This trip is all about intimate, romantic, accommodations set in East Africa’s most stunning locations. From the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to a private Indian Ocean island our team agrees – this is how you celebrate life and love!+
Enjoy breakfast with a journey of giraffe, luxuriate under canvas in the midst of the world’s largest animal migration, and spy the Big 5 deep inside an extinct volcanic crater, before ending with your toes in the warm sands of your own exclusive island retreat. A wildly comfortable experience you and your significant other will remember for a lifetime.
You will be met upon arrival and transferred by road to Giraffe Manor for 1 night. This place is a superbly unique experience and is often fully booked more than a year in advance!+
There is simply nowhere else in the world where you have the opportunity to interact with giraffe from the comfort of your room or while enjoying breakfast!
Accommodations: Giraffe Manor, 1 night, dinner, bed and breakfast
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya: Originally built in 1933 by the Macintosh Family, famous for their Macintosh Toffee, Giraffe Manor allows guests to get up close and personal with a bevy of giraffe! I am not much of a morning person but being able to share my breakfast with a long lashed beauty (other than my wife) is good reason to get out of bed. Betty, our favorite room, is located upstairs in the main house and has a fireplace, the original bathroom from the early 1930s, and a large balcony from which you can feed the giraffe. Often completely booked 1 year in advance some rooms are more basic than others. Bucket list all the way!
Travel by air (included in land cost) and road across the Tanzanian border to luxurious Singita Mara River Camp where you will spend 3 nights under canvas!+
When it comes to the wildebeest migration location is EVERYTHING. Set within 98,000 acres of untouched wilderness at the Serengeti’s northernmost tip the camp has been built literally a stone’s throw from the Mara River. In fact it is the closest property to the river giving guests a front row seat to dramatic wildebeest crossings (unlike guests at most camps / lodges that have to drive long distances to view the action). Although the camp provides surprisingly good year round wildlife viewing the main show, the wildebeest migration, is only in town from roughly late July through early October. We suggest skipping rainy months when the grass gets tall and it can be very buggy. No crowds, unparalleled location on the Mara River, professionally guides safari walks, and open vehicles. No one does it better than Singita.
Accommodations: Singita Mara River Camp, 3 nights, all inclusive
Singita Mara River, Serengeti, Tanzania: A Tanzanian safari is not complete without a few nights spent under canvas. The 6 tented rooms have en-suite bathrooms with showers along with private open-air baths overlooking the Mara River. You can watch wildebeest crossings right from your bed, toilet or tub. Please note that the rooms are lavishly appointed but do feel small’ish. The camp’s main areas include a communal lounge, dining area, bar and large splash pool with sundeck. In our opinion Singita Mara River Tented Camp it the most luxurious example of a simple under canvas experience we have seen.
Ultimate Africa Exclusive: As Ultimate Africa clients Singita will arrange a private bush breakfast one morning.
Travel by air (included in land cost) to Lake Manyara where you will be met and transferred by road the short distance to Ngorongoro Crater – one of the “7 Wonders of the World” and home to all of Africa’s wildest inhabitants!+
You will spend 2 nights at Crater Lodge. Perched on the crater rim the views into the crater are breathtaking. On day 6 enjoy a privately guided full day wildlife viewing in the Crater with a lavish private picnic lunch on the crater floor. In the evenings take care as elephant and buffalo wander freely amongst the rooms.
Accommodations: Crater Lodge, 2 nights, all inclusive
Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania: Masai meets Versailles… It is as if an African village was inhabited by a mad Victorian aristocrat. Coconut leaf roofs and ochre colored walls contrast with bejeweled chandeliers and ornate wood paneling. Wonderfully large 4 poster beds and equally spacious 5 piece bathrooms with cast iron tubs complete the whimsy. The property is divided into 3 camps: North, South and Tree. We always request North or South Camp for our clients as the suites are twice the size of Tree Camp’s at the same price. Your personal butler will bring you tea in bed, stoke your fireplace and draw your bath. Crater Lodge made Conde Naste’s 2006 Gold List as one of the “Best Located Hotels in the World” and is consistently voted Tanzania’s Best Safari Lodge.
What we do: After a long day viewing wildlife take a relaxing bath overlooking the crater below. As mornings and nights can be cold we request a fireside table for meals.
Ultimate Africa Honeymoon Exclusive: As an Ultimate Africa guest 1 spouse will enjoy 50% off the nightly rate. Your stay will also include private wildlife viewing activities, an opulent private picnic on the crater floor, and a private rose petal dinner with French champagne in your suite one night. As an Ultimate Africa guest you will receive a complimentary bag of Crater Lodge’s incredible organic coffee to take home.
Travel by air (included in land cost), via Kilimanjaro, to the spice island of Zanzibar and then by boat to our favorite beach property for romance.+
Mnemba’s private island experience is all about unwinding… sleep late, eat and drink well, swim / dive / snorkel right outside your room… think fresh lobster, drinks served in coconuts, and warm sand between your toes.
Accommodations: Mnemba Island Lodge, 3 nights, all inclusive
Mnemba Island Lodge, Zanzibar: One of Bill Gates’ favorite destinations Mnemba Private Island Lodge is located 20 minutes by boat off the north-eastern tip of Zanzibar. With only 10 rooms paradise is yours! Each room has an oversized king bed and ensuite bathroom with shower. Surrounded by an atoll you can snorkel and dive in bath like waters right from the beach. In addition to all meals and drinks Mnemba includes 2 dives per day, snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. Deep-sea fishing and PADI diving courses are available at extra cost. Please note that the shower water is slightly salty to ensure that there is no standing fresh water, and thus no mosquitoes, on the island. Also note Mnemba does not have AC and certain times of the year can be hot / sticky. Fortunately the rooms do have ceiling fans.
Ultimate Africa Exclusive: As an Ultimate Africa guest 1 spouse will enjoy 50% off the nightly rate. Your stay will also include a private candlelit beach dinner one evening.
Light air transfer (included in land cost) to the Dar es Salaam Airport. You will be met on arrival and assisted with the check in to your onward flight.
January, 2017: $13,800 bride / $18,500 groom
February through March, 2017: $13,100 bride / $17,800 groom
April through May, 2017: We do not suggest travel during these months
June through September, 2017: $13,800 bride / $18,500 groom
October, 2017: $13,200 bride / $17,200 groom
November, 2017: $12,400 bride / $16,400 groom
December, 2017: $11,600 bride / $14,800 groom
Prices are per person and do not include international flights
Specials and exclusive offers
Depending upon the time of year you intend to travel we may be able to secure free nights or discounted rates at certain properties on this trip. Please visit our Specials page to learn more.
Clients paying by check can save 2.5% off their land costs
What you get
– Nairobi, Serengeti Plains, Ngorongoro Crater, and Zanzibar
– 7 wildlife viewing / safari activities
– Africa’s Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) – really close
– Wildebeest migration
– Day and night wildlife viewing drives in open and closed 4×4 vehicles (no minibuses) with unlimited mileage and guaranteed window seat
– Walking safaris with professional guides at Singita Mara River Tented Camp
– Giraffe up close and personal at Giraffe Manor
– Optional Serengeti hot air balloon excursion with Champagne breakfast (at extra cost)
– A private full day wildlife viewing drive in Ngorongoro Crater
– Bird watching including flamingoes in Ngorongoro Crater
– All park and entrance fees
– Expert English speaking guides
– 1 night Giraffe Manor on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis
– 3 nights Singita Mara River Tented Camp on an all inclusive basis
– 2 nights Crater Lodge on an all inclusive basis
– 3 nights Mnemba Island Lodge on an all inclusive basis including 2 dives per day
– VIP airport meet and assist in Nairobi
– Private airport transfers in Nairobi
– 5 light air transfers (Nairobi to Singita Mara River, Singita Mara River to Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara to Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar, and Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam)
– 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
– Private bush breakfast at Singita Mara River Tented Camp
– Lavish Ngorongoro Crater picnic lunch
– Private rose petal dinner with French champagne in your suite at Crater Lodge
– Private candlelit beach dinner at Mnemba
– All drinks at Singita Mara River Tented Camp, at Crater Lodge, and Mnemba (waters, teas / coffees, sodas, beers, wines, spirits)
– Laundry at Singita Mara River Tented Camp, Crater Lodge, and at Mnemba
– Confirmation package with a wealth of predeparture information
– Major bragging rights at the office (and pretty much everywhere else)
What isn’t included?
– International flights from your home city to Nairobi / from Dar es Salaam back home
– Trip insurance
– Tips / gratuities
– Some meals and drinks (i.e. when staying bed and breakfast lunch and dinner and most drinks are not included and when on safari premium spirits / champagne are not included)
– Spa treatments (unless stated)
– Telephone calls
When to travel
This trip is best late July through early October each year as the migration will be in the northern Serengeti. Other times of the year we may alter the itinerary to maximize the migration experience. Alternate luxury Serengeti properties include Mwiba Lodge, Sasakwa Lodge, Sabora Plains Camp, and Faru Faru.
Getting to Africa
From North America there are direct flights to Africa from Washington DC, New York and Atlanta. Alternatively you may fly via Europe or even Dubai to Africa. If you let us know the name of your preferred departure city we can provide you with airfare options. Air tickets may only be booked 330 days in advance. Please note air fares are subject to change over time. Most light aircraft transfers between lodges and camps are included in the land cost and are noted on the itinerary.
Is this a group trip?
This is not a group trip. This trip can depart on any dates for 2 or more people.
How much luggage can I bring?
As small aircraft are often used to transfer travelers between lodges and camps body weight and luggage weight are important safety considerations. Baggage is strictly limited to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) packed in one or two soft sided bags plus a small backpack per person. This includes camera equipment. Suitcases will not be permitted. If you wish to exceed the luggage limit please inquire about the extra cost of doing so.
At Ngorongoro Crater you will have your own private safari vehicle and private professional, local English speaking, guide. At Singita Mara River Tented Camp activities, such as wildlife viewing drives, are shared with other guests (no more than 6 guests per vehicle) and led by professionally licensed, local English speaking guides who are based at the camp. They know their area intimately. Your safety and comfort are their highest concerns. They are also trained and prepared to respond to medical emergencies. If you prefer to have a private guide and vehicle at any location this can be arranged at extra cost. At Mnemba Island Lodge they have a team of guides who can take you island hopping, snorkeling, or sailing.
Do I need shots?
Yes – a yellow fever inoculation certificate is required. You will need to provide a doctor’s letter if you do not receive a yellow fever inoculation. In addition most travelers take anti-malaria tablets for the safari portion of their trip and get a Hepatitis A shot. We recommend that you visit with a local travel health specialist in your hometown to discuss any special concerns you might have.
Do I need an entry visa?
American passport holders require entry visas for both Kenya and Tanzania. A Kenyan visa can easily be obtained for US $50 cash per person upon arrival at the Nairobi Airport. Upon arrival in Tanzania an entry visa may be purchased for US $100 cash per person.
How far in advance to book
Most of the properties we recommend are small and dearly sought after. To ensure availability of accommodations we suggest planning and booking your travel arrangements at least 9-12 months in advance. If planning closer to your travel dates we may need to look at alternate properties to make things work.
How to make it happen
At Ultimate Africa Safaris we do it all – from hotel and lodge bookings, to air tickets and travel insurance. We handle dinner reservations and celebrations as well – we love celebrations! The first step is to check availability at the various properties. We will then prepare a personal proposal for you. To learn more call our Seattle office toll free 1 800 461 0682. From outside the USA / Canada call on 425 793 8877. We are in between 9AM and 5PM weekdays. Alternatively email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
No money, no funny
To confirm an itinerary we require a 25% of land cost non-refundable deposit per person. Your land payments may be made by credit card (MasterCard, Visa or American Express) or by debit card (MasterCard or Visa). Alternatively payments may be made by personal, business or certified check made out to Ultimate Africa and posted to our office. Clients paying by check can save 2.5% off their land payments which will be credited to your invoice upon receipt of the check payment (please do not deduct this from your deposit amount). Future discounts will be applied to land payments made by check. Deposits must be accompanied by completed reservation forms. Upon receipt of your deposit full trip details will be posted to your address. This includes a confirmation letter, invoice, country specific information, travel checklist (what you need to bring), and final air / land itinerary. Your final trip payment will be due 75 days prior to your departure.
Make sure you are covered
All clients are required to purchase a comprehensive travel insurance plan before trip departure. This should cover you for events such as tour operator bankruptcy / financial default, trip cancellation, delay or interruption, lost or delayed baggage, emergency accident, sickness and evacuation, 24 hour medical assistance, traveler’s assistance, and emergency cash transfer. For coverage we suggest Travel Guard insurance. The total premium will be based on your total land / air cost and your ages. If you provide our office with your credit card details we will purchase / complete the insurance formalities on your behalf.