Days 1-2: Arusha - Tarangire National Park. After breakfast in Arusha, you will be driven to Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania. There will be many opportunities for game viewing as we drive through the park. After a stop for lunch at one of the Park picnic site, you will have time to stretch yourself before you continue with an afternoon game drive. Tarangire contains a range of ecosystems from grassland and woodlands in the north, to scrub and wetlands further south. The Tarangire river cuts through the park and empties into Lake Burunge in the west. Later dinner and overnight at Tarangire safari lodge – Full board basis.
Tarangire boasts one of the largest and most conspicuous elephant populations in East Africa. There are large family groups with many calves being born each year as the population continues to recover from the devastating effects of poaching in the eighties. You will see herds of elephants and experience close contact with the matriarchs, the babies, teenagers, and bulls. Your close contact will help you in understanding these incredible animals. Spend several hours surrounded by the herds and you cannot help but feel their wisdom. Tarangire is also known for its abundant baobab trees, most of which are over 400 years, old and the beautiful landscape.
Days 3-4: Ndutu & The endless plain (The Serengeti national park). After breakfast at the lodge, you will drive to the Ndutu area of the Serengeti. We will ascend through an extensive and rich agricultural area between Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater rim and then we enter the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The main route to the Serengeti - a lovely road that passes alongside the Crater rim for our first view down to the Crater floor. From a good viewpoint overlooking this ecosystem 2000 feet below, a small speck is perhaps an elephant and the pink hue on the alkaline lake most certainly flamingos.
We then cross over from the highlands down to the short grass plains. From there, we drive slowly over the Serengeti plains to Olduvai Gorge on the eastern boundary of the Serengeti Ecological Unit. Here the Leakey’s found the hominid remains Australopithecus, Homo habilis and Homo erectus, plus many other fossils exhibited in the excellent, small museum at Olduvai. Then we are off across the Serengeti plains to Ndutu. There will be many chances to spot the resident mammals and birds of the area. We may find spotted hyenas, golden and silver-backed jackals, kori bustards, and gazelles.
At the end of the journey across the plains, we arrive at the Serengeti Serena safari Lodge / sopa lodge / wildlife lodge – your home for the next 2 nights. The Lodges are located in an area of the bush where you can experience living in the wild of Africa. Serengeti serena as one of the properties on the list – with a spacious verandah in front of your room is furnished with comfortable safari chairs and tables - the perfect retreat for a relaxing moment watching a weaver bird building its nest in a nearby Acacia tree, African cape buffaloes grazing quietly only meters away, or simply relaxing and listening to the sounds of the African bush. Your bathroom is complete with a dressing table and is fully plumbed with washbasin, lavatory and showers – a new and often surprising interpretation of ‘ safari in the Endless plain of the Serengeti.
These two days will be spent exploring the grassy plains and woodlands in the area, tracking the massed herds of wildebeest and zebra, watching the birth of new calves if we’re lucky, and seeking predators such as lion, cheetah and hyena on the hunt. The area also teems with other wildlife, including elephants, eland, various gazelle species, Kirk’s dik-dik, giraffe and, if we’re lucky, the elusive leopard. Dinner & overnight at Ndutu Safari Lodge/ Mobile Camp
Ndutu Safari lodge is situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the south-eastern part of the Serengeti ecosystem, conveniently close to Serengeti National Park. Herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle pass through the area during the rainy season, together with a variety of resident animals and birds that may be seen throughout the year. The lodge is neatly nestled in the giant acacias overlooking Lake Ndutu.
The Great animal migration (February – in the Ndutu plains): Not surprisingly, this impressive phenomenon is determined by the availability of grazing, which in turn is dependent upon rainfall. Essentially the wildebeest are taking advantage of the strongly seasonal conditions, spending the wet season on the plains in the south-east, and the dry season in the woodlands of the north-west. However, the sheer weight of their numbers also plays an important role in shaping the environment to their needs.
Members of the vast wildebeest herd give birth more or less simultaneously, usually over a period of three weeks sometime between January and March, when optimum grazing is available on the short grass plains at the base of the Gol Mountains. The Migration is rarely ever the same in terms of precise timing and direction, as local conditions influence grass growth. This means that the wildebeest may move off the open plains earlier in some years and remain in the northern woodlands for longer in others.
The timing of the wildebeest calving is probably linked to the timing of the rut at the end of the rains in May and June. The wildebeest move off the plains at this time to a smaller area which is necessary to synchronise the rut. Interestingly, the rut itself appears to coincide with the full moon suggesting that the mating peak is triggered by the lunar cycle.
Typically, the wildebeest head north-west from the short grass plains to the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and its Grumeti River. This watercourse is their first real obstacle and gigantic crocodiles are waiting for the hesitant wildebeest to stumble at the crossing. From Grumeti, the herds move north, often spilling over into the Klein's Camp Concession, before crossing the Kenyan border into the Masai Mara. Here again, they must cross a river, this time the Mara with its flotillas of hungry crocodiles. The mass of grunting wildebeest remain on the productive Mara grasslands until October or November. Then, as the storm clouds gather in the south, the vast herds return to their breeding grounds which, by the time they arrive, are once again green and lush and the cycle begins again. Your Meals and Overnight at - Serengeti serena / Sopa / Wildlife lodge – Full board basis.
Day 5: The Ngorongoro crater. Today we will leave very early in the morning (after a very early breakfast) and drive to the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater. There we will have a full day game drive, as we will be carrying our picnic lunch with us. The Crater is wonderful place - you descend more than 2,000 feet on steep tracks cut into the crater wall to reach the open plains of the Crater floor. The Ngorongoro Crater is undoubtedly the best place in Tanzania to view black rhino as well as large prides of lion that include magnificent black-manned males.
It is also home to huge herds of wildebeest and zebra and many other plains game. An alkaline lake in the floor of the Crater provides a habitat for colorful flamingo and a variety of other water birds. Massive bull elephants feed in the swamps, some adorned with enormous tusks. We will have our picnic lunch at the hippo pool and later in the afternoon drive to the lodge for overnight. Meals and Overnight at Ngorongoro sopa / Ngorongoro Serena/Ngorongoro Wildlife lodge - Full board basis.
Day 6: Arusha – Depart. Today you will have a leisurely breakfast and then start the drive to Arusha through the Great Rift Valley, close to Lake Manyara and arrive in Arusha in time for lunch. After lunch there will be time for shopping before the trip to the airport for your departure.
- We do not have a limited number of people travelling
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