11 Days Luxury Tanzania Safari Tour
Tanzania’s wilderness responds to the iconic reverie of an African safari. Big cats chase thousands of zebra, 100-strong elephant herds roam past ancient baobabs, and surreal scenes play out beside your lodge balcony. Don’t just think Big Five. This 11-day northern circuit Tanzania safari tour is absolute immersion in nature’s greatest theater. Witness unexpected characters and sublime scenes of predator and prey. With the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire and Manyara, this trip connects Tanzania’s dramatic safari highlights.
Arusha – First Impressions
Admire Kilimanjaro through the plane window and you realize that Tanzania’s natural spectacles can redefine scale. Land at Kilimanjaro International Airport where you’ll be greeted by your safari guide and transferred 45 minutes to Arusha and the serene lodge that has been selected for you. Rest, relax, savor the calls of primates in the surrounding trees, and sit down to a hearty welcome dinner. The adventures start tomorrow.
Tarangire National Park – Elephants and Baobab Trees
After the two-hour drive from Arusha, you spend the day exploring Tarangire in your safari vehicle. You’ve got window seats, of course, and the roof pops open for uninterrupted 360-degree panoramas over the landscape. Check into your safari camp and your terrace overlooks the park. Even from the bed, you can gaze across at a buffalo or giraffe. So while it’s wonderfully tranquil and relaxing at the camp, there are these special little moments when you gaze up and find that a zebra is grazing just ten meters away, or a family of elephants is trunk-swinging their way past.
Tarangire National Park – Exploring the Woodland
With a new African morning, there’s a calmness to the Tarangire panorama. It seems serene and soft, a little haze rising through the 300-year old trees. But head out at this hour, and it’s eventful in the bush. Antelopes don’t graze. They stop and listen, fearful of a predatory approach. Elephants bash into trees and hundreds of giraffe feed silently. Morning is the premier time of day for a game drive, a time when big cats are on the move, and big mammals are feeding with abandon.
Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Highlands – Exquisite Beauty
Driving to Lake Manyara really feels like old Africa. Villages of mud huts are scattered around a rugged road that weaves through the Manyara forest. Elephant hooting can be heard in the distance while some of the park’s 500 bird species begin to flutter overhead. Once inside the park gate, there are hundreds of baboons marching around, including babies clinging to mothers’ undersides.
Another Manyara speciality is the tree-climbing lion. Only in a handful of African parks have the lions evolved to climb trees and survey their kingdom from towering branches. It’s a surreal sighting when the maned predator is napping leisurely some ten meters from the ground.
Ngorongoro Crater – An Iconic Game Drive
Descending into Ngorongoro Crater is one of Africa’s most unforgettable experiences. All sides of the extinct caldera are visible as you zigzag down towards the pink-dapped lake. Wild sightings are immediate. Lion prides are on the prowl, lone elephant bulls are marching around, and rare black rhinos graze peacefully in the morning air. There are only a few thousand of these critically endangered rhinos left, and Ngorongoro is a famous place to spot them. In comparison, there’s over a million wildebeest and you see herds of them kicking up dust as they gallop across the crater floor.
Ngorongoro Crater – Off the Beaten Track
Unlike some national parks, Ngorongoro Crater is shared by both wild animals and local people. Some 40,000 Maasai live in the conservation area, continuing their ancestral pastoral way of life. Today, you have a rare invitation to spend the afternoon with one of these communities. Over 20 mud and cow dung huts are built in a circle, facing inwards to create their traditional village, or boma.
Serengeti – Journey the World-Famous Grass Plains
The grass begins as you drive from Ngorongoro to the Serengeti. There are hyena scurrying across the grass, zebra herds grazing on the grass, gazelle skipping over the grass, and balls of dust emerging where wildebeest maraud across the grass. These grasslands are home to the great wildebeest migration and the largest number of mammals found anywhere on the planet.
Day 8 – 10
Serengeti – Nature’s greatest Theater
Rumbling across the grass, you see thousands of wildebeest. The herd is kicking up dust as they migrate north towards the Maasai Mara. A few miles later, there are thousands of zebra. The herd moves slowly and deliberately as it paints the Serengeti black and white. A dozen hyenas are seen around the herds’ periphery while a large lion pride watches and waits for the ungulates to approach.
Serengeti to Arusha – Community Souvenir Shopping and Departure
Over the last ten days, you’ve very slowly crossed Northern Tanzania, taking in the beauty of each of its national parks. Rather than return by land, you bid farewell to the bush from a dusty Serengeti airstrip. Soar above the endless grass plains by micro flight and touch down back in Arusha. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken for a lavish lunch and a chance to do some souvenir shopping in the local community workshop. In the late-afternoon you’re transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport for your international flight.