Day 1 Arusha National Park
We will meet your flight and transfer you to our private luxury camp in the Equatorial Montane Forest of Arusha National Park on the slopes of Mt. Meru. Dinner will be ready when you arrive. B,L,D provided every day. Beer and soda always available and wine is served with every dinner.
Day 2 Arusha National Park
Today there are great walking options directly from the camp. Hiking through this wonderful montane forest on wide game trails is a great introduction to safari in Tanzania. You may be lucky enough to witness game at a safe distance. There will also be time for a nice game drive around the many lakes inside the park. If the weather is clear you can have evening sundowners atop a small hill behind camp overlooking the awesome western slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Day 3 Msigiyo Camp Ngorongoro Crater:
You will leave Arusha National Park with a picnic lunch so you can do a few hours game drive and picnic lunch inside Lake Manyara National Park on your way to the Ngorongoro camp. Once you leave Manyara Park you will head into the 3,200-square-mile Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a tract of land that includes Maasai grazing land as well as a large portion of the Serengeti Plains. Once on the Ngorongoro Crater rim, peering into the giant Crater you will see one of the earth’s most picturesque Edens. You enter the Ngorongoro Conservation area’s eastern side and after driving along the rim proceed to our private seasonal luxury camp. Our private tented camp is away from the hustle and bustle of the main tourist area, located on a beautiful high ridge overlooking Lake Eyasi in the Great Rift Valley. The camp is only a short distance from the “boma” of the Ole Dorop family, a long-time Masaai friend and clan leader. One of the clan leaders will be your cultural host while you are at the camp. Overnight at our camp…BLD beer and sodas available at all times. Wine served with meals.
The beauty of Ngorongoro Crater must be seen to be believed: on the crater’s 105-square-mile grassy floor lives Africa’s largest permanent concentration of wildlife, a sort of mini-Serengeti in a phenomenally scenic setting. During our time exploring this famous crater, we’re likely to see elephant, zebra, wildebeest, and buffalo, and there’s hardly a better place on earth for observing ions than on the crater floor, where the prides of lions are large. This is also one of the best places to see the endangered black rhino—about a dozen have been introduced into the crater environment and they are carefully monitored by biologists.
Day 4 Msigiyo Camp Ngorongoro Crater:
A short drive from camp through the grassy highlands and Maasai bomas brings you to the Crater descent road. The descent into the crater is steep but once on the floor of the remarkable Ngorongoro Crater the beauty and splendor of this unique environment is revealed. The animals are numerous and well-adjusted to seeing vehicles which makes it an ideal location for some close up wildlife photography. We will provide a picnic lunch in the Crater. By midafternoon we will begin the journey out of the crater and back to the camp. In the early evening members of the local Maasai community will prepare a special goat roast, a traditional “Ol Pul” Maasai feast. Those who are interested have a chance to sample the barbecue. The Maasai will stay at our camp until just after dark to share dancing and singing and to offer a chance for you to ask questions about their culture. Our regular dinner will be served as the Maasai barbecue is drawing to a close
Day 5 & 6 Serengeti National Park, Private luxury camp.
As we leave the quiet luxury of our Ngorongoro Highlands camp and say good bye to our new Maasai friends we begin the descent onto the vast plains of the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti has it all! Tree lined rivers, majestic Kopje (rock outcroppings) and both long and short grass plains stretching for such vast distances that striking out onto its expanses can only be likened to sailing the open seas. Huge numbers of migratory animals roam the plains in all directions. Wildebeest number in the millions, intermingled with zebra numbering in the hundreds of thousands along with a smorgasbord of other ungulates. These millions of hoofed animals form the traveling market of the Serengeti feeding the every expanding numbers of predators: Lions, leopards, hyenas, jackals, foxes, badgers, ratels and many more that you will have the chance of seeing if you spend enough time on the Serengeti. You will spend the next 2 nights in our private seasonal luxury camp placed in the premium best possible place to maximize game viewing opportunity.
Day 7 Wilderness walking camp inside Serengeti National Park
Driving north from our Serengeti camp through the Seronera River Valley the countryside is gently rolling and quite heavily wooded with acacia trees, broken occasionally by grassy plains. As we move further north we will see granite “kopjes” (out crops) emerging from the trees in the distance. We leave the main road for a barely discernable track to our first camp. Camp is set in a huge area of beautiful kopjes surrounded by shady groves of acacia trees. You may leave the vehicles and walk into camp or the leader may want to go to camp first. Either way we will find camp set up and ready to move into. You will find tea and a snacks in the mess tent. Your guide is a very experienced bush walker and will show you what you need to know to fully enjoy this unique wilderness walking experience. Because walking has only been allowed in the Serengeti National Park for a few years many of the places we hike have not been visited by man for more than half a century. Each walk is truly exploring a new area for the secret spots that the animals use. We will find a good spot for sundowners. Then on to camp for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 Wilderness walking camp inside Serengeti National Park
Today’s walk will explore parts of a seasonal river often finding a few spots that have pools for much of the year, or if completely dry you will see places elephants dig in the sand for trapped water – the location of these ‘sweet spots’ is handed down from generation to generation. We will start our walk early while it is cooler and to try and catch the tail end of the nights action. There is no set trail for us to follow we will find animal tracks and look for game patterns in an attempt to see as much as possible, we will move slowly, pausing often to look at something or to take in our surrounding and feel the direction of the wind. As the sun climbs higher we will find a cool and shady spot to rest and have our bush lunch. Much of the wildlife will be doing the same and we will relax on a vantage point during the heat of the day. Our route for the day will wind though and ascend many rock kopjes where we have good vantage points to locate animals at a distance. Once we leave camp in the morning the camp crew will break camp and move it ahead of us and pitch it in a new beautiful location ready for us when we arrive.
Day 9 Wilderness walking camp inside Serengeti National Park
Another early start before the day gets too hot – we will continue to work our way thought the many kopjes and acacia trees in this vast un-used walking only area, skirting the occasional glade and pausing on top of kopjes to scan the horizon. When wildlife is spotted you can plan a walking route to try and work your toward them for a closer look. Lunch will again be in a shady location with good views of the landscape. Camp may move again while we hike or the leaders may decide camp is in the perfect location for a second game walk in another direction tomorrow.
Day 10 Luxury Camp Serengeti National Park
Our final morning of walking we will leave camp early after a quick cup of tea or coffee and walk for a couple of hours before will meet with our cook for a fabulous “bush breakfast”. This will be the end of our “walking” experience as the vehicles to take us out of the walking area will meet us after breakfast. The drive out of the walking area will be filled with game and we will wind our way slowly back to the game driving tracks of the Central Serengeti. The drivers will prepare a picnic lunch along the way. You have the whole day to game drive, explore and observe. Overnight will be in our Serengeti Luxury Camp. Hot showers and cold beer will await your arrival…
Day 11 Gibbs Farm
After breakfast you begin the return toward Arusha. You can take your time leaving the Serengeti and game drive your way back toward Ngorongoro Crater. If time allows you can stop for a look at Olduvai Gorge and the on-site museum featuring some of the oldest human remains ever found. You drive through Maasai country again, climbing the long steep slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater circling the Crater rim once again. Gibbs Farm is located in the forest on the lower slopes of Ngorongoro. Gibbs is a beautiful lodge and a wonderful place to spend your last night in Africa. http://www.gibbsfarm.com/
Day 12 Return to Arusha
Leave Gibbs Farm after lunch, pass through Arusha for shopping if people are interested and then on to the airport for the flight home. Depending on flight times and priorities an early dinner and or a day room can be arranged.