DAY 1 ARRIVE at KIA - ARUSHA
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, Planet Wild Safaris representative will pick you up with a private 4×4 safari vehicle and transfer to Arusha (approximately 50km or 31miles) a 45 to 50 minutes drive on a tarmac road for overnight Lake Duluti Serena Hotel or similar. (Bed and Breakfast Basis)
Day 2: Arusha – Tarangire National Park
Ride in specially designed, open-top safari vehicles to Tarangire National Park, which boasts one of the highest concentrations of wildlife in Africa. You will see large herds of elephants, different types of antelopes, bird life and huge baobab trees. Relax at your safari lodge after lunch before the late afternoon game drive, and swap sightings at the welcome reception and dinner, Accommodation at Tarangire Safari Lodge or similar.
Tarangire National Park is the most Southern of the accessible parks of northern Tanzania. Named after River Tarangire, the park covers an area of 2,600 sq.km. Much of the park is open grassy savannah, dotted with splendid specimens of Baobab trees, but there are also areas of swamp in the south.The park is also spectacular in dry season when many of the migratory wildlife species come back to the permanent waters of the river until the onset of the rains when they migrate again for better pastures. This animal phenomenon takes place from June to September.
Possesses, second only to the Serengeti/Ngorongoro ecosystem, the highest concentration of wildlfe during the dry season. Is one of the few protected area in Tanzania with a hydrological regime that ensures a year round water source for the park’s most exceptional resource, the Tarangire River. Is known for its river valley, wetlands, gently rolling hills, rocky out crops, acacia woodlands, and numerous baobab trees. Is the only National park in Tanzania’s northern circuit where one can easily view a large concentration of elephant all year round. Is one of the few protected areas in Tanzania where one can see oryx.
Day 3: Tarangire game drives – Tarangire National Park
Enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in Tarangire National Park. It’s one of the best parks for elephant watching, and is home to hundreds of birdlife and game species Accommodation at Tarangire Safari Lodge or similar.
Day 4: Flamingos at Lake Manyara National Park
Look for gazelles, waterbucks, impalas, and leopards on a morning game drive. Then travel to Lake Manyara (Jungle and Lake), famed for flamingos and birds of prey. Enjoy free time at your lodge, set on the Rift Valley escarpment overlooking the park and valley 1,000 feet below. Enjoy your lunch before driving down with your pop up Safari vehicle to the Park gate. Keep a sharp eye for tree-climbing lions lazing among the limbs of acacia trees on an afternoon game drive. Troops of baboons, school of hippos and the elephants of the jungle are seen in their natural activities. Drive back to your lodge before 6 PM for dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena Lodge or similar.
Lake Manyara National Park/Biosphere Reserve (80,300 acres/32,500 hectacres), a slim sanctuary extending from the northern and western parts of Lake Manyara to the top of the western rift valley wall, is 75 miles (120 kilometers) southwest of Arusha, just south of the main road to the Serengeti Plains. Verreaux’s eagles, vultures, storks, swifts and swallows wing by lodgings atop the spectacular cliffs overlooking the lake. Springs in the park’s northern end support a dense groundwater forest of giant figs and mahogany, which shelters blue monkeys, baboons, bush bucks, common water bucks, elephants, and silvery-cheeked horn bills. South of the groundwater forest, acacia woodland and open grassland are frequented by buffalo, wildebeests, impalas, giraffes, zebras, lions, and gray backed fiscal-shrikes. Streams attract pythons, Nile monitor lizards and mountain wagtails. Lake Manyara, at 3,150 feet (960 meters) varies in salinity levels with wetter and drier climate cycles. At times it is replete with flamingos, pelicans, storks and cormorants. The hippo pool, where visitors may get out of their vehicles, is located on a freshwater stream that enters the lake at its northern tip.
Day 5: Ngorongoro Conservations Area
After early breakfast you will go back to the Lake Manyara Jungle and see the early jungle-animals activities. Drive out of the park, visit Mto wa Mbu Market (On foot), red bananas are found here, interact with the local people, and a guided tour to see their traditional activities like farming, local brews, their food (you can even test), The Maasai Village and interact with them. Your lunch will be saved at Gibbs Farm (The most delicious, fresh food you ever tested before) on your way to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. After lunch you will drive along the rim of Ngorongoro Crater, one of the largest calderas in the world, which contains a variety of ecosystems and an astounding concentration of birds and animals. You will check in at you lodge and relax before you go for dinner. Accommodation at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or similar.
Day 6: Wildlife in Ngorongoro Crater Floor
Please make sure you liaise with your guide to request for a very early breakfast because the early morning crater tour is always great time to see predators in action! In the crater floor you will encounter massive herds of zebra, wildebeest, and gazelles. This area affords an opportunity to spot the Big Five, which includes African elephant, leopard, the black manned lion, buffalo, and the rare black rhinoceros. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the crater. Accommodation at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or similar.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area/World Heritage Site (2,045,200 acres/828,000 hectares) protects wildlife habitat as well as the rights of local Maasai who graze their livestock on about 75 percent of the area.Ngorongoro Crater, 12 miles (19 kilometers) wide, is the world’s largest intact caldera. Before the cataclysmic collapse of its cone 2 million years ago, this volcanic mountain may have been taller than Kilimanjaro. Its rim, which averages 7,600 feet (2,316 meters) elevation, is cloaked in moist montane forest and grassland, hosting elephants, golden-winged and eastern double-collared sunbirds, stonechats and Jackson’s widowbirds. From lodges and campsites on the rim, visitors are driven down to the crater floor for a day-long survey. At 5,600 feet (1,700 meters) elevation, the crater floor is primarily grassland, with patches of spring-fed marshes, freshwater ponds, a salt lake, and small forests. Harboring 20,000 large animals, it is a virtual Noah’s Ark (without giraffes). Great effort has gone into saving the black rhino here, and several dozen are resident. Buffaloes, wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and hartebeest graze the grassland, while elephants roam the wooded areas, and hippos gather in marshes and ponds. Lions, spotted hyenas, and golden and black-backed jackals are easy to find, and servals and cheetahs are sighted rarely. Resident ostriches, crowned cranes, and kori bustards are joined seasonally by migrant flocks of white and Abdim’ s storks. The conservation area also includes two other voluminous craters, six peaks that top 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) and the southeastern corner of the vast Serengeti Plains. Olduvai Gorge, just north of the road to the Serengeti, has yielded hominid fossils key to the study of human evolution. Here sit a museum and shaded picnic sites. Red-and-yellow barbets join less colorful birds here for crumbs, while cheetahs sometimes roam nearby.
Day 7: The Olduvai Gorge discoveries and The Serengeti Plains
Today on your way to Serengeti National Park, you will visit Olduvai Gorge, where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of the earliest known man, an estimated 1.8 million years old. Continue wildlife viewing while driving on the wash roads across the plains to your safari lodge for lunch. Late afternoon your driver guide will take you around Serengeti National Park for the game drives. Accommodation at Serengeti Serena Lodge or similar.
Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering understanding of early human evolution. Excavation work there was pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey in the 1950s and continued into the twenty first century by Professor Fidelis Masao of the Open University of Tanzania supported by Earthwatch, The first artifacts in Olduvai (pebble tools and choppers) date to circa 2 million years ago butfossil remains of human ancestors have been found from as long as 2.5 million years ago. Also located on the rim of the Gorge is the Olduvai Gorge Museum. This Museum presents exhibitions pertaining to the Gorge’s history.
Day 8: Full Day over the Serengeti
Observe wildlife in the first light of day, an African safari thrill. An afternoon game drive on the Serengeti plains may yield sightings of wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinoceros, hippos, buffalos, jackals, and gazelles. This is one of the best places on the continent to see prides of lions. Accommodation at Serengeti Serena Lodge or similar.
The world famous Serengeti National Park (the second largest in Tanzania) occupies about 14,763 sq. kms. The name Serengeti means endless plains and is derived from the Maasai word siringiti. The park lies in a high plateau between the Ngorongoro highlands and the Kenya/Tanzanian border, extending almost to Lake Victoria. It encompasses the main part of the Serengeti ecosystem.
The most famous features of the Serengeti are the spectacular concentration of animals found nowhere else in the world, as well as the annual wildebeest migration. This spectacle sees more than one million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles trek to new grazing grounds. The brief population explosion of wildebeest produces over 8,000 calves a day before the migration begins.
As in all ecosystems the vegetation and types of animals you find are closely correlated. The principal features of the park are the short and long grass open plains in the southeast, the acacia Savannah in the central area, the hilly, more densely wooded northern section, and the extensive woodland and black clay plains, dominated by the central ranges of mountains in the western corridor.
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