Highlights: Arusha - Lake Manyara - Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Crater
Other departures: Glasgow - £2989, Edinburgh - £2995, Birmingham - £2979, Manchester - £2945, George Belfast City - £3269, Bristol - £3269, Norwich - £3275, Newcastle - £3219, Cardiff - £3005
Day 1: Flight from Scotland to Kilimanjaro Airport in Tanzania.
Day 2: Arusha
Transfer from Kilimanjaro Airport to Arusha, the starting point of safaris in Northern Tanzania
Rivertrees Country Inn - Garden Room DBB
Day 3: Arusha - Lake Manyara National Park
Depart for Lake Manyara, driving via Makuyuni and Mto wa Mbu village. Apart from its abundant bird life, Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for its tree climbing lions.
Enjoy a full day game drive with picnic lunch.
Acacia Farm Lodge (M) - Standard L - DBBL
Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park - Serengeti National Park
Depart for the Serengeti National Park, famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson's gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains.
There is more to Serengeti than large mammals. There are over 500 species of birds, and your guide will also introduce you to the ‘small five’. In addition to a wide variety of mammals, over 300 species of birdlife have been recorded in this park.
Enroute to Serengeti, you will drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Ndutu Plains.
Kati Kati Tented Camp - Central Serengeti - Standard DBBL
Day 5: Serengeti National Park
Enjoy a full day safari exploring the Serengeti ecosystem.
Kati Kati Tented Camp - Central Serengeti - Standard DBBL
Day 6: Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Crater
Depart for Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is 2000ft. deep, and considered to be the 8th wonder of the world. Ngorongoro Crater is the largest intact caldera in the world with an abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor.
Descend into the crater for a game drive.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge -Standard room DBBL
Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater - Arusha
Depart for Arusha with an optional stop over at the Cultural Heritage center. On a clear day you will see Mt. Meru standing tall over the city of Arusha.
Arrive at the Arusha Coffee Lodge where you will enjoy lunch in the lush green gardens.
Transfer to Kilimanjaro airport for your onward flight.
Add On: 7 nts Zanzibar Resort and includes Spice Tour
Rivertrees Country Inn : Rivertrees lies nestled in the foothills of Mt Meru and commanding a majestic view of Kilimanjaro. This picturesque country estate combines old-world ambience, rustic African elegance, excellent farm cuisine, personal service and genuine warmth from your hosts. The inn’s timeless tranquillity is complemented by its contemporary comforts, rendering it the perfect spot for rest and rejuvenation: weary travellers, mountain-climbers and safari-goers alike gather here to commence or conclude their adventures.
Kati Kati Tented Camp - Central Serengeti: A mobile tented camp located in Central Serengeti, strategically located to cover the vast Serengeti Plains. The camp offers comfortable accommodation and a unique opportunity to enjoy a real safari camp experience. The camp is only a two hour scenic drive from
Olduvai Gorge Museum and Grumeti River.
Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge: Located on the eastern rim of the crater, facing the always magnificent sunsets to the west, and located at the highest point on Ngorongoro crater’s entire rim, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge stands well over half a kilometre above the crater floor and offers unparalleled views across this enormous caldera.
Transport on Safari
Safari Vehicles: Your safari experience will involve many exciting days viewing wildlife. As such, we pay utmost importance to the quality and comfort of your safari vehicle. Our safari vehicles are all converted into custom-built safari cars, with pop-up roof to enable visitors to view wildlife better. All vehicles are fitted with thickly-cushioned individual seats. All 4x4 Safari Land Cruisers carry between 5 and 7 persons, and everyone is guaranteed a window seat. All safari vehicles have two-way radio communication equipment fitted to keep in contact with our offices. An electric fridge, an inverter system for charging your cameras and iPads, a pair of binoculars and reference books on mammals, birds, flora and fauna are all standard equipment in each safari vehicle.
Our Driver-Guides: When you book with us, you are assured driver-guides who are extensively trained, qualified and experienced. Their knowledge spans over virtually everything you will encounter on safari - the wildlife, flora and fauna, the birdlife, the people and the local culture. Each driver-guide undergoes a rigorous and mandatory training program, and their experience over the years means they are a wealth of information at all times.
If you are on a fly-in safari you may be required to share your vehicle with other guests at the lodge for transfers and game drives. Vehicles which are based at the camp often have bench-type seating and may have canvas or open sides.
Location and Park Information
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park derived its name from a plant called Euphorbia tirucalli, known as Emanyara in Maasai Language. The Maasai used this plant to cover their bomas (hedge). The Park was gazetted as a National Park in 1960 and was declared as a Biosphere in 1981. The entrance gate lies west of Arusha along a surfaced road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu. The park is perhaps most reknowned for its famous tree-climbing lions. You can see a variety of habitats and diverse animals and birds. Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
Serengeti National Park
The name Serengeti comes from the Maasai word “Siringet” referring to an “endless plain.” It was first inhabited by ancient hunter gatherers and pastoralists. The central Serengeti was declared a Game Reserve in 1929. In 1951, the Reserve became Tanganyika’s first National Park which included the Ngorongoro Crater. Further alterations took place in 1959 in the Park, part of the Serengeti plains and the highlands were removed and added to the Ngorongoro Conservation area, while extensions to the north and south were included to provide more protection to the wildebeest migration. Covering 14,763 square kilometres, the Park is roughly the size of Northern Ireland making it Tanzania’s largest national park.
The Western Corridor: In a typical year, the migration arrives between June and July having left the dry plains in the south. It is the giant Nile crocodiles in the river that has made this area famous. Growing up to 6 metres in length, they are inextricably linked with the great migration.
The Northern woodlands: Wildebeest move through the northern woodlands in most years from June-October to feed on the longer grasses that persist in this area. Although an interesting place to visit all year round, it is best from June through October.
The plains (shortgrass): were formed 3-4 million years ago when ash blown from volcanoes in the Ngorongoro highlands covered the rolling landscape. The southern grass plains are some of the most productive and nutritious natural grasslands in the world. When the short rains start in November, the wildebeest move south from the northern woodlands. Wildlife’s most amazing spectacles occur during February / March, for 3-4 weeks, 90% of the female wildebeest give birth, flooding the plains with thousands of newborn calves each day. The wildebeest may remain on the plains for several months. When the rains stop, the plains dry out rapidly forcing the herds to migrate west and north. Their departure in May/June marks another great spectacle. The southern plains are best visited from December to May when the migrants are there.
The Seronera Valley: is a transition zone between the southern plains and the northern woodlands. The most prominent is the Seronera River from which the area takes its name. With year-round water, this is the most reliable area to view wildlife. It is possible to see many of the Serengeti’s resident wildlife including giraffe, buffalo, topi, hartebeest, waterbuck, impala, reedbuck, bushbuck, dikdik, hippopotamus, crocodile, warthog and diverse birdlife. Large prides of lion reside here, as well as clans of spotted hyena.
The Serengeti would not be the same without the beautiful rock outcrops known as kopjes. Also known as inselbergs, the intriguing rounded shapes of these ancient granite rocks are the result of cracking and erosion from exposure to sun, wind and rain. They provide shelter and capture water for a wealth of wildlife and plants. The main groups of kopjes are: Barafu, Gol, Maasai, Loliondo, Simba and Moru.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is situated 180 km west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The conservation area is 8,300 sq km and is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of Ngorongoro District.
The conservation area boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world's greatest natural spectacles; its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthral visitors. It borders the Serengeti National Park to the north and west.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, established in 1959, is a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. Here pastoralism, conservation and tourism co-exist in a carefully managed harmony. The centrepiece of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater which is the world's largest intact volcanic caldera. The Crater floor is a natural sanctuary for thousands of animals and many species of insects and birds. Lush highlands surround the Crater, falling away to the tawny plains and alkaline lakes of the Great Rift Valley.
The four main archaelogical sites are: Oldupai Gorge (2 million to 17 000 years ago), Laetoli (3.6 to 2.8 million years ago), Ngorongoro Crater (various proto-historic sites) and Nasera Rock (30 000 BC and more recent).
The main route through Karatu town to Loduare Gate is a tarmac road. The roads and tracks throughout the NCA are not sealed, however most are all-weather roads except for a very few secondary tracks.