Trip Type : Small Group Tour
The Masai Heartlands tour
Arusha Lake Nakuru National Park The Masai Heartlands Trip
Nairobi Rift Valley The Masai Heartlands Trip
Nature & Wildlife Land expedition The Masai Heartlands package
Safari Wildlife viewing The Masai Heartlands package

The Masai Heartlands

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
95%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
15 days
From: $ 3,300 $ 220 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Spend the night in a Maasai village to learn about life from community elders, visit a widows’ community and maybe even learn to throw a spear.
  • An early morning game drive through Lake Nakuru National Park might be your best chance of seeing black and white rhinoceroses in the flesh.
  • Take a cooking class in a small village and learn some Kenyan recipes, then share your creations at a camp dinner under the stars.
  • Explore the Serengeti National Park in depth – with two early-morning and two late-afternoon game drives through this spectacular wildlife arena, you’ll have the best chance to spot the Big Five.
  • Swap the safari vehicle for two wheels on a guided biking adventure near Lake Victoria, stopping to shop for local wares and meet townsfolk at the Mwigobero Market.

Short Description

Watch the wonders of Kenya and Tanzania unfold before you on this incredible 15-day overland adventure with Lonely Planet and Intrepid Travel. Head deep into the heartland of the Maasai tribespeople and the finest game parks in eastern Africa. Travelling through the acclaimed Masai Mara and the vast Serengeti plains to the stunning lakes of the Great Rift Valley and the dramatic scenery of the Ngorongoro Crater, you'll spot a wealth of exotic predators and peaceful herbivores. Follow in the footsteps of the Maasai with local knowledge each step of the way, leaving you with memories of Africa to last a lifetime.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Nairobi
End City Nairobi

Destinations

Kenya Tanzania

Activities & Interests

Land expedition Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement

15-99

No Single Supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 Nairobi

Jambo! Welcome to Kenya, your Lonely Planet Experience begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you arrive with time to spare before the meeting, consider getting to know the city on an Urban Adventure like the ‘Nairobi Experience’. This optional 4-hour tour is a great way to get a feel for Nairobi, and includes lunch at a local restaurant. After the welcome meeting, perhaps join your new travel companions for an optional group dinner.

Day 2 Lake Nakuru National Park

Drive north-west past splendid views of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha and Elementaita to Lake Nakuru National Park (approximately 3–4 hours). Situated in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru National Park is a great location for spotting wildlife, which you will do in an early morning game drive tomorrow. For now, head to a nearby village with your leader. This is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the local folk and get a feel for everyday life here. Enjoy a cooking class and return later in the evening to share the results for dinner.

Day 3 Lake Naivasha

Wake early for breakfast and head into the Lake Nakuru National Park for a game drive in the overland vehicle. Along with the other members of the Big Five, Lake Nakuru is home to rhinos, and there will be a good chance of spotting and photographing one of these magnificent beasts. Return to camp for lunch before driving to your camp near Lake Naivasha (approximately 3 hours). One of the few freshwater lakes in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha has floating islands of papyrus reeds and a border of flat-topped acacias. It's also home to a healthy population of hippos and a tremendous variety of birds.

Day 4 Lake Naivasha

Enjoy a free day to choose from a variety of optional activities available around Lake Naivasha. Perhaps venture to Hell's Gate National Park, which boasts beautiful cliffs, gorges, rock towers, volcanoes and a range of geothermal phenomena. Another great choice is to take a boat trip across Lake Naivasha – perhaps the best way to take in the atmosphere of this lush area. If you're looking for something active, why not hire a bike for the day and make some of your own discoveries, venturing beyond the cacti and olive trees.

Day 5 Loita Hills Maasai Village

Depart Lake Naivasha, making a short stop in Narok to do a spot of food shopping. Continue to Loita Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), home of the Maasai people, stopping for lunch en route. We’ll be camping at Tepesua Village, which is known for championing Maasai women’s health and education. Arrive and be welcomed by traditional Maasai warrior song and dance, then your host will explain the details of Maasai warrior training. Take a walk to the community village which was founded to alleviate the poverty of Maasai widows, who traditionally are not allowed to inherit property. The village offers support, safety and economic growth through the ‘Tepesua Widows Income Project’. Spend the evening around a campfire and learn more about their age-old culture and traditions as you share stories with Maasai warriors into the night.

Day 6 Masai Mara National Reserve

Today you’ll travel from Loita Hills to Masai Mara (approximately 1–2 hours). The road is dusty when dry, and could be slippery and muddy when wet, so the going may be slow. The Masai Mara is the quintessential African experience, with sparse open plains, dramatic skies and some of the world's most tremendous animals. After setting up camp, sit down to some lunch. Then it's time to jump in 4WDs and go for a game drive through the wilderness of the Mara.

Day 7 Masai Mara National Reserve

Venture into the Masai Mara National Reserve for a full day's game drive in 4WDs. You'll explore this diverse environment and most likely see a multitude of wildlife. An optional balloon ride over the Mara at sunrise is available today. If you have pre-booked this activity you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site for a safety briefing from your pilot. Then you will glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, to get some amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the enormity of the plains and of the early morning movements of the teeming herds. After landing, you'll be treated to a bush breakfast, then be returned to your campsite.

Day 8 Nairobi

Today, head back to Nairobi, and take a break from pitching tents and instead, relax at a hotel. Take a refreshing dip in the pool and enjoy a cool drink or go for a walk around the town and meet some local people. If you’re feeling energetic, perhaps head out and explore the National Museum of Kenya, the Karen Blixen Museum or the highly recommended Bomas of Kenya, where traditional homesteads of several Kenyan tribes are displayed in an outdoor village. Keep in mind that, this evening, there will be another briefing to welcome new travellers joining you for the next stage of your adventure.

Day 9 Kisii

Board your safari vehicle and travel west (approximately 8–9 hours). Today’s destination is near the hilltop town of Kisii, which will be the last chance to stock up on supplies before heading into Tanzania. Crossing the incredibly scenic Great Rift Valley on your way to the tea-growing highlands is a fantastic introduction to the landscapes of Kenya. You will pass through the ancient homeland of the Maasai. Keep a look out for these tall tribesmen dressed in distinctive scarlet robes as they tend to their prized herds of cattle. The roads on the way are pretty rough, but there will be chances to stop and stretch your legs, including a local homestead lunch in the town of Kaprong. The food for the lunch is grown and sourced locally, plus the lunch is a great way to learn from and interact with the women from the local village.

Day 10 Lake Victoria

Travel towards the Kenya–Tanzania border and to the shores of Lake Victoria (approximately 7–8 hours). This is not only Africa's largest lake – it's the largest tropical lake in the world. Its shores are shared by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The guided bike excursion is a great activity to stretch the legs, learn about the town, visit an African marketplace and meet some locals. Or you can simply chill out on the lakeside sand with a cold drink. Make the most of the ATM and local market to stock up for your next three days of adventuring in the wilderness. You will camp on the shores of the lake tonight, at one of its least visited campgrounds, on the outskirts of a small town called Musoma.

Day 11 Serengeti National Park

Travel from Lake Victoria to the gate of Serengeti National Park on a smooth road (approximately 3 hours). Enter the Serengeti and enjoy a game drive and picnic lunch en route to your campsite. The wide-open plains of the Serengeti see myriad colours during the year – green after the rains, brown and burnt in the dry season – but one thing is a constant: this never-ending landscape is home to thousands upon thousands of animals travelling as herds across the plains. This region gets its name from the local Maasai word ‘siringet’, meaning the place where the land moves on forever, and you’ll begin to understand why on your game drive today. Enjoy a picnic lunch, then head to your campsite which is right in the action – located within the park itself! At night, listen out for the sounds of nocturnal animals as you drift off to sleep.

Day 12 Serengeti National Park

Start the day nice and early with a game drive at dawn. You will head out while the animals are at their most active, then head back to camp for brunch at around 11 am. This morning, there’s also the option of a balloon ride over the park today. If you have pre-booked this activity, you will be picked up before dawn and driven to the launch site. After a safety briefing, glide through the dawn, sometimes at tree height, where you’ll get some amazing photo opportunities. Sometimes you will ascend, getting an overview of the vastness of the plains and the early morning movements of the herds. After landing, dig into a delicious bush breakfast, then return to your camp. After spending the warmer part of the day relaxing with your herd – just as the animals do – depart again at dusk for another adventure through the wild, returning in time for dinner.

Day 13 Ngorongoro Crater

Enjoy a leisurely game drive and picnic lunch on your way out of the park today. Soak up final views of the animals and landscapes that make the national park such an incredible spot, before entering the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Your destination today is the rim of the crater about 3 hours away. Your campsite overlooks jagged volcanic peaks and rolling grasslands thousands of feet below – you can be sure that there are few campsites in the world with a better view than this!

Day 14 Ngorongoro Crater – Mto wa Mbu

A gigantic, perfectly intact volcanic crater, Ngorongoro is home to some 30,000 animals. Among these are endangered black rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, impalas, zebras and hippos. The crater floor offers excellent wildlife viewing all year round, and the photo opportunities here are unrivalled. Later, join the local community for a guided afternoon stroll around the farming areas, milling machine and local homes before enjoying a traditional meal. Your campsite this evening is located in Mto wa Mbu.

Day 15 Arusha / Nairobi

Set off early this morning, around 7.30 am, heading for the border with Kenya after passing through Arusha to say goodbye to some travellers. You also have the option to travel back to Nairobi if it is more convenient for you (approximately 7–8 hours). On arrival, you'll be dropped at a centrally located hotel, and with no accommodation provided for tonight, you are free to leave at any time. If you would like to extend your stay in Nairobi, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,300
Price Per Day: $ 220 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Jan-08-2022Jan-22-2022$ 3,36521 spots left Reserve
Jan-22-2022Feb-05-2022$ 3,36522 spots left Reserve
Feb-19-2022Mar-05-2022$ 3,36520 spots left Reserve
Apr-09-2022Apr-23-2022$ 3,50022 spots left Reserve
Jun-11-2022Jun-25-2022$ 3,63022 spots left Reserve
Jun-25-2022Jul-09-2022$ 3,63018 spots left Reserve
Jul-02-2022Jul-16-2022$ 3,63022 spots left Reserve
Jul-09-2022Jul-23-2022$ 3,63020 spots left Reserve
Jul-23-2022Aug-06-2022$ 3,63022 spots left Reserve
Jul-30-2022Aug-13-2022$ 3,63020 spots left Reserve
Aug-06-2022Aug-20-2022$ 3,63022 spots left Reserve
Aug-13-2022Aug-27-2022$ 3,63022 spots left Reserve
Aug-27-2022Sep-10-2022$ 3,50017 spots left Reserve
Sep-03-2022Sep-17-2022$ 3,50019 spots left Reserve
Sep-10-2022Sep-24-2022$ 3,50019 spots left Reserve
Sep-24-2022Oct-08-2022$ 3,50020 spots left Reserve
Oct-01-2022Oct-15-2022$ 3,50021 spots left Reserve
Oct-15-2022Oct-29-2022$ 3,50020 spots left Reserve
Nov-05-2022Nov-19-2022$ 3,36522 spots left Reserve
Dec-03-2022Dec-17-2022$ 3,30021 spots left Reserve
Dec-10-2022Dec-24-2022$ 3,30022 spots left Reserve
Dec-17-2022Dec-31-2022$ 3,30022 spots left Reserve
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Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Intrepid Travel.

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.

3,846 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

95%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,882
Great 651
Average 127
Disappointing 62
Terrible 124
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

The Masai Heartlands

Fantastic overland journey

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time to Africa and I was blown away by the animals, campsites and the special stay with the Masai at Loita Hills. A fantastic overland journey jammed packed with good camp food, knowledgeable staff and daily photo opportunities – stunning!
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Company Reviews

Terrible customer care.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
I first used intrepid 2016 and was really impressed,so I used them every year until the pandemic hit. I decided to go on their north south Island tour my travel agent told them I am exempt from wearing a mask they said no problem. Airlines want a doctors letter which they are not providing it tells you this in the government guide lines, so I had no choice but to cancel they will only refund me half the money in a voucher my travel agent spoke to them on several occasions but they won't budge. I have emailed and written but they won't reply. I am shocked and upset I really thought this company was different. They told the travel agent they can sell the voucher so no care for loyal customers. I won't be fooled again.
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Intrepid doing "bait & switch" with hotels?

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
Bored during my lockdown - i reviewed my fantastic trip to Morocco back in late 2019. It was "comfort" style and worked out really well, perfect in every respect, however i cant help feeling Intrepid did some "bait and switch" on the hotels. Although Intrepid does cover themselves by saying "or similar" when advising the hotels you will be staying at, after review i discovered 8 of 11 hotels were switched. And here is the thing - they were ALL switched to cheaper quality hotels. I'm not saying switched hotels were horrible, just saying its beyond "or similar" when majority of hotels were of cheaper standard when i google and compare the hotels. I also understand that not all hotels advertised may be available, but very suspicious 8 of 11 were substituted downward, none upward. If Intrepid are downgrading guests to cheaper hotels they should also pass on some of these $$$$ savings to the guest, maybe a voucher for future trips or perhaps shout a free dinner as compensation. This would provide transparency and result in more guest appreciating this honesty - rather than feeling a bit gouged. It also took 1 star off the rating i really wanted to give Intrepid. I'll will still consider Intrepid for my next trip, but now also looking at other companies that offer "comfort style" trips.
And in comes Intrepid response very promptly, thanks Intrepid. I think you have missed the mark with that "generic" response. I never said I was unhappy with the alternative hotels. I truly loved the trip and could write paragraphs on how enjoyable it was.
I was offering Intrepid constructive ideas and the opportunity to address situation where a customer feels they have been "bait and switched" and not compensated. Instead, Intrepid chose to challenge the way customers should feel, rather than acknowledge events that can cause customer angst.
I cant wait until we can all travel again. Ihave 2 x Intrepid "comfort" trips on my hit list - but if i get "bait & switched" for majority of hotels again ( with zero compensation) - I promise I will be back on Trustpilot to tell others of experience. My 2019 Morocco trip was booked through Flight Centre if it helps to locate me if you NEED.
Good advise from my grandad - you get just as much "free" business from repeat customers and word of mouth vs costly advertising. Never abuse the former.
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It is actually funny how Intrepid going…

1.0
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
It is actually funny how Intrepid going on and on about 'helping the community' and doing the right thing and then keeping travellers money when their customers needed it most. Keeping customers money saying its a 'hidden cost' and not being able to even explain what these 'hidden costs' are. is 'helping the community' all about your marketing? You don't mean it! If you mean it, give all our money back. How come you have spent any money on anything when the trip has not even started and it is cancelled months and months in advance. so what are those 'hidden costs'?
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We lost sooo much money

1.0
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Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
We lost sooo much money. Our trip was cancelled many times. Don't book unless you have money to give away for no good reason!

BUYER BEWARE: Intrepid Travel

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
I was booked on Intrepid Travel's trip 'Cruise Croatia: Dubrovnik to Split via Zadar' to depart April 2020. My tour was understandably canceled due to Covid. Obviously, I have zero issues with that. The total cost of my trip was $9002 but Intrepid Travel was only willing to partially refund me. They kept $1000 despite the fact that the tour was canceled and the tour I booked was guaranteed to depart. Intrepid said they needed to keep the $1000 for 'unrecoverable costs' yet, if I had kept the full $9002 with them there would have been no 'unrecoverable costs' and I could have used that money toward a future trip with Intrepid. I don't want a refund for my $1000, I just want to use that $1000 toward a future trip with Intrepid but they will not allow it. It's clear that Intrepid Travel is out for profit and, sadly, don't seem to care about their customers or how their customers are financially impacted during a pandemic.
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overland vehicle,4x4 Safari Vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 22

Accomodations

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights),Camping (with facilities) (8 nights),Hotel (2 nights),Basic Hotel (1 night)

Guides

On this trip you will be accompanied by three crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver who will usually be Kenyan. Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping. (From time to time your leader may drive as well) Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people. Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organizing food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping. Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way. Everyone is expected to participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties Rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Kenya Comfort Hotel Suites
  • Junction of Milimani Road/Ralph Bunche, Milimani, Nairobi,
  • Nairobi
  • KENYA
  • Phone: 254 737111111

Trip ID#:

intrepid-YGOCC

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