Safari in Serengeti & Ngorongoro
Departure day, where you will fly to Tanzania with connecting flights along the way.
You land at Kilimanjaro Airport, which is close to Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro. The conical Mount Kilimanjaro is 5,895 metres high and enjoys a stunning location on the plateau on the border between Tanzania and Kenya..
Your driver/guide is waiting for you at Kilimanjaro Airport, ready to drive you to Highview Hotel. It is a combined drive and sightseeing tour of approx. 200 km, taking you through the villages of Chini, Kisongo, Makuyuni, Mto Wa Mbu, to the rolling landscape at Karatu, where Highview Hotel is located.
At Highview Hotel, you will be welcomed by the staff, who are Masai, dressed in their traditional attire. Perched on a hilltop, the hotel affords a colourful panorama over scenic valleys of small fields and coffee plantations. The farmers here employ many different ways of keeping the elephants and other animals from ravaging their crops, such as planting fences of chilli.
Once you arrive at the hotel, the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Please note: Today you will be driving to Highview Hotel in Karatu, where you will stay overnight. This will leave you with a shorter drive to Serengeti than if you stay overnight at Springlands Hotel in Moshi, for example.
Overnight stay Highview Hotel
After breakfast, it is time to check out of the hotel and get ready for an exciting drive through the hilly highland plains of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area towards Serengeti National Park.
The ride takes you deep into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, where you will have the chance to meet red-dressed Masai tribesmen in a local village. The Masai people are nomads, and their wealth is measured in cattle and goats. Their villages typically consist of a number of small huts arranged in a circle. The huts are built of branches, clay and cattle dung. The building style and the size of the huts illustrate how when the grass is exhausted in one area, the entire community can relocate to a different place where there is fresh pasture for the livestock. In the village, you can experience the everyday life of the Masai community and admire the traditional arts and crafts of the Masai women, which is primarily centred on work with beads. The Masai are keen to trade, and as the buyer you are expected to haggle.
After lunch, the tour continues to the impressive savannah landscape in Serengeti National Park. You will drive into the park via the north-western entrance at Nabi Hill Gate.
Serengeti is the oldest national park in Tanzania and covers an area of more than 14,500 km². The seemingly endless plains are interspersed with small lakes and occasional watercourses, and the park as a whole is home to pretty much all the animals inevitably associated with Africa: elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, giraffes, buffalo, gnus, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs and ostriches, to name but a few … Serengeti actually holds the world record for animal numbers and is home to one of the world’s greatest animal-related marvels – the giant migration, in which gnus, zebras and gazelles in their hundreds of thousands wander from one part of the park to another, depending on the rainy season.
While you are on your game drive, you will be making your way towards the extraordinary Serengeti Wild Camp or Serengeti Wildebeest Camp* where you will be spending two nights.
Overnight stay Serengeti Wild Camp
The day starts with breakfast in the large communal tent, overlooking the majestic savannah. It is then time to head off on a full-day safari in Serengeti National Park. The objective is to capture photos of ‘The Big Five’: lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo. The savannah is the habitat of countless gnus, Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles, impalas, topi-antelopes, elands and warthogs, as well as all kinds of birds including Bateleur eagles, secretary birds, Guinea fowl, European rollers and crowned cranes. You are also sure to see (and smell) hippopotamuses, which gather in what are known as ‘hippo-pools’ – small lakes that can contain up to 50 hippopotamuses.
After a full day’s safari on the Serengeti plain, including a picnic lunch, you will return to Serengeti Wild Camp towards evening. You can then enjoy a hearty dinner before retiring to your tent for a good night’s sleep under the starry African sky, accompanied by the sounds of the savannah.
On day 4 it is possible to experience Serengeti from a Hot Air Balloon?
Overnight stay Serengeti Wild Camp
Exciting new safari experiences await you once again today. From Serengeti Wild Camp, you will be driven south-east towards the Ngorongoro Crater. En route, you will occasionally pass a Masai village. The Masai have always called the Serengeti home, and they continue to do so – even though it has now become a national park. In the late morning, you will reach Ngorongoro and drive up towards the crater, noting how the vegetation changes as you climb higher and higher. From the rim, the road winds along the inside of the extinct crater, taking you 600 metres down to the crater bed, a fertile stretch of land covering 260 km2. This area of countryside comprises savannah, swamp, lakes, small rivers, acacia woods and even a saltwater lake. The crater is home to 25,000–30,000 animals. Many people describe visiting the crater bed as being like ‘driving through Jurassic Park’, because there are animals everywhere. There are five families of lions in this relatively small area, as well as large herds of buffalo, flocks of flamingos and even a black rhinoceros or two. The only animal you will not see here is the giraffe, which has never crossed the boundary between Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater.
There will be a break for a picnic lunch at one of the selected spots in the crater.
Towards the end of the afternoon, you will be driven up from the crater and back to Highview Hotel, where you will spend one last night in Africa. If you wish to treat yourself to an extra special experience, you might (against a supplement) like to upgrade to Ngorongoro Wild Camp.
The day starts with an early checkout from Highview Hotel, after which you will be driven to Lake Manyara National Park – one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania. The park covers ‘only’ 330 km², of which the lake itself takes up 200 km². The area between the lake and the 600-metre slopes of Rift Valley to the west comprises a fertile landscape of open grass plains and jungle-like forest, as well as a stretch of swamp. A veritable El Dorado for birds, Lake Manyara is probably best-known worldwide for its enormous flocks of pink flamingos. Other animals to see here include hippopotamuses, elephants, zebras and baboons.
After lunch, you will be driven to Kilimanjaro Airport to begin your journey home.
You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.