Tanzania’s northern safari circuit stands among the most famous and most visited wildlife regions worldwide. Nine days exploring this series of phenomenal national parks exposes visitors to so much more than just Africa’s prized Big Five on the Serengeti. Coveted moments are spent beneath a baobab in tranquil Tarangire National Park, and on the lip of the prehistoric Ngorongoro Crater. Time spent with local communities further enhances the tour, making this experience far more than a simple safari....
Welcome to Africa! Arrive in Arusha and Spend a Night at the Mountain Village Lodge
This morning your plane will descend between the snowcapped peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru as you land in the city of Arusha, Tanzania. A representative will meet you in the arrivals hall after you have cleared customs and collected your baggage, and together you will drive a short distance to the Lake Duluti Serena Hotel (formerly called the Serena Mountain Village). Located on an old coffee plantation in the lush slopes of Mount Meru, this retreat will be the perfect oasis to unwind and adjust to the African pace of life. Check into your private stone cottage and spend what remains of the day strolling through the tropical gardens that fringe the lakeshore. Should you find yourself with energy to burn, you may be interested in joining a mountain bike tour along the slopes of Africa’s fifth highest mountain. Alternatively, you might enjoy hopping in a canoe and paddling leisurely out into the center of the lake. It will be easy to slip into the serenity of this mountain paradise. Join the lodge in the central stone house for dinner round a blazing fire. Meals at Lake Duluti are almost entirely sourced from the surrounding region, and tonight’s dinner will undoubtedly be a fresh and organic taste of local cuisine.
Drive to Tarangire National Park, Arriving in Time for a Late Afternoon Safari
Spend a Full Day Exploring Tarangire National Park
Drive from Tarangire to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Spend a Full Day Exploring the Ngorongoro Crater, Driving From the Plateaus to the Crater Floor
Venture Onwards to the Serengeti, Detouring through the Olduvai Gorge on Route
Spend a Full Day Exploring the Serengeti, Searching for the Continent’s Most Famous Wildlife
Further Explorations Into the Serengeti, Immersing Yourself in the Heart of the Wildebeest Migration
Return to Arusha by Air, in Time to Connect Onwards to an Outbound Flight
- Enjoy the solitude and serenity of Tarangire National Park as you sit in the shade of a baobab tree while elephants wander the horizon
- Search the Serengeti for close encounters with Africa’s Big Five: lions, leopards, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros
- Drift above the savanna on a magical hot air balloon ride, absorbing the vastness of this tranquil landscape at sunrise
- Drive into the heart of the Great Wildebeest Migration (month dependent), surrounding yourself with nearly two million ungulates searching for greener pastures
- Explore the lush floor of the collapsed volcano in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, seeking out leopards and flamingos as you go
- Enjoy each safari from the comfort and consistency of a series of Sopa Lodges
Begin your explorations of Tanzania’s northern parks in a remote corner of Tarangire National Park under the shade of a baobab tree. Drive alongside the life-sustaining Tarangire river, observing the multitude of species that flock to its shore in search of water. Watch as a large population of elephants feast on the leaves of an acacia tree, before you migrate back to a stunning Sopa Lodge for an evening of sundowners, fantastic food and fireside chats.
Move on from Tarangire to the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest inactive volcanic caldera. This lush and fertile landscape perfectly complements your time in the arid region of Tarangire, while still offering spectacular wildlife encounters. Drive through the jungled slopes of the crater before emerging onto the grassy plains of the floor, circling the lake in search of rhinoceros, flamingo and leopard amidst innumerable ungulates.
The crux of the tour occurs as you emerge from the crater floor out onto the endless grassy plains of the Serengeti. The final days of this tour are spent traversing these inspirational and epic plains in search of the Great Wildebeest Migration. Weave and wander along the dusty trails with an expert guide who will take time to highlight the smaller creatures and plants of this unbelievable ecosystem. As the adventure draws to a close, send yourself high above the savanna on a luxurious and romantic tour from a hot air balloon, descending just in time for a glass of champagne before returning home.
Ideal Travel Months
This tour has been designed to run year round. The best timing depends largely on your particular preferences and values in a safari. However, given that the Great Wildebeest Migration is a central component of this particular tour, we would recommend trying to time your visit between the months of October and April, when then wildebeest are found throughout the Serengeti. Within this period, the months of November and April are the most ideal for safaris in Tarangire, given that this is when the migratory herds flock to the park in search of water.
The busiest time in the Serengeti occurs between July and March, while low season generally lasts from November to May.
$5,260 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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