1 night in Arusha, 6 nights on Safari | Private Tour | Luxury | SPL21
What can you do with eight days in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit? With this private tour, the answer is…quite a lot! We start our trip at Tarangire, a huge park famed for the diversity of its terrain and with plenty of wildlife to ‘meet,’ then continue our safari adventure with a visit to Lake Manyara, a park that is smaller but packed with highlights. Afterwards, we head for world-renowned Serengeti, an incomparable place and a favorite with animals and visitors alike. After two nights there, only a natural wonder like the famous Ngorongoro Crater would be enough to drag us away. We’ll enjoy a superb walking safari in nearby Empakaai Crater and – of course – descend into the spellbinding crater to see its many, many fascinating inhabitants.
Prepare to be amazed!
Every day we make a plan for our safari, safe in the knowledge that Tanzania’s wildlife will interrupt it. Our animals don’t work to a precise schedule, but our expert driver-guides know their routines better than anyone: where and when they like to drink to eat, where the predators like to hunt. Every day, every hour…you’ll see something new, something extraordinary.
From strutting secretary bird to lumbering elephant, from soaring eagle to wallowing hippo, the parks you’ll visit on our private tour will provide you with breath-taking, awe-inspiring moments. Maybe you will be 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. Perhaps your guide will find you a leopard on the prowl.
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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 on this tour is in our Luxury category, with one night’s hotel accommodation in Arusha and six 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.
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.
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.
Dinner at your hotel.
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 then south to our first safari destination, Tarangire National Park. We will have our lunch on arrival.
Our two-hour (120km) journey first 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.
Your afternoon game drive in Tarangire, with its incredible diversity, massive baobab trees and herds of elephants.
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 creature of around 30cm in length…who astonishingly is related to elephant!
Not many trees will pass you by without something of avian interest catching your eye. A memorable flash of colour might be a lilac-breasted roller or blue-eared starling. Ostrich are plentiful and it’s hard not to chuckle at the sighting of the well-named, studious-looking secretary bird as it awkwardly pads across the grasslands.
The park is also famous for its splendid baobab trees, rolling savannah and acacia woodland. It can be dusty – wear a scarf over your mouth – but this is a minor inconvenience for sighting wildlife in such abundance.
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!
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 Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge.
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!
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.
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.
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 other attractions, 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 Bernhard Grzimek and the Frankfurt Zoological Society who had the foresighted vision of preserving the Serengeti’s eco-system. Even at the center, you may well find wildlife: populations of hyrax and mongoose, as well as many small bird species.
After lunch, we head south-east towards Ngorongoro. If it has not already struck you with its vastness, Serengeti’s ‘endless plains’ will 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.
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.
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.
Please note that this Perfect Luxury Safari – 8 Day tour ends at Kilimanjaro International Airport at 17.30 hours. Your departure can only take place today if you have pre-booked a domestic flight which leaves from Kilimanjaro International Airport at 19.40 hours or after, or an international flight which leaves at 21.00 hours or after. Otherwise, you will need to book an extra night’s accommodation (not included in the tour price) and take a flight the following day.
Tipping is of course discretionary, but is an expected part of the way in which business is done in Tanzania. It counts as an expression of gratitude to those who – hopefully – have made your experience an unforgettable one and enables you to directly reward those people. Our passengers come from all around the world, with different cultural attitudes to tipping, but a tip is of great significance here in Tanzania and will be hugely appreciated by the recipient. We know that the act of giving of a tip can be a bit awkward and we would suggest that the best way to remove this ‘awkwardness’ is for each couple to put their tip anonymously into an envelope and for the envelopes to be presented by the couple to the staff member. As a guideline, you should consider tipping at the following levels:
Driver guide: $25 US per day, per couple.
For hotels/lodges/tented camps, please do not tip individual staff members, but instead use the ‘Tip Box’, which you should find at the reception of your accommodation. For guidance, you should consider tipping between $5-7 US per day, per guest, at each accommodation.
We know that a day’s safari can make you hungry and we ensure that we always provide you with a balanced and nutritious lunch that will leave you satisfied. Generally, we provide you with either a picnic lunch box or a hamper lunch. You can read more about these here. On any particular day, we wish to remain flexible: after all, there may be times when the last thing you want to do is interrupt your wildlife-watching simply to watch your driver-guide set up a picnic table. On such occasions, it may be preferable to eat a lunchbox at the designated picnic sites, to ensure that you don’t miss any excitement! We will try to offer you something different each day, working with the hotels, camps and lodges to ensure that your midday meals are a pleasurable experience. Bon appetit!
Our aim is always to keep you safe and to give you the best experiences. We will only make changes to your chosen itinerary for one of those two reasons. Bear in mind that as accommodation is pre-booked, your itinerary will not change substantially. However, where visitors are spending multiple days in Serengeti National Park, the driver-guide may change the itinerary from day-to-day, according to conditions, travelling time and what is happening in the park. So, where – for example – the itinerary description indicates that you will go to the Visitor Centre on Day 4, your driver-guide may decide to visit it on Day 5 instead. If he does make a programme change, he will have a good reason for it and he will inform you.
All of our safaris are designed to give visitors the best possible wildlife-spotting opportunities. Please note that those wishing to observe The Great Migration should book one of our Migration Safaris. Booking on any of our other safari itineraries will give you some wonderful experiences, but will not provide you with any opportunities to see The Great Migration.
Please note that we cannot guarantee the sighting of any particular animal or bird during our safaris. In our itinerary descriptions, we make reference to many of the animals you may see, but these references are for illustrative purposes only. For example, your driver-guide will do all he can to find you a black rhino if you are visiting Ngorongoro, but such animals are rare. While no sightings of any particular animal can be guaranteed, a quick read of our visitor reviews on Tripadvisor will show you what incredible wildlife experiences our visitors enjoy. And remember: the more days you book, the more wildlife encounters you will have.
Please note that our itineraries are not suitable for those with limited mobility or who are physically disabled. Our vehicles are not capable of being adapted to accommodate those people, unfortunately.
All visitors will spend some significant time in our comfortable vehicles on the rather rough roads of Tanzania. Anyone who is liable to back pain may experience severe discomfort and should satisfy themselves as to the suitability of a safari (and take medical advice if appropriate) before booking.
This itinerary is based on transportation by vehicle. Our reliable, comfortable 4 x 4 vehicles will pick you up at the airport at the start of your safari and take you back to the airport at the end. Our Tanzanian roads are very rough in places and distances between the national parks are not insignificant. On this safari, there may be the option to reduce the time spent in your vehicle, by flying to your first safari destination at the start of your safari, or by flying back at the end of your safari, or both. These options of taking an internal flight or flights do attract an extra cost. If this is of interest to you, please ask your Easy Travel tour consultant at the time of booking your safari and they will be happy to advise you.
Please note that all our itineraries begin at Kilimanjaro International Airport, with an overnight hotel stay in Arusha included in the price. This means that where an itinerary is entitled, for example, ‘Perfect Luxury Safari – 8 Day,’ then the arrival day and Arusha overnight stay will count as Day 1. This is simply because our visitors come from all over the world and the flights can arrive at any time of day. If you are already in Arusha prior to the start of the safari and do not need the Arusha overnight stay that we provide, please inform your Easy Travel tour consultant and we will remove the cost of the Arusha hotel from the tour price.
Tanzania is located in East Africa and is bordered by the Indian Ocean on it eastern side, by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Burundi to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south.
Arrival in Tanzania is normally at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam (640km, or 2 hours’ flight from Arusha City), or at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (45 minutes’ drive from Arusha City.)
Of course, weather seasons can vary every year, so you have to be prepared for anything. The Tanzanian dry season usually starts at the start of June and continues through until the end of October. After that, the ‘short rains’ begin from late October/early November until mid- to end December. There is then a respite from late December to Mid of March, and then the ‘long rains’ start at the end of March and last until May.
Most visitors choose to visit the National Parks in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. Because many of these are at altitude, the temperature is usually pleasant for a safari even at the hottest part of the day. The seasonal variations in temperature are perhaps less than you might expect. For example, in the popular Serengeti, the high in the warmer months (between October and March) is usually around 29C while in the other months a maximum of 26C can be expected. The respective lows would be 17C and 13C. One exception is up on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater (altitude 2, 200 metres) where the temperature can plummet below freezing at nighttime. Visitors to Ngorongoro are therefore advised to bring some warmer clothing.
Safety is always our first priority at Easy Travel. Our driver-guides are all trained in first aid and our vehicles are all equipped with a first aid kit. Nevertheless, we suggest that you bring your own first aid kit: your doctor can advise you on what your kit should contain. Of course, you should always bring any prescription medicines, sufficient to last your entire trip. Remember that we will be spending a lot of time in very remote locations, so you should be prepared for any eventuality.
All Easy Travel’s safari tours are inclusive of Emergency Evacuation Service in conjunction with AMREF Flying Doctors (http://www.flydoc.org). This service provides immediate evacuation for guests from the nearest airstrip to the nearest hospital (usually in Nairobi, sometimes Arusha). This service operates in daylight hours only. When you are ill, but the symptoms and severity do not require immediate evacuation, there are other hospitals and clinics in Serengeti and Karatu. Our guests are strongly advised to buy comprehensive travel insurance. Without this, you cannot use the Emergency Evacuation Services provided by AMREF Flying Doctors. If you wish to purchase the AMREF service (cost US $20 per person), you will need to provide us with a copy of your current insurance, the issuer details and policy number. We will include the cost of this in your safari trip invoice and provide you with your tickets for the service, during your safari briefing.
The tsetse fly is present in woodland areas of Tarangire and in certain parts of Serengeti. They are most active during daylight hours. You can help to avoid these biting flies by choosing to wear neutral-coloured clothing (khali, beige, green, olive, light brown) as the flies are attracted to bright colours. Most people suffer no adverse reactions to the bites of these flies, but a few suffer from itchiness and swelling.
The price agreed for your safari package includes all lodging and meals throughout your trip as detailed on your itinerary, all park entrance fees, the services of an expert driver-guide, game drives in a 4×4 safari vehicle, 1ltr of bottled water per person, per day during game drives only.
Any international flights, any domestic flights (unless specified and agreed as part of your package), any travel and medical insurance, entry visa to Tanzania, (you should obtain this before you arrive; you can get a visa on entry to Tanzania, but this involves standing in long lines between 30-45 minutes or sometimes more), soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, gratuities for your driver-guides or any other Easy Travel staff, gratuities for any camp/lodge staff, Maasai Village visit, any extra activities not pre-booked and paid for, emergency evacuation service (unless pre-booked and pre- paid) and any other items not mentioned in this list.
Once we have agreed your safari trip itinerary with you, you will be required to make an initial deposit of 30% to us. This allows us to be able to confirm your booking. The full balance must then be paid 30 days before the start of your safari trip. For any last-minute booking made less than 30 days prior to your proposed arrival date, we require payment of the full amount to be made when booking.
We accept payment either by credit card, or by direct wire transfer.
We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. This is the fastest and easiest method of payment as it avoids the necessity of complying with numerous banking procedures. You will need to allow for 3.5% on top of the trip cost, this being bank charges for use of the credit card. This 3.5% charge stays with the bank, not Easy Travel (Tanzania Bank Policy).
If paying by this method, any bank charges incurred will be at your cost. Beneficiary bank charges are approximately $45 and they will be added by us on to your invoice. It usually takes a minimum of 5 to 7 working days for the funds to arrive into our account. At that point, we are able to issue your booking confirmation.
Easy Travel can organize domestic flights for Zanzibar and to the Northern and Southern National
Parks of Tanzania. Visitors should be aware that the aircraft employed are light aircraft which land
and takeoff from small airstrips either inside or close to the relevant National Park.
Yes. The luggage limit, including hand luggage, is 15kgs. The only exception is where an airline uses ATR aircraft on flights between Arusha or Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar or Dar es Salaam: on such flights there is a 20kg weight limit. On internal flights, the weight limits are strictly enforced and any excess weight will be subject to a charge of $5 per kg. You should also be aware that there is no guarantee that excess weight will be accepted, especially in peak season. Safety will always be the pilot’s top priority. Passengers are advised never to check in high-value items such as cash, jewellery, cameras, laptops etc.
Easy Travel are happy to look after your luggage, free of charge, if you leave it with us at our Arusha offices. This can be particularly convenient for those visitors who are climbing Kilimanjaro and then following it with a safari or beach holiday.
All visitors must obtain adequate travel insurance before they depart for Tanzania. Insurance policies must be comprehensive, covering for any reason, medical evacuation, cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and loss of baggage.
Easy Travel safaris are available with four different choices of accommodation styles to suit your taste and budget. We offer Basic, Comfort, Comfort Plus and Luxury style accommodation options.
Easy Travel selects the best available accommodations in each category. Basic style accommodation is on public campsites, with shared bathroom facilities. In the other three categories, accommodations include private bathroom facilities. The rooms in these three categories are spacious, furnished with either twin beds or king-size beds, a dressing table and a wardrobe where you can store your luggage. Lodges and tented camps located within the National Parks use generators for power. Please note that although some accommodations have hot showers available 24 hours per day, others only have hot showers at set times in both morning and evening.
One of the great things about a private safari is the flexibility it offers you. When it comes to food, you can make the daily choice of whether to enjoy your breakfast and lunch in the comfort of your tented camp or lodge, or enjoy a picnic box out in the bush. In the morning, you may want to enjoy the stunning sunrises by taking an early game drive and then return to your accommodation for breakfast, or prefer to have breakfast at your lodging first and then set off on your day’s game drive with no need to return to your accommodation at mealtimes.
For breakfast, a picnic box will typically include coffee, bread, pastries, juice, a banana, apple, hardboiled-egg, bacon or sausages. A lunchtime picnic box might contain chicken, bread, sandwiches, banana, apple, juice, muffin and chocolate. Any special dietary requirements can be accommodated – just let us know in advance.
We ask that our guests give us advance notice of any special dietary needs when planning the safari trip. We when pass this information to your accommodation choices, to ensure that your requirements are met at each place you visit.
Of course, Easy Travel are happy to organize either a Private or Public Shuttle transfer to Arusha from Nairobi City or JKIA.
Please note that the cost of this transfer is not included in your trip cost, nor is the return transfer back to either Nairobi City or JKIA at the end of your trip. For Easy Travel to arrange transfers for you from/to Nairobi City or JKIA. All you have to do is let us know your flight number and arrival time and make the appropriate payment to us in addition to the price of your trip.
Two daily public shuttles operate from JKIA to Arusha, with one departing at 08.00 hours and the other at 14.00 hours. The price for a single ticket is $40 per person and the journey time is between 6 and 7 hours. The price for a private shuttle is $400 per vehicle, one way, so will usually only be suitable if you are arriving in a group. Whichever airport you arrive at, we strongly advise that when you approach the driver (who will be waiting outside the baggage reclaim area) that you ask him who he has come to collect, rather than giving him your name. (Our driver will display your name on an Easy Travel signboard.) By following this advice, you will be sure that you are picked up by the correct driver, rather than by an airport taxi driver who is just looking for business.
Easy Travel use Toyota Land Cruiser 4 x4s, which are recognized by many as the best and most reliable vehicles for the rough terrain of Tanzania. Each of the maximum 6 passengers enjoys the benefit of a window seat. The Land Cruisers are fully equipped, featuring: a pop-up roof for excellent game viewing; a radio call facility for optimal communications; a mini cooler box for keeping drinks cool (while the vehicle engine is running); a UK-Type socket for charging your mobile phone, camera battery or laptop; guidebooks and binoculars.
Due to restrictions of space, all passengers are limited to one softshell, duffel-style bag and one carry-on bag. Please note that hardshell suitcases are not advisable on safari, as they take up too much space.
It’s always nice to forget about the developed world when you are enjoying your ‘wilderness experience’ out on safari, but a few modern devices will maximize your enjoyment and ensure that you can take home some special memories.
First of all, you will need to bring a converter plug for any devices you bring. Note that electricity in Tanzania is 220 to 240 volts (50 hertz) and our Tanzanian sockets are of the British-type with three rectangular blade pins. You will no doubt want to take loads of photos, so a lightweight camera with a good zoom or suitable mobile phone, plus extra memory cards, batteries and/or charger are essential. You may also want to bring a small, powerful flashlight as some camps have little lighting. You can share the binoculars provided by us in the safari vehicle, though many visitors choose to bring their own to make sure they don’t miss anything.