On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha you will be met and transferred to the group hotel, which is a lodge set in a wonderful location surrounded by coffee plantations and with beautiful views of Mt Meru. You can explore the gardens or choose to relax by the swimming pool - this is a perfect start to any African safari. Overnight Moivaro Lodge (or similar). (An airport transfer is included if arriving on Day 1 only. For arrival on any other day, we can arrange a transfer at additional cost, otherwise please make your own way to the lodge.)
An early start this morning (approx 7:00 pickup). Today we will drive from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park, we enjoy a packed lunch and our wildlife encounters with a full day game drive. Lake Manyara National Park is situated between the dramatic Rift Valley escarpment and the lake and there is an abundance of animals within only 125 square miles (two thirds of which is Lake), as they attracted by the permanent water in the lake and small rivers. The surrounding forest is jungle-like with giant trees and snaking lianas. Often called Tanzania's water wonderland due to the large number of birds and animals the lake supports, Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for its tree-climbing lions. Tonight we stay at the Migunga Tented Camp or Marera Tented Camp (or similar).
After breakfast, we will drive to Serengeti National Park via the world famous Olduvai Gorge where our earliest ancestors were discovered by Professor Richard Leakey. The Serengeti National Park is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage area for its wildlife and natural beauty. We stay this evening at Osupuko Tented Camp (or similar), which is set in the midst of an incredible vista of savannah and African skies. Today is a long day but passing through varied landscapes and with opportunities to see wildlife and Masai people along the way it holds plenty of interest. (We will visit a Masai village either today or on the return journey).
Our full day in the Serengeti is spent game viewing in our 4WD safari vehicle. We will either stay out all day, with a picnic lunch, or return to camp for lunch and time to relax before going out again in the late afternoon, depending on what we see. We will explore the different habitats found within the park. Famed for its annual migration, it offers amazing game viewing: herds of buffalo, groups of elephant and giraffe, zebra, impala and other antelopes, wildebeest, lion, leopard, cheetah and much other wildlife. We hope to experience one of the blazing Serengeti sunsets, with silhouetted acacia trees and the call of the wild close at hand. We overnight again at Osupuko Tented Camp (or similar).
Early this morning we will have a game drive in the Serengeti before returning to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and our lodge on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater. Today is again a long day as we retrace part of our drive from Day 3. However, we often see things differently in the reverse direction and of course there is opportunity to see wildlife and observe the Masai as they roam with their cattle. The location of our accommodation tonight is second to none and is a great reward at the end of our day. Overnight Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or similar).
After breakfast we drive down into the Ngorongoro Crater, also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, for a special day of game viewing. At nearly 2300m, the mornings are brisk and low cloud sometimes covers the area. Please bring some warm clothing as it can be cold here. The Crater is one of the last refugees for the endangered black rhino in northern Tanzania; the rhino population here is carefully protected and they are quite commonly seen. With over 30,000 animals across all species, the Ngorongoro Crater can be regarded as a "Garden of Eden". The 100 sq km caldera also has the highest density of lions anywhere in Africa. When leaving the Crater proper we will get out of our vehicles and enjoy the environment with a short walk (approx. 1.5 - 2 hours) which adds a unique dimension to our time here. We continue to our accommodation in the late afternoon. Tonight is spent at the Crater Forest Tented Camp (or similar).
We depart from Ngorongoro for Tarangire National Park, which is approx. a 3.5 hour drive. Once we arrive in the National Park we will spend time game viewing within the park. This area has the largest population of elephants in northern Tanzania, with approximately 2000 sighted along the river at certain times of the year. In the dry season, (July November) most of the wildlife in the Tarangire ecosystem migrates to the permanent water of the Tarangire River. The lush green shores of the river are a big attraction to many varieties of wildlife, so they offer fantastic game viewing. Dry baobab and acacia trees are scattered widely throughout Tarangire National Park and these provide an ideal home to over 500 species of birds. Most people who have visited East Africa give fabulous accounts of their safaris in this national park, which is famous for both its flora and fauna. We will overnight at Moivaro Lodge (or similar) again on return to Arusha this evening.
After a leisurely breakfast, your trip concludes with a transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport. If you would like additional nights in Arusha or an airport transfer on any other day, please ask for details (additional cost applies).