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Africa2020-01-30T00:22:16+00:00

2021 DEPARTURES

16 DAYS | 15 NIGHTS 

21 January 2021 (SOLD OUT)
5 February 2021 (SOLD OUT)

Africa – a beautiful and mysterious continent.

It is rich in history, culture, incredible wildlife and much intrigue that links them all together. There are numerous options for travel throughout Africa but from our personal experience of living, working and both travelling extensively in Africa, East Africa is what we call ‘The real Africa’.

Spend time with us as we dissect the best of Kenya and Tanzania. Our circuit will have you travel out to Lake Nakuru National Park, home to the masses of pink flamingo. You will safari through the Maasai Mara National Park, home to the famous Maasai warriors. You will be staying on the shores of Lake Victoria, the source of the mighty Nile River. You will witness the daily struggles of survival within the animal kingdom as it plays out in the vastness of The Serengeti and Ngorongorro National Parks.

You will feel like you are part of a David Attenborough documentary. Believe us when we say it is much better than watching it from the comfort of your own loungeroom.

You will pass at the foot of Africa’s tallest mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro before crossing the border back into Kenya where you will enter The Amboseli National Park. This park has been said to be the greatest place in the world to see large herds of elephant roaming the plains, often with the snow covered peak of Mt Kilimanjaro as the backdrop.

You will see large herds of grazing animals such as Zebra and Wildebeest. They always work their way across the vast plains in search of good grazing grasses often unaware of the stalking pride of lions in search of their own next meal.

We will look high up in the acacia trees for the elusive leopard as it awaits the unsuspecting gazelle to walk by. Herds of elephant will be making their way to their favourite waterholes hoping not to have to share it with too many other animals. We will be fascinated by the fun antics of the baby warthog as they play with no concern at all, of the possible danger around them.

We will get you up close and personal to this awesome wilderness experience as we chase the action in 5 of the best National Parks in Kenya and Tanzania in search of the magical Big Five. At the end of each day you will need to settle back and relax in the comfort of your Safari Lodge or Safari Camp to be able to absorb all the wonders of the day’s events. You may just want a tall G&T in your hand as the sun sets to consider just what part of the day was your major highlight.

If this sounds like the adventure you have always dreamed of then come on this adventure with us.

Gools and Thommo have one main focus on this trip, and that is to immerse you into the breathtaking experience of this wildlife kingdom while enjoying the company of a great group. Our small fleet of individual safari vehicles will allow great access to the National Parks. Our nights will be spent in well-established and superbly located Safari Lodges or where possible, Safari Camps out in the wilderness.

BECOME A G&T CLUBBER

There are some great tour companies out there but they all tend to follow the same path and the same style. We are not re-inventing the wheel but feel that our ‘product’ has some very distinct differences and some personal touches that make our travel experience quite unique. For our existing G&T Clubbers, you know all of this but for the benefit of our new comers and of course your immediate family and friends who we invite to join you please see below how we differ.

We wanted to develop an interesting itinerary with natural flow to maximise our time and experience. Rather than travel in one big overland truck we have arranged for several safari vehicles, so we can travel in smaller groups. As the itinerary has us traversing many of the National Parks on our travel days, the added bonus is that we actually are on game drives as we travel. Due to this feature our drive times will always vary depending on what action we come across on any given day. This gives us complete control and flexibility. We will encourage you to share the experience with different people as you can swap and change vehicles as you wish.

CLICK HERE to view an interactive version of the tour map online

We have made sure that we have several multi night stops as the accommodation is equally a part of the experience as are the animals. Our choices were made with great consideration of location and proximity to the action, spectacular views, style, feel and facilities, not just to a Star Category. Some ground operators like to run a programme with a consistent star rating, but Donna understood that we wanted to be a little different and offer a variety, so we can take full advantage of what’s on offer. Also, many of our activities kick-off right from the lodges or camps so the excitement builds immediately from the start of the day.

Unlike other destinations we don’t have the option to choose our restaurant dining experience. It is therefore important to make sure that our lodge or camp has a great dinning option within. We have relied on Donna to point us in the right direction here. Remember that all meals are included at the safari lodges and camps which is costed in as full board. Those of you who have been to India and Sri Lanka know that we personally chose each restaurant from our own research and experience. This is not an option on an African safari, so it is important to choose great lodges and camps with a proven reputation. We have also checked that the most obvious dietary requirements can be catered for.

Having both Gools and Thommo along as hosts gives you something no one else can match. We will be with you the whole time looking after you personally. On top of that we will also have our National Tour Guides, separate for both Kenya and Tanzania. Our safari drivers will be with us each day we travel and where applicable we will have our lodge and camp staff assistants.

Most importantly we made sure we put together a “Great Value” product, not necessarily the cheapest but well worth the few extra dollars for an amazing experience! We have chosen our dates and direction of itinerary for each country in regards, to the best possible weather and of course the best game viewing opportunity.

Lastly when it comes to Africa and game drives the best way to travel is in smaller individual vehicles with maximum 6 passengers. To have this small group adventure will cost a few more dollars which is why some people choose to take the overland truck option. Overland trucks these days are not a whole lot less which is what makes our product such great value. We are achieving the small group adventure throughout the day but adding the fun of a larger group back in at night with a maximum of 18 guests. It is great fun to sit by the pool as the sun sets, to discuss and compare the days experiences.

AFRICA 2021 ITINERARY

Welcome to Africa!

Upon arrival at Nairobi International airport you will be greeted in the arrivals hall by a local representative with your name on a paging board.

You will be transferred to the hotel and the balance of the day is at leisure. Pre-Departure tour meeting will be in the hotel lobby at 5.00pm

NB: This is not an area where you can simply wander around. There is a café and restaurant within the hotel and dinner is included

Meals Included: Dinner

Overnight: The Boma Hotel (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 2hrs)

After breakfast we will leave the city of Nairobi behind as we head straight out into the amazing eco system of Lake Naivasha, our gateway to the Lake Nakuru National Park. Upon arrival we will check into our lodge where a delicious lunch will be served. After lunch we will take a boat ride out to Crescent Island, a private island sanctuary where we can walk among giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, impala and countless bird species. Lucky visitors might even spot a leopard. Crescent Island walk will be led by our local guide. Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus where the hippos like to hang out. The lake is quite wide, but its waters remain shallow with an average depth of just five metres. Lake Naivasha is known as a world class birding destination but also draws a great range of other game to its shores. Giraffe wander among the acacia, Buffalo wallow in the swamps and Colobus monkeys call from the treetops.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 2 hrs)

Today after breakfast and after our first taste of this amazing continents wildlife we will surely be hungry for more as we head into Lake Nakuru

National Park. Lake Nakuru is nestled in the vast Great Rift Valley and provides visitors with one of Kenya’s best-known images. Thousands of pink

flamingo merging into a massive flock and fringing the shores of this soda lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water, the flamingos are truly a breathtaking sight. The lake has become world famous for these birds, who visit the lake to feed on the lake bed algae. As they move back and forth in a synchronised feeding frenzy they look like a scene from the ballet. Occasionally they do take flight and we just might be lucky enough to witness the spectacular mass of gorgeous pink that fills the sky above the lake.

We have both morning and afternoon game drives today. During the day we will take a break and enjoy a lovely hot lunch at Sarova Lion Hill Lodge.

The beauty of Nakuru is that it has much more than just flamingos. It is an important sanctuary for both Black and White Rhino and they are often seen

resting under the acacias by the lake shore. The park is also home to the Maasai and Rothschild Giraffe and a whole lot more. This is definitely one of your best chances to spot a Leopard in Kenya. Thommo has often commented on just how often he and his groups saw them when he worked with Exodus.

After our afternoon game drive, we will head back to our lodge to share and compare the best shots of the day over perhaps a nice tall G&T.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 5-6hrs)

After another fantastic breakfast, we willcontinue our journey towards the Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

The Maasai Mara is known as one of the finest wildlife destinations in the world. There is an excellent chance of seeing the ‘Big 5’ here. Last visit we both saw the ‘Big 5’ in just 1 day! There will also be cheetah, serval, hyena, bat-eared foxes, black-backed and side-striped jackals, crocodile, baboons, topi, eland, Thompson’s gazelle, Grant’s gazelle, oribi, reed-buck, zebra and warthog. Gools’ all-time favourite were the baby warthogs scampering around with their little radar like tails high in the air.

Our lunch today will be enroute at Sarova Mara Camp.

After lunch and after we have time to pinch ourselves and believe that we are now in, “deepest darkest Africa” we will continue our game drive onto our camp inside ‘The Mara’.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Ashnil Mara Camp (or similar)

The Mara is Maasai language for spotted. It is the description of the area when looked at from afar. An apt description for the circles of trees, scrub, savannah and cloud shadows that mark the land.

The BBC Television show titled “Big Cat Dairy” was filmed in both the Reserve and Conservation areas of the Maasai Mara. Thommo still talks about his experience when a cheetah climbed onto the bonnet of his safari vehicle leaving some of the guests too excited to even think to take a photo. Let’s see what amazing experiences the Mara offers this time. The Maasai warriors still wander the area with their livestock, however the modern-day influences have crept in and a few will be in traditional dress along with their knock off Rolex watches. A colourful photo we will all be keen to capture. An amazing full day game drive today where we explore ‘The Mara’ until our hearts are content. The day is sure to give your cameras a good work out. Everyone will be looking forward to a restful night after a few sundowners and dinner that’s for sure.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Ashnil Mara Camp (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 5-6hrs to Isebania then 2hrs to Speke Bay)

After breakfast we will transfer to meet our Tanzanian guides and vehicles at the border. We will then continue to Speke Bay, a small gulf in Lake Victoria. This is quite a picturesque drive as we make our way to one of Africa’s Great Lakes.

The lake was named after Queen Victoria by the explorer John Hanning Speke, the first Briton to document it. With a surface area of approximately 68,800 square kilometres Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake by area, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest freshwater lake by surface area, after Lake Superior in North America. Because Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest inland fishery (home to the well-known Nile Perch) the birdlife is prolific. Once we arrive and settle into our lodge set right on the lake shore, we will enjoy an afternoon guided bird watching walk.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Speke Bay Lodge (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 3-4hrs)

After an early breakfast this morning we will venture out on a traditional canoeing trip on Lake Victoria.

Afterwards we will return to our lodge for a delicious lunch and in the afternoon, we will drive into one of the wonders of the animal world, the incredible Serengeti National Park and make our way to our wilderness camp.

The Serengeti borders the Maasai Mara and is renowned for its large lion population. It is one of the best places to observe prides in their natural environment. In addition, approximately 70 large mammals and 500 bird species can be found there. This wide variety is due to the diverse habitats, including riverine forests, swamps, savannahs grasslands and woodlands.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Naona Moru Camp (or similar)

The Serengeti has some of East Africa’s finest game areas. Besides being known for the great migration, the Serengeti is also famous for its abundant large predators. The ecosystem is home to over 3,000 lions, 1,000 leopards, and approximately 8,000 spotted hyenas. The Serengeti is also home to an amazing variety of grazers, including African buffalo, warthogs, Grant’s gazelle, eland, waterbuck, and topi. The Serengeti can support this remarkable variety of grazers only because each species, even those that are closely related, has a different diet. For example, wildebeests prefer to consume shorter grasses, while zebras prefer taller ones. Similarly, dik-diks eat the lowest leaves of a tree, impalas eat the leaves that are higher up, and giraffes eat leaves that are even higher.

Today will be an unforgettable experience as we spend a full day game driving and exploring the great Serengeti plains. Gools and Thommo both have very fond memories of their time spent in this remarkable part of the world.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Naona Moru Camp (or similar)

Due to the enormous size of the Serengeti, no visit of less than 2 days exploring the vast plains would do the park justice. Other tours give it just one day, but we believe two is absolutely necessary. No two days there are ever the same. Nature goes about its daily business completely unbothered by our presence. You better have good storage on those SD cards today.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Naona Moru Camp (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 3-4hrs)

The adventure continues but steps up a level! We have seen the great lakes and the open savannah and now as we game drive our way through Kusini / Ndutu and through Endulen we head to Ngorongoro Crater. The rim is where we will have the most magnificent view of this incredible natural wonder. The jewel in Ngorongoro’s crown is a deep volcanic crater, the largest un-flooded and unbroken caldera in the world.

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s most famous sites and is said to have the highest density of wildlife on the continent. Sometimes described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’, the Crater has achieved worldwide attention, attracting an ever-increasing number of visitors each year. There is nowhere else in Africa quite like Ngorongoro!

The Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. Forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometres, with sides up to 600 metres deep. It is home to approximately 30,000 animals at any one time. The Crater rim is over 2,200m above sea level and experiences its own climate. From this high vantage point it is possible to make out the tiny shapes of animals making their way around the crater floor far below. Low cloud can hang around the rocky rim most days of the year and it’s one of the few places inTanzania where it can get chilly at night.

We have chosen a fantastic lodge for tonight that sits majestically on the magnificent crater rim itself, affording priceless views of the crater floor below.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or similar)

We descend into Crater below early in the morning for spectacular scenery and game viewing.The crater floor is a whole new experience and consists of a number of different habitats within and include; grasslands, swamps, forests and soda lakes. This blend of environments, attract a myriad of wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide, climb and hunt. Although animals are free to move in and out of the crater as they wish, it’s the steep crater walls that encompass the rich volcanic soil and the availability of food sources combined that tend to keep both grazers and predators here throughout  the year.

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most likely areas in Tanzania to see the endangered Black Rhino, as a small population is thriving in this idyllic and protected area. It is currently one of the few areas where they continue to breed in the wild. Your chances of encountering leopard here are also quite high, and the fabulous black-maned lions are often seen sun bathing without a care in the world.  Just think of yourself in a David Attenborough documentary and this could be your day!

Once we have had our fill of excitement on the crater floor we will continue to the Manyara escarpment and the comfort of Nasikia Mandhari Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Plantation Lodge (or similar)

This morning we take the short drive to the nearby centre of Karatu. Here we will take a leisurely walking safari through some local farms and villages on the rift valley escarpment. You will discover the farming, irrigation and cattle husbandry techniques of the local people. No destination is complete until you get to meet the people. We will visit the homes of the local Iraqw tribe and take the opportunity to sample some of their local cuisine. We hope to witness the traditional wood-fired brick making and see some local musicians. Here you generally gain a deeper understanding of the lifestyle of the local people. Later in the afternoon you can choose to head back and relax at the lodge or visit the nearby village and its market.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Plantation Lodge (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 3-4hrs)

After breakfast we will descend from the escarpment and make our way to Arusha to visit a Shanga workshop where we will have our lunch at the Arusha Coffee Lodge. This is a unique community project with an artistic approach giving you the opportunity to help make a difference. You may wish to purchase some of their handmade jewellery, glassware or homeware. This is an employment programme assisting those with disabilities and utilising recycled materials. Gools and Thommo always like to find an opportunity in the destination where you can give a little back. By visiting here, we can hopefully make a small difference in someone’s world. Have a look at the website if you are interested. www.shanga.org

After our delicious lunch we will continue to Namanga where we will re-join our Kenyan guides and vehicles and head to the Amboseli National Park.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Oltukai Lodge (or similar)

Amboseli National Park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get up close and personal with free-ranging elephants. It’s in this interesting park that we finally get the opportunity to meet the colourful Maasai people. With excellent cross border views of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world you will have a fantastic photographic backdrop. Today we will immerse ourselves in a full day game driving as we explore Amboseli. By now your inner tracker, spotter and hunter skills will be well tuned and you will be amazing each other with how much you now recognised and see. You will be able to show off now with pride, your abilityto spot the slight differences between many species. Your list of animals spotted will truly amaze you all.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner

Overnight: Oltukai Lodge (or similar)

(Driving time approx. 4hrs)

After Breakfast we make our way back to Nairobi.

Today we utilise a packed lunch, so we can arrive back in town with plenty of time to rest up and freshen up for our Gala Dinner out together.

Meals Included: Breakfast Lunch and Gala Dinner

Overnight: Boma Hotel (or similar)

After breakfast and checkout, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight.

Meals included: Breakfast only

ACCOMMODATION GUIDE

Gools and Thommo have chosen a great variety of accommodation throughout the itinerary. Feel free to click on the accommodation links below and have a look at the galleries that relate and this will give you an idea of what to expect.

Choices were made with the consideration of experiencing both lodges and wilderness camps and placing ourselves in the best possible proximity to the action, without too much wasted travel time. Most of our drives getting us from point A to point B will place us all on Safari instantly or taking us through interesting countryside.

Also important was to choose locations to enhance the experience. 2 nights at Lake Navisha Simba Lodge with stunning bush views from your balcony, gives us great access to Lake Nukuru NP.

While 2 nights at Ashnil Mara Camp with its luxury tents within the Maasai Mara NP lets you sit on your deck while watching the game.

1 night at Speke Bay Lodge that looks like a small village spread out on the shores of the lake, allows us to traverse the full Serengeti NP by entering on the west and exiting on the east. Other groups will enter and leave by the same gate on the east only.

Your 3 nights at Naona Moru Camp where you will sleep peacefully at night, with the gentle Serengeti breeze as you listen in to the night chorus.

No better location than that of Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge where we place ourselves right on the rim of the crater and enjoy the amazing sunset over the caldera. 1 night here before we cross over to the crater highlands for 2 nights at Plantation Lodge. You will have the opportunity to get out and meet the local people here within their village and markets.

Continuing on, we head for Amboseli NP and have 2 nights in Oltukai Lodge with uninterrupted breathtaking views of Mt Kilimanjaro. It is an eco-rated lodge with excellent facilities and the best spot for elephant watching. Some writers have described it as ‘Home to the Gods’ and offers true and fantastic African hospitality.

Day 16 we head back to the Boma Hotel Nairobi where we all started from. This hotel is a business type hotel with all the regular facilities but is in an area, good for first time visitors to Nairobi. Nairobi as a city, does require some sharp street smarts and even the well-travelled can get caught out here. So, the Boma is our choice to keep things easy.

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Private Arrival and Departure transfers in Nairobi.
  • 15 Nights accommodation with a mix of lodges and wilderness camps.   (1 x 3 night stop / 4 x 2 night stop / 4 x 1 night stop)
  • All based on twin/double share (single supplement applicable for single travellers)
  • 15 x Breakfasts.
  • 14 x Lunches.
  • 15 x Dinners. (including our Gala Farewell Dinner on the final night of the tour)
  • Boat and walking safari on Crescent Island at Lake Naivasha.
  • Afternoon bird watching walk at Speke Bay.
  • Traditional early morning canoe trip on Lake Victoria.
  • Gools and Thommo as your hosts throughout the whole tour.
  • English speaking local Guides for both Kenya and Tanzania.
  • All Transport and drivers as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • All National Park entrance fees.

PRICE EXCLUDES

  • Travel Insurance and visas (Compulsory)
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as alcoholic drinks, snacks, laundry, telephone calls etc.
  • Tips and gratuities for the Kenyan and Tanzanian guides, porters or camp / lodge staff.
  • Any additional optional activities you may wish to add.
  • Prices are subject to change if there are any government tax increases on hotels & transportation or any  increases in National Park fees for 2019.

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