This suggested itinerary is a mixture of our favorite settings and drives for those who wish to get off the main safari circuit and capture some incredible, unique shots. This itinerary is recommended year round and can easily be adapted to fit current weather, migration or seasonal conditions.
Day 1: Arrive in Arusha.
Overnight at one of the local hotels where you can enjoy an excellent meal and get a good night’s sleep.
Day 2: Arusha National Park
An early morning start where we’ll head to Arusha National Park. The drive from the entrance gate to takes you through thick mountain forest, where acrobatic monkeys (Colobus monkeys) are seen most. We’ll continue driving up the mountain where you’ll be immersed in the sights and sounds o f nature (birds, waterfalls and sometimes Colobus monkeys). We’ll reach a stopping point where we can take a short hike and enjoy the views of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Don’t forget to charge your camera batteries today!
We’ll have an excellent lunch here or down close to the river. After breakfast, we’ll drive near the lakes for game viewing. Near the lakes, you will spot loads of giraffes, buffaloes and wildebeest and zebra. Overnight in Arusha
Day 3: Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, we will head to Tarangire National Park. The drive takes about two and a half hours, but as soon as we leave Arusha the vegetation changes. It is a rider here, with some thorny trees and open grass plains. These beautiful, green rolling hills are also a grazing area for Masai people. We’ll drive along the Tarangire River, where we’ll spot many animals. Tarangire is famous for its Elephants; there are more Elephants here than elsewhere else in northern Tanzania. The park has lots of woodland with lots of baobab trees. These baobabs can get up to 52 meters (171 feet) in height. Evening drives are absorbing and allow guests to see animals that they wouldn’t normally see during the daytime trips.
Day 4: Manyara National Park
After a leisurely breakfast, we’ll drive to Lake Manyara National Park. Manyara is about two hours away from Tarangire National Park. The Mto Wa Mbu Village near Manyara is very famous for its 126+ tribes who live there. This land here is arable and very suitable for farming and is one reason all of the tribes are located here.
Before lunch we can do a bike ride or take a short walk around the banana and mango farms. Lunch can either be eaten here, where we can take advantage of the local produce, or back at the lodge. After lunch we’ll head to the base of the Rift Valley. The lodge is perched on a small here and offers spectacular views overlooking the fruit farms and Lake Miwaleni – one of the deepest lakes in northern Tanzania. We’ll leave the afternoon open for you to unwind, relax and perhaps do some local walks or take a nice swim.
Day 5: Lake Manyara National Park- Lake Eyasi
There will be an early start to the day so we can head into Manyara National Park when the game viewing is at its best. We’ll drive in the open plains near Manyara Lake for game viewing and then to the hippo pool where we can stretch our legs while viewing and listening active hippos and birds in the morning. We’ll continue with drive exploring underground water forest and big game animals including buffalo, elephants, and giraffes. If we’re lucky, we might even spot the elusive tree-climbing lion. After lunch, we will head to Lake Eyasi. The road to Eyasi goes up the rift escarpment and into farmland. We’ll arrive at Lake Eyasi just in time for a spectacular sunset.
Day 6: Hadzabe- Ngorongoro Crater
We’ll start our day with an early morning walk with Bushmen. The landscape here is very different with dry, small hills. We’ll be back at the camp around 9:30 am for breakfast. After breakfast, we’ll head out towards Ngorongoro Crater. The drive takes us through very rocky, dry land. As we approach the Ngorongoro Highlands, the environment does a complete change. It is very lush and green. We’ll arrive at our lodge in time for an afternoon lunch and a few hours of relaxation. At sunset, we’ll head to the Crater rim where we can enjoy sundowners and watch the sun slowly disappear while sipping some beer, wine, coffee or other beverage of your choice.
Day 7: Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Today will be a very early start so we can reach the Crater floor before the crowds. We’ll spend the day in the Crater and will also visit another crater – Olmoti or Empakaai – which most people do not visit. This will be a special visit and will be an excellent opportunity for photos.
Day 8: Central Serengeti
After breakfast, we’ll head to central Serengeti. The drive takes about three to four hours and goes through some very scenic areas. We’ll pass through the short grass plains where many animals can be found. It’s also a favorite spot for lions to lay and wait for sunset. We’ll spend the afternoon doing game drives in the Serengeti.
Day 9: Serengeti National Park
Today is an intensive Serengeti day. This area is an excellent region to visit year round, and we’ll head along the Seronera River where leopards and lions can be found. During the day hordes of elephants and buffalo can be found drinking from the permanent water holes here. If the wildebeest migration is in the area, we’ll also follow that for a while. In the afternoon, we’ll drive to the Moru Kopjes and get out for some photos.
Day 10: Depart
We’ll do a very early morning drive and then drive to the airstrip for your 11 am flight back to Arusha.