Explore four of Tanzania's top game parks on the well-loved Northern Safari Circuit in just one week!
This Tanzania Private Camping & Lodge Safari is an exclusive small group tour, travelling with at most six people per safari. Escape the maddening crowds by staying at a combination of private camps (rather than public campsites) and well-selected lodges on this affordable Tanzanian Safari.
The private camping and lodge safari is ideal for nature lovers and slightly more discerning budget travellers, offering camping with a bit of glamour, otherwise known as Glamping. No participation is required with cooking or setting up camp, as the trip price includes a guide, a cook and one or two camp assistants.
Go game viewing in Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara Park, the famous Serengeti National Park and the game-rich Ngorongoro Crater, starting and ending your journey in Arusha.
This week-long Tanzania Private Camping & Lodge Safari starts with collection in Arusha city, Tanzania's safari capital located at the foot of Mount Meru.
The small group safari begins with a short tour briefing in the morning before departing from Arusha, the gateway to the Northern Tanzania Safari Cirtcuit.
We travel southwest to the Tarangire National Park, our first safari destination on the Northern Tanzania Circuit. Tarangire Park, is one of East Africa's best places to see elephants up close, hosting about 4000 elephants. The national park is home to the second highest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania, after the Serengeti Ecosystem. Wildlife includes, Maasai giraffes, buffalos, lions, leopards, baboons and a variety of antelopes and gazelle species. This diverse Tanzanian park covers 2600 km² of diverse habitats, ranging from grassy savannahs and seasonal marshlands, to woodlands and giant old baobab trees.
After game viewing in Tarangire we head to our private campsite inside the game park. We enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the private camp, under African skies.
On day two we explore Tarangire National Park on game viewing drives.
The Tarangire River is the only permanent water source in the park, during the dry season (July to October), attracting numerous animals to its banks. Herds of buffalo and wildebeests, as well as elephants, are frequently sighted along the river. We also keep an eye out for various birds on our game drives, as Tarangire is also home to over 100 bird species.
We overnight at the private camp inside Tarangire again on our second night in Tanzania.
Today we move on from Tarangire National Park after breakfast. We travel through Mto Wa Mbu village en route to our next stop, Lake Manyara National Park.
Most of day three is spent in Lake Manyara National Park, encountering animals and birds, and taking in the bush scenery on game viewing drives. The national park is dominated by the Great Rift Lake of Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake attracting numerous water birds. Lake Manyara is best known for the huge seasonal flamingo flocks fringing its shores, along with various other waterfowls.
The national park is also known for its tree climbing lions, often spotted sleeping in the trees or in the shade below, as well as its big baboon troops. On our game drive we look out for elephants, hippos, buffalos, banded mongooses, monkeys, klipspringers, and numerous gazelle and antelope species.
Later in the afternoon we exit Lake Manyara Park, taking a scenic drive towards the Serengeti and Ngorongoro to the northwest. We travel up the side of the Great Rift Valley, stopping to take photographs and admire the breathtaking views over Lake Manyara and the floor of the lush valley.
We spend the third night in tented rooms with en suite bathrooms, at a comfortable safari lodge, set on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The lodge is flanked by the fertile Ngorongoro Highlands and offers panoramic views of Lake Manyara, and the Rift Valley floor below, as well as distant Mount Losimingori. Lodge facilities include a serviced dining room and bar, with a viewing deck.
Leaving the Lake Manyara area today, we make our way to Serengeti National Park, via Karatu and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
We pass through the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands, with the southern Serengeti Plains opening up before us as we get closer to our next camp in Tanzania. This scenic journey reveals the vast rolling plains of Serengeti dotted by rocky hills called “Kopjies” (inselbergs). The Serengeti aptly derives its name from “Siringitu”, the Maasai word for endless plain. The plains of the southern Serengeti truly appear to stretch on infinitely, providing prime hunting territory for Africa's big cats, especially cheetahs.
In the afternoon, we arrive at our private camp in the Serengeti.
The whole of day five is spent game viewing on the game-rich plains of Serengeti Park, Tanzania's premier safari destination.
We explore top areas for sighting wildlife, visiting the best viewpoints to get fantastic photos and enjoy the scenic landscapes, teeming with animals. Your knowledgeable guide takes you to areas where wildlife spottings are most likely, ensuring that you get the most out of your game drives.
The Serengeti is most famous for the Wildebeest Migration, one of the world's most spectacular wildlife phenomena. Witness the awe-inspiring stampede when hundreds of thousands of hooved animals migrate north at the end of the rainy season (April to June). During the minor rainy season (October and November), the herds of grazers migrate back south from the Maasai Mara in Kenya to the Serengeti Plains. Seasonal variations and changes in the rainfall, do however affect the migration times and routes. A visit to the Frankfurt Zoological Institute based in the Serengeti, is available by arrangement (optional activity).
Night five is spent at the private Serengeti camp again.
Travelling out of the renowned Serengeti National Park we enjoy one more game drive along the way. Keep a lookout for wildebeest, zebra and the occasional lion, cheetah or leopard, found in the Seronera Valley area as we drive. We stop at a picnic spot in the Serengeti before leaving the park and heading to the Ngorongoro Crater, known as the Eden of Africa.
Reaching the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater we are met by the spectacular sight of the huge caldera below. We continue through the conservation area, driving to Karatu, where we overnight at one of the beautifully located Tanganyika Wilderness Adventure Lodges. The lodges are set close to a coffee estate about 30 minutes from the entrance gate of the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area and offer lovely views over the lush crater highlands. If there is time after our arrival we may take a walk in the coffee plantations.
Our final breakfast on this Tanzania Private Camping & Lodge Safari is served as the day breaks before we head into the Ngorongoro Crater.
Descending into the largest unflooded caldera in the world we embark on a game drive in search of the amazing abundance of wildlife found here. The Crater is home to Africa's Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, rhinos and leopards) and these are frequently sighted over the short space of a few hours. The conservation area is home to over 25 000 larger animals, the highest density of animals inhabiting any one area in Africa.
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