19 days in Nairobi, Tanzania & Botswana Itinerary

19 days in Nairobi, Tanzania & Botswana Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Africa visit planner
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1
Nairobi, Kenya
— 4 nights
Fly to Ol Seki, Drive to Serengeti National Park
2
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
— 2 nights
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3
Paje, Tanzania
— 2 nights
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4
Mafia Island, Tanzania
— 2 nights
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5
Zanzibar City, Tanzania
— 4 nights
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6
Chobe National Park, Botswana
— 2 nights
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Nairobi, Kenya — 4 nights

You're likely to visit Nairobi at least once on a trip to Kenya, as the sprawling city houses the country's international airport and remains the jump-off point for many tours and safaris.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Karen Blixen Coffee Garden and Cottages and Upepo Photography Gallery. Escape the urban bustle at Nairobi National Park and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Step out of Nairobi with an excursion to Mount Longonot in Maai Mahiu--about 1h 45 min away. There's lots more to do: delve into the lush surroundings at Karura Forest, take an exotic tour of a safari tour, stroll through Giraffe Centre, and explore the galleries of Karen Blixen Museum.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Nairobi holiday planner.

London, UK to Nairobi is an approximately 12-hour flight. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to East Africa Time, which is usually a 3 hour difference. Traveling from London in December, things will get much warmer in Nairobi: highs are around 28°C and lows about 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to travel to Serengeti National Park.
Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 21:

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania — 2 nights

Few adventures in the world invoke such vivid natural imagery as a trip to Serengeti National Park, a World Heritage Site known for its diverse animal life and memorable scenery.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Retima Hippo Pool. Keep things going the next day: contemplate the long history of Olduvai Gorge.

For maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, read Serengeti National Park itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Nairobi to Serengeti National Park takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Nairobi in December, with highs in Serengeti National Park at 23°C and lows at 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) early enough to fly to Paje.
Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 23:

Paje, Tanzania — 2 nights

Located on the island of Unguja, the quaint village of Paje lies on a shallow sandy lagoon, which attracts swarms of kitesurfing enthusiasts and marine life lovers.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. On your second day here, Head underground at Kuza Cave and then enjoy the sand and surf at Jambiani Beach.

For reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Paje trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by flight from Serengeti National Park to Paje takes 3.5 hours. In December, Paje is warmer than Serengeti National Park - with highs of 38°C and lows of 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Mafia Island.
Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 25:

Mafia Island, Tanzania — 2 nights

A quiet, sandy landmass off the coast of Tanzania, Mafia Island lies dotted with peaceful lodges and sleepy fishing villages.
On the 26th (Thu), see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Keep things going the next day: visit a coastal fixture at Ras Mkumbi and then see the vivid underwater world at Mafia Marine National Park.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Mafia Island planning app.

You can fly from Paje to Mafia Island in 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Zanzibar City.
Wildlife · Parks · Nature · Tours
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Zanzibar City, Tanzania — 4 nights

Discover a myriad of attractions in Zanzibar City, like its World Heritage-listed historic core, charming beach villages, and the modern neighborhood of Ng'ambo.
Get outdoors at Kendwa Beach and Matemwe Beach. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scuba & Snorkeling and Aromas of Zanzibar. Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral, head off the coast to Prison Island - Changuu Private Island, steep yourself in history at Christ Church Cathedral, and admire the landmark architecture of House of Wonders (Beit-el-Ajaib).

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Zanzibar City trip maker website.

You can fly from Mafia Island to Zanzibar City in 4 hours. In December in Zanzibar City, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can fly to Chobe National Park.
Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 31:

Chobe National Park, Botswana — 2 nights

A trip to Chobe National Park awakens the naturalist in every traveler and opens numerous possibilities for adventure.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to CARACAL Biodiversity Center and Savute Reserve. There's still lots to do: stroll through Nogatsaa and Tchinga and admire all the interesting features of Boab Prison Tree.

For where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Chobe National Park trip planner.

You can fly from Zanzibar City to Chobe National Park in 11 hours. The time zone difference moving from East Africa Time (EAT) to Central Africa Time (CAT) is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to catch the flight back home.
Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

Tanzania travel guide

4.1
Safaris · Beaches · Scuba & Snorkeling
Though the size and scale of Tanzania may be overwhelming, the people make it a personable and easy-going place to visit. The bigger cities not only offer good connections to the main natural attractions, but also feature bustling markets where locals sell fresh produce, snacks, and crafts. Smaller villages retain their long-held customs, beliefs, and artistic traditions. With the continent's highest peak, and some of the most animal-rich safaris available, Tanzania holidays tend to dart between the big and bold, and the personal and low-key.

Botswana travel guide

3.7
Nature & Parks · Safaris · Nature & Wildlife Tours
Sparsely populated Botswana possesses some of the most unadulterated wilderness and animal-rich areas in Africa. Largely unfenced national parks allow the world's largest population of elephants to roam freely--these protected areas also shelter varied birdlife and many endangered and rare mammal species. Tourism in Botswana largely caters to visitors seeking luxury lodges and exclusive safari experiences, but expeditions into traditional villages are also strongly recommended. The preserved cultures of these agricultural settlements show a link between man and nature formed over centuries, a relationship that many visitors to Botswana come to reconsider in their own lives.