Karibu Mgeni (that's Swahili for "Welcome!"); your safari begins. Here you will be met at the airport in Arusha by your guide and transferred to the your game lodge for your overnight.
Ask us for information on exploring Arusha and its environs for early arrivals and the last day prior to departure.
Welcome to Tanzania and your game lodge
Lodging: Mount Meru Game Lodge (or similar)
Day 2 Tarangire National Park
Your first African day dawns, and your true adventure begins! After breakfast, depart for Tarangire National Park in your four-wheel drive vehicles. Tarangire retains a real air of undiscovered Africa. Perhaps it is the vast number of baobab trees that first catch your eye as you enter the park. 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 your binoculars at the ready, you will head out for your afternoon game drive. The drivers will have learned the best sightings in the morning, and this will determine which direction you will head. 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 that grew 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. This is not an amusement park, so you never know where the animals may be or what they will be doing. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Safari Lodge or similar.
Arise early for breakfast, then depart for Manyara Ranch Conservancy. Situated smack dab in the center of a critical linkage between Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks in northern Tanzania, known as the Kwakuchinja Wildlife Corridor, here you have opportunities for game walks, birding walks, and a night game drive in an area that animals habitually use to get from one park to the other. On your second day here, you will visit nearby Lake Manyara, studded with pink flamingoes this time of year.
You'll spend a wonderful three days in the amidst the predators and prey on the plains of the Serengeti. At either time of year, there is no better place to be to witness the interplay of predator and prey during the migration of millions of ungulates that follow the patterns of rain and grass growth on the Serengeti. Depending on the time of year, your activities will vary as described below:
SEPT 2012: Ensconced in the delightful Serengeti Simba Lodge (or similar), you enjoy ringside seats at the magnificent migration event. The area should be buzzing with game, with time to drive to central Serengeti, great at this time of year for cheetahs and lion, then to drive further north to track the migration. This lodge is simple but the views are stunning, the food is great, and the pool is refreshing.
FEB 2013: Ensconced in the delightful Ndutu Lodge (or similar), you enjoy ringside seats at the magnificent migration event, practically on your door step. This is the most famous migration location outside of the Northern River crossing. Because the migration is ever-present in the southern Serengeti from the end of December through March, the predators are around in full force. This is the best place to be and will require very little scouting around as it all happens right here.
You might consider taking an early morning balloon safari while here, returning to camp before your morning game drive begins.
You'll see cheetahs and many other predators pursuing their prey
After breakfast, we depart the Serengeti area, with game viewing en route to Ngorongoro Crater, a truly magical place where the Leakeys discovered the hominoid remains of a 1.8-million-year-old skeleton of Australopithecus boisei, one of the distinct links of the human evolutionary chain. Excavated fossils show that the area is one of the oldest sites of hominoid habitation in the world. You will spend the night in a comfortable area farm house, with a visit into Ngorongoro Crater while here, as well as a game walk with an area conservation ranger.
You'll see hippos of the Ngorongoro Crater
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Lodging: Ngorongoro farm house (or similar)
Day 10 - 11 Lake Eyasi and the Hadzabe
Get ready for an exciting day! After breakfast, you will break camp and drive to the Lake Eyasi area. On these next two days you will visit the Datoga and Hadzabe pastoralist tribes. Due to their nomadic lifestyle, it is difficult to predict where you will find them, but your guide will know where to look. The Hadzabe tend to shadow the movements of the wildlife, as they are hunters and rely upon the migrating herds for food. Spend time 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. While traveling through this area, you may also see smaller game such as dik-dik and lesser kudu. You'll spend two nights at a comfortable area lodge.
Meet and interact with nomadic Hadzabe tribespeople
After breakfast, leave for Arusha. If you are leaving for home today, you may have time in the city (with a hotel day room available) before transferring to the airport for your flight home. Or, if your schedule permits, extend your stay with a visit to the exotic island of Zanzibar.
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