Itinerary summary: This adventure starts with an interaction with the indigenous tribes of the Lake Eyasi area, allowing visitors to appreciate the cultural richness of these historic and traditional communities. The next three nights are spent in the famed Serengeti National Park, home of some of the best game in Africa and the Annual Great Migration; the final two nights are spent in the Ngorongoro Conservation area, where visitors will descend into the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. Kindly find the full itinerary below.
Day 1: Pick up Kilimanjaro International Airport or hotel in Arusha; drive to Lake Eyasi and spend the day there. Have dinner and spend night at Lake Eyasi safari lodge.
Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau. It is just south of the Serengeti National Park and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania.
The Hadzabe are the indigenous inhabitants of the lake. They are found along most of the perimeter. The Datooga inhabit the Yaeda Valley to the southeast, the Isanzu inhabit the south, and the Sukuma, across the Sibiti River, inhabit the southwest. The Iraqw traditionally lived on the other side of Yaeda, but have come in increasing numbers to the Baray, which is now the primary onion-growing region of East Africa.
Day 2: After breakfast, drive to Serengeti National Park; enjoy picnic lunch at Nabii Gate, followed by an afternoon game drive. Have dinner and spend the night at KatiKati tented camp or Serengeti Heritage camp.
This is Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park. It is also a World Heritage Site and a recently proclaimed Worldwide Wonder. The Serengeti is famed for its Annual Migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains; more than 200,000 zebra and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Even when the Migration is quiet, Serengeti National park offers arguably the most scintillating game viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephants and giraffes, the thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
Day 3&4: Full-day game drive in Serengeti National Park, with picnic lunch provided. Have dinner and spend the night at KatiKati tented camp or Serengeti Heritage Camp.
The park covers 14,750 square kilometers (5,700 sq mi) of grassland plains, savannah, riverine forest, and woodlands. It 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.
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. Other hoofed animals – zebra, gazelle, impala, hartebeest, topi, buffalo, waterbuck – also appear in huge numbers during the wet season. “Kopjes” are granite protrusions that are very common in the region, and they are great observation posts for predators, as well as a refuge for hyrax and pythons.
Western corridor: black clay soil covers the savannah of this region. The Grumeti River and its gallery forests is home to Nile crocodiles, patas monkeys, hippopotamus, and martial eagles. The migration passes through from May to July.
Northern Serengeti: the landscape is dominated by open woodlands (predominantly Commiphora) 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 elephants, giraffes, and dik dik.
Day 5: Enjoy a sunrise game drive, followed by breakfast; drive to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Upon arrival at camp or lodge, have a leisurely, restful day. In the evening, experience a guided Maasai village tour. Have dinner and spend the night at Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge or Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
Day 6: After early morning breakfast, drive to Ngorongoro Crater Gate; descend inside the crater for a full day game drive, with picnic lunch provided. Spend the night at Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge or Ngorongoro Serena Lodge.
The main feature of the Ngorongoro Conservation Authority is the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive, intact and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 meters (2,000 feet) deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). Estimates of the height of the original volcano range from 4,500 to 5,800 meters (14,800 to 19,000 feet) high. The elevation of the crater floor is 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level. The Crater was voted as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.
Approximately 25,000 large animals, mostly ungulates, live in the crater. Large animals in the crater include the black rhinoceros, the African buffalo or Cape buffalo, and the hippopotamus. There also are many other ungulates: the blue wildebeest, Grant’s zebra, the common eland, and Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelles. Waterbucks are mainly seen near Lerai Forest. There are no topis or crocodiles. Impalas are absent because the open woodland they prefer does not exist. Giraffes also are absent, possibly because of a lack of browse species. The Tanzanian cheetah, East African wild dog, and African leopards are rarely seen.
Day 7: Enjoy a sunrise game drive, return to camp for breakfast, then drive back to Arusha. Final drop off at your accommodation or Kilimanjaro Airport to catch your flight back home or to your next destination.
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