9 Days Serengeti Wildebeest Migration, Ngorongoro Crater & Tarangire
Opening with a night at Arusha Coffee Lodge, this easy-paced, 9-day itinerary showcases Tanzania’s classic northern safari destinations. Flying between camps means more time on safari and plenty of comfort, making this value-for-money tour ideal for honeymooners and couples.
You begin with Tarangire National Park, home to the country’s largest elephant population and beautifully wild scenery. Your accommodation here, Swala Camp, has a low carbon footprint and is totally secluded to offer sensational elephant watching.
You may also see elephants at your next destination: the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Enjoying panoramic views from the vantage of Ngorongoro Crater Camp, you also sit back on game drives to nearby Lake Manyara National Park, searching for the park’s tree-climbing lions. There is also time for a full-day safari to the Ngorongoro Crater, an ancient volcanic caldera whose steep-sided walls contain Africa’s densest concentration of large animals, including the Big 5. This camp allows you to visit two big hitters in one go.
The finale is the Serengeti, home to the great Wildebeest Migration. Your accommodation – Kichakani Serengeti Camp – is well-located at three different points on the Migration route and provides amazing game viewing as the herds roll in.
Day 1: Coffee-tasting in Arusha | 1 Night
Set just five minutes from Arusha Airport, Arusha Coffee Lodge makes the ideal start to this safari. An elegant, plantation-style lodge lying on a working coffee farm, this friendly spot has everything you need to relax after your journey and prepare for your safari. You can sit back to lovely views of Mount Meru or treat yourself to a massage at the in-house spa, and if you are a coffee-lover then make sure you go on a coffee-tasting tour of the farm; you will not find a fresher cup! Your suite is a converted plantation cottage with a fireplace and sweeping views of the estate. After sunset drinks at the Safari Bar, you sit down to African-fusion and continental cuisine at Redds African Grill House, many of its ingredients drawn from local farms.
Day 2-3: Tarangire – Land of Giants | 2 Nights
Leaving Arusha behind, you fly to Tarangire National Park and Swala Camp, hidden away in a remote corner of the park and far from other camps. A location near water means excellent game viewing all year round and the area has a large resident elephant population, many of which regularly frequent the waterhole located in front of camp. With the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem, Tarangire is a great place to see predators such as big cats and wild dogs on the hunt. You will see towering baobabs – the bizarre ‘upside-down trees’ – in Tarangire and it is also the one place in Tanzania where arid-area antelope such as the fringe-eared oryx and the long-necked gerenuk can be seen. Your luxurious tented suite comes complete with waterhole views and a personal butler, and you choose from a variety of activities include morning and afternoon game drives, walking safaris and spot-lit night drives.
Day 4-5: Lake and Crater Safari | 2 Nights
NGORONGORO CRATER, TANZANIA
Ngorongoro Crater Camp is your comfortable home for the next three nights. It is the perfect place for some ‘down timoe’ after flying in from Tarangire but there is also plenty of time for game viewing too. You go on morning and afternoon game drives in Lake Manyara National Park – home to elephant, buffalo, hippo, giraffe, many antelope species and Manyara’s endearing tree-climbing lions. Also scheduled is a full-day safari to the Ngorongoro Crater – the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera and the one place in Africa where you are most likely to see all of the Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant) in a single game drive.
Day 6-8: To the Serengeti plains | 3 Nights
As mobile tented accommodation, Kichakani Serengeti Camp moves between three different areas of the Serengeti to virtually guarantee you prime position for nature’s most spectacular show: the great Wildebeest Migration.
Depending on the time of year, you may see the wildebeest birthing season, or perhaps the enormous herds on the move, or the dramatic months when the animals brave giant crocodiles in order to cross rivers in search of fresh grazing. Away from the Migration, there is much else to marvel at: herds of buffalo, elephant and a long list of antelope plus baboons, giraffe and of course the Serengeti’s ever-present predators: lion, cheetah, wild dog, spotted hyena and leopard. Back at camp you can relax in the mess tent overlooking Serengeti landscape, or head for the privacy of your tented suite, complete with en suite bathroom.
Day 9: The Journey Ends
It is a final breakfast at camp before you once again fly back to Arusha Airport for your onward travel connections. Arusha’s Kilimanjaro International Airport is nearby and provides flights to regional transport hubs such as Nairobi as well as Indian Ocean destinations such as dazzling Zanzibar Island, making a tropical beach holiday an easy and rewarding add-on to this tour.