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This spectacular, expertly guided wildlife safari includes luxury lodges that are in some of the most remote regions northern Tanzania's national parks. These parks are often thought of as being busy and congested with other safari goers and we recommend these lodges to discover the wild and off-the-beaten-track side to these areas that few others will get to experience.
After visiting Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara and then the Ngorongoro Crater, the main event is going in search of the greatest annual movement of land mammals on earth in the northern Serengeti.
The millions of migrating wildebeest and zebra are constantly on the search for fresh pastures and their movements are driven by the rains. The migration is typically in the Serengeti, Tanzania, for nine months of the year and the Maasai Mara, Kenya, for the remaining three months. If you time it right, and your luck is in, you may witness some truly astonishing natural spectacles.
Call us to speak to an East Africa travel expert who can help you to be in the right place at the right time.
Upon arrival into Tanzania at Kilimanjaro Airport you will be met and transported to the leafy suburb of Arusha and to the popular Arusha Coffee Lodge, where you can relax the rest of the day ahead of the start of your safari adventure tomorrow.
Arusha Coffee Lodge is located on the rolling foothills on Mount Meru and its 30 houses are spread out among coffee bushes and manicured gardens. The entire site is around 100 acres and as well as the comfortable rooms there is a glistening swimming, a coffee bar, spa, gift shop and restaurant.
In the small retail development it is also home to the fantastic operation “Shanga” which means “beads” in Swahili. This supports up to 50 disabled crafts people who fashion glass products for sale in the retail store next door. Keep an eye out for some of their pieces in camp, during the rest of your trip.
This morning after breakfast you will be met by your expert private guide and driven to Tarangire National Park. You may have a slight delay at the entrance to the park, depending on how busy it is but once you are in, you can enjoy your first safari experience as you wind your way to the heart of the park and to Kuro Tarangire.
Kuro Tarangire is your home for the next two nights, this luxury but understated camp is set amid a grove of Acacia and Kigelia trees not far from the banks of the Tarangire River. Made up of just six spacious and stylish safari tents comfortably spaced out in the bushveld, it is located in a fantastic part of the park that sees the rhythmic movement of wildlife traversing the park from the hills in the west to the swamps on the eastern side, and between the north and the south along the river line. Settle into camp upon arrival and enjoy a full game drive this afternoon with your guide, discuss with us the option of including a magical night drive during your stay.
With an early start you have the full day to experience Tarangire. Safaris in Tarangire are all about getting you right out there. Explore the swamps or through the woodlands in your custom designed vehicle, or head out on foot right from camp.
Tarangire National Park is known for having the greatest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti ecosystem. Named after the river that crosses through it, this park measuring around 1,100 square miles is located southwest of Arusha and is sometimes sadly missed by those heading for the more well-known of the National Parks in Tanzania.
During the dry season, the river is the only source of water for many animals, with thousands migrating to it from the nearby Lake Manyara National Park. The landscape here is diverse, with a mix of habitats that are unique to the area and not found anywhere else: hilly landscapes are dotted with vast numbers of baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses. Herds of up to 300 elephants congregate here, whilst migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala and eland can also be seen, with the accompanying predators following along behind.
Leaving Tarangire will be by the means of a game drive back through the park so how long this takes depends on what you might see on the way. Next stop is Lake Manyara on the way to the crater, you should have enough time to explore the northern reaches of the park and to enjoy a picnic lunch before continuing to the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority Area. Upon entering through the gates to this iconic area, you wind steadily higher on the narrow and enjoy the change of ecosystem from the drier lowlands to almost rainforest-like vegetation of leafy mature trees and hanging vines.
Once you have reached the crater rim enjoy a brief stop at the viewpoint for you first glimpse of the crater floor before heading to Entamanu Ngorongoro, your lodge for the next two nights. The camp is uniquely off the beaten track on the wild side of the Crater rim, offering an unspoiled, unparalleled wildlife experience, as well as giving an authentic insight into the land and culture that surrounds it.
Activities here include game drives into the Ngorongoro Crater, guided walks, bush picnics and sundowners, together with genuine Maasai cultural experiences.
You have a full day to experience the Ngorongoro Crater with your private guide. Entamanu is well placed at around 45 minutes away from the Soneto Descent Road, so it is possible to be one of the first cars down the crater floor in the morning and to make the most of the golden light.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most well-known wildlife areas in the world. The Crater itself is the world's largest inactive and intact volcanic caldera, formed when it exploded and collapsed in on itself some two to three million years ago. The floor of the Crater covers 100 square miles and is mostly covered by grasslands with two small wooded areas and a seasonal salt lake in the centre of the crater; the lake is known by two names, Lake Magadi or Lake Makat. The other major water source is the Ngoitokitok, near the eastern crater wall.
Wildlife viewing is relatively easy in the crater and you can cover most the area in one day. You might even like to retire to the lodge after lunch and enjoy a guided walk or visit Enatmanu’s exclusive Maasai Boma for a glimpse into the Maasai culture.
If the focus of the time in the Serengeti is to seek out the Great Migration then depending on the time of year we will suggest the right accommodation for you.
However, during peak season from July-October, the northern Serengeti is a great bet and today you will bid your private guide farewell at Lake Manyara Airstrip for your flight north. The flight itself is a wonderful experience and keep a look out for the shapes and shadows of elephant, giraffe and herds of zebra and wildebeest as you cross the Serengeti.
Upon arrival at Kogatende Airstrip you will be met by a guide from Lamai Serengeti, your camp for the next three nights. Lamai Serengeti sits tucked amongst the rocks of the iconic Kogakuria Kopje, there are panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and for roughly a quarter of the year, between late July and October, this is where youll find the migration, right on your doorstep.
The 12 rooms have been designed to fit into the complex geometry of the kopje and its views, natural space and light. These are split between two entirely separate lodges, the Main Lodge of eight rooms and a smaller Private Lodge of four rooms. All the rooms have their own spacious verandas and en-suite bathrooms with flush toilets and running hot and cold water. Each lodge has a separate bar and dining area, with adjoining library and map room and swimming pool.
You have two full days to enjoy shared activities from Lamai Serengeti. This is an incredible wildlife viewing area all year round as it has a strong population of resident game in the area. Plains game in the form of zebra, topi, gazelles, impala, buffalo and giraffe all frequent the area throughout the year. Lion are rarely far away and leopard, ever present, but always elusive, stalk the rocky kopjes and river lines.
This area of lush, rolling grassland and tree-lined watercourses is the most northerly point of the migration journey, together with Kenya's Masai Mara.
During the dry season from July to October, the herds mass on both banks of the Mara River, frequently crossing - and braving the crocs - in response to local weather patterns that only they seem to understand. Although a famous “River Crossing” is on everyone’s bucket list they are unpredictable and ultimately it can come down to luck, Lamai is just a few miles away from the Mara River so it is a great position should the condition be in your favour.
Today, depending on the time of your flight you may have the opportunity for a final game drive in the Serengeti before you are taken to the airstrip for you flight back to Kilimanjaro, where you will connect with your international flights. Bringing your safari adventure in northern Tanzania to an end.