We think this is the best of everything taking in incredible wildlife but also time with different cultures both the Maasai in their vibrant red robes and herds of cattle and the Hadzabe one of the few remaining click speaking hunter gatherer tribes in Africa. Then on to the vast wilderness zones of the Serengeti for some incredible time on foot in the world’s most iconic park.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Hadzabe areas of Lake Eyasi region, Maasai villages, the Serengeti National Park and the incomparable Serengeti Wilderness Zones.
Day 1 Arrival – Moivaro Coffee Lodge – Arusha
We propose clients arrive on the evening KLM flight into Kilimanjaro International Airport from Amsterdam – it’s a fairly smooth and painless way to get to Tanzania! We meet this KLM flight and transfer clients to Moivaro Coffee Lodge for a light supper and overnight. Alternatively, we can arrange to meet clients who arrive via Nairobi or Dar es Salaam or arrive on a different flight – contact us for prices & details.
Day 2 Mysigio Luxury Camp – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Leave Arusha after breakfast heading initially south and then crossing the great Rift Valley en route to Ngorongoro.
On the way up there they would have time to visit Lake Manyara National Park – a fascinating place – very different to most of the other parks in the area in that it is a narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Great Rift escarpment and Lake Manyara itself. The springs at the base of the escarpment produce unique, lush groundwater forests, whilst the lakeshore offers open grazing. Whilst the park is famous for its tree climbing lions it is also home to large resident populations of elephant and giraffe. The freshwater stream feeding into the soda waters of the lake are a tremendous feeding ground for hundreds of birds from pelicans to flamingos as well as the favourite wallow of the hippo pods.
Mid afternoon leave Lake Manyara and continue on up to Ngorongoro with fantastic views into the crater and then carry on to camp. The Mysigio Camp is nestled amongst the acacia forests on the southern side of the highlands. An idyllic spot away from the hustle and bustle of the Crater rim, a place where the Maasai still live very traditional lives. Ole Dorop, the local Maasai chief is our guide as we explore his hilly realm. Perhaps stopping in at a ‘boma’ or village for a chat or hiking to some of the amazing viewpoints that look over the Serengeti Plains.
Day 3 Mysigio Luxury Camp – Ngorongoro Conservation Area
A full day in Ngorongoro Crater exploring this unique caldera – the permanent home to many animals and a great spot for getting that fantastic close up wildlife shots.
Day 4 Wilderness Camp – Lake Eyasi
Descending steeply into an offshoot of the Rift Valley we enter the territory of the Hadza, a tribe of click speaking hunter-gatherers. A disappearing tribe they are incredibly welcoming and fascinating to spend time with. Their lifestyle is very simple – temporary huts to sleep in and few possessions as they move through the countryside literally living off the land. They forage for tubers and edible berries as well as hunting game for the pot. They live the ultimate low impact life and use many of the plants for medicinal purposes. We will put up a light weight camp for you close to their village so you can join in everything from making arrows to hunting and dancing.
Day 5 Wilderness Camp – Lake Eyasi
A full day to spend with the Hadza – perhaps getting up early to go hunting or following the honey guide bird as it leads them to a bee hive that they can raid for honey – one of their favorite treats! Relaxing during the heat of the day in the shade of a baobab and learning how to make bows and arrows from special trees then perhaps a walk down to the lakeshore to practice.
Day 6 Pembezoni Luxury Camp – Serengeti
Ascending back out of the rift drive out across the vast Serengeti plains – game viewing as you go. Seasonally we move the camp to different locations, capitalizing on the movement of the game to provide the best viewing experience as the migration moves around the park.
Day 7 & 8 Pembezoni Luxury Camp – Serengeti
Another two full days to roam the plains in search of the herds. The wildebeest migration sweeps through the plains in a huge arc before crossing into the Maasai Mara during the dry season. However much of the other game is far more sedentary and remains in the same area year round. Overnight in the Mobile Camp
Day 9 Serengeti Wilderness Area- Wilderness Camp
Leaving the security of the game viewing tracks we head off road into the wilderness walking areas. These areas were not visited for nearly 50 years except by the occasional ranger patrol, they offer a view of the Serengeti as it was, un-marred by game viewing tracks and lodges. Once in camp we can go for an afternoon orientation walk – here we are the intruders and we must learn to blend in if we are to get the full benefits of our visit. We will not see another person for the entire time walking – we will have exclusive use of a huge block of the Serengeti NP. This camp is far lighter than the luxury seasonal camps – Mysigio in Ngorongoro and Pembezoni in the Serengeti, the camp will move with us over the next 5 days as we explore the Serengeti National Park so needs to be light enough to pack up, move and re-erect in a day. Accommodation is in dome tents with aluminium beds, and toilets and showers are shared between tents. We still have our large, airy, bug-proof mess tents and the same great waiter served meals. Overnight in the Wilderness Camp.
Day 10 Serengeti Wilderness Area- Wilderness Camp
A full day of walking – we set off early in the cool of the morning…stopping for lunch in the heat of the day under a shady tree or a cool overhang. Walking in the Serengeti is not about covering huge distances, it is about moving slowly so as not to disturb the wildlife, peering around a rock kopje to see a herd of impala grazing – oblivious to our presence, sitting above a waterhole to watch as the game come down to drink. It’s about enjoying the smaller pleasures – finding out about the traditional medicinal properties of a tree, following the Honey Guide bird as it leads us to a hive…. and on occasion getting our hearts racing as we stalk the larger more dangerous game –buffalo and elephant– or even perhaps lion. As we have walked the camp will have been broken down – moved ahead of us and re-erected in a new location – this is truly a ‘safari’ …a journey – as we move though the wilderness. Wilderness camp
Day 11 Serengeti Wilderness Area- Wilderness Camp
Another full day of walking – unlocking the secrets of this magical area…Following the tracks to discover the spring that never dries even at the hottest time of year. The small glades with the flush of sweet grass …and the cave that the porcupine drags the old bones into. Overnight in the Wilderness Camp again.
Day 12 Serengeti Wilderness Area – Wilderness Camp
Our final day of walking – wandering amongst the towering rock kopjes that dot the area, finding the spot where the elephants dig for water in the river beds, or perhaps coming upon a lion kill. Back to your Wilderness Camp for a final night of relaxing around the camp fire under the vast, star studded, African sky, listening to lions roar at each other across the plains as we settle down to sleep.
Day 13 Day rooms – KIA lodge
Drive back out of our wilderness area to the airstrip to catch the scheduled flight back to civilization in Arusha. Then either lunch in town with a chance for some shopping before moving on to day rooms at KIA lodge – a farewell dinner then off to the airport for the flight home – or connecting flight on down to Zanzibar or the mainland coast for some beach time.
Other Classic Tanzanian safari itineraries:
We think this has a little of the best of everything; some fantastic game viewing in both Ngorongoro Crater and the iconic Serengeti National Park as well as a chance to experience some of the unique cultures of Tanzania.
Taking in the highlights of Northern Tanzania’s safari attractions – but with our own particular style – we feel that this week off the beaten track with a mixture of game viewing, culture, and walking will give anyone and everyone a massive boost!
We love this itinerary – it has some fantastic game viewing in some of the greatest spots on earth, a chance to experience some of the unique Maasai culture and finally the jewel in the crown – walking in the Serengeti – our favourite thing to do.
Taking in Arusha National Park – a real ‘trade secret’ – this wonderful little park featuring Mount Meru, has some great wildlife and even better walking. Then on to the stunning Ngorongoro Crater, a chance for some cultural interaction and the wild open plains of the Serengeti National Park.