You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast for the approximately two hour drive to Tarangire National Park. Along the way you’ll pass bustling Masai villages and the vast, open plains that have become synonymous with images of Africa.
Once you’ve entered Tarangire, you’ll begin your game drive across a rich vista of endless golden savannah that surrounds the Tarangire River. The river itself runs throughout the year and is a vital source of water for the animals of the region during the dry season. Lined with acacia and Baobab trees, the river is regularly visited by the park’s large elephant population as well as other herbivores such as zebras and antelopes.
A picnic lunch with a view of the river is a great way to take it all in, but you’ll have to keep on your toes as the local monkey population does its best to separate you from your lunch!
Driving through the park you’ll also have the opportunity to see lions, leopards, cape buffalo, and a huge variety of antelopes. If you’re particularly lucky, you might even see endangered animals such as the Greater Kudu or the Fringe-Eared Oryx.
After your day’s drive is done, you’ll retire to your accommodation for the evening.
We’ll take an early breakfast, as we’ve got a big day of exploration and adventure ahead of us!
We’ll begin the day with the scenic drive towards the Serengeti. Along the way we’ll pass through the mist-shrouded rainforests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you might be lucky enough to glimpse cape buffalo, baboons, or even elephants and leopards in the dense undergrowth.
It’s a nearly four hour drive to the Serengeti park gates, but you can choose to break up the drive with one or both of the below optional activities:
Maasai boma visit: Pay a visit to one of the famous Maasai bomas, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness (and participate in) traditional Maasai dance, tour an authentic Maasai village, and even do a little souvenir shopping at the local market.
Both of the above activities attract an additional cost. Speak with your safari expert about adding them to your itinerary.
After a delicious lunch at the Serengeti National Park picnic area, it’s time to explore the Serengeti itself. Witness Africa’s iconic savannah landscape and be amazed by the sheer number of animals that roam these grassy plains.
Dinner and overnight in the heart of the Serengeti National Park according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
DAY THREE – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
You’ll start your day with an unforgettable sunrise game drive across the Serengeti. See the sun set fire to the savannah as predators such as leopards and lions hunt for their morning meal.
Alternatively, you may wish to take to the skies with a sunrise hot air balloon safari and champagne breakfast. Ask your safari expert about how this can be added to your itinerary.
After your breakfast, you’ll take a packed lunch and proceed for a day long game drive through the park. Your driver will pick a route designed to ensure you have the best possible chance of spotting the Big Five and the Wildebeest Migration.
DAY FOUR – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK – NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA
After breakfast, we get right on the road back towards the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.
Our drive takes us back through the Serengeti via a different route, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the animals that eluded you on day two. As far as the eye can see, you’ll spot thousands upon thousands of animals in herds; wildebeests and zebras migrating together, tall and graceful giraffes, jumping antelopes and gazelles, the powerful African elephant and the most respected group of animals: the predators.
You will have the chance to spot lean cheetahs and shy leopards, foraging hyenas, and last but not least, the king himself; the lion.
Dinner and overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater or in nearby Karatu Town according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
DAY FIVE – NGORONGORO CRATER – LAKE EYASI
After breakfast, you’ll depart for Ngorongoro Crater; considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. When you get your first glimpse of this vast, verdant caldera from the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll soon understand why it has earned such a lofty reputation.
Home to over 120 species of mammal including the fabled Big Five, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most sought after safari destinations in the world. It’s a particularly good place to see the endangered black rhinoceros enjoying a lonely meal out on the grass plains, as well as a place to see large numbers of hippopotamus enjoying the cool water.
From the comfort of your open-top vehicle, you’ll be able to observe and photograph some of Africa’s most recognisable faces. The crater is home to a large number of predators including lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas, as well as a large population of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, cape buffalo, and more. It is truly one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
After the thrills and excitement of the day, you will have a picnic lunch in the park. Thereafter we will make our way to Lake Eyasi to overnight.
DAY SIX – LAKE EYASI – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
You’ll be up before breakfast today, as you’ll be joining the Hadzabe bushmen for the opportunity to hunt for your own food!
One of the last true bushman tribes in Africa, the Hadzabe live very much as they always have despite the rapid development of Tanzania. With only 2,000 members, the Hadzabe tribe are a fascinating people who offer us a window into how life in Tanzania was in the past.
The local hunters will prepare a demonstration of hunting techniques just for us. Far from being a mere performance, this display reveals a great deal about their everyday lives when they must hunt for animals to feed their families. You will see firsthand how the Hadzabe use distinctive motions and even the body parts of certain animals to lure their prey close enough that they can be brought down with hand-crafted poisons.
After a late breakfast, you’ll have the opportunity for a drive around Lake Eyasi proper. While this shallow soda lake is not home to the same variety of wildlife you’ll find in a national park, you’ll have the chance to spot a variety of bird and mammal life. On occasion, flamingos and hippos even call the lake home.
You’ll also have time to meet with the Datoga people. Mostly farmers and cattle breeders, these fascinating people offer another insight into tribal life in Tanzania.
Once your day’s activities have been complete, you’ll make your way to Karatu Town or Lake Manyara to overnight.
DAY SEVEN – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast you’ll enter Lake Manyara National Park. The park is truly a photographer’s playground and offers some of the best game viewing in the world. You can expect to see many of Africa’s most well-known animals, with the tree-climbing lions a particular treat. These proud predators lounge in acacia trees practically begging to be photographed.
Bird-watchers will find Lake Manyara is an absolute delight, with a huge variety of birds on display in the park. Even the novice can expect to be amazed by large flamingo flocks, circling birds of prey, and the brightly coloured lilac breasted roller.
Optional activities within the park include canoe safaris (seasonal), a treetop walk, and night game drives. Speak with your safari expert about adding one of these activities to your safari.
DAY EIGHT – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK – AFRICA AMINI MAASAI LODGE
After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll continue on to the Africa Amini Maasai Lodge on the outskirts of Arusha. Operated by the local Maasai people, this luxury lodge blends western comforts with Maasai traditional architecture.
You’ll spend your afternoon participating in Maasai lead activities such as guided nature walks to learn about traditional medicines, spear throwing, handicraft lessons, and more.
The lodge is located close to both the Arusha Airport and Arusha proper, making it a great place to spend your final night.