DAY 1:ARUSHA TO TANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Arusha is the safari capital of the country and a bustling ‘tourism-driven city. Your driver-guide will meet you in Arusha or at the airport, and together you will begin the transfer to Tarangire National Park to start your private safari game drive. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River, which crosses the park and is the primary source of fresh water for abundant wildlife. This quiet park is famous for its elephant migration, birdlife, and authentic safari atmosphere. You will enjoy a packed lunch at midday, and at the end of the afternoon’s game drive, you will make your way to Africa Safari Lake Manyara. On arrival, you will have time to freshen up before finishing the day with dinner under the stars and a good night’s sleep in one of our comfy canvas accommodations.
DAY 2:LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
After breakfast, your driver-guide will take you to the entry gates of Lake Manyara National Park. From the park’s entrance, the road winds through a groundwater forest area where baboons can be seen lounging in the trees and hanging out along the roadside. The famous tree-climbing lions inhabit the mahogany and acacia trees, and if you are lucky, you might spot them lazing on a tree branch. As you make your way out of the dense bushland onto the open grassy banks of the lake, you will see wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, and large buffalo in abundance, grazing away. The lake itself is home to a large number of birds thriving at the water’s edge. Over 400 species have been identified, and one of the highlights of today’s events is seeing the thousands of flamingos strolling around the lake. Between all this beauty, you have a lunch break at midday, and at the end of the afternoon, you drive to Africa Safari Karatu for dinner and a night of peaceful sleep with sweet dreams.
DAY 3:NGORONGORO CRATER MAGIC
Be sure to wake up early today so there is no delay on your descent into the famous Ngorongoro Crater. As soon as you arrive in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, you will be amazed by the beauty around you. Even more so when you arrive at the edge of the crater and take in the amazing view over one of the world’s natural wonders. The crater of this inactive volcano is approximately 3 million years old, 20km² in size, and the largest unbroken volcanic caldera in the world. Due to its natural borders, the wildlife in the crater is amazing. The crater is home to Big Five and offers an excellent chance to spot the rare black rhino. Throw hyenas, zebras, buffaloes, and elephants into the mix, and you have the perfect canvas for a pretty awesome safari experience! At the end of the afternoon, you head back to Africa Safari Karatu for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
DAY 4:KARATU TO LAKE NATRON
Today’s road trip takes you through northern Tanzania with Lake Natron as the destination. You depart after breakfast. The drive can take up to four hours, and it is the perfect way to see different sides of Tanzania’s ever-changing landscapes. As you pass the Rift Valley and drive toward Lake Natron, you will notice the lush green vegetation slowly changing to dry, arid, and dusty landscapes. The occasional Masai villages passed en route become dots in the distant scenery. The further north you go, the more remains of old volcanoes rise around you. Among them is Ol Doinyo Lengai, meaning mountain of God in the Masai dialect. This volcano is one of the few that are still active. When you eventually reach Lake Natron, you may catch its smoke disappearing in the sky! You will spend the night in a comfortable bed at Africa Safari Lake Natron.
DAY 5: LAKE NATRON ACTIVITIES
Waking up at the foot of Ol Doinyo Lengai is a magical feeling! The Engare Sero footprint site, on the south of Lake Natron, 11km away from Africa Safari Lake Natron, has been reported to host one of the best-preserved sets of fossilized hominid footprints in the world. However, until now, there has been no detailed characterization and age determination of the footprint-bearing strata (the Footprint Tuff). Over 400 footprints are between 5000 and 19 000 years old and came to scientists’ attention in 2008 and cover a cordoned-off area slightly larger than a tennis court.
To complete your day of exploring Lake Natron, venture out on a moderate two-hour hike along the western edge of Lake Natron. This leads to a series of narrow gorges and waterfalls, where you can swim in slot canyons and walk behind the falling water. A pretty refreshing activity after a hot day at Lake Natron, as the area is both arid and wet at the same time and lush with wild palms growing above the gorge.
DAY 6:LAKE NATRON ACTIVITIES
This morning, put on your walking shoes as a Maasai tribesman guides you on a walk around the shores of Lake Natron in search of the lesser flamingo. Lake Natron is the most important and regular breeding site for lesser flamingos in East Africa, and during the breeding season, Lake Natron hosts up to 2.5 million flamingos. Most egg-laying and hatching occur from September to April, although the peak occurs between October and early December. The long-legged waterfowl may flourish here, but these conditions make survival extremely challenging for most other living creatures, including small birds. However, the lake flats provide a variety of habitats for birds that flourish in the alkali oasis. Around midday, you will depart on a road trip west for an overnight stop in Africa Safari Serengeti North, where you will have an insight into traditional Maasai life and a wonderful afternoon game drive in Pololeti Game Reserve.
DAY 7 :SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
After a hearty breakfast at Africa Safari Maasai Boma, you will depart on your adventure towards Africa Safari Serengeti Ikoma. This game drive leads you through Serengeti National Park. Your driver-guide will take you exploring, following the movement of resident wildlife, while heading towards your accommodation in Ikoma. There will be a stop for a nice picnic lunch along the way. In the afternoon, you will reach the park’s border, and just 2km further, you will find the staff of Africa Safari Serengeti Ikoma welcoming you. This is your place to relax, and a beautiful canvas home awaits you for a good night of sleep.
DAY 8 :SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Nothing beats waking up from a restful sleep to the sounds of the Serengeti! Once you have enjoyed your breakfast, the acacia-studded savannah welcomes you to explore its wildlife. Another day is filled with safari adventuring on African soil, and by the end of the day, you will understand the Masaai meaning of the name Serengeti to be ‘endless plains.’ Late afternoon you return to Africa Safari Serengeti Ikoma.
DAY 9 :SERENGETI TO ARUSHA BY PLANE
After a good night’s sleep, it is time to depart. After the last game drive, your vehicle will take you to the Seronera Airstrip for your flight back to Arusha Airport. After boarding the aircraft, your trip nears the end. However, you can still peer out over the plane’s wings and enjoy the magnificent views while flying over Serengeti National Park and admire the changing scenery of the Great Rift Valley. You will land at Arusha Airport with a camera full of pictures to share with friends and family and look back on the fantastic memories created while on your African endeavour!