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On this camping safari, you will see flamingos and other waterfowls in Lake Manyara National Park, a crater filled with wild animals in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and a large selection of animals in the Serengeti National Park as well as Tarangire National Park. Don't worry about anything. You just need to relax as experienced guides look after you and safari cooks treat and spoil you with their excellent culinary skills. By the time you have returned after a day’s adventure, with the sun setting over the savannah and a lion roaring in the distance, you will know that you have left your everyday life far, far away.
Upon arrival, the accommodation will be at Green Mountain Hotel for one night. If you’re looking for a good, comfortable place, Green Mountain Hotel will suit your needs. Safety storage boxes are available, ensuring the protection of property and valuables throughout the guests’ stay at the hotel.
On this camping safari, you sleep in roomy 1,80 meter (5.10 feet) high canvas tents that all come with comfortable mattresses. Sturdy camping furniture and sensible eating utensils are provided.
Ilmaasai Expedition attaches great importance to the condition and quality of their camping equipment. After every tour, all safari gear is thoroughly cleaned, inspected, repaired, and replaced wherever necessary.
Upon arrival, you will be provided with pre-safari accommodation at Green Mountain Hotel.
Leave Arusha at 9:00 a.m. and drive for about one hour to Tarangire National Park. This park is often referred to as the "home of elephants", you have a great chance to spot elephants in large groups gathering around the Tarangire River. Other animals to be spotted include leopards, lions, giraffes, and even tree-climbing pythons! Late afternoon drive to Mto Wa Mbu town for dinner and overnight.
Early breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Pack and drive for a game drive en route to Serengeti National Park. Serengeti is the largest and most famous park in Tanzania, known worldwide for its endless plains, wildebeest-migration, herds of lions and other predators like hyenas, cheetahs, and leopards. Crocodiles can be found in the Grumeti River, as well as hippos, giraffes, antelopes, and gazelles. Dinner and overnight in the heart of Serengeti.
Another early morning game drives in Serengeti. In the afternoon, you drive en route (optional stopover at Olduvai) to the rim of Ngorongoro Crater for dinner and overnight with an excellent view of the crater floor, where you will have a possibility of seeing the Big Five and exploring the beautiful nature of Ngorongoro Crater.
Early breakfast at 6:00 a.m. then descend into the Ngorongoro Crater for a game drive. There is a very high possibility of spotting the Big Five in one day: lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, and leopard. Lunch will take place at the picnic site on the crater floor. In the afternoon, drive back to Lake Manyara for dinner and overnight.
A full day in Lake Manyara National Park, famous for its green scenery, varied bird life, tree-climbing lions, hippos, and baboons. Early sunrise game drive and picnic lunch. In the afternoon, drive back to Arusha.
The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the withered grass as brittle as straw. The Tarangire River has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that there, always, there is water.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 square kilometers (12,500 square miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry.
The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground, you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thigh ed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.
More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber Rufus-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.
Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting. Tarangire’s pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.
Tanzania's oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th worldwide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson's gazelles join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing.
Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala, and Grant’s gazelle.
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees lining the Seronera River, while a high density of cheetahs prowls the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A full 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
As enduring as the game-viewing is the liberating sense of space that characterizes the Serengeti Plains, stretching across sunburnt savannah to a shimmering golden horizon at the end of the earth. Yet, after the rains, this golden expanse of grass is transformed into an endless green carpet flecked with wildflowers. And there are also wooded hills and towering termite mounds, rivers lined with fig trees and acacia woodland stained orange by dust.
Popular the Serengeti might be, but it remains so vast that you may be the only human audience when a pride of lions masterminds a siege, focussed unswervingly on its next meal.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The area is named after Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The conservation area is administered by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, an arm of the Tanzanian government, and its boundaries follow the boundary of the Ngorongoro Division of the Arusha Region.
It has been reported in 2009 that the government authority has proposed a reduction of the population of the conservation area from 65,000 to 25,000. There are plans being considered for 14 more luxury tourist hotels, so people can access "the unparalleled beauty of one of the world's most unchanged wildlife sanctuaries".
The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world's largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 meters (2,000 feet) deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers (100 square miles).
Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from 4,500 to 5,800 meters (14,800 to 19,000 feet) high. The elevation of the crater floor is 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level. The crater was voted by Seven Natural Wonders as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa in Arusha, Tanzania in February 2013.
The crater highlands on the side facing the easterly trade winds receives 800 to 1,200 millimeters (31 to 47 inches) of rain a year and are covered largely in montane forest. The less-steep west wall receives only 400 to 600 millimeters (16 to 24 inches) and is grassland and bushland dotted with Euphorbia bussei (es) trees. The crater floor is mostly open grassland with two small wooded areas dominated by Acacia xanthophloea.
Stretching for 50 kilometers along the base of the rusty-gold 600-meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest, and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes - some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favored haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles.
You will be served three meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mineral water will also be provided.
To avoid health problems, use only bottled or filtered water for drinking and brushing your teeth. Bottled water is cheap and readily available in Tanzania, and all lodges and restaurants will have it available. Ilmaasai Expedition’s safari vehicles always come stocked with plenty of bottled water to ensure you remain hydrated while on safari.
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Ilmaasai Expedition will pick you up from the airport.
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