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This budget camping safari takes you to Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania where you will begin and end the tour in Arusha. You will enjoy Tanzanian wildlife in a pop-up roof vehicle which is ideal for game viewing. Covering the largest and well-known national parks in Tanzania, you will be guaranteed a wonderful experience where you can witness a huge number of animals roaming in their natural habitat.
You will be accommodated at a campsite in Tarangire National Park, Seronera Campsite in Serengeti National Park, and Simba Campsite in Ngorongoro Crater.
A representative from Goshawk Tours will meet you at your hotel and after briefing you, he or she will introduce you to your safari guide and other members of the tour. You will be driven to Tarangire National Park. On arrival at the camp, you will pitch a tent and shortly afterward head out for a short game drive before lunch is prepared in Tanzania's third largest national park and sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population. Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park, dwarfing the animals that feed beneath them. Animals concentrate along the Tarangire River which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. Tarangire is famous for its tree-climbing pythons. Game to view in this park includes zebras, hartebeests, elephants, buffalos, waterbucks, gazelles, oryx, and abundant birdlife. Dinner and stay overnight will be at the campsite.
You will have an early light breakfast followed by a game drive which offers you an opportunity to view a game you might have missed, then return to the camp for your full breakfast. You will depart and head to Serengeti lunch en route arriving late afternoon. Serengeti is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world and it is also the site of the most breathtaking events in the animal kingdom where the migration of over a million of wildebeest to the Masai Mara National Reserve takes place. After settling in the campsite and pitching a tent, you will head out for the evening game drive. Dinner and stay overnight will be at the Seronera campsite.
Serengeti means "endless plain" in the Masai language and much of the landscape epitomizes what you have come to expect from an East African safari; vast open savanna dotted with acacia trees, rocky outcrops, riverine bushes, scrubs, rivers, and swamps. These features give Serengeti a fascinating variety of sceneries. The day is spent exploring this amazing park with morning and en route game drive to the crater rim. The park's wildlife population is over four million and over 400 bird species both migratory and terrestrial. You will proceed to the Ngorongoro Crater rim for dinner and stay overnight at Simba campsite.
You will have breakfast early and descend 2,000 meters with a four-wheel drive vehicle to the floor of the crater. Ngorongoro Crater is commonly referred to as the "Garden of Eden" and the park is inhabited by about 30,000 animals of which half are zebra and wildebeest. The park has recorded over 14,000 wildebeest. Tanzania's few remaining black rhino are regularly sighted in the crater, such as large herds of buffalos. On the crater floor and in the Ngoitokitok swamps, you will reside plenty of hippos who remain partially submerged during the day and graze on grass at night. Bird life is also abundant. You will spend the day exploring this natural habitat taking a break to have a picnic lunch. Later, you will ascend back to the campsite, pack, and depart. You will driven to Arusha arriving late afternoon and will be dropped off at a hotel in Arusha.
During this safari you will have the chance to explore Tarangire National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Ngorongoro Crater in Kenya.
Tarangire National Park lies 118 kilometers southwest of Arusha town and covers an area of 2,850 square kilometers. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. The park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi, and Mkomazi. The landscape is composed of scattered baobab trees alternating with open acacia woodlands, open bush, plains, swamps, rivers, and palm trees.
The park is famous for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees, and its tree-climbing pythons. Visitors to the park can expect to see any number of resident zebra and wildebeest in addition to the less common animals. Other common animals include waterbuck, giraffe, and olive baboons.
Home to more than 550 species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts so expect to see dozens of species even in the dry season. The swamps are the focus of the largest selection of breeding birds anywhere in the world. Yellow-collared Lovebirds are a common bird sighting in the trees along the Tarangire River. The park is also famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. Those that have been abandoned are often seen to be home to dwarf mongoose.
Tarangire National Park can be reached via paved road from Arusha in less than four hours. Lake Manyara National Park is only a 70-kilometer (43 miles) drive from Tarangire. One can visit the park all year round but the month of June to September are the driest months and wildlife population decreases. Besides game viewing, other activities include guided walking safaris, day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.
The Serengeti National Park is widely regarded as the best wildlife reserve in Africa due to its density of predators and prey. The park covers 14,763 square kilometers (5,700 square miles) of grassland plains and savanna as well as riverine forest and woodlands. The park lies in the north of the country, bordered to the north by the national Tanzania and Kenyan border where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve.
The park is usually described in three regions Serengeti plains, Western corridor, and Northern Serengeti. Serengeti plains are characterized by the endless, almost treeless grasslands. This is where the wildebeest breed, as they remain in the plains from December to May. Other ungulates also occur in huge numbers during the wet season. Kopjes are granite florations which are very common in the region and they are great observation posts for predators, as well as a refuge for hyrax and pythons.
The Western corridor, the "black cotton", soil covers the swampy savanna of this region. Grumeti River is home to enormous Nile crocodiles, colobus monkey, and the martial eagle. The migration passes through from May to July. The Northern Serengeti landscape is dominated by open woodlands and hills, ranging from Seronera in the south to the Mara River in the limit with Kenya. Apart from the migratory wildebeest and zebra (which occur from July to August and in November), the bushy savanna is the best place to find elephant, giraffe, and dik dik.
Human habitation is forbidden in the national park with the exception of staff for TANAPA, researchers, Frankfurt Zoological Society staff, and staff of the various lodges and hotels. The main settlement is Seronera which houses the majority of research staff and the park's main headquarters, including its primary airstrip.
As well as the migration of ungulates, the park is well known for its healthy stock of other resident wildlife, particularly the "Big Five". The park also supports many further species, including cheetah, Thomson's and Grant's gazelle, topi, eland, waterbuck, hyena, baboon, impala, African wild dog, and giraffe. The park also boasts about 500 bird species, including ostrich, secretary bird, Kori bustard, crowned crane, marabou stork, martial eagle, lovebirds, and many species of vultures.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area was established in the year 1959 and later become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The crater is one of the biggest caldera in the world and has been described as one of the most spectacular game hunts in Africa. The crater has a diameter of 14.5 kilometers and a depth of 2000 - 2500 feet. The crater covers an area of 264 square kilometers.
The best vantage point is the flat-topped Engitati Hill in the north-eastern corner of the park. Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south-western corner, is the main feature of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos, and other water birds can usually be seen here. The Lerai Forest, a fever tree forest located in the south is a good place in the park to see animals such as elephants, waterbuck, and flitting sunbirds. Swamps, thorn scrub, and grassland fill the rest of the park and provide the bulk of wildlife viewing.
The park is one of the most densely crowded wildlife areas in the world and is home to an estimated 30,000 animals. There are no giraffe, topi, or impala in the park - they probably find it difficult to negotiate the crater rim cliffs and there is also insufficient grazing for large herds of antelope, inside the park. However, the park teems with wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, aggressive pack hunting hyenas, and resident lion prides. Supported by a year-round supply of water and fodder, the park supports a vast variety of animals, which include impressive herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, giant elephants, and a small population of black rhino. Another big draw to this picturesque park is its dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs, and the ever elusive leopard which sometimes requires a trained eye to spot.
The Ngorongoro Crater is only open from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and only six-hour safari permits are issued which allow for only a single six-hour morning game drive or six-hour afternoon game drive to the park. There are two picnic and toilet spots - the one in the Lerai Forest and at the other at the Ngoitokitok Springs located in the south-eastern section of the park.
You will be served with three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners. Complimentary one-liter bottled water per person per day will also available for you. Fresh meals are prepared by the cook and Goshawk Tours that will ensure a high-standard hygiene. Goshawk Tours also caters for special diets (vegetarian meals).