Tanzania Safari Adventure
See the "Big Five" on this Serengeti and Ngorongoro Safari
Travel by four-wheel drive to places like Tarangire National Park, Lake Eyasi, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Empakai Crater, and Serengeti National Park. Descend into the Ngorongoro Crater, the eighth wonder of the world. Visit Olduvai Gorge to see the bones and footprints of our ancestors who inhabited the area two million years ago. Experience a day of traditional hunting and gathering with the Hadzabe Bushmen, a nomadic tribe. You will enjoy trying to learn the names of plants and animals in their click language. Meet extraordinary people and see ‘the Big Five’ on this exciting African adventure.
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 spectacular birds, giant baobab trees, and incredible landscapes. Tarangire is a true wilderness containing the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem. Large herds of elephants roam freely here.
DAYS 3 & 4: Travel to Karatu, the home village of our guide, Donatus. In Karatu, visit Kilimatembo school where you’ll have a chance to visit about Tanzania's education system and interact with 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 on the floor of the Great Rift Valley. 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 Safari Lodge.
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. This unique 'fish bowl' of nature is home to four resident prides of lions and your best chance of seeing rare black 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 Rhino Lodge on the rim of Ngorongoro crater.
DAYS 9 & 10: Travel down the flank of Ngororgoro Crater, pass through the scenic Maasai village of Endulen and proceed to Serengeti National Park, world famous for its endless plains and abundant wildlife. Spend two days on the Serengeti Plains, searching out big prides of lions, leopards, migrating wildebeest herds, giant elephants, antelope, and more. Stay at lodges or safari camps in the park.
DAY 11: Take in an early morning game drive and then leave the Seregenti for the return to Karatu via Oldavai Gorge, where Mary and Louis Leakey discovered Australopithecus boisei and early hominin 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 Eileen's Trees Inn 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 a local market including Shanga, an Arusha based non-profit that employs people with disabilities to create unique, high-quality, handicrafts, 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 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 lodge-based and safari tent 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 well-appointed with hot showers and everything you are used to at home. While at safari camps, bathroom facilities will range from permanent campground bathroom facilities to private facilities attached to each 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 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 may 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 can obtain an entry visa 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 northwest 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.
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. Also 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.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I pay more to have my own room on a lodge-based trip?
Yes, most times a single supplement is available on a lodge-based trip. Exact cost and availability depends on the trip.
How safe are international trips with Wilderness Inquiry?
Safety is our top priority on all Wilderness Inquiry trips. We maintain awareness of all State Department travel advisories and ensure our itineraries follow appropriate routes. We have an excellent record of safety on all international trips and only run trips when we feel comfortable and confident in participants having an excellent experience.
Which immunizations do you recommend when traveling to an international destination?
Prior to departure, we recommend that you check with your doctor as early as possible to ensure you are up to date on your standard immunizations. Your doctor is in the best position to recommend specific vaccinations to specific destinations.
Do I need international travel insurance if my health insurance doesn't cover me on an international trip?
If your health insurance doesn't cover you while abroad, it is a good idea to consider a basic travel-specific insurance. We refer our participants to Travel One for travel insurance needs. You can reach Travel One at 800-247-1311 or click here to visit their website.
What is the main difference between the Kenya and Tanzania trips?
These trips are very similar. In Tanzania you'll get to experience more of a human anthropology aspect and visit one of the last remaining true nomadic tribes in the world, the Hadzabe Bushmen. You'll also visit the world-renowned Serengeti National Park and world heritage site, Ngorongoro Crater, home to the largest unbroken caldera in the world. The Tanzania trip also involves more walking.
In Kenya, we visit many comparable places, including Samburu National Reserve and Masai Mara. Spectacular opportunities abound for wildlife viewing and we also spend time with three different local tribes: the Maasai, Samburu, and Kikuyu.
We suggest reading about some of the following places and deciding based on what piques your interest:
Kenya: Masai Mara, Samburu, Nakuru National Park, Lake Naivasha, Mt. Kenya
Tanzania: Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Lake Eyasi, Oldupai Gorge
Why is there a difference in price between the Kenya and Tanzania trips?
Tanzania, generally, is much more expensive then Kenya. The places are harder to get to but at the same time more popular. The park fees (daily entrance) in Tanzanian parks are often double those in Kenya. Due to the economy, geography and a few other factors, lodges, food, vehicles, and petrol also cost in Tanzania and are the main reasons for the difference in price.
What shots do you recommend if one goes to Africa?
We recommend that you check with your doctor as early as possible prior to leaving to ensure you are up to date on your standard immunizations. Your doctor may also recommend immunizations against things like typhoid and yellow fever but we leave that up to you to decide. During the safaris there is the possibility of exposure to malaria carrying mosquitoes and thus you will also need to bring an anti-malarial medication.
Is bottled water available on trips to Kenya and Tanzania?
Bottled water is recommended on our trips to Kenya and Tanzania, and is available everywhere we stay throughout the trip.
Are your safari trips accessible for a person who uses a manual wheelchair?
Yes, and we have had participants who use manual wheelchairs join us on safari in Kenya and Tanzania. For some parts of the trip, including hiking in Tanzania, you may want to use a wheelchair with the assistance of another person using our Rickshaw device.
The State Department says the terrorist threat is high in Kenya. Can you offer any information about that?
The State Department has a travel warning issued for Kenya. It was issued in June 2014 and has not changed. The areas that are the focus of the warning remain border counties (with Somolia and Ethiopia), the Eastleigh neighborhood of Nairobi, and Mombasa on the Indian Ocean Coast. You can read the full report here: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/kenya-travel-warning.html. Canada provides a similar report that I feel better highlights the highly regional nature of these warnings: http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/kenya.
We monitor these travel advisories, as well as current events in Kenya, very closely, and our local guide keeps us posted on what he’s hearing in-country and what he’s seeing on the ground. Since Wilderness Inquiry started guiding trips in Kenya in 2005, we have run all scheduled trips with itineraries that kept our groups far away from areas where problems have occurred. Similarly, your trip itinerary will take you only to areas that have been consistently safe for travel.
Can you accommodate a CPAP breathing machine on trips to Tanzania?
Yes! All lodges on our Tanzania safari have access to electricity. You will be able to use your CPAP machine throughout the night in each location.
Do I need to bring relatively new bills for currency in Tanzania?
Yes, we recommend that U.S. bills be 2006 or newer. Torn bills may not be accepted as currency in Tanzania.
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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.