Encounter the breathtaking landscapes of Tanzania, from savannas that teem with zebras and wildebeests to the deep caldera of Ngorongoro Crater, where an incredible range of species coexist. Go on safari away from the crowds at Tarangire National Park, home to a large concentration of elephants, and join excellent guides to track lions, leopards, and so much more.
Land at Kilimanjaro International Airport and transfer to your hotel in Arusha. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your lodge, located on the leafy grounds of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantation.
Travel to Tarangire National Park. If your trip is between June and September, stop for a visit to the Noloholo Environmental Center, located just beyond the borders of Tarangire.* Directed by National Geographic Explorer Laly Lichtenfeld, Noloholo runs educational programs for local Maasai people in wildlife conservation and natural resource management. Attend a presentation on these initiatives and enjoy a rare opportunity to visit one of the projects in the field. After settling into your bungalow tent in the heart of the park, enjoy sundowner cocktails while taking in views over the savanna.
*The visit to the Noloholo Environment Center is only available between the months from June through September. Travelers in all other months will transfer directly to Tarangire National Park and enjoy an additional game drive.
Spend the day exploring Tarangire National Park on game drives. Tarangire’s grassy plains are dotted with massive baobab trees and home to a high concentration of area wildlife. Elephants are especially abundant here, with some herds numbering up to 300 strong. Due to its low volume of visitors, the reserve offers a serene and intimate wildlife-viewing experience. Seek out large herds of zebras, giraffes, and wildebeest, as well as the skulking leopards and cheetahs that prey on them. The park is also home to around 550 species of birds, including dazzling yellow-collared lovebirds and the world’s largest avian species, the stocking-thighed ostrich.
Travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to your lodge, perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. More than 12 miles in diameter, the Ngorongoro Crater is the largest non-flooded caldera in the world and is inhabited by some 25,000 animals. Descend 2,000 feet to the crater floor for an unforgettable picnic breakfast, grazing against a backdrop of soaring volcanic slopes. Then embark on a safari through this green-walled wildlife paradise. Ride past herds of zebra grazing next to flamingos and crowned cranes, look for lionesses stalking their prey, and try to spot the rare black rhino. Return to the lodge for an afternoon at leisure and catch a dazzling sunset over the caldera. This afternoon, settle into your lodge, perched on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
You may upgrade to the elegant andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, a member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection at an additional cost. Known as “Maasai meets Versailles,” the property has 30 suites spread over three intimate lodges, each with sweeping views of the crater.
Fly to the vast plains of the Serengeti and check in to your tented suite, located a short distance from the Mara River. Here, it is not uncommon to see an elephant or lion saunter past your bedroom window. This afternoon, set out on safari and take in the sunset on the savanna.
Watch the Serengeti spring to life on an early morning game drive. Or see the majesty of the plains from the sky on an optional hot air balloon ride. As the sun breaks over the horizon, spot wildlife on the sweeping landscapes of the Serengeti before touching down for breakfast under the shade of an acacia tree. On an afternoon safari, delve even deeper into this remote wilderness as you travel along the banks of the Mara in search of crocodiles and hippos peeking above the water’s surface.
Rise early this morning for a special treat: an elegant catered breakfast in the bush followed by a private game drive. After time at leisure, head out on a final afternoon safari on the lookout for jackals, wildebeests, zebras, and big cats.
Fly to Arusha and relax at your hotel before catching your flight home this evening.