Day 1: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK (L / D)
After lunch at the Arusha Hotel, in the heart of Arusha town, you will drive to the understated Lake Manyara National Park.
Lake Manyara National Park consists of a narrow strip running between the Gregory Rift wall to the west and Lake Manyara, an alkaline or soda-lake, to the east, which is famous for its population of flamingos. The park encompasses three distinct habitats including a lush groundwater forest, open floodplains and acacia woodlands. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds graze on the grassy plains, as do giraffes, whereas the 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, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. This very scenic park will delight your senses for your very first game drive.
Your accommodation for the evening is Kirurumu Tented Lodge, set high on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying a marvellous, uplifting and panoramic view eastward over Lake Manyara, the Rift floor and Mt. Losimingori. Behind Kirurumu, the Ngorongoro Highlands rise in green and fertile splendour and form the gateway to Ngorongoro Crater and, finally, Olduvai Gorge, the Serengeti.
Enjoy one of best sundowners location in Tanzania as you return from your afternoon game drive just in time to watch the sun set. Accommodation - Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Day 2: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK - SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (B / L / D)
Leaving the charming Lake Manyara behind you will drive to the Serengeti, Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed as being home to one of the 7 natural wonders of the modern world; the great wildebeest migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
After taking lunch at scenic picnic spot on route you will proceed to Mbuzi Mawe, your accommodation for the night. Scenically located in a glade, known as ‘the place of the klipspringer' (Mbuzi Mawe), and guarded by three million year-old granite towers, this luxury tented-camp is unique. The camp is also cleverly located on one of the main annual migration corridors.
Accommodation - Serena Mbuzi Mawe
Day 3: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (B / L / D)
There’s nothing like an early morning start allowing you to experience one of the most ultimate game viewing experiences. After a hot cup of tea or coffee you will soon be wide-awake as you watch wildlife in its most active time. The cat family love to make appearances in the morning, while the early morning light makes photographing herds of wildlife a photographer’s dream.
For something completely different, we can arrange an early morning balloon safari over the Serengeti. View large pods of wildlife and watch the sun rise over the park’s endless plains, only to finish off this relaxing journey with a scrumptious champagne breakfast.
After lunch at camp, return to the parks open plains in search for more wildlife viewing and experiences. As the evening light approaches, you will be thoroughly rewarded with all you game spotting with sundowners at a picturesque location in the park.
Accommodation - Serena Mbuzi Mawe
Day 4: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK - NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA (B / L / D)
Say goodbye to the enchanting Serengeti National Park only to be presented with another natural wonder, the Ngorongoro Crater. This incredible formation is part of the larger Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which covers more than 8300 square kilometres. The actual crater is 260 square kilometres and 620m deep. The original volcano was probably as high or higher than Kilimanjaro.
You will arrive late afternoon to Plantation Lodge, which rests on the soft, red-brown hills amidst the vastness and silence of East Africa. The individually furnished rooms and suites melting harmoniously into the flowering garden offer comfort and relaxation. Everywhere you look, you can see and even feel the personal atmosphere of this owner-run lodge with furnishings that were selected with great attention to detail. Plantation Lodge’s cordial service leaves no wish unfulfilled.
Spend the evening indulging in some fine intercontinental cuisine and refreshing sundowners.
Accommodation - Plantation Lodge
Day 5: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA (B / L / D)
To experience the crater without the crowds you will rise early for your half day game drive. Reaching the crater floor as the sun begins to rise; you will undoubtedly be amazed at this natural phenomenon before you. The Ngorongoro Crater is home to about 25,000 animals and is one of the last places in Tanzania where the Big Five can be seen. The NCA is considered one of the World Heritage Sites and also one of the International Biosphere Reserves. Additionally, the NCA is unique because it is a multi-use conservation area - where the animals and environment are protected but the Masai are allowed to live and continue their pastoral lifestyle.
Enjoy a picnic on the edge of one of the crater’s lake as you watch elephants quench their thirst from afar. Return to the beautiful surrounds of Plantation Lodge to relax and enjoy a well-earned feast.
Accommodation - Plantation Lodge
Day 6: NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA - TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK (B / L / D)
After an early morning breakfast you will take a short drive to the splendid Tarangire National Park. This baobab laced park hosts the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx are seen often. Lunch is taken in one Tanzania’s most stunning picnic locations. Watch over an evergreen swap filled with elephants as you graze your delightful picnic lunch.
For the more ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.
Staying at Maramboi Tented Camp, a permanent camp, you will be presented with endless vistas of rolling golden grasslands and palm lined desert between Tarangire and Manyara Lake. A visit to the area is essential for anyone interested in evolution and the origins of Mankind and an explanation of the Rift Valley and Africa’s big picture.
Accommodation - Maramboi Tented Camp
Day 7: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK - ARUSHA (B / L)
After breakfast return back to Arusha for connection to your onwards journey back home.
End of tour