Day 1: Lemala Camp Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Travel over the southern Serengeti plains into the Ngorongoro Highlands where we stop near the crater rim to say farewell to our fellow travelers who are departing. We then continue to the famous Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
and the world’s largest unbroken caldera. Depending on our arrival time, there may be a chance for an optional walk along the crater rim. Our accommodations at Lemala Camp Ngorongoro offer rare seclusion and proximity to the crater floor. The camp's spacious canvas tents with wooden floors are situated along the crater rim within a dense acacia forest.
Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater / Plantation Lodge
Rise early this morning for a full day of exploration inside Ngorongoro Crater. Our camp's location allows us to access the crater floor more quickly than most visitors, affording us premier wildlife-viewing opportunities. The 100-square-mile crater is often referred to as the “Garden of Eden” because of its primal environs inhabited by such a diverse host of amimals
. Its varied habitats include acacia forest, swamp, woodland, short grass, long grass and riverine habitats, all of which nurture a variety of species. The crater is especially famous for its lions, cheetahs, old bull elephants, Cape buffalo, herds of wildebeest and outstanding birdlife, including huge flocks of pink flamingos. It also boasts the world’s highest density of hyenas, which compete fiercely with the crater’s dominant lion population for food.
If we are lucky, we may catch a sighting of the black rhinoceros—a rare reward in northern Tanzania. While the animals are able to migrate in and out of the crater, they predominantly remain within, since a perpetual source of water and grass makes the crater an inviting location at any time of the year. We'll break for a midday picnic lunch on the crater floor, in order to facilitate a full day of wildlife viewing. Late this afternoon, we drive back up the crater wall and continue to Plantation Lodge, our accommodations for the evening. The genteel inn is located on a working coffee plantation, and a spectacular swimming pool set among verdant gardens offers enticing relaxation after a stimulating day.
Day 3: Arusha / Depart
After breakfast, we depart by road for Arusha (approximately 3-4 hours' drive), enjoying a scenic route through the rolling Ngorongoro Highlands passing fertile valleys, agricultural fields where crops are grown in the rich, red dirt, and small villages along the way. We reach Arusha in time for lunch. A day room is provided, and the remainder of the afternoon is free to spend at your leisure—consider making a visit to Arusha's famous craft market. This evening, we provide a transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for homeward flights.
Physical Rating: Easy