7 DAYS CAMPING SAFARI TO NORTHERN TANZANIA
You will be picked up in the morning and after a short briefing you will head off in direction of the Tarangire National Park. The park with its savannah, baobab trees, and seasonal swamps is home to huge elephant herds. Animals gather at the life-giving Tarangire River and you should see a selection of mammals ranging from giraffes, bushbucks and hartebeests to zebras and warthogs. The park is also home to buffaloes, zebras and wildebeests which are always closely followed by a range of predators such as lions. Leopards are seen now and then but cheetahs are rarely spotted. From the open roof of the safari vehicle you will be able to absorb the landscape and watch the animals. In the late afternoon you will leave the park and head to a nearby campsite, where you will spend the night in a tent.
After breakfast you will leave the area around Tarangire National Park and head to the multicultural village of Mto wa Mbu. From here you will travel on a spectacular and very bumpy gravel road along the Rift Valley Escarpment with Ol Doinyo Lengai “the holy mountain” of the Masai in the distance. Today’s destination is the typical Masai village of Ngare Sero in the hot and dusty Rift Valley. In the distance you might see a pink glow from flamingos breeding and feeding on the algae of the alkaline Lake Natron (seasonal and depending on water level). In the afternoon you will join a Masai guide on a walk to a nearby waterfall before you return to the campsite for your overnight.
After an early start, you will travel along adventurous dirt tracks with breath-taking views as your vehicle climbs out of the Rift Valley to reach the grassy plains of the Serengeti by midday. Serengeti means “endless plains” in the language of the Masai and you will see the grassland savannah stretching to the horizon. The Serengeti is the most famous park in Tanzania and it is home to the largest animal migration on the planet – hundreds of thousands of animals trek to find fresh grass and water. You will overnight at a campsite in the northern or central part of the park.
The entire day is dedicated to game viewing in the Serengeti National Park. You will either go on a full day game drive or join early morning and afternoon drives in the Seronera area, depending on last night’s stop. Between December and May huge herds of wildebeests and zebras will be seen, with calves and foals being born between January and March. The Seronera area is also the best place to spot the shy and nocturnal leopard. You will spend the night at a campsite in the Seronera area.
The morning is set aside for another game drive in the Serengeti and you might spot some creatures that you haven’t seen yet. Animals tend to be more active in the morning before the temperatures soar around midday. After lunch, you will leave the plains of the Serengeti and travel to the highlands of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will camp at a campsite directly on the Ngorongoro Crater’s edge with a view over the collapsed volcano. It is a perfect spot to enjoy a sundowner at sunset.
Rise and shine! It is up at daybreak to take on the steep path leading down into the 600 m deep crater. The slopes are forested but soon the landscape changes to savannah with the occasional acacia tree here and there. The wildlife in the crater is just breath-taking and with a little luck you might see the “Big Five” – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard. You should also see warthogs, wildebeests, zebras, hippos and some of the more than 500 bird species of the area. After an entire morning of game viewing and a picnic lunch in the crater, you will travel to Mto wa Mbu where you will overnight on a campsite.
After a leisurely breakfast drive to the Lake Manyara National Park. Not only is this park a bird-lover’s paradise with over 400 species of birds, but is also home to primates such as baboons and blue monkeys and many herbivores, such as elephants, hippos, wildebeest, impalas and giraffes. You might even catch a glimpse of the more carnivorous inhabitants, such as leopards and lions. Through the pop-up roof of your safari vehicle you will see the landscape changing from lush acacia woodlands to grassy floodplains, where colonies of flamingos and other water fowls can be found on the alkaline Lake Manyara shoreline. After extensive game viewing you will leave the park and you will start your return trip to Arusha. You will be dropped off at a hotel of your choice or at the airport.