Traveling off the beaten path takes you to East Africa’s renowned game reserves, stunning landscapes, and relics from mankind’s prehistoric age. A classic African safari to Tanzania reveals the “Big Five” in their natural habitats; from Lake Manyara to the plains of the Serengeti.
Safari Game Drives:View the Big Five on game drives in our open-top safari vehicles in Tarangire, Lake Manyara and Serengeti national parks – great for photography!
Hot Air Balloon at Dawn, Serengeti:Soar above the grasslands of the Serengeti at dawn in a hot air balloon, followed by a champagne breakfast.
Enjoy an African Sundowner:Experience authentic African safari “sundowners” at exclusive Tanzanian game reserves.
Serengeti National Park – Two Views:Spend four nights in magnificent Serengeti National Park – two nights in a “Rondavel”-styled lodge in the east and two nights at a luxury tented camp in the western corridor.
Day 1: Arrive Arusha, Tanzania
Welcome to Tanzania; arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to the lodge in Arusha for dinner and overnight. Although most flights land at Kilimanjaro Airport after the sun has set, we may say, The Snows of Kilimanjaro will cross your mind as you journey the short distance from the airport to your hotel overlooking the smooth waters of Lake Duluti. (Dinner)
Day 2: Tarangire National Park
Dreams become the reality this morning as you depart your hotel in safari vehicles for your first experience at wildlife viewing. Your destination today is prehistoric-looking Tarangire National Park, where you’ll see the African wilderness as the early explorers did – without crowds! One of the best parks on the northern circuit to see elephants, Tarangire’s wildlife population includes herds of zebra, jackal, giraffe, gazelle, and buffalo. Arrive at your safari lodge in time for lunch and an afternoon game drives into a landscape dotted with baobab trees and umbrella-thorn acacias. Join us for a welcome reception and dinner at the lodge tonight. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 3: Tarangire Game Drives
Spend a full day in Tarangire National Park on morning and afternoon game drives that reveal an honest glimpse of an unspoiled Africa. Home to over 550 species of birds (one of the highest number of bird species of any world habitat), and thousands of game animals, Tarangire boasts one of the highest concentrations of African wildlife during the dry season. Your open-top safari vehicle provides you with an intimate viewing of this natural wilderness, considered one of Africa’s finest. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 4: Lake Manyara National Park
Observe gazelle, waterbuck, impala, leopard and other year-round inhabitants of Tarangire National Park on a morning game drive. Depart Tarangire and travel to Lake Manyara National Park, considered a birdwatcher’s delight for the pink flamingos and great birds of prey; it is world-renowned among ornithologists. On the way, stop at a local school, where you’ll have an opportunity to interact with students and their teachers. Arrive at your lodge, set on the Rift Valley escarpment overlooking the park and valley below. Look for tree-climbing lions on an exciting afternoon game drive. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 5: Nature and Village Walk at Manyara – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Encounter Lake Manyara’s flora and fauna this morning on a nature walk throughout the tranquil grounds of your lodge, whose interesting architecture was inspired by the area’s renowned birdlife and the geometric patterns of traditional Masai encampments. Visit the village of Mto wa Mbu, set on the banks of the river of the same name, for an in-depth look at tribal life in the African bush; take a look inside a typical home. After lunch, travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to Ngorongoro Crater – one of the largest concentrations of permanent wildlife in Africa. Built into the dormant volcano’s rim, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge takes advantage of its spectacular location high above the crater floor; private terraces open up to stunning views of the “lost world” far below – an incredible sight from dawn to dusk. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater
Experience the true spirit of Africa, the Africa of bygone days, when you explore wildlife-rich Ngorongoro Crater, long regarded as Africa’s “Garden of Eden.” Within the walls of the crater lie short grasslands, swamps, forests and a freshwater lake, inspiring continual migration of animals in and out of the crater. From the comfort of your four-wheel drive vehicle, you’ll have an opportunity to spot the Big Five – buffalo, elephant, leopard, the black maned lion and the rare black rhinoceros – as well as hyenas, baboons, and flamingos. Enjoy a delightful picnic lunch in the heart of this ancient volcanic crater; it is sure to be a memorable highlight of your safari. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 7: Olduvai Gorge / Masai Village – Serengeti National Park
First stop today is Olduvai Gorge, where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the fossilized remains of the earliest known man, believed to be about 1.8 million years old. Visit a Masai village in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, then set off for the grasslands of the Serengeti; be prepared for bumps and bounces along the unpaved roads. You’ll have many opportunities for wildlife viewing en route to your safari lodge, styled after traditional Masai dwellings. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 8: Hot Air Balloon Above the Serengeti
Awake for an exciting and romantic hot air balloon flight at dawn that takes you over the vast Serengeti savanna, observing the early morning rituals of the reserve’s abundant wildlife from aloft. Enjoy a champagne breakfast in the bush upon landing. An afternoon game drive brings you into the heart of the Serengeti’s endless plains where you may spot hyena, leopard, cheetah, zebra, elephant, hippos, rhinoceros, buffalo, jackals, and the graceful reedbuck. Be on the lookout for pride of lions as this is one of the best places on the continent to see them! Have dinner at your leisure tonight, savoring a colorful African sunset. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 9: Kirawira Tented Camp
Travel to the western corridor of the Serengeti for a memorable two-night stay in Kirawira Tented Camp. Your tented camp accommodations are the height of luxury in the African bush, commanding extraordinarily intimate views of “the soul of the African wilderness.” The camp is built in the remote region of the Grumeti River, where throughout the year game animals may include wildebeest, lion, buffalo, cheetah, warthogs, giraffes, and zebra. Go on a game drive this afternoon with an experienced guide who takes you across undisturbed open grasslands for exclusive wildlife encounters. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 10: Western Serengeti Safari Game Drives
Rise early for a morning game drive as a new day dawns in the Serengeti, witnessing first-hand vivid vignettes representative of Africa’s circle of life. Your safari guide will share fascinating insights into the poignant everyday rituals of the wildlife residing within the African bush. Game-watching this afternoon precedes traditional sundowner cocktails at Kirawira poolside, offering an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual side of your safari experience in magnificent Tanzania. (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
Day 11: Journey Home
In the morning after breakfast transfer to grumeti airstrip to catch your morning flight to Arusha, where your safari ends; a day room has been reserved for you at Serena Mountain Village, Arusha, set within the lovely gardens of a tree-shaded coffee plantation overlooking Lake Duluti. Join us for lunch at the hotel. After lunch transfer from Serena Mountain Village, Arusha, to Kilimanjaro International Airport. (Breakfast and Lunch)