11 Days Northern Circuit Classic Safari
On this trip you’ll experience the best of Northern Tanzania has to offer. You will have a chance to visit the most prestigious national parks, find The Big Five and an incredible array of wildlife, meet the Maasai and learn about their culture and traditions, and visit Lake Natron, a soda lake that is a breeding ground for flamingos.
DAY 1 :: Arusha
Arrival at Kilimanjaro Airport, where you’ll be met by our representative. Transfer to Arusha for lunch or dinner, depending on your arrival time. Meet and greet your guide, who will sit with you for a trip briefing before your departure the following morning.
DAY 2 :: Tarangire National Park
Following an early breakfast, we will drive to Tarangire NP to arrive in time for a short game drive before lunch at one of the park’s picnic sites. The park is home to eland, oryx, wildebeests, zebras, lions, leopards, gazelles, hartebeest and a sizable elephant population. The Tarangire River runs through the landscape and it supplies the park with water all year around. Walking safaris with a ranger and guide are also available. We will continue with a full afternoon game drive before driving to our accommodation in Karatu.
DAY 3 :: Tarangire National Park to Ngorongoro Crater
After breakfast, we’ll head to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Upon registering at the gate, we will continue our drive and eventually descend 2,000 feet to the base of the Ngorongoro Crater, where volcanic slopes shelter almost 30,000 animals. Observe the interactions of predator and prey; spot colorful bird life from Marabou Storks to Crowned Cranes; and track elephants, rare black rhinos, cheetahs, and more. We spend a full day game drive here, before we had to back to our overnight accommodation on the crater rim.
DAY 4 :: Ngorongoro Highlands – Empakai Crater
Today we make our way through Maasai land to Empakai Crater. We pass Maasai villages where life has changed little and we will have a chance to visit one of the bomas. We will arrive to Empakai Crater rim just in time for lunch and if you wish, after lunch a challenging but rewarding walk is waiting for you, down to the lake on the Empakai Crater floor. Tonight we’ll overnight at the crater rim for the second night.
DAY 5 :: Serengeti National Park
This morning on our way to Serengeti we will stop at Oldupai Gorge, where the English couple, Louis and Mary Leak, pioneered archaeological excavation work. In the sixties, some of the earliest archaeological deposits of human evolution were found here and a small museum (visit optional) reports these discoveries. We will continue our drive to the park and take lunch at Naabi Gate. The name “Serengeti” comes from the Maasai word “Siringet” and means “endless plains”. It undoubtedly is the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world and is unequaled for its natural beauty and has the greatest concentration of game anywhere. We will head for a full afternoon game drive before driving to our overnight accommodation.
DAY 6 :: Serengeti National Park
Today we will have a optional early morning game drive to witness the sunrise over the savannah and see the plains come to life. We will return for breakfast followed by a full day game drive. After a long day in the park, sundowners will be served before we have our communal dinner and we finish this incredible day with drinks around the fire. Tonight we spend an other night sleeping in the African bush.
DAY 7 :: Serengeti to Lake Natron
After an early breakfast, we leave Serengeti behind and start our long drive towards Lake Natron. We pass through the Ngorongoro Highlands, before we descend to the Great Rift Valley. The drive offers beautiful vistas, Oldonyio Lengai in the distance with Maasai bomas scattered as far as the eyes can see. We arrive to our accommodation just in time for drinks and dinner.
DAY 8 :: Lake Natron
Today, we will have a leisurely breakfast. We are in the heart of Maasai land here, and we will visit one of the traditional villages (bomas) to meet these fascinating people. We will have a chance to witness their dances, singing, learn from the chief and his wives about their culture and traditions.
After our visit we continue onto Lake Natron, a soda lake that is home to thousands of pink flamingos. In the afternoon we will walk to Kamakia Waterfall for a refreshing swim to wash away all the dust of the previous days. We overnight at the lake.
Tonight you also have an option here to climb Mount Oldonyio Lengai (please see details).
DAY 9 :: Lake Natron to Lake Manyara
After breakfast, we start our drive towards Lake Manyara and arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is yours to relax or join a guided bird walk outside the park, as this area is known for an abundance of bird life. An other afternoon option is a visit to Mto Wa Mbu, a small vibrant local village, famous for it’s tasty red bananas and rice plantations. We overnight in the village.
DAY 10 :: Lake Manyara
Today, we will enjoy a full day game drive in Lake Manyara National Park, famous for it’s birdlife and tree climbing lions. Here we also have an opportunity to join a guided 1 hour walking safari, which provides unparalleled up close access to wildlife and/or a canoeing safari on the lake. As the day comes to an end we start our drive back to Arusha to our overnight accommodation.
DAY 11 :: Departure
After breakfast, depending on your onward flight, you can explore the town of Arusha, visit our center, Sidai Designs for the Maasai and join one of the classes there, purchase your last minute gifts at the Maasai curio market or spend a relaxing morning at the pool before heading out. Transfer to your outbound flight.