During this Serengeti Sopa Safari holiday you will stay in classic safari lodges including Lake Manyara Serena Lodge, Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and Tarangire Sopa Lodge - all very well located for optimum game viewing in the National Parks. Travel time between the major game viewing areas is relatively short, with plenty of awe-inspiring scenery, colourful Maasai people and an abundance of wildlife seen en route. Our Specialist Tanzania Serengeti Sopa Safari departs from Arusha every Sunday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the year including the 'green season' months of April and May when National Parks are not as busy and prices lower.
Day 1: Join tour in Arusha; a two hour drive will take you to the Serena Lodge overlooking Lake Manyara National Park. Famed for its tree-climbing lions, the dominant feature of the park is the ancient soda Lake Manyara itself – home to large numbers of resident hippo. Looming over the park is the magnificent cliffs of the Rift Valley escarpment, providing a scenic backdrop to game viewing safaris in the park. Accommodation: Lake Manyara Serena Lodge. Includes: (D).
Day 2: This morning enjoy your first game drive in the park. The varied vegetation hosts a wealth of wildlife, nourished by the streams flowing out of the escarpment base and waterfalls. Tanzania’s densest populations of buffalo and elephant can be found feeding in the undergrowth or dozing in the dry riverbeds. The park’s dazzling variety of birds includes thousands of pelicans, cormorants, red-billed quelea and the pink streaks of flocks of flamingos.
After lunch you will begin your journey to one of the world’s greatest wildlife reserves, the Serengeti National Park. You'll enjoy a scenic game viewing spectacle as you’ll traverse the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to enter the Serengeti and travel on a slow drive through the vast game-filled plains of the Serengeti. En route today you can expect to encounter the colourful Maasai people. Accommodation: Serengeti Sopa Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 3: Game drives in the Serengeti National Park, with more than two million wildebeest, half a million Thomson's gazelle, and a quarter of a million zebra making their annual migration, this famous park has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. Today enjoy both a early morning and late afternoon game drive, the best time for both photography and for observing wildlife activity. Return to your lodge late morning for lunch and time to rest, relax and swim, before heading out into the bush again later in the afternoon.
Each game drive circuit will be different. Numerous tracks criss-cross the Serengeti through unforgettable contrasts of wild African scenery. Lush grasslands are interspersed with gently rolling hills, woodland and acacia trees, watered by many rivers. With such a good variety of habitats for wildlife, you should see a whole host of different species. A large lion and cheetah population, leopards, spotted hyenas and silver-or black-backed jackal make up the frequently seen carnivore population. Many buffalo live in the Serengeti, along with herds of impala, topi and Thomson’s and Grant’s gazelle. Giraffe are usually spotted browsing succulent leaves of mainly deciduous tree species. Baboons are commonly seen in large troops; hippos wallow in the slow-moving waters of the rivers or in still-water pools, whilst the largest and heaviest of all living land mammals, the elephant, has many family groups residing in the Serengeti. There are also over 500 recorded species of birds and 100 species of dung beetle. Accommodation: Serengeti Sopa Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 4: On your last morning in the Serengeti you have the opportunity to experience probably the most beautiful balloon flight in the world, a Serengeti balloon safari. Best pre-booked well in advance, along with your safari, a Serengeti balloon safari is not merely a game viewing experience, but rather an opportunity to gain a unique perspective over outstanding African landscapes. A champagne breakfast in the bush rounds off this unique once-in-a-lifetime experience.
En route to Ngorongoro there is time to visit Olduvai Gorge, a river canyon cut 100m deep through the volcanic soil of the Serengeti Plains. Buried in the layers are remains of animals and hominids that lived and died around a shallow lake amid grassy plains and woodlands. These remains date from two million years ago. Guides at the site give a fascinating onsite interpretation of the gorge and the small museum provides further information. Accommodation: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 5: The Ngorongoro Conservation Area boasts the finest blend of landscapes, wildlife, people and archaeological sites in Africa. Often called an ‘African Eden’ and the ‘eighth wonder of the natural world’, it is also a pioneering experiment in multiple land use, allowing humans and wildlife to coexist in a natural setting.
Today you will enjoy a full days game drive criss-crossing the crater floor. The crater alone contains over 20,000 large animals including some of Tanzania’s last remaining black rhino. These prehistoric figures make a striking impression set against a backdrop of the ancient crater walls. No fences border the crater so animals are free to enter or leave as they please. Most choose to stay for the plentiful water and grazing available throughout the year. Accommodation: Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge. Includes: (B, L, D).
Day 6: This morning drive to Tarangire National Park, after lunch you’ll make your first game drive. Tarangire’s huge herds of elephant, often three hundred strong, rival the park’s gigantic, squat baobab trees as its most celebrated feature – ancient matriarchs, young bulls and small, stumbling calves are ever present to amaze visitors with their grace, intelligence and majesty.
Wildebeest, giraffe, hartebeest, kudu, reedbuck, roan, topi, waterbuck, zebra, buffalo and smaller gazelle mingle with rare species such as eland and oryx. During summer months the river becomes a mere shadow of itself, as it dwindles into a tiny stream choked with wildlife in search of water. In the dry season Tarangire enjoys the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti eco-system. Accommodation: Tarangire Sopa Lodge. Includeds: (B, L, D).
Day 7: Morning drive to Arusha. Your Specialist Tanzania safari ends on arrival around midday. Includes: (B).
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Africa Tanzania Nature & Wildlife National Parks
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