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This is the perfect tour for seeing the very best of Tanzania. It includes the key national parks and reserves to see a diverse range of habitats and wildlife species. The itinerary takes you to the stunning Lake Manyara National Park with its vast soda lake and wonderful scenery of the Great Rift Valley. Then, you continue to the Serengeti, in search of Africa’s “Big Five” safari species. The tour then heads for the unique Ngorongoro Conservation Area which has a spectacular scenery and the opportunity for great game-viewing in Ngorongoro Crater.
Your accommodation during this safari tour is based on the Serena chain of lodges. These are affordable, well-located properties in areas of great game-viewing. You will be sharing a twin or double room, depends on your group size.
Standing high on the edge of a towering terracotta escarpment with panoramic views over the glittering alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of safari opportunities, peace and tranquillity, wildlife discovery, and ornithological richness.
Grouped around a central ‘vanishing horizon' pool, this highly unusual lodge features a simple timbered reception area, built in traditional African style, which is accessed via a bridge over a small stream.
Beyond reception, lies the central dining room, bar and veranda, below which lies the pool. Perched on the very edge of the cliffs, with stunning views of Lake Manyara National Park is the pool bar and observation point. Dotted around the grounds, all with views over the lake, are a series of circular two-story ‘rondavels', which house the rooms.
Situated close to the world-famous 2-million-year-old paleolithic site of Ol Duvai, ‘birthplace of mankind', the lodge has been styled to offer a showcase of cultural performance, heritage and traditional art, which is best illustrated by the lavish Makonde carvings which decorate both the rooms and the stunning domed dining room.
As the lodge is built on the crater-rim, each room offers marvelous views of the crater and guests can enjoy the views from the rock balconies. The rooms are also decorated with olden style carvings/paintings as well as a few Masaai carvings. All the rooms provide guests with mineral water, bathroom toiletries, telephone, WI-FI access and a safe.
You will be picked up from Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transferred to Arusha town for lunch. Afterwards, you will go to Lake Manyara. You will have your dinner and an overnight stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge.
Today, you will enjoy a morning game drive in Lake Manyara National Park whose inhabitants include hippos, monkeys, tree climbing lions, flamingos, and other varieties of birdlife. Every game drive on this safari tour will be taken with a private 6-seater 4×4 vehicle and an expert driver-guide.
After the game, you will be served lunch at the lodge. Then, the tour will continue to Serengeti National Park. You will have your dinner and an overnight stay at Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge.
You will enjoy morning and afternoon game drives in the endless plains of the Serengeti for a chance to see the great herds of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles or a pride of lions lounging in the shade. You will have your daily meals and an overnight stay at Serengeti Serena Lodge.
You will depart for a morning game drive in the Serengeti National Park. After the lunch at the lodge, you will continue the tour to Olduvai Gorge, the site of Louis and Mary Leakey’s renowned archaeological discoveries. Their findings include some of man’s earliest known ancestral remains. Afterwards, you will continue driving to Ngorongoro Conservation Area for dinner and an overnight stay at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.
Today you will descend 2000 feet (over 600 meters) to the floor of Ngorongoro Crater for a day crater tour with picnic lunch. You will explore the forest areas that are inhabited by monkeys and elephants, the lake area, where you may see the flamingos and the open savanna where the lions hunt for food. You will have your dinner and an overnight stay at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge.
After breakfast, you will drive back to Arusha and have lunch in the town. Then, you will be dropped off at Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
Listed as a “World Heritage Site”, Lake Manyara National Park never fails to delight visitors. The 330 square kilometers park of which the soda lake takes up 230 square kilometers is flanked on the west by the sheer wall of the Great Rift Valley. The wall is a catchment area for the rivers which flow into the park creating the fascinating ground water tropical forest at the foot of the wall.
The terrain is so diverse that its mammal and bird lists are most impressive. From the famous tree climbing lions, hippos, elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, monkeys, the elusive leopard, monitor lizards, pythons, to the flamingos and other birds all attracted to the area. The large areas of ground water forest with giant fig and mahogany trees alternate with acacia woodland and open spaces make this a photographers' paradise. As many as 380 bird species have been recorded in the park.
Serengeti National Park is the largest and best known of all the Tanzania national parks covering an area of 14,500 square kilometers. Its northern boundary abuts Maasai Mara National Reserve which is included in the Serengeti ecosystem. Located to the north and west of Ngorongoro, the vast Serengeti plains sustain the greatest and most spectacular concentration of wildlife found anywhere in the world.
Most of the Serengeti is vast open plains with lofty rocky outcrops giving character to the landscape. There are also acacia and savanna woodland and scrub, forested and well-treed rivers, and the occasional swamp and small lake. The granite outcrops formed many millions of years ago and through the passage of time have become exposed and broken to form the rocky outcrops.
Serengeti is known for its large prides of lions and the magnificent black-maned lions are often seen surveying their territories from the top of the rocky outcrops. Leopards are relatively numerous and are to be found during the daytime resting in trees along the Seronera River.
Little creatures also play an important role in the plains life cycle. Banded mongoose, brightly colored agama lizards, rock hyrax, dikdik, vervet monkeys to name just a few of the smaller animals all of which add to the wildlife spectacle of the Serengeti.
Large numbers of kori bustard, Africa’s heaviest flying birds, as well as the snake eating Secretary Bird, Crowned Plover, Yellow throated sandgrouse to name just a few of the many birds to be found on the plains.
Spanning roughly 8,300 square kilometers, Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a perfect microcosm of East Africa: it combines spectacular scenery and valuable archeological sites with mountains, forests, grassland plains, extinct volcanoes, and a staggering profusion of wildlife. Central to the area is the Ngorongoro Crater which covers an area of 260 square kilometers. The accommodation in the area is in lodges on the rim of the crater or just outside the conservation area. The road meanders along the rim of the crater affording breathtaking views and descends 2,000 feet to the crater floor.
Ngorongoro Crater is really a caldera, the sunken or collapsed cone of a volcano. It is the largest inactive, unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world. Living on the floor of the crater are bull elephants, lions, hyena, zebra, and wildebeest among others living on the grasslands and acacia forests. The crater also has a soda lake, Lake Magadi, the word magad translates to saltwater in Maasai. The lake attracts greater and lesser flamingo and other water birds.
The crater is best known as a highly successful sanctuary for the endangered black rhino. The settings in which you watch the animals are beautiful, the crater is an outstanding place for photography as well as direct observation.
On this safari tour, you will be accommodated on full board basis where you will be served daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food available at most lodges is of good quality and with an international style. Breakfasts include cereals, fruit, cold meats, eggs, bacon, sausages, and fresh bread.
Lunches and dinners may include soups, salads, cold meats, pasta, meat and fish dishes, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Larger lodges tend to offer a buffet selection. Some properties can offer bush breakfasts, picnic lunches and dinners for an experience of dining in the wild.
Please book your flight to arrive at Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Gamewatchers Safaris will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.