Sun Jun 3 USA - Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Your exciting adventure begins today, as you board your international flight, bound for Tanzania.
Mon Jun 4 En-route to Tanzania
Tue Jun 5 Arrive Kilimanjaro - Arusha
Touch down today at Kilimanjaro Airport. After Customs and Immigration formalities, you will be greeted by your 'Great Safaris' representative and driven to your lovely accommodations outside Arusha.
Arusha is northern Tanzania’s center of commerce and trade, and may well be one of East Africa’s fastest growing cities. The city, 5,053 ft above sea level, is surrounded by fertile lands that nurture crops of coffee, maize, bananas and flowers. It is the central point in Africa between Cape Town and Cairo. Arusha has a vast number of curio shops brimming with handicrafts, carvings and gemstones.
ACCOMMODATIONS: ARUSHA COFFEE LODGE
Arusha Coffee Lodge lies cradled in the endless acres of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation. Luxurious accommodation, fine cuisine, and roaring fires, beckon to the most seasoned traveler.
This exclusive, boutique hotel lodge has been designed around the farms’ original plantation homes, radiating the warmth and invitation of the old colonial plantation homes historically distinctive to the coffee plantations.
The lodge offers individual plantation-style villas. Each spacious room features a fireplace and luxury facilities, including shower, bath and separate toilets. They are built on raised platforms with raised level bedrooms, private lounges and huge private balconies overlooking Mount Meru and the coffee plantation.
All the villas have a minibar, hair dryer, coffee and tea maker, fireplace and room service is available. The interior of each room is designed around a coffee theme such as Café Latte, Espresso and Cappuccino.
Wed Jun 6 Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and morning at the lodge. After lunch, your safari guide will greet you in the lodge lobby, assist with check-out, and then drive you across the floor of the Great Rift Valley to Lake Manyara. Enjoy your first glimpse of both urban and rural lifestyles during the 2 1/2 hour drive. The closer you get to Lake Manyara, the more numerous will be the wildlife sightings, and your guide will be happy to meander at a pace that allows for close-up photographs. Once you arrive at your lodge, the afternoon’s activities will at your leisure, taking in the beauty of the area.
As the sun starts setting over the African landscape, stop to stretch your legs and enjoy the serene atmosphere. When the evening’s long shadows are cast, the colors of the land soften and the sounds of the bush subtly change to reflect the emergence of nighttime predators and prey.
ACCOMMODATION: LAKE MANYARA SERENA SAFARI LODGE
Standing high on the edge of a towering terracotta escarpment with panoramic views over the glittering alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of tranquility, wildlife discovery, and ornithological richness.
Grouped around a central ‘vanishing horizon’ pool, this highly unusual lodge features a simple timbered reception area, built in traditional African style, which is accessed via a bridge over a small stream. Beyond reception, lies the central dining room, bar and veranda, below which is the pool. Perched on the very edge of the cliffs, with stunning views over the lake is the pool bar and observation point. Dotted around the grounds, all with views over the lake, are a series of circular two-story ‘rondavels’, which house the rooms.
Designed to reflect the brilliance of Lake Manyara’s unique birdlife, the architectural motif melds swooping avian curves with the gentle concentric patterns of traditional Masai ‘Bomas’, while the vibrantly hued wall frescoes depict the colorful intricacy of bird migratory patterns. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Thu Jun 7 Lake Manyara – Serengeti National Park
After an early breakfast, you will be taken on a morning game drive around Lake Manyara National Park.
There are elephants, giraffe, buffalo and hippo a-plenty in this park, and as there are five different vegetation zones, there is a wonderful diversity of wildlife. Manyara also provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded to date, which include pink-hued flamingos (by the thousands during migration), as well as other large water-birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
But the ‘secret’ attraction of this area are the famed ‘tree climbing lions’. If you are lucky (very lucky), you just might espy one resting nonchalantly on an Acacia tree branch!
Afterwards, you will be driven to the famed Serengeti National Park, arriving at your lodge in time for lunch.
This afternoon you will gather with fellow safari-goers over tea and coffee in preparation of this afternoon’s game drive.
It was 1913 and great stretches of Africa were still unknown to the white man when Stewart Edward White, an American hunter, set out from Nairobi. Pushing south, he recorded: "We walked for miles over burnt out country… Then I saw the green trees of the river, walked two miles more and found myself in paradise."
He had found Serengeti. In the years since White’s excursion under "the high noble arc of the cloudless African sky," Serengeti has come to symbolize paradise to many of us.
The Masai, who had grazed their cattle on the vast grassy plains for millennia had always thought so. To them it was Siringitu – "the place where the land moves on forever."
Return to you camp this evening, as the sun sinks beyond the horizon and millions of stars become visible overhead. Relax and refresh before dinner and then a well- deserved night’s rest.
ACCOMMODATIONS: KUBU KUBU TENTED CAMP
Kubu Kubu Tented Camp is an exciting new addition to Tanganyika Wilderness Camps collection of luxury safari accommodation. It has a modern African appearance, creating a fresh, sleek, yet comfortable ambiance. Situated in the stunning central part of the Serengeti, the camp is strategically positioned in one of the main migration areas so that guests can enjoy this awesome natural wonder from the comfort of their tents.
Kubu Kubu Tented Camp is perfectly positioned to be within easy reach of different parts of the park and an array of diverse habitats and wildlife, including the famous Maasai Kopjes, Olduvai Gorge Museum, the southern plains, the Seronera valley and the Grumeti River. Kubu Kubu offers stylish tents build on wooden platforms with ensuite facilities, overlooking Serengeti National Park. All rooms feature a balcony with views. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Fri Jun 8 Serengeti National Park
Morning and afternoon game drives in and over the vast plains of the Serengeti. It is the annual migration for which this area is most famous, and depending on time of year. The animals are mating, foaling, marching or munching!
Over a million wildebeest and about 200,000 zebras flow south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short rains every October and November, and then swirl west and north after the long rains in April, May and June. So strong is the ancient instinct to move that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back.
The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation and fauna have barely changed in the past million years. Early man himself made an appearance in Olduvai Gorge about two million years ago. Some patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
With rich memories of your stay in the Serengeti, you’ll return to your lodge with plenty of photos to commemorate your experience in Africa’s glorious bush.
ACCOMMODATIONS: KUBU KUBU TENTED CAMP (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Sat Jun 9 Serengeti National Park – Ngorongoro Crater
Enjoy breakfast at the lodge, followed by your final game drive in the Serengeti. After lunch you will be driven to ‘Africa’s Eden’ or the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World,’ – UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ngorongoro Crater.
Continue to your lodge on the Crater rim. You will have time to freshen up before enjoying a delicious dinner, followed by a well-deserved night’s rest.
ACCOMMODATIONS: NGORONGORO SOPA LODGE
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge opened in 1992 and is an all-suite lodge having 96 suites, most enjoying magnificent views into the Ngorongoro Crater. Each suite is fully carpeted and heated by oil fired central heating radiators in the winter months. The spacious bedrooms contain two queen sized beds with deep sprung mattresses to ensure a comfortable nights rest.
The fully tiled bathrooms are equipped to a high standard with bath, shower, WC, bidet, wash hand basin, hair dryer and shaver socket. Each suite has a solarium with comfortable rocking chairs, the perfect place to relax. A small private lounge with writing desk provides extra privacy and mini bars are available on request.
The meals are served in the main restaurant and are prepared in international and local flavors by professionally trained chefs. After meals, guests can take time to relax in the lodge gardens overlooking the crater or in the main lounge with cup of tea or coffee. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge is perched on the rim of the collapsed volcano, and its position on the Eastern rim allows the most spectacular and uninterrupted views of the sunset. (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
Sun Jun 10 Ngorongoro Crater
A memorable day is in store, as you meet your guide after breakfast, and head off for a day’s adventure on the floor of the extinct crater.
Ngorongoro Crater is often called ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World.’ Within the crater rim, large herds of zebra and wildebeest graze nearby while sleeping lions laze in the sun. At dawn, the endangered black rhino returns to the thick cover of the crater forests after grazing on dew-laden grass in the morning mist. Just outside the crater’s ridge, tall Masai herd their cattle and goats over green pastures through the highland slopes, living alongside the wildlife as they have for centuries.
The crater is said to have the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa, and the floor consists of a number of ecological environments that include grassland, swamps, forests and Lake Makat, a central soda lake filled by the Munge River. All these various habitats invite wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb.
Although animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring source lakes on the crater floor tend to incline both grazers and predators to remain throughout the year.
Access to the crater floor is via a steep road the winds along the crater’s sloping side, and as your vehicle descends the views grow ever more spectacular. A rich and rewarding day of wildlife viewing and photography is enhanced with a picnic lunch in a scenic area. At day’s end, climb back out from the crater floor and on to your lodge for dinner and overnight.
ACCOMMODATIONS: NGORONGORO SOPA LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Mon Jun 11 Ngorongoro – Tarangire
After a hearty breakfast, depart for a drive through the highlands district where you will view the scenic wheat plains and coffee plantations.
Your destination today is Tarangire, the third largest national park in Tanzania. An unusually large population inhabits this sanctuary. Majestic baobab trees are a main feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them. During the dry season from June to November, animals concentrate along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in Maasai land. The area supports a great diversity of wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, lesser kudu, eland, oryx and zebra. Lion, leopard and cheetah are also present. Up to 6,000 elephants inhabit Tarangire in the dry season.
Upon arrival, you will enjoy an afternoon wildlife drive in Tarangire National Park. After sunset, drive to the lodge for dinner and overnight.
ACCOMMODATIONS: MARAMBOI TENTED CAMP
Maramboi Tented Camp offers permanent camp facilities and endless vistas of rolling golden grasslands and palm lined desert between Tarangire and Manyara Lake. This is a unique opportunity to experience and explore both ecosystems.
An impressive landscape from the Rift Valley gives visitors an amazing natural welcome to an area extraordinarily rich in wildlife. The camp offers stunning views of the Manyara National Park, Rift Valley, Ngorongoro Highlands and on clear days even Oldonyo Lengai a sacred mountain to the Maasai.
In the wet season, the Manyara and Tarangire Pans fill with water which attracts huge flocks of flamingos and other wading birds. The area is also the only place in East Africa where one is often able to see the migration herds of tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra, followed by predators. Although the migrations do occur in other areas of Tanzania, the tree cover prohibits a view of the magnitude that you are able to see at Maramboi Tented Camp because of the exposed nature of the surrounding grassland.
Forty spacious tents built on ample wooden decks, among them there are twenty-six standard rooms, ten suites and two units with two rooms interconnected, ideal for families with children. They all have en suite facilities and private veranda with twenty- four hours of electric lighting.
Activities include game drives, bird watching on the shores of the not too distant Lake Manyara and cultural interaction with Datoga and Maasai tribes, whose bomas populate the adjacent land.
Wildlife calls at the door of Maramboi Tented Camp. Zebras, giraffes, warthogs, gazelles,… you could see them appear between the palm trees from the terrace of your exclusive tent, from the swimming pool whilst enjoying a cool drink after a walk with a Maasai guide or whilst you enjoy a delicious dinner under the stars.
Tue Jun 12 Tarangire – Arusha – Kilimanjaro – Departure
Enjoy a delicious meal this morning as you bid ‘farewell’ to the African bush. You will be driven back to Arusha in time for lunch before being transferred to the airport for your onward international flight – with memories and photos to last a lifetime! (Breakfast)
Wed Jun 13 Arrive USA
Arrive home with memories and photos to last a lifetime!