Tarangire – Manyara – Lake Natron – Serengeti – Ngorongoro – Ruaha – Selous
This is our ultimate Tanzanian safari tour, combining the best parks of both the northern and southern circuits. The most famous, the biggest, the wildest, the most beautiful – it’s a tour of superlatives and shows off the best of Tanzania.
From the intimate beauty of Lake Manyara to the haunting wilderness of Ruaha, you will be amazed at the variety and size of this incredible country.
Day 1: Tarangire
The tour gets underway as we leave Arusha (Kilimanjaro International Airport) and drive to the little known and underrated Tarangire National Park. Often forgotten in the presence of its famous neighbours, this wild and unspoiled park offers excellent dry season game viewing. Between June and November, Tarangire’s large herds of elephant are joined by thousands of zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and antelope.
Day 2: Tarangire – Lake Manyara
We make the most of Tarangire, with a morning game drive and head on to Lake Manyara after lunch. This beautiful park is renowned for its scenic setting, large troops of baboon and magical charm. Expect a greener and more gentle landscape compared to the plains and dry baobabs of Tarangire.
A late afternoon game drive here typically reveals elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, hippo and superb birdlife. The shallow lake is home to thousands of pink flamingo and the land ranges from acacia forest to grasslands with pockets of dense forest. Keep an eye out for leopards.
Day 3: Lake Manyara
A full day in the splendid surrounds of Lake Manyara.
Day 4: Lake Natron
After breakfast we drive to Lake Natron. It is a hard journey through rough and dusty road but is worth the effort and is made easier by the beautiful scenery en route. In particular, the Ngaresero Escarpment with its waterfalls and gorge is breath taking.
Natron is a remote location with a real sense of isolation and serenity. The lake itself is exceptionally alkaline, beautiful and home to thousands of flamingos.
Day 5: Serengeti
We continue on to Tanzania’s oldest and most famous national park, the Serengeti. Passing through the Ngorongoro highlands en route, there are chances to see large game and superb scenery and we arrive around lunch time.
In the afternoon we take a game drive, where there will be chances to see elephant, wildebeest, zebra, lion and if you’re lucky, a cheetah or two. In addition to hosting the big five, the Serengeti is home to almost every species of large mammal found throughout Tanzania and its fame is well deserved.
Day 6 – 8: Serengeti
Three more days in the mighty Serengeti with game drives and guided walks. If your visit coincides with the migrations (around October and April), you could see the greatest wildlife show on earth. 1.2 million wildebeest, 300,000 antelope and 200,000 zebras follow the rains across the plains of Kenya and Tanzania.
Day 9: Serengeti – Ngorongoro
We rise early and visit Olduvai Gorge, famous for the Leakey excavations that established this region as the habitat of some of the earliest species of hominids, with finds dating back 1.8 million years.
Then it is on to Ngorongoro Crater through the splendid highland scenery. This is one of the most scenic journeys in East Africa and another chance to spot a few more animals. Arriving in the late afternoon, we make a brief inspection of the crater, looking down from the rim.
Day 10: Ngorongoro Crater
Today we investigate the famous Ngorongoro Crater World Heritage Site. This small park has a big reputation thanks to its wildlife filled crater floor. Twenty thousand animals are resident within its confines and viewing them is easy. With all of the big five and a greater chance of seeing black rhino than anywhere else, you will certainly be kept entertained.
We enjoy a morning descent to the crater floor and an afternoon exploring the highlands around the crater.
Day 11: Ngorongoro – Ruaha
Drive back to Arusha and then transfer to Ruaha National Park by light aircraft.
The wilderness here is breathtaking. Second only to Katavi in its sense of remoteness, here you will really feel that you are on pure African plains. The dry bush and great River Ruaha are home to thousands of antelope, lion, cheetah and African hunting dog.
An introductory game drive will reveal the captivating and brooding hills of Ruaha and more than likely, several of its elephant, zebra and antelope.
Days 12 – 14: Ruaha
Three full days exploring the wilderness of Ruaha.
Day 15: Ruaha- Selous
Transfer to the Selous Game Reserve.
Day 16 – 17: Selous
Two full days in the Selous – the largest game reserve in the world! The size of Switzerland, it is home to one third of all African hunting dogs, thousands of elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, zebra and antelope.
Savannahs, forests and wetlands lie untrammelled in this mighty park and we have three full days to explore this wilderness. This first day is divided between game drives and guided walks – a chance to stretch your legs after the previous days travelling. From then it is non-stop game drives, hikes and river launches.
Day 18: Selous – Arusha
We return to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where the tour ends.