Enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience the wonders and astonishing wildlife of the classic northern circuit
Journey to intoxicating East Africa. The vast protected national parks of the Great Rift Valley, the Endless Plains of the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro’s crater and grasslands are home to incredible array of wildlife and some of the world’s most ancient people. Encounter the endangered black rhino, innumerable elephants, myriad wildebeests – the leading actors in the annual drama of the Great Migration – and the big-cat predators that haunt their precarious passage through this unforgettable, primordial landscape.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Tanzania
Fly, via Amsterdam, to Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport, and upon arrival, meet your tour manager and make the short transfer to Arusha, to the Mount Meru Hotel. This luxurious hotel provides a welcome opportunity to rest and relax, enjoy the pool and perhaps, should you choose, enjoy dinner in a choice of restaurants.
Day Two: Included game drive at Tarangire National Park
Following an early breakfast, journey across the Maasai Steppe into the Tarangire National Park, home to herds of African elephants and countless, towering baobab trees, some 1,000 years old. Enjoy lunch at the Tarangire Sopa Lodge, where you’ll stay this evening, after a first game drive during which, you might spot zebras, wildebeests, Gerenuk antelopes, might elephants and colourful birdlife. Return to the luxurious surroundings of your lodge, perhaps to enjoy the outdoor pool, before a sun-downer and dinner end a wonderful day.
Day Three: Included game drive at Lake Manyara National Park
Continue west towards the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, at the foot of which Lake Manyara National Park provides a refuge for flocks of flamingos and other water birds. Keep an eye out for elephants, hippos and remarkable tree-climbing lions – once thought unique to the area, but also seen in the Serengeti. Tonight’s accommodation, after an early evening game drive, offers extraordinary views over the lake from its lofty perch.
Day Four: Included Serengeti game drive
Journey further northwest, on a fascinating drive through the grasslands and on into the Serengeti, which alongside its Kenyan neighbour, the Maasai Mara, forms the world’s most famous game reserve. First protected in 1929, and declared a national park in 1951, UNESCO-listed and a Biosphere Reserve, the Serengeti – Maasai for Endless Plains – is dotted with ancient granite kopje outcrops and forms the backdrop to the annual Great Migration of some 2.5 million animals that follow the rains north and south, across the vast plains. Whenever you visit, expect to see zebras, wildebeests, lions, hyenas, giraffes, warthogs, leopards, buffalos and several deer species, as well as an abundance of birdlife. With a packed lunch provided by the lodge, and an en-route game drive prior to arriving at the luxurious Serengeti Serena Lodge, this will be one of the tour’s most exciting days.
Day Five & Six: Two included Serengeti game drives
From your comfortable lodge base, enjoy two unforgettable days in the Serengeti, joining your guide for morning and afternoon drives, or taking a packed lunch and spending all day in the bush. Your guide will ensure you enjoy the best opportunities to view the game at the closest quarters. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit a Maasai village to learn about the traditional cattle herdsmen and the impact the modern world has had upon their lives.
When not out on safari, make the most of the lodge’s amenities, including the infinity pool overlooking the plains, the comforts of your individual rondavel room, a scenic bar, barbecue area and traditionally carved dining room. Optional activities (payable locally) might include an unforgettable bush dinner or a once-in-a-lifetime early-morning balloon flight and bush breakfast.
Day Seven: Travel to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Bid farewell to the Serengeti today and head into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, passing Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind, where some of the earliest human-like remains were discovered. Journey on to the awe-inspiring Ngorongoro Crater, a 600-meter-deep, 19-kilometre wide blue-green refuge for an amazing array of grazing animals and their predators. Make your way to the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge on the crater’s rim.
Day Eight: Included game drive in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Be prepared for sightings of elephants, rhinos, wildebeests and lions, as you make your way into the caldera on a last morning game drive. Passing the cones of extinct volcanoes, journey through this intoxicating terrain that features Lake Magadi and the dense acacia groves of the Leral Forest. Return for a late lunch at the lodge and enjoy a last afternoon and evening in this stunning location. Enjoy a final dinner, spent reflecting no doubt on the highlights of the past week.
Day Nine: Travel to Zanzibar
Bid farewell to Ngorongoro, and head towards Zanzibar.
Days 10 - 11: Rest and relax
Cool off at the end of your safari adventure by enjoying the laid-back atmosphere, blue skies and white-sand beaches of island paradise Zanzibar, staying in the Bluebay Beach Resort & Spa. Bathe in tropical waters, enjoy some of Africa’s most memorable food in the hotel’s Makuti restaurant next to the pool, and tour historic, Moorish influenced Stone Town.
Day 12: Fly back to the UK
Make the journey back to Kilimanjaro Airport for your return overnight flight via Amsterdam, back to the UK.
Day 13: Arrive back in the UK
Arrive back in the UK.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour and 30 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Passengers travelling on tours departing after September 2018 will be offered different excursions on Days Four, Six and Seven. Please see the itinerary for further details.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Visas are required by British Citizens travelling to Tanzania.
Please note: All flights operate via Amsterdam.