Duration: 14 Days, 13 Nights
Best Time: July – October
Day 1: Meet and greet
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, where we will be waiting to meet you once you have cleared customs and transfer to your accomodation, where you will enjoy wonderful food and a superb night’s rest and relaxation. This is your chance to really soak up the atmosphere and recharge the batteries for what lies ahead…
Meals & overnight at Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 2 & 3: Arusha-Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, and a briefing from your naturalist guide, your luggage will be loaded to your safari vehicle, before we drive south through Arusha to prehistoric-looking Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania. Arriving at your safari lodge in time for lunch will be followed by an afternoon of wildlife viewing amongst the majestic baobab trees and umbrella-thorn acacias, visiting the Silalei Swamp and Tarangire River which is famous for some of the largest herds of elephants in Africa. This park is spectacular during the dry season when large numbers of animals congregate along this river which provides the only permanent water in the area. Here you may see lion, leopard, cheetah, lesser kudu, buffalo, oryx, eland, giraffe and zebra, and over 300 species of birds.
Meals & overnight at Tarangire Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 4: Maasai Village – Cultural Tour
After breakfast, you will visit a local Maasai village for an in-depth cultural experience. The Maasai tribe is one of the few tribes which still embrace, and are proud of, their traditions. Then a short drive to Mto wa Mbu village for an in-depth look at tribal life in Africa where more than 100 different Tanzanian tribes make their homes. Your tour will include a visit to a local market, local school as well as the banana and rice plantations. You will have lunch with a local family and sample delicious African food. The afternoon drive explore tribal life in the African bush, where more than 100 different Tanzanian tribes make their homes in the Ngorongoro highland.
Meals & overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 5, 6 & 7: Exploring Ngorongoro Crater – Discover the Ndutu Forest
Today you will have an early start, at around 05:55 am for an amazing journey as you descend to the crater floor to explore this distinctive eco-system, enjoying abundant wildlife viewing set against the impressive backdrop of the crater. You will enjoy your boxed breakfast at one of the picnic sites on the crater floor, as will as you lunch later in the day. These drives provide one of the best opportunities in Africa to view Black Rhino. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles; its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors. Another big draw to this picturesque caldera is its dense population of predators, which include lion, hyena, jackal, and if lucky, the small cats like the rare caracal and serval as well as the African wild cat. You will also visit the hippo pool, the Lerai Forest, as well as other parts of the crater. Late in the afternoon, you will drive to Ndutu forest and the southern plain of Serengeti. You will spend your next three nights exploring the southern Serengeti plains and the Ndutu forest and you can anticipate exploring Lake Masek, Lake Ndutu, the hidden valley, kusini valley and the kakesio plains during your game drives. Cheetah density is high in this area as there are many Thomson’s gazelles. Many lion prides can be found in this area and occasionally, the wild dogs.
Meals & overnight at Lake Masek Tented Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 8 & 9: Exploring Central and Eastern Serengeti
After an early breakfast we drive to the Central East plain of Serengeti via the Gol Kopjes. This area linking the Southern plain of Serengeti and Central Serengeti is a fragile habitat consisting of ethereal kopjes and short grass plains. Driving through the Gol Kopjes is always a breathtaking experience with a vision of vast open plains and amazing wildlife. This is gazelle country and where there are gazelles there are always cheetahs. Continue wildlife viewing through the Gol Kopjes and late in the afternoon we drive to Sametu Tented Camp where you will spend your next two nights, enjoying wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities galore including the big cats.
Meals and accomodation at Sametu Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Day 10,11.12 & 13: Exploring the North Serengeti Kopjes & Mara River
Today after breakfast, drive to the Northern Serengeti with wildlife viewing en route. You will visit the Lobo valley and kopjes as well as the Bologonja area before getting to Kogatende (the northern part of Serengeti) home of the Mara River. The Northern Serengeti is home to a huge number of resident animals including: lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, eland and, occasionally black rhino. This is also a wonderful time of year to witness one of three significant events that happens during the Great Migration – the annual river crossings. Your days will be a combination of looking for good river crossings and other wildlife interactions along the Mara River, Wogakuria kopjes, and the Lamai triangle (a triangular area just north of the Mara River). The Northern Serengeti and the entire Mara River area are truly awe-inspiring and will surely be one of the highlights of your safari.
Meals & accommodation at Mara River Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Day 14: Bush flight and departure
Today you will have an early breakfast at the camp and then leave for Kogatende Airstrip enjoying game viewing enroute. A bush plane will fly you to Arusha. Once back in Arusha you will stop at the Cultural Heritage Center for lunch and optional shopping. You will then be driven to Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent) for a day room where you can rest and clean up before an early dinner. After dinner you will be driven to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight home.