Tanzania is more spectacular than the guides books say. The wildlife is more abundant, and the scenery more breath-taking than one would expect. The people are warm and welcoming always taking the time to say ‘jumbo’ or hello. During my visit to Tanzania I climbed Africa’s highest peak, Kilimanjaro, I witnessed the wildebeest migration, I went for a game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater, and swam with dolphins off the Zanzibar Coast. My highlight from my visit to Tanzania is the large quantity and variety of wildlife and scenery that I saw in such a short space of time. One doesn’t have to drive far for the landscape to change, and with it the wildlife and birds one encounters. This is the most incredible safari destination for anyone visiting Africa for the first time, and as a repeat visitor you will not be disappointed.
Things to do
- Experience the Wildebeest migration – The Serengeti in Northern Tanzania is one of the best places to see millions of wildebeest crossing endless plains as they make their way to the Masai Mara to graze after the rains
- Encounter the big 5 in the Ngorongoro Crater – One of the world’s largest volcanic calderas with the densest known population of lion, and home to the big five
- Visit the Serengeti national Park – Home to big herds of plains game with predators such as lion and cheetah following closely behind
- Absorb the Masai culture – Visit a traditional Masai Village where you can learn about their culture and traditions
Nothing I have ever witnessed before comes close to the wildebeest migrating across the Serengeti Plains. Over 2 million wildebeest littered the landscape for kilometres and it was a spectacle I will never forget. Incredible quantities of other wildlife such as zebra and antelope also litter the Serengeti plains, with predators such as lion and cheetah following close behind.
The highlight for me of my visit to the Ngorongoro crater was definitely the view from the crater rim. Only from there can you truly experience the vastness of the crater down below and wonder at the quantity of wildlife that occurs there. After a bumpy drive down the rim into the crater, I found it almost impossible to decide which way to look there is so much wildlife to see in all directions. Literally hundreds of hyena and lion thrive in this environment, their roles reversed with the hyena the hunters and the lion the scavengers.
Ruaha is currently East Africa’s biggest national park and the second-largest on the African continent. It is also Tanzania’s most sizeable elephant haven and home to a profusion of bird species, including kingfishers, plovers, egrets, hornbills and sunbirds. Crocodiles and hippos thrive in the Great Ruaha River, which flows along the sanctuary’s eastern border. In the dry season between July and November, animals flock to the last remaining water sources, presenting an exceptional wildlife spectacle.
Tanzania’s northern circuit ** itinerary sample
- Your family will discover vast, ruggedly beautiful landscapes, stretching from Mount Meru to the Great Rift Valley, from the dramatic landscape of Tarangire to the endless plains of the Serengeti.
Please note that this is a suggested itinerary only … if this does not suit your needs exactly, then we can create an itinerary that does.
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro airport in Arusha, you will be met and transferred to your lodge, where you will spend your first night in a hotel in Arusha, relaxing and recovering from the long flight.
You will be collected by your guide for the start of your Tanzania safari. Make your way to the Arusha National Park, which is located at the base of Mount Meru. The Ngurdoto Crater in the park teems with wildlife and the park has offerings found nowhere else in the region, including lush mountain forests, colobus monkey, and some 575 bird species. The park is truly a hidden gem.
Activities here include game drives, hiking to Mount Meru Waterfall or a picnic beside View the wildlife and diverse landscapes of Arusha National Park from your family’s four-wheel drive Land Rover safari vehicles. Between exploring the open grasslands and the Ngurdoto Crater, you and the kids will likely see buffalo, elephant, giraffe, bushbuck and even rhino. Momella Lakes. Overnight in one of the lodges in the area.
DAY 3 & 4
Make your way to Tarangire National Park. Spend two full days with your family in Tarangire, exploring its rugged landscapes by safari vehicle and staying in a luxury camp. This park, often overlooked, astonishes many with its massive herds of elephant and distinctive winding riverine landscapes and swampy floodplains. It is also known for its large numbers of bizarre baobab trees, famous for their enormous trunks and root-like branches.
As you travel to the Ngorongoro Highlands en route to the Ngorongoro Crater, you will head up a steep, winding road near the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Make sure to keep your cameras ready on the drive – you will be rewarded with expansive vistas of Lake Manyara and the exquisite surrounding plains. At the top of this slope lie the lush Ngorongoro Highlands, where the region’s rich volcanic soil makes for some of the most fertile land in Tanzania. Spend your afternoon visiting a nearby school, or hiking in the forest. Overnight at one of the fantastic lodges in the area.
Drive a short distance from the rural highlands to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a wildlife and cultural preserve that covers 3,200 square miles, of which a mere 102 square miles represent the Ngorongoro Crater. Only members of the Masai tribe are permitted to live within its boundaries, and they are seen throughout the Highlands and Conservation Area wearing bright red and royal blue cloths and tending to their herds of goats and cattle. Spend your day on a wildlife safari in the Ngorongoro Crater itself spotting wildlife such as lion, rhino, elephant and much more. Return to your lodge where you will overnight once again.
DAY 7 & 8
Depart for the Serengeti National Park, which offers not only sprawling landscapes but the largest migration of mammals on earth, including 1.5 million wildebeest (November to July). Spend two days in the Park in one of the lodges enjoying game drives daily to spot a host of wildlife including the wildebeest migration (if you are lucky).
Return to Arusha by road where you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport in time for your departure flight.