Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti Safari
Join us on this amazing Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti safari throughout the famous game parks like Manyara, the vast plains of the Serengeti where you are likely to enjoy the annual wildebeest migration, the spectacular Ngorongoro Conservation Area including the impressive Ngorongoro Crater, and also the “pearl of East Africa”, Lake Manyara national park. This tour package starts and ends in Arusha, one of the big administrative cities in Northern Tanzania.
Day 1: Arrival. Transfer to Lake Manyara national park. Stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge or Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Upon arrival in Arusha, we depart for Lake Manyara national park. We have a game drive on arrival to begin our search for game. Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600m high Rift Valley Escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. It is 330sq km of which up to 200 sq km is lake when water levels are high. As we drive in through the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly by the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and you will also hear outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy. In addition to the forest setting, Lake Manyara national park has grassy flood plain with its expansive views eastwards across the alkaline lake to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra congregate on these grassy plains as do giraffes. Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for its tree climbing lions and large flocks of flamingoes (the park has 350 bird species). Other resident mammals here include Gazelles, impala, hyena, hippopotamus, and a great number of smaller mammals.
Day 2-3: Morning game drive in the park, transfer to Ngorongoro Crater. Stay at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge or Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge
In the morning, we have another game drive in the park to look for more game. We return to the lodge for breakfast, after which, we depart for Ngorongoro. Called the eighth wonder of the world and stretching across some 8,300 sq km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania boasts a blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeology that is unsurpassed in Africa. The volcanoes, grasslands, waterfalls and mountain forests are home to an abundance of animals and to the Maasai. The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the Ngorongoro Crater. The Crater is one of the largest intact calderas in the world and has the densest predator population in Africa. Elephant, lion, zebra, wildebeest and a host of other resident animals are found here. It is one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles, its magical setting and abundant wildlife never fail to enthrall. We have2 full exciting days in this park as we enjoy game drives and optional balloon safaris. You will also be taken 2000ft down the Crater by a 4-wheel drive for a crater tour.
Day 4-6: Transfer to the Serengeti Plains. Stay at Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, Sayari Camp, or Grumeti River Camp
After breakfast, we have a morning game drive through the park as we look for its abundant game and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Wild game you are likely to see includes hundred strong baboon troops, Blue Monkey, Bushbuck, Buffalo, Wildebeest, Zebra, Giraffes, tree climbing Lion, Gazelle, Impala, Hyena, etc. Avid birders may also be rewarded with views of large flocks of Flamingos, and other bird species. Thereafter we drive through the agricultural and fresh produce market town of Mto Wa Mbu just at the entrance of Lake Manyara national park. Mto Wa Mbu is a souvenir hunter’s paradise. We have lunch on our way to Serengeti Plains via the scenic high landing farmland of Karatu and the Ngorongoro Crater area. As we leave the highlands behind, we descend into the heart of wild Africa with endless plains rolling as far as the eye can see. We have 3 wildebeest-filled days with early morning and late afternoon game drives in the vast Serengeti plains. We may also have balloon safaris. The term Serengeti means endless plains in Maasai language. In the central plains there are carnivores like leopard, lion, hyena and cheetah. Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration when some 6 million hooves pound the open plains as more than 200,000 Zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s Gazelle join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game viewing in Africa; great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of Eland, Kongoni, Topi, Impala, and Grant’s gazelle. Other resident wildlife in the park include prides of golden-maned Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Jackal, Spotted Hyena, Aardwolf, Serval Cat, Agama Lizard, Rock Hyrax, Dung beetle, and abundant bird species like the outsized Ostrich and the bizarre Secretary Bird.
This park is where the annual migration of wildebeest and zebra begins in June as they travel to the Kenyan Maasai Mara usually arriving there by July. Varied bird species can be seen here including eagles, ducks, geese, egrets, vultures, secretary birds, ibis, stork, herons, kites, pelicans, cranes and guinea fowl. We also drive along the Sogore River Circuit which loops into the plains south of Seronera River. This area is good for Lion (if we are very lucky), Thomson’s gazelle, Topi, Ostrich and Cheetah sightings. Another circuit that can be followed in the afternoons is the Kopjes Circuit. It goes anti-clockwise around the Maasai Kodjes which usually attract a number of Lion and some formidable large Cobras. Kopjes are weathered granite outcrops, scattered along the Plains most of which are miniature ecosystems, providing shade and drinking water in the pools left in the rock after the rains. Hence the Kopjes are particularly good for spotting wildlife in the dry season including Lions which like to lie in wait for animals coming to drink! This scenic park also offers you a chance to do unforgettable hot air balloon safaris.
Day 7: Transfer back to Arusha. Stay at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge or Kirurumu Tented Lodge
After breakfast we drive back to Arusha. Upon arrival, we check in to the hotel for a relaxed afternoon.
Day 8: Departure