East Africa

Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar

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East africa

The Big Five and the awesome Migration, couples with G&T’s on the veranda, makes for a real ‘Out of Africa’ experience. Visit some of the most iconic destinations of East Africa taking you to the pristine landscapes of Matthews Range, the Masai Mara, Northern Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and the idyllic paradise of &Beyond Mnemba Island – just off the coast of Zanzibar.

DESTINATIONS

Masai mara | Northern serengeti | ngorongoro crater | Mnemba | Zanzibar

East africa ~ Highlights

• For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, book a hot-air balloon ride over the Masai Mara at dawn. Champagne in hand, glide over the thundering, great wilderbeast migration river crossings (typically between July and October), this is  one of the best ways to experience Kenya’s iconic landscapes.
• Have breakfast with a giraffe at Giraffe Manor
• With no roads for a hundred miles, follow chimpanzees on forest path, and ply the crystal waters of a miraculous lake, at Greystoke Mahale in Western Tanzania.
• Experience the Great Migration;
• Climb East Africa’s Mountains: Mount Kilimanjaro (highest in Africa) and Mt Kenya (most adventurous);
• Ride a camel on safari in Laikipia or Samburu (Kenya);
• Experience the best game drives (arguably in the world) in the Serengeti National Park (Tanzania), Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya), and Selous Game reserve (Tanzania);
• Immerse yourself in cultural experiences with the tribesmen of East Africa: Maasai, the Hadzabe (Bushmen), Datoga (similar to the Maasai but excellent blacksmiths making arrows etc. for hunting), and embrace the Swahili culture along the Kenyan coast;
• Explore the World Heritage Sites along the East Africa’s coastline and visit places such as Lamu (incredible beaches), find your Bohemian Rhapsody in Zanzibar’s ancient Stone Town; dive into the fascinating world beneath the waves, and
• Feed Rothschild’s giraffe at Giraffe Centre in Nairobi or interact with the enchanting baby elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick orphanage.

 

Lodges/Camps we love

Giraffe manor

Imagine walking up in the morning to find a giraffe poking its head through your bedroom window. The Giraffe Manor Kenya in Nairobi is every giraffe lover’s dream vacation, as it houses a family of Rothschild’s giraffe and other wildlife. This exclusive boutique hotel, set in 12 acres of private land has extraordinary appeal, that harks back to the 1930s when European visitors first flocked to East Africa to enjoy safaris. With its beautiful façade, elegant interior, green gardens, sunny terraces and courtyards, guests often remark that it’s like walking into the film Out of Africa: indeed, one of its twelve rooms is named after the author Karen Blixen. Visit the hotel website.

Mnemba Island, Tanzania

Be among just 24 guests at this romantic, private hideaway, where 10 beachside bandas overlook the Mnemba atoll (a scuba diver’s delight). From snorkeling, swimming and kayaking, to massages on the beach, to doing nothing at all, Mnemba has something for everyone. If you have ever harbored the secret wish of finding yourself the sole inhabitant of a beautiful tropical island, but without the effort of having to lift a finger to fend for yourself, &Beyond Mnemba Island is just the place for you! Visit the camp website.  

Bataleur Camp

Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo is in the north-western corner of the richest game park in Kenya. Meaning “Head of the Elephant” in KiSwahili, Kichwa Tembo is flanked by the Oloololo Escarpment and the Sabaringo River. The camp lies deep in a monkey-rich forest on the exclusive western side of the Masai Mara National Reserve, far removed from the package tourism of the eastern Mara. Visit the hotel website. 

greystoke mahale

With its charismatic ‘Robinson Crusoe’ atmosphere, Greystoke Mahale radiates an undeniable air of adventure. Located at the foot of the forested Mahale Mountains, home to a thriving population of chimpanzees. A-frame bandas are open-fronted to offer the very best views of Lake Tanganyika and the adjoining bathrooms are accessible by means of raised wooden walkways. An upstairs viewing deck offers a tranquil haven after a rewarding day of chimp viewing. Visit the camp website.

 

Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel

The Norfolk is the optimal city base to explore the bustling downtown district and Nairobi’s renowned wildlife conservancies such as the Giraffe Centre and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust famed for its elephant orphanage. Offering 170 beautifully appointed rooms and signature suites set within tropical gardens, the hotel offers a tranquil retreat. Leisure facilities include a heated outdoor pool, health club with spa amenities and a gym. Visit the hotel website.

Klein's Camp

With its charismatic ‘Robinson Crusoe’ atmosphere, Greystoke Mahale radiates an undeniable air of adventure. It is located at the foot of the densely forested Mahale Mountains, home to a thriving population of chimpanzees. A-frame bandas are open-fronted to offer the very best views of Lake Tanganyika and the adjoining bathrooms are accessible by means of raised wooden walkways. An upstairs viewing deck offers a tranquil haven after a rewarding day of chimp viewing. Visit the camp website.

 

grumeti serengeti tented camp

The camp is situated on a by-water of the Grumeti River, known for its dramatic wildebeest crossings and enormous Nile crocodiles. Tucked into a strip of riverine forest, guests thrill to the antics of the resident hippo in the tranquil pool in front of the camp and the spectacular  monkeys, found nowhere else in the Serengeti. Game drives from the camp can expect to encounter large lion prides and clans of hyena up to a hundred strong, as well as the great herds of Tanzania’s annual Great Migration. Each year, the masses of wildebeest and zebra cross the waters of the Grumeti River, home to some of Africa’s largest crocodile, in search of fresh grazing grounds. Visit the camp website.

ngorongoro crater lodge

In this place of dramatic contrasts, where Versailles meets Maasai, the natural luxury of the breathtaking setting ensures the dramatic interior of your suite blends perfectly with its stilted thatch architecture. &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge has been called the game lodge at the top of the world and, between the natural riches of the Crater spread out at its feet and the amazing architecture, it’s easy to believe that you have entered a realm of pure fantasy. With ever-changing views as mists swirl and clouds scurry over the huge wildlife cauldron below, the location is truly breathtaking. Visit the hotel website.

serengeti under canvas

This is the ultimate in luxury camping, complete with a private butler service, chandeliers, silverware, crystal, ensuite flush w.c. and comfortable beds with fluffy duvets. Experience a classic Tanzanian safari in spectacular solitude and soothing comfort – with only the canvas walls of your tent separating you from the wonder of the Serengeti. Carefully positioned for close proximity to the wildlife herds of the Great Migration, our two &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas camps provide the ultimate viewpoint for this amazing animal spectacle. With only nine tents nestled at each private campsite, enjoy the indulgence of complete comfort combined with the authenticity of nights spent in the African bush. Visit the hotel website.

four seasons safari camp

Travel deep in the heart of the world’s most celebrated wildlife reserves, where the Big Five – the lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant and the rhinoceros – run free on the endless, untamed landscape. Perched on elevated platforms and walkways, the Lodge sits next to an animal watering hole, where you can watch a family of elephants stop for their morning drink as you sip your own from your room’s private balcony. Under the constant protection of local Maasai tribes people, your guides will take you in the bush for an exhilarating game drive, or you can soar high in the sky on a hot-air balloon safari. However you spend your day, the Spa is waiting to help you rehydrate, restore and re-energize for your next adventure. Visit the hotel website.

andbeyond kichwa tembo tented camp

Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo is in the north-western corner of the richest game park in Kenya. Meaning “Head of the Elephant” in KiSwahili, Kichwa Tembo is flanked by the Oloololo Escarpment and the Sabaringo River. The camp lies deep in a monkey-rich forest on the exclusive western side of the Masai Mara National Reserve, far removed from the package tourism of the eastern Mara. Visit the hotel website. 


Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

With magnificent views of majestic Mount Kenya, the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club Resort’s 120 luxuriously appointed hotel rooms, set in over 100 acres of landscaped gardens, offer a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure. Its no wonder that Travel & Leisure Magazine often positions the Nanyuki resort in the ‘World’s Top 50’ List. Originally the retreat of movie star and Club founder, William Holden, the Club’s illustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. Visit the hotel website.

What Our Bespoke travelers Are Saying

Don’t just take it from us, let our bespoke clients do the talking!

“We are so lucky to have had this extraordinary adventure on the other side of the globe. Thank you to Marie-France Gravel of Bespoke Travel Design, for planning this trip of a lifetime for us!”

D. Friesema, Summer Family Safari. Destination: Africa

“We made it to our camp in Botswana. Already encountered as we were driving to our camp, a leopard, baboons, African Buffalo’s, jackal, impalas,….Had a wonderful dinner, fish for me and game meat for Marc with a sky full of stars. Five star dining. Great wines, Porto for dessert and Amarullo to complete our evening.”

Marc & Danielle Caron, April 2018. Africa Safari Destination: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana.

“We are so lucky to have had this extraordinary adventure on the other side of the globe. Thank you to Marie-France Gravel of Bespoke Travel Design, for planning this trip of a lifetime for us!”

D. Friesema, Summer Family Safari. Destination: Africa

Looking to extend your trip?

Safari in East Africa combines well with beach time in Zanzibar, northern Mozambique and the Seychelles while the more adventurous can head off for some gorilla trekking in Rwanda…

Mozambique