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1 / 143

Kenya Wildlife Safari

13 days Safari Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Kenya’s landscapes are teeming with animals of all spots and stripes, from speedy cheetahs to huddled masses of zebras. On this thrilling Kenya tour, you’ll see them all in some of the country’s most spectacular settings. Travel from towering Mount Kenya to the wild expanses of the Masai Mara to witness the drama of the bush unfolding around you.

All tours include

Round-trip airfare

Airport transfers to & from hotels

Expert tour Director

Traditional local cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Guided sightseeing

All tours include

Round-trip airfare

Airport transfers to & from hotels

Expert tour Director

Traditional local cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Guided sightseeing

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels & safari camps

  • Breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 9 three-course dinners with beer or wine on select days

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • 7 game drives

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Begin your adventure with an overnight flight to Kenya.

Nairobi2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Breakfast (in flight)

Upon arrival in the capital city of Kenya, a Go Ahead representative meets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. (Due to varying flight schedules, arrival may also be on the morning of Day 3.)

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Karen Blixen Estate, Giraffe Manor

This afternoon, visit the Giraffe Manor, a preserve dedicated to raising rare giraffes. Climb to the treehouse deck and feed giraffes by hand as you learn about the preservation efforts designed to increase the population of these animals. Next, tour the Karen Blixen Estate, a former coffee plantation where the author lived for several years, as described in her novel Out of Africa. Later, enjoy an included dinner at your hotel.

Mount Kenya National Park1 night Hotel info

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take in sweeping views of the countryside on your journey to the forested foothills of Mount Kenya. Sit down to an included lunch upon arrival at your lodge in the Mount Kenya region. Here, you can watch exotic wildlife drinking from the watering holes directly below the lodge’s elevated decks. Venture into the secret viewing bunker right at the water’s edge to watch animals from only yards away.

Great Rift Valley2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head north to the Great Rift Valley region. You’ll have lunch amid the area’s natural setting before embarking on an afternoon game walk. (On some tour departures, a boat cruise on Lake Naivasha may be offered instead.)

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow “soda” lake that hosts an astounding population of birds, including two million flamingos. Your guide will take you on morning and afternoon game drives through Lake Nakuru National Park. Along with birds of all kinds, be on the lookout for leopards, monkeys and rhinos (both the elusive black and white varieties) as you drive.

Masai Mara2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue through the Great Rift Valley as you transfer to the land of the Masai warriors, the spectacular Masai Mara, considered one of Africa’s best managed game parks. During a game drive this afternoon, watch for the Big Five of African safaris—leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions and elephants. Admire the breathtaking scenery of rolling hills, waving savanna grasses and acacia trees before making your way back to dinner at the lodge.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning and sunset are the best times for spotting game, and this park is known for its amazing variety of wild animals. Giraffes, elephants, zebras, gazelles, impala, hartebeest, baboons, warthogs, cheetah and wildebeest are some of the exotic creatures you might spot during today’s morning and afternoon game drives. In the middle of the day, relax by the pool and enjoy an included lunch. Dinner is included tonight as well.

Nairobi1 night Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning in the Masai Mara with lunch included. Enjoy a free morning in the Masai Mara with lunch included. This afternoon, return to Nairobi, where dinner is included at the hotel.

Amboseli2 nights Hotel info

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head south to Amboseli National Park, which sits against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent. Begin exploring the park on this afternoon’s game drive.

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend a full day in Amboseli National Park, home to huge herds of elephants, in addition to ostriches, leopards, lions and rhinos. Learn more about the many species who inhabit these grasslands from your guide during today’s two game drives.

Nairobifor a day Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you’re not continuing on the tour extension to Tanzania, travel back to Nairobi. A Go Ahead representative will escort you to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 13

Arrive home.

Add Tanzania, 5 nights $1,449 pp

The timeless plains stretch as far as the eye can see. Herds of animals roam as they did before humankind. The mighty Masai endure as they have for centuries. Time seems to stand still in the wilds of Tanzania, yet every day on this extension is thrilling and new. Experience the best of this bewitching country, from the wildlife-rich Tarangire to the legendary Serengeti to the “Garden of Eden” at Ngorongoro Crater.

Tarangire National Park1 night Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cross into Tanzania as you travel from Namanga to Arusha for an included lunch. Later, arrive at Tarangire National Park for an afternoon game drive.

Serengeti National Park2 nights Hotel info

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey to the Serengeti, stopping en route in Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959 the Leakeys excavated 1.8-million-year-old human fossil fragments at this “Cradle of Mankind.” After your included picnic lunch, head into the Serengeti.

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Situated on the Kenyan border adjacent to the Masai Mara, the Serengeti is another of Africa’s spectacular game parks. Your safari guide leads both morning and afternoon game drives, with a break for an included lunch.

Ngorongoro Regionfor a day Hotel info

Day 15

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an excursion into the 13-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater. Here, you’ll see an astonishing variety of wildlife. With a grassy meadow and a lake at its center, the Ngorongoro Crater attracts nearly every species known to East Africa, including hippos, elephants, lions, jackals and elands. Tonight, you’ll return to Ngorongoro where dinner is included.

Overnight Flight2 nights

Day 16

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

En route to Nairobi, stop in Arusha for an included lunch. Then, continue on to Nairobi, where you’ll board your overnight flight home.

Day 17

Arrive home today.

All tours include

Round-trip airfare

Airport transfers to & from hotels

Expert tour Director

Traditional local cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Guided sightseeing

Your tour includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels & safari camps

  • Breakfast daily, 9 lunches, 9 three-course dinners with beer or wine on Days 3, 9 & 11

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • 7 game drives

  • Transportation in 4x4 land cruisers

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1

Begin your adventure with an overnight flight to Kenya.

Nairobi2 nights Hotel info

Day 2

Included meals: Breakfast (in flight)

Upon arrival in Kenya’s capital city, a Go Ahead representative meets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. (Due to varying flight schedules, arrival may also be on the morning of Day 3.)

Day 3

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Included entrances: Giraffe Manor, Karen Blixen Estate

This afternoon, visit the Giraffe Manor, a preserve dedicated to raising rare giraffes. Climb to the treehouse deck and feed giraffes by hand as you learn about the preservation efforts designed to increase their population. Next, tour the Karen Blixen Estate, a former coffee plantation where the author lived for several years, as described in her novel “Out of Africa.” Later, enjoy an included dinner at your hotel.

Mount Kenya National Park1 night Hotel info

Day 4

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take in sweeping views of the countryside on your journey to the forested foothills of Mount Kenya. Sit down to an included lunch upon arrival at your lodge in the Mount Kenya region. Here, you can watch exotic wildlife drinking from the watering holes directly below the lodge’s elevated decks. Venture into the secret viewing bunker right at the water’s edge to watch animals from only yards away.

Great Rift Valley2 nights Hotel info

Day 5

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head north to the Great Rift Valley region. You’ll have lunch amid the area’s natural setting before embarking on an afternoon game walk. (On some tour departures, a boat cruise on Lake Naivasha may be offered instead.)

Day 6

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

This morning, travel to Lake Nakuru, a shallow “soda” lake that hosts an astounding population of birds, including two million flamingos. Your guide will take you on morning and afternoon game drives through Lake Nakuru National Park. Along with birds of all kinds, be on the lookout for leopards, monkeys and rhinos (both the elusive black and white varieties) as you drive.

Masai Mara2 nights Hotel info

Day 7

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Continue through the Great Rift Valley as you transfer to the land of the Masai warriors, the spectacular Masai Mara, considered one of Africa’s best managed game parks. During a game drive this afternoon, watch for the Big Five of African safaris—leopards, rhinos, Cape buffalo, lions and elephants. Admire the breathtaking scenery of rolling hills, waving savanna grasses and acacia trees before making your way back to dinner at the lodge.

Day 8

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early morning and sunset are the best times for spotting game, and this park is known for its amazing variety of wild animals. Giraffes, elephants, zebras, gazelles, impalas, hartebeest, baboons, warthogs, cheetah and wildebeest are some of the exotic creatures you might spot during today’s morning and afternoon game drives. In the middle of the day, relax by the pool and enjoy an included lunch. Dinner is included tonight as well.

Nairobi1 night Hotel info

Day 9

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Enjoy a free morning in the Masai Mara with lunch included. Enjoy a free morning in the Masai Mara with lunch included. This afternoon, return to Nairobi, where dinner is included at the hotel.

Amboseli2 nights Hotel info

Day 10

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Head south to Amboseli National Park, which sits against the breathtaking backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak on the African continent. Begin exploring the park on this afternoon’s game drive.

Day 11

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Spend a full day in Amboseli National Park, home to huge herds of elephants, in addition to ostriches, leopards, lions and rhinos. Learn more about the many species who inhabit these grasslands from your guide during today’s two game drives.

Nairobifor a day Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

If you’re not continuing on the tour extension to Tanzania, travel back to Nairobi. A Go Ahead representative will escort you to the airport for your overnight flight home.

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 13

Arrive home.

Add Tanzania, 5 nights $1,449 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

The timeless plains stretch as far as the eye can see. Herds of animals roam as they did before humankind. The mighty Masai endure as they have for centuries. Time seems to stand still in the wilds of Tanzania, yet every day on this extension is thrilling and new. Experience the best of this bewitching country, from the wildlife-rich Tarangire to the legendary Serengeti to the “Garden of Eden” at Ngorongoro Crater.

Tarangire National Park1 night Hotel info

Day 12

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Cross into Tanzania as you travel from Namanga to Arusha for an included lunch. Later, arrive at Tarangire National Park for an afternoon game drive.

Serengeti National Park2 nights Hotel info

Day 13

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Journey to the Serengeti, stopping en route in Olduvai Gorge, where in 1959 the Leakeys excavated 1.8-million-year-old human fossil fragments at this “Cradle of Mankind.” After your included picnic lunch, head into the Serengeti.

Day 14

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Situated on the Kenyan border adjacent to the Masai Mara, the Serengeti is another of Africa’s spectacular game parks. Your safari guide leads both morning and afternoon game drives, with a break for an included lunch.

Ngorongoro Regionfor a day Hotel info

Day 15

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take an excursion into the 13-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater. Here, you’ll see an astonishing variety of wildlife. With a grassy meadow and a lake at its center, the Ngorongoro Crater attracts nearly every species known to East Africa, including hippos, elephants, lions, jackals and elands. Tonight, you’ll return to Ngorongoro for an included dinner.

Overnight Flight2 nights

Day 16

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

En route to Nairobi, stop in Arusha for an included lunch. Then, continue on to Nairobi, where you’ll board your overnight flight home.

Day 17

Arrive home today.

How's the weather?

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Nanyuki, Rift Valley
  • Nakuru, Rift Valley
  • Amboseli, Kenya
  • Manyara
  • Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa

If you’re a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you’ll need a passport to enter Kenya (as well as Tanzania on the tour extension). Make sure that your passport has an expiration date that extends at least six months beyond the last day of your trip. A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enterKenya and Tanzania. You have the option to purchase each visa when you arrive at the airport, or you may obtain both in advance using VisaCentral. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the consulates of Kenya and Tanzania for your entry requirements.

Luggage

Safari luggage restrictions are strict and strongly enforced. Due to limited space in the vehicles on your tour, it’s essential that your luggage meet the following requirements:     

  • You must pack in a soft, flexible duffel bag (rolling duffels are okay, but absolutely no hard suitcases are permitted)
  • Your bags can be no larger than 34” W by 17” H by 15” L

Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on internal transfers.

Clothing

Since you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors, we recommend packing lightweight cotton clothing that can be layered as temperatures change throughout the day. For game drives, we recommend muted colors, as bright clothing can scare animals away. You should also bring comfortable shoes that don’t expose the skin, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. As you’re preparing to go, make sure you label your baggage and pack any valuables, medications and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Health

Before traveling to Africa, it is important that you check with your healthcare provider to determine what immunizations are recommended for you. Upon arrival, you may be asked to present a valid International Certificate of Vaccination (“yellow card”) or statement of medical exemption regarding the yellow fever vaccination. Your healthcare provider can advise you about receiving the yellow fever vaccination and/or any additional recommended immunizations, including malaria medications as some areas in Africa still carry malaria.

Transportation

  • International Flights—Your round-trip international flights will arrive in and depart from Nairobi.
  • On Safari—During your safari, you’ll travel in a specially equipped safari land cruiser The vehicle is open, allowing for panoramic views during game drives. Window seats are guaranteed. Transfers between parks are long and cross bumpy terrain, so we recommend bringing a small pillow to ease the ride.

Tour Director

Your guide for this tour will be different than a typical Tour Director. You will be met by a Go Ahead representative upon arrival and will then meet your guide the morning of your first full day on tour. He or she will act as both your tour guide and driver for the duration of your tour.

Tipping

We’ll take care of the gratuities for baggage handling on your safari. However, it’s customary to tip your guide/driver at the end of your journey. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $8USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day. Tips can only be paid in cash. Given the culture in Kenya, you can also expect to be solicited for tips from the hospitality and restaurant staff that you encounter. Leaving as little as the equivalency of $1USD/CAD is greatly appreciated, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Staying Healthy

To stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:     

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications. * Apply mosquito repellent and sunscreen regularly. Because of Kenya’s proximity to the equator, you may sunburn very quickly.

Cuisine

You’ll find that most cuisine in the game lodges reflects the region’s British colonial influence. Nairobi boasts exceptional establishments featuring French cuisine, East African curries and fresh African fish and game.

Electricity

Kenya operates on the British standard 240 volts, while Tanzania (on extension) uses 230 volts.

Time Zones

Kenya and Tanzania are three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or eight hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 8pm in Nairobi.

Currency

The currency you’ll be using on your tour is the Kenyan shilling (and the Tanzanian shilling on the tour extension). All East African countries have stringent exchange regulations. Their currencies are not interchangeable. We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible, and small amounts of U.S. dollars for small purchases. (Please make sure that you only bring U.S. dollars printed in 2004 or later.) ATMs are most readily available in Nairobi; while there, we recommend taking out cash in small bills to have on safari. It’s important to keep a receipt whenever you convert foreign currency. No local currency can be taken in or out of the country. Major American credit cards are accepted in Kenya. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Climate

Kenya enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year due to the high altitude of most of the area. Temperatures seldom vary from a norm of about 70 degrees, except in the mountain areas (low 50s in the evening) and at the beach (80s). The rainiest part of the year is March to May, with a secondary rainy season in November and December. The driest months are generally June to October.

Shopping

You’ll have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs at outdoor markets, small shops and tribal roadside stalls, as well as elegant boutiques in Nairobi and at some of the lodges. Prices in Kenya are almost always negotiable with bargaining, providing an excellent way of meeting the Kenyan people.

Items to give or trade

Many Kenyans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items to offer as gifts or when bartering for souvenirs. Inexpensive items include: tee shirts, baseball caps, pens, cosmetics and toiletries. Offering Kenyan children candy and gum is somewhat controversial because the availability of dental care may be negligible. Instead, offer English-language children’s books or crayons.

How's the weather?

  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Nanyuki, Rift Valley
  • Nakuru, Rift Valley
  • Amboseli, Kenya
  • Manyara
  • Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & Visa

If you’re a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you’ll need a passport to enter Kenya (as well as Tanzania on the tour extension). Make sure that your passport has an expiration date that extends at least six months beyond the last day of your trip. A visa is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens to enter Kenya and Tanzania. You have the option to purchase each visa when you arrive at the airport, or you may obtain both in advance using VisaCentral. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, contact the consulates of Kenya and Tanzania for your entry requirements.

Luggage

Safari luggage restrictions are strict and strongly enforced. Due to limited space in the vehicles on your tour, it’s essential that your luggage meet the following requirements:     

  • You must pack in a soft, flexible duffel bag (rolling duffels are okay, but absolutely no hard suitcases are permitted)
  • Your bags can be no larger than 34” W by 17” H by 15” L

Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on internal transfers.

Clothing

Since you’ll spend a lot of time outdoors, we recommend packing lightweight cotton clothing that can be layered as temperatures change throughout the day. For game drives, we recommend muted colors, as bright clothing can scare animals away. You should also bring comfortable shoes that don’t expose the skin, such as sneakers or lightweight hiking boots, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. As you’re preparing to go, make sure you label your baggage and pack any valuables, medications and documents in your carry-on luggage.

Health

Before traveling to Africa, it is important that you check with your healthcare provider to determine what immunizations are recommended for you. Upon arrival, you may be asked to present a valid International Certificate of Vaccination (“yellow card”) or statement of medical exemption regarding the yellow fever vaccination. Your healthcare provider can advise you about receiving the yellow fever vaccination and/or any additional recommended immunizations, including malaria medications as some areas in Africa still carry malaria.

Transportation

  • International Flights—Your round-trip international flights will arrive in and depart from Nairobi.
  • On Safari—During your safari, you’ll travel in a specially equipped safari land cruiser The vehicle is open, allowing for panoramic views during game drives. Window seats are guaranteed. Transfers between parks are long and cross bumpy terrain, so we recommend bringing a small pillow to ease the ride.

Tour Director

Your guide for this tour will be different than a typical Tour Director. You will be met by a Go Ahead representative upon arrival and will then meet your guide the morning of your first full day on tour. He or she will act as both your tour guide and driver for the duration of your tour.

Tipping

We’ll take care of the gratuities for baggage handling on your safari. However, it’s customary to tip your guide/driver at the end of your journey. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $8USD/CAD to $10USD/CAD per person per day. Tips can only be paid in cash. Given the culture in Kenya, you can also expect to be solicited for tips from the hospitality and restaurant staff that you encounter. Leaving as little as the equivalency of $1USD/CAD is greatly appreciated, although tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Staying Healthy

To stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:     

  • Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
  • Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
  • Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications. * Apply mosquito repellent and sunscreen regularly. Because of Kenya’s proximity to the equator, you may sunburn very quickly.

Cuisine

You’ll find that most cuisine in the game lodges reflects the region’s British colonial influence. Nairobi boasts exceptional establishments featuring French cuisine, East African curries and fresh African fish and game.

Electricity

Kenya operates on the British standard 240 volts, while Tanzania (on extension) uses 230 volts.

Time Zones

Kenya and Tanzania are three hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or eight hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 8pm in Nairobi.

Currency

The currency you’ll be using on your tour is the Kenyan shilling (and the Tanzanian shilling on the tour extension). All East African countries have stringent exchange regulations. Their currencies are not interchangeable. We recommend that you carry as little local cash as possible, and small amounts of U.S. dollars for small purchases. (Please make sure that you only bring U.S. dollars printed in 2004 or later.) ATMs are most readily available in Nairobi; while there, we recommend taking out cash in small bills to have on safari. It’s important to keep a receipt whenever you convert foreign currency. No local currency can be taken in or out of the country. Major American credit cards are accepted in Kenya. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Climate

Kenya enjoys a pleasant climate throughout the year due to the high altitude of most of the area. Temperatures seldom vary from a norm of about 70 degrees, except in the mountain areas (low 50s in the evening) and at the beach (80s). The rainiest part of the year is March to May, with a secondary rainy season in November and December. The driest months are generally June to October.

Shopping

You’ll have the opportunity to shop for handicrafts and souvenirs at outdoor markets, small shops and tribal roadside stalls, as well as elegant boutiques in Nairobi and at some of the lodges. Prices in Kenya are almost always negotiable with bargaining, providing an excellent way of meeting the Kenyan people.

Items to give or trade

Many Kenyans are fond of North American goods, and travelers often bring token items to offer as gifts or when bartering for souvenirs. Inexpensive items include: tee shirts, baseball caps, pens, cosmetics and toiletries. Offering Kenyan children candy and gum is somewhat controversial because the availability of dental care may be negligible. Instead, offer English-language children’s books or crayons.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: UT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Go Africa!

A transcendent experience in the cradle of humanity and one of the last strongholds of the magnificent African wildlife - Kenya and the Great Rift Valley. Don't be afraid to travel single in this tour - while it is not common to have single travelers, you are well taken care and there is so much to experience and ponder that you never feel isolated. Our tour was a nice size - 10 folks and 2 vans - and bothvan drivers/guides were very accommodating, paying attention to each person and doing whatever it took to ensure the best experience possible for everyone. Benson, who was the driver/guide for the van I traveled in, was very kind and patient, knowledgeable about the country as well as the many animals and birds and proud to show off the inexhaustible beauties of Kenya. The accommodations were varied and fun - giving what felt like a well-rounded experience of lodging possibilities. Food was consistently good and often excellent. Personal service at the various venues was very gracious - friendly local people and staff - beautiful inside and out. Some highlights: Malewa Springs at Kigio Wildlife Conservancy - hippos relaxing in the river flowing through camp and the ability to have a game walk among the rare Rothchilds giraffes; the Ark in the Aberdares mountains - has several levels of water hole viewing from the hotel - a unique experience at any hour of the day or night to see forest elephant families, hyenas, cape buffalo, antelope, birds, and maybe even leopards, plus great bird watching; Maasai Mara - words inadequate to contain the wonders of that magnificent reserve, especially when you are there to catch the wildebeest crossing the Mara River; and last but certainly not least - the vast Amboselli park- with its large herds of the great African plains elephants protected enough to have retained impressive tusks, with magnificent Mt. Kilamanjaro ("the glittering mountain") towering above the plain. Great bird watching at Sentrim Amboselli tent camp - Maasai naturalist (David) on staff very friendly and helpful. Some tips: Like others have said, much easier and cheaper to wait to get your VISA at the Nairobi airport; ATMs not generally available outside Nairobi banks and don't expect them in the shops, reserves or hotels; Credit cards machines may not work at remote locations - so make sure to have backup cash; Cannot exchange currency except at airport and large city banks so plan accordingly; Do not carry large denominations of US currency - the businesses and vendors will generally only be able to make change in Kenya shillings and they do not have access to large amounts of cash- carry the majority of your US money in $20s, $10s and $5s. Use $1 bills for small tipping; Take seriously the restriction on US bills issued 2004 or later - you will not be able to use any that do not comply. Don't worry about using Kenya shillings - most locals are very comfortable with figuring for you the cost in US money. Be prepared to bargain for souvenirs - it is expected and once you get the hang of it can be fun and a great opportunity for one-on-one contact with native folks. Be prepared for optional side trips that are not included in the tour - and do not let the extra cost deter you (if like me this is for you a once in a lifetime experience): Visit the Sheldrick Elephant Nursery in Nairobi - very reasonable fee to get close to lots of baby elephants for an hour and learn about the devoted efforts year after year to save as many elephant orphans as they can for return to the bush. Night game drive at Malewa was well worth the extra $s - remember that being out at night in the African bush is not a good idea unless you are with a guide.and so this is a rare opportunity to encounter Africa at night. (Night game drives only available at Conservancies like Kigio - not on National Parks or Reserves). Balloon Ride over the Maasai Mara - a singular experience in a singular land - especially during the July/August migration season. $450 is not expensive for what you get: balloon flies incredibly low at times so you can be just a few feet above the animals, like a lion relaxing after a full meal; you get a better sense of the scale of the wildebeest hordes streaming across the plains, with ostrich, zebras and many types of beautiful antelope joining in; experience the beauty of the plains in the stillness of the dawn light; have champagne with full bush breakfast after you land inside the Maasai Mara reserve (our balloon landed just a few feet from a cheetah waiting to start the day's rounds) - and then another morning game drive back through the reserve to meet up with your regular tour guide. Hard to understand why so many Americans are bothered about the long drive on rough roads - don't know why they expected anything else. In other words if you want to see this magnificent country and its inhabitants, both animal and human, up close, you need to be prepared to cover lots of bumpy ground by car - bring a pillow and keep your eyes peeled! Colleen McM

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/25/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: NM

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a lifetime

My two sons and I greatly enjoyed seeing a small part of the African wild while it is still possible. Francis, our driver/guide, was a fount of knowledge about the places and animals we saw throughout the trip and made the experience extra special with friendly and detailed descriptions of his Masai culture in answer to my ceaseless questions. We "bagged" the Big 5 plus saw lots of other exotic birds, animals, and plants. Francis not only could name but provide details about all of them. The accommodations were good to great with the funky Malewa lodges in the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy among the most memorable. The nature walk at Kigio, during which we were able to stretch our legs while walking among giraffes and other wildlife, was a highlight. The trip ended on a high note when the clouds cleared and we saw Mt. Kilimanjaro in all its glory from Amboseli on our last day.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/4/2014

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great Time

We visited South Africa a couple of years ago with Go Ahead and a lot of the people highly recommended this tour. A couple of caveats, they take dollars everywhere and get your visas while you are there. It will cost you a little time but it is well worth it ($50 per person in Kenya and $100 per person in Tanzania). We were a small group (10 in Kenya and 6 on the Tanzanian extension) so we had driver/guides, Eric and Solomon in Kenya and Francis in Tanzania. They were friendly, helpful, and informative. There is a lot of driving between parks and the roads in the parks are bumpy (they call it the Kenyan massage) so be prepared. It's Africa. In Nairobi we stayed at The Boma and really enjoyed the facilities (pool, gym, spa, restaurants, free wifi). We stayed at a number of Sopa hotel/lodges each with a unique African look and enjoyed them all. When you are The Ark make sure you go down into the Bunker to see, hear, and smell the animals only feet away from you. While at the tented camps pay close attention about when there is hot water and electricity, they are not on 24/7. There are hot air balloon rides offered at the Masai Mara and Serengeti and depending on where the migration is this should be a must do. Yes, it is expensive ($450 for the ride plus a champagne breakfast in the middle of all the animals) but it is something you will regret not taking. While shopping and tipping in Kenya and Tanzania dollars are accepted everywhere. I am presently going through 1200 pictures plus 2 hours of video so make sure you have at least 16 gig memory cards for you cameras to hold all the pictures you will take.

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4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/4/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NE

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Africa

What a great trip! A person cannot describe the beauty, serenity, and expanse of the African countryside. It is also an eye opener to the poverty that exists for many of the people. The hotels were great and the meals were excellent. We also enjoyed the people we met in our group.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 1/9/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: ME

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

What tour director?

There were many great things about this trip. This included my fellow travelers,GREAT DRIVER GUIDES- SOLOMON AND DENNIS, amazing animals and lovely accommodations. The following issues diminished the value of this trip for me. 1. Limited Cultural Interpretation. In all of Go Ahead's info they boast of their great tour directors who provide insight and info about the local culture.I was so looking forward to this info about Kenya and Tanzania as I had done a lot of reading and had many questions. We were told that because we were a group of 12 not 15 that we would not have a Tour Director but our Driver/Guides were well prepared to answer our questions and expert at finding and identifying game. That was totally true. However these men were, first and foremost, drivers. They were negotiating harrowing traffic, mountain passes and rugged terrain.We hesitated to distract the drivers with multiple questions. The drivers (1 in each safari vehicle)were gracious and well informed but open windows and bumpy roads made for limited communication( no microphones to facilitate hearing). I did discuss with a Go Ahead representative who explained that on this particular tour the drivers do act as guides.That would have been helpful to know prior to booking. I still feel that the driver guides can't possibly do it all under the circumstances and the cultural interpretation was lacking. This was not the fault of the Driver/Guides. 2. Too much vehicle time. Obviously, I did expect a lot of driving as this was a safari. However, poor road conditions and questionable itinerary planning resulted in prolonged driving which always seemed to exceed the drivers/company expectations. There was little time to enjoy any of the hotel amenities or the described relaxing times at hotels. 3. Visas. Go Ahead seemed to push to get you to obtain Visa's before going. Those of us who used a visa service paid a significant amount more for those documents than the people who got then at the borders. I also had to refute a "rush" charge( See Wallace review). There will be a wait , 10-20 min per person for Visa at Nairobi and 10-15 min going into Tanzania. Next time I'll wait. Shelly. Jan 10,2014

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 1/10/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MA

Tour Director: 1 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Kenya Wildlife Safari

In general, we had a wonderful trip, subject to the comments below. We had great views of the wildlife and the scenery (which was our primary purpose in going), and were totally blown away. with Africa's beauty. In this regard, the trip did not disappoint. The people who served us at the hotels, restaurants, and land transport were all very friendly, courteous, and professional. In general, the hotels were all good to excellent in terms of staff, cleanliness and the like. The BOMA hotel in Nairobi fell into this category, except the bathrooms were poorly designed in that the wall separating the bathroom and the bedroom was of opaque glass, so every time someone would go to the bathroom at night, the bedroom would light up. Also, the shower was poorly designed in that you could not test the water without flooding the entire bathroom. Therefore I would rate the BOMA fair to good. The Ark was awesome in that it was right next to a watering hole and we got to see plenty of elephants, water buffalo, etc. up close and personal. My favorite was the Naivasha Sopa. The setting was beautiful; rooms were very nice, and plenty of animals roaming about (monkeys, giraffes, antelopes etc.). The food was only fair to good. The beef entrees were consistently overcooked , otherwise I would rank the food higher. I was told by others in our group that the veggies were good, The breakfasts and lunches were good. The pastries were consistently dry. The best meal I had was lunch (fish) at the shopping center restaurant in Nairobi. The Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi for dinner was overrated. Its supposed to be world famous because the waiters come to your table and serve various game meats sliced from skewers. However, they came so often that you didn't have time to enjoy the meal. We had serious issues with lack of disclosure regarding the costs of our visas and no tour director. In the materials sent by Go Ahead, they strongly suggested that you get your visas in advance, and recommended that you use their preferred visa company. They failed to mention, however, that the cost of doing it this way is approximately $900 per couple, which approaches 10% of the base cost of the trip. They also did not mention that if you obtained the visas upon entry to the respective countries, the cost was $300 per couple. Also, the visa company tried to charge us an extra $200 to rush the visa, when it was not necessary to do so. Others in our group experienced the same thing. Also, travelers should know that the cost of getting yellow fever and other shots and malaria pills recommended by our travel clinic approximates $900, although much of that was covered by our health insurance. When we got to Nairobi (vs when we signed up) we were informed that because our group was so small (12) we did not get a tour director, even though we paid the same amount as larger groups. Presumably a tour director adds value (whether it be to provide cultural background or to smooth over kinks along the way, or whatever), otherwise there wouldn't be tour directors. In any event, we didn't get one, and there were times when we could have used one. For example, the morning game drives were too long mostly because there was no one to set time limits. The travelers were reluctant to deprive their follow travelers of game watching time, and the van drivers were there to accommodate the customers. It was not unusual to start morning game drive at 6:30 or 7, and not get back to the lodge until 1 or 2. We barely had time to wolf down lunch before the afternoon game drive started at 4pm. This meant we were often in the van 9 and 1/2 hours a day, which was too long, especially considering that we usually had a 5 hour ride the day before to get to the park in question. We feel if we had a tour director, he or she could have imposed some limits as to the time we spent in the van. Getting back to the lodge at 12:30pm each day would have provided ample time for game watching, assuming a drive in the afternoon. There were many in the group that also felt we spent too much time driving, and some suggested it would have been better if we could have flown from one park to another, although I don't know if this is cost effective. As another example, there were at least 3 time when the hotels did not get the word that there was to be a complementary drink at dinner. It wasn't so much the cost of the drink, as it was the awkwardness in trying to explain the situation to the waiters and hotel staff. We feel that a tour director would have shielded us from this. Lastly, although the drivers answered our questions as best they could, they had their hands full driving, and a tour director would have been helpiful in providing background. Bottom line: we paid for a tour director and didn't get one.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Yet!

This was the best of the five Go Ahead tours that we've taken. First of all, let me preface my remarks by saying that there's a lot of driving over unimproved roads. Of the 1000 or so miles that we traveled, at least 70% was on unimproved road surfaces. So, you need to be in good condition and get used to long periods with a minimum of rest stops. Having said that, this was a fabulous trip. Our traveling companions were the greatest. Our guides/drivers, named Joseph and Romauld, were outstanding. They knew where to go, the names of the wildlife, and were excellent drivers over these very ""remarkable"" roads. They took very good care of us, and they deserved the recommended tipping schedules. (Please Note: Your driver is also your guide, and responsible for your safety, transits, game drives and viewing; as such, please be generous.) The accommodations were excellent--some were of the five star caliber--and the food was very good. Despite the long hours in various transits, there was plenty of time to enjoy the vastness of East Africa, the Serengeti, Maasai Mara, Ambocelli, Kigio, Tangirire, the Ngorongoro Crater, etc. Plenty of time to stop and observe interesting wildlife episodes and to shoot more photographs than you will ever have the time to edit. We highly recommend this East Africa Safari, and wholeheartedly recommend the Tanzania extension. Our traveling companions on the extension were professional wildlife photographers, and I can say, without hesitation, that this sentiment was also shared by them. Our interaction with the Masai, the Kenyans and Tanzanians was enlightening and wonderful. That alone was a huge benefit, and I can honestly say that we met some of the most beautiful or handsome men and women--not to mention some of the most adorable children and babies. This was a photographers feast.!! TRAVEL TIP: ATM's are few and far between. There are some in Nairobi and Arusha. Take US dollars in $50 denominations for your tips, along with smaller denominations. Please make sure they are, (Repeat ÄRE") series 2004 or later; otherwise, not acceptable in either Kenya or Tanzania. Safes are available in all the accommodations, either in-room or at desk. Gift and curio shops en route will accept all credit cards or US dollars. Be prepared to negotiate, but don't expect "fire sales""; many of the native carved pieces are excellent and don't be afraid to spend on any well crafted sculptures when you find them--they won't be replicated elsewhere, although there are classes of goods that seem to be mass produced and available everywhere. Finally, if you can afford it, fly business class. The legs between stops are long and a lot of flight time is spent at night. . Jet lag aside, I'll do this trip again in a heartbeat!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: SC

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Big Five!!

This tour was just a step below excellent because of the safari tour transport. Otherwise, this was great and I would recommend it! Lodging was fun and new room styles. Food was delicious! The numerous staff members were friendly, fun and nice to be around. Our tour director Daniel was great at driving and avoiding bumps in dirt roads while pointing out animals to us. The only low grade was the van we traveled in. It was small and cramped inside to try to stand up quickly to photograph animals in the parks. It was clean and had comfortable seats, but the seats were close together. If you don't plan on jumping up to the popup top and just look through the windows, this would be no problem. Weather was great on a November tour. Rare showers, mostly at night, cool at night and warm during the day -- sometimes hot! Bring shorts and t-shirts as well as a light jacket.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 11/1/2013

Number of Past Tours: 10

From: NM

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Trip of a Lifetime

To rework a phrase, lions, and elephants, and hippos and rhinos, oh my! All of that and so much more. It was a glorious trip. Our drivers were very informative and worked very hard to make sure we saw everything of interest that we could possibly see. "Camping out" at its best; with complete inside bathrooms. I would only advise bringing a cushion to soften the effect of the washboard roads. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to go -- really a trip of a lifetime.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/11/2013

Number of Past Tours: 16

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Fabulous Experience!!

Seeing all the animals, the tent camps and the outstanding guides made this the trip of a lifetime!!

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