This popular wildlife safari to the famous mara river tales in some of the best natural sites in Tanzania offering fantastic photographic opportunities culminate in an exciting chance to watch migrating herds as they attempt to cross this vast body of water.
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport and after undertaking customs and immigration formalities, you will be met by one of the Africa Nature Photography & Safaris team and then transfer to your accommodation for some replenishment, rest and relaxation for the night, ready for the fabulous safari experience that awaits.
Dinner & overnight at Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent)
After breakfast at the lodge, you will meet your guide for a short briefing then drive south of Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park. You have the option to visit the culturally-diverse village of Mto wa Mbu set on the banks of the river of the same name, for taster of tribal life in the African bush, before arriving at Lake Manyara National Park.
Picnic lunch is served at Msasa Picnic site, which has got fabulous view of the lake. The it’s an afternoon of wildlife viewing in the park which provides sanctuary to a variety of animals like the gazelle, impala, buffalo, wildebeest, hyena, baboon, giraffe, hippo and the famous tree-climbing lions. Late in the Afternoon drive to Ngorongoro highlands.
Meals and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Its an early start, heading off around 05:55 am for an amazing journey as you descend to the crater floor to explore of this distinctive eco-system, enjoying abundant wildlife viewing set against the impressive backdrop of the crater.
Breakfast at one of the picnic sites on the crater floor, will be follows by another drive, providing one of the best opportunities in Africa to view black rhino, which tend to spend their time on the crater floor. Another big draw to this picturesque caldera is its dense population of predators, which include lion, hyena, jackal, and if lucky, the small cats like the rare caracal and serval as well as the African wild cat which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot.
Picnic lunch will be followed by a visit the hippo pool near the Mandusi Swamp Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the southwestern corner is one of the main features of the crater, the Lerai Forest, as well as other parts of the crater.
Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Today you will spend another morning exploring the flourishing basin of the Ngorongoro Crater, with picnic breakfast and lunch between wildlife viewing drives. Late in the afternoon, you will drive to Ndutu forest and the southern plain of Serengeti.
You will spend your next four days exploring the southern Serengeti plains and the forest, which is home to the enormous migratory herds of wildebeest and zebras during the wet season. The wildebeest migrations will mostly likely be spread across the green plains of Ngorongoro conservation area and the southern Serengeti from December to May, and you can anticipate exploring Lake Masek, Lake Ndutu, the hidden valley, Kusini Valley and the Kakesio Plains during your wildlife drives.
çIn addition to the large migratory herds, predators will be abundant and easily seen. Cheetah densities will be at the highest as many have followed the migratory Thomson’s gazelles onto the southern and eastern plains. Lions should be easily visible, both resident prides and the nomads which have followed the wildebeest and zebras onto the plains, and occasionally, the wild dogs.
Meals and overnights at Lake Masek Tented Lodge (or equivalent)
After an early breakfast you will drive to central east plain of Serengeti via the Gol Kopjes. This area, linking the southern plain of Serengeti and central Serengeti is a fragile habitat consisting of ethereal kopjes and short grass plains. Driving through the Gol Kopjes is an incredible experience with a vision of vast open plains and amazing wildlife.
This is gazelle country and where there are gazelles there are always cheetahs. Continue wildlife viewing through the Gol Kopjes until the late afternoon when we drive the camp where you will spend your next four nights. You have the option of breaking the following days into two, by doing early morning and late afternoon wildlife viewing. Drive through Central Serengeti in the golden light of dawn looking for special photographic opportunities, by departing camp at first light with a picnic breakfast.
You will visit the Gol Kopjes, Maasai and Sametu Kopjes and plains as well as Moru and Simba Kopjes. The Seronera river valley is home to a great diversity of wildlife due to its unique ecological niches as a transition zone where two distinctly different habitats, the plain and the woodlands merge and various species of wildlife from both habitats coexist.
Due to this unique ecological feature, Central Serengeti supports a much greater diversity wildlife including elephants, giraffes’, impala, waterbuck, hippo, topi, reedbuck, buffalo, baboon and vervet monkey, while the attendant predators such as lion, leopard and cheetah are to be found amongst the many kopjes scattered across the plain.
Meals and overnight at Sametu Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Early breakfast and then depart for Seronera Airstrip with wildlife viewing enroute, and your last chance to get some terrific photos. Domestic flight from Serengeti to Arusha. Stop at cultural heritage for lunch and an optional shopping, thereafter drive to Ngarasero Mountain Lodge for use of a day room, followed by an early dinner, before driving to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, where we will be waiting to meet you once you have cleared customs and transfer to your accommodation, where you will enjoy wonderful food and a superb night’s rest and relaxation. This is your chance to really soak up the atmosphere and recharge the batteries for what lies ahead…
Meals & overnight at Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent)
After breakfast, and a briefing from your naturalist guide, your luggage will be loaded to your safari vehicle, before we drive south through Arusha to prehistoric-looking Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania. Arriving at your safari lodge in time for lunch will be followed by an afternoon of wildlife viewing amongst the majestic baobab trees and umbrella-thorn acacias, visiting the Silalei Swamp and Tarangire River which is famous for some of the largest herds of elephants in Africa.
This park is spectacular during the dry season when large numbers of animals congregate along this river which provides the only permanent water in the area. Here you may see lion, leopard, cheetah, lesser kudu, buffalo, oryx, eland, giraffe and zebra, and over 300 species of birds.
Meals & overnight at Tarangire Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
After breakfast, you will visit a local Maasai village for an in-depth cultural experience. The Maasai tribe is one of the few tribes which still embrace, and are proud of, their traditions. Then a short drive to Mto wa Mbu village for an in-depth look at tribal life in Africa where more than 100 different Tanzanian tribes make their homes.
Your tour will include a visit to a local market, local school as well as the banana and rice plantations. You will have lunch with a local family and sample delicious African food. The afternoon drive explore tribal life in the African bush, where more than 100 different Tanzanian tribes make their homes in the Ngorongoro highland.
Meals & overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge (or equivalent)
Today you will have an early start, at around 05:55 am for an amazing journey as you descend to the crater floor to explore this distinctive eco-system, enjoying abundant wildlife viewing set against the impressive backdrop of the crater. You will enjoy your boxed breakfast at one of the picnic sites on the crater floor, as will as you lunch later in the day.
These drives provide one of the best opportunities in Africa to view Black Rhino. Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles; its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall visitors. Another big draw to this picturesque caldera is its dense population of predators, which include lion, hyena, jackal, and if lucky, the small cats like the rare caracal and serval as well as the African wild cat. You will also visit the hippo pool, the Lerai Forest, as well as other parts of the crater.
Late in the afternoon, you will drive to Ndutu forest and the southern plain of Serengeti. You will spend your next three nights exploring the southern Serengeti plains and the Ndutu forest and you can anticipate exploring Lake Masek, Lake Ndutu, the hidden valley, kusini valley and the kakesio plains during your game drives. Cheetah density is high in this area as there are many Thomson’s gazelles. Many lion prides can be found in this area and occasionally, the wild dogs.
Meals & overnight at Lake Masek Tented Lodge (or equivalent)
After an early breakfast we drive to the Central East plain of Serengeti via the Gol Kopjes. This area linking the Southern plain of Serengeti and Central Serengeti is a fragile habitat consisting of ethereal kopjes and short grass plains. Driving through the Gol Kopjes is always a breathtaking experience with a vision of vast open plains and amazing wildlife.
This is gazelle country and where there are gazelles there are always cheetahs. Continue wildlife viewing through the Gol Kopjes and late in the afternoon we drive to Sametu Tented Camp where you will spend your next two nights, enjoying wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities galore including the big cats.
Meals and accomodation at Sametu Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Today after breakfast, drive to the Northern Serengeti with wildlife viewing en route. You will visit the Lobo valley and kopjes as well as the Bologonja area before getting to Kogatende (the northern part of Serengeti) home of the Mara River. The Northern Serengeti is home to a huge number of resident animals including: lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo, eland and, occasionally black rhino.
This is also a wonderful time of year to witness one of three significant events that happens during the Great Migration – the annual river crossings. Your days will be a combination of looking for good river crossings and other wildlife interactions along the Mara River, Wogakuria kopjes, and the Lamai triangle (a triangular area just north of the Mara River). The Northern Serengeti and the entire Mara River area are truly awe-inspiring and will surely be one of the highlights of your safari.
Meals & accommodation at Mara River Tented Camp (or equivalent)
Today you will have an early breakfast at the camp and then leave for Kogatende Airstrip enjoying game viewing enroute. A bush plane will fly you to Arusha. Once back in Arusha you will stop at the Cultural Heritage Center for lunch and optional shopping. You will then be driven to Ngarasero Mountain Lodge (or equivalent) for a day room where you can rest and clean up before an early dinner. After dinner you will be driven to Kilimanjaro Airport for your flight home.