The Perfect Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary

When you think of Africa, it’s probably Kenya and Tanzania that are the Africa of your dreams and they are the perfect introduction to the African continent. But where should you go?

You could start your East African odyssey in either Nairobi or Mombasa. For the purposes of this itinerary, I’ll start in Nairobi, but you can easily reverse this trip. Or if you want to start in Tanzania, head straight to Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam, and work your way up. Although I like to leave Zanzibar for last!

Trying to do a continuous itinerary in Kenya is a little difficult, as everything is spread out so to hit the main highlights you may need to double back on yourself a little bit and travel through the main cities, especially if you are using public transport. But don’t let that put you off, Africa is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

Dawa cocktail at Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi.

Carnivore, Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi may seem a bit intimidating for a first timer to Africa, but it’s actually a great city. To be honest, the first time I visited I wasn’t that impressed. I was passing through on an overland tour and it just seemed crowded, hectic and congested. It’s still all of those things, but it is also vibrant, exciting and full of adventure. Nairobi is probably the most hectic of all the African cities I’ve been to (Kampala is a close second), so if you can handle this, the rest of the continent will be a breeze! Just be patient and try and relax into it.

You can either head straight out of Nairobi and come back later or spend a few days there first before you go on safari. For the record, my favourites include; trips to the Nairobi Giraffe Centre, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, visiting the markets (there are plenty) and doing a walking tour of the city.

Nairobi also has some amazing restaurants and is known for having excellent Ethiopian food and nyama choma (grilled meat – usually goat) – try Habesha and Carnivore. It you go to Carnivore try the signature Kenyan ‘Dawa’ cocktail (pictured above).

Where to Stay 

  • Anga Afrika: This is a gorgeous camp in Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.
  • Wildebeest Eco Camp: A great camp that is perfect for groups, families and couples.

Getting There

Nairobi is a great place to start your African adventure as it’s easy to get to with plenty of airlines like Emirates, Turkish Airlines and Kenya Airways travelling there daily and it’s also the main starting off point for most of the safari tours in Kenya.


READ MORE: My 5 Week Kenya and Tanzania Budget


Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara, Kenya

Masai Mara, Kenya

Only a 6 hour of so drive from Nairobi you’ll find land safari dreams are made of, the Masai Mara! With pretty much every animal you could wish to see on an African safari, including the Big 5. You can even take a balloon ride and see it all from above, especially cool if you time it when the Great Migration is passing through – this varies slightly from year to year.

But it’s not all about safari. Just outside the Masai Mara is the town of Sekenani, where you can find some cool places for dinner. I would also recommend spending some time with the Maasai tribe.

Where to Stay

  • Mara Explorers Camp: They offer a whole host of activities and also do some joining safaris, some of which are multi-stop, so you could visit places like Lake Nakuru and/or Amboseli. They can arrange your pick up from Nairobi, either in their safari van or by taxi, which for a 6 hour ride is very, very reasonable.

Getting There 

You can either take a tour there or you can make your own way via taxi or public bus, but if you go independently I would recommend having somewhere to stay once you get there. On the way from Nairobi you’ll be rewarded with the most incredible views of the Great Rift Valley and be sure to take a lunch break in the town of Narok for lunch. You’ll need it before you head onto the bumpy road into the Masai Mara.


READ MORE: How to Experience the Masai Mara on a Budget (less than $500)


Elephant in front of Kilimanjaro in Amboseli National Park. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Mombasa, Kenya

By name, Amboseli is probably lesser known than the Masai Mara, however with it’s position at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s probably the most iconic and visually stunning safari in the world – definitely the most beautiful I have seen. Less safaris seem to go there so finding one you can join if you are a solo traveller can take a bit of emailing back and forth, but it’s not impossible. If you have the money, arranging a private safari is pretty easy, but going completely solo could be a little miserable, as there is a lot of downtime in between game drives, but it depends where you stay and how busy it is – the camp I stayed at was very quiet.

Where to Stay

  • Kibo Safari Camp: A good mid-range option with fabulous views of Kilimanjaro and they also have a pool, great for cooling off after safari.
  • Kilima Safari Camp: This is a good mid to high-end option also with a lovely pool.

Getting There

It’s best to take a tour to Amboseli, so you’ll usually be picked up from your hotel in Nairobi (or elsewhere) and drop you back again. If you are heading on to Mombasa, I would perhaps look at safaris that start in Nairobi and end in Mombasa (these usually also go Tsavo National Park too). If they don’t go to Mombasa, you can always ask if they can drop you at a good place to catch the bus. There’s always a way!


READ MORE: Amboseli National Park – Kenya’s Most Iconic Unknown Destination


Mombasa, Kenya

Mombasa, Kenya

Spend a couple of days exploring the city of Mombasa on the Swahili coast. Mombasa, and indeed all of the Swahili coastal areas (Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Mozambique, Zanzibar etc) have a distinctively different feel than the inland towns and cities, with strong Arabic, Indian and European influences, due to their position on the trade routes. These influences can be found in everything from the architecture to the food and even the religion.

Where to Stay

Getting There

If you are heading to Mombasa from Nairobi, I’d definitely recommend getting the overnight train so you can experience one of Africa’s most iconic train journeys. Just remember the train only runs a few times a week, so you might do well to plan your trip to coincide with this. Alternatively, you can get busses from Nairobi and other towns, or as above, take a safari that gets you there, or near enough and catch a bus. If travelling from further afield, Mombasa has an international airport and many of the big airlines (like Emirates) fly there, so you could easily start your trip there.

Snorkelling in Kilifi, Kenya

Kilifi, Kenya

I absolutely love Kilifi. It’s got a laid back vibe and the creek is just so pretty. There are loads of cool things to do and it’s one of those places that travellers go and just never leave. I wold definitely add it to your Kenya itinerary. If you come on one of my Kenya tours, you’ll get to come here too!

Where to Stay

Getting There

You can easily get a matatu mini bus from Mombasa, or a taxi if you don’t fancy that!

Diani Beach, Kenya

Diani Beach, Kenya

Last but not least is what is known as Kenya’s most beautiful beach, Diani.

This is a great place for water sport enthusiasts where you can try your hand at kite boarding or wind surfing. Nearby is Wasini Island and Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park, ideal for a day trip. If you aren’t looking to do too much, you can lie in the sun, take a camel ride down the beach or shop for souvenirs in the local market.

If you like your nightlife, there are plenty of bars (Forty Thieves is probably the most well known one) where you can dance the night away under the stars to reggae or the latest Swahili tunes.

Where to Stay

  • Stilts Backpackers: A good budget backpacker place, right across the road from Forty Thieves, the main bar in town.
  • The Sands at Nomad: A great mid-range option, right on the beach.
  • Waterlovers Beach Resort:  This is a gorgeous resort, also near to Forty Thieves and the beautiful Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant.
  • AfroChic: A super high-end and stunning hotel, known to be one of the best in Kenya.

Getting There

Head towards Ukunda via the Likoni Ferry and then you can hop off the bus and go by either public transport or taxi to Diani Beach.

Mount Suswa Conservancy in Kenya

Other Destinations in Kenya

You could spend a month (or six) in Kenya alone. If you have more time, you also might want to consider Malindi, Samburu National Park, Lake Nakuru, Hell’s Gate National Park, Mount Kenya, Tsavo East/Tsavo West National Park (you pass through Tsavo on the Nairobi to Mombasa train), Lake Victoria, the Aberdares, Mount Suswa Conservancy and Lamu.

Traveling from Nairobi to Arusha. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Travelling from Kenya to Tanzania

From Mombasa: If going overland, you could either get a bus direct from Mombasa to Arusha, or you could go via Nairobi. You can get to Nairobi by plane, bus or train. If you want to fly from Mombasa to Arusha or Kilimanjaro airports (usually via Nairobi or other big city in the surrounding countries) but it can be expensive. You can of course fly to other destinations like Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar, but Arusha is near the border with Kenya so it makes sense to start there and make your way south.

From Nairobi: The easiest and cheapest way to cross from Kenya into Tanzania overland is to get a bus to go from Nairobi to Arusha. However if you want comfort, I suggest getting a shuttle bus. These cost around $20 and they can be organised by most hotels, tour companies or travel agents. Flights from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro airport are relatively frequent, but again, expensive compared to buses.

Masai Camp in Arusha Tanzania

Arusha, Tanzania

Arusha is the gateway for the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, but it’s also a great place in itself to regroup before carrying on with your adventures. It’s pretty easy to get around and about as laid back as an African city can get, plus there’s lots of nice cafes where you can get a good piece of cake and a decent cup of tea or coffee. It’s pretty too, with purple jacaranda trees lining many of the roads.

If you are climbing Kilimanjaro, this is one of the start points, along with Moshi which is around an hour away.

Where to Stay

  • Arusha Backpackers: Great location in town, but noisy due to the dala dala mini busses which congregate outside at around 5am every morning.
  • Masai Camp: Popular with overlanders, so it’s always fun in the bar. There are also a number of other, guest houses and hotels in town and the surrounding areas.

Getting There

You can either get here by bus from Nairobi (as above) or fly, as Kilimanjaro International Airport is nearby. Arusha has it’s own airport, but it’s only for domestic flights.

A lion in the Serengeti

The Serengeti, Tanzania

Serengeti National Park is one of the best safaris you will ever go on and has been my luckiest place for lion spotting, and it’s the only place I’ve seen a leopard, on 2 separate occasions (2009 and 2014).

Where you stay will depend on your safari operator. Some will use the basic camping within the park and others will be super luxurious tented camps or lodges. The prices can vary wildly from a few hundred to a few thousand for a 2 – 3 day safari.

Where to Stay

Getting There

Annoyingly, you can’t get from the Masai Mara direct to the Serengeti, even though they are technically the same place – only the animals can move about freely – which is fair enough. Most safaris leave from Arusha, so all of your transport will be included, although some can also go from Nairobi via Arusha. You can also fly if coming from within Tanzania.


READ MORE: Finding the Lion King in the Serengeti 


The Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

You can combine your trip to the Serengeti with a Ngorongoro Crater safari. It’s on the way, so it would be a massive shame not to see it and it is stunning, so the views alone make it worth it. This is the one place where I’ve seen an endangered black rhino.

Where to Stay

Getting There

The Ngorongoro Crater is in between Arusha and the Serengeti, so it makes sense to do both parks together.

Tradirional dhow sailing into Dar es Salaam Harbour. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Dar es Salaam is one of those places that people often just pass through. It’s not the prettiest city or the easiest to get around, but it has a real character. Visit the markets (Kariakoo or the fish market), sample the delicious foods or head out of the city to the pretty beaches of Coco Beach, Jangwani, Mbuja Island, Bongoyo Island or Kigamboni.

Where to Stay

Getting There

I’ve done the bus journey between Arusha and Dar es Salaam 4 times. It takes around 12 hours, it’s usually bumpy and pretty uncomfortable, but it is an experience. Although my advice – unless you really love overlanding or you have your own private transport, I would fly.

The fish market on Bagamoyo Beach. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Bagamoyo, Tanzania

If you’re looking to see a bit of the less touristy, off the beaten track Africa, then I definitely recommend heading to Bagamoyo. I stayed there for a while in 2009 when I was volunteering with the Baobab Home. When I returned in 2014, the town had changed a bit, with more hotels springing up, taking advantage of the fastastic position on the Indian Ocean, however tourists were still few, with most of the visitors being conference attendees, expats or NGO workers.

Bagamoyo is full of history, as it was once the major port of Tanzania and played an important role in the slave trade. Bagamoyo also has a specialist arts college, so it’s a really cool place with a lot going on. There’s a chilled out hippy vibe and lots of Rastafarians, however most people still live very traditionally and it is, above all else a fishing town.

Be sure to take a trip to the beach in the morning to watch the sunrise and see the fishermen bring in their catch, walk around the town admiring the (crumbling) architecture and shopping at the Bagamoyo Art Market. I recommend the food at Corner Bar or Poa Poa.

Where to Stay

  • Firefly:  This is a cute guest house, perfectly situated in the main part of town, near the beach and close to Poa Poa restaurant.

Getting There 

It’s an hour and a half north of Dar, and very easy to get to via dala dala or taxi from the city.


READ MORE: Tanzania & Zanzibar Adventure Tour 2017


Eating a Zanzibar Pizza at Forodhani Gardens in Stone Town, Zanzibar. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Stone Town, Zanzibar

Finish your trip on the magical island of Zanzibar. Actually, ‘Zanzibar’ is made up of lots and lots of islands, but the most famous one, which people usually mean when they refer to Zanzibar is Unguja. The capital of Unguja is Zanzibar City, and the most famous section of Zanzibar City is called Stone Town.

Stone Town is, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating places in the world, a true melting pot of cultures. With winding alleyways, unusual buildings and a tons of things to do. Spend time getting lost, taking a tour with my pal Farid, watching the local boys doing acrobatics on the beach and eating delicious foods (like a Zanzibar Pizza above) at Forodhani Gardens, or take a day trip to Prison Island or on the famous, Safari Blue boat.

Where to Stay

  • Emerson Spice: This is an absolutely gorgeous high-end hotel in the centre of Stone Town. I stayed here for 2 nights and absolutely loved it.
  • Dhow Palace: A great mid-range option in a good location.

Getting There

You can fly which takes around 15 minutes, or you can get the ferry which takes around 2.5 hours. I always get the ferry as it’s fun!


READ MORE: Things to Do in Stone Town (when you only have two days)


New Teddy's Place in Paje, Zanzibar. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Paje, Zanzibar

On Zanzibar’s east coast you’ll find Paje, famous for windsurfing and white sandy beaches. There’s plenty of good nightlife to be had too. From here, you’re in a good place to get to The Rock, a restaurant on a rock in the Indian Ocean.

Where to Stay

  • New Teddy’s: I stayed at New Teddy’s Place but Paje by Night also looks like a fun place to stay.

Getting There

You can either get a dala dala, shared mini bus or private taxi to Paje.


READ MORE: Dinner at The Rock Zanzibar


Zanzibar sunset at Kendwa and Nungwi. Kenya and Tanzania Itinerary.

Nungwi & Kendwa, Zanzibar

Finish off your trip at either Nungwi or Kendwa, two of Zanzibar’s loveliest beaches, up in the far north of Zanzibar. Whichever you go to, you will have a great time and the party tends to move around, with various bars holding the main party on different nights of the week. Saturdays at Kendwa Rocks are legendary.

Whilst you’re there, try the delicious fresh seafood and if you like being on the water, you can go snorkelling or diving around the Mnemba Atoll or take a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow.

Getting there: You can either get a dala dala, shared mini bus or private taxi to Kendwa or Nungwi.

Where to stay: I like Kendwa Rocks. I had a private room last time, but they also have a dorm, although it’s not really advertised anywhere. Next door is Sunset Bungalows, which tends to cater for a lot of the overlanders 9I’ve stayed there too). In Nungwi, the Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel looks pretty nice and romantic.


READ MORE: 40 Amazing Things To Do in Zanzibar


The North Face on Kilimanjaro

Other Destinations in Tanzania

If you have more time, you also might want to consider climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru, taking the Tazara train, Lake Manyara, Selous Game Reserve (you go through here on the Tazara train), Tarangire National Park and Ruaha National Park. Or perhaps think about visiting some of the other islands that make up the Zanzibar archipelago like Pemba and Mafia.

So there you have it! This list isn’t exhaustive, but it should be relatively do-able in a month – if you don’t mind moving every few days!

Have an amazing trip to Kenya & Tanzania!


Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which will earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you. Affiliate sales help with the running costs of this site, so thank you for your support!

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59 Comments

  • Reply
    Helen
    March 29, 2016 at 2:46 am

    From one Helen to another, thanks for including a link to my post about Ras Nungwi. 🙂 I love, love, LOVE Zanzibar. If it wasn’t for the mosquitoes, heat and humidity, I would’ve stayed much longer. It’s my favourite travel destination in the world.

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 29, 2016 at 9:09 pm

      Thank you Helen! I love your posts on Africa and your photography is amazing!

      You were there when I was weren’t you? It was so hot! I’ve been there 4 times and that was the hottest yet!

      Happy travels! x

      • Reply
        Helen
        March 30, 2016 at 1:38 am

        I’m not sure if we were there at the same time but, yes, it was hot as hell. I’m Canadian, so it was overwhelming for me.
        Helen recently posted…Five Must-See Places to Visit in Cape TownMy Profile

      • Reply
        Helen
        March 30, 2016 at 1:38 am

        Aw, thank you. I’m not sure if we were there at the same time but, yes, it was hot as hell. I’m Canadian, so it was overwhelming for me, haha.
        Helen recently posted…Five Must-See Places to Visit in Cape TownMy Profile

      • Reply
        Bhaveen
        January 10, 2017 at 3:41 am

        Hello
        I want to plan for Kenya Tanzania trip.
        ±919422322264
        Could you help me.
        bhaveeen@gmail.com

        • Reply
          Helen
          January 10, 2017 at 8:25 pm

          Hi Bhaveen,

          Have a read through my blog and I hope it helps you.

          I can’t plan individual trips I’m afraid, but if you have any questions, I can try to answer

          Helen

  • Reply
    Kate
    March 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Great itinerary! Thanks for sharing!
    Kate recently posted…Petite Adventures was Nominated for a Liebster Award!My Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 29, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you!!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Linda
    March 31, 2016 at 6:52 am

    Great post! Tanzania and Kenya is still on my bucket list and you just gave me several reasons to go tehere asap.

    • Reply
      Helen
      March 31, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Thanks Linda! Hope you get to go real soon! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ella
    April 2, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I really need to go back to that region at some point. There’s still so much of Kenya that I haven’t seen and I’ve heard so many great things about Tanzania from friends who have been. But I also just really miss the East African culture and its beautiful people. Maybe I can use this post as a reference for what to do on my next potential trip to East Africa 🙂
    Ella recently posted…The TMI Travel Tag!My Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      April 3, 2016 at 11:47 am

      Tanzania is amazing. It’s very similar to Kenya to be fair but has it’s own special flavour too! 🙂 You’d love it. x

  • Reply
    Jennifer Cooper
    April 3, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I visited Tanzania probably 8 years ago now, I flew into Dar Es Salaam, then headed to Selous Game Reserve, then onto Zanzibar. It was my first experience of Africa, and on a safari, and I would definately visit again – I think I just haven’t researched it alot in terms of independent travelling.
    Jennifer Cooper recently posted…Why So Many Travellers Choose to Teach English in ChinaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      April 3, 2016 at 11:48 am

      It’s hard to see everywhere when you’re on a limited time frame. I’ve spent a few months there and still not seen it all! Excuse to go back! 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Nasir
    April 18, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Hi Helen.
    Great post, Thanks for your lovely experience you shared with us thru this post :). Surely, visit there within future.
    Nasir recently posted…Antarctica – Beauty With DifferenceMy Profile

  • Reply
    Chayanika Malik
    May 30, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Hi Helen,

    Your blogs are a great source of information especially now when I am planning a trip to Tanzania. I and my husband are planning a trip for just a week during Christmas. We mainly plan to focus on wildlife and beaches and hence the obvious choice of Serengeti with Ngorongoro and Zanzibar.
    But to my disappointment, the safaris are too expensive. Can you please suggest a possible itinerary for us, if not Serengeti, can we look at other less popular reserves but with good viewing instead of Serengeti. We would be bagpacking and not looking for luxury stays and okay sharing safaris too. Our budget is maximum 200dollar pp for upto 3 days of safari and rest 3 days we would like to keep for Zanzibar.

    Please guide us.
    Thanks,
    Chayanika

  • Reply
    MANSIJ BISWAS
    June 11, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Helen, really amazed to see such beautiful and informative blog! I am 30 plus male, doctor by profession and traveller by passion, from India. Planning a solo trip to Kenya and Tanzania covering Nairobi (entry point), naivasha, aberdare, masaimara, ngorongoro, Serengeti and mt Kilimanjaro (not climb). What can be a preferable route plan for a budget solo traveller? Also for the visa issues, if I obtain a single entry tourist visa for Kenya, do I need to obtain prior visa for Tanzania entry (I am willing to travel from Nairobi to arusha by shuttle bus)? Also, if both my inward and outward flights are from Nairobi then do I need to obtain a multiple entry visa for Kenya as I have to come back to Nairobi from arusha by the same route in that case it do I get my return flights from kili airport itself? Thanks in advance…happy travelling 😊

    • Reply
      MANSIJ BISWAS
      June 11, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      And by the way, I can spend maximum of 10-11 days in my whole trip (excluding my international flight durations)

    • Reply
      Helen
      June 12, 2016 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Mansij, In terms of an itinerary, probably the easiest thing to do is to contact some companies and see if they have any joining safaris that go to the places you want to go. Some camps will do games drives and you could make your own way there and then organise safaris etc when you are there, but might be easier to join a safari that takes you place to place.

      There may be some that do Kenya and Tanzania, but if not, head to Arusha where you can easily get to Kilimanjaro and also take a safari into the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

      Yes I would think you would need a multi-entry visa for Kenya as you don’t want to have to pay the full price twice. However you should check with your local Kenyan embassy. You can usually get Tanzania visa at the border – I could, but I am a British citizen, so it may be different for an Indian passport holder. If you are just transiting through Kenya on a flight from Kili, then you probably don’t need a double entry visa! But I’m not 100% sure.

  • Reply
    MANSIJ BISWAS
    June 13, 2016 at 7:34 am

    Thank you again…actually I have dropped the idea of visiting both the countries at a single go due to time and budget constraints…so thinking of doing only Kenya this time visiting nairobi-masaimara-lake naivasha-lake nakuru-amboseli-hell’s gate and if possible aberdare as well…preferring mara Explorers as per your suggestions but unfortunately not being able to contact them since last 2 days…lets see how things go

    • Reply
      Helen
      June 13, 2016 at 6:35 pm

      Hi Mansij,

      Have you emailed them? I’m sure they will come back to you soon!

  • Reply
    Mahmoud
    June 26, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Wow! What an amazing experience that you shared with us!
    Would love to visit both of Kenya and Tanzania one day! Thank you for sharing!
    Mahmoud recently posted…Luxor, Egypt’s Greatest Ancient CityMy Profile

  • Reply
    Venil
    July 27, 2016 at 6:57 am

    This is so so useful Helen! Me and my husband are planning a shirt trip to Kenya. Just about 6-8 days, we will be starting and ending in Nairobi, the safari is definitely on our itinerary, after your blog post I’ve thankfully gotten some cheap options to stay etc. Because we aren’t looking to spend more than 500$ per person for the week hopefully. Any suggestions beyond your blog on things we should do is definitely welcome! 🙂 Thanks once again.

    • Reply
      Helen
      July 31, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Venil,

      $500 per person might be tight for 6 – 8 days if you are including a safari and other activities. Will you be using public transport? There’s tons of things to do but it would take me ages to list them all! Do you have an itinerary?

      • Reply
        Venil
        August 6, 2016 at 11:14 am

        Hey!

        Yeah I am figuring that it is probably too tight. Will stretch it a little since doesn’t seem to be another option.
        I checked out the Mara Explorers site, do you think if I booked the car separately and not the package it would work cheaper? They had a lot of other interesting community activities that I would like to do as well.

        I currently don’t have an itinerary, am creating one. I have a conference in Nairobi for 5 days, so my husband and I are making an itinerary of his time in Nairobi for 5 days. Then we have a week together where we’d love to do a 2N/3D safari, ad a couple of other community activities as well, and probably spend the last 1-3 days together in Nairobi.

        • Reply
          Helen
          August 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm

          Hi Venil,

          I’m not sure. Do you mean that you would book your own transport to the Mara and then did a game drive whilst there? To be honest, I’m not sure, you’d need to cost both options up I guess. You could contact them to ask how much it would be for game drives only. Yes they have some great community projects that I definitely recommend!

  • Reply
    Elise
    August 8, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Hi, loved the post.
    I am looking at travelling for 3-4 weeks in March and having trouble deciding where to go! Also wondering if due to the weather some options may be better than others?
    I need to end up in Malawi and am interested in South or East Africa. Any recommendations? Love the outdoors, independent travel but also meeting others, and will hopefully squeeze a safari into the budget at some point…just!

    • Reply
      Helen
      August 14, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      Hi Elise,

      The best thing to do would be to look up the rainy seasons in each place and then avoid them.

      March is ok in Kenya. But isn’t the best time for a lot of the other countries, but it would still be ok.

      South Africa in March is like Autumn so should also be nice.

      This website has some good info on what the weather is like per month. https://www.safaribookings.com/kenya/best-time

      All my favourite places are in this post:http://www.heleninwonderlust.co.uk/2015/04/my-favourite-places-in-africa/ – might give you some good ideas! 🙂

      • Reply
        Martin Gonev
        September 23, 2016 at 1:05 am

        I agree to Helen,
        you have to look at the weather first. Rainy season is probably not what you expect from a holiday (yes if you are an adventures travel ;-))
        If you are looking for a classic Africa experience,
        You will find some of continent’s iconic landscapes in Tanzania.
        Kilimanjaro & the Spice Island Beckon are my favourites.

        …Elise tell us at the end, how it worked out! (or was it already to late 😉 for my information)

        • Reply
          Elise
          September 23, 2016 at 12:08 pm

          Thanks both of you for the tips. Still a few months away so I’ll have to let you know how it goes!

          • Helen
            September 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm

            In March the Wildebeest Migration will usually pass through the Southern Serengeti, so might be a good idea to go there 🙂

  • Reply
    holiday-zanzibar
    October 26, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    wonderful pictures Helen, brings back memories! thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Judith
    November 28, 2016 at 5:11 am

    Hi Helen. I am thoroughly enjoying reading about your journeys in Africa. Hubby and I are going to Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya for six weeks from mid January next year. We will have 4 full days in Zanzibar, arriving 1am on a Tuesday and flying out mid morning on the Saturday. Do you think two days in Stone Town to start and two days up north would be the best way to go? Do you know how long it would take to drive from the north of the island back to the airport? Thanks for your help!

    • Reply
      Helen
      November 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Thanks Judith! 🙂

      Yes, I think 2 days in each place is good. I love Stone Town, so could easily spend 2 days there. If you’re more of a beachy person, you might want to spend 3 days there, but there are loads of day trips from Stone Town too, so my preference would be 2 days in each!

      I think it’s about an hour and a half back to the airport from Nungwi/Kendwa.

      Have an amazing trip! 🙂

  • Reply
    Dianne
    December 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    Hi!
    I’m going to Dar Es Salaam to work in a hospital for several weeks, but I would like extend my stay to travel to other places in Tanzania and possibly Kenya. The thing is, I will be a 21 year old woman travelling alone.. Is that a smart decision or will I be putting myself in danger? Have you ever felt unsafe during your trip?

    • Reply
      Helen
      December 18, 2016 at 10:22 pm

      I have travelled alone in both Kenya and Tanzania and been fine. As long as you keep your wits about you, you should be fine. Have a read of my top Africa Travel Tips for some more info!

      Enjoy your trip!!!

  • Reply
    Jason
    December 23, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I so so much loved my stay in Stone Town! It is such a beautiful and generous place with the perfect weather and some kick-ass architecture.

  • Reply
    Mai
    January 9, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Hi, Helen.

    Thanks so much for your suggestion and sharing the experiences.
    My friends and I from Bangkok, Thailand, are planning to visit Tanzania this year during the migration period.
    I will come to digest on all these information again soon.

  • Reply
    N M
    January 19, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    Do you think this five week schedule would be doable for a 60 year old with her 18 year old twins? Would I get enough downtime?

    60 year old

  • Reply
    Andrew
    January 20, 2017 at 12:43 am

    Hi Helen,

    Love your blog, thanks for all the great information you’ve shared here! My wife and I just spontaneously booked roundtrip flights to Nairobi for a two week trip. Was wondering how much we could do without squeezing too much in. Definitely want to see Serengeti and Zanzibar. If we could fit them in, Mombasa, Ambsoseli, and Masai Mara would be really cool too. Is that too much? We are on a budget so we’re taking that into consideration as well.

  • Reply
    Sarah
    February 2, 2017 at 4:42 am

    Hi Helen,
    I love the details you’ve provided. I would love to do something along these lines in June this year. How long would you recommend to get through your main suggestions? I’m hoping 4 weeks will be enough, but I don’t like to rush.

    • Reply
      Helen
      February 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Sarah,

      4 weeks probably would be a rush to do everything. But you could definitely get to most places. If you did two weeks in each country, I would say:

      Kenya – Nairobi, Masai Mara, Mombasa, Kilifi and maybe Diani.

      Tanzania – Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Zanzibar (I also love Bagamoyo).

      I’m doing back to back Kenya and Tanzania trips in August this year… if you are interested? 🙂

      • Reply
        Leonard kipngeno
        February 11, 2017 at 4:56 pm

        Hi helen,my name leonard saina and work as a guide in maasai mara kenia,i would realy like to meet u.

        • Reply
          Leonard kipngeno
          February 11, 2017 at 5:05 pm

          Helen,this are ma number 0700616749 thanks.

  • Reply
    Yvonne
    April 13, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    Helen this is a super informative and fun post, being Kenyan I really enjoyed reading 🙂

  • Reply
    Gerald
    May 2, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Im Kenyan and took my family to Mombasa over the Easter holiday. Ive never gotten used to the hot air in Mombasa and was gulping water like a camel. I wonder how people wear suits in that town.

    Masai Mara is OK though (for me) you get used to it after going there a couple of times (probably during the migration things are a bit more exciting)

    Great post either way
    Gerald recently posted…Incredible Rescue of Elephants From Hunting Snare & Spear Wound (VIDEO)My Profile

    • Reply
      Helen
      May 3, 2017 at 9:32 pm

      Hey Gerald, yes it is hot in Mombasa, but a lot wear suits. I don’t know how they do it!!

      I love the Mara, migration time or not – to me it’s always exciting! 🙂

  • Reply
    Caitlin Urquhart
    May 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Really great blog!!! Your info is amazing thank you!
    My partner & I are heading to Malawi, Tanzania & Kenya for 7 weeks in June, July & August. Is that manageable?
    How many weeks is your Kenya/ Tanzania route for?
    I know it’s peak season should we be booking accommodation prior to our trip?
    Your info is invaluable! Still feeling a bit overwhelmed with the though of independent travel & overland connections in Africa!

    • Reply
      Helen
      May 3, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      Thank you!!!

      I think that’s manageable definitely! My Kenya and Tanzania route could work over 5 weeks.

      I would book accommodation in advance where possible, but you will be able to find accommodation as you go if you don’t, usually, unless there’s an event on. I’m really fussy about where I stay, so I usually book in advance where possible.

      Try not to feel overwhelmed – it will make so much more sense when you are there. I am currently planning an independent trip to a country I’ve not been to, and I feel your pain! 🙂 Have a look at these two posts, they may help! http://www.heleninwonderlust.co.uk/2017/04/how-to-plan-a-trip-to-africa/ and http://www.heleninwonderlust.co.uk/africa-travel-resources/

      Hope it helps!!!

  • Reply
    Loni
    May 12, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Your website is amazing!
    You have inspired me to plan my first trip to Africa. I have signed up for a tour in Morocco, Kenya, Tanzania and ending in Zanzibar. (Yours was full!!)

    I’m sure you have 1 million questions… My only question is where should I go after Zanzibar for about two weeks to chill and be around other travelers?

    • Reply
      Helen
      May 12, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Wow loni, that’s awesome! Sorry my tour was full though! 🙂

      After Zanzibar, maybe he’d to Malawi! Get the Tazara train to and then make your way down to Lake Malawi, maybe ending in either Blantyre or Lilongwe. From Lilongwe you can even pop over to South Luangwa National Park. When are you going???

      • Reply
        Loni
        May 12, 2017 at 8:36 pm

        I can’t believe you answered! This made my day! Thank you so much for the advice.
        I am finishing in Zanzibar on July 31st. I have the opportunity on the tour I am taking to extend for another 12 days and go down to Johannesburg, Victoria Falls and some other places.
        I just don’t want to be on a tour for 40+ days. I want to have a little adventure of my own, but of course I am a little scared.
        I have about 2 weeks and really want to have some sort of a plan and a a least a departing flight.

        • Reply
          Helen
          May 12, 2017 at 10:00 pm

          I would maybe suggest, getting the ferry/plane to Dar es Salaam, getting Tazara train to Mbeya, and then working your way down through Malawi! And maybe go down into Malawi or across to South Luangwa. Or you could stay on the train and go across to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. Then go Lusaka, Livingstone!

          So many possibilities!

          Don’t be scared! It will be amazing! 🙂

  • Reply
    Loni
    May 13, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Amazing advice! My only concern is that I did some research on the train and it says it is insanely unrealiable and sometimes a day late! Lol

    • Reply
      Helen
      May 13, 2017 at 12:18 pm

      It is very unreliable! 🙂 But you can also take the bus! The train is an experience though!

  • Reply
    Esther
    May 22, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Hey, thanks so much for your blog, it’s great! I’m planning a trip to Tanzania in a few weeks and keen to summit Mount Meru. Do you have any particular companies that you would recommend? I’m finding it difficult to know which reviews to trust online and which companies might charge crazy amounts in total for tips etc. Any advice would be really appreciated – thank you 🙂

  • Reply
    june doe
    May 23, 2017 at 11:36 am

    cool post

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