Tanzania Safari Adventure
See the "Big Five" on this Serengeti and Ngorongoro Safari
Sample ItineraryDAY 1: Your guide will meet you at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). Transfer to your hotel in Arusha for a night of rest.
DAY 2: After breakfast, drive to Tarangire National Park. See animals, especially elephants, as well as bird life, giant baobab trees, and incredible landscapes. Tarangire has the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem, and the one place in Tanzania where large herds of elephants and flock birds may be observed. Stay at the Tanzania National Parks Campsite inside the park.
DAYS 3 & 4: Travel to Karatu, the home village of your guide, Donatus. In Karatu, visit Kilimatembo school where you’ll have a chance to ask the head teacher about Tanzania's education system and interact with some of the students. Karatu also provides the opportunity to visit a traditional Iraqw home and learn about the tribe's unique culture from one of their elders. Your group may also hike to a majestic waterfall in the Ngorongoro northern highland forest reserve. Along the way, experience cave-like structures created by elephants digging up the earth to ingest the mineral-rich soil. Stay at Eileen’s Trees Inn.
DAYS 5 & 6: Visit Tatoga Blacksmiths and a Tatoga village in the afternoon on the way to Lake Eyasi. Early the next morning, visit the Hadzabe (Bushmen). This nomadic tribe still lives through hunting and gathering and resides without permanent shelter. Take time to learn about their culture and hunting practices, then return to camp for brunch. In the afternoon, take an easy walk to the shores of Lake Eyasi. Stay at Lake Eyasi Bushmen campsite.
DAYS 7 & 8: Drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and descend into the eighth wonder of the world, Ngorongoro Crater, for a full day of game viewing. The unique 'bowl' of nature is home to four resident prides of lions and your best chance of seeing rhino in the wild. On the second day in Ngorongoro, you may choose to hike down into Empakai Crater or hike along the North Rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Stay at a camp or lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro crater.
DAYS 9 & 10: Proceed to Seronera in Serengeti National Park, world famous for its huge plains and big migration of animals. Spend both days on the Serengeti Plains, searching out big prides of lions, leopards, migrating herds, giant elephants, antelope, and more. Stay at established campsites in the park.
DAY 11: Take in an early morning game drive and then leave the Seregenti for the return to Karatu via Olduvai gorge and museum, where you can see excavated bones and footprints that have been fossilized in volcanic ash. If excavation is in progress, we’ll visit the Zinj site, followed by shifting sands. Final night at Eileen's Trees Inn in Karatu.
DAY 12: Relax at camp in the morning, have lunch, and then drive back to Arusha and on to the Kilimanjaro airport for your flight home. The group will stop at one or two local markets for the opportunity to buy gifts for friends and family at home.
Travel, Terrain, Etc...TERRAIN/ROUTE CHOICES: Tanzania has an incredible variety of ecosystems, ranging from desert plain to fertile rain forest to snow capped mountains. Land outside major cities is largely undeveloped and thus, we'll travel on some bumpy roads and hike on some uneven terrain that will involve moderate elevation changes.
TYPE OF TRAVEL/DISTANCE: East Africa is a welcoming escape for travelers of all levels of experience. We will use vans and/or other four-wheel drive vehicles to travel from place to place. For the wildlife safari sections, we'll open the roofs of these same vehicles for excellent viewing and photo opportunities. A moderate level of physical fitness is required to participate in the hiking sections.
WEATHER: Due to the higher elevations, it can get hot when the sun reaches its peak during midday but cools dramatically at night (45º - 90º F). "Rainy Seasons" are roughly mid-March through May and October to December, but rain is possible year-round.
ACCOMMODATIONS: This will be a mixed lodge-based and tent camping trip. Typically there are 2-4 people per room, matched by gender or requests to room together. In most rooms, solo travelers have single beds and couples share beds. Bathroom facilities at lodges are luxurious with hot showers and everything you are used to at home. While camping, bathroom facilities will range from permanent campground bathroom facilities to portable commodes that we set up in a privacy tent. We make every effort to ensure privacy and cleanliness.
MEALS: Kick back and relax while all your Tanzanian meals are prepared for you. We’ll enjoy a variety of fresh, healthy options that include poultry, beef, fish, vegetables and fruit. We pride ourselves on offering good tasting breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. While we’ll enjoy sharing happy hours together, the purchase of alcoholic beverages is not included in the trip fees.
YOUR GROUP: The group size ranges from 5 to 12 participants, plus several local guides. Each group consists of people of various ages, backgrounds and abilities.
EQUIPMENT AND CLOTHING: Packing for the mild weather of Tanzania is very straightforward, and we will send you a detailed equipment list upon confirmation of your trip. You need not spend a lot of money on gear. Wilderness Inquiry will provide all necessary group and camping equipment.
SINGLE TRAVELERS: If you are traveling alone, you will feel at home with a welcoming group. When rooms are shared, we match same gender solo travelers. If you would like to have your own room throughout the trip, you may purchase a single supplement for an additional fee. Please email or call us if you would like this option.
HEALTH: We encourage you to see your doctor or a travel nurse at least 4-6 weeks before travel. This allows for adequate time to get new immunizations, if required, and ensure that others are up-to-date. You will also need a prescription for an anti malarial medication. We also encourage you to check the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website for the most up-to-date recommendations.
PASSPORT/VISA: U.S. citizens need a passport to enter Tanzania, and it must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned departure. One blank passport page is typically required for entry stamp and visa. U.S. citizens must obtain an entry visa, which can be obtained at the Kilimanjaro airport for a fee of approximately $100 USD or before traveling. We encourage you to check the State Department website for the up to date entry requirements for Tanzania.
A note about the itinerary: Our trips are real adventures in the outdoors. While we'll make every effort to follow the itinerary listed here, elements may change due to weather or reasons beyond our control.
The modern nation of Tanzania formed in 1964, with the combination of countries of Tanganyika and the island nation of Zanzibar. The name “Tanzania” also came from a combination of the two previous names. Tanzania lies in East Africa, and borders Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other nations, as well as the Indian Ocean. The official capitol city since 1996 is Dodoma, though the previous capitol of Dar es Salaam on the coast remains the major seaport and principal commercial center of the country.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, stands. To the north and west lie the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore offers a hot and humid climate, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s studies of chimpanzee behavior.
The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania’s main tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar’s largest marine protected area.
Mount Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak towers over the Great Rift Valley. Rainforest, tarns, alpine meadows, exotic high-altitude vegetation, sunbirds, hyrax, and soaring eagles make a trek on this peak one of the most unique mountaineering experiences in the world.
But it is the wildlife preserves that make Tanzania famous. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area, for example, is a conservation area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated 180 kilometers (110 miles) west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The Ngorongoro Crater, a large volcanic caldera, lies within the area. Aside from herds of zebra, gazelle, and wildebeest, the crater shelters the “big five” of wildlife species: rhinoceros, lion, leopard, elephant, and buffalo. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, with an estimated 25,000 animals living within the crater. In the summer, enormous numbers of Serengeti migrants pass through the plains of the reserve, including 1.7 million wildebeest, 260,000 zebra, and 470,000 gazelles. Waterbuck (a type of antelope) occur mainly near Lerai Forest; servals (a medium-size cat) occur widely in the crater and on the plains to the west. Common in the reserve are lions, hartebeest, spotted hyenas, and jackals. Cheetahs, although common in the reserve, are scarce in the crater itself.
Tanzania’s world-famous archeological site of Olduvai Gorge has shown that early hominid and human habitation in Tanzania goes back three million years. Today, about 38 million people live in Tanzania. The people of the country come from a rich cultural blend of over 120 ethnic groups. As a former British colony, English is widely spoken here today, along with Swahili.
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This trip officially begins in Arusha, Tanzania. The nearest airport is Kilimanjaro International airport and WI will meet you there (Airport code: JRO). There are daily flights from various European cities, South Africa, and sometimes New York. The most popular flights arrive in the evening. We plan to meet outside baggage claim and leave once everyone has made it through. This is usually around 8pm but rest assured we won't leave without you even if you have a later arrival. Custom pickups outside this meeting time can also be arranged for a small fee. To make your travel arrangements for this trip we recommend that you consult with our travel agency, Travel One, at (800) 247-1311. They are very familiar with our trips and can help you make the best flight connections at the best prices. Detailed meeting place instructions will be sent to you when you are confirmed for the trip.
Click any thumbnail to expand and begin slideshow:
Simba on Pride Rock in the Serengeti.
In the shadow of Kilimanjaro
Lion in Ngorongoro Crater, one of Tanzania's many wildlife parks
Rhino sighting on the Ngorongoro Crater Floor
Giraffe "necking" is a sign of affection.
An elephant crosses the road in Tanzania.
Tanzania's rugged terrain requires using 4x4 Land Rovers to get around.
Rhino in the Ngorogoro Crater.
Ugandan National Bird
"The leapard was so close I took this with my iphone!" - Judy F