Best of Tanzania Luxury Safari - 9 Days

1 night in Arusha, 7 nights on Safari |  Private Tour |  Luxury  |  SPL29

TOUR INTRODUCTION

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Four magnificent locations spread over a nine-day safari: that’s what you’ll experience on this trip. From Arusha, our adventure first leads us westwards, to Lake Manyara, one of our country’s more compact parks yet full of variety and scenic backdrops, including the dramatic Rift Valley escarpment and the beautiful lake itself. In Serengeti, we will have a full program of game-drives, letting us explore the stunning and varied landscapes of this famous place. All the time, we’ll be looking for the best wildlife experiences, before we depart for another Tanzanian gem, the incomparable crater of Ngorongoro, on the lookout for a black rhino. Then, we finish our adventure with extended time in Tarangire National Park, another of the Northern Circuit’s true jewels and famous for its large herds of elephants and iconic baobab trees.
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Tour Overview

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Surprises await you! With every turn of the steering-wheel, round every bend in the road or over the next small hill, Tanzania will throw at you something new, something unusual. Perhaps it will be a flock of vultures, picking over the bones of a lion’s recent kill. Or maybe the chase and the kill itself!

From strutting secretary bird to lumbering elephant, from soaring eagle to wallowing hippo, the parks you’ll visit on this Wildlife Adventure tour will provide you with breath-taking, awe-inspiring moments. Be dazzled by a shockingly pink mass of flamingos, struck dumb by the clatter of wildebeest hooves as they escape a would-be predator or simply enjoy the calm of watching a giraffe languidly grazing the high branches of a tree. Join your driver-guide as he scans the horizon for a cheetah or leopard. What a true ‘wildlife adventure’!

BEST TIME TO VISIT

Month Season Traffic Weather Road Trails Sky Recommendation
January Peak Medium Little to no rainfall Dry Sunny & Cloudy Highly Recommended
February Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny & Cloudy Highly Recommended
March High Low Short Rainfall Wet & Muddy Cloudy Highly Recommended
April Low Low Long rainfall Wet & Muddy Cloudy Recommended
May Low Low Short Rainfall Wet & Muddy Cloudy Recommended
June Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny & Cloudy Highly Recommended
July Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny Highly Recommended
August Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny Highly Recommended
September Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny Highly Recommended
October Peak High No Rainfall Dry Sunny Highly Recommended
November High Medium Little to no Rainfall Wet & Muddy Sunny & Cloudy Recommended
December High Medium Little to no Rainfall Wet & Muddy Sunny & Cloudy Recommended

Physical Level

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Moderate. Safari trips with our ‘moderate’ rating require visitors to have an average level of fitness and at times these trips will demand short periods of physical activity, such as walking or canoeing. They are best suited for those who have a sense of adventure and who are prepared to participate in such activity. Any walking or canoeing on these trips will be at an easy/moderate level. Visitors will spend some significant time in vehicles on the sometimes rough roads of Tanzania – the so-called ‘African Massage.’

Accommodation

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Accommodation on this tour is in our Luxury category, with one night’s hotel accommodation in Arusha and seven nights spent out in luxury safari lodges. Our Luxury level accommodations are carefully selected by Easy Travel to provide the best options in the category.

Tour Summary

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9 Days, 8 Nights 1 night in Arusha, 1 night in Lake Manyara, 3 nights in Serengeti, 1 night in Ngorongoro, 2 nights in Tarangire
  • Day 1 – Arrival Day: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
  • Day 2 – Arusha – Lake Manyara
  • Day 3 – Lake Manyara – Serengeti
  • Day 4 – Serengeti
  • Day 5 – Serengeti
  • Day 6 – Serengeti – Ngorongoro
  • Day 7 – Ngorongoro Crater – Tarangire
  • Day 8 – Tarangire
  • Day 9 –Tarangire – Kilimanjaro International Airport

Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

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Welcome to Tanzania Whatever your arrival time at Kilimanjaro International Airport, your Easy Travel driver-guide will be waiting for you with a warm welcoming smile. Kick back and relax in your comfortable vehicle as he takes you to your hotel in Arusha, Tanzania’s self-styled ‘safari capital.’ On your one-hour journey to the hotel, you will get a brief impression of this large, bustling, commercial city. Depending on your arrival time, you may have your pre-safari briefing today; if not, it will take place early tomorrow morning.
Accommodation

Those seeking luxury in Arusha will find it at this modern, opulent hotel. The Gran Meliá Arusha sits in 18 acres of carefully looked-after tea and coffee plantations, with its own herb and vegetable gardens and stunning views of Mount Meru.

Rooms are thoroughly modern and spacious, furnished to a very high standard, as you would expect from an international hotel chain.

Guests here can benefit from the hotel’s heated pool, a spa and gym – all great ways of staying in shape while being pampered during your stay. The Indian-inspired cuisine at the Yellow Chilli is renowned, but the two other hotel restaurants ensure that every taste is catered for here.

Meal Plan Dinner at your hotel.
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Tour Briefing Unless your arrival time yesterday allowed time for your safari briefing, then this will take place after breakfast. We will provide you with all the essential information, before we set off westwards to our first safari destination, Lake Manyara National Park.
Journey: Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park Our two-hour (130km) journey takes us westwards from Arusha. Along the route, your eyes will be opened to all the colours and character of Tanzania: perhaps some Maasai herdsmen driving their flocks of goats to new pastures. You’ll get to know your driver-guide, amazed at his depth of knowledge as he effortlessly answers all your questions.
Day’s Highlight Your game drive in wonderful Lake Manyara, with the Rift Valley escarpment and the lake itself as the wonderful, natural backdrops.
Safari (Game Drive) in Lake Manyara National Park After our lunch, we jump in our vehicle to cover the highlights of this park. Set against the rugged Rift Valley escarpment, and characterised by its shimmering lake, Manyara is rich in vegetation and the wildlife that thrives here. Enjoy the tranquillity as majestic pink flamingos wade elegantly, picking out a meal of algae from the shallow, alkaline waters. On land, Manyara’s terrain is compact, yet boasts differing environments such as diverse forests fed by waters seeping from the nearby escarpment. Monkeys are abundant, but look out too for the lions, giraffe, warthog and grumpy Cape buffalo who all call this park ‘home’. Hold your nose when we reach the hippo pool, because these big lumps smell!
Accommodation

Surrounded by rich gardens inhabited by a myriad of birdlife, Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge enjoys spectacular vistas over Lake Manyara, as well as views of Mount Meru and even distant Kilimanjaro. There can be few better ways to finish the day than to sit around the campfire and watch the sun go down!

All rooms here benefit from fantastic views of the magnificent surroundings, while inside they are decorated with style and taste and feature all amenities you would expect in a high-quality lodge, including a private balcony. In the main building, guests will find the dining-room, as well as billiards, TV and children’s activity rooms.

Before feasting on the excellent cuisine, enjoy a refreshing dip in the lodge pool.

Meal plan Breakfast will be provided by Gran Melia Arusha. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the hotel for you to take out on safari. Your evening meal will be a full, cooked dinner at the Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge.
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Journey: Lake Manyara to Serengeti National Park With Serengeti as our destination, and with your head full of magical memories of Manyara, we set off to the north and west, a 5- hour journey of around 222km, following the famous Rift Valley. On the journey, you will be enchanted by the colors of everyday Tanzanian life, the different faces of the tribesmen, their herds, the bustle of the transport, the vibrant roadside stalls and markets. Soon, however, the human habitation gives way to the Serengeti plains.
Day’s Highlight Here’s a National Park which will offer you a whole variety of wildlife surprises over the next few days, but perhaps today’s highlight – certainly for first-time visitors – will simply be the Serengeti terrain itself. The sheer vastness, as the plains roll away in front of you into eternity, will leave you with a sense of awe.
Safari in Serengeti National Park At last! Serengeti, the incomparable wonder of Tanzania, will be the stage for the natural animal theatrics which will be performed over the next few days. Your game drive here combines the known with the unknown, the certainty that you will be amazed with the uncertainty of exactly what you will see and when. Changing light, a changing cast of animal actors, ensuring that at every turn there is a new experience. Snap off some memorable photos, but don’t forget to simply take a deep breath and enjoy nature in its real-time, raw beauty.
Accommodation

Situated around 45km north of Central Serengeti, where Tanzania’s wonderful wildlife wander free, the Melia Serengeti Lodge offers a superb retreat for those enjoying their safari adventures.

The lodge is perfectly located next to a watering hole, so wildlife visitors are very common here! The lodge buildings are located on differing levels, giving great views over the surrounding Serengeti plains. You can relax on your private balcony, taking a drink and watching the world pass by (slowly) before enjoying a visit to the lodge spa for some pre-dinner pampering.

All rooms are modern, beautifully appointed and with outdoor space to make the most of the stunning views.

Meal plan Breakfast is served at the Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the lodge for you to take out on safari. Your dinner will be a full, cooked meal created by Melia Serengeti Lodge.
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Day’s Highlight Wildlife is abundant: sometimes you may think it has come to find you, rather than the other way around. Today’s highlight is unknown, as the animals don’t publish their schedule (!) What we see also depends on the season, but we may find some ‘big cats,’ on the prowl and looking for prey. Cheetah, leopard and lions are all possibilities!
Safari in Serengeti National Park

Today is a full day of discovery, a chance to enjoy the varied landscapes of the Central Serengeti. The Seronera River weaves its way through the Serengeti, providing waters for all species of wildlife. You will also see the distinctive rocky outcrops, the famous kopjes which characterize the Serengeti landscape. Kopjes are very hard and often granite. They have been aged at maybe 600 million years old and created even before the earth’s surface was pushed up from the ocean. Lions and other cats frequent these stony places and they are also home to snakes and hyraxes. Slowly weathering in wind and rain, they are peeling off in layers, which you may see on close inspection.

Everything here varies with the seasons, but in May, November and December migrating herds join the already rich population of resident animals which live here year-round. (In the rainy season, the landscape turns black with hundreds of thousands of wildebeest – a simply incredible sight.)

Accommodation After your day of thrilling game drives, your driver will return you safely for another relaxing night at your Serengeti accommodation (see above). Drink, relax, dine and sleep, all out in the wilderness of the Serengeti. What could be better?
Meal plan Breakfast is enjoyed at the Melia Serengeti Lodge. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the lodge for you to take out on safari. Your dinner will be a delicious meal at the Melia Serengeti Lodge.
Note: for those who have booked the Balloon Safari for today, you will be picked up from the lodge at 05.00 hours for a 06.00 hours departure. After your 60 – 90-minute aerial adventure, bush breakfast and champagne, your driver will pick you up for your full-day game drive.
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Day’s Highlight Again, our highlight is waiting to reveal itself. But do look out for the magnificent sight of the world’s heaviest bird capable of flight, the Kori Bustard. The avian equivalent of a lumbering cargo plane, it can weigh up to 15kg and has a wingspan of nearly three metres!
Safari in Serengeti National Park With its informative visitor centre, the Seronera area of Central Serengeti is the national park’s most popular area. And it is very popular with the wildlife, too. The Seronera river enjoys year-round waterflow, so there is always something of interest to observe. Several game drives can be undertaken here and might reveal lions in sizeable prides, hippo or herds of elephants, whose populations in the park have risen in recent times. Depending on animal movements and sightings, we may choose to call in at the Serengeti Visitor Centre, where there is an excellent explanation of the park’s eco-system and a chance to understand the history of conservation in this area. In particular, you will find out about the work of the Frankfurt Zoological Society and of Bernhard Grzimek who had the foresight and vision of preserving the Serengeti’s eco-system. Even at this center, you may well find wildlife: populations of hyrax and mongoose, as well as many small bird species.
Accommodation After your day of thrilling game drives, your driver will return you safely for another relaxing night at your Serengeti accommodation (see above).
Meal plan Breakfast is enjoyed at the Melia Serengeti Lodge. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the lodge for you to take out on safari. Your dinner will be a delicious meal at the Melia Serengeti Lodge.
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Journey: Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Conservation Area After a morning game drive and lunch, this afternoon we will head south-east towards Ngorongoro, a journey of 145km which will take us around 3 ½ hours.
Day’s Highlight Today, we will get our first sight of the spectacular, incomparable Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and the heart of the Conservation Area of the same name. But before that, we have another morning game drive in amazing Serengeti, marveling at its animal inhabitants. Another day of adventure, another day to enjoy the wildlife.
Safari in Serengeti National Park After our morning game drive, perhaps trying to find any animal that has – until now – been elusive enough to evade your eagle-eyed driver-guide, we head south-east towards Ngorongoro. If it has not already struck you with its vastness, Serengeti’s ‘endless plains’ will certainly now make a deep impression on you as we take the long, straight road which passes Simba Kopjes (famous from ‘The Lion King’) to reach Naabi Hill Gate, close to the divide between Serengeti and Ngorongoro. Here you can gather information at the gate’s visitor center, clamber up the hill for superb views back over the plains, or look out for a colorful agama lizard among the rocks.
Accommodation

With only fifteen luxury suites, the exclusive Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp is truly an intimate choice, perfectly located on the east side of the famous Ngorongoro Crater where the black rhinos roam. This tented camp is just a ten-minute drive from the floor of the crater, which is one of the world’s most incredible settings for wildlife-spotting.

The private suites enjoy superb views down into the crater and vistas across to the stunning highlands that characterize this area. You can kick back with a cool drink from the bar and soak up the camp’s unique atmosphere. The surrounding lands are home to the Maasai peoples, one of Tanzania’s most famous tribes.

Meal plan Breakfast is enjoyed at the Melia Serengeti Lodge. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the lodge for you to take out on safari. Your dinner will be a delicious meal at the Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp.
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Journey: Ngorongoro Crater to Tarangire National Park After our morning game drive in Ngorongoro’s incredible crater, we will enjoy our lunch before we set out southwards for Tarangire National Park, a journey time of 4-hours (199km).
Day’s Highlight Like nothing else on Earth, the stunning crater of Ngorongoro is a unique home for many, many species of Tanzania’s wildlife. With some luck, you may even see a black rhino here.
Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

From our accommodation, we set off after breakfast, a 6am departure to reach the rim and then descend into the vast crater itself. At one side there’s the Lerai Forest, classic mountain forest landscape with almost tropical characteristics. This is good elephant country, so keep your eyes peeled. By the side of the nearby swampland is what is sometimes called the ‘elephant graveyard’ as the mighty male tuskers at the end of their lives come to chew on the soft, swampland grasses once their teeth have failed them.

The crater has a population of around 120 lions, with well-defined territories; 15,000 wildebeest, 9,000 zebra, 400 hyenas, and around 50 black rhino. Many wildebeest and other herd animals are resident, benefiting from the many sources of year-round waters and are boosted by some migrators in season. Buffalo, Thomson’s gazelle and eland are also present in numbers. Hippos can be found in pools and swampland and highland birdlife is colourful and plentiful around the waters. Flamingos can often be seen in Lake Magadi, which occupies part of the crater floor.

Accommodation

Situated on top of an imposing escarpment, the solar-powered Lemala Mpingo Ridge Tented Lodge looks down onto the Tarangire River, with its tents strategically positioned to take advantage of the spectacular views.

The principal building here is composed of indoor and outdoor dining areas for enjoying the excellent camp cuisine, as well as bar and lounge. Even better: there is a swimming pool and spa, welcome facilities on hot days. Tents are all en-suite and guests will also benefit from the decks and outside lounges which are great for an afternoon siesta.

And all around is Tarangire, that great blend of landscapes: woodlands, riverine. Savannah and much more. Welcome to Lemala Mpingo Ridge Tented Lodge!

Meal plan Breakfast will be provided by the Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the camp for you to take out on safari. Your evening meal will be a full, cooked dinner at the Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge.
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Day’s Highlight The chance to get close to the wildlife on a morning walking safari will surely stay in your memory for ever. After our lunch, we will climb aboard our vehicle to explore the many wonders of this diverse park.
Walking Safari in Tarangire Up close and personal: that could be the motto for a walking safari, and Tarangire is a fantastic location to again leave the comfort of your safari vehicle and enjoy the landscape on foot. With a Park Ranger for safety and accompanied by your expert driver-guide, you will be amazed at how much more you can learn from a couple of hours walking in the bush. The great unknown, of course, is what you will see…and who you might meet! Your senses are challenged and heightened, with unfamiliar sounds and smells meeting you throughout your journey. You’ll find out about animal tracks and dung, learn what to do if you get too close to a grazing elephant and discover who lives in those emblematic, strange-shaped termite mounds (and it’s not just termites, far from it!) Being this close to nature may be a whole new experience for you, but the memories will stay with you forever – of that we are sure.
Afternoon Safari (Game Drive) in Tarangire National Park

Tarangire is huge. As you stand at the park gate and look south, it stretches as far as the eye can see. Known as the ‘Elephant Playground,’ this phenomenal park contains huge herds of these mighty mammals. But Tarangire is also home to buffalo, lion, wildebeest, zebra and gazelle and the park can rival Serengeti for sheer animal densities. What might you see today? Perhaps a solitary male lion stretched out beneath a tree, perhaps a trio of male cheetah enjoying some lazy bonding-time in the sun. Maybe some graceful Grant’s gazelle or zebra bounding away from the road or a couple of giraffe munching happily from the choicest acacia branches. For Tarangire specialities, look out for kudu and oryx.

Here as in other parks, it pays not to ignore the small animals. It’s so easy to be mesmerized by the power and majesty of an elephant or the elegance of the giraffe. Ask your guide to find you an agama lizard, especially a male one who changes colour in front of you according to the temperature! Or a hyrax, known as pimpi, an insignificant-looking