East Africa & Ethiopia
Combine two of our small group hosted journeys for the ultimate African experience! Spot wildlife on game drives through Tarangire National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater, before journeying into the renowned Serengeti and Masai Mara for a chance to witness the spectacular annual 'Great Migration'. Finish your East African journey with a stay on the exotic 'spice island' of Zanzibar, where you will meet the next group and its host before heading to Ethiopia. Nothing quite prepares the traveller for Ethiopia's breathtaking beauty, ancient imperial history, rich culture, and sheer diversity of people. Travel from the rugged Simien Mountains to areas of Ethiopia that are home to many rural tribes, and visit the most important sites including the rock-cut churches of Lalibela, the ruins of an ancient city at Axum, and Our Lady Mary of Zion church.
YOUR JOURNEY AT A GLANCE • Stopover to break the journey in Qatar's capital, Doha • Optional pre-tour gorilla trekking in Uganda • Tarangire National Park • Ngorongoro Crater - the world's largest intact caldera • The chance to witness the spectacular Great Migration • Explore the open plains of the Serengeti National Park • The Masai Mara with its prolific wildlife • Explore the idyllic island of Zanzibar • Visit the Simien Mountains - a vast cauldron of deep ravines and gorges, towering pinnacles and rock spires, and fascinating wildlife found nowhere else on Earth • Admire the impressive castles of Gondar • Travel back to biblical times at Axum and learn the history of the Queen of Sheba • Walk through the incredible rock-hewn churches of Lalibela • Walk on the salt pans of the Dallol Depression • Visit some of the most traditional tribes in Africa with their striking decorations
Observe the Great Migration in the Masai Mara and Serengeti Famous for the legendary seasonal Migration of over two million wildebeest, which has been described as one of nature's greatest wildlife spectacles for those lucky enough to witness it. Although not a guarantee, we are there during the best time of year to witness exciting daring river crossings and giant herds.
Meet the people of the Crater, who live atop the wildlife-filled UNESCO World Heritage site You'll enjoy a game drive in the world famous Crater, but also get an authentic glimpse into the Maasai culture where we will visit the local village in this unique location.
Enjoy a 'sofa safari' in Tarangire There is so much to watch around this lodge's waterhole where local wildlife come to drink, that you can relax by the pool and enjoy the safari coming to you!
Attend the Meskel festival Ethiopia is renowned for its colourful festivals and Meskel is one of the major highlights of the year. Witness people dancing and singing around bonfires in Meskel Square, Addis Ababa.
Visit the Mursi Tribe Living in one of the most isolated regions of Ethiopia, the Mursi people in the beautiful Omo Valley are one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa. Still wearing brightly coloured traditional dress, they are best known for the clay plates in their lips that women start wearing from their late teens.
The Dallol Depression Numerous sulphur springs, volcanoes, geysers, acidic pools, vast salt pans, and colourful mineral-laden lakes dot this alien-looking landscape.
GORILLA TREKKING - BWINDI IMPENETRABLE FOREST Few animals have sparked the imagination of man as much as the mountain gorilla - the world's largest living primate. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is home to just under 350 of these endangered creatures, along with approximately 11 different primates, including the red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzees. Over 350 species of bird also reside here, as well as the rare forest elephant and the giant forest hog.
WELCOME BACK OFFER Travelled on one of our Hosted Journeys before? We would like to offer you a saving of $400 per couple (or $200 per person) if you book this journey.
Sat 29: Auckland > Doha Meet your host and fellow travellers and fly to Doha where you will spend 2 nights.
Sun 30: Doha (B) We enjoy a half day tour including a drive along the Doha Corniche, visit to the Museum of Islamic art, shopping for trinkets at the Souq Waqif, and finally a visit to the Golden Mosque. Remainder of today to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Mon 31: Doha > Kilimanjaro > Arusha (B) Fly to Kilimanjaro Airport. Transfer to Arusha for overnight.
Tue 01: Arusha > Tarangire National Park (B,L,D) Travel by road to Tarangire National Park, famous for its large herds of elephants in the hundreds, superb birdlife and giant baobab trees.
Wed 02: Tarangire National Park (B,L,D) Enjoy optional bush walks and game drives with your expert guides.
Thu 03: Tarangire National Park > Ngorongoro Crater (B,L,D) Drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation area. On arrival at camp we will take a picnic lunch and then commence a game drive on the crater floor that shelters over 30,000 protected animals. We stand a good chance of seeing the Big Five in one place!
Fri 04: Ngorongoro Crater > Serengeti National Park (B,L,D) Travel to central Serengeti National Park where we will enjoy an afternoon game drive, seeking out the resident wildebeest, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and wild dog. The Serengeti is only rivalled by the neighbouring Masai Mara for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of plains game in the world.
Sat 05: Serengeti National Park (B,L,D) We will spend the full day in the park, with morning and afternoon game drives from our well-located camp.
Sun 06 - Mon 07: Serengeti National Park (B,L,D) Move north to spend two nights in a mobile camp located in the remote northern Serengeti. The location of the camp moves with the seasons to ensure the best chance of securing a prime viewing spot for the wildlife phenomenon - The Great Migration. The camp offers an authentic bush experience while still providing spacious accommodation with all of the luxuries and comforts of home.
Tue 08: Serengeti National Park - Masai Mara (B,L,D) Connect into the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve by flights, where we may be lucky to witness to the migration from the air! We spend the next three nights at andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Camp. Set on a private conservancy in the north of the Mara, we will have exclusive access to both the Kichwa Tembo concession and the neighbouring Masai Mara National Reserve.
Wed 09 Sep - Thu 10: Masai Mara (B,L,D) An optional balloon safari is available this morning (not included). Enjoy safaris with our guide on both day and night game drives, as well as optional bush walks along the Mara River or Oloololo Escarpment. Spend your days in search of wildebeest, zebra, antelope and the predators that follow.
Fri 11: Masai Mara > Nairobi > Zanzibar (B,D) Fly via Nairobi to the exotic island paradise of Zanzibar. Spend three nights at our coastal resort, offering relaxation or plenty of activities for those who want to keep busy. A perfect ending to our safari.
Sat 12: Zanzibar (B,D) Morning walking tour of the Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating influences of Arab, Indian, Persian, European and Swahili culture. This evening, we will embark on a local dhow cruise enjoying a magical sunset.
Sun 13: Zanzibar > Addis Ababa (B) Enjoy the last day in Zanzibar before our afternoon flight to Addis Ababa where we will meet our local Ethiopian guide.
Mon 14: Addis Ababa (B,L,D) Today we will enjoy a tour of this fascinating city, which was founded in 1886 by Menelik II. Visit the national museum which houses the 3.5 million year old remains of 'Lucy', the oldest hominid ever found. Continue to the Ethnographic Museum and the church of the Holy Trinity - home to the remains of the last emperor, Haile Selassie. This evening, enjoy a special Ethiopian dinner and traditional show.
Tue 15: Addis Ababa > Simien Mountains (B,L,D) This morning we take a short flight to Gondar then continue by road to our lodge on the edge of the Simien Mountains. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area and relax at the lodge for the rest of the day.
Wed 16: Simien Mountains (B,L,D) We spend the day in Simien National Park with its spectacular views of this unique ecosystem. We hope to see the endemic gelada baboons, klipspringers, lammergeyer vultures, and bushbuck, all framed in breathtaking scenery.
Thu 17: Simien Mountains > Gondar (B,D) After breakfast we drive back to the city of Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia and one of the country's largest and most impressive cities with its walled Royal Enclosure. Gondar's most famous monuments are its exceptionally well-preserved 17th century castles and the 'Pavilion of Delight' - a huge walled private bath built for King Fasilidas.
Fri 18: Gondar > Axum (B,D) We fly to Axum, the seat of the ancient capital, which was once one of the most powerful civilisations in the ancient world - located at the centre of the trading routes between the Mediterranean, India, and the great port of Adulis on the Red Sea. Axum is also the origin place of Christianity in Ethiopia and is believed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. We see the famous monolithic stelae of Axum - the tallest one still standing reaches over 21 metres, and the greatest one of them all, once 34 metres high, now lies toppled on the ground. We will also visit the ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba.
Sat 19: Axum > Lalibela (B,D) We will take a short flight to Lalibela and visit the first cluster of rock hewn churches in the afternoon. Lalibela, the 'New Jerusalem', is thought to have been constructed some 800 years ago by King Lalibela.
Sun 20: Lalibela (B,D) Today we will visit the church of Yimrhane Kristos - a masterpiece of Axumit wood and stone construction. In the afternoon, we explore the remaining rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and absorb the atmosphere of this extraordinary town with its Tukul or round houses.
Mon 21: Lalibela > Mekelle (B,D) We fly to Mekelle and have an afternoon at leisure.
Tue 22: Mekelle > Dallol Depression > Mekelle (B,L,D) A fascinating day's drive by 4x4 passing salt workers and caravans of camels into the Dallol depression. This unique landscape is full of marvels including limestone terraces that perhaps remind us of how Tarawera's Pink and White Terraces could have looked. Return to Mekelle for overnight.
Wed 23: Mekelle > Addis Ababa > Jinka (B,D) Fly via Addis Ababa to the small town of Jinka and visit the Ari Village nearby.
Thu 24: Jinka > Mursi > Turmi (B,L,D) Early morning drive to Mago National Park where we visit one of Ethiopia's most unique tribes, the Mursi, known all over the world for the decorative lip plates that adorn the lower lips of the Mursi women. The plates stretch the lower lip beyond imagination and the women's beauty, pride, and desirability is determined in direct proportion to the size of the plate. Not to be outdone, the Mursi men are also famous for their hairstyles! After lunch in Jinka, we will drive into the Omo Valley and visit the Hamer tribe who use their bodies as canvases, elaborately decorating and painting their bodies and faces with spontaneous and beautifully detailed designs and patterns. This will be a day of unique visits few will ever undertake and is a highlight of our journey.
Fri 25: Turmi > Jinka > Addis Ababa (B) Transfer to Jinka to take a flight back to Addis Ababa.
Sat 26: Addis Ababa (B,D) A highlight of our journey will be attending the Ethiopian Orthodox Festival of Meskel. The festival celebrates the finding of the true cross and is celebrated by lighting bonfires topped with crosses and flowers. Once they are blessed, dancing and singing takes place. A photographer's delight. Later this evening we will check-out of our hotel for a late evening transfer to the airport for our homeward flights departing in the early hours.
Sun 27: Addis Ababa > Doha
Mon 28: Doha > Auckland Arrive in Doha and transit to our early morning departure for Auckland.
Tue 29: Auckland Early morning arrival.
GORILLA TREK OPTION (PRE-TOUR)
Tue 25: Auckland > Doha Fly to Doha where you will spend 2 nights.
Wed 26: Doha (B) Enjoy a half day tour including a drive along the Doha Corniche, visit to the Museum of Islamic art, shopping for trinkets at the Souq Waqif, and finally a visit to the Golden Mosque. Remainder of today to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities.
Thu 27: Doha > Entebbe Fly to Entebbe where you are met on arrival and transferred to your centrally located hotel.
Fri 28: Entebbe > Kihihi > Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (B,L,D) Flight to Kihihi and transfer to our comfortable lodge located in the Bwindi National Park, home to many of the world's remaining mountain gorillas.
Sat 29: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (B,L,D) Day at leisure today to enjoy the surrounding area. Choose from a number of optional activities on offer that are organised by our lodge including a forest work, community village visit or a cultural visit to the Batwa Pygmy community (additional costs apply).
Bwindi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to over 350 species of bird as well as the rare forest elephant, giant forest hog and around 11 kinds of primates, such as the red tailed and blue monkey, black and white colobus, baboons and chimpanzee.
Sun 30: Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park (B,L,D) Today you will enjoy a full day trek to track one of the 8 habituated families of Mountain Gorillas that live on the slopes of the Virunga Volcanoes. Permits must be purchased well in advance and are included in the extension cost.
The journey, through dense foliage and up steep climbs, is rewarded with the lifetime experience of viewing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. You will have an opportunity to be within mere metres of these magnificent apes, sharing in their daily lives and experiencing their day-to-day activities. Mountain gorillas are extremely rare with just over 1,000 remaining in the wild. This is an experience you won't soon forget!
Mon 31: Bwindi > Entebbe > Kilimanjaro > Arusha (B) Flight to Kilimanjaro via Entebbe, and on arrival you will be transferred to Arusha where you will meet up with the rest of the main group for your safari!
• Economy Class airfares ex Auckland • Airline and airport taxes • A World Journeys host (the East Africa and Ethiopia portions of the tour will have separate hosts, changing in Zanzibar) • Local English speaking guides on Gorilla Trek option • Accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels, lodges & camps • Transfers, sightseeing, and entrance fees as per the itinerary • National Park and concession fees • Some beverages • Meals as indicated (B,L,D) • Gratuities
Pricing (per person) $NZD
2020 29 August
Booking conditions • A non-refundable deposit of $5,500 per person is required ($6,500 when including the Gorilla Trek option), with the balance due 09 June 2020
• As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory
• Business class upgrade applies to flights Auckland > Doha > Kilimanjaro & Addis Ababa > Doha > Auckland Note: Due to a currency surcharge, pricing has increased from that featured in the printed brochure.
• A non-refundable deposit of $5,500 per person is required ($6,500 when including the Gorilla Trek option), with the balance due 09 June 2020 • As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory • Business class upgrade applies to flights Auckland > Doha > Kilimanjaro & Addis Ababa > Doha > Auckland
Note: Due to a currency surcharge, pricing has increased from that featured in the printed brochure.
Not included • Items of a personal nature
• Travel insurance (mandatory)
• Optional activities
• Visas (if applicable)
• Items of a personal nature • Travel insurance (mandatory) • Optional activities • Visas (if applicable)
Gratuity In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host.
In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host.