Day 1: Lake Burunge
After a short briefing in the morning, your safari will set off towards the Tarangire National Park. This park with its savannah, seasonal swamps and the life-giving Tarangire River is home to huge elephant herds – literally hundreds of animals. Animals gather at the river and besides elephants you should see mongoose, giraffes, bushbucks, hartebeests, dik-diks, waterbucks, warthogs and reedbucks all year round. After an extensive game drive, you will leave the park in the late afternoon and head to the Lake Burunge Tented Lodge, where you will spend the night.
You may wish to arrive the day before the tour starts and spend the night in Arusha before meeting with the group. This way you can fly into Arusha or Kilimanjaro. We can make these arrangements for you if necessary - please just ask.
Day 2: Ndutu
You will enjoy breakfast before you leave the Tarangire Area to continue your journey to the LakeManyara National Park. The park with its shallow alkaline lake is known for its over 400 bird species, primate-filled forests and grassy plains. Apart from elephants, you might also spot giraffes, hippos, wildebeests and impalas while the forests near the lake are teeming with noisy groups of monkeys. After an extensive game drive, you will travel to Karatu in the Ngorongoro highlands.After your arrival, there might be time for an optional walk in the coffee plantations. You will spend the night at one of the three beautifully located Tanganyika Wilderness Adventure Lodges.
Day 3: Central Serengeti
You will have breakfast at dawn before the 4x4 safari vehicle takes you to the crater rim from where you descend into the crater on an adventurous and steep trail. Down here in the crater you have the possibility of seeing all the animals that can be found in the East African savannah including the Big Five – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. The Ngorongoro Crater is also one of the best places to see the magnificent but almost extinct black rhino. After an extensive game drive, you will exit the crater in the early afternoon. The journey then continuesto the plains of the Serengeti National Park – the most famous park in Tanzania and where the biggest animal migration in the world takes place. Hundred thousands of wildebeests and zebras cross the border from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara in Kenya in search of fresh grass and water, with hungry predators following close behind. You will spend the night at the Kati Kati Tented Campin the central Serengeti.
Day 4: Central Serengeti
Rise and shine! Up at the crack of dawn, you will be able to see the sunrise over the Serengeti before you join an early morning game drive. Upon your return to the camp, a hearty breakfast awaits. Adventurous guests may choose to experience the Serengeti from the sky and join a hot-air balloon ride followed by a champagne breakfast in the bush. This activity is not included in the tour price and needs to be booked in advance. Guests interested in visiting the visitor centre, are also able to do so. In the afternoon you will enjoy another game drive before returning to the Kati Kati Tented Campfor dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Lake Victoria, Tanzania
After an early start, you will travel through the Serengeti National Park and on your way out of the park you might spot animals you haven’t seen yet. After leaving the park, the safari continues to Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the second largest in the world. The area around Lake Victoria is the most fertile and densely populated region in Tanzania. Here at Lake Victoria, you will have the chance to see another side of Tanzania. Away from the tourists and the masses, you will experience the lives of the local people. You can watch fishermen at work and visit a local school – an experience unavailable on the usual tourist routes. The night will be spent at the Speke Bay Lodge.
Day 6: Masai Mara
After breakfast you will join the local fishermen and a guide on a canoe trip on Lake Victoria. You will see how the locals catch fish and admire the previous night’s catch. After your fishing excursion you will set off on the longest journey of your safari – the trip to the Masai Mara. The road towards the Kenyan border is a long an adventurous one, but it should be worth it as the Mara is reputed to have the highest lion population of all reserves in Africa. Other large cats like leopards and cheetahs also live here and can be spotted all year round, as their sightings are not dependent upon the seasons or the migration.You will overnight in luxury tents at the Mara West Campon the outskirts of the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Days 7 - 8: Masai Mara National Reserve
The following two days will be spent on game drives in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The Mara is home to interesting animals such as Thomson’s and Grant's gazelles, elands and Coke's hartebeests. Not often seen outside Kenya are the Masai giraffe,roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox. You will take a trip to the Mara River, the greatest hurdle for the wildebeests and zebras on their yearly trek. At the end of October and the beginning of November, an incredible scene is set when the river has swollen to almost bursting levels and tens of thousands of animals must cross it, knowing that certain death awaits them – crocodiles hiding just below the surface. It can be a gruesome sight. At other times of the year, hippos, hungry crocodiles and other animals can also be seen at the river. The reserve has over 470 bird species including about 60 raptor species. You will spend two nights at the Ashnil Mara Campinside the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Day 9: Nakuru
After breakfast you will leave the Mara to reach Lake Nakuru National Park in the early afternoon. The alkaline lake attracts huge flocks of flamingos giving the lake a shimmering pink hue from afar. The park is home to over 450 bird species and 50 mammals such as Rothschild's giraffes,common and Defassa waterbucks and two species of hyenas. If you are lucky, you will also see a leopard lounging in the branches of a fever tree. Most importantly, you might spot both the endangered white and black rhino as the park was declared a rhino sanctuary in 1987. You will spend the night at the Flamingo Hill Tented Camp.
Day 10: Nairobi
Today you will leave the peace of the lake to return to civilisation and the bustling capital of Nairobi. Reaching the city in the early afternoon, there will be time to explore this frenzied city of people, traffic, markets and colours. Take a taxi to see the Karen Blixen museum, Uhuru gardens, the national museum or the live snake centre next door. You will stay at the Southern Sun Mayfair Hoteland dinner tonight is for your own account.
Day 11: Amboseli National Park
Leaving the busy city, your journey takes you to the Amboseli National Park close to the Tanzanian border. This park is famous for iconic images of elephant herds on the plains with the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in the background. We hope for good weather so you can see this scene for yourself. Apart from herds of elephants (sometimes as many as 500 animals), you might also see lions, leopards and the rest of the Big Five. Looking out from Observation Hill, you will see buffaloes, hippos and water birds frolicking in the swamps below. Tonight you will stay at the Ol Tukai Lodgewith its lovely carvings and African art.
Day 12: End of Itinerary
Today you will continue through the park on your way to the Tanzanian border. There will be time to see more animals on your way out of Amboseli. After going through customs you are back in Tanzania and you will continue to Arusha where you started your safari. You will be taken to the city centre or to the airport (Arusha/Kiimanjaro), depending on your onward travels.
We can arrange an optional Zanzibar add-on for sublime relaxation to end the holiday if you choose.