A Splendid Safari
ITINERARY OF YOUR TRIP
Bags packed with sunscreen and sunglasses, plus plenty of memory cards for the camera, board your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport where you'll be greeted by your guide and transferred the hour's drive to your hotel: Rivertrees Country Inn. Unpack your bags, relax, and enjoy the lovely tranquil setting with gorgeous views of Mount Kilimanjaro. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have also stayed here, so you're in good company! Nestle in for a good night's sleep after the day of intercontinental travel.
Your first full day in East Africa and there is the opportunity to take a day trip to Arusha National Park with your guide. This is one of Tanzania's smaller parks which boasts some heart-stopping scenery and is home to the largest population of giraffe in the whole of Africa. As well as the giraffe, with their gentle loping strides, there are other exotic creatures such as the splendidly odd-looking colobus monkeys and many beautiful birds. You can enjoy the park scenery and admire the flora and fauna in your 4X4, in a canoe on the lakes, or on foot with a walking safari guide. In the afternoon, once you have had your picnic lunch, is the perfect time to walk on the slopes of Mount Meru. This is a dormant volcano which, on a clear day, affords views of Africa's highest peak: Mount Kilimanjaro. Once you have had your fill return to your hotel for a delicious dinner and your last night in Arusha.
Lake Manyara National Park
The aroma of fresh morning coffee as breakfast is being prepared revitalizes the body and soul for the adventures and excitement that lie ahead. Feeling suitably refreshed your safari experience continues in earnest as you are transferred to your next destination: Lake Manyara National Park with your private guide, vehicle and packed picnic lunch.
Lake Manyara National Park is set in a stunning location on the majestic Great Rift Valley floor. Drink in the beautiful views as you tour the park on a safari drive, giving you the chance to spot some of the wildlife that calls this dramatic corner of the earth home. Stop for your picnic lunch when you are ready. After the picnic, continue on your drive keeping your eyes peeled for elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, waterbuck, tree-climbing lions, cheetahs and many more animals in this impressive national park.
Once you have had your fill head towards your accommodation: Lake Manyara Kilima Moja Lodge. Bed down for the night in the luxurious surroundings, where you might like to round off the day's adventures with a dip in the rim-flow pool.
Serengeti National Park
Your safari adventure continues this morning with a game drive to the Ole Serai Camp in the world-famous Serengeti National Park. Head to the exit gate of Lake Manyara National Park, enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and drive around the rim of the crater, down the walls of the extinct volcano and onto the fertile endless grasslands with limitless views of wildlife, landscapes, and local villages.
After a warm welcome, check into your tented suite at The Ole Serai Camp in the center of the National Park and only a few meters away from the Seronera River and hippo pools. The camp is near the renowned Moru Kopjes, rocky outcrops where there is always a good chance of seeing animals. Once settled in, enjoy a spot of lunch before embarking on an afternoon game drive in the incredible Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to the "Big Five" along with the famous annual wildebeest migration. As the sun sets to return to the camp for dinner under the stars and overnight.
Throughout the next few days you are here, you'll have the chance to get up close and personal with some of the animals that are mostly only seen on documentaries, with guided safari drives and birdwatching excursions available in the morning and afternoon. Driving through these grasslands that seem to go on and on forever is incredible, you might see stately herds of elephants; lions lazily lying under the shade of a tree or a very rare glimpse of an endangered and near-extinct rhino. The Serengeti is a birdwatcher's paradise too, with at least 350 different species at home here including 34 raptors.
The last few days of your safari in the Serengeti is free to fill as you wish. Kick back and enjoy this beautiful natural spectacle in your accommodation, birdwatching from a sun-lounger by the pool, or lazing under a tree or in the library as you read a book. Come evening, sip cocktails beside the fire as you watch the setting sun before enjoying fabulous seasonal local and international cuisine.
Today your travels in Tanzania will continue with a safari drive from the Serengeti National Park to Karatu through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. On arrival at your new residence, Ngorongoro Oldeani Lodge, set deep in the rural farmlands, take in blissful views of the landscape from the countryside lodge whilst receiving a warm welcome, a refreshing drink, and a cool towel to rinse away the dust of your journey. Once checked in and settled, enjoy a late lunch in a setting that promotes relaxation. Listen for the distant whistle of the herd boys, the occasional tractor and the chatter of twittering birds. For what's left of the afternoon marvel in the wonderful topography filled with abundant and varied birdlife including weavers, wagtails, sunbirds and many more. Before dinner watch, the sunset over the Ngorongoro Forest while millions of stars slowly reveal their twinkle to you. Tonight to ensure that your camera gets plenty of charge for tomorrow's adventure.
Early the next morning you'll head down to the bottom of the natural wonder that is the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site formed from a volcano where the land drops down 2,000 feet from rim to base. It is home to some 30,000 animals and, due to its natural boundaries, offers the best chance to see the famous "Big Five". Fortified by breakfast, begin the drive around the rim of the crater where you will stop at the viewpoint before dropping to the floor of this extinct volcano. The early morning mists will only add to the romantic atmosphere. Spot rhino, elephants, hippo, Thomson's gazelle, zebra, cheetah, buffalo, lions, flamingos... we could go on and on but we would be here all day listing the mammals and birds on show. Stop for a picnic lunch and eat surrounded by some of the most spectacular wildlife and natural sights in the world. When you've seen enough, head back up the crater wall to your lodge for dinner and the chance to look over your photos from the day, before retiring to your room.
On the final morning of your incredible East African adventure, after breakfast and check out, meet up with your guide who will transfer you to Lake Manyara airstrip for your flight to Kilimanjaro International Airport where you'll set off for home. As the plane leaves the soil of Tanzania, you'll think over your special memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.