Gombe Stream National Park

Size: 20 sq. miles (52 sq. km.) – Best Chimpanzees Viewing: Feb.-June, Nov.-Dec. (wet) – Best Photography: July-Oct., Late Dec. (dry)

Sweeping up from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, Gombe Stream National Park is a forested wonder. The smallest of the Tanzanian parks, Gombe Stream owes much of its fame to the studies of Jane Goodall, who conducted her groundbreaking research on the wild chimpanzees in this area.

Indeed, the chimps are one of the main attractions and visitors are overwhelmed by the experience of joining the primates in their natural habitat as they go about their business.

Gombe Stream does not contain roads and observation of wildlife must be done on foot or by boat. (The park is accessed by boat from Kigoma.) It’s a small park, but hilly and some trails can be demanding. Chimpanzee treks and swimming in the rivers and lake can be arranged as well as a visit to the chimpanzee feeding station.

Did you know?

Stanley’s famous encounter with Dr. Livingstone took place near Kigoma in a place called Ujiji.
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Accommodation

Camping in the park

Camping on the beach is allowed; however, remember that animals will be attracted to food and can be very destructive so be sure to secure all your supplies.

Hostel

At the park headquarters visitors may spend the night in one of several buildings but be sure to bring all your own supplies.

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel

Overlooking the blue waters of Lake Tanganyika from a rocky outcropping above, the Hilltop Hotel offers 30 luxury cottages each with hot/cold water, ensuite bathroom facilities, satellite TV and beautiful views.
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Chimpanzee image: Copyright (C) Delphine Bruyere

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Mahale Mountains National Park

Size: 1,600 sq. km. Best Time to Visit: Oct. – May

Located on the shores of Lake Tanganyika on the western border of Tanzania, Mahale Mountains National Park combines elements of eastern and western African flora and fauna.

Walking is the only way to get around in this research and conservation-oriented park, which is home to nine different species of primates including the last wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. The park is home to lions, leopards, and African hunting dogs as well as eland, kudu, buffalo and hundreds of insect species including a striking array of butterflies.

The sunsets over Lake Tanganyika are stunning and the park is hailed as one of the most beautiful in the country. Snorkelling and fishing in the lake can also be arranged. The park itself is one of the least accessible in Tanzania, requiring long journeys by boat and train/automobile unless you arrange for a private charter flight.
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Accommodation

Nare Sero Luxury Tented Lodge

The tented lodge at Mahale is brand new and promises to deliver one of the only luxury accommodation experiences available in western Tanzania.

Camping in the park

There are rudimentary camping facilities in the park, bring your own tent and supplies.

Kigoma Hilltop Hotel

Overlooking the blue waters of Lake Tanganyika from a rocky outcropping above, the Hilltop Hotel offers 30 luxury cottages each with hot/cold water, ensuite bathroom facilities, satellite TV and beautiful views.
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We are two brothers who experienced a safari and Christopher’s expertise in Tanzania. Although the first week of March was not to be considered the best period of the year, we had the chance to take a tour from lake Manyara, through Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire, meeting every possible animal that these environments could introduce to us.
Chris has been incredibly funny and expert in spotting animals, providing us with the right information and leaving us enough time to relax and enjoy our vacation.
The food our chef prepared for us was simply amazing, lunch boxes were far beyond simple sandwiches and the flavour they let us try are simply unforgettable. Not even a problem, just fun, relax, sun and animals. Choosing “I Dream Of Africa” means supporting a private safari company and local expertise, while having the opportunity of a whole car and a guide for yourself.”
 Ilaria & Giorgio, Italy, 2013

Luxury Tent Camping Safari

Duration: 12 nights, 13 days
Description: Luxury tented camps
Location: Arusha, Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire
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Day 1

Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, meet with your tour guide and transfer to Arusha.

Dinner and overnight stay at Moivaro Coffee Lodge.

Day 2

After breakfast depart for game watching at Arusha National Park with picnic lunch. After lunch go on an afternoon game drive around the Momella Lakes where you will have good views the Kilimanjaro. This is also where you will enjoy your first sights of wild animals and the beautiful landscapes surrounding Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru. Drive to the lodge before dark.

Dinner and overnight stay at Moivaro Coffee Lodge.

Day 3

After breakfast drive to Lake Manyara National Park where you will arrive in time for lunch at the lodge. Here you will have the best views of the Great Rift Valley while having lunch. After lunch prepare for an afternoon game watch at the Lake Manyara National Park, which lies in the middle of the 8,000km long Great Rift Valley. Here, you will have very good chances to see more wild animals than in Arusha National Park.

Dinner and overnight stay at Lake Manyara Migunga Forest Camp.

Day 4

After breakfast depart to Serengeti National Park, stopping along the way to visit Oldupai Gorge with a picnic lunch. Here you will visit the museum which was set up by Dr. Leakey who found the bones of the first human from some millions years ago. Visit Maasai Boma and become familiar with the Maasai culture and their way of life. Continue game drives en-route to Serengeti National Park, where you arrive for dinner.

Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Simiyu Camp.

Day 5

Early morning game drive at dawn and then drive back for breakfast. After breakfast leave with a lunch box for an all day game viewing in the Serengeti grassland, woodland and bushland where you will have time to explore and spot the migrating animals including predators, such as lion, hyena, leopard and scavengers who follow the migratory animals. Serengeti is incomparable in its beauty and home to more than three million larger mammals spread over its vast endless plain. It is here, at certain times of the year, that we may encounter the breathtaking spectacle of the annual wildebeest migration and during a safari in the month of March you will be able to view the animal migration at Serengeti. Return back to the lodge before dark.

Dinner and overnight stay at Serengeti Simiyu Camp.

Day 6

After breakfast depart and drive to explore the central area of Serengeti National Park, where you will have a different experience with resident wild animals that are depending on the Seronera River for drinking during the dry season, when all migratory animals have moved to Maasai Mara. This area is where the lion – the biggest pride of the Serengeti National Park – waits along the banks of the Seronera River for the resident animals to come for drinking and catches them. This is also one of the best places along the Seronera Valley to spot leopards in acacia trees. Then drive to the camp for a warm lunch and afternoon rest before another afternoon game drive.

Dinner and overnight stay at Olakira Luxury Camp.

Day 7

After breakfast depart to Ngorongoro with picnic lunch which gives you have enough time to complete a short game drive to the centre of Serengeti, famous for big cats, lions, leopards and cheetah. Then on the way to Ngorongoro you will visit Oldupai Gorge, the site where Dr Leakey discovered the fossils of the first human and past creatures from over 1.7 million years ago. This is also an opportunity to visit a Maasai village. Ngorongoro is over 300 years home to the people of the Maasai tribe.

Dinner and overnight stay at Kensington Luxury Camp.

Day 8

After breakfast descend to the caldera for a full day game drive with picnic lunch from the kitchen of your camp. This day you will have time to explore every corner of the crater to try to find the last of the Big Five which you might have missed in the Serengeti National Park. This is a very special place to see the rare Black Rhinoceros, which due to poaching over a long time is an endangered species. If you are lucky you will also spot the Big Bull Elephants, which have bigger ivory than other elephants, feeding in the permanent swamp in the crater. You will also see many wild animals here, which are very docile compared to those migrating in Serengeti. Enjoy lunch by the lake at the Ngoitoktok picnic site whilst watching the hippos, but beware of the Black Kites – birds wanting to steal your food!

Dinner and overnight stay at Kensington Camp.

Day 9

After breakfast drive to Lake Eyasi, southwest of Ngorongoro where you will arrive at the camp in time for lunch. After lunch you will have an afternoon relaxing. A short walk along the camp offers a view over the lake. Here you will experience different cultural activities amongst two separate tribes who live around the area. You can visit the Datoga who are blacksmiths and the Bushmen who are hunters and gatherers around the Lake Eyasi. Their life depends on animals which they can hunt and fruits which grow on the bushes near the lake. They also depend on roots of different trees and grass.

Dinner and overnight stay at Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp.

Day 10

Today you have the opportunity to experience the daily life of the local people. Leave bright and early in the morning before breakfast with a cup of tea/coffee and join with your local guide who will lead you to the Bushmen where they prepare for their hunting activities. The Bushmen normally start very early before the wild animals disappear into the bush because of the human activities. After their preparation join them for an approximately two hour hunt, but sometimes longer depending on where they will find wild animals. After the morning hunt drive back to the camp where you will arrive in time either for breakfast or brunch. Thereafter drive to a Datoga village where you will see the traditional life and activities of the tribe. Then drive back to the camp for lunch and have a short rest before your afternoon activities. In the afternoon drive to another Datoga blacksmith village, where you will see a different culture from the previous village. Watch the family members of villagers perform their different duties and how they make bristles or arrows and metal jewelry out of old padlocks and recycled metal parts . Thereafter drive to the lakeshore where you can enjoy a spectacular sundowner with a view of the lake.

Dinner and overnight stay at Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp.

Day 11

After breakfast depart to Tarangire National Park via Mto wa Mbu, the famous area in Tanzania where can count all tribes living around the country. There are more than 100 tribes with individual languages and culture. Tarangire National Park is one of most the beautiful parks in our country, especially during the dry season when you can enjoy the animals drinking and wallowing in the Tarangire river. It is especially the elephants that made this park famous, since in each square kilometre you may encounter an elephant. However, during the rain season the grass in the park is too long and the soil is water logged and slippery causing all game move out of the park and into the Maasai land, where the grass is short and more sweet. Drive to the camp for a warm lunch and relax at the swimming pool before going on another afternoon game drive.

Dinner and overnight stay at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 12

After breakfast depart to Tarangire National Park for a full day game drive with your picnic lunch which allows you to further explore the park and spend much more time watching the wild animals coming to Tarangire River for drinking. Drive back to the camp before dark.

Dinner and overnight stay at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 13

After breakfast depart to Arusha, where you will at the Moivaro Plantation Coffee Lodge for lunch. Thereafter enjoy the facilities of the lodge whilst preparing for your departure to Kilimanjaro International Airport at 5:30pm.

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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.

Ruaha National Park

Size: 12,950 sq. km. Best time to visit: Anytime

Located in central Tanzania, Ruaha is less accessible than many other parks and largely untouched by human interference; It has only recently been developed for tourism and its unbroken peace is one of its main attractions. It is home to over 350 species of birds that are not found in northern Tanzania and attracts photographers with its spectacular gorges and massive baobab trees.

Ruaha is home to over 8,000 head of elephant as well as Lion, African Hunting Dog, Hippo, Crocodile, Ostrich, Cheetah, Gazelle and a large Leopard population. The Mwagusi and Mdonya Sand Rivers are dry rivers of sand for most of the year, but in the rainy season they turn into tributaries of the Ruaha River. The area is home to hundreds of different animal types and makes for a wonderful safari.

The Tragedy of Poaching

The animals of Ruaha have been particularly damaged by illegal poaching. In 1973 the elephant census reached 25,000 but today only 8,000 remain. The rhinoceros has disappeared from the area completely. Other parks in Africa have similar problems that are often due to an impoverished local population who seek not only the valuable horns, hides, and tusks, but who in some areas hunt for food in protected areas. The tragedy of poaching endangers the livelihood of the African people both by eradicating species that are used to sustain local human populations and by diminishing the potential for income through the tourist trade.
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Accommodation

Ruaha River Lodge

Overlooking the mighty Ruaha River, the lodge is designed to complement the environment, allowing guests to feel right at home in the midst of the African wilds. Inspired by the African ‘bandas’, the individual cabins, built from local stone and thatch offer a great place to relax and observe the animals.

Mwagusi Camp

Located inside the Ruaha Park boundaries on the banks of the mighty sand river, the Mwagusi Camp (link) offers 16 beds with ensuite bathrooms and hot showers. The architecture is inspired by traditional African ‘bandas.’

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Rubondo Island National Park

Size: 450 sq. km. (including water area) Best time: June-Aug. (dry); Nov.-March (wet: birds, flowers)

Rubondo Island National Park is composed of Rubondo Island itself and eight smaller islands in Lake Victoria, just off the Tanzanian coast. The islands are very secluded and offer a glimpse of unique African habitats and wildlife. Most of the park is primary forest with a dense canopy; papyrus beds and grassland make up the rest.

Rubondo Island is home to many Sitatunga, a type of aquatic antelope that cannot be observed anywhere else in Tanzania. Rubondo is also a good place to observe chimpanzee as well as colobus and vervet monkeys, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, eagles and storks. The experience of Rubondo Island is unique in that, due to the lack of large predators, visitors can explore the African wilds on foot. The island is a naturalist’s delight with myriads of exotic orchids, lilies, insects and trees.

Although the island takes a while to reach, its pristine seclusion is well worth the trip. Chimpanzee treks, boat and walking safaris and fishing are all available. Luxury camping is possible on the island itself with advance reservations.

Did you know?

Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world, second only to Lake Superior on the border of Canada and the United States.

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Accommodation

Camping in the park

Rudimentary camping facilities are available on the island; be sure to take all your own equipment and supplies.

Luxury Tented Camp

Flycatcher Hotel Ltd. have opened a 20-bed luxury camp on Rubondo Island.

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Saadani National Park

Size: 1100 sq. km. Best time to Jan.-Feb. / June-Aug.

Some people say that Saadani is the only place in the world to see elephant bathing in the Indian Ocean; to be sure, Saadani is the only coastal reserve in Tanzania. It is a very new park, previously a game reserve, and is located across from the Island of Zanzibar.

The park is fairly small but because of its unique situation it is a completely unique wildlife experience. Green turtles come to its beaches to breed and Roosevelt Sable Antelope, previously thought to reside only in the Shimba Hills of Kenya, have found a home in Saadani. Visitors can relax on the beach, take a walking safari or take a boat up the river to see the hippos, crocodiles and flamingos.

Different types of protected habitats in Saadani include tropical forest, coastal savannah, mangrove forests and coastal dunes.

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Accommodation

Saadani Tented Camp

The camp is situated on the beautiful sands of Saadani beach. Accommodation is offered in permanent tents with full bathroom facilities including shower, toilet and wash basin. The camp features a bar, library and restaurant.

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