About the tour
The ultimate trip visiting the best of Tanzania’s northern safari parks. You get 3 full days in the Serengeti to give you plenty of time to explore this amazing landscape. You will also visit Tanzania’s most popular national parks: Ngorongoro, your best chance of seeing the ‘Big Five’ and also opportunity to visit the Olduvai Gorge, one of the most important paleoanthropological sites in the world. Tarangire, fantastic for bird lovers and also for its high density of elephants. Lake Manyara, home to a large number of baboons and also the famous tree climbing lions, unique to this park. A private ZAFS 4×4 safari vehicle and an expert guide will accompany you throughout your trip.
- See the 'Big Five' at the Ngorongoro Crater
- Spot the elephants in large numbers at Tarangire River
- Ngorongoro Crater - World's biggest intact volcanic calder
- In the right season, witness The Great Migration in the plains of the Serengeti
- Marvel at the unusual tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park
You’ll need to organize their own flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). From JRO we will arrange a private transfer to your hotel in Arusha. That night or early the next morning you will meet your local ZAFS representative and have a full briefing.
You will be met by your private guide and vehicle and driven to Lake Manyara, arriving with plenty of time for an afternoon game-drive. Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its large alkaline soda lake which is home to the pink flamingo, yellow-billed stork and heron. If you are lucky you may get chance to see the tree climbing lions, which are unique to this national park. Watch out for some fun antics from the local baboon population; Lake Manyara is believed to have the largest number of these primates in the World!
After breakfast, you will take a picnic lunch with you as you continue to the Serengeti, a drive of around 4 ½ hours through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Your journey will take you to the Olduvai Gorge(Optional activity), where the Leakeys discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8 million year old skeleton of Australopithecus boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. In a small canyon just north of the Ngorongoro Crater, the Leakeys and their team of international archaeologists unearthed the ruins of at least three distinct hominoid species, and also came upon a complete series of hominoid footprints estimated to be over 3.7 million years old. Evacuated fossils show that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation in the world. You will then continue into the Serengeti, with game viewing en-route.
You can either have a relaxed breakfast and depart for game drives around 9:00 AM with packed lunch or you can depart at 6:00 AM on an early morning game drive. Later return to accommodation for breakfast and depart to North Serengeti with packed lunch. You will explore the central portion of the Serengeti National Park today and move towards the northern part of the park. The enroute game drive towards the Kogatende region will offer mild action from resident games. As you approach the northern part of the Serengeti, you will notice the terrain change from the usual plain grassland to a more hilly and broken terrain. The northern region offers a variety of resident game such as zebras, topi, gazelle, buffaloes, leopards and lions. A picnic lunch will be done during the day long drive itself. Based on the time of your arrival you will be able to spend a few hours by the Mara River. The eventful day comes to an end with a heavy dinner and a good night’s rest in your accommodation.
You will leave the safari camp at your leisure for another full day game viewing in the Northern Serengeti. During June, the migrating herds will be collecting in the western corridor, preparing to cross the Grumeti River. In the months between mid-June to September the migration can be found in this region. From mid-June to September, the Mara River in this region offers the most dramatic river crossing of the great migration. Fierce, deep and heavily rain fed the river takes an enormous toll on the migrating wildebeest. Watching the wildebeest surging through the torrential flow, some drowning and a few falling prey to lurking crocodiles is an unforgettable sight. If it’s your lucky day you will be able to witness this natural wonder and watch nature take its course. Tracing the great migration you might even move towards the Lobo valley. The pristine lobo valley is scattered with woodlands, plains, hills and famous granite Kopjes. It offers an enormous amount of bigcat game with lions, leopards and cheetah in plenty. During the dry season the permanent water sources in the valley attract plenty of resident and migratory animals, resulting in excellent game viewing. During the full day game drive, you will have a stop where you can have your picnic lunch. The day comes to an end with a tasty dinner and a good rest at your accommodation.
This day you will explore this amazing park which is home to the richest grazing grounds on the continent as you head back to central Serengeti. As well as the vast migratory herds, the Serengeti has incredible concentrations of predators – huge lion prides, great leopard sightings and high numbers of cheetahs.
After an early breakfast, you will drive to the fascinating wildlife arena of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is over 260km2 (100 miles2) and was formed when a massive volcano exploded and collapsed on itself 2 – 3 million years ago. It is now the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and often referred to as “Africa’s Eden”. Home to more than 25,000 large mammals, it is not unusual to see all of the ‘Big Five’ (buffalo, elephant, rhino, lion and leopard) in a single day. Driving through the Ngorongoro Highlands, you will arrive at the crater rim and then descend down 610m (2000 feet) onto its floor to start your safari extravaganza.
The Tarangire River runs through the park attracting a huge number of elephants, buffalo, giraffe and antelope, particularly in the dry season between June and October. It is not uncommon to see large herds of elephants roaming through Tarangire’s savannah grasses or taking shade under the odd looking “upside down trees” (baobab) that are dotted around the park. This park is also a “must see” for avid birdwatchers, boasting over 550 different bird species, the most diverse in Africa, including the Kori Bustard, the heaviest flying bird in the World! Following a morning game-drive you will start your journey back to your hotel in Arusha or onward transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport. With an incredible experience and loads of memories to cherish, this is the time you bid goodbye to your team.
Includes & Excludes
This Trip Cost Includes:
- 1 night hotel accommodation in Arusha on arrival on bed and breakfast basis
- Return airport transfers from/to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
- Full board accommodation at safari as per itinerary
- Exclusive use of 4WD safari vehicle and English speaking driver guide
- All Park fees and Crater fees
- Complimentary lunch on day 1
- Game drives as indicated in the itinerary
- Bottled mineral water while on game drives
- Prices are based on 2 people sharing a room/tent on the itinerary
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Drinks of choice on the Itinerary
- Extra excursions / services available at safari lodges
- Items of a personal nature, such as laundry, phone calls & snacks
- Deviation from the safari itinerary provided
- Tips and gratuities for guide and lodge staff
- Hotel accommodation in Arusha at the end of your safari; can be booked on request