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Your international flight will arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, home to the ‘The Roof of Africa’, Mount Kilimanjaro. After clearing immigration and collecting your luggage, you’ll be met by your driver who will be waiting for you at arrivals. You will drive to your accommodation in Arusha, and on a clear day, you may have views of Kilimanjaro en route.
After a long day travelling, you may want to rest, but some adventures love to get stuck in with sightseeing and experiences in the local city. Depending on your interests, we can arrange these experiences and city sightseeing tours for you in advance as part of your personalised itinerary; at Massawe Adventures, we prioritise you and what you want to get out of your safari tour.
Come evening, dinner will be provided for you as you settle in for your first night at the Arusha Planet Lodge. Known for providing a comfortable stay just a 15-minute drive away from Arusha Downtown, our guests love their stay at the Lodge.
Your private guide and vehicle will pick you up after an early breakfast, and you’ll head off to Lake Manyara National Park, stopping en route to explore a local village on foot or in a tuk-tuk (a small, open-air taxi).
Lake Manyara is a small park but one of Tanzania’s most densely populated wildlife spots due to its wide variety of habitats; the perfect place to kick off any Sarafi adventure. The diverse landscape alone is worth exploring; you simply won't find an environment like this anywhere else in the world. Home to a clear blue lake dotted with flamingos and hippos, extraordinary birdlife, and one of the few places in Tanzania where you may see the tree-climbing lions, we provide guests with the time and space to take in the sights.
After a game drive and a picnic lunch, you’ll drive up the Rift Valley escarpment to the town of Karatu, the gateway to the Ngorongoro Highlands. We will spend the night at the Karatu Simba Lodge, nestled right alongside the Ngorongoro Forest.
Day three of our Sarafi Tour begins with an early morning game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. You’ll be at the park gates by 6.00am, and your day starts with views over the largest intact volcanic caldera (the structure left behind following a volcanic eruption). The sheer size of the crater makes it difficult to comprehend the height of the towering walls, but the wind and clouds are the clearest indicators.
Home to a concentrated population of wildlife consisting of an estimated 30,000 animals (including The Big Five) the Ngorongoro Crater is an essential part of the Serengeti's ecosystem. The rim of the crater sits around 610 metres (2,001 feet) above the crater floor, and you’ll begin your descent to view zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, lion, hyena and jackal (potentially even critically endangered black rhino).
You can spend up to six hours in the crater before heading back to Karatu for a second night at the Karatu Simba Lodge.
On the fourth day, we leave Karatu soon after breakfast. Your drive from Karatu to the Serengeti will wind you through wide green hills and across flat lowlands. The land stretches to the horizon in all directions, interrupted only by small dusty towns and earthy round Maasai huts.
Once you’ve crossed into the Serengeti you’ll be on a game drive as you make your way toward camp. The southern section of the park is covered with flat or gently rolling grasslands, occasionally dotted with rock kopjes (large freestanding rock formations) that are often home to populations of resident game. Big cats love to have a good vantage point and the kopjes provide that. Massive herds of wildebeest call this southern section home during birthing seasons, before moving farther north. The Serengeti is known for its great diversity of landscapes, so what’s around you will depend on the time of year.
We will then check in at Into Wild Africa, a tented camp at the heart of the Serengeti National Park.
Every year, two million wildebeest and zebra migrate from the plains of the Serengeti to the grasslands of the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of ground to feed. The most sought-after time to see this natural spectacle is from July to October, when the herds congregate on the banks of the Mara River, their final obstacle before reaching the fertile ground.
Driven by instinct and the smell of rain, the wildebeest and zebra take the dangerous plunge into the river. Those who escape the surging waters and gigantic crocodiles must stay alert enough to avoid the big cats waiting on the far side. The herds will graze in the Masai Mara for a time, splitting into groups that cross and re-cross the Mara River. Eventually, they will wander back south through the Serengeti.
The migration can be seen every month of the year, starting with the calving season in southern Serengeti from January to March. Planning your safari is essential; we can tailor a safari around your interests and budget.
Not all animals migrate, and away from the millions of wildebeest on their journey, resident game thrives. Big cats are territorial and will often live in one area throughout their lives. Elephants like to stay as far away from the chaos of the migration as they can get. While migration is a natural phenomenon that wildlife lovers dream of seeing, there are quieter areas of the Serengeti waiting for you as well. This additional day for exploring the Serengeti will give you the opportunity to see the sights from new perspectives.
Wherever you are in the park, having a private guide and vehicle allows you to make your own schedule with the support of an experienced expert. You can game drive as far as possible in a day by taking a picnic lunch with you, or you could choose to explore more leisurely, coming back to camp for lunch and rest between shorter drives out. However you want to Safari, Massawe Adventures will facilitate the best possible experience for you.
Mto wa Mbu
After breakfast, we will head for Mto Wa Mbu; a small town with a cultural diversity of over 120 ethnic groups. In the town, you can experience a whole host of traditional activities from different cultures.
You could join the Chagga people and experience banana beer, the growing of rice seedlings, and banana farming. Alternatively, there is an opportunity to join the Makonde tribe for a morning of carving and exploring the local food market. The experiences and activities available to you in Mto Wa Mbu are endlessly exciting!
Those who travel with us appreciate having a day to immerse themselves in the Tanzanian community. Being at the heart of bustling town life is an enriching experience, one that you will cherish for a lifetime. This is the perfect way to conclude your classic safari adventure in Northern Tanzania.
Following a day rich with culture, we will take you back to Arusha for a final overnight stay at the Arusha Planet Lodge.
- Main Destination:
- Arusha (City)
- Arusha Planet Lodge
- Meals & Drinks:
On the final day of the tour, you will have the opportunity to have a last exploration of the local town to gather the last few souvenirs and experiences before the trip commences home. We can advise various activities that may be of interest depending on how you'd like to spend the remainder of your time in the town (we'd always recommend exploring the food stalls and local markets).
Massawe Adventures will ensure that you are transported to Kilimanjaro International Airport for departure following your tour with us - so that you safely reach your destination with plenty of time.
- Main Destination:
- Kilimanjaro Airport
- No accommodation (End of tour)
- Meals & Drinks:
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