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Tanzania

2lions-serengeti
Tanzania is still gloriously wild. Roads run through it, of course, and it’s spotted with campgrounds and lodges. But mostly the wildlife has it to themselves: huge herds of elephants and wildebeests, flocks of flamingos, silent families of giraffes, and noisy packs of wild dogs. Lions have no trouble finding lunch; zebras skitter about, worried they’ll be lunch; vultures wait to clean up.

The wild remains wild because it is protected. A huge portion of Tanzania is set aside as national parkland – from Serengeti in the north, which sweeps uninterrupted from neighbouring Kenya’s Masai Mara park, to Selous in the south, with its long distances and large variety of animals. No area is more protected, by geography as well as by permit, than Ngorongoro Crater, whose steep walls create a separate ecosystem with its own representative collection of animals. Because these spaces are protected – and because they are so wild – the best way to see them is by guided tour. Even the most adventurous traveller will benefit from the guides’ expertise: They know where the animals are, and they can take care of the paperwork quickly.

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Although most visitors spend their time in the wildlife areas, travellers should make time for Tanzania’s other attractions as well. The country boasts Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa; white-sand beaches on the Indian Ocean; and reefs for diving off the exotic, evocative Island of Zanzibar.

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serengeti-migration

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The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region located in north-western Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya.  It spans some 30,000 km2. It hosts the largest and longest overland migration in the world, a semi-annual occurrence. This migration is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.

The region contains several National Parks and Game Reserves. Serengeti is derived from the Maasai language;”Serengit” meaning “Endless Plains”.

Approximately 70 larger mammal and some 500 avifauna species are found there. This high diversity in terms of species is a function of diverse habitats ranging from riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands. Blue Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras and buffalos are some of the commonly found large mammals in the region.

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Around October, nearly 2 million herbivores travel from the northern hills toward the southern plains, crossing the Mara River, in pursuit of the rains. In April, they then return to the north through the west, once again crossing the Mara River. This phenomenon is sometimes called the Circular Migration. Over 250,000 wildebeest alone will die along the journey from Tanzania to Masai Mara Reserve in upper Kenya, a total of 500 miles. Death is often caused by injury, exhaustion, or predation..

The area is also home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which contains the Olduvai Gorge, where some of the oldest hominid fossils are found, as well as the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera.

The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural amphitheatre created about 2 million years ago when the cone of a volcano collapsed into itself, leaving a 100 square mile (259km²) caldron-like cavity. This caldera, protected by a circular unbroken 2,000-foot high rim (610-metres), contains everything necessary for Africa’s wildlife to exist and thrive.

Ngorongoro is on Tanzania’s ‘northern safari circuit’, and receives a good number of visitors who stay in lodges around the crater. Game viewing vehicles descend the steep crater wall every morning and spend the day on grass plains that are teeming with animals. However, the dark of night belongs to the animals, and all vehicles must leave the crater floor by sunset.


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Safari Highlights:

(Click on links to view additional info.)

Lake Manyara National Park
Ngorongoro Crater
Serengeti

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TOUR DATE:

Date on request
Days 8 / 7 Nights

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Day 1:
Depart Johannesburg for Moshi- Kilimanjaro Airport. Frome here you will transfer to the Impala Hotel where you will overnight.
Accommodation: Hotel

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Day 2:
An early morning departure sees us head towards Lake Manyara National Park. This park is famous for its tree climbing lions, but it also offers a diversity of habitats that you won’t see again on this safari. Nestled in the rift valley, the reserve has a beautiful lake shore, incredible forests and dense thickets where buffalo and elephant like to relax in the heat of the day. Lions also relax in the heat of the day- and famously, they can be found reclining in fever trees to get away form the heat. But the reserve is not only about big game- the birdlife here is prolific and the water birds such as storks and herons are exceptionally well represented. The reserve boasts a bird list of 372 birds, which for a small conservation area, is quite phenomenal.
Accommodation: Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

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Day 3:
This morning we head to the crater into which we descend at around mid day until the afternoon. (Ngorongoro only offers half-day permits into the crater. Afternoons are often better than mornings, as it gets very cloudy in the mornings). The crater needs no introduction: it is a concentration of animals like no other in the world. The entire big 5 are often seen in one day as well as excellent predator interactions. Throw in a lake filled with flamingos and the crater walls ascending as a perfect backdrop and you have a scene made for an artist and camera. It really is a sight to behold. You will spend the night in the Ngorongoro crater lodge, perched perfectly on the rim of the crater with views over the whole caldera.
Accommodation: Ngorongoro Crater lodge

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Day 4-6:
A morning drive takes us to Lake Ndutu lodge. The lodge is a firm favorite for visitors for its stunning surrounds and we will be here for the next three nights. We wont be staying for the lodge comforts though, as the plains around Ndutu at this time of year are literally filled with animals. The Wildebeest move south to these wide open plains for two reasons: They are attracted by the short, fresh, sweet grass to graze on, and they can see potential predators from a fair distance away. So it is here that the animals drop their calves by the millions. Of course the predators are never far off as they are always nearby for an opportunistic meal. Sightings of cheetah, lion and black backed jackal are all common relatively common and there is a strong possibility of seeing a hunt or even a kill.
Accommodation: Lake Ndutu lodge

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Day 7:
You move from Ndutu to the central plains, where many of the wildebeest will be. This is classic Serengeti, with its rocky kopjes and lonely trees on the plains. Sopa Lodge is in the middle of the rocky Kopjes area and shows off the Serengeti in its grandness. Just sitting on the deck one can see for miles and miles.
Accommodation: Serengeti Sopa Lodge

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Day 8:
After a morning breakfast at the lodge, you catch the transfer flight back to Arusha; from here you transfer to Moshi and catch the international flight home.
This is unfortunately the end of the safari.

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Tour Cost

Price on request

Included in the quoted price:

  • Pickup and transport for the entire Safari and drop off at your destination
  • Return flights from Johannesburg
  • Entrance and accommodation (2 persons per room/tent) to all reserves
  • All meals
  • Game activities, drives and walks
  • The services of our guides

Excluded from quoted price:

  • Gratuities to staff and guides
  • Alcoholic and soft drink beverages
  • Extra activities not included
  • Personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel visas
  • Gratuities to staff and guides.

Photographic highlights are:

The plains of the Serengeti offer almost unlimited opportunity for photography. It is a photographic nirvana that ensures cameras constantly trained on something exciting..
Some of the major highlights are:

  • Endless plains scattered with the odd umbrella thorn tree, creating the quintessential African scenes.
  • This is the place to see millions of animals crossing endless plains
  • The birthing of the wildebeest calves- a serene scene to say the least
  • Unparalleled sightings of Lion and Cheetah
  • Good leopard sightings
  • Brilliant interaction between predators and prey- the new born calves attract predators large and small
  • Excellent birding- From small sparrows to large raptors
  • The attraction of smaller predators
  • Beautiful African sunsets over the Serengeti plains
  • Elephants, Giraffe and other large mammals
  • Water holes filled to the brim with snorting and fighting Hippopotamus

Notes:
a) Please also note that the accommodation outlined in the itinerary may, very occasionally, need to be amended.
Replacements lodges and hotels will always be of the same standard as the ones outlined in the itinerary and will in no
Way affect your holiday. Should we have to implement any changes to the above we will notify you as soon as possible.
b) A 15% non-refundable deposit is required on confirmation of safari.
c) Full payment is required sixty (60) days prior to arrival.
d) Quoted price is subject to availability and fuel/gas price- and exchange rate fluctuations.
e) Terms & Conditions.

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spirit-of-tanzania

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Lake Manyara National Park is a national park in Arusha Region, Tanzania. The majority of the land area of the park is a narrow strip running between the Gregory Rift wall to the west and Lake Manyara, an alkaline or soda-lake, to the east. It is famous for its population of flamingoes.

The Serengeti ecosystem is a geographical region located in north-western Tanzania and extends to south-western Kenya.  It spans some 30,000 km2. It hosts the largest and longest overland migration in the world, a semi-annual occurrence. This migration is one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world.

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The Ngorongoro Crater is a natural amphitheatre created about 2 million years ago when the cone of a volcano collapsed into itself, leaving a 100 square mile (259km²) caldron-like cavity. This caldera, protected by a circular unbroken 2,000-foot high rim (610-metres), contains everything necessary for Africa’s wildlife to exist and thrive.

Tarangire National Park is a national park in Tanzania. Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The name of the park originates from the river which crosses at the middle of the park, the river is the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. The park is famous for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees and tree climbing African pythons. It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometres. It is named after the Tarangire River that flows through the park.


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Safari Highlights:

(Click on links to view additional info.)
Lake Manyara National Park
Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Tarangire National Park

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Tour Detail

tanzania03Day 1: International Airport of Kilimanjaro – Moivaro Coffee Lodge
We will be met at the International Airport of Kilimanjaro by our driver/guide and our Africa SafariWise representative. We transfer to the Moivaro Coffee Lodge in Arusha, with our Safari starting tomorrow.
Accommodation: Moivaro Coffee Lodge
Meals: Dinner

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Day 2: Moivaro Coffee Lodge – Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 330 sq.km, of which 200 sq.km is lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a National Park. The park is situated between the 600 m high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara and is 130 km from Arusha.

We will be welcomed by a safari manager for a short safari briefing before we depart Arusha in the morning for Lake Manyara, arriving there by lunch time.

Afternoon game drive at Lake Manyara National Park. Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. We can see many game animals such as Buffalo, Elephant, Giraffe, Impala, hippo and others.

Lake Manyara is also renown for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven metres above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per km sq. in Tanzania. As visitors enter the gate, they pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent Hippo Pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees – a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.
Accommodation: Eunoto Retreat Lodge at Lake Manyara
Meals: Breakfast / lunch / dinner

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Day 3: Lake Manyara – Serengeti National Park
After breakfast, we start on our way to Serengeti National Park.The park covers 14,763 sq km of endless rolling plains, which reach up to the Kenyan border and extends almost to Lake Victoria. The park is flourishing with magnificent wildlife. An estimated 3 million large animals roam the plains. People of the Maasai Tribe called it Siringitu – ‘the place where the land moves on forever.’ The Serengeti is known as one of the best wildlife sanctuary in the world.

Two World Heritage Sites and two Biosphere Reserves have been established within this area. Its unique environment has enthused writers, filmmakers as well as numerous photographers and scientists. The Serengeti ecosystem is one of the oldest on earth, the main characteristics of climate, flora and fauna have hardly changed in the past million years.

Serengeti is renowned for the migration of animals. Every October and November, more than a million wildebeest and about 220,000 zebras travel south from the northern hills to the southern plains for the short tropical rains, and then journey west and north after the long rains in April to June. The animals’ ancient instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile infested river can hold them back. The Wildebeest migrate through a number of parks, reserves and protected areas and through a variety of habitat.

The wildebeest migration, like a discernible thread, embraces and connects the Serengeti’s ecosystem much as it has done for at least two millions years.

Every year, with some seasonally dictated variations in timing and scale, one million wildebeest leave the southern Serengeti’s short grass plains in search of the grass and water they need to survive. During their annual pilgrimage they will travel some 2.000 miles devouring 4.000 tones of grass a day. A quarter of a million will be born, many will die. Overnight at Sopa Lodge at Central Serengeti or Mapito Tented Camp at Ikoma, Northern Serengeti.

On the way we stop at the Olduvai Gorge where anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey made many significant discoveries, contributing to the theory that human life originated in Africa. After stopping for our picnic lunch on a kopje (rock outcropping) in Serengeti we continue further into the park for game drive. The Serengeti is the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world and boasts many species of plain animals from hare to the elephant. The name Serengeti comes from the Masai word “Siringet” referring to an endless plain.
Accommodation: Sopa Lodge at central Serengeti / Mapito Tented Camp at Ikoma, northern Serengeti
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

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Day 4: Serengeti National Park
A full day of game drives around Serengeti. Depending on the time of year and the migration of the herds we can expect to see wildebeest, lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, monkeys, baboons, hippos, rhinos, antelopes and many birds and other species. A night game drive will show us also nocturnal animals not to be seen during the day.

Extra optional activity: Hot Air Ballooning Safari (not yet included – we need to book well in advance if we are interested in joining the trip).

An early rise to join a hot air balloon Safari. Most probably the most beautiful balloon flight in the world and the ultimate Safari Experience. At dawn we take off, rising as the sun rises and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take us. Our pilot can precisely control the altitude of the balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. At other times he will ascend to 1000′ or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. After the landing we celebrate with champagne (well, an excellent sparkling wine) and a full English breakfast prepared and served in the bush in ‘Out of Africa’ style. After breakfast we receive our Serengeti Balloon certificate. We drive back to our lodge or proceed with our day’s activities and game drives around the Serengeti.
Accommodation: Sopa Lodge at central Serengeti / Mapito Tented Camp at Ikoma northern Serengeti
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

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Day 5: Serengeti – Ngorongoro National Park
An early morning game drive to see predators returning from hunting and animals waking up in early morning light. After breakfast we proceed to Naabi Hill Gate with game viewing enroute before we enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

Nearly three million years ago Ngorongoro towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 square kilometres. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. It is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. The concept of multiple land use in conservation perspective is a deviation from a traditional approach of regarding conservation as complete absenteeism of human interference.

Geology Rifts and volcanoes shape the landscape of Ngorongoro. A rift is a disturbance in the earth crust, which causes rise or falls of its borders. Rifts also cause lava or melted rock to penetrate to the surface where it hardens. If lava emerges from the same penetration for a long period, it builds up into a volcano.

In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the main rifts are north of Lake Eyasi and east of Lakes Manyara and Lake Natron, where the nine volcanoes of Ngorongoro highlands were formed during the past four million years. Of these, only volcano Oldonyo Lengai is still active. The ash and dust from the eruptions was carried by the wind to form the fertile soils of the Serengeti plains.

Ngorongoro Wildlife:
Today, Ngorongoro’s caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven on earth. The rich pasture and permanent water of the Crater floor supports a resident population of some 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the Crater walls, and can leave freely; they stay because conditions are favourable. Since most of the Crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate: gnu, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, eland and kongoni (Coke’s hartebeest) and warthogs. The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons and vervets. The steep inner slopes provide a habitat for dik-dik and the rare mountain reedbuck. Towering euphorbias cling to the crater walls and on the floor, Fever tree and Fig tree forests give shade to an awe-inspiring array of creatures. All these animals in turn support large predators such as Lion and Leopard, and scavengers such as Hyena and Jackals.

For the best viewing and photography, approach the animals slowly and quietly and stay on the official tracks.

Birdlife:
What we can see of birdlife depends greatly on the season of the year, because there are resident birds and migrant birds. You are certain to see many residents, like ostriches, bustards and plovers all year round. In wet season they share the Crater with European migrants such as White Storks, Yellow Wagtails, swallows, etc. The migrants pass through from November through May, coinciding with the rains in Africa and the winter in Eurasia. There are also local migrants such as flamingos, storks and ducks which come and go depending on the state of the lake and ponds.

Other birds we can see are Stonechat, Anteater Chat, Schalow’s Wheatear, and Fiscal Shrike. Augur Buzzards, Verreaux’s Eagle and other raptors live in the Crater.

Climate of Ngorongoro Crater:
Ngorongoro safari lodges are situated on the rim of the crater, which is 2,235 metres (7,264 feet) above sea level. It can get quite fresh up here, and gets very cold at night in the winter months of June to August, but is imposingly hot down in the crater during the day.

Dry Season:
The weather is usually dry from June to November. July is the coldest month and highland temperatures may fall below freezing.

Rainy Season:
It rains anytime from November to May, with the longer rains in April to May. The amount and pattern of rainfall varies and a dry period in January and February may split the rainy season into short and long rains. The forested eastern slopes get much more rain due to their elevation than the arid country to the west. The rain arrives in stormy showers usually during afternoons and nights, which cleanses the air to reveal clear views.

The Ngorongoro Crater Floor:
Interpretive game drives through the emerald plains and forests of the crater floor engender guests with a respect for the people and wildlife of this world wonder.

A sheer dirt road descends from Malanja Depression on the crater rim to the crater floor. At the top of the road, Maasai women and children allow you to photograph them for a small fee. The Malanja depression is grassy and open and is a good place to spot typical highland antelope such as mountain reedbuck and Kirks dik-dik, and birds such as the striking auger buzzard and Schalows wheatear. The dominant feature of the crater floor is Lake Magadi, a shallow soda lake that supports large flocks of flamingo. Much of the crater floor is open grassland, making animal spotting relatively easy: black rhino, lion, hyena, gazelle, wildebeest and zebra are all commonly seen. The hippo pool near Mandusi Swamp is a popular picnic spot.

With some stops at the Grzimek Memorial and a viewpoint into the crater we reach our lodge for lunch. In the afternoon we go for a Walking safari at the Northern Crater Rim of Ngorongoro Crater inhabited by buffaloes, elephants, baboons, monkeys and different species of birds. Escorted by a ranger or Masasi Guide we follow animal paths through dense bush.
Accommodation: Sopa Lodge
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

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Day 6: Ngorongoro National Park
After breakfast we descend into the crater for a wonderful game drive (with a picnic lunch).

As very few animals migrate in and out of the crater with its 2000 ft. high walls the Ngorongoro Crater has the highest wild animal density worldwide. Among the species are lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippos, flamingos, jackals, rhinos, antelopes, many birds and other species. We might expect to see the ‘Big Five’ in one day.
Accommodation: Sopa Lodge
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

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Day 7: Ngorongoro – Tarangire National Park
After breakfast, we proceed to Tarangire, Tanzania’s third largest national park and sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population.

It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as we enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them.

Location:
It is 120 km from Arusha, bordered with Tarangire Wildlife conservation area to the northeast, an area set apart by the government, to cater for the needs of the local people as a grazing ground for their herds.

Geography:
The park owes its name to Tarangire River, which flows across the area. It is characterized by dense vegetation of acacia and mixed woodland, the area around Tarangire River however, is dominated by huge baobab trees and old doum palm trees to a lesser prominence, as well as black cotton grass. Though it is not as famous as other parks in the north, Tarangire offers the same attractions as other parks in the north. Its unique aspect is the annual animal immigration that takes place during the dry season.

Animal Migration:
While Serengeti’s animal migration has attained mundane fame, for many tourists, little is known of Tarangire annual migration. The difference with Serengeti however is that, in Serengeti animals migrate away from the park during the dry season (June to October), the opposite happens in Tarangire; animals migrate from Maasai Steppe to the park during the dry season. They migrate to the park in search for water, which is provided by Tarangire River, and predators migrate along in search for preys. During this period the park has the largest concentration of animals than in any park in the northern Tanzania.

Wildlife:
June to October is the best time to see large number of wildebeest, elephants, zebras, and hartebeest. Not all animals are migratory though; other animals such as giraffes, Impala, Eland, lesser kudu, waterbuck, gazelle and sometimes rhinos or leopards can be seen throughout the year. More people are attracted by the giant pythons and large herds of elephants. the park is also famous for migrant birds.
Accommodation: River Camp or Safari Lodge at Tarangire
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

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Day 8: Tarangire National Park – Arusha
Early morning game drive at Tarangire. After breakfast we go on a ranger guided walk at the parks boundaries if time permits before we return to Arusha for departure or extension.
Meals: Breakfast

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Tour Cost

tanzania01Price on request

Included in the quoted price:

  • Airport transfers in private car from/to Kilimanjaro Airport
  • 1 x Half board at a good lodge in Arusha before the safari starts
  • 7 days private safari
  • Transport and wildlife drives in modified 4WD Land cruiser or Land rover with photographic roof hatch and guaranteed window seat
  • Services of a professional English speaking safari guide (local guide)
  • SafariWise Tour leader
  • All game drives as mentioned
  • All wildlife reserve entry fees
  • 6 x full board at excellent safari lodges or tented camps
  • 2 x 1,5 litre mineral water per person per day during game drives
  • Coffee/tea with picnic lunches

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Excluded from quoted price:

  • International Flight costs
  • Domestic flights
  • Visa fee (US$50 – to be paid upon arrival)
  • Airport departure tax (domestic US$6, international US$33 – to be paid upon departure)
  • Hot-air balloon ride (US$ 450.00 per person)
  • Road transfers
  • Beverages
  • Gratuities
  • Optional activities
  • Travel insurance
  • Laundry

Notes:

a) The costing for the Tour Programme is based on a minimum of four (4) guests.
b) Please also note that the accommodation outlined in the itinerary may, very occasionally, need to be amended. Replacements lodges and hotels will always be of the same standard as the ones outlined in the itinerary and will in no way affect your holiday. Should we have to implement any changes to the above we will notify you as soon as possible.
c) A 15% non-refundable deposit is required on confirmation of safari.
d) Full payment is required sixty (60) days prior to arrival.
e) Quoted price is subject to availability and fuel/gas price- and exchange rate fluctuations.
f) Terms & Conditions.

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