Day 1: Kilimanjaro, Tanzania / Arusha
Welcome to Africa. You will be met by a representative as you exit the aircraft and assisted through immigration formalities, collect your baggage and proceed through customs. After exiting the Customs & Immigrations Hall, a uniformed Big Five Tours & Expeditions driver/guide will greet you and assist with your luggage before transferring you to Legendary Lodge in Arusha. Six garden cottages are individually decorated with a unique blend of African art and old colonial-style furnishings. Enjoy the Mount Meru views from a private veranda and relax in spacious king-sized beds. Take advantage of the elegant tubs and showers, personal minibars, and wireless internet throughout the property. The Old Farmhouse welcomes you to savor the gourmet meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Enjoy a rejuvenating spa treatment in the elegant therapy room or in the privacy of your own guest cottage. The lodge is a perfect place to wind down before or after an adventure-packed safari.
Built by Germans as a center of colonial administration in the early 20th century, Arusha was a sleepy town with a garrison stationed at the old boma and a few shops around a grassy roundabout. From its backwater status amid the farmlands and plantations of northern Tanzania, Arusha has grown into one of the country’s most prosperous towns. The site for the United Nations Criminal Tribunal on the Rwandan genocide and the headquarters for the tripartite commission for East African Co-operation, Arusha is a major center of Tanzanian diplomacy and international relations. Legendary Lodge – Cottage
PLEASE LIMIT LUGGAGE WHILE ON SAFARI TO ONE (1) PER PERSON, MAX. 32 lbs, PLUS REASONABLE CARRY ON CAMERA EQUIPMENT.
Day 2: Arusha / Lake Manyara / Ngorongoro Crater
Your private Big Five guide picks you up from the lodge and you head overland with a picnic lunch and drive to Lake Manyara. 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. 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; especially pink flamingos by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Lake Manyara is home to the famous tree-climbing lions. These big cats are the only lions that make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season. While they are well known, they are also rather rare. In addition, the national park also features the largest concentration of baboons found anywhere in the world.
Later, you continue to our accommodations on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Between the spectacular views swirling through mists around the lodge and its somewhat unexpected architecture, it is easy to believe that you have entered a realm of fantasy. Each stilted, handcrafted mud and thatch suite is adorned with graceful antiques. En suite bathrooms, with a centerpiece of fresh roses, feature huge showers and chandelier-lit bathtubs, while floor-to-ceiling windows ensure breathtaking views from everywhere. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge – Standard Room, (B,L,D)
Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater
Today you will enjoy a full day game drive on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. 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, cheetahs and spotted hyenas are also found, as well as thousands of lesser and greater flamingoes in the soda lake. Enjoy a thrilling day in the crater in what 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, you return to your lodge. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge – Standard room (B,L,D)
Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater / Serengeti National Park
This morning leave the conservation area and drive to Manyara airstrip to board your scheduled flight to the Serengeti, where your camp guide and vehicle welcomes you at the airstrip. Africa’s most famous park is unequaled in its primitive natural beauty and fantastic abundance of plains game. Throughout the generations, naturalists and writers have singled out this very special sanctuary. And with good reason! Here, since time immemorial, the world's most astonishing annual migration takes place. Herds of plains game, mostly wildebeest and zebra, numbering more than a million stretch to the horizon in long slender lines. Naturally, predators follow this annual march.
Your luxury tented-camp is set on one of the main annual migration corridors at the 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 and a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. The camp consists of 13 stunning luxury tents with bedroom and sitting area, en suite bathroom and private sundeck. Each tent features oak flooring, a wood-burning fireplace, a romantic hand- hammered, freestanding copper bathtub and a complimentary bar. A culinary experience awaits with epicurean meals and gastronomic treats and sophisticated fine dining service. A choice of indoor and outdoor dining areas, all offer unobstructed views of the Nyaruswiga plains. The camp also has a plunge p, Jacuzzi, astral observation deck, and 24-hour electricity powered by a hybrid solar power system. Water supply for the entire camp is purified by our own reverse osmosis water treatment system. Complimentary WiFi across the property. One Nature Nyaruswiga Safari Camp – Tent (B,L,D)
Days 5/6: Serengeti National Park
Spend your days on game drives learning the movements of Africa’s iconic species, including ostrich, giraffe, hyena, jackal, elephant and cheetah and some 2,500 lions. Spend time exploring one of the rarest and most captivating ecosystems in the world with your private guide on foot or in an open vehicle. 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. You travel the leopard circuit, where the chances of sighting this shy cat are greater here than anywhere else in Africa. Other activities include incredible stargazing opportunities and explorations of ancient painted caves. One Nature Nyaruswiga Safari Camp – Tent (B,L,D)
Day 7: Serengeti National Park / Grumeti Reserves
After breakfast, you are transferred to the Seronera Airstrip where you will board your flight to the Sasakwa Airstrip. Upon arrival, you are met by the staff of Singita who transfer you in an open safari vehicle to your lodge, which sits atop Sasakwa Hill, offering spectacular views over the Great Serengeti plains. Singita Sasakwa Lodge is built in the style of an Edwardian manor house. Stone walls, deep verandas, high ceilings, stately furniture, silverware and ornamental pieces complete the picture. Each cottage has a private infinity-edge pool. The bedrooms are beautifully appointed with inviting four-posters, African influences with touches of wood, leather and grass, alongside crisp linens, imported chandeliers and hand-crafted furniture. Since the early days, travelers have come from far to experience the magic of the Serengeti and witness the greatest wildlife show on earth. Spanning over 350,000 acres of untouched wilderness, Singita Grumeti Reserves is located in northern Tanzania and forms part of the Serengeti Mara ecosystem, on the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park. Sasakwa Lodge – Suite (B,L,D)
Day 8/9: Singita Grumeti Reserves
The private Singita Grumeti Reserves form part of the renowned migration route, although plenty of wildlife populations are here year-round. The abundance of game animals including 25 species of large carnivores and 40 species of herbivores. More than 2,500 species of birds (including five endemic species with a high concentration of raptors) have been counted here, making this the highest concentration of birds in Africa. You have time here to get into the rhythm of nature and the movement of animals. Slow down and take in the incredible night skies in this private concession.
Singita is the custodian of 350,000 acres of this unique ecosystem. Ensuring the continued protection of the critical western corridor of the plains is essential to the future sustainability of the ancient pilgrimage that defines these lands. For a different perspective entirely, experienced riders can pre-book a horseback safari that can custom-tailored for an adventure through the heart of the Serengeti wilderness. Additional activities such as archery, lawn croquet, mountain biking and tennis are available as is a private hot air balloon ride that floats above the animals of the Serengeti Plains. Sasakwa Lodge – Suite (B,L,D)
Day 10: Grumeti Reserves / Arusha / Zanzibar
You final morning game drive ends at the airstrip where you board your mid-morning flight back to Arusha. Upon arrival, you are greeted by our representative and provided with a lunch box in the airport before being assisted to your onward flight to Zanzibar. On arrival in Zanzibar, you are met by a representative from your lodge and transfer to the island. With just ten guest bandas on the entire island, the only intrusion may be a visit from a curious suni antelope or two at sundown. The balmy blue waters invite you to explore the Indian Ocean. With a dive school and two dive boats for just 20 guests, you will never feel crowded during your underwater adventure. Sea breezes waft through high palm-frond roofs and large windows in your beachside banda. Overhead fans in a spacious bedroom filled with soft, natural fabrics and traditional woodcarvings cool down the warm tropical nights. Enjoy ocean views stretched out on the built-in barazas (Swahili for ‘meeting place’) on your veranda. A shady corridor of woven palm leaves leads to a large shuttered bathroom where a massive stone shower waits behind a glass beaded curtain. Open thatched dining and sitting areas provide the perfect place to watch the sun set. Deep pillows and low wooden tables open up onto majestic views of the white beach. Enjoy lunch served on large, wooden carved platters, while island crabs scuttle across the sand. Later, when the magnificent African sky lights up with stars, dinner is served on the beach, with the bright moonlight reflecting off the waves as they gently lap on the beach. Mnemba Island Lodge – Banda (B,L,D)
Days 11/12: Zanzibar
These days are yours to be as active or as relaxed as you choose. Snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, massages on the beach – do it all or do nothing at all. White coral-sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs compliment your lodge’s relaxed atmosphere and barefoot luxury. The architecture of Mnemba Lodge offers a rustic exclusivity and privacy unparalleled on the African coastline. Thatched dining and sitting/bar areas have beautiful open views of the beach and the spectacular reefs beyond. Ten lovely suites each has its own private beach bivouac. An excellent watersports center offers superb diving and other marine activities, many of which are included in the price. Savor baskets of fresh fruit, fish, lobsters, crabs and prawns brought in to Mnemba daily on traditional ngalawa outriggers. Lunch is usually served on large wooden carved Zanzibar platters heaped with delicious mezze (finger foods). Enjoy romantic candle-lit and private beach dinners on the beach with the waves gently lapping at your feet. Mnemba Island Lodge – Banda (B,L,D)
Day 13: Zanzibar / Dar Es Salaam / Depart
Relax this morning or enjoy activities at your lodge. This afternoon, you transfer to the airport for a flight to Dar Es Salaam, where you are met on arrival and transferred from the domestic terminal to the international terminal to connect with your onward flight later this evening. After check-in, you have some time for a bit of last-minute shopping at the Duty Free Shops near your departure gate. (B,L)
Land price, per person, double occupancy: Price starts from US$2,100 per person per day.