Lake Manyara National Park

Size: 127 sq. miles (330 sq. km.) Best Times: July-Oct. (mammals); Nov.-June (birds)

Couched between the impressive Rift Valley escarpment and the sparkling waters of the lake, Lake Manyara National Park is a lush little wedge of paradise. Baboons, elephants, zebra, hippos, flamingos, giraffe, monkeys, many types of antelope and the elusive tree lions make for an exciting safari.

The variety of wildlife in this relatively small area makes a deep impression on visitors. The variety of wildlife is due largely to the variety of habitats in the area. Acacia forest, swampland, grassland, the shoreline, and the lake itself offer a livelihood for many different types of mammals, reptiles and birds. You can sit under the rich green forest canopy and watch the antics of the baboons or venture into the open air to observe giraffe, antelope and zebra grazing against the stunning blue backdrop of the lake. The animals can generally be found in close proximity to the roads and are easily observed and photographed at extremely close range.

Did you know?

The word “manyara” is Masai for a type of plant. The Masai tribe uses this plant to create living corrals for livestock. Once the manyara matures, it forms a thorny wall that keeps livestock in, and the lions out!
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Accommodation

Kirurumu Luxury Tented Lodge

The permanent tents at Kirurumu feature modern plumbing and electricity while retaining a charmingly rustic atmosphere. The verandah at the bar sits atop the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and the view over Lake Manyara National Park below is spectacular.

Lake Manyara Hotel

Built on the edge of the great Rift Valley escarpment the lodge also offers magnificent views of the national park below. Each of the 100 rooms offers a unique view of the beautiful surroundings.

Lake Manyara Serena Lodge

This 5-star lodge, also overlooking the soda lake, will delight birdwatchers with an opportunity to observe many colourful birds. All 62 bedrooms and the swimming pool offer wonderful views of the countryside and park. (link)

Gibbs Farm

Situated between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, Gibbs farm (link) offers charming accommodations in rustic cabins in the gorgeous setting of a colonial coffee farm. The grounds are immaculately kept and there are plenty of shady places to relax and soak up the African sights and sounds; nature walks can be arranged to view a majestic waterfall and the serene East African countryside.
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Tarangire National Park

Size: 2600 sq. km. Best times: July-Sept.

The permanent Taragire River makes Tarangire National Park a precious refuge for African wildlife. Particularly during the dry season, when even the best grazing areas dry up, Tarangire is home to gigantic herds of wildebeest, zebra, and elephants. In fact, during the dry season, Tarangire is second only to Ngorongoro crater for high wildlife concentration. Most of the park is savannah, ornamented by the spectacularly massive baobab trees, but there are also swamplands and wooded areas.

Tarangire is one of the few areas where the oryx can be observed. Visitors may also be lucky enough to spot a giant tree-climbing python in the acacia woodlands. Leopards are common in Tarangire but must be watched for diligently as they tend to sleep in the trees throughout the day and African hunting dogs may also be seen, although not in abundance. The elephant herds are particularly spectacular and can reach over 300 in number.

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Accommodation

Tarangire Safari Camp

Thatched roofs provide extra shade for the permanent tents at this camp and each one sports a private verandah overlooking the park and Tarangire river where animals can often be seen drinking.

Tarangire Sopa Lodge

Overlooking the Tarangire Hill, this is a five-star lodge with all the amenities. (link)

Tamarind Camp

The Tamarind Camp occupies 200 acres on the edge of Tarangire National Park. The Camp has 8 classic luxury tents surrounded by grassland and near a riverbed with spectacular baobab trees.

Olivers Camp

Each tent at this camp has wooden beds, coffee tables, wardrobes, wash basins and toilets/showers. The camp features a library where you can watch wildlife documentaries in the evening.

Tarangire Treetops

Fifteen luxury tents with bathroom facilities overlook the Tarangire Sand River. Each tent has a platform built right into one of the indigenous trees and the camp features a swimming pool and dining area near an elephant watering hole.

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“I did a week long safari with Mr Samwel when my parents visited Africa earlier this year. His knowledge of the animals is second to no other drivers that I have worked with in Tanzania or Kenya, while his driving skills and familiarity with the National Parks is excellent… Along with always being presentable, he is exceedingly reliable and punctual. Chris’ personal skills are very good and his English is clear and understandable. He is a keen learner and always willing to listen to others, as well as to sharing his knowledge of local culture and peoples. He helped make a special family holiday one that we will never forget.”
Jim Eite, Safari and Mountain Guide

Arusha National Park

Size: 325 sq. miles (137 sq. km.) Best Time to Visit: July – March

Arusha National Park is one of the most easily accessible of north-eastern Tanzania. Situated between the peaks of Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro (less than an hour’s drive from Kilimanjaro airport and only 20 minutes from the city of Arusha itself) the park is home to many varieties of smaller game as well as giraffe, elephant, leopard, hippo, colobus monkey, water buffalo, bushbuck, and over 400 species of birdlife.

The views of Mt. Kilimanjaro are breathtaking but it is Mt. Meru that dominates the park. Excursions can be made to Meru’s summit (with an armed ranger because of the animals) and it is a popular “practice” run for those whose destination is the peak of Kilimanjaro. Although not as high as Kilimanjaro, the view from Meru’s peak is spectacular and includes a magnificent crater and eruption cone. The hike itself traverses a variety of landscapes including plains, forest and lava desert. For the less ambitious, Arusha National Park is one of the few parks where a walking safari is possible (also with an armed ranger). Walking safaris can be as short or as long as desired..

The slopes and summit of Meru are only one type of protected habitat in the park, others include the Momela Lakes region and the Ngurdoto Crater, all of which afford spectacular views of the African countryside and wildlife. The lakes are very salty and the animals do not use them for drinking but the high mineral content gives each lake a different colour and each supports a unique array of insect and bird life. The Ngurdoto crater, which measures nearly two miles across, remains undisturbed by humans. The views from the rim are magnificent and a variety of wildlife can be spotted grazing on the crater floor.

For those on safari, one of the unique aspects of the Arusha area is its dense population. It is possible to experience Africa as its modern inhabitants do by visiting one of the local communities that has initiated grassroots tourism. You’ll be charmed by the authentic African meals, songs and the hospitality of Mama Anna as she demonstrates her cheese-making techniques. You may also be able to purchase coffee – and even help roast and grind it using traditional methods! For a small fee, breakfast lunch and/or dinner can be provided.
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Accommodation

Moivaro Coffee Plantation Lodge

Built on a former coffee plantation, the Moivaro Lodge (link) features individual thatched cabins, beautiful gardens and a large colonial style verandah that can’t be beat for relaxing with a cool drink after a long day or breakfasting in anticipation of one. Moivaro has nature trails on the grounds and is optimally located near Arusha and Kilimanjaro airport.

Mountain Village

Similar to Moivaro, although somewhat older, the Mountain Village Lodge offers individual cabins and fantastic views. Nature walks can be arranged and the hotel is located near Arusha town and Kilimanjaro airport.

Novotel Mt. Meru

The Novotel at Mt. Meru is a large, western-style 1960’s hotel just at the edge of Arusha town. The Novotel is a pick-up point for shuttles to and from Nairobi and is slightly more central to the town and airport than the above-mentioned lodges.

Mountain Village

Similar to Moivaro, although somewhat older, the Mountain Village Lodge offers individual cabins and fantastic views. Nature walks can be arranged and the hotel is located near Arusha town and Kilimanjaro airport.

Dik-Dik

Named for the smallest of the African antelope, the dik-dik is a newer hotel, centrally located and features 18 double suites all with modern amenities. Typical east African flora can be viewed throughout the grounds.
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10 Days Safari

Duration: 9 nights, 10 days
Description: Lodge or Camp
Location: Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti
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Day 1

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport: pick up and transfer to Arusha Town.

Day 2

After breakfast depart for Tarangire National Park where you arrive in time for lunch. Then take an afternoon game drive around the Tarangire River where you may see a herd of elephants drinking and the young ones playing in the mud. Drive back to the lodge/camp before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Tarangire Lodge/Camp.

Day 3

Full day’s game drive with lunch boxes, which gives you the maximum time to learn about the characteristics of the animals and the many different species of birds, trees and bushes. Drive back to the lodge/camp before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Tarangire Lodge/Camp.

Day 4

After breakfast depart to Lake Manyara National Park with a picnic lunch. The Lake Manyara National Park is world famous for being able to see tree climbing lions. This park lies in the middle of the Great Rift Valley, which is about 8,000km long. You can also visit the hot spring in the south of the park. Drive back to the lodge/camp before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Lake Manyara Lodge/Camp.

Day 5

After breakfast depart with a packed lunch to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where you drive down into the crater for a game drive. Drive back to the lodge/camp before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Ngorongoro Lodge/Camp.

Day 6

After breakfast return to the crater for a full day’s game drive with picnic lunch. Here you can enjoy watching the resident animals, who do not migrate to Serengeti due to the availability of grass and water throughout the year. You have a good chance of seeing a black rhinoceros. Return to the lodge or camp just before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Ngorongoro Lodge/Camp.

Day 7

Leave after breakfast with lunch boxes to Serengeti National Park. On the way, visit the Olduvai Gorge museum where you will hear a most interesting talk about Olduvai and the skeletal remains of Homo habilis and Australopithecus boisei, dating back about 1.7 million years. Game drive en-route to Serengeti National Park.

Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Lodge/Camp.

Day 8

Full day’s game drive with picnic lunch to explore the biggest national park in Tanzania, which covers about 14,763km². Serengeti National Park is an endless plain and unique for its flora and fauna. Return to the lodge/camp before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Lodge/Camp.

Day 9

You have another full day, including a picnic lunch, to count the resident and non-resident animals in the Serengeti National Park. There are many resident types of animals such as grasser and browser animals, carnivores as well as reptiles in the rivers. Drive back to the lodge/camp just before dusk.

Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Lodge/Camp.

Day 10

After breakfast check out of your lodge or camp for a short game drive. Thereafter drive to Seronera Airstrip for your flight departing to Arusha. Arrive at Arusha for lunch and have some leisure time for shopping etc.. Late evening transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

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Programme includes:
– accommodation on full board basis
– transport and transfers
– park fees
– crater fee
– camp fee
– mineral water in the car
– driver guide

Programme excludes:
– International flight
– soft drinks and alcohol
– Maasai visit
– Bushmen visit
– personal expenses
– visa

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Link to all our Classic Itineraries, click here.

Mikumi National Park

Size: 3,200 sq. km. Best time to visit: Anytime

Mikumi National Park is one of the largest and most accessible parks in Tanzania (appx. four hour drive from Dar es Salaam) and is often a destination for students of ecology and conservation.

A variety of wildlife inhabits the park including giraffe, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, eland, elephant, python, and the little-seen tree-climbing lions. African hunting dogs, which have become rare throughout the continent, can also be seen mainly in the southern end of the floodplains.

The landscape is dominated by open grasslands; at the northern end of the floodplains some areas remain swampy year-round. These swampy areas are separated by hard ridges that remain relatively dry and treeless. Swamp life includes monitor lizards that grow up to 6 feet (2 meters) long, frog-eaters and other types of large waterfowl.

The elephants in the area are small but have caused some areas of the park (including that surrounding the park headquarters) to become increasingly open through their taste for the Sclerocarya tree. The elephants like the fruits so much that they will shake and push the trees when there is no fruit to be found on the ground.
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Accommodation

Mikumi Wildlife Camp

Situated near the main park entrance, Mikumi Wildlife Camp has stone-built African cottages, spacious bedrooms, bathrooms with showers and verandahs with beautiful views.

Hotel Oasis

Located in Morogoro town, this mid-sized tourist hotel features 37 comfortably furnished rooms (link). All rooms are ensuite with bathrooms, telephones and televisions. The restaurant offers Indian, Chinese and Tanzanian cuisine.
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