10 Days Northern’s Tanzania Tarangire, Ngorongoro & Serengeti
A 10-day tour for an independent-minded traveller who is keen to experience as much as possible, this safari has the advantage of more nights than usual on this route. Your professional driver-guide proves a wealth of information as you travel through an ever-changing landscape. The itinerary takes in the classic wildlife destinations of Tanzania’s northern circuit, beginning with a peaceful night at an Arusha riverside lodge to unwind after what may have been a long journey.
Tarangire National Park is first, most famous for its concentrations of wildlife at the Tarangire River during the mid-year dry season and a rewarding destination throughout the year. Home to large numbers of elephants and other heavyweight animals such as buffalo and giraffe, the wild woods of Tarangire compare strongly with open plains of the Serengeti where you are on the lookout for migrating wildebeest herds in season and their predators. A full-day safari on the flat floor of the Ngorongoro Crater provides more opportunities to spot the Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and perhaps flamingos and hippos in the Crater wetlands.
Travelling between destinations by 4X4 vehicle for part of the way means the chance to sit back and watch a traditional rural landscape pass by, framed by epic Rift Valley scenery. The vehicle has been designed to make photography as easy as possible: large windows and a pop-up roof, and everyone gets a window seat. The accommodation includes elegant tented camps with no more than 10 suites, each with fabulous views.
Day 1: Riverside at Arusha | 1 Night
The tour begins at Arusha’s Kilimanjaro International Airport where you are met and transferred to Rivertrees Country Inn. Located a short drive from the airport and complete with swimming pool and massage room, River trees is the ideal place to relax for a night before the safari begins the next day. Your cottage sits in leafy gardens, a grand double bed taking centre stage and you have an en suite bathroom with a deep tub as well as an outdoor seating area.
Days 2-3: To Tarangire | 2 Nights
The road takes you south after breakfast, a traditional farming landscape eventually giving way to the welcome sight of giant baobab trees and wild savannah – this is Tarangire National Park. Your accommodation is Oliver’s Camp, set in a remote and little-visited area of the park and in an area close to permanent water. Such a location means excellent game viewing, and your guide will be on the lookout for the park’s famous red dust-coated elephants as well as big cats and some of the hundreds of bird species recorded in here. Your thatch-covered tent radiates an easy elegance and includes an outdoor shower as part of its en suite bathroom.
Days 4-6: The Ngorongoro Highlands | 3 Nights
Retuning north, the Rift Valley landscape begins to rise as you travel onto the Ngorongoro Highlands, spotting wildlife on the way as well as red-robed Maasai cattle herders. Your accommodation for three nights is an utterly unique one – The Highlands Ngorongoro, its modern, high-tech tented suites tucked away on the slopes of the extinct Olmoti volcano. The views from your suite and the main lodge are magnificent and you have plenty of time to explore the area. There is a full-day Big 5 safari in the Ngorongoro Crater itself to look forward to as well as game drives in the teeming Ngorongoro Conservancy. Back at your suite, a wood-burning stove wards off the high-altitude chill and you have 180-degree views from the floor-to-ceiling window.
Days 7-9: Under Canvas in the Serengeti | 3 Nights
A packed lunch and a game drive sustain you to your last accommodation on this safari: Namiri Plains. Set in the productive and ever-reliable Seronera region of the Serengeti, the name of the camp translates as ‘big cat’ in Swahili and for good reason: this is excellent predator country all year round and is especially renowned for cheetah. You have two full days of morning and afternoon game drives to enjoy, guaranteeing yourself excellent game sightings and photographic opportunities. And, if the timing of your safari coincides with the seasonal Wildebeest Migration, the wildlife viewing is even more dramatic; Namiri Plains lies directly on the path of the moving animals.
Day 10: The Journey Ends
After breakfast at Namiri Plains you collect a packed lunch and are driven to Seronera airstrip for a mid-morning scheduled flight back to Arusha’s Kilimanjaro International Airport for the end of this safari and the commencement of your onward travel arrangements.