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  • Replicate the annual migration as you journey from the Serengeti plains, through its riverine forest and rocky promontories, into the Maasai Mara.
  • Search for the “Big Five” — lions, elephants, buffaloes, leopards and rhinos — in East Africa’s most iconic national parks.
  • Discover the unique ecosystem of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Follow the endless cycle of life as you track the big five on the Serengeti plains. Trace the migratory path north through the remote Serengeti, an area rarely visited by outsiders, and cross into Kenya’s Maasai Mara reserve to search for the elusive leopard. Learn about elephants in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and rhinos in the Great Rift Valley.

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Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
The Best of Kenya and Tanzania: A Classic Safari

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Does Not Recommend


  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
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Operator Road Scholar


Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar



Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar



A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
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Operator Road Scholar



Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Operator Road Scholar


Day 1: Departures and Overnight flights to Kenya

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival in Kenya

Accommodation: Nairobi  Eka Hotel

Evening: Arrivals in Nairobi in the late evening. Meet your Study Leader on arrival and check in to the hotel.

Day 3: Amboseli National Park / The East African Elephant

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Kilima Safari Camp

Activity note: The drive from Nairobi to Amboseli will take at least 4 hours and part of the road is unpaved. 2-3 hour game drives at sunrise and in the late afternoon. There are no toilet facilities outside of the lodge

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Depart this morning by Safari Van for the Amboseli National Park.

Lunch: At the lodge in the Amboseli.

Afternoon: Meet your Study Leader for an orientation to game viewing and the wildlife of East Africa. Then put your new knowledge to work as you set out on your first game drive in the park. Before dinner, meet with an expert from the Amboseli Elephant Trust to learn about the majestic East African Elephant.

Dinner: Be welcomed to the Amboseli National Park with a dinner at the lodge.

Day 4: Amboseli Big Game / The East African Elephant

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Kilima Safari Camp

Breakfast: In the lodge after the morning game drive.

Morning: As the sun rises, head out to continue the search through the varied wildlife habitats of the park. Later after a brief rest and before lunch join your Study Leader for a presentation: "Understanding the Tribes of Kenya and Tanzania" with a focus on the culture and customs of the Maasai.

Lunch: In the lodge.

Afternoon: After lunch, head back out in search of big game.

Dinner: In the lodge.

Day 5: Twin peaks of Mt Meru and Mt Kilimanjaro/ the coffee country

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Hotel Planet Co. LTD DBA Planet Lodge

Activity note: The drive from the lodge in Amboseli to the border will take at least 3 hours and part of the road is unpaved and can be rough at some times of year. The drive from the border to Arusha will take 2 hours and is paved.

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: This morning we leave early, enjoying a scenic game drive through the western part of Amboseli to the Tanzanian border. Late in the morning we stop at the border for formalities and to change vehicles. We continue our drive from the border to the city of Arusha for lunch. the drive offers an excellent look into rural life in Kenya and Tanzania.

Lunch: In Arusha at a local hotel.

Afternoon: Located in the northern highlands of Tanzania, beneath the twin peaks of Mt. Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, Arusha is the safari capital of the country. Guests embarking on the popular northern safari circuit all stop in the ‘Geneva of Africa’ to prepare for their journeys into the African bush. From is two-lane streets, the dramatic crater of Mt. Meru stands over the town like a majestic sentinel, it’s crater strewn with thick clouds, it’s slopes dark with verdant forest. Arusha’s ideal location near the major national parks and it’s highland setting make it a peaceful idyll of relaxation before the start of an exciting journey. Built by the Germans as a center of colonial administration in the early 20th century, Arusha was a sleepy town with a garrison stationed at the old boma and a few shops around a grassy roundabout. From its backwater status amidst the farmlands and plantations of northern Tanzania, today Arusha is one of the country’s most prosperous towns. The site for the United Nations Criminal Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide and the headquarters for the Tripartite commission for East African Co-operation, Arusha is a major center of Tanzanian diplomacy and international relations.

Dinner: At the lodge near Arusha.

Day 6: Crossing the Great Rift Valley to Ngorongoro Crater

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Activity note: The drive from the lodge in Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park will take at 3 hours and the road is paved except inside the park. The drive from Lake Manyara National Park to the Lodge in Ngorongo will take about 3.5 hours and is also paved most of the way except part of the road is unpaved and can be rough at some times of year. While long, this day offers some excellent scenic driving and a unique look into rural East Africa.

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: This morning we leave early, enjoying a scenic game drive through more of rural Tanzania and the Baobab Tree countryside. Lake Manyara National Park: We will visit this park located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, to discover it’s varied ecosystems, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze and give colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park. Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason why we will visit the park however we can not guarantee their sightings. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that accounts for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.

Lunch: On the way at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We climb the escarpment and continue to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where agriculture, wildlife conservation and tourism co-exist in one of Africa’s first experiments of multiple-land use. Upon arriving at the park gates learn more about the larger conservation area from your Study Leader. Prior to dinner take the time to enjoy the view of the crater floor from your rooms or from the terrace. The crater rim is a perfect viewpoint to observe the constellations of the Southern Hemisphere.

Dinner: At the lodge.

Day 7: The Wildlife of the Ngorongoro Crater

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: Descend the slope into the Ngorongoro Crater in 4-wheel-drive vehicles to spend the morning observing wildlife on the floor of the crater. The 102 square miles of the Ngorongoro Crater are home to 25,000 mammals, many of which are resident due to the geographically enclosed nature of the crater. The crater is also home to the last population of black rhino in northern Tanzania.

Lunch: Stop for an adventurous picnic lunch in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Afternoon: Continue your time in the unique Ngorongoro crater on an afternoon game drive before returning to the lodge. Watch the unmissable Ngorongoro Crater sunset. The sun makes a dramatic exit as it sinks below the crater rim. Later enjoy an early evening Presentation: "The Crater Ecosystem and Conservation."

Dinner: Dinner in the lodge.

Day 8: Early History at Olduvai Gorge / The Plains of the Serengeti National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Naona Moru Camp

Activity note: The drive from Ngorongoro Crater Lodge to Olduvai Gorge is 2 hours on a non paved road. The drive from Olduvai Gorge to Seronera Wildlife Lodge varies according to how much game is seen en route.

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: Depart early, with luggage,leaving the Crater Rim and make your way to the Serengeti. En route, visit the Olduvai Gorge Museum and learn about the Leakey’s research and discovery of the earliest known species of humanoids.

Lunch: A box lunch is provided to eat at the Serengeti Visitor center picnic area. The area also has a nice walking path up rocky outcrops known as ‘kopjes’ for those looking to stretch their legs.

Afternoon: As you continue driving to the lodge enjoy a game drive though the plains of the Serengeti. In February, this area can get very crowded with Zebras, Wildebeest and Gazelles often with young newborns, be on the lookout for wildlife, as this unfenced land is all part of the Serengeti ecosystem.

Dinner: At the camp.

Evening: Late evening Presentation: Stargazing – A Unique Night Under the African Sky led by your Study Leader. (weather permitting).

Day 9: Into the Heart of the Serengeti National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Naona Moru Camp

Breakfast: At the camp after the morning game drive.

Morning: Get out early to search for game and perhaps a fresh kill just as the sun rises over the Serengeti. Look for fresh tracks and see the Park come to life.

Lunch: Boxed lunch en route.

Afternoon: In the Afternoon before going back out on safari, stop at the Serengeti Visitor Center to experience an illustrated presentation about the "Circle of Life". After the presentation, return to the plains to follow the watering holes along the Seronera creek in search of antelope, and other creatures gathering to re-hydrate.

Dinner: Dinner at the camp in the Serengeti National Park.

Day 10: On the shores of Lake Victoria, Speke Bay

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Speke Bay Lodge

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: In the early morning depart the camp to enjoy a scenic drive through the Western Corridor to the shores of Lake Victoria. As we drive west watch for the abundant resident wildlife stopping along the way to observe new sightings. Keep a lookout for animals as you finish the drive to Lake Victoria. Arrive at your lodge on the shores of Lake Victoria.

Lunch: At the Lodge

Afternoon: Enjoy a nature excursion on this beautiful lake led by an expert guide. During sunset, both sky and lake explode with light.

Dinner: In the lodge.

Day 11: From the Shores of Lake Victoria and into the Maasai Mara National Reserve

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Fig Tree Camp

Breakfast: In the lodge.

Morning: After breakfast continue north to Kenya. As you drive on the main road, you will notice completely different local architecture passing through local villages. After crossing the border, continue to Migori where a charter flight awaits to bring you to the Maasai Mara. When you arrive in the Maasai Mara, the trip to the lodge is a morning game drive. Search for the creatures of the Mara before arriving at your lodge.

Lunch: At the lodge in the Maasai Mara.

Afternoon: In the afternoon set out on a game drive from your lodge/camp keeping a watch for many resident lion prides or the fastest of all cheetah.

Dinner: Enjoy dinner in the lodge.

Day 12: Tracking the Big Five in the Maasai Mara, Masai Mara National Reserve

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Fig Tree Camp

Breakfast: In the camp after the morning game drive.

Morning: As the light brightens over the Mara, head toward the river to observe hippo, crocodile and birdlife. Depending on the migration, you may see wildebeest attempting the dangerous crossing. Later in the morning before lunch join a local Masai Moran on a nature walk through the edges of the Maasai Mara Park. Learn about local plant life and maybe observe some insects and lizards.

Lunch: At the camp.

Afternoon: There is a possibility that you will visit a Maasai Village en route today. It is truly a journey into timelessness, back to the way things have been for thousands of years. Some Road Scholars remain forever touched by the experience, the apparent purity, hopefullness, discipline, and pride of the Maasai people they shared this time with. However, we would like to prepare you for the reality of this visit. We hope you will understand that there is an element where you will be asked to buy their wares, trinkets, wood carvings, etc. at an improvised village market. The goods offered do not have prices on them. We have asked the Maasai elders to price the goods several times, however, they have not done so yet and do not understand why we are asking them to - to the extent where they think we are trying to westernize them. At this time, Road Scholar finds itself wanting to preserve the experience such that it is, however, would ask that you resist the selling pressure and stand firm and refuse purchase of any goods if you feel uncomfortable at any time. In the afternoon set out on your final game drive. Enjoy the sounds and sights as you say farewell to the Maasai Mara. Later join your Study Leader for a final wrap-up session and presentation.

Dinner: Final dinner in the Maasai Mara at the lodge.

Day 13: Return to Nairobi

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Eka Hotel

Activity note: Today you will fly from Maasai Mara back to Nairobi.

Breakfast: In the camp after the morning game drive.

Morning: At dawn, embark on a drive toward the river to observe hippo, crocodile and birdlife. Depending on the migration, you may see wildebeest attempting the dangerous crossing. Late Morning - Board a small plane back to Nairobi

Lunch: In a local restaurant on arrival in Nairobi.

Afternoon: Check in to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare. Suggestions will be provided locally.

Evening: At leisure

Day 14: Giraffe Conservation and Elephant Orphanage

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

In Flight

Activity note: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Depart for the elephant orphanage and learn about the conservation efforts here, you will also have the chance to feed the elephants During a special presentation, learn about the African Fund for Endangered Wildlife Kenya efforts to increase the numbers of endangered Rothschild Giraffe at the Giraffe Center, where you will have the rare treat of hand-feeding these gentle giants and face them eye-to-eye from an elevated viewing platform.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to rest and pack prior to your flight. You have the use of your day room until 6 PM. We will be leaving for the airport shortly after this time.

Dinner: Your choice to explore local fare.

Evening: Coach departs to the airport with luggage.

Day 15: Return Flights to U.S.

In Flight

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 5,499

Price Per Day:

$ 367 per person
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Trip Includes
  • 12 nights of accommodations
  • 6 expert-led lectures
  • 20 expert-led field trips
  • 2 flights during the program
  • 1 hands-on experience
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches and 10 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Hotel Planet Co. LTD DBA Planet Lodge: 1 night  Moshono Village Arusha


Eka Hotel: 2 nights  Nairobi

Eka Hotel is ideally located along Mombasa Road in Nairobi the capital city of Kenya. It is situated minutes away from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, 5km from Wilson Airport and 5km from the bustling central business district. The hotel is situated with convenient access to all the city's tourist attractions such as Nairobi National Park, Karen Blixen Museum, National Museum, Bomas of Kenya, and The Giraffe Centre. In addition, there is easy access to all key Government offices, corporates, diplomatic missions and industries. It also has easy reach to the city's main attractions, eateries and entertainment venues.


Kilima Safari Camp: 2 nights  Amboseli National Park

Kilima Safari Camp is a new property spread out on a vast conservation area of 360 acres next to the Kimana gate of Amboseli National Park. The tents have been fitted to offer a premium safari experience and have open views of the camp’s private wildlife water hole and Mt. Kilimanjaro. 


Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge: 2 nights  Ngorongoro

This unique lodge clings to the rim of the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, at 2200 m above sea level so could get cold in the rooms and there is no heating, please ask for additional blankets if you are cold. Long and low, the lodge is built from local river stone and camouflaged with indigenous vines. Designed to blend completely into the landscape, it is entirely invisible from the floor of the Crater 600 metres below. Linked by arched stone passages and timbered decks, its walls are decorated with stylized prehistoric cave paintings and lit by flaring torches. At the stone heart of the lodge burns a glowing fire, which is kept constantly alight. Decorated with cave paintings, the rooms are strung around the Crater rim. Each has its own rock- enclosed balcony, and all enjoy completely uninterrupted views of the volcanic amphitheater far below.


Naona Moru Camp: 2 nights  Arusha

Although they have modern facilities, all tents are canvas, thus offering a total camping experience under the African Sky. With high quality canvas between your comfortable bed and the sounds of the African night, these camps provide the ideal accommodation for lovers of hte great outdoors, while retaining the coziness of a warm bed, a hot shower, gratifying cuisine and a welcoming team. There is a magical path of lanterns between the tented rooms and the Dining Tent. While there are kerosene lanterns used, you will also observe a mix of solar guide lights and scented beeswax candles to create an enchanting setting to unwind after the day's adventures. Feel free to take pleasure in the library Lounge Tent, enjoy you meals in the Dining Tent, and why not enjoy a sundowner while sitting around the nightly wood fire. For charging electrical equipment, a generator is run in the evenings for the dining and lounge tents (until 10PM only) -- please approach the camp manager for assistance.


Speke Bay Lodge: 1 night  Mwanza

Speke Bay Lodge is located on the south-eastern shore of Lake Victoria in Tanzania, East Africa. It is 15 kilometers from the Serengeti National Park, and 125 kilometers north of Mwanza. Speke Bay is part of Speke Gulf, named after the famous explorer John Hanning Speke, who, in 1858, discovered Lake Victoria to be the source of the Nile. Embraced by savanna, the Lodge looks like a small village, stretched out along the shores of the lake. The main buildings and luxury accommodation are round in form, built to perfection, painted white and thatched with a grass roof in the traditional style of the local tribe, the Sukuma. Since the Lodge is outside but close to the Serengeti National Park, it is the ideal place to start or end your safari, or relax during your travels.

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Trip ID#: TheBesRoa

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