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With the snow capped Kilimanjaro towering vast plains of the savannah, verdant forests, endless grasslands and pristine lakes, Tanzania’s landscapes are as diverse as its wildlife.
Ancient landscapes playing host to an array of animals including the Big Five and several endangered native species define wildlife experiences in Tanzania, where a safari is not just about checking species off your list, but is a completely astounding immersive experience.
With almost one third of the country being protected as a national park, game reserve, marine park, or forest reserve, ranging from sea habitats to towering peaks, wild life viewing in Tanzania offers diverse experiences when it comes to wildlife viewing.
Come every winter the vast plains of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania bears witness to what has come to be known as the ‘greatest spectacle on Earth’ – The Great Migration.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Africa’s most definitive safari destination awaits you. Even though to watch large herds of wildebeest and zebra cross the Serengeti into the Kenya’s Maasai Mara, braving rivers and opportunistic predators is a surreal experience, it alone does not define the Tanzanian wildlife experience, as is often believed.
Equally notable are the landscapes of the Ngorongoro, formed by the collapse of a volcano and home to the densest wildlife population in Africa; the grasslands and acacia woodlands of Lake Manyara, home to hippos and a pink streaked alkaline lake. From vast plains of Tarangire National Park, spaced with ancient baobab trees to the less known kopjes of the Serengeti, Tanzania has much more to offer.
Monumental landscapes, captivating wildlife and countless new experiences – all said and done, innumerable attempts to sum up the Tanzanian wildlife experience fails, defying imagination and even expression.
A gateway to Tanzania’s safari destinations and Africa’s highest peak, the city of Arusha lies at the base of Mt. Meru, the second highest mountain in Tanzania. Upon arrival at Arusha’s Kilimanjaro International Airport, you’ll be picked up to be driven to the Tarangire National Park.
Your introduction to Tanzania’s natural diversity starts with the ride from Arusha to Tarangire National Park. As you drive away from the shadows of Mt.Kilmanjaro and Mt. Meru, baobab trees line the road as you near the Park. Olive baboons and waterbucks move effortlessly across the woodland, while song birds sit atop the tree tops.
Wildlife spotting is easy, congregations of Impala and gazelle stop by at the Tarangire River, ever vigilant of the elusive leopard, sometimes found climbing trees, as are lions, ready for the hunt.
Make for the Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge, as the sun begins to set for overnight stay.
(Overnight at Tarangire National Park)
Post breakfast leave the Tarangire, with packed lunches to the Serengeti National Park. Drive along the lush crater uplands to reach the endless grasslands of the Serengeti.
Known by the native Maasai as the ‘place where the land moves on forever’, the vastness of the Serengeti will leave you astounded. Tanzania’s crowning jewel, the park is best known for the role it plays in the annual Great Migration. Home to the Big Five, the Serengeti offers fantastic game viewing experiences all year round and hosts the densest lion population in the world. Other animals include zebras, gazelles and elands, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinos among others.
Afternoon game drives mean that as the day cools, the wildlife come out of the shade on the lookout for their evening meal. Chances are you might even sight a chase or a kill, set against the mesmerizing African sunset.
Come sunset, head to the accommodation for the night.
(Overnight at Serengeti Reserve)
Start the day with an early morning game drive. Dawn sees the Serengeti at its most active, when predators come out for their fist kill. Head back to the camp for breakfast and pick up a picnic for lunch.
Keep an eye out for lions lazing under the shade of an acacia tree or those resting on isolated rocky outcrops. Watch as wildlife gathers around a watering hole, as the helpless gazelle anticipates trouble and as the cheetah streaks across the savannah at phenomenal speed.
(Overnight at Serengeti Reserve)
Stop under the shade of an acacia tree for lunch. The heat of the afternoon means that the plains are quiet, the animals resting. This give time to take things slow before setting out for the late afternoon game drive.
Take time to seek giraffes sticking out from tree tops, or a leopard hiding in the grass. Listen to 500 odd species of birds and as the skies change colour, head back to camp for overnight stay.
Squeeze in one more game drive before leaving to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The early morning drive paints a Serengeti in a whole new light and gives you the best chance to observe the thrill of the chase.
Going back to the camp for breakfast, be sure to pack a lunch before starting the drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
As you approach the volcano-lined plateaus that surround the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the landscapes become more dramatic and lush. Grass always grows in Ngorongoro and it is home to an estimated thirty thousand animals, the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa.
Descending six hundred meters into the crater, you’ll soon understand why it is regarded as a microcosm (of natural habitats) by itself – the landscapes of the Ngorongoro crater are formed by grasslands, forests, swamps, freshwater and alkaline lakes.
The rich and fertile landscape a variety of wildlife including the black rhino, hippo, Thomson’s gazelle, flamingo, wildebeest, buffalo, elephant, zebra, cheetah and a large lion population.
Most animals do not leave the crater and there’s a good game viewing all year round.
Reaching in the evening, check into the accommodation for overnight stay.
(Overnight at Ngorongoro Conservation Area)
Post breakfast, leave for a half day exploration of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with packed lunch.
Hosting the highest density of wildlife, Ngorongoro promises to make each game drive as unique and memorable as possible. Look on as some of Africa’s biggest elephants roam amongst the acacia trees, waterbucks as they feed in the forest and as Hyenas scamper around looking for an easy meal.
As the sun climbs higher, head towards the floor of the crater, making time to linger at the shore of the alkaline lake – Lake Magadi, painted pink against the vivid blue (due to the congregation of hundreds of flamingos), the lake is the perfect place for bird watching. Also keep your eyes peeled for the endangered black rhino and the cape buffalo.
Stop for lunch, on the shores of the lake before proceeding to explore the region further.
End the day with an exploration of the rainforests, in the shadows of Mt.Meru. Proceed to the accommodation for dinner and call it a night.
(Overnight at Ngorongoro Conservation Area)
After breakfast, with packed lunches leave for a full day game drive at Lake Manayra National Park.
One of the smaller national parks a visit to Lake Manyara is best conclusion to this epic week long safari.
Its compact landscapes made of grasslands and acacia woodlands are home to a diverse selection of wildlife, including herds of elephant, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, impala, baboon and incredible tree-climbing lions.
Pause for lunch, before an exciting afternoon drive.
Staying back to see the gorgeous sunset, the sky a vivid shaded of yellow paced with dark silhouette of acacia trees, and lone bull elephants, head back to the accommodation for overnight stay.
(Overnight at Manyara National Park)
Post breakfast, proceed to Arusha, for your outbound flight.
Recollect your thrilling memories of Tanzania on your way back.