Kenya & Zanzibar
August 24-September 3, 2019 • 11 Days • $6975
We are excited about our return to the enchanting lands of Kenya and 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, often remote, safari locations within close striking range of the wildlife reserves that we visit.
- All but two meals (lunches) are included on the tour.
- A domestic flight between Maasai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli National Park is included, greatly reducing travel time and maximizing our safari experience. In addition, the Zanzibar portion of the tour includes a round-trip international flight from Nairobi to Zanzibar.
- We actually get out of the Land Cruisers and walk amongst the wildlife (where predators are not present, of course). Only at the zoo can you get closer to zebras, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeests, and a number of other fascinating only-in-Africa critters!
- 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!
East Africa is a stunning destination, not only for its rich abundance of wildlife, but also for the hospitable and unique native groups that we will encounter. We invite you to join us for our 2019 safari in Kenya & Zanzibar!
- Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
- Superior tourist class safari lodges/hotels, and one luxury tent camp
- All Kenya land travel in Land Cruiser vehicles, including game drives (6 people per vehicle), and the use of minibuses in Zanzibar
- 3 flights: 1 domestic flight in Kenya, 1 international round-trip flight from Kenya to Zanzibar
- 28 meals: 10 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 10 dinners as denoted (BLD)
- 5 walks as listed
- Fees for sanctioning (if IVV approved)
- WAI guide service throughout
- Cultural & historical expertise of our local guides throughout
- All tipping for local guides, Land Cruiser drivers and group meals
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. Limited private rooms for solo travelers are available for an additional fee of $635.
Activities & Visits To:
- Lake Nakuru National Park with guided safari tour – 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 with guided safari tours (Kenya)
- Maasai walk and village visit (Kenya)
- Amboseli National Park with Mt. Kilimanjaro views and guided safari tour (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)
- Giraffe Center visit (Kenya)
- More fun stops than we can list!
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – Elephant Orphanage (Kenya) – Day 1
- 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
**WHS: UNESCO World Heritage Site
“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
Scott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. Scott loves to explore the unknown, knows how to have a good time, and enjoys including others in the fun! Scott has led tours on all 7 continents and is one of WAI’s busiest guides and on-site Adventure planners. Scott will be guiding Kenya & Zanzibar, assisted by Travel Guide Scott Burk and our local guide.
Scott Burk has been guiding tours with Walking Adventures for several years and is an avid traveler in his own right! Currently an air traffic controller with the Portland airport, Scott guides 2-3 tours per year in European and American destinations. Scott looks forward to sharing the highlights of Kenya & Zanzibar with you!
Boniface Wanderi is our local guide for Kenya & Zanzibar. Boniface was born in the central highlands of Kenya in a village called Endarasha, in Nyeri County. After his secondary school education, Boniface pursued his interest in the tourism industry by joining Kenya Utalii College where he undertook a 2 year diploma course in Tour Guiding and Administration. The course focus was on professional ethics in tour guiding, touristic geography, social anthropology, flora and fauna, applied law and psychology.
Boniface started his career in the early nineties working as a tour director in Kenya, Tanzania, and the coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Zanzibar. He has led FITs, groups, family safaris, cruise ships and educational groups. Boniface loves nature and enjoys sharing Kenya’s heritage of amazing flora and fauna with visitors.
Click on each day for more details.
Day 1-Aug 24: 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 in Kenya early, we have a couple of optional excursions available.
Optional Excursion ~ David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage: For those who arrive into Nairobi a day early (August 23), an optional late morning visit to this unique site is offered. The orphanage is on the edge of Nairobi National Park where young elephants, who have been rescued throughout the country, feed in their mini herds with a matriarch, coming back three times a day for their milk feeding and in hot weather, a mud bath. We will visit the orphanage to see this feeding time and perhaps see the pachyderms wallow in the mud! We also hear about what happens when the residents reach the age of three or four and graduate to the next stage, a release site in Tsavo. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the largest, most famous, and most successful elephant orphanage in Africa. ~ Estimated price: $75 per person (includes roundtrip transfer, guide services, and entrance to the orphanage)
Optional Excursion ~ Nairobi National Museum and Snake Park: For those who arrive into Nairobi a day early (August 23), 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 per person (includes roundtrip transfer, guide services, and entrance to both venues)
Day 2-Aug 25: 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. The 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 26: Lake Nakuru – Lake Naivasha (BLD)
Lake Elementaita Walk – 4 km, rated 2B
This morning’s short drive to Lake Elementaita extends the journey along 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 Elementaita Lodge, we continue south to large freshwater Lake Naivasha for a two-night stay at a colonial lodge.
Day 4-Aug 27: 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 across a popular hippo feeding area of Lake Naivasha on the way to Crescent Island, the protruding rim of a collapsed volcanic crater. After a memorable wildlife walk amongst giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, and other non-carnivorous wildlife, we return to the lodge for lunch. More animal-rich activities await this afternoon as we boat across the lake to Crater Lake Game Sanctuary, where a “Garden of Eden” game walk introduces us to plentiful plains wildlife – giraffe, warthogs, impala, zebra – on the way to an impressive jade-green crater lake nestled at the bottom of an extinct volcano. On our return, dinner awaits us at Lake Naivasha Lodge.
Day 5-Aug 28: 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, a memorable walk with the colorful Maasai tribe leads to one of their manyattas (villages), providing an unforgettable glimpse into the daily lives of these friendly savannah dwellers. We return from this remote cultural connection, anticipating dinner and the first of two nights at our Maasai Mara game lodge.
Day 6-Aug 29: Activities in Maasai Mara (BLD)
Optional Excursion – Hot Air Balloon Safari over Maasai Mara: A highly regarded, once-in-a-lifetime optional hot air balloon safari over Maasai Mara is available early this morning. The three-hour experience includes birds-eye-view, airborne wildlife viewing and a bush breakfast when you land. Estimated price ~ $490
Official activities begin later this morning with a game drive among iconic East African landscapes 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-Aug 30: Maasai Mara – Amboseli National Park (BLD)
One more morning game drive in the Mara provides opportunity to connect with an ample assortment of African critters. 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 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 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-Aug 31: 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 ancient and colorful history. As one of East Africa’s great trading centers, alluring Zanzibar has long been a crossroads of culture where African, Arab, and Indian influences comingle. We spend two full days here enjoying an island-time 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 1: 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 architecture with ornate balconies and latticework. Our walk includes the Anglican Cathedral, Old Fort, former slave market, and an interesting connection with famed explorer, doctor, and Christian missionary David Livingstone. 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 2: Activities in Zanzibar (BD)
After 9 full days of exploring Africa, today is free to relax and enjoy the beautiful beach setting of our Indian Ocean resort.
Optional Excursion – Safari Blue Indian Ocean Adventure in Zanzibar: 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 ~ $95 USD.
We finish this mesmerizing island day with dinner together at our beach resort.
Day 11-Sep 3: Zanzibar – Nairobi, Kenya – Return home (BLD)
After experiencing the allure of Zanzibar, we regretfully depart today on a return flight to Nairobi. Because flights home depart late in the evening, however, we arrive in Kenya’s capital with time to enjoy lunch at the unique Carnivore Restaurant. Our final wildlife encounter is a visit to the Giraffe Center in Nairobi, full of fun, up-close encounters with the world’s tallest animal. 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.
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
To save yourself a spot on this Adventure, contact us to register with a $500 deposit as soon as possible! Up to 30 travelers will be accepted on this tour.
Traveler Rewards Program 2019 - NEW!
New Travelers receive a $300 discount on the Kenya & Zanzibar tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards 2019 page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].
General Tour Conditions and Registration Form
Note on Kenya & Zanzibar Altitude
Although we do not consider Kenya & Zanzibar to be a high elevation tour, the bulk of the Kenya portion of the trip is on a high plateau.
- Altitudes of our hotel and activities in Kenya range from around 5900 feet above sea level (fasl) in Nairobi to around 7000 fasl at the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
- Walks are shorter on this tour, due to wildlife and safety concerns, ranging from 4-5 kilometers maximum. Our highest walk on tour is also likely at the Maasai Mara National Reserve at about 7000 fasl, with walks at Crescent Island and the Crater Lake Game Sanctuary in the Lake Naivasha area being about 6200 fasl. Our walk at Lake Elementaita is at about 5500 fasl.
It is important to pursue any concerns you have about high altitudes with your doctor. As always, travelers are free to opt out of any activities.
Both Kenya and Tanzania require the purchase of a visa in order to enter the country. More details on procuring visas will be provided in the Adventure Advice memo, mailed out about 8-10 months prior to departure.
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 reported to be an issue in this part of Africa and Yellow Fever seems to be a concern in parts of Kenya. Although we have had no problems with previous groups, malaria is a risk that should be taken seriously.
- A Yellow Fever certificate is required when entering Tanzania from a Yellow Fever endemic country like Kenya.
- A variety of other immunizations generally recommended for travel in developing countries will likely be recommended by your health care professional 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 online. Two examples are www.ushealthworks.com and www.passporthealthusa.com. Remember to take a copy of the itinerary with you so you can show the medical staff where we are traveling.
How is airfare arranged?
Our official start and finish point is the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi, Kenya. You will be met at the airport by a WAI representative upon arrival and transferred to our starting hotel. We recommend that you contact Debbi Custer, 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, 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. Because these are guided group walks, the success of the walks is predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness in order to ensure that we are walking at a somewhat similar pace. 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 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.
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. This is especially true for a walking safari in Africa. In the event of an unforeseen medical emergency, evacuation to a hospital is at significant cost and likely would be by air. Please ensure that your travel insurance includes medical evacuation coverage.
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 protected] -OR- call 1.888.276.0925 / 1.503.231.9507). 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 squaremouth.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 packet 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 3 weeks prior to that point, along with a 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 comprise 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!