Guiding principle: Great experience combined with the choice of high standard accommodation or, in some cases, the best available.
For those who want it all, do not have much time, are seeking the “wow” effect … and love Africa!
FLYING DETAILS DURING THE AIR-TOUR:
Min. nr of passengers: 1
Max nr of passengers: 9 (all window seats)
DAY 1: Arusha – TANZANIA
Arrival in Arusha Kilimanjaro (Tanzania) and transfer to the hotel. Free time to relax.
Overnight: Lodge (all rooms ensuite)
DAYS 2 & 3: From Arusha/Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti – TANZANIA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport, meeting with our experienced pilots/guide and start of the air-tour. From Kilimanjaro we head to the northwest to admire some outstanding beauties. The imposing silhouette of the Ol Doinyo Lengai – “the mountain of God” for the Maasai tribes –, a still active volcano with a very unusual carbonatite lava which makes the volcanic landscape different from any other in the world.
Then another incredible phenomenon of this geological scar, Lake Natron, so uniquely alive and amazing from the air: its alkaline red waters, the many white discs of Natron salt, the pink dots of the flamingos… Then we veer westbound and fly over and across the green vastness of the Serengeti with its endless plains, our “home” for the next 2 nights to fully enjoy the excellent safaris and varied landscapes of this national park.
Land activities: Game drives in 4WD in the park to admire its abundant and varied wildlife.
Overnight: Deluxe mobiletented camp(all tents ensuite)
DAYS 4 & 5: From the Serengeti to the Virungas – UGANDA
After another early morning safari in the Serengeti and a short stop for immigration and customs formalities in Mwanza on Lake Victoria, continuation to other icons of Africa.
We fly across the lake to Entebbe, our port of entry into Uganda, and then up again in the air on a very scenic flight to the remote southwest. We land at Kisoro, at the foothills of majestic Virunga Mountains - the ancient volcanoes which are part of the western branch of the Rift Valley – and transfer by road to the lodge.
Land activities: Mountain gorillas tracking, a unique experience which allows us to spend one hour in the presence of these incredible apes; a must for any person in love with animals.
Overnight: Lodge(all rooms ensuite)
DAYS 6 & 7: From the Virungas to the Rift Valley – KENYA
After breakfast transfer back to Kisoro, and we retrace our steps to Entebbe and Lake Victoria but this time we land on the Kenyan side, at Eldoret, to clear customs and immigration. We are now ready to fully embrace from the air the incredible sceneries of the Great Rift Valley - craters, blue lakes often dotted by thousands of pink flamingos, escarpments, forests…. - and of the Suguta Valley - where extensive black lava rivers share the landscape with small sand dunes and numerous volcanic craters.
We then leave the valley behind and reach a remote airstrip in the middle of a typical African landscape. On the side of the strip waiting for us we see a Samburu warrior and an old Landcruiser under the shade of an acacia. A rugged and extremely scenic trail literally climbs the nearby mountain up to a small intimate lodge with commanding views over the African savannah where we will spend two nights. It is the perfect stop half way through the tour to recharge our batteries and to realize that in Africa we do not necessarily need animals to be in awe.
Land activities: Visits to local Turkana and Samburu Villages, easy hikes up the mountains.
Overnight: Lodge – very nice country lodge, with only 4 chalets, open on one side (all rooms ensuite).
DAY 8: From the Rift Valley to Lake Turkana and to Addis Ababa – ETHIOPIA
Departure after breakfast, ready to immediately plunge once again into the incredible Suguta Valley. We intercept it where we left it two days ago and, through some more scenic views, we reach the hidden shallow Logipi Lake where we are welcomed by thousands of pink flamingoes: we play with them and admire their perfect synchronized formation flights.
At times the lake almost turns pink. We then “climb” a ridge made of lava flows and craters, it is really like witnessing the genesis of the earth. Simply magnificent the unexpected panorama offered by the southern shores of Lake Turkana, where two volcanoes come straight out of the waters, a black blanket of lava on their sides.
Eventually, we regain altitude and leave the amazing Rift Valley behind, to reach Lokichoggio, the former largest center for UN Humanitarian operations in Africa and today a sleepy village. After custom and immigration clearing, continuation to the border with Ethiopia and, following the Rift Valley through the Ethiopian highlands and lakes district, we reach Addis Ababa. Transfer to the hotel and a small introductory city tour.
Land activities: Afternoon visit of the capital of Ethiopia.
Overnight: Hotel ***** in Addis Ababa, (all rooms ensuite).
DAY 9: From Addis to Lalibela – ETHIOPIA
Departure after breakfast to set our wings to one of the most spectacular panoramas in Africa: the Ethiopian high-plateau and the Blue Nile Canyon, all the way up to the magic city of Lalibela, center of the Copt Orthodox religion and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lalibela is not only a remarkable example of ancient architectural achievements, in fact what strikes most is the magic and spiritual atmosphere which pervades every corner of the churches complexes. Transfer by road from the small airport to the town itself and visit in the afternoon. We will start visiting the first two groups of rock hewn churches, getting a first glimpse of the spirituality they are surrounded.
Land activities: Afternoon visit of 2 of the 3 groups of the still active rock hewn churches.
Overnight: Village Hotel **, the best available in Lalibela
DAY 10: From Lalibela to Addis Ababa – ETHIOPIA
After breakfast we have time to visit the last group of churches in Lalibela, or, for the most adventuresome, to climb on foot or on donkeys the nearby mountain in order to reach a hidden monastery. After lunch return to the airport to fly back to Addis Ababa.
Once again enjoying the magnificent panoramas of the Ethiopian Highlands and its small isolated villages on the plateaux. From the air the multitude of rural fields creates a very interesting patchwork of brown and greens. We land in Addis late in the afternoon. Transfer back to the hotel.
Land activities: Morning visit of the last group of churches, or hike up to a hidden monastery.
Overnight: Hotel ***** in Addis Ababa
DAY 11: Addis Ababa – ETHIOPIA
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of services
We have crossed the Equator, we have linked both hemispheres, and we have admired and visited four countries to experience the different facets of incredible Africa!
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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