Tanzania's Big Five Luxury Safari - 8 Days

1 night in Arusha, 6 nights on Safari |  Private Tour |  Luxury  |  SPL27

TOUR INTRODUCTION

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On this fabulous adventure, we take in three iconic sites’ of Tanzania’s Northern Circuit, splitting our time between them. We venture from Arusha to start our safari at Tarangire, a park famed for its diversity and with plenty of wildlife inhabiting its various landscapes. Then, we move on to magical Serengeti, an incomparable place and a favorite with animals and visitors alike. After two nights there, we drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Nearby, we will visit the Empakaai Crater, smaller than Ngorongoro but still spectacular, and walk down to the shores of its crater lake. Finally, we take to our vehicle to descend into the natural wonder of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, a location that will surely take your breath away with its many, many fascinating inhabitants.

This is a trip you will never forget, so get your cameras at the ready!

Tour Overview

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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 Discover Tanzania safari 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.

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 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.

Tour Summary

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8 Days, 7 Nights 1 night in Arusha 2 nights in Tarangire 2 nights in Serengeti 2 nights in Ngorongoro
  • Day 1 – Arrival Day: Kilimanjaro International Airport – Arusha
  • Day 2 – Arusha – Tarangire
  • Day 3 – Tarangire
  • Day 4 – Tarangire – Serengeti
  • Day 5 – Serengeti
  • Day 6 – Serengeti – Ngorongoro
  • Day 7 – Ngorongoro: Empakaai Walking Safari
  • Day 8 –Ngorongoro Crater – 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 then south to our first safari destination, Tarangire National Park, where we have our lunch before our afternoon game drive.
Journey: Arusha to Tarangire National Park 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.
Day’s Highlight Your afternoon game drive in Tarangire, with its incredible diversity, massive baobab trees and herds of elephants.
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 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.

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 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.

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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 in which to 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

You may have thought that you have seen all that Tarangire has to offer, but you will certainly enjoy some new experiences as we explore the park further in our afternoon game-drive.

The varied terrain could in itself be considered a wonder, with riverine woodlands and grasslands, acacia and baobab. Amazingly, some 550 bird species have been recorded here, and it won’t be long before an air-bound blaze of colour alerts you to something interesting. You might recognise an ostrich or a stork, but if you can’t identify the smaller species, there’s no need to worry – that is what your expert driver-guide is here for!

The birds are exotic and so are the names: what about the ‘white-bellied go-away bird’ or the ‘Madagascar bee-eater’ for example? But of course, we will also see plenty more large mammals this afternoon.

Accommodation

After your afternoon game drive, your driver will return you safely for another relaxing night at your Tarangire accommodation (see above). It’s time for a drink, time to chill out, dinner… and time for a sleep.

Meal plan Breakfast is enjoyed at the Lemala Mpingo Ridge 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 Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge.
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Journey: Tarangire National Park – Serengeti National Park With Serengeti as our destination, and with the wonders of Tarangire still fresh in your mind, we set out to the north and west for our 7-hour (344km) journey. On the journey, you can quiz your driver-guide about all aspects of Tanzanian culture, traditions, tribes and of course wildlife. Treat him as an ‘encyclopedia on legs’ – he will rarely disappoint with his answers! In no time, you too will feel like an expert, even before you reach the awesome 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 afternoon 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 will be provided by Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the lodge for you to take out on safari. Your evening meal will be a full, cooked dinner at the 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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Journey: Serengeti National Park – 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 – Empakaai Crater After breakfast, we drive to the trailhead on the rim of Empakaai Crater, a 3-hour journey (80km). We will walk down to the crater lake to see flamingos, then back up the path to the vehicle for our hamper lunch, before returning in the late afternoon to camp.
Day’s Highlight The view from the rim of Empakaai Crater, down to the crater lake with its population of flamingos, is justifiably regarded as one of the finest in Africa.
Walking Safari at Empakaai Crater From our safari camp, we set off after breakfast, an early departure to pick up our armed park ranger and then reach the Empakaai Crater rim. From there, we walk down to the crater lake, keeping our eyes peeled for points of natural interest along the way. In the background, you will see some of Tanzania’s many volcanoes. The crater lake here is around 80 metres deep, much deeper than the lake in Ngorongoro. This is a peaceful place, with chatter of the flamingos and the distant clatter of cowbells often being the only sounds to disturb the silence.
Accommodation After your walking safari, you will return to your Ngorongoro accommodation (see above) for some relaxation, your evening meal and a welcome sleep.
Meal plan Breakfast is enjoyed at the Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the camp for you to take out on your trek and enjoyed after trekking. Your dinner will be a delicious meal at the Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp.
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Journey: Ngorongoro Crater – Kilimanjaro International Airport After our morning visit to the incomparable crater – see below – and then lunch, we will have a 5-hour journey, covering the 250km back to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
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.

Meal plan Breakfast is served at Ngorongoro Lions Paw Camp. Lunch will be a nutritious and balanced meal, also provided by the camp for you to take out on safari and enjoyed after your morning game-drive, before we return you to the airport for your flight home. As today is your departure day, please note that dinner tonight is not included in the tour.
Departure Instructions

Please note that this Tanzania’s Big Five Luxury Safari – 8 Days 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.

Post Tour Extension After your exhilarating time on safari, you may want to extend your Tanzanian holiday with time on Zanzibar’s wonderful beaches. Please contact us for details.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Easy Travel Trip Safety AMREF Flying Doctor Insurance. A Flying doctor Insurance to Air transfer you before dark from nearest airstrip to hospital during Emergency
Tanzania - jeep - tanzania's big five luxury safariEasy Travel Transport 4X4 Custom built – Toyota Landcruiser
  • Pop-up Roof, Opening Sliding windows, Seat Belts, Heavy duty wheels, and Extra Fuel tanks. Refrigerator for cooling drinks, one pair of binocul