Grand Tour of Arabia and Africa
Embark on an African Safari Adventure then tour Dubai and the United Araba Emirates, the true Riviera Arabia, on to Jordan and the Lost City of Petra all in an 18-Day Near East and African Adventure
This is truly an experience for those who have been dreaming to see the Near East, Arabia and Africa. For those who can afford and enjoy the ultimate African Safari and Middle East Tours. This combination of the Near East, Arabia and the Safari Adventure is a diverse itinerary offering an array of Arabia's & Kenya's finest travel experiences.
From the luxurious Stanley in Nairobi, travel on safari to the Aberdare Mountains and spend an evening of all night game viewing at the world famous tree hotel - The Ark. Thereafter, experience luxury tented accommodations at Sweetwaters Tented Camp on the privately owned Ol Pejeta Ranch. These luxury tents with ensuite facilities have showers with plenty of hot water and modern flush toilets. Explore the flamingo-lined shores of Lake Nakuru from the unique Lion Hill Lodge. Finally, safari to the grand spectacle of East Africa -- the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Sarova Mara Tented Camp is our base camp to venture out onto the rolling Savannah plains teeming with large populations of Africa's finest game. Join us on and experience Jordan's Petra, Dubai, and Kenya the way it was meant to be .
Remember because there is limited space on the safari vehicle, ONE medium sized bag (soft luggage preferred) is allowed on the safari vehicle per person, plus your carry on.
DAY 1 - AMMAN: Tuesday - Weekly Year Round
In Amman. Our local rep will assist with your visa: Complimentary Jordanian visa fee (valid only for American, Australian, Canadian, EU, NZ, Singaporean & Japanese citizens. Passports must be valid and in order. Sample hotels: Sheraton, Hyatt, Kempinski Hotel Amman or similar. Dinner is included at the hotel. Prefer to add air fare from USA and a stay on the Dead Sea? please click here.
DAY 2 - AMMAN - Jerash: Wednesday (BLD)
After breakfast, starts a city tour of Amman, the capital of the Hashimite Kingdom. Often referred to as the "White City" because of the white stone used to build houses, Amman offers a contrast between oriental and cosmopolitan. The tour will take you to the museums, the Citadel, the amphitheater, the souks and the modern part of town. The tour will also include a stop at:
Wild Jordan Café
Wild Jordan is the vision of the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN), a non-governmental organization devoted to the care and protection of Jordan's natural heritage. The Society was created in 1966 under the patronage of His Majesty, the late King Hussein. Its work is focused on the establishment of protected areas (nature reserves), enforcement of wildlife protection laws. Construction of the Wild Jordan Center was financed by USAID Jordan. It's located in the heart of old Amman overlooking the Temple of Hercules... the Café served all nature and organic foods and drinks... Two whole floors are devoted to the unique crafts and gifts made by the people living around Jordan's nature reserves, like Dana and Mujib. All the crafts are inspired by nature and use natural materials. Here is their web site for more info: Wild Jordan
In the afternoon, we will proceed to the North of Amman for a 45 minute drive to the best preserved example of Roman civilization, the city of Jerash. Jerash, part of the Decapolis (the ten big Roman cities of the East) has been called the Pompeii of the East for its unique state of preservation. The city features theaters, churches, temples (Zeus and Artemis), a Nymphaeum and colonnaded streets. Lunch will be served at Jerash Rest house. In the late afternoon, the group will return back to Amman where they will have dinner at Kan Zaman Restaurant. The walled village of Kan Zaman is an old Ottoman settlement, located minutes from city center. It was transformed into a replica of an Jordanian village, affording its clientele the experience of the of life in such a village. The handicraft center sells only products, made on-site in various little studios where one watch craftsmen practice their trade. The Main Restaurant at the offers a variety of home-made Arabic food and at least 16 salads and appetizers. After dinner, head back to Amman for overnight in Amman.
DAY 3 - PETRA: Thursday (BLD)
Depart Amman to Petra via the Kings' Road. En route, visit the mosaic city of Madaba, where the oldest map of the Holy Land exists on the floor of Saint George's Church. Madaba, or Medeba in antiquity, features many famous mosaics that exist in public and private buildings. After Madaba, a short drive will bring you to Mt. Nebo, the alleged burial site of Moses overlooking the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea. Here Franciscans have built a structure that protects a 4th and 6th Century Byzantine church. After visiting this site, continue on via the scenic canyons of Wadi Mujib (Arnon's Valley in the Bible) to the Crusader castle at Kerak. This 12th Century hill top fortress features galleries, towers, chapels and ramparts that recall the gallantry of the Crusaders themselves. Then on to Petra for the check in at your Hotel in Petra and overnight. Lunch is included enroute.
In the evening we will call on you for a unique experience:
Dine as a local — The Petra Kitchen is a delightful way to round out your Jordan travel experiences. Like any home kitchen, The Petra Kitchen is a relaxed, informal atmosphere where you'll gather to prepare an evening meal, working alongside local women under the supervision of our chef.
Each evening meal includes soup, cold and hot mezza (appetizers), salads, and a main course—all typical Jordanian dishes. You will have get an inside glimpse of the secrets behind the famous regional cuisine of the Levant.
The Petra Kitchen offers an evening of learning, fun and a very special dining experience, with each dish gaining the special flavor of a reward well-earned. Great care has been taken to make The Petra Kitchen a truly Jordanian experience—right down to the furnishings, all crafted in Jordan, the tableware, all produced by the Iraq al Amir Women's Co-operative, and the aprons and table linens, all hand-embroidered by the Jordan River Foundation.
Tour experience tonight includes the cuisine course, meal and all non-alcoholic beverages as well as take-home recipes for all dishes prepared that evening.
DAY 4 - PETRA: Friday (BD)
We'll spend the entire day at Petra, the stunning desert city hewn by the Nabateans from solid cliffs of pink and violet sandstone. Petra was known in the bible as Sela, and rediscovered only in 1812. You'll feel like Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark as you penetrate into the city through a narrow sandstone gorge, the Siq, and wander among the Temple of the Winged Lion, tombs, Roman theater, and the imposing Treasury.
Petra has a lot to tell. The visit starts at the visitor's center, where each person is assigned a Bedouin guided horse for the journey to the entrance of the lost city. After passing some tombs which are located outside the city, the visitor passes through the SIQ, an immense crack in the Nubian sandstone. It is a winding, one-kilometer-long fissure between overhanging cliffs that seem to meet more than 300 feet overhead. Near the end of the passage, the SIQ, with great style, makes one last turn and out of the gloom in towering brightness appears Petra's most impressive monument, el Khazneh - The Treasury. This is one of the most elegant remains of antiquity, carved out of the solid rock from the side of the mountain, is nearly 140 feet high and 90 feet wide.
Beyond el Khazneh the visitor is surrounded on both sides by hundreds of Petra's carved and built structures, soaring temples, elaborate royal tombs, a carved Roman theater, large and small houses, burial chambers and much more. The Victorian traveler and poet, Dean Burgon, gave Petra a description which holds to this day - "Match me such a marvel save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city half as old as time." After that, the group will return to the hotel to get prepared for a Moonlight dinner served at a Bedouin camp. This evening we have a fantastic traditional dinner under the stars in a Bedouin camp, at a site that dates back more than 2,000 years.
DAY 5 - WADI RUM and AMMAN: Saturday (BD)
We board four-wheel-drive vehicles for an expedition to Wadi Rum, the "Valley of the Moon" where T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") organized Arab resistance to Ottoman rule during World War I. After our visit, we return to Amman. Dinner is included at the hotel.
DAY 6 - Amman / DUBAI: Sunday (B)
We'll meet at your hotel in Amman and escort you to the Airport for your flight to Dubai. Air fare is included in our rate in economy class with tax: Amman / Dubai.
Arrive at Dubai International Airport at the United Arab Emirate on the Arabian Gulf. Complimentary visa will be issued upon arrival for the following nationalities; UK, EU, Switzerland, Sweden, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei. You are responsible for having a valid passport.
Upon arrival our local rep will meet you and escort you to your hotel. Complimentary welcome dinner at the hotel.
A taste of Arabia with a cosmopolitan lifestyle. In Dubai you'll find year round sunshine and un-crowded, clean sandy beaches. In this crime-free society you 'll find a very warm & welcoming team & society awaits you in Dubai. While shopping may not be high on your list, you will find Dubai's tax free markets means bargains galore. Attractive traditional Middle Eastern gifts - coffee pots, rugs, silverware, jewelry, brass, and one of the world's greatest gold trading centers offering unbeatable value. Hong Kong is no longer able to compete with Dubai with the wide selection of low - priced international brand name products - audio equipment, VCRs, cameras, watches, fashions, perfumes and more. And do not forget about the award-winning Dubai Duty Free at the airport.
DAY 7 - DUBAI: Monday (BD)
Half Day Dubai City Tour:
Sample the historic sites and vibrant cosmopolitan life of Dubai on this comprehensive tour. The Tour begins in Jumeira, the picturesque palace and residential area of Dubai, also home to the famous Jumeira Mosque. The next stop is Sheikh Saeed House (former residence of ruling family). The Tour then continues to Al Bastakiya, the old part of Dubai, to reach the museum located in Al Fahidi Fort. All guests board the Abra (water taxi) to cross the Creek to the spice souk. Before savoring the sights and sounds of the fish, fruit and vegetable market, there is time to shop in the most famous landmark of Dubai – the Gold souk.
Evening Dhow Cruise Dinner:
For a fabulous relaxing evening join our fully fitted Arabian dhow for an evening's cruise on the Creek. Enjoy a sumptuous feast of Arabic and Western cuisine while gently gliding past illuminated souks, banks and palaces.
DAY 8 - Desert Safari with dinner in the Arabian Desert - DUBAI: Tuesday (BD)
Half Day Desert Safari (4 Wheel Drive):
Morning at leisure, enjoy beach activities. This tour departs in the afternoon across the desert of Dubai with several photo-stops during an exciting dune drive to the first destination a camel farm. The drive continues across the desert.
We stop to watch the beautiful sunset before reaching our campsite where you have the opportunity to do camel riding. After working up an appetite enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and a shisha (the most famous Arabic Water pipe). We conclude the evening with a true 1001 Arabian Nights tradition with a belly dancer performing her dance around the campfire before we head back to your hotel in Dubai or Sharja.
DAY 9 - DUBAI - East Coast Tour: Wednesday (BL)
After breakfast, we head for Dhaid and then on to the Hajar mountains that offer a beautiful natural backdrop for Dubai. A stop at a local market, where the local shop for locally made pottery, fruits and carpets. We will stop as well in Dibba and a brief stop at the colorful local fish market, always with the fresh catch from the Arabian Gulf. We drive along the coast passing by enchanting small villages and fishermen wharfs, we arrive at Al Badiyah mosque, one of the earliest mosques built in the UAE, continue on to Khor Fakkan, a regional popular spot for diving and snorkeling, where there will be an opportunity to relax at the beach and have a refreshing swim, stopping as well as the Khor Fakkah souk. Continue to Fujairah where we stop at the renovated Fort. Before returning to Dubai, stop at the oasis of Bitnah and time to wander on the "Friday Market" in Masafi. Lunch is included enroute in a charming local restaurant.
DAY 10 - DUBAI - Abu Dhabi: Thursday (BL)
Full day tour of Abu Dhabi with lunch included at Baynunah or similar. Tour with a private air-conditioned vehicle, private guide and of course private chauffeur.
DAY 11 - DUBAI - Nairobi: Friday (B)
After breakfast, we fly to Nairobi , air fare is included in economy class, air ticket issued & delivered in Dubai. Arrival in Nairobi. Our tour manager will meet and transfer us to the elegant New Stanley Hotel, located in the heart of the city center. The remainder of the day is at leisure for shopping, relaxation or optional city tours. This evening, our safari briefing. New Stanley Hotel or similar.
DAY 12 , Saturday — ABERDARE NATIONAL PARK
Safari life begins as we head towards the highlands. After lunch at the Aberdare Country Club, we'll head deep into the Aberdare Mountains to The Ark which is situated in a fairyland forest. Stay up all night if you wish game viewing from the observation decks or underground bunker. Situated beside a floodlit water hole and natural salt lick, a constant parade of wildlife will visit throughout the night. There is absolutely no limit to the number of animals we'll see. Birds and bushbuck are joined by elephant, buffalo, rhino, hyena, forest hog or leopard. The Ark (B,L,D)
DAY 13, Sunday — OL PEJETA RANCH
After breakfast we're off to the Ol Pejeta Ranch - an 110,000 acre private ranch which encompasses a rich terrain of plains, low hills and forest. Each of our luxury tents has a private verandah and overlooks a floodlit water hole. Many different species can be seen here, including the reticulated giraffe, buffalo, elephant, zebra, leopard, and oryx. Schedule optional visits to the chimpanzee sanctuary, camel rides or nature walks. This evening holds a special treat -- a night game drive to search for the elusive leopard and other night animals. Sweet waters Tented Camp (B,L,D)
DAY 14, Monday — LAKE NAKURU PARK
Today, we travel through serene farmlands to Thompson's Falls and then on to Lake Nakuru. This is one of the world's most important bird sanctuaries. Lake Nakuru is a shallow alkaline lake and boasts enormous flocks of pastel flamingos, as well as other bird species. Lake Nakuru National Park is a lush green park and home to many species including reedbuck, bushbuck, wart hog, leopard, and the rare Rothschild giraffe. It has also been designated a rhino sanctuary. Lion Hill Lodge (B,L,D)
DAY 15, Tuesday — MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE
After breakfast, we drive to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya's most spectacular wildlife sanctuary. This is big game country and our home for the next two nights. The Masai Mara has been long-famed as one of Africa's greatest concentrations of game. Staggering numbers of plains game are found here, which in turn support a tremendous predator population. During our afternoon game run, we have opportunities to see herds of impala, giraffe, elephant, topi, buffalo, wart hog, as well as lion, cheetah, and leopard. Mara Sarova Tented Camp (B,L,D)
DAY 16, Wednesday — MASAI MARA GAME RESERVE
Our schedule today includes pre-breakfast and late afternoon game drives. We shall travel across the rolling Savannah's to rendezvous with the Mara residents: herds of buffalo, wildebeest, hartebeest, impala, and gazelle. Near the riverain woodland, large numbers of giraffe and elephants are to be seen. Hippo and crocodile can be found in the rivers. Boasting Kenya's largest predator population, this reserve is renown for lion prides up to 20 strong. Mara Sarova Tented Camp (B,L,D)
DAY 17, Thursday - NAIROBI- Wednesday
After breakfast, we shall return via the Great Rift Valley to Nairobi and transfer to our welcoming hotel. The balance of the afternoon is free to pursue our own interests. New Stanley Hotel (B)
DAY 18: Friday - DEPARTURE (B)
It's Kwaheri from Africa (a Swahili good-bye) as we transfer to the airport, end of our service. Bon Voyage. Indiana Jones himself couldn't squeeze more adventure into this journey.
Rates per person in USD
For Dec 15 - Jan 3 arrivals: Please add %10 to any of the above listed rates
Sample Deluxe Hotels:
|Amman||Sheraton Al-Nabil Hotel, Hyatt Amman or similar||Upgrade in Dubai|
|Dubai||Hilton Dubai JUmeirah, Sheraton Jumeirah,
Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, JW Marriott or similar
|For The Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Madinat Jumeirah
Royal Mirage - The Arabian Court Hotel:
Please add: $650 Per person in double
|Petra||Movenpick Petra Hotel, Marriott Petra Hotel, or similar||For Burj Al Arab Hotel:
Please add $3555 per person in double SUITE
Including Rolls-Royce round-trip airport transfers in Dubai
Maasai Mara (Masai Mara) is known as Africa's Greatest Wildlife Reserve, situated in southwest Kenya. Famous for the abundance of lion, the Great Wildebeest Migration and the Maasai people, well known for their distinctive custom and dress, it is without a doubt one of Africa's most famous safari destinations.
Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 sq km (580 sq miles) and raises 1,500-2,170 meters above sea level. The terrain of the reserve is primarily grassland and riverine forest with clumps of the distinctive acacia trees. It's about 270 km from the capital city Nairobi and takes about 5-6 hours by road or 40-45 minutes by flight.
The Maasai Mara Ecosystem holds one of the highest lion densities in world and this is where over TWO MILLION Wildebeest, Zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually. Its hosts over 95 species of mammals and 570 recorded species of birds.