Day 1: Arrival
Arrive into Arusha or Kilimanjaro airport and exit into the arrivals area. You will see your driver hold a signboard with your name on it, and big smile! He will help you gather your belongings and hop in the vehicle for road transfer to your Arusha overnight accommodation. Upon arrival, check in to the lodge and return for a short pre-safari briefing. Prepare yourself for a Tanzanian adventure.
Day 2: Arusha Cultural Exploration
After a leisurely breakfast, depart the lodge for short drive to a village called Tengeru. Here, we will be met by local people for traditional look at their lives, especially involving the coffee industry. We will view a plantation and come back to the home to pound, roast and brew coffee the traditional way. We will be served a traditional lunch. After lunch we will head across the road to Lake Duluti for a canoeing safari around the lake to view the flora and fauna it has to offer. This is followed by Afternoon Tea on the banks of the lake. Return to our lodge set amongst lush gardens for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Tarangire National Park
Morning transfer to Tarangire, located on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. Enter Tarangire National Park for game driving and exploration of this wilderness as we learn animal behaviours and natural habitats from local experienced guides. This park is famed for its massive elephant herds, true sense of wilderness and a backdrop of baobabs and is not to be missed in the dry season of Jun-Oct each year. As the sun sets, move onto the camp located in the heart of the park overlooking the Tarangire River beyond.
Day 4: Tarangire National Park
As an optional extra, float silently over the Tarangire landscape this morning before landing for a scrumptious champagne breakfast in the bush. Otherwise, take an early morning game drive. Tarangire has an interesting eco-system from Silalei Swamp, the almost always dry Tarangire River, dry bushveldt and rocky ridges that demonstrate the stunning topography of the area. With such an array of habitats, it is possible to view big cats, large herd mammals, stunning bird life and so much more within the Tarangire borders.
Day 5: Mto wa Mbu
Enjoy an early breakfast in camp before game driving out of the national park for road transfer to the top of the Manyara Escarpment Wall. It is time for a 2-3 cycling safari with our experienced local guide. An easy ride down the Great Rift Valley wall, into the farming village of Mto Wa Mbu. Experience local cultures from the bike. Ride through some of the Manyara ground water forest, between small herds of wildlife on the lake shore. Taste a local style menu in the village prepared by our friend and Swahili cook. After lunch, return to the top of the escarpment and then continue to transfer to the west in the direction of Lake Eyasi. We arrive into our camp, located on the shores of Lake Eyasi and offering stunning views over the seasonal soda lake looking up to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the one side and across to the Alipi escarpment on the other. We dine and sleep early in preparation to experience the daily life of the last few remaining hunter/gatherers, the Hadza.
Day 6: Lake Eyasi
Before the sun starts to glow over the hills, we are awake and sipping freshly brewed coffee. We will need it for a morning of traditional hunting with the Hadza. Our interaction is true, bare-bones reality and ensures we are learning ancient customs of the hunter-gatherer firsthand. The women meander into the dry forest looking for berries and seeds, while we join the men at a quick but silent pace. The men have bow and arrows in hand - we will be looking for birds, squirrels, baboons, small antelope, wild boar and anything else that is possible for their daily nourishment. Return to the temporary camp for celebratory singing & dancing and afterwards visit the Datoga, traditional blacksmiths of the area. The Hadza and Datoga share a symbiotic relationship - metal arrows for the Hadza in return for delivery of fresh bush honey. Delicious! Return to camp for brunch and afternoon of relaxation. Take a plunge into the camp's spring fed waterhole.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Drive to nearby centre of Karatu and a leisurely walking safari through farms and villages on the rift valley escarpment. You discover the farming, irrigation and cattle husbandry techniques, visit houses and, if you want, sample local cuisine of the Iraqw tribe. There is also traditional wood-fired brick making, local musicians and you generally gain a deeper understanding of the lifestyle of the people who live here. Visit the nearby village market or continue to relax in afternoon at the lodge. Tonight we are staying in Rhino Lodge owned and run by the Maasai here. Located in the Crater forest, it is quite common for zebra, buffalo and even elephant to be grazing right outside the lodge.
Day 8: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Ngorongoro is collapsed volcano - an incredible natural amphitheatre, 25 km across and teeming with all of the African big game. Early morning descent into the crater for spectacular scenery and game viewing in what has been described as the eighth wonder of the world. NCA was established in 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources, safeguard the interests of NCA indigenous residents and promote tourism. NCA is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where conservation of natural resources in integrated with human development. Return to lodge for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Serengeti National Park
Early morning walk on the crater rim after breakfast. Allocation to an armed park ranger for a 1-2 hr walking exploration of Ngorongoro rim forest in search of optimal view into the caldera below. Afterwards, drive to the Serengeti. Lunch en-route at Olduvai Gorge and a view of the palaeontological and archaeological sites (and visit the museum) where early human tools and fossils have been found. Afternoon game drive in the rolling grasslands. Criss-crossed with forested riverine valleys, the Serengeti plays home to millions of Africa’s large mammals, making this one of the world’s most famous wildlife destinations. Onwards towards the central areas of the Serengeti near Moru Kopjes, a unique rhinoceros conservation zone. Our camp in located in the Nyoboro Hills area, private and pristine.
Day 10: Serengeti National Park
All day game drives in Serengeti. Best time for the wildebeest migration in this particular is November-April but there are spectacular wildlife sights throughout the year. With the Moru Kopjes nearby, an early morning or late afternoon game drives often delivers an opportunity to spy the a dark-maned lion sprawled across the top of a large boulder, or better still a lioness with playful cubs. Dinner and camp-fire with the stars and sounds of the African night. Overnight again at beautiful beautiful Naona Moru Camp.
Day 11: Serengeti National Park
Today is where we meander our way through central Serengeti, passing through the Seronera Visitors Centre which gives a great insight into the history of the Serengeti. Afterward, we continue to the magical northern areas and the best time to view the migration in this area is July-October each year. However like the central Serengeti, the resident wildlife is abound all year round. The shimmering hills sparkle in the sunshine and the rocky outcrops hide a whole array of big cats. Not to mention the steady flow of the Mara and Sand Rivers, with Nile crocodiles laying in wait to thrown down the gauntlet for passing herds. The camp is located in the Kogatende area, easy access to the rivers and airstrip - but far away enough to enjoy a private bush dinner under African skies. In the far north, there is the optional addition of a wilderness walk with armed ranger and guide (supplement: US$80pp and must be booked in advance).
Day 12: Serengeti National Park
With an early morning game drive before returning to camp for hot lunch and resting in the heat of the day, Kaskaz Mara Camp in the perfect location to relax. Lounge in the tented suites, all equipped with running water, charging facilities, WiFi and a friendly team to make your stay as comfortable as possible. As the sun begins to dip, set off again to explore the environment with the aim to be around when the animals are on the move again. Return to camp in time for a famous Serengeti sunset and sundowners by the fire.
Day 13: Departure
With a final farewell game drive to the airstrip, we board for a scenic flight back south east across the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and onto Kilimanjaro. Upon arrival, gather your luggage and transit to your international flight departure. (Additional day room can be booked for later afternoon or evening departures).
End of tour