western Corridor entrance, ready for early morning entrance to the park the next morning.

Day 6
Serengeti National Park-today will be an early start so we can maximise our time in the world famous Serengeti National Park. Frequently dubbed the eighth wonder of the world the park was ganted World Heritage site status in 1978. The park covers 14,673 sq km and offers unparalleled safari opportunties, supporting the greatest concentration of plains game anywhere in Africa. There is a vast range of both herbivores and carnivores-wildebeest, giraffe, elephants, buffalo, various monkeys, hyena, lions, cheetahs to name a few and a vast range of exquisite birdlife. We will spend the night in one of the public campsites of the Park. When the sun goes down, the night brings an interesting array of sounds as the animals feed nearby!

Day 7
Serengeti National Park-we continue our game drive through the Park towards the Ngorongoro Crater. The scenery along the way is stunning and varied-from vast open plains to bush and woodland. You'll need to keep your eyes peeled, but you should be richly rewarded with sights of game. Today, we'll also pass by the Olduvai Gorge-famous for it's palaeontological relics and often called the ' cradle of mankind.' We spend the night camping on the rim of the crater. Due to the elevation it can get very cold here at night.

Day 8
Ngorongoro Crater-a World Heritage site, the crater is the largest intact caldera in the world and is often called 'Africa's Eden', containing everything necessary for the 30,000 animals that inhabit the crater floor to exist and thrive. The crater has an area of 265 sq km and measures between 16-19km across. The rim reaches 2286m above sea level and the crater floor is 610m below it. There are both freshwater and brackish lakes in the crater, and the main water source Lake Magadi, in the centre of the crater is a soda lake that attracts flocks of pink-winged flamingos and plenty of contented hippos! 

The views from the rim as you descend into the crater are sensational. Scrub heath and remnants of montane forests cloak the steep slopes. On the mainly grassy plain of the crater floor there is a variety of wildlife-including elephant, lion, white rhino, cheetah, buffalo, hippo, zebra, hyena, crocodile and pink flamingo. We will have half a day here to explore this unique ecosystem. Leaving the crater we head east towards Arusha. If we have time we will stop at Mto wa Mbu (Mosquito Creek), a small colourful, but very busy market town selling fruit and vegetables grown by the fertile surrounding farms and famous for it's red bananas. This is also a well-stocked town for curios. We continue our journey on to Arusha.

Day 9
Arusha-we spend two nights at our campsite in Arusha. Here, you will be able to visit a Maasai village, by camel, with local Maasai guides and there is a cultural museum, curio centre and snake park on-site also. The campsite runs a health clinic and education centre and you may have the opportunity to visit these if you are interested. The town of Arusha itself has hotels with swimming pools, a couple of museums, an ice cream parlour and plenty of opportunities to buy local arts and crafts! One of our favourite places to visit, on the outskirts of Arusha is Shanga Shangaa Ltd-a craft recycling project where artists with disabilities upcycle glass, paper and aluminium into high quality handicrafts. You can watch the artists at work. The project is nestled in the midst of a coffee plantation and has a stunning garden, complete with monkeys and hyrax! They also have a beautiful restaurant.

Days 10 to 11
Leaving Arusha, we head west to Marangu and the foothills of the world's largest free standing mountain, Kilimanjaro. This snow-capped mountain stands at 5895m and is one of the most impressive sights in Africa. We will spend two nights here. There are a range of activities to take part in-exploring the foothills of the mountain on foot and perhaps immersing yourself in one of the waterfalls sourced from the snow-capped peak; guided village tours through lush, fertile plots; a visit to a traditional Chagga home or a visit to a traditional blacksmith, making Masai spears and tools. Marangu, is a small town with a relaxed feel and it's also just nice to sit at a local cafe, and watch the world go by!

Day 12
Leaving the lush, greenery of Marangu we head south towards Dar Es Salaam. We pass farmland and sisal plantations with an impressive backdrop of the Pare and Usambara mountain ranges. We will overnight on our way to the coast.

Days 13 to 14
Dar Es Salaam. We continue our journey south and arrive at Kipepo beach camp on the Indian Ocean on the south coast of Dar Es Salaam.  Dar Es Salaam  meaning 'haven of peace' in Arabic, is anything but peaceful these days with a thriving port, business centre and administrative base for the country. Our beach resort however, is a far more relaxing affair and we have two nights here for you to be as lazy or active as you like. You can indulge in a fishing trip, sailing or snorkelling, take a trip into the city or just relax in the turqouise waters. The choice is yours!

Days 15 to 17
Zanzibar. We take a morning ferry from Dar Es Salaam port to Zanzibar. After clearing Customs and Immigration we head to our beach side resort in Nungwi, on the northern tip of the island. The very name Zanzibar, conjures up exotic and romantic images. The main town on the island, Stone Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, is a maze of winding alleys, grand Arabian townhouses with giant brass-studded wooden doors and a thriving port. It is steeped in history ranging from the slave, spice and ivory trades to Arabian sultans and is well worth a visit. Our home for our stay here is the fishing village of Nungwi, surrounded by banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees, with a wonderful stretch of palm lined beach.  There are plenty of activities to take part in during your stay here-a guided spice tour, snorkelling, dhow(traditional sailing boat) trip, swimming with dolphins, scuba diving, visit to Stone Town or just relaxing in a hammock with a good book.

Day 18
Today is the final day of our tour and after breakfast we take the ferry back to Dar Es Salaam, where the tour ends.

Tour Price

From £1380.00 + Local Payment US$780.00

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