Duration: 12 Days, 11 Nights
Best Time: January – May
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and after undertaking customs and immigration formalities, you will be met by one of the Africa Nature Photography & Safaris team and then transfer to your accomodation for some replenishment, rest and relaxation for the night, ready for the fabulous safari expereince that awaits.
Dinner & overnight at Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 2: Lake Manyara National Park
After breakfast at the lodge, you will meet your guide for a short briefing then drive south of Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park. You have the option to visit the culturally-diverse village of Mto wa Mbu set on the banks of the river of the same name, for taster of tribal life in the African bush, before arriving at Lake Manyara National Park. Picnic lunch is served at Msasa Picnic site, which has got fabulous view of the lake. The it’s an afternoon of wildlife viewing in the park which provides sanctuary to a variety of animals like the gazelle, impala, buffalo, wildebeest, hyena, baboon, giraffe, hippo and the famous tree-climbing lions. Late in the Afternoon drive to Ngorongoro highlands.
Meals and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 3: Exploring Ngorongoro Crater
Its an early start, heading off around 05:55 am for an amazing journey as you descend to the crater floor to explore of this distinctive eco-system, enjoying abundant wildlife viewing set against the impressive backdrop of the crater. Breakfast at one of the picnic sites on the crater floor, will be follows by another drive, providing one of the best opportunities in Africa to view black rhino, which tend to spend their time on the crater floor. 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 which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot. Picnic lunch will be followed by a visit the hippo pool near the Mandusi Swamp Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the southwestern corner is one of the main features of the crater, the Lerai Forest, as well as other parts of the crater.
Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 4, 5, 6 & 7: Discovering the Ndutu Forest
Today you will spend another morning exploring the flourishing basin of the Ngorongoro Crater, with picnic breakfast and lunch between wildlife viewing drives. Late in the afternoon, you will drive to Ndutu forest and the southern plain of Serengeti. You will spend your next four days exploring the southern Serengeti plains and the forest, which is home to the enormous migratory herds of wildebeest and zebras during the wet season. The wildebeest migrations will mostly likely be spread across the green plains of Ngorongoro conservation area and the southern Serengeti from December to May, and you can anticipate exploring Lake Masek, Lake Ndutu, the hidden valley, Kusini Valley and the Kakesio Plains during your wildlife drives. In addition to the large migratory herds, predators will be abundant and easily seen. Cheetah densities will be at the highest as many have followed the migratory Thomson’s gazelles onto the southern and eastern plains. Lions should be easily visible, both resident prides and the nomads which have followed the wildebeest and zebras onto the plains, and occasionally, the wild dogs.
Meals and overnights at Lake Masek Tented Lodge (or equivalent)
Day 8, 9, 10 & 11 – Exploring Central and Eastern Serengeti and Kopjes
After an early breakfast you will drive to 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 an incredible 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 until the late afternoon when we drive the camp where you will spend your next four nights. You have the option of breaking the following days into two, by doing early morning and late afternoon wildlife viewing. Drive through Central Serengeti in the golden light of dawn looking for special photographic opportunities, by departing camp at first light with a picnic breakfast. You will visit the Gol Kopjes, Maasai and Sametu Kopjes and plains as well as Moru and Simba Kopjes. The Seronera river valley is home to a great diversity of wildlife due to its unique ecological niches as a transition zone where two distinctly different habitats, the plain and the woodlands merge and various species of wildlife from both habitats coexist. Due to this unique ecological feature, Central Serengeti supports a much greater diversity wildlife including elephants, giraffes’, impala, waterbuck, hippo, topi, reedbuck, buffalo, baboon and vervet monkey, while the attendant predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah are to be found amongst the many kopjes scattered across the plain.
Meals and overnight at Sametu Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Day 12: Bush flight to Arusha
Early breakfast and then depart for Seronera Airstrip with wildlife viewing enroute, and your last chance to get some terrific photos. Domestic flight from Serengeti to Arusha. Stop at cultural heritage for lunch and an optional shopping, thereafter drive to Ngarasero Mountain Lodge for use of a day room, followed by an early dinner, before driving to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight home.