Note: Departures on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Daily departures with a group of 2 or more.
Depart Arusha on Day 1 and travel to Lake Manyara National Park where you will enjoy your first game drive. Travel to Serengeti on Day 2 and rise early on Day 3 for game drives through the park before heading to your next accommodation on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Descend into the crater on Day 4 for more incredible wildlife viewing before returning to Arusha, where your adventure ends with an accommodation drop-off.
Day by Day Itinerary:
*Please note: The order of the days MAY change due to group size, and availability of Camp Sites or Lodges.
Day 1 - Arusha - Lake Manyara National Park (L/D)
Depart Arusha in the morning after breakfast for Lake Manyara National Park, in the spectacular Great Rift Valley, for some game viewing.
Lake Manyara National Park is small, beautiful and richly diverse. Its size makes it possible to see almost all of its highlights in a day, from its pods of hippos wallowing in the lake alongside thousands of pink flamingoes, to its rich wildlife and famous tree-climbing lions.
*Note: You will have the option today to visit the Mto wa mbu village for an opportunity to visit their farms, huts, artisan shops and their local market. However, the visit will only be made if the entire tour group agrees to go. Additionally, each person will be required to pay an extra fee for this visit, since it is not included in any of the travel packages.
Approx. transit time: 2½ hours
Budget Package: Overnight in Jambo Campsite or similar
Lodge Package: Overnight in Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge or similar
Day 2 - Lake Manyara - Serengeti National Park (B/L/D)
After breakfast, take your picnic lunch box and leave for the UNESCO World heritage site of Serengeti National Park with its endless open plains of grasslands stretching far into the horizon. En route, we stop at Olduvai Gorge, the “cradle of mankind”, where the Leakey family uncovered the fossil of Homo habilis who lived 1.75 million years ago. We also make a stop at a Masai Village and pass through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which was created to accommodate the needs of the Maasai people and which tests the idea that humans leading a pastoral lifestyle can coexist with wildlife. Finally, enter the park and head to your lodge/camp in the heart of the Serengeti for dinner.
Approx. transit time: 4 hours
Budget Package: Overnight in Pimbi Camp or similar
Lodge Package: Overnight at Seronera Lodge or Similar
Day 3 - Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Crater Rim (B/L/D)
Wake up at 6am for early morning game drives in Serengeti before breakfast. With its wide-open spaces, bright blue skies and creature-filled landscape, you will discover why the fabled Serengeti typifies the dream of “Old Africa”. Large prides of lions laze in the long grasses, families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trumpet to each other across the plains, while giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland and the whole range of African wildlife present themselves in awe-inspiring numbers.
Then after breakfast check out and take your picnic lunch box. Enjoy some last game viewing in Serengeti National Park en route to the world famous Ngorongoro Crater rim. Upon arrival, settle down at your stunning lodge/camp, situated on the rim of the crater. Have dinner and overnight.
Approx. transit time: 3 hours
Budget Package: Overnight in Simba Camp or similar
Lodge Package: Overnight in Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge or similar
Note: A warm jacket or sweater is highly recommended as the nights can be chilly at high altitudes.
Day 4 - Ngorongoro Crater Floor - Drive back to Arusha (B/L)
Today we descend 2,000 feet into the giant caldera of this extinct volcano, considered as ‘Africa’s Eden’ and the ‘8th Natural Wonder of the World’. This magnificent natural amphitheater contains the largest concentration of animals in all of Africa. The rich pasture and permanent water on the Crater floor supports a population of some 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. Prides of lion, black rhino and elephant share this land with the legendary Maasai tribesmen. Because the grasses are short, game is easily spotted and can be approached quite closely. You'll have a fabulous time on the floor of the crater observing wildlife in this ageless World Heritage Site.
Take a break for lunch at Ngoitoktok spring before proceeding with some more game viewing and then ascending the crater to drive back to Arusha, where we will drop you off at the accommodation of your choice.
Approx. transit time: 4 hours
Camping Option: If you book the camping option, the accommodation is on public, government-owned campgrounds. Please note, when camping you may be required to assemble your own tent. Camping tents do not have additional inside mosquito nets, however, the door and windows have mosquito proofing.
Sleeping Bag: Sleeping bags can be hired for $10USD per day.
Please note that the accommodations during your safari will be rustic and typical of the region. Camping will be in mobile tents, and the lodge accommodations will be a mixture of mid-range traditional lodges and tented lodges.
Suggested Packing List:
Pack as lightly as possible since there is limited space for luggage and you will not want to carry extra weight. Pack light-colored clothing, safari pants and shirts, sun hat, sunglasses, sun block, insect repellent, comfortable shoes, sandals, warm clothing, wool hat, scarf, rain poncho, warm socks, sweater, thermals, bathing suit, money belt, flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory cards (there is limited electricity available during some parts of the trip), waterproof bags for your camera, hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit, toiletries, rehydration powder, water bottle, contact lenses & glasses, electrical current adapters, earplugs, travel pillow, money pouch. Bring a small day-pack to carry your camera and personal items.
Bring extra cash for snacks, water, and souvenirs along the way. DON'T FORGET THE ESSENTIALS: original passport plus a copy, visas (if applicable), yellow fever certificate, insurance card, malaria pills, prescription medications.