Tanzania Highlights of the Northern Safari Circuit

Take a trip of a lifetime across the wilds of Tanzania in this 12-day trip. Visit a school in Arusha that has recently been built and meet the children whose smiles will make your heart swell. Ride along in private game vehicles and observe lions and their prey, along with many other predators, including leopards in which this is the best place for a chance to see them. bird watch for some of over 500 species, many of which can only be found in Africa. Towards the end of your trip, you will embark on a wonder filled hot air balloon experience, seeing the beauty and vastness of the Serengeti plains from above. This is a truly remarkable experience you must not miss.

 

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COUNTRIES VISITED

Tanzania including Zanzibar

STARTING AT..

Price starts at 1500 Land per person, per day, double occupancy.

TOUR LENGTH

12

Tour Highlights/Full Description

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Take a trip of a lifetime across the wilds of Tanzania in this 12-day trip. Visit a school in Arusha that has recently been built and meet the children whose smiles will make your heart swell. Ride along in private game vehicles and observe lions and their prey, along with many other predators, including leopards in which this is the best place for a chance to see them. bird watch for some of over 500 species, many of which can only be found in Africa. Towards the end of your trip, you will embark on a wonder filled hot air balloon experience, seeing the beauty and vastness of the Serengeti plains from above. This is a truly remarkable experience you must not miss.

  • Visit a local school in Arusha and meet the local children who attend.
  • Enjoy private game drives to observe the vast wildlife on the plains.
  • Have a picnic lunch by the hippo pool in the Ngorongoro crater.
  • Observe the wildebeest migration in all it’s majesty on the Serengeti.
  • Take a hot air balloon trip along the Mara River and over the vast plains as the sun rises.

Day 1: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania / Arusha
Welcome to Tanzania! Arrive this evening in Kilimanjaro.  Proceed through Immigration, collect your baggage and proceed through Customs.  After exiting the Customs & Immigrations Hall, please look out for a uniformed Big Five Tours & Expeditions Driver / Guide holding a Big Five Tours sign with your name or tour name on it.  Our guide will assist you with your luggage and transfer you to your lodge in Arusha where you overnight. Arusha Coffee Lodge – Plantation Room

Day 2: Arusha
Arusha Coffee Lodge lies cradled in the endless acres of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation.  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. Luxurious accommodation, fine cuisine, and roaring fires, beckon to the most seasoned traveler. The Arusha Coffee Lodge accommodation consists of 18 plantation houses lavishly furnished, featuring split-level living room area and a private deck patio.  Offering every guest amenity and fancy, the Arusha Coffee Lodge is the place to relax and rejuvenate before or after a Tanzanian Safari.  Laze around the swimming pool, enjoy a sun-downer at the Safari Bar, unwind after a delectable meal in the lounge with a good liquor and a fireside chat.

After a leisurely breakfast you are met by our representative for your safari briefing and then you head into town for an orientation tour and visit a local school.  Afterwards return to the lodge where you have the remainder of the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the facilities of your lodge or shop at the nearby Cultural heritage center. Arusha Coffee Lodge – Plantation Room (B,L,D) 

PLEASE LIMIT LUGGAGE WHILE ON SAFARI TO ONE (1) PER PERSON, MAX. 32 lbs, PLUS REASONABLE CARRY ON CAMERA EQUIPMENT.

Day 3: Arusha / Tarangire National Park
This morning, we are met by our private guide and vehicle and head overland to Tarangire Park. Your Camp lies in sheltered seclusion beneath the shade of umbrella thorn trees on the slopes of the Tarangire Valley. The camp is in the most physically and faunal dramatic setting imaginable. A spectacular array of wildlife is ours to observe and photograph at leisure. Our afternoon game drive may bring us eyeball-to-eyeball with the tallest, strongest and fastest of African game. For the ornithologist, the variety is equally diverse; this untamed wilderness is graced by myriad of exotic birds.  Sanctuary Swala Camp – Luxury Tent (B,L,D)

Day 4:  Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is a 1,000 square mile park and has nine distinct zones of vegetation, including a spectacular baobab woodland in the north.  It is home to large herds of elephant, the fringe eared oryx and lesser kudu.  Tarangire is Tanzania’s third largest park with the highest recorded number of breeding birds species of any habitat in the world.  During our early morning and late afternoon game drives, we may see waterbuck, buffalo, lion, elephant and more. Sanctuary Swala Camp – Luxury Tent (B,L,D)

Day 5: Tarangire National Park / Lake Manyara / Ngorongoro Highlands
Today you head into Lake Manyara National Park National park for a full day game drive with picnic lunch. Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is well worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.

The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.

Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay this park a visit. The only kind of their species in the world, they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world — a fact that makes for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates. Afterwards we settle in at our lodge in the highlands for overnight. Neptune Lodge – Cottage (B,L,D)

Day 6: Ngorongoro Highlands / Ngorongoro Crater
Early this morning you head into the Ngorongoro Crater and enjoy a full day game drive on the floor. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is inhabited by 30 000 animals, all protected within the confines of the crater walls. Resident zebra, wildebeest, Grants and Thomson’s gazelle are a predator’s dream. Tanzania’s few remaining black rhino are protected and regularly sighted in the crater, as are large herds of buffalo. Huge tusked elephants, black-manned lions, cheetah and spotted hyena are also found, as well as thousands of lesser and greater flamingoes in the soda lake. Enjoy a thrilling day in the crater, this is perhaps the best place in East Africa to get close to rhinos and lions and other predators among the hundreds of animals. Picnic lunch by the hippo pool. This afternoon we return to our accommodations for overnight. Neptune Lodge – Cottage (B,L,D)

Day 7: Ngorongoro Highlands / Serengeti National Park
Today we enter the Stone Age and witness the origin of mankind at Olduvai Gorge. Under the direction of Louis and Mary Leakey, this area has yielded abundant fossil material dating back over two million years. Then we continue to the Serengeti Plains. Africa’s most famous park is unequaled in its primitive natural beauty and fantastic abundance of plains game. Throughout the ages naturalists and writers have singled out this very special sanctuary in their paeans of praise. And with good reason! Here, since time immemorial, the world’s most astonishing annual migration takes place. Herds of plains game numbering more than a million stretch to the horizon in long slender lines. Naturally some hosts of predators follow along. No words can adequately describe this stronghold of wildlife. Our luxury tented-camp is unique, cleverly located on one of the main annual migration corridors for over one million wildebeest, half a million zebras and gazelles, and their accompanying cast of predators it is also located at the very epicenter of one of the world’s most famous national parks. Game drives with safari luncheons, lantern-lit bush suppers and unforgettable conversations are what make the Serengeti a prime location for the best game viewing. Four Seasons Safari Lodge – Horizon Room (B,L,D)

Day 8: Central Serengeti National Park
During our game drives we’re sure to sight a variety of plains’ game, ostrich, and giraffe. Hyenas and jackals wait patiently near feasting predators. Elephants trundle through the woodland and the cheetah is sighted more often than not. The Serengeti has some of the world’s best bird-watching, with more than 500 species identified. During his famous study of the Serengeti lion, George Schaller counted no less than 3,000. We’ll also travel the leopard circuit. The chances of sighting this animal are greater here than anywhere else in Africa. Four Seasons Safari Lodge – Horizon Room (B,L,D)

Day 9:  Serengeti National Park
After breakfast we are transferred to Seronera airstrip from where we fly to the northern plains to catch up to the wildebeest migration. Africa’s most famous park is without equal in its primitive natural beauty, its liberating open space and its fantastic abundance of plains game.  During migration, vast numbers of animals stretch to the horizon in long slender columns.  They face fierce obstacles from voracious predators to treacherous river crossings.  As the great migration makes its way across the expansive Serengeti plains, Hundreds of thousands of mostly wildebeest and zebra move in columns snaking to the horizon.  And, predators are always nearby.  Your camp rests at the heart of prime wildlife theaters on the Serengeti, where game viewing is good year-round.  Game drives and ranger-led bush walks combine with safari luncheons, lantern-lit bush suppers and unforgettable conversations. Serengeti Bushtops – Luxury Tent (B,L,D)

Days 10 & 11: Serengeti National Park
On one of the morning, at dawn you will climb aboard a hot air balloon and fly along the course of the Mara River and over the vast plains as the sun rises. This is a unique and incredible opportunity to witness the majesty of the African bush. Suspended in a basket beneath the balloons canopy, you will have the chance to view the wildlife from an entirely different perspective. As you float over the plains and above the forest alongside the Mara River, you will see Hippos, Crocodile and Elephant from above. The flight time is generally in the region of one hour and ends with breakfast in the open grassland within the reserve Few things equal the thrill of sharing these wide, open spaces with antelope, giraffe, wildebeest, cheetah, elephant, leopard, buffalo, zebra, warthog, hippo and crocodile.  Watch the extraordinary interplay between species, such as hyenas hovering just out of reach of lions.  Bird watching enthusiasts can scout for some of the 500 species here.  After awakening in the heart of the wilderness in your luxurious tent – surrounded by Edwardian-era accents that evoke the classic safari camps of a century ago. Your safari guide shares fascinating insights about the African bush on your early morning game drive, as you observe the struggle of species to survive in the “circle of life” within the Serengeti National Park. Later, after lunch and another game drive, as the setting sun streaks the Tanzanian sky – a classic African safari doesn’t get any better than this! ***Optional balloon safari.  Serengeti Bushtops – Luxury Tent (B,L,D) 

Day 12: Serengeti National Park / Arusha / Depart
Our final morning game drive ends at the local airstrip where we board our flight to Arusha. We arrive mid day, are met and transferred to Arusha Coffee Lodge. Time permitting we will visit the Cultural heritage center in town and have time for some last minute shopping. Afterwards we are dropped off at the lodge where we have the remainder of the day at leisure. Then it’s Kwaheri (a Swahili “good bye”) as we are transferred to Kilimanjaro airport for our evening flight home. Arusha Coffee Lodge – Plantation Room (B,L)

 

Included In The Tour Cost:

Internal air: Arusha-Kuro & Seronera-Kogatende-Arusha

  • Daily accommodations as shown in the itinerary & all taxes and service charges
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • All hotel /airport transfers as indicated
  • All entrance fees to places of interest as specified
  • Membership in the Flying Doctors Society.
  • Comprehensive assortment of pre-tour planning materials and amenities
  • Big Five’s 24-hour White Glove Service® guest assistance

 Not Included In The Tour Cost:
Any airfares unless specified under inclusions. Any airport taxes (All taxes are government imposed and subject to change without notice). Passport and visa fees. Travel insurance. Excess baggage or shipping charges. Items of personal nature such as gratuities, telephone / fax / internet charges, laundry, beverages, balloon safari, meals and services not specified in the itinerary.

Notes: 

Baggage restrictions on internal flights are 32 lbs per bag. Please pack accordingly. If your luggage exceeds this weight you will have to pay an additional surcharge (not included).

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