Cultural, Wildlife & More – 10 days
Wildlife, Culture & More Safari combines many of the key features the Serengeti has to offer adventurous and culturally curious travelers and more. It concentrates on game viewing combined with cultural immersion experiences, recreational activities involving a climb into an ancient Rift Valley canyon, bike riding and geo-tourism. You will see fascinating and powerful big mammals of the Great Migration that includes 2.5 wildebeest, zebras and antelope that circulate continuously through the Serengeti in search of water and green grasses. You will also see the big cats, the Big Five (rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard) and other unique and exotic wildlife that live in and around the Serengeti. The Wildlife and More safari also includes views of unique geological features such as the Ngorongoro Crater, Ngorongoro Highlands and the Great Rift Valley. A visit to the ‘birthplace of humanity,’ Olduvai Gorge, where the famed archeologists Louis and Mary Leakey unearthed the 1.8 million year old human skeleton in the 1950’s is included in this safari.
July 04, Aug 01, December 04
Day 1: Arrival – Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha City
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), our representative will meet you and transfer you to your hotel for an overnight stay. Your professional safari guide will brief you during dinner on various aspects of your itinerary.
Ldoging: African Tulip (Breakfast)
Day 2: Arusha City – Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, your driver-guide will pick you up from your hotel and you will enjoy the 2hrs leisure drive southwestwards to Tarangire NP. In this region in Tanzania, Hemmingway often went on big game hunting safaris. After the formation of its national parks in 1970, Tanzania turned the seasonal marshes and the endless savannah that you see today into, once again, profitable hunting grounds. Today however, cameras have thankfully replaced elephant guns.
The Tarangire National Park has the highest concentration of elephants in North – Tanzania and you can view these animals all year round where elephant herd populations can reach as many as 3,000. The Tarangire River has water all year around. During the dry season (July-October), many animals from the surrounding areas come to the river to drink. If you visit the park during the dry season, you will witness an unforgettable natural wonder as you observe exotic big mammals such as lions, giraffes, buffaloes, wildebeests, zebras and various types of antelopes such as gazelles. During the dry season, Tarangire is a haven for bird watchers with over 550 different species including the Maasai Ostrich-the world’s largest bird. Around lunchtime, you will stop at a suitable picnic place. The afternoon is dedicated to more wildlife watching.
Lodging: Maramboi Tented Camp (3 Meals)
Day 3: Lake Natron Waterfalls & Lake Tour
You will depart early to Lake Natron. This day involves a strenuous climb for the well fit through crags of rock formed millions of years ago in the Rift Valley to bathe in cool waterfalls deep within a Rift Valley canyon. Wear hiking shoes that will get wet. You will have lunch while sitting on the rocks, enjoying the beautiful view of the waterfalls. In the late afternoon, you will head out for tour of Lake Natron. Lake Natron is an alkaline lake that supports thousands and thousands of flamingos.
Later drive to the camp for evening leisure and hot dinner.
Lodging: Lake Natron Halisi Tented Camp (3 Meals)
Day 4: Lake Natron- Manyara National Park Nature Walk and Game Drive
You will depart early to Lake Manyara National Park for nature walk inside the park and later proceed with game drive. The park is green throughout the year because of its underground water sources. Its verdant color attracts hundreds of spectacular varieties of migratory and wetland birds flying overhead. It also attracts huge populations of flamingos because its shallow alkaline-saline (salt) soda lake creates an ideal environment for microorganisms to grow that flamingos’ feed upon. Manyara’s natural habitat also includes large troops of baboons, velvet monkeys, blue monkeys, and tree climbing lions, hippos, giraffes, zebras, buffalos, warthogs, impalas, Thomson-gazelles, and Grant gazelles. Leopards, cheetahs, rock/tree hyrax, kudus, elands, bushbucks, waterbucks, and dik-diks also live in this park.
Lodging: Karatu Country Lodge (3 Meals)
Day 5: Lake Eyasi Cultural Visit
Depart for cultural visit with the Hadzabe Bushmen, one of the most remote and last hunter-gatherer tribes on earth. We participate in various interactive daily activities with the Hadzabe, including bush trek, hunting, honey gathering, baobab fruit foraging, tribal chanting, dancing and sitting around their daily campfires. Time spent with the Hadzabe Bushmen, as with other cultural groups visited, is not choreographed in a specific way. We just join in whatever they are doing during their day. Things need to stay flexible because, if game is near, the Hadzabe dash off into the bush for it and we join them. In the late afternoon, we join the Datoga tribe, another well preserved traditional tribe in the Lake Eyasi area, and participate in whatever they are doing, such as making yogurt in a calabash, milking cows, making butter and joining their traditional dances.
Later in the evening, drive to Karatu for dinner and overnight.
Lodging: Karatu Country Lodge (3 Meals)
Day 6: Olduvai Gorge – Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, you depart to the endless Serengeti plains by way of the lush Ngorongoro Crater Highlands where fertile soils grow crops such as wheat, corn and coffee. En route to the Serengeti, you will visit Olduvai Gorge where the famous archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey discovered evidence of the oldest prehistoric human civilization and a human skull dating back 1.8 million years ago. There is also a small museum that documents their work. If you would prefer not visiting Olduvai Gorge, your game drive will be extended in the Serengeti Plain.
Afterwards, you will proceed further into to the Serengeti’s endless plains. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai word “siringitu”, means “endless plains”. You will see why once you see its ocean of grassland savannas stretching to the horizon as far as your eye can see. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest and most well preserved on earth. The essential features of climate, vegetation, fauna and flora have barely changed over the past million years. The patterns of life, death, adaptation and migration are as old as the hills themselves.
Lodging: Kati Kati Tented Camp (3 Meals)
Day 7: Serengeti National Park
Before breakfast, you depart for an early morning game drive and return later to the lodge for hot breakfast. After enjoying the leisurely morning, you depart with picnic lunch for a full day game drive. Only the Kopjes, bizarre rock formations created by the weathering of granite outcrops, interrupt the Serengeti Plain landscape. This is often where leopards and the other big cats can be found and you will have the opportunity to view these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
One of the greatest natural phenomenon on earth that takes place in the Serengeti is the “Great Migration,” for which the Serengeti is perhaps most famous. The Great Migrations includes more than 2.5 million wildebeest driven by ancient rhythms and natural instincts following water sources in a clockwise rotation traveling 1,800 miles per year. The Serengeti is also the best destination for viewing big cats and other wildlife species.
After a full day game drive, drive back to the camp for evening leisure and a hot dinner.
Lodging: Kati Kati Tented Camp (3 Meals)
Day 8: Serengeti National Park –Crater Rim Walking Safari
After breakfast, depart with picnic lunch for final game drive in Serengeti NP. After lunch, we will drive in the direction of the Ngorongoro Crater. As soon as you have reached the edge of the crater rim, the crater appears half a mile below you inviting you to gaze at this jaw dropping natural wonder. When you reach its edge and view its 100 square mile expanse, it is a sight to behold.
Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest volcano caldera formed three million years ago and is considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world and one of Africa’s most remarkable geological sites. A caldera is a volcano in which water has leached through the soil and rocks below the volcanic cone causing it to drop to the bottom of the former mountain.
We will be getting out of the safari jeep to enjoy the view while walking along the crater rim for an hour. Afterwards, you will proceed to Karatu for evening leisure and hot dinner.
Lodging: Karatu Country Lodge (3 Meals)
Day 9: Olmoti/Empakai Hiking Adventure – Nainokanoka Maasai Cultural Visit
After breakfast, we depart northside of Ngorongoro Conservation Area where Olmoti and Empakai Craters are located. It is arguably the most beautiful place within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. From the two crater rims you can see the active volcanic mountain, Oldonyo Lengai in a far distance. Looking down into craters, it often appears pink from flamingos that migrate from Lake Natron in the north to Lake Manyara in the south. If you would like to do hiking to the floor of one craters, it takes about 35-45 minutes to descend and 60+ minutes to ascend. Hikers are always accompanied by armed guards. If you don’t want to hike into one the craters, you can enjoy a pleasant walking safari above its rim in the lush Ngorongoro Highlands while watching Maasai graze their cattle.
After lunch, you will visit Nainokanoka, a Maasai village located near the two craters. From there, you will have surreal view of the Ngorongoro Crater rim from its eastern side where the moist warm air from the Indian Ocean meets the warm dry air of the Serengeti, creating a fascinating cloud formation curling into the crater.
The highlight of your visit to Nainokanoka will be meeting the elder of a four-generation Maasai family boma (homestead), meet his 7 wives, his 50 children and see their manyata’s (igloo-like homes). As this boma is a bit off the beaten track, it is not frequented by outsiders, creating a great opportunity to meet a Maasai family that is as excited to meet you as you are to meet them.
Lodging: Ngorongoro Farm House (3 Meals)
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, we drive to the Ngorongoro Crater and descend into it for a full day of game viewing. Ngorongoro Crater was formed over 3 million years ago. It is inhabited by a unique ecosystem inhabited by more than 25,000 animals. In the grass steppes and Acacia forest you will find almost every type of animal from the East African savanna. The Big Five (rhino, elephant, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard) and most of the animal species found in the Serengeti, including zebra, hippos, wildebeest, and cheetahs, can be viewed close up.
The Ngorongoro Crater ecosystem maintains the historic balance between people and nature in a way that is not possible in other parks.
Later in the evening drive back to Karatu for evening leisure and hot dinner.
Overnight at Ngorongoro Farm House (3 Meals)
Day 11: Mto Wa Mbu Cultural Biking & Local Lunch – Kilimanjaro International Airport
After breakfast, you depart to Mto Wa Mbu, home to over 18,000 inhabitants from 120 different tribes, for a biking excursion followed by hot local lunch.
If you are not interested in biking you can choose one of the activities below;
Forest Hike (2.5 to 3hrs)
Nature Walk (1hr to 1.5hrs)
Village Walk (2.5 to 3hrs)
Later, proceed to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight to the next destination or back home.
What the Price Includes:
- Medical Evacuation Insurance (covering Emergency Ground Flying Doctors).
- 10-nights accommodation in hotels and other lodgings, as specified in the itinerary
- Meals as specified for each day of the itinerary
- Arusha accommodation on Bed & Breakfast
- Transportation by private FWD vehicle, equipped with roof hatches, VHF radio, and GSM contact with our base in Arusha
- Lake Natron gate entry fees
- Park and Crater entry fees
- The services of a professional safari guide
- Manyara NP nature walk
- Olmoti crater /Empakai crater hike and Maasai cultural visit
- Mto Wa Mbu Biking
- Lake Eyasi cultural visit
- Olduvai Gorge Visit
- Crater Rim Walking Safari
- Lake Natron Waterfalls and lake tour
- Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
- One (1) bottle of pure drinking water per day throughout the safari
What the Price Does not Include:
- International airfare and other travel costs such as visas and vaccination fees, and additional travel insurance.
- Optional Serengeti balloon safari (US $539)
- Holiday Supplement
- Any increase in government taxes prior to the start of your trip
- All items of a personal nature (e.g. beverages, laundry, etc.)
- Gratitude for the safari guides (at your discretion)