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adventure travel trip to Tanzania
If we're lucky, we'll spy lion cubs and other youngsters at this time of year
Dates
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 11 days
    Group Size 2-10
    Land Cost $4,975 Details
    Single Supplement $795
    Lodging 3 stars
    Grade II
    Best Time

    Summer Serengeti

    Spectacular wildlife and culture at Tarangire, the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro

    Day 1      Arrive in Tanzania

    Karibu Mgeni (that's Swahili for "Welcome"); your safari begins!  Here you will be met by your wonderful Tanzania expert guide and transferred to the Mt. Meru Game Lodge for your overnight near Mt. Meru, Tanzania's second-highest mountain (after Kilimanjaro). The Lodge was established in 1959 by Dr. Andreas Von Nagy with the goal of providing superior accommodation to discerning animal lovers visiting Tanzania. All rooms have verandas with comfortable chairs where guests may sit in the early morning, enjoying the peaceful surroundings, soaking up the unique atmosphere of the Lodge and watching the animals and birdlife.  Mt. Meru Lodge is a wonderful place to start your Tanzanian safari adventure.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Mt. Meru Game Lodge (or similar)

    Day 2      Tarangire National Park

    The African day dawns, and your adventure begins in earnest.  After breakfast, depart for Tarangire National Park in your four-wheel drive vehicles. Tarangire retains a real air of undiscovered Africa, and it contains the greatest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti, full of elephant herds, mammals, and predators — all in search of the water that can be found in the Tarangire River.  There are a fantastic number of colorful birds that swoop and strut along the rough paths throughout the year. Because the park extends through two game-controlled areas, wildlife moves freely throughout.  On arrival, look for wildlife as you drive toward the Tarangire Safari Lodge,  beautifully situated on a bluff overlooking the Tarangire River, arriving in time for lunch. This afternoon, with your cameras loaded and binoculars at the ready, you will head out for another game drive. The drivers will have learned about the morning's best spottings, and this will determine which direction you head.  Because you never know where the animals may be or what they will be doing, there is always the possibility of encountering fantastic wildlife in the late afternoon light.  Return to the Tarangire Safari Lodge for dinner and overnight. 

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Tarangire Safari Lodge (or similar)

    Up close and personal
    Day 3      Tarangire National Park

    You will have a full day of game-viewing and exploring Tarangire National Park in a 4WD safari vehicle.  The park is spectacular in the dry season (July to October) when many of the migratory species come back to the permanent waters of Tarangire River. Huge herds of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, eland, and oryx gather to stay in Tarangire until the onset of the rains when they migrate again to good grazing areas. The calving season falls in the early months of the year, through January, February, and March, taking advantage of the abundant fresh grass during the rainy season, so you are quite likely to see this year's youngsters in the herds. The park is also noted for its prolific bird life, the occasional sighting of cheetah, and the rare African Wild Dog. Return to the Lodge for brunch, relaxing at the camp during the hottest hours of the day, before setting out again for a late afternoon game drive.  Alternately, you may choose to relax at the lodge and enjoy its facilities.  Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge or similar.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Tarangire Safari Lodge (or similar)

    A tiny new addition to the herd
    Day 4      Tarangire / Lake Manyara

    Today, drive from Tarangire to Lake Manyara National Park, taking in and stopping for game and photo ops along the way.  Lake Manyara is a small, but wonderfully-scenic safari park, often overlooked by touring groups.  It's superb for birdwatching and also a good area for finding elephants, as well as spotting the elusive Lake Manyara tree-climbing lion. In addition to the lions, the park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world.  Close to the park gates in the north, woodlands are fed by freshwater flowing through the porous volcanic rock, but further south, around Msasa River, the volcanic rock gives way to ancient, crystalline rock, creating impressive waterfalls down the dramatic western escarpment of the Rift Valley. The park is ideal for a few hours of exploring, a picnic lunch along the way, and wildlife viewing before heading to this evening's camp.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp (or similar)

    Lake Manyara's many baboon troops
    Day 5      Hadzabe People

    Get ready for a different kind of day!  After breakfast, your guide will lead your trip to meet one of the local tribes. Take an afternoon hike to meet the Hadzabe people (note: participants will want to pack a manageable load of photo equipment for the hike). Due to their nomadic lifestyle, it can be difficult to predict where to find them, but your guide will know where to look. The Hadzabe tend to shadow the movements of wildlife, as they are hunters and rely upon migrating herds for  food.  Spend the day learning about their lifestyles and traditions and possibly visiting the caves where they sleep nights while hunting. The Hadzabe are of Cushitic background and are very similar to their Kalahari Bushmen relatives. They still use bow and arrow for hunting and still speak a click-based language. With subjects' permission, of course, you'll be sure to get many compelling photos of the Hadzabe people as they teach you about their lifestyle and interact with your group. 

    While traveling through this area, you may also see smaller game such as dik-dik and lesser kudu. Dinner and overnight at the lodge, prior to the next day's onward journey to another highlight of the trip:  three days in the Serengeti.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp (or similar)

    The nomadic Hadzabe
    Day 6-8      Serengeti National Park

    After an early breakfast, travel west toward the Serengeti. On the way, you will stop at Olduvai Gorge to visit the site where Mary and Louis Leakey first discovered the remains of Zinjanthropus bosei, a distant ancestor of man believed to be 1.8 million years old.  They also found Australopithecus,  a species that became extinct about a million years ago, as well as fossilized footprints that date back 3.6 million years.  From here, the predator-rich plains of the Serengeti reveal themselves before you as you go on a game drive through the park toward the central plains, arriving at your bush camp just before dusk, stopping along the way for game viewing and photo ops as they reveal themselves. The Serengeti is a vast plain of more than 5,750 square miles and full of different features, predators, prey, and a number of species of birds. Your driver-guide will choose your route based on his extensive knowledge of the park and local conditions. Your trip might include driving along the banks of the Grumeti River in search of basking lions, tracking cheetah through the Gol Kopjes, or hunting leopard (with camera) along the Seronera River. 

    After the first day, enjoy two more full days of game viewing, with picnic lunches taken out on the trail, in the most famous national park in Africa.  Explore the southern plains and western hills where at this time of the year around two million wildebeest, zebra, and a vast assortment of other plains animals congregate to feast on the nutrient-rich grasses growing with the developing rains. This is among the most impressive and dramatic wildlife spectacles on earth. There is an optional balloon safari available, but be sure to book in advance.  Breakfasts, picnic lunches, dinners, and three overnights at Serengeti Medium Camp.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Serengeti Medium (or similar)

    Cheetah on the hunt
    Day 9      Ngorongoro Crater

    Leave the Serengeti and drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a World Heritage Site and home to nearly 25,000 animals, for an exciting half-day of game viewing. Here you have a very good chance of spotting the so-called Big Five (lion, elephant, endangered black rhino, cape buffalo, and leopard), plus countless other African mammal species. You will also visit a Maasai Village and learn about their unique culture.  Head to the lodge just before dusk.  Dinner and overnight at Rhino Lodge located near  the crater rim. 

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ngorongoro Farm House (or similar)

    Cape Buffalo, one of Africa's
    Day 10      Ngorongoro Crater

    After breakfast, spend another half-day in the crater. This caldera, formed by a collapsed volcano, hosts a unique cross-section of ecosystems, from Soda Lake to the savannah, and is home to almost every major species of African mammal. Impressively, our presence will not alarm the wildlife, allowing for close proximity game viewing and great close-up photo ops. Return to the lodge for lunch. Later in the afternoon, go on an optional guided hike along the rim of the crater into the Melaga depression.  End the roughly two- to three-hour hike with a stunning view over the Serengeti short grass plains.  Return to the Rhino Lodge for your last night in Africa.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Ngorongoro Farm House (or similar)

    Day 11      Ngorongora / Arusha / Onward

    Today your safari comes to an end.  Depart for Arusha in the morning after breakfast.  You may have time to walk around the city before being transferred to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight home. Or consider extending your stay with a visit to  beautiful Zanzibar Island.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Hotel day room in Arusha (TBD)



     
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