See More of Wild Tanzania—Including the Great Migration—Away from Crowds!
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 wildlife concentrations. 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, bush breakfasts or picnic lunches beneath a baobab tree, and sundowner cocktails followed by optional night drives to see nocturnal wildlife.
Day 5: Tarangire / Ngorongoro Highlands
After a sunrise breakfast, we depart Oliver’s Camp to savor a final wildlife drive in Tarangire National Park. We take in the park’s morning solitude as we watch for elephants, impala and maybe even a fleeting wild dog darting across the landscape. Exiting the park, we ascend to the Ngorongoro Highlands, visiting a local school where our tourist dollars directly support the local community. Continuing along the escarpment, by late afternoon we reach our luxury camp perched high on the crater rim at 7,300 feet. In the day’s waning hours, we’ll have an opportunity to interact with local Masaai herdsman and learn firsthand about their culture, before retiring for the evening to our secluded camp, replete with all the romance of East Africa.
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater
At morning's first light, we board 4x4 vehicles to descend the steep walls of the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera. On the crater floor, we find Africa's densest concentration of wildlife, attracted to the constant water present in this 100-square-mile area. Among a multitude of species, look for zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and eland, and the lions and hyenas that prey upon them. If we are exceptionally fortunate, we may spot an endangered black rhinoceros. We spend a full day exploring the crater, with a picnic lunch along the way. Late this afternoon, we exit the crater and make the short transfer to Plantation Lodge, a genteel inn on a working coffee, flower and cattle plantation, and our sanctuary for the night.
Please note: the July 2018 departure will stay at Lemala Ngorongoro instead of Plantation Lodge.
Days 7 & 8: East Central Serengeti—Namiri Plains
Our destination is one of the most legendary safari locales in Africa: the Serengeti Plains. An efficient flight conveys us from volcanic highlands to these expansive grasslands that are home to a profusion of wildlife year-round. On the eastern side of the Serengeti ecosystem, we spend two nights at Namiri Plains Camp, situated in lush setting along a bend in the river. The surrounding environs are dotted with rocky outcrops, and sunrises over the dramatic Barafu kopjes to the east 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 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!
Please note: the August 12, 2018 departure will stay at Ehlane Plains Camp instead of Namiri Plains Camp.
Days 9–11: Northern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Migration Base Camp
Today we fly to the northern Serengeti to reach Nat Hab's 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 from July through October. This deluxe 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, 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 luxury 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.
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 International Airport for onward flights.
Physical Rating: Easy