About the Trip
February 1 – 10, 2019
A northern Tanzania safari should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. The Serengeti’s Great Migration is one of the most amazing wildlife spectacles in the world, and the Crater floor of the extinct volcano at Ngorongoro is a game viewing environment that has no equal. Towering above it all is Kilimanjaro, the worlds highest freestanding mountain in Africa.
The Ngorongoro Crater and surrounding highlands together form one of Africa’s most beautiful regions. Volcanic craters form stunning backdrops to some of the most fertile and rich grazing grounds in Africa.
A ‘Northern Circuit’ safari of Tanzania offers one of the world’s most diverse safari experiences, consisting of National Parks, game reserves and conservation areas. Among these are the world-famous and iconic Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and their less well-known neighbor,Tarangire National Park. Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has large concentrations of animals and a fraction of the visitors of any of the other northern parks.
Lake Duluti Lodge
Consisting of only 18 well designed African bandas (chalets), Lake Duluti Lodge offers a peaceful location, good views and the perfect one or two night stop over.
The lodge has been designed in a way that you will feel like you are staying at home rather than at a top end hotel. Lake Duluti lodge prides itself on fine cuisine, first class exclusivity, five star personalized service, top class amenities and eco friendly architecture and operations.
The lodge is located inside a thirty acre coffee farm in a safe and exclusive area outside Ausha. All the chalets face the coffee farm and all have an amazing view of the indigenous trees that surround the lodge.
Karatu Acacia Farm Lodge
Acacia Farm Lodge is strategically located between the Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks on one side and Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park on the other, this is a perfect base from which to explore these world-famous reserves as well as enjoy many other adventurous activities and impressive cultural experiences found in the local area.
This romantic Country Lodge is nestled in an active mixed farm, located high on the spectacular Great Rift’s escarpment area with commanding panoramic views of the amazing Karatu farmlands and the nearby Ngorongoro forest area. A timeless tranquility emanates from the exuberance of birdsong, mature trees and the lovely coffee plants.
Personalized service, beautifully appointed and creatively designed and decorated public areas, and luxurious accommodations ensure a wonderful stay to every guest. Each of the 28 spacious, contemporary African styled chalets has a comfortable living area and en-suite bedroom all with a mini bar, air-conditioning, satellite television, Wi-Fi and other modern and appropriate amenities plus a private balcony with sweeping views of the farm, the surrounding scenic landscape and the most amazing sunsets.
Lake Masek Tented Lodge
Lake Masek Tented Lodge is a true African dream – a 5 star tented camp, which offers all the comforts of a private safari. The camp likes to say that it is like the lion prides, it blends into bush, its form follows function and it is close to the migration of the wildebeest. There is resident Big 5 game all year round in the area.
Each Luxury Tent comes with a verandah with lounge chairs from which guests can observe the wildlife visiting the area. The bedroom area is ample and tastefully furnished. The large bathroom area has twin washbasins and a shower. Robes await you as you leave the bathroom. Each tent has a small living area with comfortable chairs and a desk. The camp has a central a la carte dining area serving a selection of international and local dishes. The camp also features a well-stocked bar and drinks are served in the evenings, in typical safari style. The camp offers in-room massage services and internet is available at the main lounge.
The branches of a large acacia tree sprawl out in all directions for a central opening in the deck, a lace-like canopy of leaves diffusing afternoon sunlight into scattered shadows below. The lodge is eco-friendly as all power is supplied by solar electricity and water is harvested during the rainy season and collected for use. All products used are biodegraded to ensure that the environment is kept pristine.
The Kubu Kubu Serengeti Tented Camp
The Kubu Kubu Serengeti Tented Camp is strategically located to ensure that all areas of the Serengeti are within reach. It has been designed with a modern African decorative style that creates a fresh and bright atmosphere, but very cozy and with the right amount of luxury. Guests can attend to the show of the Great Migration from the comfort of their tents. This is an all-inclusive camp with all drinks included. There is also a pool to enjoy after your safari adventures.
The Serengeti surrounds the camp with the plains at your doorstep. Thus, it feels like you are truly in the bush. It isn’t unusual for grazing animals to wander past while you are eating! The lodge is eco-friendly as all the electric power is supplied by solar panels and water is collected during the rainy season.
Kigali Serena Hotel (optional Rwanda extension)
Located on Kigali’s most charming boulevards, the five star Serena Hotel is built around a polished granite atrium showcasing some of Rwanda’s top art and artists. Relaxed, yet elegant, the hotel features an Executive Lounge and Bar, which opens onto a wide sundeck overlooking the newly refurbished swimming pool. Also overlooking the pool, the popular Milima Restaurant offers a wide range of all-day buffet choices, while the relaxed Sokoni Café offers inside and outside poolside seating.
Virunga Volcanoes Lodge (optional Rwanda extension)
Set on a stunning hillside, the magnificent Virunga Lodge boasts panoramic vistas of the Virunga Volcanoes and the beautiful lakes of Ruhondo and Bulera. Each of ten luxurious bandas named after the Rwandan lakes features a spacious bedroom with a cozy fireplace, as well as private terrace with sweeping views of the breathtaking surroundings.
Those in need of relaxation can revel in the comfort of the main lodge or spend some time in the Dian Fossey Map Room. Many guests enjoy sitting on their deck simply looking at the magnificent green rain forest.
Rwanda Gorilla Trek Extension – February 10–13
Kigali and Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
3 night/4-day all-inclusive tour is an optional add-on to our 2019 Tanzanian Safari.
Early booking rate $6499 per person based on double occupancy; $8,999 single occupancy.
Pre-paid gratuities of $150 per person are additional
February 10, 2019
Transfer to to Kilimanjaro International Airport for the included flight to Kigali, Rwanda.
Upon arrival at the Kigali International Airport, we will be met by our local representatives and transferred to the Kigali Serena Hotel, the best luxury accommodations in Kigali. Dinner tonight is included at the hotel.
February 11, 2019
After a short morning briefing, we depart for our visit to Kigali, a city built on many green hills, which make up the majority of Rwanda’s topography. Vibrant and colourful, Kigali is the bustling capital city of Rwanda. It spreads out over four scenic ridges and the valleys in between, with the city centre located on one hill, and the government and administrative quarter on another.
History, architecture and culture collide on this fascinating guided city tour. The vibrance of Kigali is beautifully showcased as you venture to where the first modern building was built to lay the foundations for Rwanda’s capital city. Next, journey through bustling neighborhoods for an authentic taste of Kigali life.
Your tour includes sensory stops at the city market, a visit to the haunting Genocide Memorial and the opportunity to interact with the artisans of the Inema Art Centre.
After our tour, we’ll stop for lunch in Kigali so that you can enjoy some local food at one of the top local restaurants.After lunch, we begin our drive to Volcanoes National Park. The 3-hour drive takes you through the verdant and fascinating country-side of Rwanda. Enjoy the scenery, observing village life and notice that we will begin to climb higher as we reach the National Park. Tonight we will stay at the luxurious and all-inclusive Virunga Volcanoes Lodge, considered the top lodge for gorilla trekking.
February 12, 2019
Today offers the chance for close encounters with mountain gorillas and beautiful golden monkeys. Hike the densely forested slopes of Rwanda’s picturesque Virungas Volcanoes in search of the world’s largest population of wild mountain gorillas. Gaze out onto soaring mountain slopes enveloped in lush and tropical vegetation. This is a full day of adventure walking/trekking through the rain forest to reach the area where the main groups of mountain gorillas live. Often, we have outstanding photo opportunities and get very close to these remarkable creatures.
Immersed in this dramatic natural setting, enjoy the opportunity to watch the intriguing interaction between gorilla families or set out in search of troops of the enchanting golden monkeys. This itinerary is ideal for anyone eager for a glimpse of these great primates while undisturbed in their beautiful natural setting.
Overnight and dinner at the luxurious Virungas Volcanoes Lodge.
February 13, 2019
After breakfast at the Lodge, transfer to the Kigali International Airport for your included flight to Arusha for your further onward flight home.
We recommend that you fly home from Arusha on Delta Airlines flight 9349 or KLM flight 569 the night of February 13th. Alternatively you may be able to return home directly from Kigali at 1:00pm or later on February 13th.
Accommodation as per itinerary, all park fees, gorilla permits and transit fees, all meals as noted, English speaking guide(s), airport transfers as per itinerary, private transportation throughout the tour, and any other government taxes and levies.
Alcoholic beverages, personal expenses, mandatory travel insurance, visas and international airline tickets.
Note: If price increases occur beyond our control (i.e. national park entry fees), we reserve the right to charge for these amounts. However, we will do everything possible to keep the price as quoted.
Optional Balloon Safari on Day 8 of Main Program – February 8
Serengeti | $675 per person
On your final day of safari, you will have the option to enjoy an unforgettable hot-air balloon ride over the Serengeti. Could there be anything more memorable to do on your last day? Weather permitting, you will be picked up at the lodge at 4 or 5am for an experience unlike any other, viewing the abundant wildlife while gliding along peacefully in a hot air balloon at sunrise.
At dawn you’ll take off and float whichever direction the winds of the morning take you. Your pilot can precisely control the height of the balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. Includes an “Out of Africa” breakfast in the shade of a classical umbrella tree. The table laid with bone china and king’s silver cutlery.
The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place in Tanzania to see ‘The Big Five’. A healthy population of black rhino and some of the largest tusker elephants left in Africa today are the prize spots, but the crater is also home to good populations of lion, leopard and hyena along with healthy herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Other wildlife here includes serval cat, cheetah, jackal, Grant’s and Thompson’s gazelle, flamingo and bat-eared foxes, as well as approximately 400 species of bird.
The Serengeti National Park is Africa’s most famous. Renowned for its incredible concentrations of predators and the Great Serengeti Migration of two million wildebeest, a Serengeti Safari is guaranteed to be exceptional. We have timed your visit to coincide with the incredible spectacle of the final phase of the annual wildebeest migration when thousands of wildebeest are giving birth at the same time. The endless grassy plains (Serengeti in Maasai) are the richest grazing grounds on the continent, and therefore home to the largest herds and the highest concentrations of predators on the planet.
- 10-day fully escorted with the services of a host throughout the trip
- Services of guides/representatives throughout trip
- Luxury stays at the Lake Duluti Lodge, Karatu Acacia Farms Lodge, Lake Masek All-Inclusive Luxury Tented Camp, Kubu Kubu Serengeti All-Inclusive Luxury Tented Camp
- Most meals
- All-inclusive beverages at Lake Masek and Kubu Kubu tented camps
- 4×4 game drives in Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu and Serengeti Plains
- All park entrance fees
- Authentic visit to Maasai Village
- Safari flight from Serengeti to Arusha
- Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for outbound flight
- Optional balloon ride over the Serengeti (additional cost)
- Personal expenses and Visa Fees
- International flights to and from Kilimanjaro International Airport
Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, you will be met by a guide/representative and transferred to Lake Duluti Lodge in outskirts of Arusha.
We recommend arrival on Delta Airlines flight 9349 or KLM flight 569 via Amsterdam, which arrive at 8:40pm to Arusha (JRO) on February 1, 2019.
After breakfast at the Lake Duluti Lodge, we depart for Tarangire National Park. Upon arrival (approximately 2 hours drive from Arusha), we will set out for a day of game driving.
The roads to the park gates are newly paved. However, paved roads aren’t permitted in Tanzania’s national parks, so once we enter the park, the roads aren’t always the best so prepare for some bumps along the way. We will travel in private 4 X 4 – 8 passenger vehicles. However, to ensure your comfort, only 6 guests will travel in each vehicle. You’ll have loads of room so that you all can see everything going on.
Your driver is also an experienced licensed safari guide and they will be with you for the entire safari, teaching you about the nature, geography, and culture.
Tarangire National Park covers 2,600 square kilometers and is on the traditional migration route of several species of wildlife. Herds of migratory wildebeest, gazelle, zebra and buffalo regularly visit the park. The water pools are shared by flocks of birds: green wood hoopoes, fisher lovebirds, tallish herons, white bellied go-away birds and giant kingfishers. Resident lion, giraffe, elephant, and black rhino are common at any season; Tarangire is also noted for its baobab trees and splendid vistas of rolling savannas and acacia woodland.
Tonight, we will stay at the Karatu Acacia Farm Lodge, close to Tarangire Park.
Today is your day to experience the Maasai tribe, in an intimate and personal interaction with one of its distinguished elder warriors, Abby, the owner of Boutique Safari, local safari company.
After breakfast, travel to Engaruka. On the way, you pass by other Maasai villages and small towns providing a fascinating perspective. The vistas will be fascinating, young boys herding their flocks, the rift valley escarpment rising above and the Maasai sacred mountain, Oldonyo Lengai in the background.
The day will be spent engaging in spontaneous cultural interactions. You’ll visit a school and kindergarten that local safari company, Boutique Safari, helped fund. You’ll be served a hot lunch and visit a local home with one of the most unexpected and amazing gardens – a water-drip system is used to grow hundreds of vegetables and fruit that feed many in the village.
Return back to the Acacia Farm Lodge with many memories and photos to take back to show your family.
This is a day you’ll never forget!
This morning we depart early from the Acacia Farm Lodge in order to be first at the park gate. We enter the Ngorongoro National Park and immediately continue to ascend to the exterior of the crater reaching its rim and here you take your first glimpse of what has often been referred to as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. The Ngorongoro Crater is the remains of a once massive volcano, nearly three million years old, on the eastern border of the Serengeti National Park. Now collapsed and eroded to leave the world’s largest unbroken, unflooded caldera, it forms an extraordinarily fertile ‘bowl’ in the midst of rolling highlands, with permanent water sources and steep sides ensuring that the wildlife that thrives here has little reason to leave. Situated in the midst of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a wildlife preservation area roughly the size of Crete, the crater forms an important aspect of the northern Tanzania safari circuit.
Descend to the floor of the crater and have an experience of a lifetime, as you watch the literally thousands of animals that Africa has to offer. The unique eco-system supports the delicate balance of predator and prey in the endless quest for survival. The crater is the spectacular stalking ground of around 20,000 to 30,000 wild animals at any one time, the most densely packed concentration of wildlife in Africa. The crater thus holds an astonishing microcosm of East African wildlife within its boundaries, and thus has achieved renown as ‘the eighth wonder of the world.
After lunch, we depart the crater for the world-famous Ndutu area of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park where the miracle of the wildebeest migration takes place. The drive is incredible with amazing vistas of the Great Rift Valley. The roads are rough and dusty but the sights are unforgettable.
You’ll arrive at your camp in late afternoon in time for cocktails with views of the amazing Serengeti plains. Your next 4 nights will be at the five-star luxury tented camp ideally situated in the area where we expect the migration to be – Lake Masek Tented Camp.
Spend two full days in the truly incredible Ngorongoro Conservation Area with both morning and afternoon game drives. The wildlife defines the area-countless zebra; buffalo, gazelle, wildebeest and other species make it their home. The terrain is the main stage for the great wildebeest migration, an awesome spectacle involving millions of these beasts.
During the afternoon heat, relax in the lounge, chatting with the staff. There is always an open bar to get any kind of refreshment. Overnight at the Lake Masek Tented Camp.
Spend another day in the truly incredible Ngorongoro Conservation Area with both morning and afternoon game drives.
Have done the best to time this safari to coincide with the incredible spectacle of the final phase of the annual wildebeest migration when thousands of wildebeest are giving birth at the same time in the short grass plains. The goal is to put you potentially in the ideal place to view this incredible wonder of East Africa. If the universe is smiling and if our timing is right, you will witness something that words can’t truly describe – the migration. Imagine viewing a million wildebeest… each one driven by the same ancient rhythm, fulfilling its instinctive role in the inescapable cycle of life: a frenzied two-month bout of birthing; replenishing the species in a brief population explosion that produces more than 8,000 calves daily before the 1,000 km (600 mile) pilgrimage begins again. Overnight at the Lake Masek Tented Camp.
After one last breakfast at the Lake Masek Camp, we depart for Serengeti National Park. Tanzania’s oldest and most popular national park, also a world heritage site and recently proclaimed a 7th world-wide wonder, the Serengeti is famed for its annual migration, when some six million hooves pound the open plains, as more than 200,000 zebras and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelles join the wildebeest’s trek for fresh grazing. Yet even when the migration is quiet, the Serengeti offers arguably the most scintillating game-viewing in Africa: great herds of buffalo, smaller groups of elephant and giraffe, and thousands upon thousands of eland, topi, kongoni, impala and Grant’s gazelle.
The spectacle of predator versus prey dominates Tanzania’s greatest park. Golden-maned lion prides feast on the abundance of plain grazers. Solitary leopards haunt the acacia trees, while a high density of cheetahs prowl the southeastern plains. Almost uniquely, all three African jackal species occur here, alongside the spotted hyena and a host of more elusive small predators, ranging from the insectivorous aardwolf to the beautiful serval cat.
But there is more to Serengeti than large mammals. Gaudy agama lizards and rock hyraxes scuffle around the surfaces of the park’s isolated granite koppies. A staggering 100 varieties of dung beetle have been recorded, as have 500-plus bird species, ranging from the outsized ostrich and bizarre secretary bird of the open grassland, to the black eagles that soar effortlessly above the Lobo Hills.
From the moment we enter the park, the game will appear and the excitement begins. We slowly game drive, viewing animals as we go. Arrive at the beautiful Kubu Kubu lodge in the late afternoon, with plenty of time for a rest or a refreshing dip in the pool before dinner.
Spend a full day in the truly incredible central Serengeti area. Enjoy a morning game drive to witness countless zebra; buffalo, gazelle, wildebeest and other species. Or, take an optional and unforgettable hot-air balloon ride over the plains. Could there be anything more memorable to do on your last day?
During the afternoon heat, you will have time to relax at the camp. There are often animals wandering right in front of the camp so always have your camera with you! In the late day you’ll enjoy another game drive before returning to the Kubu Kubu Luxury Tented Camp Lodge for cocktails and dinner.
After breakfast, it will be time to say good-bye or “Kwaheri” in Swahili to the Camp. We will depart for the local airstrip, for your scheduled flight to Arusha. This is a direct flight, giving you a great opportunity to see more of the African landscape from an aerial perspective. You will be provided a boxed lunch so that you won’t go hungry on the journey.
Upon arrival at Arusha domestic airport, you will be transferred to the Lake Duluti Lodge. Spend your afternoon contemplating your many memories or preparing for the journey home. Rest, shower and prepare for a farewell dinner.
Spend a relaxing morning at Lake Deluti Lodge. Have lunch at a local restaurant and a day room close to the airport to tide you over until it’s time to return to the airport. For your return flight home from Arusha (JRO) we recommend Delta Airlines flight 9349 or KLM flight 569, which depart Arusha at 9:45pm on February 10th.
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