Day 1: Arusha, Tanzania
Our Tanzania safari begins in Arusha, where we transfer to Arusha Coffee Lodge, set on a working coffee estate. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens that offer a refreshing respite after our long travels, relax by the pool, or enjoy the view from your private veranda before our welcome dinner this evening.
Days 2–4: Tarangire National Park
Today we transfer by road to Tarangire National Park, with our first exhilarating wildlife drive en route to Oliver’s Camp. Seldom-visited Tarangire, the “Baobab Capital of the World,” teems with wildlife. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry riverbed for underground streams while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons and wild dog roam the plains. Tarangire is also the one place in Tanzania where we regularly see dry-country antelope such as the oryx and gerenuk.
Located in a remote spot in the park's southern reaches, our accommodation, Oliver's Camp, is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the proximity of some of Africa’s densest concentrations of wildlife. Though far from the standard tourist circuit, our deluxe tented camp spares nothing in comfort, from hot showers to gourmet dining around a crackling campfire under the stars. A range of activities is available, from guided walking safaris to wildlife drives in open 4x4 vehicles, bush breakfasts or picnic lunches beneath a baobab tree, and sundowner cocktails followed by exciting night drives to see nocturnal wildlife. The adventurous among us may opt for a night of fly camping, where there’s nothing between you and the stars but a simple sheet of nylon, as you’re enveloped by the magic of the African night.
Day 5: Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro Highlands
We drive today to Lake Manyara National Park, nestled at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment. The park is famous for its alkaline lakes that provide habitat for thousands of pink flamingos. Troops of baboons and blue monkeys carouse in the forest while leopard, cheetah, elephant and plenty of hoofed game roam the plains. With luck
we may see the park’s famous tree-climbing lions on a wildlife drive en route to our camp. Continuing along the escarpment we reach Lemala Ngorongoro by late afternoon. We spend the next two nights this seasonal luxury safari camp, replete with the romance of Africa.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater
Traversing the Ngorongoro Highlands, we reach the crater rim, 7,300 feet above sea level. Within the steep walls of the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera we
find a remarkable haven for wildlife, attracted to the constant water. On the crater floor, keep watch for zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and eland, and the lions and hyenas that prey upon them. If we are exceptionally fortunate, we may spot the endangered black rhinoceros. We spend a full day exploring the crater, with a picnic lunch along the way. Late this afternoon we return to the crater rim to relax in camp and share sightings of the day around the dinner table.
Days 7 & 8: East Central Serengeti—Namiri Plains
Our destination is one of the most legendary safari locales in Africa: the Serengeti Plains. A half-day drive brings us from volcanic highlands to these expansive grasslands that are home to a profusion of wildlife year-round. En route, time permitting, we will stop at Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of humankind.
We continue to the eastern side of the Serengeti ecosystem where we’ll spend two nights at Namiri Plains Camp, situated along a lush bend in the river. The surrounding environs are dotted with dramatic rocky outcrops, and the sunrises over the magnificent Barafu kopjes to the east of the camp never fail to impress. Just eight tents comprise the secluded camp, located in a remote area of this hidden corner of the Serengeti. The camp lies where the short-grass plains meet the acacia woodlands and the Ngare Nanyuki underground river creates pockets of permanent water that support year-round wildlife concentrations. From this private outpost we
can expect unrivaled sightings of the big cats that are so plentiful in this area. Such close encounters with the Serengeti’s apex predators are sure to enthrall even the most seasoned safari traveler! And we’ll have the added bonus of joining a cheetah researcher for a game drive with a special lecture presentation just for our group.
Days 9–11: Northern Serengeti—Natural Habitat's Migration Base Camp, Serengeti
We continue across the vast Serengeti today to our private mobile camp, where we spend three days immersed in the phenomenon of the Great Migration. In accordance with the herds’ movements and seasonality, our camp is located in the northern Serengeti during the months of July through October. This luxury tented outpost rests within one of the main movement corridors for hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle, and their accompanying cast of predators. Each year, they trek 1,800 miles from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti and back again.
On daily safari drives we witness this remarkable spectacle, as the enormous herds traverse the savanna while big cats steal behind. We may behold stunning scenes of predator-prey interaction as a lion takes down a sick wildebeest or a cheetah overtakes an infant. We track the area’s prolific wildlife in private 4x4 vehicles, allowing optimal mobility and proximity. Our deluxe mobile camp ensures that we go where the wildlife is, yet we forsake few amenities despite the remoteness of our location. Our walk-in tents are reminiscent of the safari era of yesteryear, offering every comfort and superb seclusion. This evening we enjoy dinner in camp beneath a canopy of stars.
During June departures our camp is located in the Grumeti region in the western Serengeti.
Day 12: Serengeti / Arusha / Depart
Relish one final wildlife drive this morning before flying back to Arusha. A day room is provided at Arusha Coffee Lodge, where we’ll also enjoy a farewell lunch together. Our Tanzania safari comes to a close with a transfer to Kilimanjaro Airport for onward flights.
Physical Rating: Easy