3 Hours Before Flight Time
This Tour covers Arusha City, Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire.
The highlights will be the Ngorongoro crater as well as the Serengeti where you stand a chance of seeing the big five as well as the Wildebeest migration.
Day 1: Arrival/Arusha
On arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met by our representative and briefed concerning your safari.
You will be escorted to board your waiting vehicle and later transferred to your Hotel in Arusha for freshening up.
You will spend the rest of the day at leisure with optional activities like;
Tour of Arusha City:
Set in the foothills of Mount Meru, bustling Arusha is a rough diamond set amid the glitter of Tanzanian wildlife. The city pulsates with the sounds and sights of Africa, holding a chequered past that is reflected in its eclectic mix of urban and rural landscapes.
Visit the Arusha Coffee Plantation
Coffee is Tanzania’s largest export crop and acres of picturesque plantations blanket its mountain slopes. The hilly landscape around Arusha boasts some of the largest and most productive coffee plantations in East Africa, and a tour will take you from seed to cup as you move from plantation to factory. Well known for its richly roasted arabica and robusta beans, this is one for coffee lovers to put at the top of their lists.
Shanga is a community-based initiative giving disabled Tanzanians employment and a chance to express their creative side. Shanga necklaces are beautifully crafted using recycled glass beads and the end products are shipped to retail outlets throughout Tanzania, as well as abroad. Workshops allow visitors to try their hand at bead crafting while also supporting an income-generating initiative for the disabled.
Arusha Natural History Museum
The Arusha Natural History Museum is housed inside the old German compound and divided into three parts. The most interesting explores the origins of humankind, showcasing Tanzania’s rich evolutionary and fossil history. Other displays take visitors through the country’s German colonial area and the lives of insects. Look out for the great wildlife photographs, which are well worth a stop.
The Tanzanite and Diamond Brooch
The Tanzanite Experience explains the process of mining, cutting, polishing and grading tanzanite through an interactive tour and visual exhibitions. Learn more about the mystery and rarity of these uniquely Tanzanian gems before browsing the store and perhaps selecting a special piece of jewellery. The stones are graded in a similar fashion to diamonds, and The Tanzanite Experience offers high-quality gems at very reasonable prices.
Arusha National Park,
Some of Tanzania’s most spectacular landscapes are in the Arusha National Park; most prominent is the volcanic cone and crater of Mount Meru. Pretty to look at and pleasant to climb, it also offers amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro. Another highlight is the Momella Lakes, often tinged in a soft pink hue due to the presence of hundreds of flamingos.
These are some among many activities that will be available for you in Arusha.
You will also be booked on Bed and Breakfast at your hotel to allow you time to sample other cuisines in a restaurant of your choice.
Later you will return to the Hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Arusha – Ngorongoro
After breakfast at the hotel you will depart for the famous Ngorongoro crater with packed lunch boxes. You will proceed directly to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and onwards to the Ngorongoro Crater for a whole day Crater Tour.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area spans vast expanses of highland plains, savanna, savanna woodlands and forests. Established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, with wildlife coexisting with semi-nomadic Maasai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing, it includes the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest caldera. The property has global importance for biodiversity conservation due to the presence of globally threatened species, the density of wildlife inhabiting the area, and the annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, gazelles and other animals into the northern plains. Extensive archaeological research has also yielded a long sequence of evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, including early hominid footprints dating back 3.6 million years.
The Ngorongoro Crater
The Ngorongoro Crater is a breathtakingly beautiful setting and the best place in East Africa to see the Big Five. It is a great way to start your African safari adventure.
Ngorongoro Crater is one of the most beautiful natural wildlife safari sites in the world and an exceptional place to interact with people from the Maasai tribe.
The Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding highlands together form one of Africa’s most beautiful regions. Volcanic craters form stunning backdrops to some of the most fertile and richest grazing grounds in Africa. The most famous such crater is without question Ngorongoro, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and home to the highest density of big game in Africa. Ngorongoro is justifiably one of the continent’s most famous safari destinations.
How did the Ngorongoro Crater form?
Now classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater was formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed around 3 million years ago. The cone of the volcanic caldera collapsed inwards and created what we know today as one of the most unique safari parks in Africa, and indeed the world. A one of a kind safari destination teeming with life.
After a whole day tour of the crater you will ascend and check in at your Lodge/camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Ngorongoro- Serengeti
After a leisurely breakfast at the lodge/camp you will depart for Serengeti National Park.
Enroute you will make an optional brief stop at the Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge (Cradle of Mankind)
Olduvai Gorge, in northern Tanzania, is internationally recognized for Louis and Mary Leakey’s famous discoveries of early humans and magnificent antiquities documenting the evolutionary history of our stone tool-using ancestors, vertebrate fauna, and the environments over the last two million years.
Research at Olduvai began almost a century ago, producing an unparalleled wealth of archaeological and palaeontological data for the study of some key phases of early human evolution.
Olduvai was the first place where traces of an early stone tool culture were discovered, and gave the name to the Oldowan, nowadays considered as the earliest human technology. Olduvai is also one of the first sites in Africa where the earliest Acheulean was first discovered, and where the traditional view of the Oldowan-Acheulean transition was established.
The disappearance of the earliest human culture, the Oldowan, and its substitution by a new technology, the Acheulean, is one of the main topics in modern Paleoanthropology. The Olduvai Geochronology and Archaeology Project (OGAP) bring together an international team of archaeologists and geologists, whose main goal is to study the mechanisms that led to the origins of the Acheulean in Olduvai Gorge.
Proceed with your drive to Serengeti National Park.
The Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania was established in 1952. It is home to the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth – the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. The resident population of lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, and birds is also impressive. There’s a wide variety of accommodation available, from luxury lodges to mobile camps. The park covers 5,700 sq miles, (14,763 sq km), it’s larger than Connecticut, with at most a couple hundred vehicles driving around.
The Park can be divided into 3 sections. The popular southern/central part (Seronera Valley), is what the Maasai called the “serengit”, the land of endless plains. It’s classic savannah, dotted with acacias and filled with wildlife. The western corridor is marked by the Grumeti River, and has more forests and dense bush. The north, Lobo area, meets up with Kenya’s Masai Mara Reserve, is the least visited section.
Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within the 30,000 km² region. It’s unique ecosystem has inspired writers from Ernest Hemingway to Peter Mattheissen, filmakers like Hugo von Lawick and Alan Root as well as numerous photographers and scientists – many of which have put their works at our disposal to create this website.
The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
It is the migration for which Serengeti is perhaps most famous. Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.
The Wildebeest travel through a variety of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat. Join us to explore the different forms of vegetation and landscapes of the Serengeti ecosystem and meet some of their most fascinating inhabitants.
You will have your packed picnic lunch enroute and later proceed for an afternoon game drive before proceeding to the Lodge/ Camp for overnight.
You can expect to see a wide range of animals during the game drive including the Big Five among other wildlife.
If you are lucky you could also experience a live kill.
Later you will check in at your lodge/ Camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Serengeti
After breakfast at the Lodge/Camp you will proceed for a whole day game drive in the park with parked lunch boxes to allow you to explore the deeper Serengeti in search of more wildlife.
You will later return to the lodge/ Camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Serengeti
Another whole day in the Serengeti with optional activities like a Balloon Ride
You will be picked early morning from your camp and driven to the balloon launching site
How it happens
You will ascend in early morning when the winds are calmest.
Watch as your professional crew fills the balloon with hot air. Slowly the big colorful bag begins to bulge and take shape. Now board the traditional wicker gondola basket while the expert pilot makes final adjustments. As the pink and red fireball of the sun rises in splendor over the plain, you are up and away –for the flight of a life time!
Your balloon can soar over the most inaccessible and undisturbed parts of the Mara, with only the intermittent whisper of the balloon’s gas burners punctuating the silence of your majestic flight .Because wind and conditions vary, every flight is a new and a different experience. From your vantage point about 50—500 feet above the reserve, you have a fantastic 360 degrees bird’s view as one of the most dramatic scenes in nature unfolds beneath you. From here, you will see the wonder of migrations, witness herds of antelope flowing like school of fish across the plain, groups of elephants grazing undisturbed in a remote ravine, lioness stealthily stalking a herd of grunting wildebeest or zebras conferring in a confusion of black and white stripes and bark-like calls.
After your incredible flight, it is time to come back down to earth for breakfast. As you dig into a splendid breakfast of sizzling bacon, eggs, sausages, home-made breads, fresh tropical fruit and steaming cups of Tanzanian tea under the clear blue sky, you might wonder what all the ordinary people are doing on this perfect African morning.
Before leaving, the pilot will present you with a balloon flight certificate. No flight of the imagination can match this air-borne experience and could be the most memorable event of your entire safari.
More game drives and Later return to the lodge/ Camp for dinner and overnight
Day 6:Serengeti - Lake Manyara
After breakfast at the lodge/camp you will exit with enroute game drive and proceed through the Ngorongoro Conservation area to Lake Manyara National Park .
You will arrive in time for lunch at the lodge/ camp.
After lunch and early afternoon relaxation at the lodge/camp you will have coffee or tea at the lobby.
Later you will proceed for an afternoon game drive at the Lake Manyara National Park.
Lake Manyara National Park
Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.
The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands colourful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay a visit to this park. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that accounts for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.
Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside; the blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees; dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and the outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
In contrast with the intimacy of the forest, is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, and so do the giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, whereas the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.
Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Even if it’s for just an afternoon game drive eroute to Ngorongoro/Serengeti Lake Manyara National Park is a must visit.
After the game drive you will return to the lodge/camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 7:Lake Manyara – Tarangire National Park:
After a leisurely breakfast at the lodge/ camp you will exit and proceed to the neighboring Tarangire National Park.
You will arrive mid-morning at the lodge/hotel and check in.
After lunch and early afternoon relaxation at the lodge/camp, you will proceed for an afternoon game drive at the Park.
Tarangire National Park:
Often described as Tanzania’s most underrated national park, Tarangire is one of Africa’s little-known gems and a must for any northern circuit itinerary.
Boasting a variety of wildlife as diverse as its landscape, Tarangire is also the park that can boast being home to Tanzania’s largest population of African elephants. With four of the Big Five also residing within the park, it is a great spot for a day trip from Arusha or as an addition to a Serengeti/Ngorongoro centered itinerary.
Named for the Tarangire River which flows through it, the park is an excellent choice during the dry season when animals are forced to move closer and closer to the river in search of water. Set against a backdrop of majestic baobab trees and twisted acacia, it makes for a beautiful experience.
Best Time to visit
Beautiful during both the wet and dry seasons, Tarangire is an excellent year round park for game viewing. Between August and October when the wildlife is at its most concentrated, the park offers particularly good wildlife viewing conditions. Diverse Wildlife
With the exception of the critically endangered black rhinoceros, Tarangire is home to all of Tanzania’s most iconic animals – from the diminutive dik-dik to the towering African elephants and giraffes that attract visitors from all around the world.
In addition to these popular animals, the park is also home to three endangered animals that can be found nowhere else in the country: the fringe-eared oryx with its graceful horns, the towering greater kudu, and the tiny Ashy Starling.
Tanzania’s Largest Elephant Population
Tarangire’s claim to fame is its large elephant population – the largest in Tanzania. During the dry season, herds of up to 300 elephants can be seen digging in the apparently dry riverbed of the Tarangire River looking for underground streams.
Even during the wet season when other inhabitants of the park are able to scatter out across the entirety of the park’s 20,000 square kilometres, elephants remain a common sight thanks to their large numbers.
Later you will return to the lodge/camp for dinner and overnight
Day 8 : Tarangire - Arusha – Departure:
After a leisurely breakfast at the Lodge/Camp, you will drive back to Arusha and take more optional activities not covered on the first day, later you will be transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for onward flight.
– END OF THE TRIP –