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overview

This tour forms part of our Scheduled & Overland tour collection.

A classic introduction to Tanzania, this 7-day private 4x4 safari showcases both the diverse habitats and teeming wildlife of one of Africa’s most celebrated destinations, taking you from the shores of Lake Manyara and the vast open plains of the Serengeti to the dramatic grandeur of the Ngorongoro Crater, ending in the dense acacia woodlands of Tarangire National Park.

Your adventure begins at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge with its commanding views of stunning Lake Manyara, alive with flamingos. Explore Lake Manyara National Park in the hope of spotting its tree-climbing lions, before journeying the following day to the Serengeti National Park, setting for the Great Annual Migration, which is one of the most remarkable wildlife spectacles on Earth. Your next stop is the Ngorongoro Crater, with its astonishing variety of habitats, one of the few places in Africa where the Big 5 can be seen in a single game drive. Finally, bring your safari to a close in the lush wooded valleys of Tarangire National Park, home to some of the largest concentrations of elephants in East Africa.

This 4x4 adventure is exceptionally well-suited for families and experienced travellers alike who have a taste for exploration without foregoing the creature comforts of home.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Search for Manyara’s tree-climbing lions
  • Witness the astounding Great Migration in season
  • Thrill to game drives in the Serengeti
  • Explore the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater
  • Enjoy Maasai cultural interactions
  • Savour sundowners beside a waterhole
  • Opt for guided nature walks
  • Encounter the elephants of Tarangire

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Tanzania

Arrive at Arusha Airport set in the foothills of Mount Meru, Africa’s fifth highest mountain. Here you will be met by your guide who will transfer you by private 4x4 to Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, approximately 90 minutes’ drive-time from Arusha, arriving in time for lunch.

Perched high on the edge of the Mto Wa Mbu ridge, Lake Manyara Serena Lodge is your accommodation for the night. Settle into your traditionally thatched en suite chalet and admire the views: set against the Rift Valley's steep western escarpment, the shallow alkaline waters of Lake Manyara are teeming with flamingos in shades of pink; wildebeest and zebra congregate on its floodplains; and baobabs and acacia trees dot the middle distance.

After a relaxing buffet lunch, find your way along Manyara Serena’s winding stone paths to its infinity pool, where bushbuck graze on the surrounding lawns. Later, as the day cools, you embark on a game drive: have your camera ready as the first thing you will notice are large troops of playful baboons. Also prolific are zebra, waterbuck, warthog and impala, as well as an astounding array of birds. And while the broken forests and escarpment make this good country for leopard, you might spot Lake Manyara’s famed tree-climbing lions.

Days 2-3

Thrill to the Serengeti

Today the Serengeti lies ahead of you. After a delicious breakfast, head out across its vast rolling plains – the name Serengeti comes from the Maasai word for 'endless plains' – arriving at Serengeti Sopa Lodge in time for lunch.

Serengeti Sopa Lodge is spread out along the top of the Nyarboro Hills, in the south-western heart of the Serengeti National Park. Your spacious, brightly coloured suite is fronted with huge windows to make the most of the spectacle below. Between April and May, this is the route of the Great Migration.

Witness the Migration in awe. The earth shudders, with the grasslands of the Serengeti heaving thunderously beneath the rippling flanks of tens of thousands of zebra, wildebeest and gazelle, moving as one in an annual migration in search of water and fresh pastures. Lion prides follow in the dust, skilfully picking off weaker members of the herd in a cosmic face-off between predator and prey.

The resident game here is phenomenal. The Serengeti National Park is home to a millions wildebeest, half a million zebra, and tens of thousands of Thompson’s gazelle, with comparable numbers of hartebeest, tsessebe, and other antelope, all pursued by the predators for which these plains are renowned.

Return to Serengeti Sopa for a 3-course buffet lunch and then sink into a sun lounger with a book. Or take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, with its spectacular views of the plains below. Alternatively, spend the day game-viewing in the park, with your guide bringing your drive to an impromptu halt in the shade of an overhanging tree, with lunch hampers and flasks appearing magically before you…

Days 4-5

Explore the Ngorongoro Crater

After breakfast, washed down with East Africa’s famous coffee, leave behind the golden plains of the Serengeti for the lush rolling hills of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, arriving at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge in time for lunch. Set on the rim of the caldera, this exceptionally well-located safari lodge is your home for the next two nights.

The scenery is breath-taking. A World Heritage Site, this long-extinct volcano is one of Africa’s most spectacular destinations, created two to three million years ago when it exploded and collapsed in on itself. At 240km², it is the world’s largest intact caldera, harbouring an astonishing variety of habitats, which in turn support a vast array of animals. Because the caldera’s steep sides afford protection, its streams and wetlands supply fresh water, and its mineral-rich floor is covered in nutritious grasses, its wildlife need never leave. Old bull elephants find sanctuary here, some of the biggest tuskers alive today, along with black rhinos and black-maned lions.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge offers an unexpected privilege: it is located on the eastern rim of the caldera, which is closest to the unfrequented road that sees very little traffic by comparison to the more popular western side. Savour the quiet, with few vehicles around you as you wend your way down to the crater floor.

From forest, swamps and lakes to springs, open grassland and sandy dunes, the siren call of Ngorongoro suffuses your senses as you descend – this is one of the few places in Africa where the Big 5 can be seen in a single game drive. In the evening, keep your eyes peeled for caracal, serval, spotted hyena and leopard.

Day 6

Encounter the elephants of Tarangire

After breakfast, begin the final leg of your adventure, travelling out of the Ngorongoro Conservancy Area and heading south-east to Tarangire National Park, taking pleasure in a game drive through dense acacia woodland as you journey to Tarangire Sopa Lodge, arriving to a warm welcome from its staff and lunch beside the pool.

Located in a lush valley in the north-eastern sector of the Tarangire National Park, home to some of the largest concentrations of elephants in East Africa, Tarangire Sopa Lodge stands on the eastern side of the Tarangire River, which eventually empties into Lake Burungi. By comparison to the Serengeti’s open plains, Tarangire is dense, with magical ribbons of riverine forest and enormous baobabs.

As the day begins to cool, set off on a game-drive; it is during the dry season (July to November), that the park comes into its own, with elephant, buffalo and large herds of wildebeest massing to drink from the Tarangire River. Lion are common throughout the park, as are leopard, and spotted hyena.

Day 7

Return to Arusha

After breakfast at Tarangire Sopa Lodge, set off on your drive back to Arusha town for drop-off at the airport, and your onward journey home.

As your international flight lifts off from Arusha Airport and banks over the Serengeti, you will remember this: the manyatti homesteads, Maasai herders and their goats, their cattle grazing alongside gazelle – all simple memories that you will take with you alongside those of your safari: the drama of the Great Migration, the Big 5 in the Ngorongoro Crater, the alkaline waters of Lake Manyara bright with flamingos in shades of pink…

Inclusions

  • 6 nights accommodation on full board basis
  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Game drives in Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park and Tarangire National Park
  • Crater tour
  • Government taxes and levies
  • Medical evacuation cover
  • Park entrance fees

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Nov 2014 - 30 Nov 2014 $2880
  • 01 Dec 2014 - 20 Dec 2014 $2880
  • 21 Dec 2014 - 31 Dec 2014 $3180

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Liesel van Zyl

Liesel van Zyl

Product Manager

"One of our most popular trips; perfect for those looking to experience Tanzania's iconic highlights."

From

$2880

Per person sharing

View all rates ENQUIRE NOW
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