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6 Nights December to March Northern Tanzania Parks Highlights

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Tour Details

Tanzania is renowned for its diverse landscapes and fantastic wildlife, which makes it an incredible safari destination. However, a safari journey is about being at the right place at the right time which is linked to the season of travel. Based on your bucket list – what do you want to see? What are your highlights and your expectations?

This 7 Nights journey, which combines a visit to three iconic Tanzanian wildlife destinations –
Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, as well as Serengeti National Park, allows guests to enjoy the spectacular landscape, beautiful scenery, abundance, and variety of wildlife.
With the short rains in mid-November, gone is the harshness of the dry season, replaced between December and May by a time of extraordinary richness, warm weather, stunning air clarity, and a super-abundance of wildlife of all kinds. This is also the best season for bird watching. It is the time when the plains illuminate in lush, green vegetation.

The Wildebeests are back in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (Ndutu) from the Masai Mara (Kenya) a few days before December, to graze on the highly nutritious short grass, in preparation for calving. The calving generally starts in January and continues into March which sees the birth of thousands of young calves of every species. Therefore expect to see a lot of new-borns and the presence of so many vulnerable young calves become a magnet for big cats which have little effort to hunt for their meal hence predator actions surge – sightings of lion, leopard, cheetah and many of the smaller species of cat such as serval, caracal, wildcat become a feature of this time of year in Southern Serengeti.

Summary of your Trip
  • 1 Night Forest Hill Hotel (Arusha) | Tanzania
  • 2 Nights Manyara’s Secret Lodge (Lake Manyara) | Tanzania
  • 3 Nights Ndutu Safari Lodge (Serengeti National Park) | Tanzania
Price Includes
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Full Board Meals as specified (except on Day 1)
  • Flights from Arusha Airport to the lodges/camps and back to Kilimanjaro International Airport
  • Road transfers from/to airports & airstrips as detailed in the itinerary
  • All scheduled safari activities offered by the lodge/camp
  • National Parks and concession entry fees, Tourism levy
Price Excludes
  • International and Regional Flights
  • Entry visas
  • Drinks (excluding welcome drinks and water)
  • Gratuities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Telephone calls, Safari shop purchases
  • Additional activities not included as scheduled at hotel, lodge/camp
  • Spa treatments

Day 1Arrival Arusha

You are met at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) by our representative and transferred to The Forest Hill Hotel in Arusha. On arrival at the hotel, enjoy a refreshing welcome drink while completing check-in procedures. Settle in your room – The rest of the day is at leisure to unwind and get ready for your first adventure tomorrow morning.
Dinner (on your own account) at the hotel.

Room Type: Standard Chalet
Meal Basis: Dinner

Day 2Lake Manyara National Park

After breakfast, you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to Arusha Airport to connect with your scheduled flight to Lake Manyara airstrip.
On arrival at the airstrip, you will be welcome by the lodge’s team and driven to Lake Manyara National Park for a day game drive in search of big games such as darkly coloured giraffes, buffalo, and wallowing hippo, elephants, enjoying spectacular views of thousands of flamingos in and around the lake and exploring the woodlands for the famous tree climbing lions that are unique to the lake. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park surrounded by the magnificent natural scenery of this small but beautiful park.

Proceed with the afternoon game drive. The park has varied habitats ranging from savannah to marsh – evergreen forest supports one of the world’s highest biomass densities of large mammals. Lake Manyara is a must-stop for those who want to combine nature and game viewing on their tour of Africa. The topographical features ranging from the Rift Wall, ground water forest, acacia woodlands and open grasslands to the shores of Lake Manyara are some of the features that make this park a paradise for nature lovers.

Large numbers of bird species both endemic and migrated estimated to be more than 350 different bird species in addition to an estimated 1.9 million pink flamingo that leverages the shallow alkaline lake for feeding on algae which makes this park one of the most demanded destinations for bird lovers. Besides the birds, the variety of animals you can find in addition to those mentioned above includes gazelle, impala, wildebeest, hyena, baboon, and giraffe.
In the late afternoon drive to Manyara Secret’s lodge, your home for the following 2 nights.
Arrive at the lodge and be welcomed by the management team. Check-in, settle in your luxury villa and later enjoy Dinner prepared by experienced chefs.

Room Type: 1 Bedroom Villa
Meal Plan: Full Board, bottles of water, Full Day 4 x 4 Game Drive, Park Fees

Day 3Explore Ngorongoro Crater

This morning, an early start is best to avoid the later influx of tourists into the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the 7 African wonders. It is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera and a natural sanctuary for some of Africa’s densest animal populations. It is one of the few places where the rare black rhino can be observed in its natural setting. As very few animals migrate in and out of the crater with its 2000 ft. high walls, you can expect to see lions, elephants, zebras, hippos, flamingos, jackals, rhinos, antelopes, many birds and other species. With a bit of luck, the ‘Big Five’ can be spotted during one game drive only. The beautiful colours and dancing clouds make the crater almost surreal.

Enjoy lunch on the crater floor surrounded by wildlife and later depart for your lodge. On your way back stop and visit the colourful bustling town of Mto Wa Mbu, with its main street wide and always vibrant with people in brightly coloured clothes chatting, laughing and going about their daily activities. This is an opportunity for a Maasai souvenir as there are stalls selling everything from spices to saucepans and oxcarts weave all over the road. In the centre of town, there is a lively market selling fruit and vegetables. It’s a fun place to visit to practice your bargaining aptitude when buying Tinga Tinga paintings, carved wooden ornaments, local scarfs and more.

Arrive back at the lodge, and jump in your private pool to soak off the crater dust. Once refreshed, relax with your favourite drink at hand and enjoy the lodge surroundings and mostly the incredible view of lake Manyara. Enjoy Dinner prepared by experienced chefs.

Room Type: 1 Bedroom Villa
Meal Plan: Full Board, bottles of water, Crater and Mto Wa Mbu visits

Day 4Lake Manyara - Serengeti National Park

This morning, after breakfast, you will be transferred back to Lake Manyara airstrip to connect with your scheduled flight to the Serengeti National Park – enjoy the game drive transfer on your way to the airstrip. The lodge’s team will be in attendance to welcome you on arrival at the Serengeti airstrip and transfer you to Ndutu Safari Lodge in a prime position to access the thousands of square kilometres of short grass plains where the action takes place.

Ndutu Safari Lodge is situated in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the southern Serengeti ecosystem. The Lodge nestles unobtrusively under a canopy of giant acacias looking towards a soda lake, Lake Ndutu and is ideally located for the wildebeest migration between November and March. Tucked well away from the busy tourist circuit, Ndutu Safari Lodge offers a superb base in which to explore the range of habitats that lie within easy reach, this includes swamps, woodlands, soda lakes and the world-famous Serengeti short-grass plains.
On arrival at the camp, enjoy welcome drinks, check in and settle in the thatched cottage, relax and later enjoy lunch before taking off for your first game drive in the park. When you return from the game drive, there will still be time to freshen up before dinner. Once refreshed, join fellow guests for pre-drink dinner and later settle for dinner.

Room Type: Cottage
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch or picnic lunch and Dinner), bottles of water,
2 game drives per day, Park Fees, Transfer to/from Ndutu airstrip

Day 5 - 6Explore Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park, meaning “endless plains” in the Masai language, is undoubtedly one of the world’s most celebrated Wilderness areas and is an ongoing source of inspiration to writers, filmmakers and photographers. On these plains, wildlife is abundant: sometimes you may think it has come to find you, rather than the other way around. Fascinating wildlife roaming free in their natural habitat. Together with your guide, you will decide on your daily game drives. You may opt for twice half-day game drives returning to the lodge for a hot lunch OR a full-day game drive with a delicious, packed lunch to enjoy at a designated location while surrendered by wildlife.

Of course, the main event in the Serengeti is the migration, which thunders onto the southern plains around Ndutu in early December as soon as the rains replace dry season dust with fresh new grass. When the wildebeests gather to calve, this brings an abundance of vulnerable young calves and dramatic scenes as big cats gather to hunt for an easy meal. In addition to thousands of wildebeests and countless babies, expect to see amongst other leopards, cheetahs, elephants, pride of lions, impalas, giraffes, hippos, warthogs, lots of birds and many more.
Back again at the lodge after an exhilarating afternoon or full day of unforgettable bush life. Get ready for dinner and time to discuss the day’s highlights with fellow guests and rangers and make new friends.

Room Type: Cottage
Meal Plan: Full Board (Breakfast, Lunch or picnic lunch and Dinner), bottles of water, 2 game drives per day, Park Fees, Transfer to/from Ndutu airstrip

Day 7Departure

This morning your safari ends with a last morning game drive to Ndutu airstrip where you will connect with your scheduled flight to Kilimanjaro for your onward flight back home.

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