THE PERFECT TOUR IF YOU ONLY HAVE 4 DAYS AVAILABLE BUT STILL WANT TO ENJOY THE FAMOUS SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK. YOU WILL ALSO VISIT LAKE MANYARA (OR YOU CAN DO TARANGIRE NP INSTEAD) AND NGORONGORO.
DAY 1: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Depart after breakfast and drive across the Great Rift Valley to Lake Manyara National Park for a full day game drive. Although only 205 sq. miles in size this enchanting park is noted for its beauty and incredibly lush acacia forest of giant fig and mahogany trees, which are home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. The park is also home to a large numbers of buffalos, giraffes, elephants, impalas and a Hippo lake, where large numbers of hippos usually gather. Well known for its birds (over 400 different species), Lake Manyara is one of the few places where you’ll be able to see the Ground Hornbill and the Crested Eagle. This park has become famous for the the climbing lions and the flamingos in the lake shore. The landscapes of these park are absolutely stunning, very different from the Serengeti for example. The game drives are done along the shore of the lake, providing incredible views of giraffes and buffalos in the foreground with the lake, flamingos and flat plains in the horizon. Great photo opportunities! In the afternoon, return to campsite for dinner.
Extra tour recommended: Bycicle ride in Lake Manyara.
Overnight in campsite, tented camp or lodge. Our recommendations are Haven Nature tented camp (budget), Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp (mid-range), Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge (luxury) or Manyara Serena Lodge (Luxury+).
ALTERNATIVE: VISIT TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK INSTEAD.
DAY 2: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Today you’re off to the famous Serengeti National Park, home of the Great Migration. Your drive today is spectacular as you drive up the crater highlands, stopping at the rim for a birds-eye view of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater. Continuing on, as you crest the hillside, spread out before you, as far as the eyes can see, is the vast Serengeti. Serengeti mean “endless plains” in Kiswahili and this 6,900 sq. mile (18,000 sq. km) park is inhabited by more than 2 million large animals including more than a million wildebeest, hundreds of thousands of plains zebras, and Thomson’s gazelles. Large predators including lions, cheetahs, and hyenas are drawn to the area by this abundance of prey which migrate throughout the park. Many smaller animals like rock hyrax, bat eared foxes, mongoose, honey badger, jackals, monkeys, baboons and African hares also inhabit the area along with nearly 500 species of birds.
On the way into the Serengeti, option to stop at the famous Oldupai Gorge, where Dr. Louis and Mary Leakey made their discovery of the first man that walked the earth. After attending a short lecture describing the archeological digs and geology of the gorge, you’ll have time to visit the small museum.
After lunch, afternoon game drive en-route to campsite. Overnight at public campsite or private tented camp / lodge. Our recommendations are Seronera/Lobo public campsite (budget), Ikoma tented camp (mid-range), Kati Kati or Ang’ata camps (Luxury) or Serena Serengeti Lodge (Luxury+).
DAY 3: SERENGETI – NGORONGORO
Today you will wake up very early to do an early morning safari before breakfast, to spot the animals when they are more active and also to have a fantastic sun rise in front of you. The sunrise in the african Savannah is one of the most beautiful experiences one can have.
Extra tour recommended: The wonderful balloon flight over the Serengeti plains.
After the game drive, return to the camp for brunch. In the afternoon, transfer to Ngorongoro, the 8th natural wonder of the world. With walls 2,000 ft high and a crater floor that spreads for 102 sq. miles, the crater is a virtual Noah’s Ark, inhabited by almost every species of wildlife indigenous to East Africa including the rare black rhino. In fact, the crater has the greatest concentration of wild life in the planet. It contains a river, several swamps, a soda lake that, from the top, looks like steam, full of flamingoes, a forest and open plains. The large bull elephants that reside here have extremely large tusk, due to the rich mineral content of the volcanic soil and its grasses. They are the most incredible elephants you’ll ever see in your life.
Arrival in Ngorongoro in the afternoon. Possibility for an afternoon walking safari in Ngorongoro highlands.
Overnight at public campsite or private tented camp / lodge. Our recommendations are Simba public campsite (budget), Rhino Lodge (mid-range), Ang’ata camp (Luxury) or Exploreans / Serena Ngorongoro Lodge (Luxury+).
DAY 4: NGORONGORO CRATER
Very early in the morning, descend down to the crater floor for a day of wildlife viewing in one of the most incredible places on Earth. After a stop for a picnic lunch near the hippo lake, and more wildlife viewing in the afternoon, drive up the steep road out of the crater and return to Arusha.
Option: Add one extra day to visit Oldonyo Sambu Maasai Village:
This is a traditional Maasai Village 40km away from Arusha and not a touristic show. In fact, many visitors to Tanzania consider this visit to be the greatest highlight of their trip. During the tour, you will be guided by a Maasai Chief, who will show you the village, how the Maasai live, their habits, how they cook, how they take care of livestock, what and how they study, dance, etc. Opportunity to watch the village women perform a local traditional dance. The whole experience provides fantastic photo opportunities.
This tour can depart any day of the year.