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This tour will take you to the most visited destination with high wildlife concentration and amazing sceneries. Visit the amazing safari destinations that are characterized by the large herds of elephants, tree-climbing lions, and the fascinating baobab trees. In Ngorongoro Crater, some 20,000 mammals make the crater the best place in Tanzania to see these amazing creatures.
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and you will travel to the Tarangire National Park. This park with its huge baobab trees, the perennial Tarangire River and seasonal swamps is home to the largest elephant herds in northern Tanzania. Animals gather at the river and you should be able to see elephants, giraffes, bushbucks, hartebeests, dik-diks, waterbucks, warthogs and reedbucks all year round. Furthermore the park is also home to buffaloes, zebras and wildebeests which are always closely followed by a range of predators such as lions. Leopards are seen every once in a while but cheetahs are rarely spotted. From the open roof of the vehicle you will be able to absorb the landscape and watch the animals. After an extensive game drive, you will leave the park in the late afternoon and drive to the Farm of Dreams Lodge, where you will spend the night. Lunch and dinner will be provided.
After an early start you will make your way to the cooler regions of the Ngorongoro highlands. The Ngorongoro Crater is almost 600 m deep, approximately 20 km wide and the massive caldera is home to an amazing variety of animals. On your game drive you have the possibility of seeing all different kinds of mammals ranging from the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – to Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles and mountain reedbucks. You might also see spotted hyenas and some of the more than 500 bird species of the area. After a picnic lunch in the crater and some more game viewing, you will leave the crater in the afternoon and travel to Karatu, where you will overnight at the Farm of Dreams Lodge. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided.
After breakfast, you will leave the highlands and continue to Lake Manyara National Park, one of the smallest but most diverse parks in Tanzania. The shallow and alkaline Lake Manyara covers a large area of the park and it is the seasonal home to thousands of flamingos – an awesome (pink) sight. However more than 500 other bird species are also found here as well as some wonderful mammals. Troops of monkeys live in the forests, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras and wildebeests on the grassy plains and elephants and lions in the acacia woodlands. After an intensive game drive and a picnic lunch, you will leave the park to arrive in Arusha by the late afternoon.Breakfast and lunch will be provided.
This safari will be held at Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania.
The Lake Manyara National Park, which encompasses an area of 335 square kilometers, of which 200 square kilometers is a lake, was proclaimed a game reserve in 1957 and registered three years later as a national park. The park is situated between the 600-meter high escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara and is 130 kilometers from Arusha.
Thus, it can be visited on a day excursion from this center. At the southern end of the park are hot Sulphur Springs known as Majimoto. Further along the forest the area opens up into woodlands, grassland, swamps, and beyond, the soda lake itself.
Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to birdlife only. Many game animals such as buffalo, elephant, giraffe, impala, hippo, and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.
Lake Manyara is also renowned for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven meters above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per square kilometers in Tanzania. As visitors enter the gate, they pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys.
Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent hippo pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland, where in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees, a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.
Along with these amazing tree-climbing lions, there are the usual browsers and grazers as well as the curious-looking banded mongoose. Two thirds of the park are dominated by the slightly alkaline lake which is home to a huge variety of waterbirds.
More than 400 species of birds, including flamingo, pelican, red billed quelea, storks, sacred ibis, cormorants, and Egyptian geese can be sighted in this area. Other species of birds include the African spoonbill, lesser flamingo, white pelican and white faced duck.
Lake Manyara National Park is 130 kilometers west of Arusha and the drive takes about two and half hours. The entrance to the park is off to the left of the Great North Road at Makuyuni. From here, there is a track that goes past the lake and through the village of Mto wa Mbu to the park entrance.
Mto wa Mbu (meaning mosquito creek) is a small busy market town selling fruit and vegetables produced by the fruitful adjacent farms. The little settlement has become a temporary stopover for tourists and campers. The dry season of July to October is the best time to visit to spot large mammals, whilst the wet season of November to June is the best time for birdwatching.
It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them. It is 120 kilometers from Arusha, bordered with Tarangire Wildlife conservation area to the northeast, an area set apart by the government, to cater for the needs of the local people as a grazing ground for their herds.
The park owes its name to Tarangire River, which flows across the area. It is characterized by dense vegetation of acacia and mixed woodland, the area around Tarangire River, however, is dominated by huge baobab trees and old doum palm trees to a lesser prominence, as well as black cotton grass.
Though it is not as famous as other parks in the north, Tarangire offers the same attractions as other parks in the north. Its unique aspect is the annual animal immigration that takes place during the dry season.
While Serengeti’s animal migration has attained mundane fame, for many tourists, little is known of Tarangire annual migration. The difference with Serengeti, however, is that, in Serengeti, animals migrate away from the park during the dry season (June to October), the opposite happens in Tarangire.
Animals migrate from Maasai Steppe to the park during the dry. They migrate to the park in search for water, which is provided by Tarangire River, and predators migrate along in search for preys. During this period, the park has the largest concentration of animals than in any park in the northern Tanzania.
June to October is the best time to see a large number of wildebeest, elephants, zebras, and hartebeest. Not all animals are migratory though, other animals such as giraffes, impala, eland, lesser kudu, waterbuck, gazelle, and sometimes rhinos or leopards can be seen throughout the year. More people are attracted by the giant pythons and large herds of elephants. The park is also famous for migrant birds.
In nearly three million years ago, Ngorongoro towered alongside Mount Kilimanjaro as one of the highest peaks in Africa. Forged during the tumultuous birth of the Rift Valley, its volcanic top erupted at the time that ancient man first walked the plains.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) covers some 8,300 square kilometers. It boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people, and archaeological sites in Africa. It is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use. The concept of multiple land use in conservation perspective is a deviation from a traditional approach of regarding conservation as complete absenteeism of human interference.
In the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the main rifts are north of Lake Eyasi and east of Lakes Manyara and Lake Natron, where the nine volcanoes of Ngorongoro highlands were formed during the past four million years. Of these, only volcano Oldonyo Lengai is still active. The ash and dust from the eruptions was carried by the wind to form the fertile soils of the Serengeti plains.
Today, Ngorongoro’s caldera shelters the most beautiful wildlife haven on earth. The rich pasture and permanent water of the crater floor supports a resident population of some 20,000 to 25,000 large mammals. They are not confined by the crater walls, and can leave freely, yet they stay because conditions are favorable. Since most of the crater floor is grassland, grazing animals predominate, like gnu, zebra, gazelles, buffalo, elan, and kongoni (Coke’s hartebeest), and warthogs.
The swamp and forest provide additional resources for hippos, some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhinos, giant-tusked elephants, waterbucks, reedbucks and bushbucks, baboons, and vervets. The steep inner slopes provide a habitat for dik-dik and the rare mountain reedbuck. Towering euphorbias cling to the crater walls and on the floor. Fever tree and fig tree forests give shade to an awe-inspiring array of creatures.
All these animals in turn support large predators such as lion and leopard, and scavengers such as hyena and jackals. For the best viewing and photography, approach the animals slowly and quietly and stay on the official tracks. What you can see of birdlife depends greatly on the season of the year, because there are resident birds and migrant birds.
You are certain to see many residents, like ostriches, bustards, and plovers all year round. In wet season, they share the crater with European migrants such as white storks, yellow wagtails, swallows, and many more. The migrants pass through from November through May, coinciding with the rains in Africa and the winter in Eurasia. There are also local migrants such as flamingos, storks, and ducks which come and go depending on the state of the lake and ponds.
Other birds you can see are stonechat, anteater chat, Schalow’s wheatear, fiscal shrike. Augur buzzards, Verreaux’s eagle, and other raptors live in the crater.
Interpretive game drives through the emerald plains and forests of the crater floor engender guests with a respect for the people and wildlife of this world wonder. A sheer dirt road descends from Malanja Depression on the crater rim to the crater floor. At the top of the road, Maasai women and children allow you to photograph them for a small fee.
The Malanja depression is grassy and open and is a good place to spot typical highland antelope such as mountain reedbuck and Kirk's dik-dik, and birds such as the striking auger buzzard and Schalow's wheatear. The dominant feature of the crater floor is Lake Magadi, a shallow soda lake that supports large flocks of flamingo.
Much of the crater floor is open grassland, making animal spotting relatively easy: black rhino, lion, hyena, gazelle, wildebeest and zebra are all commonly seen. The hippo pool near Mandusi Swamp is a popular picnic spot.
Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Kiliholidays Tours & Safaris will pick you up from the airport.
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