Day 1 Arusha – Lake Manyara National Park
– You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and drive to Lake Manyara National Park for game viewing and drive out to Lake Manyara Serena for lunch, after lunch proceed with game viewing. Dinner and Overnight at 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 2 Manyara-Ngorongoro-
– After early breakfast drive to Ngorongoro Crater for full day crater tour, ascend to the rim of the crater. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Serena Lodge or similar. Ngorongoro Conservation Area/World Heritage Site (2,045,200 acres/828,000 hectacres) 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 harebeests 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 3 Ngorongoro – Tarangire National Park -Arusha
– To that day you will drive to Tarangire National Park with lunch boxes for a half day game drive, later proceed to Arusha drop off at you hotel/lodge.
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.
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