Kenya & Zanzibar: Safari & Surf
August 28 – September 7, 2016 • 11 Days • $6,475
We are excited about our return to the enchanting land of Kenya and the tantalizing Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar! These two destinations offer a one-of-a-kind Adventure among some of this planet’s most fascinating wildlife, diverse landscapes, and enchanting native cultures.
Our foray into fabled East Africa is unique in several respects:
- The entire Adventure in Kenya is undertaken in comfortable 4×4 Land Cruisers with 6 people max in each vehicle, offering outstanding wildlife viewing and a driver/guide to inform you of all that your amazed eyes are absorbing.
- Lodging is primarily in distinctive safari locations within close striking range of wildlife reserves that we visit.
- A domestic flight between Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park is included, greatly reducing travel time and maximizing our safari experience.
- All meals except two lunches are included on the tour.
- For a completely different side of Africa, nothing compares to the lovely white-sand beaches and Indian Ocean setting of Zanzibar, with its blending of African, Arabic, and Indian influences. We spend parts of four days enjoying this tropical setting—a stark contrast to our safari-themed experienced in Kenya. You get both safari and surf on this Adventure!
- The Zanzibar portion of the tour includes a round-trip international flight from Nairobi to Zanzibar.
East Africa is a stunning destination, not only for its rich abundance of wildlife, but also for the hospitable and colorful native groups that we encounter. We invite you to join us for our 2016 safari in Kenya & Zanzibar!
- Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day*
- Superior tourist-class (3-star) or better lodge accommodations
- All land travel in Land Cruiser vehicles, including game drives (6 people per vehicle)
- 1 domestic flight in Kenya, 2 international flights roundtrip from Kenya to Zanzibar
- 28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners as listed ***
- 5 walks as listed (IVV sanctions not yet obtained)
- Fees for sanctioning (if IVV approved)
- WAI guide service throughout
- Cultural & historical expertise of our local guide throughout
- All tipping for local guides and Land Cruiser drivers
- Limited private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee:
- Single Supplement (for first 4 singles): $575
- Single Supplement (after 4 singles): $950
Entrance fees and guided safari tours of:
- Lake Nakuru National Park – WHS** (Kenya)
- Lake Elementaita – WHS ** (Kenya)
- Lake Naivasha National Park – WHS** (Kenya)
- Crescent Island cruise and guided walk (Kenya)
- Crater Lake Game Sanctuary cruise and guided walk (Kenya)
- Maasai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
- Maasai walk and village visit (Kenya)
- Amboseli National Park with Mt. Kilimanjaro views (Kenya)
- Bush Dinner on the Plains of Amboseli (Kenya)
- Stone Town of Zanzibar – WHS** (Tanzania)
- Spice Tour (Tanzania)
- Lunch at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi (Kenya)
- David Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage visit (Kenya)
- More fun stops than we can list!
- Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park (Kenya) – Day 1
- Hot Air Balloon Safari over Maasai Mara (Kenya) – Day 6
- Safari Blue Indian Ocean Adventure in Zanzibar (Tanzania) – Day 10
*Details of transfers provided are listed in Adventure Advice memo sent upon receipt of tour registration.
**WHS: UNESCO World Heritage Site
*** (BLD) in itinerary indicates included meals: breakfast, lunch, or dinner
“Traveling with WAI is always a pleasure. The guides make sure the cultural experiences we have are high quality, and learning about other cultures is one of the pleasant aspects of travel.”
-Karen H; Portland, OR
“Excellent experience! I loved the cultural and historical information and experiences, as well as the game drives and walks with the animals. The fast pace was difficult at times, but necessary to get everything in. Thank you for an unforgettable African experience!! …Scott kept us very informed! I really appreciated his leadership style and historical information. Great job, Scott!!”
-Trina R; Canby, OR
“This East Africa trip certainly opened our eyes to the differences between certain tribes. Some of it was shocking!! If you stay at home you would never see what we have seen…The walks were all different experiences—wildlife sightings, rural setting, and the old town and market scenes.”
-Ray & Anna M; ON, CANADA
“Excellent exposure to variances in environment and cultures in Eastern Africa.”
-Dale L; Kent, WA
“Everything was truly an adventure. Hot air balloon ride, safaris. Loved boating among the trees to see all the shore birds.”
-Carol Y; Fairborn, OH
“Of course, one of the highlights of coming to Africa is to see the animals in their natural environment. For me, an equal highlight was going to the three very different villages and getting a firsthand glimpse of their different lifestyles. The rain in the Maasai village allowed us even more time to talk with our Maasai host, which was wonderful…Scott was an excellent guide. He managed to always keep his cool and was willing to listen and make accommodations as needed for the comfort of the group…The information given was very comprehensive. I also really appreciated the reading list and felt it was a very good list of books covering various periods of time in Kenya.
I would certainly travel with WAI again, particularly to places that would be difficult to travel to on my own.”
-Michele L; Canby, OR
“Maasai Mara was the highlight with all the animals and balloon ride it was a WOW day! Spice farm was fun.”
-Shelley K; Portland, OR
“First game drive at Lake Nakuru was very exciting! Also loved the Maasai Mara, Crescent Island, Hell’s Gate, Amboseli, and Crater Lake were also great. I never dreamed we’d see so many animals. We had zebra and elephants right by our tents on two occasions.
The tours are well planned and include walking (not so important on this trip) and sightseeing. Travel companions are interested in the same things we are. Great guides. We’ve enjoyed every trip taken with WAI!!!”
-Jane M; Matthews, NC
Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5
Russ Isom and Scott Isom are a father/son guiding team. They both live in the Pacific Northwest so they’re right at home in the great outdoors; they love to hike and backpack, and enjoy athletics of almost any kind. They are excited to share the diverse wildlife and fascinating cultures of Kenya & Zanzibar with you!
Day 1-Aug 28: Arrive Nairobi, Kenya
Travelers arrive into Nairobi today for an 11-day safari in the magical lands of Kenya and Zanzibar. As you exit customs, you’ll be met by a representative of WAI and transferred to our hotel located strategically in downtown Nairobi. Since flights generally arrive in the evening, no group activities are planned until tomorrow.
For those who arrive into Nairobi a day early (Aug 27), an optional afternoon visit is offered to the nearby Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park, providing a wonderful overview to the country’s rich natural, cultural, and historical heritage.
Estimated price ~ $85 (includes roundtrip transfer, guide services, and entrance to both venues)
Day 2-Aug 29: Nairobi – Lake Nakuru (BLD)
Following breakfast, we board clean and comfortable 4×4 safari vehicles and head north into the dramatic Great Rift Valley en route to the “Birds Paradise” of Lake Nakuru National Park. Our afternoon game drive treats us to the first of many quintessential wildlife panoramas as we hunt (with our cameras) for Nakuru’s famous flamingo and rhino populations. We wrap up our first thrilling day on safari with dinner and an overnight at a local game lodge.
Day 3-Aug 30: Lake Nakuru – Lake Naivasha (BLD)
Lake Elementaita Walk – 7 km, rated 2B
This morning’s short drive to Lake Elementaita continues our exploration of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley Lakes Region (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). We lace up our boots today for a guided morning stroll with our guide along the lovely soda shoreline of Elementaita, soaking up rainbow shades of the many winged residents of the lake including storks, pelicans, plovers, and more pink flamingos. Following a relaxing lunch at the Elementaita Lodge and a short walk to a nearby horseshoe crater, we continue south to large freshwater Lake Naivasha for a two-night stay at a colonial lodge.
Day 4-Aug 31: Activities from Lake Naivasha (BLD)
Crescent Island Walk – 5 km, rated 1B
Crater Lake Game Sanctuary Walk – 4 km, rated 2C
We cruise this morning through a popular hippo feeding area of Lake Naivasha on our way to Crescent Island, a protruding rim of a collapsed volcanic crater. After a memorable wildlife walk on the island, we return to our lodge for lunch. An animal-rich afternoon awaits us as we boat across the lake to another delightful destination, Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, where a “Garden of Eden” game walk introduces us to plentiful plains wildlife on our way to an impressive jade-green crater lake nestled at the bottom of an extinct volcano. Dinner awaits us back at our Lake Naivasha lodge.
Day 5-Sep 1: Lake Naivasha – Maasai Mara National Reserve (BLD)
Maasai Manyatta (Village) Walk – 5 km, rated 1B
We awake this morning for an eagerly anticipated drive across the Great Rift Valley toward one of the natural wonders of the world, Maasai Mara National Reserve. Upon arrival, we enjoy a walk with the colorful Maasai tribe to one of their manyattas (villages), catching an unforgettable glimpse into the daily lives of these friendly savannah dwellers. We return from this cultural connection, savoring dinner and the first of two nights at our Maasai Mara game lodge.
Day 6-Sep 2: Activities in Maasai Mara (BLD)
A well-reviewed, once-in-a-lifetime optional hot air balloon safari over Maasai Mara is available early this morning. The three-hour experience includes unique airborne wildlife viewing and a bush breakfast when you land. Estimated price ~ $480
Official activities begin today with a morning game drive among the iconic East African landscape of Maasai Mara. Rolling grasslands of the Mara mark the northern extension of Tanzania’s famed Serengeti Plains and are equally blessed with an astonishing array of wildlife. Following a riverside picnic lunch, the safari continues with an afternoon game drive that takes us in search of the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino, and Leopard) and many other savannah species including herds of migrating wildebeest.
Day 7-Sep 3: Maasai Mara – Amboseli National Park (BLD)
One more morning game drive in the Mara gives us an opportunity to take advantage of an ample assortment of animals. Following lunch at our lodge, we board small planes for an afternoon flight to Amboseli National Park. Anticipation builds during our journey to southern Kenya and a much hoped-for first sighting of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, the rooftop of Africa. Standing over 19,000 feet above sea level, this highest free-standing mountain in the world is just across the Tanzania border from Amboseli, and should be visible if the weather cooperates. A late afternoon game drive in Amboseli treats us to some of the continent’s best elephant viewing. Post-pachyderm plans include a bush dinner and a relaxing evening at our luxury tented safari camp.
Day 8-Sep 4: Amboseli National Park – Zanzibar, Tanzania (BLD)
Following another Amboseli game drive this morning, we head north to the Nairobi airport and fly to Zanzibar for a completely different facet of Africa’s colorful history. As one of East Africa’s great trading centers, Zanzibar has long been an alluring destination, a crossroads of culture where African, Arab, and Indian influences comingle. We spend several days here enjoying a change of pace from the mainland, basking in the sunshine and exploring the island from our beach resort along the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Day 9-Sep 5: Activities in Zanzibar (BD)
Zanzibar Stone Town Walk – 5 km, rated 1A
A morning walking tour of Stone Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site) affords glimpses of Zanzibar’s rich cultural diversity on a magical jumble of cobbled alleyways flanked by Arabic-style homes next to Indian-influenced buildings with their ornate balconies and latticework. Our walk includes stops at the Anglican Cathedral, Old Fort, House of Wonders, the former slave market, Tippu Tip House, and Palace Museum. After time for lunch on our own, we savor a Spice Tour, exploring Zanzibar’s famous spice plantations, introduced by the sultan of Oman in 1873.
Day 10-Sep 6: Activities in Zanzibar (BD)
Today is free to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach setting of our Indian Ocean resort.
OR, take advantage of an optional all-day boat safari through crystalline waters off the coast of Zanzibar. This optional boat safari includes a private island landing, snorkeling and swimming options at some of the area’s gorgeous sand bars, and the chance to see dolphin pods and a flooded mangrove forest. A seafood barbecue lunch is included in the price of this boat safari. Estimated price ~ $90 USD.
We finish this mesmerizing island day with dinner together at our beach resort.
Day 11-Sep 7: Zanzibar – Nairobi, Kenya – Return home (BLD)
All island holidays must end some time, so with great regret, we depart Zanzibar today on a flight to Nairobi. We arrive in Kenya’s capital with time to enjoy lunch at the unique Carnivore Restaurant, followed by an afternoon visit to David Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, full of up-close encounters with our floppy-eared friends. Following a chance to clean up and rest at an airport hotel, we share a farewell dinner before transferring to the airport for our flights home. We return to North America with a suitcase full of enchanting experiences from our shared safari in the fabled lands of East Africa.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
Call or mail in your registration ($500) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this departure.
General Tour Conditions and Registration Forms
First Time Traveler Savings
In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $400 credit on international tours!
Group Travel Credit
If you are part of a Group, remember that your full deposit of $500 is still required to hold your spot on this Adventure. Your group leader is responsible to submit your name in writing to us before you register, qualifying you for the Group Travel Credit, but a full deposit is needed to officially reserve your place. Your Group Travel Credit will be reflected on your final statement.
A word about immunizations
No preparation for a trip to Africa would be complete without a discussion about immunizations. We will address this topic in more detail in the Tips & Tidbits factsheet that comes out about three months before departure. If you want to discuss this Adventure with your doctor before registering, here is what we can tell you now: malaria is an issue in this part of Africa and Yellow Fever seems to be a concern in parts of Kenya. Officially, a Yellow Fever certificate is required when entering Tanzania from a Yellow Fever endemic country like Kenya. Our recommendation is that you have proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination when entering Tanzania from Kenya. A variety of other immunizations generally recommended for travel in developing countries will likely also be recommended for your visit to Kenya and Tanzania.
As we are not qualified to give medical advice, you will definitely need to see your personal health care provider or visit a travel clinic. In general, travel health clinics are more reliable sources of information in this matter than general practitioners. You can find travel health clinics in the yellow pages or online. Two examples are www.ushealthworks.com and www.passporthealthusa.com. If you intend to research immunization further before receiving the Tips & Tidbits factsheet, remember to take your Adventure brochure with you so you can show the medical staff where we are traveling.
How is airfare arranged?
The official start and finish point for this Adventure is Nairobi, Kenya (NBO), where you will be met at the airport by a WAI representative upon arrival and transferred to our starting hotel. We recommend that you contact the travel agent we work with to help book your flight arrangements. In this age of airfare complications and airport uncertainty, using a travel agent is a good investment! More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be provided in the Adventure Advice flyer which will be mailed to you after you register for the Adventure. Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the Adventure Advice flyer!
What about the walks?
We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system that is similar to one used by the American Volkssport Association (AVA), which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below.
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
During our Kenya & Zanzibar: Safari & Surf Adventure, three optional activities will be offered. We ask that you sign up for these optionals no later than May 21, 2016.
Day 1 (August 28) ~ Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park: For those who arrive into Nairobi a day early (Aug 27), an optional afternoon visit is offered to the nearby Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park, providing a wonderful overview to the country’s rich natural, cultural, and historical heritage. Estimated price: $85 (includes roundtrip transfer, guide services, and entrance to both venues)
Day 6 (September 2) ~ Hot Air Balloon Safari over Maasai Mara: A well-reviewed, once-in-a-lifetime optional hot air balloon safari over Maasai Mara is available early this morning. The three-hour experience includes unique airborne wildlife viewing and a bush breakfast when you land. Estimated price: $480
Day 10 (September 6) ~ Safari Blue Indian Ocean Adventure in Zanzibar: Take advantage of an optional all-day boat safari through crystalline waters off the coast of Zanzibar. This boat safari includes a private island landing, snorkeling and swimming options at some of the area’s gorgeous sand bars, and the chance to see dolphin pods and a flooded mangrove forest. A seafood barbecue lunch is included in the price of this boat safari. Estimated price: $90
WAI believes strongly in the importance of travel insurance for financial and medical protection from any number of unforeseen circumstances that can arise before departure or during your Adventure. Many travel insurance providers are available for you to consider. Debbi Custer of World Travel Inc. a travel agent who provides air travel services to many WAI travelers, can provide travel insurance options for your WAI tour as well as your airfare (email email@example.com -OR- call 888-276-0925 / 503-231-9507). For those of you who purchase airfare through Debbi, purchasing your travel insurance from her as well may be the simplest option. As always, do some shopping to ensure you are getting the best value. Using the Insuremytrip.com website can be a good way to compare pricing.
Other options include:
- Travel Guard
- Travel Insured International
NOTE: We suggest purchasing from a reputable, well-established insurance company (avoid buying insurance from an unknown company found only online). In addition, be aware that some travel insurance policies contain time-sensitive provisions—i.e. some benefits are available only if the policy is purchased within a certain number of days of the purchase of the travel package.
What happens next?
Upon registering for this Adventure, you will receive a welcome letter and initial invoice. The Adventure Advice flyer will be sent soon after, with important information about steps to take in the months before your trip. Please do not buy your airline tickets until you receive the Adventure Advice flyer. The final payment for the program is due 90 days before departure, and you will receive a final billing about 2 weeks prior to that point, along with a Tips & Tidbits factsheet of additional information about the Adventure to help you get prepared! Then, about 3 weeks before departure, you will receive a final packet with all the details of the program including hotel names and contact information, a list of fellow travelers, and a more detailed daily schedule.
Kenya and Zanzibar is one of our most exotic adventures! Fascinating native cultures, eye-popping scenery, abundant exotic animals, idyllic island beaches—a land full of surprises! We invite you to participate in this Adventure of a lifetime in stunning East Africa. Join the journey of discovery—a walking adventure to explore the history, culture, and scenery of Kenya and Zanzibar: Safari & Surf!