12 days in Ethiopia, Kenya & Zanzibar City Itinerary

12 days in Ethiopia, Kenya & Zanzibar City Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in Ethiopia, Kenya & Zanzibar City Itinerary

Start: Johannesburg, South Africa
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Lalibela, Ethiopia
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h
2
Nairobi, Kenya
— 3 nights
train + Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
Tsavo National Park East, Kenya
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  6​h 45​min
4
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
5
Zanzibar City, Tanzania
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h
End: Johannesburg, South Africa


Learn more about your trip

1
night
Lalibela, Ethiopia

Lalibela ©
Tourism in Lalibela, a small town nestled in Ethiopia's Lasta Mountains, prospers due to its fascinating cluster of rock-carved churches, dating back to the 12th century and boasting the status of a World Heritage Site.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): delve into the distant past at Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, then view the masterpieces at The Fine Art Gallery, and then steep yourself in history at Church of St. George.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Lalibela road trip planning site .

Johannesburg, South Africa to Lalibela is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive. The time zone difference moving from South Africa Standard Time (SAST) to Eastern African Time (EAT) is 1 hour. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Nairobi.

Things to do in Lalibela

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Church of St. George ©
Church of St. George
Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela ©
Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

3
nights
Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi ©
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.
Nairobi is known for parks, wildlife, museums, nature, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, explore the galleries of Fundii Centre for the Arts, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Nairobi National Park, and take in the exciting artwork at Upepo Photography Gallery.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Nairobi trip builder tool .

Traveling by flight from Lalibela to Nairobi takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 28°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Tsavo National Park East.

Things to do in Nairobi

Wildlife Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust ©
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
Nairobi National Park ©
Nairobi National Park
Giraffe Centre ©
Giraffe Centre

1
night
Tsavo National Park East, Kenya

Tsavo National Park East ©
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Tsavo East.

To find traveler tips, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Tsavo National Park East trip planner .

You can do a combination of train and car from Nairobi to Tsavo National Park East in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of flight and car. On the 30th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Maasai Mara National Reserve.

Things to do in Tsavo National Park East

Wildlife Parks
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tsavo East ©
Tsavo East

3
nights
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Maasai Mara National Reserve ©
Home to the Great Migration and Africa's exceptional wildlife, Maasai Mara is a must on a Kenya itinerary.
Spend the 1st (Wed) surrounded by wildlife at Mara Triangle. Next up on the itinerary: look for all kinds of wild species at Olare Orok Conservancy and stroll through Musiara Swamp.

To see reviews, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Maasai Mara National Reserve trip planner .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Tsavo National Park East to Maasai Mara National Reserve takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, train, and flight; or drive. In December, plan for daily highs up to 23°C, and evening lows to 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Thu) early enough to travel to Zanzibar City.

Things to do in Maasai Mara National Reserve

Wildlife Parks Nature
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Olare Orok Conservancy ©
Olare Orok Conservancy
Mara Triangle ©
Mara Triangle
Musiara Swamp ©
Musiara Swamp

3
nights
Zanzibar City, Tanzania

Zanzibar City ©
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.
Explore Zanzibar City's surroundings by going to Nungwi (Nungwi Beach & Scuba & Snorkeling). There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Prison Island - Changuu Private Island, stop by Aromas of Zanzibar, tour the pleasant surroundings at Cheetah's Rock, and walk around Forodhani Park.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Zanzibar City day trip app .

Traveling by flight from Maasai Mara National Reserve to Zanzibar City takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or do a combination of car and flight. When traveling from Maasai Mara National Reserve in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Zanzibar City, with highs around 38°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Zanzibar City

Parks Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trips

Nungwi, Cheetah's Rock
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Cheetah's Rock ©
Cheetah's Rock
Nungwi Beach ©
Nungwi Beach

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