Our Tanzania safari begins at Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha, with a transfer from the airport to our secluded lodge in the forested foothills of Mount Meru. Wander the lush gardens that offer a refreshing respite after long travels, relax by the pool, indulge in a massage in the open-air yurt, or enjoy the view of the rolling lawn from your private veranda before our welcome dinner this evening.
Days 2–4: Tarangire National Park
Set off by road this morning for Tarangire National Park, with our first exhilarating wildlife drive en route once we enter the park bounds. 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. Tarangire is also one place in northern Tanzania where we occasionally see dry-country antelope such as oryx and gerenuk. Our remote camp in the southern reaches of the park is perfectly positioned for viewing some of Africa’s densest wildlife concentrations. Though far from the standard safari circuit, our deluxe tented camp spares nothing in comfort, from hot showers to gourmet dining in view of a crackling campfire under the stars. Diverse activities include wildlife drives, guided walking safaris, bush breakfasts, picnic lunches beneath a baobab tree, and sundowner cocktails followed by game drives after dusk to see nocturnal wildlife.
Day 5: Tarangire / Ngorongoro Highlands
After a sunrise breakfast, depart camp for a final wildlife drive in Tarangire. Watch for elephants, impala and possibly even a pack of wild dogs trotting across the savanna in the quiet morning solitude. Exiting the park, we ascend to the Ngorongoro Highlands, a high-altitude volcanic region of fertile farmland and lush woodlands. Along the way, we'll stop for a special visit with students and teachers at a local primary school that has received support from Natural Habitat Adventures' philanthropy program. Located well off the main road outside the town of Karatu, this out-of-the-way community isn't visited by other safari companies, and our tourism dollars make a tremendous difference to the economically challenged students who attend here. Continuing along the escarpment, we reach our secluded camp by late afternoon, perched high on the Ngorongoro Crater rim at 7,300 feet. Before dinner, there's an opportunity to meet
Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater
At morning's first light, board 4x4 safari vehicles to descend the steep wall of the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera. Here, we find Africa's densest concentration of wildlife, attracted to the constant water present on the 100-square-mile crater floor. Some 25,000 animals reside in the crater year-round, a veritable Eden of creatures thriving within an ecosystem of abundant resources. Among a multitude of species, look for zebra, wildebeest, gazelle and eland, and the lion and hyena that prey upon them. We're also likely to see elephant and buffalo, and if we are exceptionally fortunate, we may spot an endangered black rhinoceros. Flocks of pink flamingos cover the soda lakes, while large land birds like ostrich and kory bustard roam the grassy plain. Spend a full day exploring the crater, with a picnic lunch along the way. We exit the crater this afternoon and drive to Plantation Lodge, a short distance away in the Ngorongoro Highlands. Enjoy a chance to relax at this gracious inn, tucked among 25 acres of gardens and tall trees and surrounded by working coffee, flower and vegetable plantations.
Days 7 & 8: East Central Serengeti Plains
Leaving the volcanic highlands behind, we fly to the Serengeti Plains, one of Africa's most legendary safari locales. These expansive grasslands are home to a profusion of wildlife throughout the year. We begin with two nights on the eastern side of the Serengeti ecosystem in the Ngari Nanyuki Plains region, amid sprawling savannas dotted with rocky outcrops—sunrise over these granite kopjes never fails to impress. Our secluded camp is located in a hidden corner of the Serengeti where the short-grass plains meet acacia woodlands and the Ngare Nanyuki underground river creates pockets of permanent water that support year-round wildlife concentrations, including abundant zebra, giraffe and a host of antelope species. 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-goer!
Days 9–11: Northern Serengeti—Nat Hab's Private Mobile Camp
Flying on to the northern Serengeti, we reach Nat Hab's private mobile camp, our base for a three-day immersion in Africa's Great Migration. In accord with the herds’ seasonal movements, we locate our camp in the northern Serengeti from June through October. This deluxe tented outpost rests within one of the main movement corridors for more than 2 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle that make this annual trek, plus and an accompanying cast of predators. Each year, the herds follow an ancient circuit covering 1,800 miles from Kenya’s Maasai Mara to the southern Serengeti and back again.
On daily game drives, witness this remarkable spectacle as the enormous herds traverse the savanna while big cats and hyenas steal behind. We may behold stunning scenes of predator-prey interaction as a lion takes down a sick wildebeest or a cheetah snatches an infant gazelle. Tracking the area’s prolific wildlife in private 4x4 vehicles allows optimal mobility and proximity. Our luxury mobile camp ensures seclusion, yet we enjoy impressive amenities despite our remote location. Walk-in canvas tents are reminiscent of the classic safari era of a century ago, with all the comforts of today. And there's
Day 12: Serengeti / Arusha / Depart
After a final wildlife drive this morning, fly back to Arusha, where we'll share a farewell lunch together before our Tanzania safari comes to a close. You'll have time to relax and refresh in a day room before transferring to Kilimanjaro International Airport to meet departing flights this evening.
Physical Rating: Easy to Moderate
Extra Day in Arusha
1 Day / From $515