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Most explorations of the Ngorongoro Crater occur over the course of a day or two, from the comfort of a safari vehicle. This tour however, provides unprecedented intimacy with this collapsed volcano as you embark on a week long hiking trip through the varied craters and plateaus that characterize this prehistoric landscape. Ancient village trails wander up escarpments, into valleys and past countless waterfalls, exposing guests to the quiet corners of the region that have sustained rural tribes for centuries.
During this safari, you will be accommodated in middle range safari lodges in Burunge Tented Lodge & Camp.
From the elegant wooden central platform where the Lake Burunge Tented Lodge restaurant stands it’s possible to watch the lakeshore waiting for the animals that come to drink there.
Because the camp is strategically located in the natural corridor between Manyara and Tarangire, so the spectacle of the migration it’s guaranteed. The camp is located 10 minutes from the entrance to the park known as Sangaiwe.
This camp is the perfect place to relax in comfort after a day of game drives in Tarangire, simply carried away by the breeze and the colors of the African sunset from your private terrace.
You will leave Arusha town and drive for two hours to Lake Manyara National Park. It is one of Tanzania’s most dramatically located wildlife areas, consisting of a massive but shallow soda lake (covering two-thirds of the park) at the foot of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment.
The park’s varied habitat attracts a wide variety of African animals, including one of Africa’s largest concentrations of elephants, Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, as well as large flocks of flamingos, attracted by the algae in the lake. Dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
Lake Eyasi is a very scenic soda lake found on the southern border of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This less visited lake lies at the base of the Eyasi escarpment on the western rift valley wall. This afternoon, you will be introduced to the extraordinary people who belong to an indigenous tribe known as the ‘Hadzabe’ (hunter-gatherer bushmen). The tribe inhabits the shores of Lake Eyasi as do the Nilotic-speaking Datoga tribe.
You will visit these tribes, which will include a visit to their homesteads, learn about their way of life, animal tracking, medicinal plants, and much more. Some wildlife and a wide range of bird species can be viewed during walks around the lake, which can be arranged. Dinner and overnight at the lodge.
You will have a late breakfast and we then travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Late in the afternoon, you'll be driven to a Masai Village. Visitors meet the village elders, get an insight into the Masai way of life, visit the bomas, learn about their prized cattle and visit the local school. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
After breakfast at the lodge, you will descend over 600 meters into the crater to view wildlife for a half day’s tour. Supported by a year round water supply and fodder, the Ngorongoro Crater supports a vast variety of animals, which include herds of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, eland, warthog, hippo, and giant African elephants. Another big draw card to this picturesque national park, is it’s dense population of predators, which include lions, hyenas, jackals, cheetahs and the ever-elusive leopard.
You will visit Lake Magadi, a large but shallow alkaline lake in the south western corner, which is one of the main features of the crater. A large number of flamingos, hippos and other water birds can usually been seen here.
You will return to the lodge to enjoy lunch and then head towards the Serengeti National Park with a stopover at Olduvai Gorge, boasting with history dating back to the dawn of time. It was here, that the anthropologists Drs. Lois and Mary Leakey discovered the skulls of the famous ‘Nutcracker Man” and ‘Handy Man’, both very significant links in the chain of human evolution.
Leaving the highlands behind, you will descend into the heart of wild Africa - the Serengeti National Park - with its endless plains, rolling into the distance as far as the eye can see. You will do a late game drive en route to the lodge. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
After breakfast, you will head to the south-eastern side of the park, visiting the Barafu Kopjes and the Ngare Nanyuki River area, for the morning and afternoon game drives. Apart from the lion prides you find in the area, the Barafu Kopjes is the place to visit for possible cheetah sightings. The Ngare Nanyuki River area is also well known for being packed with game. Enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
Early morning game drive and return to the lodge for a late breakfast. After breakfast, you will head for the Lake Manyara National Park. You will visit and enjoy lunch at Gibbs Farm en route (a small lodge, surrounded by coffee farms, on the slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater). You will enjoy dinner and overnight at the lodge or hotel.
After breakfast, you will visit the local Market and villages around the Karatu, experience life in the local village setting, meeting local people, learning about their culture, agriculture, and history of the area. You will return the lodge for lunch and then transfer back to Arusha town where the safari will end.
Visit Datoga and Hadzabe Tribe
This safari will take you through Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Eyasi and Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
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 adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.
Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants, and storks.
The Ngorongoro Crater lies at the centre of the fascinating and unusual Ngorongoro Concervation Area. This area has an extraordinary volcanic landscape that is rich and fertile, with stunning craters and lakes. Whereas its high altitude creates a malaria-free micro climate, it extends through the Crater Highlands, in which local tribes are permitted to maintain their traditional lifestyles in as natural environment as possible.
The Ngorongoro Crater is said to have the most dense concentration of wildlife in Africa. As such, it has achieved world renown, and attracts a growing number of visitors each year. Even if time is limited this natural but accessibly small caldera ensures a rewarding safari.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest intact caldera in an exceptional geographical position, forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometers with sides up to 600 meters deep. It is the stalking ground of 20 to 30,000 wild animals at any one time.
The crater floor consists of a number of ecological environments that include grassland, swamps, forests and Lake Makat, a central soda lake filled by the Munge river. All these various habitats attract various wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb.
Although animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring source lakes on the crater floor tend to incline both grazers and predators to remain throughout the year.
Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a Seventh Worldwide Wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle 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-mane 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 kopjes. 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, focused unswerving on its next meal.
During this safari, your daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided. You will be served with African and European food.
On the fifth day of safari, you can have the ideal opportunity to do an optional but unforgettable hot air balloon flight, followed by a delightful champagne breakfast (available at a supplementary cost, but can be booked in advance).
Kilimanjaro International Airport
Arrival by airplane
Please book your flight to arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transfer from and to the airport is included. Lappet Faced Safaris will pick you up from the airport.
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookAllSafaris.com. All major credit cards supported.
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