Northern Parks and Zanzibar

BUSH AND BEACH SAFARI

  • Tanzania North and Zanzibar
  • Duration: 13 days
  • Overland with private guide in the parks

Areas of Interest

Lake Manyara National Park is well known for the tree-climbing lions, the soda ash lake, and its flamingos. Breathtaking scenery! 

Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is worth a stop in its own right. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds.

It is the most famous park in Tanzania, and probably the most famous in the World for wildlife viewing. The park covers 5,700 sq mi (14,760 sq km), it is larger than Connecticut, and it is a huge landscape of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands.

The park lies in northwestern Tanzania, bordered to the north by the Kenyan border, where it is continuous with the Maasai Mara National Reserve. To the southeast of the park is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, to the southwest lies Maswa Game Reserve, to the west are the Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, and to the northeast and east lies the Loliondo Game Control Area. Together, these areas form the larger Serengeti ecosystem and the legendary Great Serengeti Migration, a stunning natural spectacle‎.

The park is usually described as divided into three regions:

    • Serengeti plains. The almost treeless grassland of the south is the most emblematic scenery of the park. This is where the wildebeest breed, as they remain in the plains from December to May.
    • Western corridor. The black clay soil covers the savannah of this region. The Grumeti River and its gallery forests are home to Nile crocodiles, monkeys, hippopotamus, and martial eagles. The migration passes through from May to July.
    • Northern Serengeti. The landscape is dominated by open woodlands and hills, ranging from Seronera in the south to the Mara River on the Kenyan border. Apart from the migratory wildebeest and zebra (which occur from July to August, and in November), this is the best place to find the elephant, giraffe, and dik-dik.

The migratory -and some resident- wildebeest, which number over 2 million individuals, constitute the largest population of big mammals that still roam the planet. They are joined in their journey through the Serengeti – Mara ecosystem by 250,000 plains zebra, half a million Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle, and tens of thousands of topi and Coke’s hartebeest. Masai giraffe, waterbuck, impala, warthog, and hippo are also abundant. Some rarely seen species of antelope are also present in Serengeti National Park, such as common eland, klipspringer, roan antelope, bushbuck, lesser kudu, fringe-eared oryx, and dik-dik.

Accordion Content

It is impossible to predict the exact time of the Migration. The key element in understanding ”The Greatest Wildlife Show on Earth” is that it follows the general rainfall gradient across the ecosystem, with lower rainfalls in the short-grass plains of the southeast and the higher rainfall in the northwest, that involves 3 of the most spectacular wildlife parks: the Masai Mara, in Kenya and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park, in Tanzania.

Every year, approximately 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 250,000 Thomson’s gazelle cover a circuit of about 1,800 mi (3,000 km), and their odyssey will lead them from drought to water and good grazing, though the way will be fraught with peril.

Crocodiles will claim some migrators as they traverse rivers, battling strong currents and the press of their herd’s wet, heaving bodies. Lions, leopards, and hyenas will run down their share of prey on the plains. These ecosystems support more large mammal species than any other place in the world. And they’ve maintained one of the world’s last remaining migrations of large mammals in a relatively unchanged state since the time of the hunter-gatherers.

Zanzibar is an island in the Indian Ocean, lying 22 mi (35 km) off the coast of east-central Africa. In 1964 Zanzibar, together with Pemba Island and some other smaller islands, joined with Tanganyika on the mainland to form the United Republic of Tanzania. Area 600 sq mi (1,554 sq km). 

Zanzibar is rich in history, with numerous archaeological sites dotting the island, most notably at Unguja Ukuu, just to the north of the causeway, which links Unguja and Uzi Islands.

The island has been deeply influenced by Arab culture for many centuries and was part of the Sultanate of Oman starting in 1698. In 1896, Zanzibar was the location of the world’s shortest war — they surrendered to the British Army after 38 minutes.

Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Arrive Arusha – Rivertrees Country Inn

Meet our representative at your arrival at Kilimanjaro [JRO] International Airport. Shared road transfer to your lodge in Arusha. Visit the active Arusha town, base for all the Kilimanjaro climbs.

Service: Half Board

 

  • Day 2 – Kirurumu Manyara Lodge – Lake Manyara

Road transfer to the Lake Manyara National Park. Enjoy a full-day safari in the park. Game viewing within Lake Manyara is excellent all year round, but the best views can be enjoyed from late June to the end of September since it is the dry season. If you are lucky, you may see the famous tree-climbing lions. Kirurumu Manyara Lodge is set high on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying a marvellous, uplifting and panoramic view eastward over Lake Manyara, the Rift floor and Mt. Losimingori. Behind Kirurumu, the Ngorongoro Highlands rise in green and fertile splendour and form the gateway to Ngorongoro Crater and Olduvai Gorge, the Serengeti.

Service: Half Board + picnic lunch

 

  • Day 3, 4 & 5 – Ndutu Safari Lodge – Ngorongoro CA, southern Serengeti

Early morning safari in Lake Manyara NP to the park gate. Road transfer and safari to the UNESCO World Heritage of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will stay for the next 3 nights at Ndutu Safari lodge. This is a special place for us. We are co-owners at this lodge, and you will be treated like a friend. The location is amazing, and game viewing always rewarding. Over two million migratory animals made up of several species wildebeest, zebra, eland, and Thompson gazelle move clockwise from Ngorongoro and the Southern Serengeti to the Northern Serengeti into Kenya and back. Statistically, between mid-December and April, the Great Migration is the Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek areas. The grass at Ndutu is particularly rich in nutrients and sustains the migratory animals whilst they have their babies. You will spend also 1 full-day visiting the UNESCO Heritage paleoanthropological Site of Olduvai Gorges.

Service: Full Board

 

  • Day 6, 7 & 8 – Kati Kati Tended Camp – Central Serengeti NP

Early morning road transfer to towards the Kati Kati Camp, where you will find comfortable accommodations and a real safari experience. The camp is only two hours drive from the splendid Olduvai Gorge and Grumeti River, a prime sport for wildlife viewing. Situated in the heart of Tanzania, the Central Serengeti encompasses the world-famous Seronera Valley which is known for its prime wildlife-viewing opportunities. This picture-perfect landscape is characterised by endless stretches of savannah-covered open plains, interspersed by rocky outcrops of granite, scattered with acacia woodlands and covered in a network of rivers and streams. The Central Serengeti forms part of the great wildebeest and zebra migration and provides an ideal habitat for a variety of wildlife such as giraffe, impala, waterbuck, hippo, elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal, serval and much more. Popular activities include: game viewing, cultural tours, horse riding safaris, and hot air ballooning over the spectacularly scenic terrain.

Service: Full Board

 

  • Day 9, 10, 11 & 12 – Pongwe Beach Hotel – Zanzibar

At the agreed time you will be transferred to Seronera Airstrip. Say goodbye to your guide and jump on your scheduled charter connecting flights to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport. Shared road transfer to Pongwe Beach Hotel, in the amazing Zanzibar island. The island is in the Indian Ocean, lying 22 miles off the coast. Zanzibar is rich in history, with numerous archaeological sites dotting the island, and deeply influenced by Arab culture for many centuries. Beaches are wonderful, and the relaxed atmosphere guarantees the ultimate digital-detox.

Service: Half Board

 

  • Day 13 – End of Itinerary

At the agreed time you will be transferred to Abeid Amani Karume International Airport [ZNZ]. Scheduled charter connecting flights to Julius Nyerere International Airport [DAR] for your outbound flight.

Extensions

Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, it is located in Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season.

The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem.

Visitors to the park in June to November dry season can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebra, wildebeest and cape buffalo. Other common resident animals include waterbuck, giraffe, dik-dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose, and olive baboon. Predators in Tarangire include lion, leopard, cheetah, caracalhoney badger, and African wild dog.

Flamingoes!

The lake is the only regular breeding area in East Africa for the 2.5 million lesser flamingoes, whose status of “near threatened” results from their dependence on this one location. When salinity increases, so do cyanobacteria, and the lake can also support more nests. These flamingoes, the single large flock in East Africa, gather along nearby saline lakes to feed on Spirulina (a blue-green algae with red pigments). Lake Natron is a safe breeding location because its caustic environment is a barrier against predators trying to reach their nests on seasonally forming evaporite islands. Greater flamingoes also breed on the mud flats.

The lake has inspired the nature documentary The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos by Disneynature, for its close relationship with the Lesser flamingoes as their only regular breeding area.

Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain 19,340 ft (5,895m) in the world that is not part of a mountain range, and the easiest mountain in the world for a climber to ascend to such heights.

The park has 6 different corridors that climbers can use, through tropical forests with blue and colobus monkeys, semidesert alpine areas with Giant Groundsels trees, to its snow-capped peak, situated only 3 degrees South of the Equator line.

Our expert partners and guides help choose the best route for you, that with the correct acclimatization time, will help you to successfully reach the summit.

Our ground staff will take care of all the logistics: tents, meals, water, and toilets, during the climb. While we can suggest the best training plan to prepare your body for this adventure!

Ol Doinyo Lengai, 9,650 ft (2,870 m), also known as “Mountain of God” in the Maasai language, is an active volcano located in the Gregory Rift, south of Lake Natron within the Arusha Region of Tanzania, Africa.

A beautiful shape, a perfect cone, ideal for a climb. You can combine this fascinating trek with a visit to Lake Natron. Once at camp, you can go to a waterfall and relax in the river, or drive out to the shoreline of Lake Natron and see the massive flamingo colonies wading in the shallows. You can climb the volcano the whole year round, only in the wet seasons (March to May, October to December), the roads are in bad conditions.

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