The Serengeti National Park has an abundance of game on its grassy plains, where thousands of hoofed animals are followed by the predators while the Ngorongoro Crater has been declared a World Heritage Site as one of the most important refuges for wildlife in Africa. Northern Tanzania is home to the red-robed Masai people who stalk the plains with their cattle as they have done for centuries while the coast and Zanzibar are steeped in a long Muslim tradition. Zanzibar offers a tangle of narrow and ancient alleyways to explore in Stone Town and dazzling white beaches. A safari and time on the beach make a perfect combination.
DAY 1: Dar es Salaam to Zanzibar (NM)
A ferry from Dar es Salaam takes us to the “Spice Island,” where we have the option to spend the next 3 nights. Zanzibar is steeped in history and was one of the major starting points for most East African explorers in their quest for new lands. New passengers may join us to replace those that’ll leave us at the end of our excursion to Zanzibar.
Accommodation and Meals are for your account while on Zanzibar, as it is our experience that passengers prefer to explore the island on their own, and by their budget. The Trip Leader joins you and can arrange your accommodation while meals can be enjoyed from a wide selection of restaurants. There are also a wide variety of optional excursions on offer – please see the price guide at the end of this document for more details.
For those not opting to visit the island of Zanzibar, the next three days are spent at leisure at the beach campsite in Dar es Salaam. There are various optional excursions available from the camp including diving, snorkelling and fishing trips. The driver and cook remain behind in Dar es Salaam during the trip.
DAYS 2 & 3: Zanzibar
History aside, Zanzibar offers a wealth of experiences for the visitor. Today the quiet streets of the old Stone Town still retain their Arabic influence, from the Medina-like shops to the palaces of the Sultans, who founded their vast empires on the spoils of the slave and ivory trade. The island is famous for its spices and an excursion around a spice plantation is always a fascinating experience. Other options include a trip to the beautiful beaches and giant tortoises of Prison Island, a full day scuba dive in Nungwe or a fishing trip in a traditional dhow. Mopeds are available for hire if you’d like to explore the more remote areas of the island. Zanzibar is a seafood lover’s paradise. Numerous restaurants offer a great variety of the freshest catch from the ocean – crayfish being a popular speciality. Alternatively, mingle with the locals for dinner at the Forodhani Gardens seafront market, where delicious, inexpensive seafood is on offer.
DAY 4: Zanzibar to Dar es Salaam (D)
Leaving Zanzibar in the afternoon, we return to the mainland and another night in Dar es Salaam. Arrival back to camp is usually in the late afternoon, or early evening.
Day 5: Dar Es Salaam to Pangani* (B/L/D)
This morning we leave early and leave the hustle and bustle of this major Tanzanian city, and head towards the farmlands of this beautiful country. Today is used as a transit day to get us closer to Serengeti.
* Some trips may choose to forego this night at their own cost.
DAY 6: Pangani to Arusha (B / L / D)
From Dar es Salaam we have a long day’s drive through vast sisal plantations and African bushveld to Arusha. On the way, we pass The Pare and Usambara Mountain ranges before driving through the town of Moshi. Moshi is the base for Mount Kilimanjaro climbing expeditions and weather permitting; we may even catch a glimpse of this magical mountain’s snowy summit – a photo opportunity not to be missed! Tonight we stay at a campsite in Meserani on the outskirts of Arusha, before heading out on our Optional Excursions to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater tomorrow.
DAY 7: Arusha to Karatu (B / L / D)
This morning we visit the Meserani Reptile Park and Masai Cultural Museum. A few minutes’ walk from the campsite is a gallery selling the bright and iconic Tinga Tinga paintings. Alternatively, the town of Arusha is nearby to explore. After enjoying lunch at our camp against the backdrop of Mount Meru we meet our Tanzanian guides and transfer into locally operated 4WD vehicles. These vehicles have been adapted for safari use and allow excellent viewing and photographic opportunities through the opening roof hatches.
Leaving our camp, we travel via the Masai town of Mtu Wa Mbu (Mosquito River) that lies adjacent to the Lake Manyara National Park and then up the Rift Valley Escarpment to the higher lying village of Karatu. Karatu offers magnificent views over the surrounding hills and has many well-established wheat farms that add to the picturesque panoramas. Tonight we spend the evening at a very pleasant campsite in Karatu (campsite has ablution facilities).
DAY 8: Karatu to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park (OPTIONAL) (B / L / D)
This morning we depart early for the Ngorongoro Conservation area and head into the wildlife rich Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest unbroken, unflooded caldera in the world. Comprising of open savannahs, acacia forests and both soda and fresh water lakes, the Ngorongoro Crater is truly a miniature ‘Garden of Eden’. This World Heritage Site boasts some of the best game viewing in Africa – including the elusive Black Rhino.
After our game drive in the Crater, we head down the Crater rim and past the ‘Cradle of Mankind’ on our way to the Serengeti National Park. We cross the vast plains as we game drive through the southern and central areas in the park. Tonight we camp (no ablution facilities) in the bushveld surrounded by the sounds of the African wilderness. Without any fences surrounding our campsite, we are truly in the midst of nature!
DAY 9: Serengeti National Park to Arusha (B / L / D)
In the morning, we head off for another game drive and explore the landscape in search of the resident game. With some luck, we may see some of Africa’s ‘Big 5’! Following our morning drive, we retrace our journey back across the plains and along the lush Crater rim to our truck at Arusha, where we spend the evening musing over our thrilling wildlife experience.
DAY 10: Arusha to Nairobi (Kenya) (B)
We set off early this morning and make our way to the Tanzania/ Kenyan border and the small border town of Namanga. After completing the border formalities, we continue on our journey to the Capital City Nairobi and our campsite on the outskirts of the city.