Experience seven days of breathless adventure on safari in northern Tanzania and then escape from the wild by treating yourself to a few relaxing days at a paradisiacal beach resort on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. ‘Safari’ comes from the Swahili word for ‘journey’ and over the course of this unforgettable itinerary, you will undertake a journey like no other: you will discover some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world, come face to face with wildlife and encounter intriguing cultures. For this adventure, you have the option of three types of itineraries. For more details, please contact the tour designer.
Zanzibar: Dining in an open-sided wooden pavilion as the gentle waves of the Indian Ocean rock back and forth
Big Five: Seeing leopards and lions in Serengeti, rhinos in Ngorongoro, elephants in Tarangire and buffalos in Lake Manyara
Bird watching: Catching sight of the hundreds of species that flock to the parks of northern Tanzania
A wide range of optional excursions and pre and post-programme extensions are available on request. Please ask tour designer Taqi Moledina for rates and conditions
Lake Manyara National Park: A lush habitat where tree-climbing lions, huge hippos and zebra and wildebeest herds can be seen.
Serengeti National Park: Home to millions of wild animals and location of the great wildebeest migration every year.
Ngorongoro Crater: The planet’s largest intact volcanic caldera is a world within a world with humans and wildlife cohabiting.
Tarangire National Park: Lush and green wetlands provide an ideal habitat for hundreds of species of birds.
Zanzibar: The magical spice island with beautiful beaches and the stunning Stone Town, where the doors are an art form
Eleven days of breathtaking adventure begin in the earthy surroundings of Arusha, the largest city in northern Tanzania. Be here by 14:00 hours to begin this safari odyssey. Take your seat in the safari vehicle and depart Arusha in a westerly direction, passing through the Maasai Steppe, a landscape dotted with many picturesque villages as well as maize, coffee and banana plantations. From the town of Makuyuni, continue through a scenic escarpment that brings you to your accommodation, the luxurious Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, which is perched on the edge of the Rift Valley and boasts magnificent views over the distant Lake Manyara. The African-style lodges are grouped around a dramatic infinity pool, which is accessed via a bridge over a small stream. Slightly above the pool are the central dining room, bar and veranda – all of which are located on the very edge of a cliff that overlooks the lake, the pool and the observation point. The accommodation itself is in two-storey thatched rondavels, which are dotted along the edge of the cliff. All have views of the lake.
Begin the day with a fabulous breakfast before a morning game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, which is renowned for its varied birdlife – notably flamingos – in wet season and large mammal viewing in dry season. Tree-climbing lions, large-tusked elephants and one-and-a-half-tonne hippos are among the denizens of this mesmerising park. Return to the lodge for lunch before heading north-west across the wheat and coffee plantations of the hilly countryside of the highlands to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. From here, lie the vast plains of the Serengeti, where you’ll hopefully start spotting game well before you enter the park. Accommodation is located near the famous Western Corridor and River Grumeti.
The Serengeti is famed for being home to millions of animals and the annual Great Migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles but the dramatic landscapes in which the wildlife prowls are themselves worthy of admiration. Riverine forests and woodlands, rocky outcrops called kopjes and a volcano are just some of the backdrops in which the animals can be spotted during the morning and afternoon game drives. With some luck, here you will see the Big Five and, with great luck, the harder-to-spot species grouped as the Little Five: the ant lion; the rhino beetle; the elephant shrew; the buffalo weaver; and the leopard tortoise. Birds and reptiles are also plentiful in the Serengeti National Park. An optional balloon safari can be booked at an additional expense for travel while in Serengeti National Park. Pick-up is at between 04:45 and 05:00 hours with a flight time of approximately 50 minutes. Champagne breakfast and return transfers are included.
Take to the road after breakfast for a breathtaking drive to Ngorongoro Crater. There will be a pause along the way for a picnic lunch while viewing game in the Serengeti plains. Continue to your lodge, near the prehistoric site of Olduvai Gorge, known as the ‘Cradle of Mankind’.
A spellbinding experience awaits you this morning as you spend hours (including transfers) exploring what is considered to be the world’s largest wildlife zoo. After breakfast, descend through the early morning mists to the basin of the crater, some 600 metres below the rim, for a picnic lunch. The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and due to its size – it has a diameter of 19km – and diversity, the crater floor features distinct areas that range from forests, swamps, lakes and springs, to open grasslands and sandy dunes. The crater has traditionally been inhabited by the Maasai people, who share it with more than 25,000 wild animals, including black rhinos, wildebeests, zebras, eland, gazelles, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo, spotted hyenas, jackals and cheetahs to name but a few. It’s an awesome wildlife experience. Return to the lodge in the late afternoon.
Depart the Ngorongoro Crater after breakfast and head south-east en route towards Lake Manyara, Mto wa Mbu village and Tarangire National Park. Through the highlands and the Karatu district, pass scenic wheat plains and coffee plantations, journeying down a spectacular escarpment before arriving at the park and on to your lodge, enjoying a game drive en route. After lunch and perhaps a swim, the remainder of the afternoon will be spent on a game drive of the park, which is home of one of the greatest concentration of elephants in Africa and other game, including the elusive leopard, zebras and tree-climbing lions. More than 550 bird species can be spotted here, too. Surrounded by ancient baobab trees. With water constantly available in the area, the lush greenery provides a wonderful contrast to the burnt ground.
Bid farewell to Tarangire and the safari segment of the itinerary and prepare for a completely different experience in the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, whose very name exudes a magical mystique. Arrive at Arusha by midday and enjoy lunch there before transferring to either Arusha or Kilimanjaro airports for a scheduled flight to Zanzibar, which takes about an hour and one hour and 20 minutes respectively. On arrival in Zanzibar, a meet and greet service is followed by transfer to the hotel in Stone Town, the historic district of Zanzibar City and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Savour a delicious breakfast overlooking the ocean before transfer to a luxurious beach resort in the island. The departure time will be arranged locally. You have the next four days at your own leisure at one of the most paradisiacal resorts in Zanzibar. Stroll along the white sands with the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean lapping against the shore.
Enjoy one final breakfast in the paradise that is the Royal Zanzibar Beach Resort before being transferred to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport in Zanzibar City for your onward arrangements.