Welcome to Tanzania! You will be met on arrival after passing through customs and immigration at Kilimanjaro International Airport and be transferred to your lodge, about an hour away in the town of Arusha, for dinner and overnight.
On day 2 meet your private guide and embark on your first game drive in Arusha National Park. You will take a picnic lunch and explore the “Little Serengeti” plains in the south, walk to stunning gorges and waterfalls in the north, and enjoy the tropical mountain rainforests. Experience the diverse fauna and flora along the Momella Lakes with its rich flamingo population and discover the secret haven of the hidden Ngurdoto Crater – nick-named “little Ngorongoro” due to its stunning beauty and rich wildlife. All these highlights are towered by the shining glaciers of Kilimanjaro and the horseshoe-like cliffs and the peak of Mt. Meru – occasionally covered with snow. Arusha National Park is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful destinations in Tanzania! When you are ready, you will head back to Arumeru River Lodge for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, you will head out across the Great Rift Valley to Mto wa Mbu village for a cultural excursion. A small village community, Mto Wa Mbu offers an excellent way to get a close-up look at life in an African town away from the main tourist trail. Join the local community with a stroll around the farming areas – including visits to a milling machine, local homes, market and farmlands. You may wish to visit the market and shop for wood carvings and local artworks which are the specialties of this area. From there you will drive to Lake Eyasi and arrive at Kisima Ngeda Tented Camp for dinner and overnight.
Wahadzabe & Datoga Cultures
Today rise early for a remarkable day of culture and a peek into the an ancient way of life. You will have a morning hunt with the Hadzabe tribe, and later visit the Datoga tribesmen in the nearby village. The Wahadzabes are an off-shoot of the Acadi tribe. It is believed that they separated from the Acadi’s in the 1700s. Never numbering more than 30 people, the Wahadzabes are a very secretive and protective community, although more visible than their parent tribe.
They inhabit the area near Lake Eyasi and are primarily a hunting and gathering community, whose livelihood depends on wildlife and other forest products. They are one of the most traditional and ‘primitive’ tribes in all of Africa. In 1995 it was reported that they were on the verge of extinction, because of denial of rights to own and use land in the area they occupy. Small in stature and speaking in an ancient click dialect, the Bushmen survive by their ability to blend into their surroundings and subsist off the land.
You will have the privileged opportunity to meet with the Wahadzabe tribe and observe and try your hand at hunting and gathering techniques that have remained largely unchanged for thousands of years. Learn to hunt with a bow and arrow and start a fire or join the women gathering roots, tubers and wild fruit and preparing food. Exploring a way of life vastly different to our own is an unforgettable experience. You will visit the Datoga farmers this afternoon and then return to Kisima Ngeda for dinner and overnight.
Today you will continue on to Karatu and Ngorongoro Farm House. You will reach the farm just as the sun begins to set giving you enough time to enjoy a cold drink or a hot cup of coffee while you take in the breathtaking views that surround you. There is time this afternoon to explore the farm or to simply relax!
On day 6, after breakfast, you’ll descend through the early morning mists and 2,000 feet into the crater. Ngorongoro Crater is the World’s largest intact volcanic caldera, a World Heritage Site and also one of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders. Due to its size and diversity, the crater floor is comprised of several distinct areas, ranging from forest, swamps, lakes and springs, to open grassland and some sandy dunes. It’s an awesome wildlife experience. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the floor of the Crater so you can spend most of the day exploring.
Today you drive through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to Serengeti National Park and Serengeti Pioneer Camp, visiting Olduvai Gorge en route. The Gorge acquired its name from the Sansevieria bush that grows profusely in the area, named Olduvai by the Maasai. The Gorge is about 30 miles long and in some places around 280 ft deep and is found between the Crater and the Serengeti. Dr. Louis Leakey and his wife in 1959 found humanoid remains of Zinjanthropus, later renamed Australopithecus Boisei, an early form of man. You will have time to walk through the simple small museum at the gorge, where you can view copy displays of some of the finds as well as pictures of what life was like for the gorge’s earliest inhabitants.
You travel with a picnic lunch today as you will be driving through areas with great chances to view wildlife whist in Serengeti National Park.
Serengeti National Park
Spend the next two days exploring the Serengeti on morning and afternoon game drives returning to the camp for lunch or spending the full day game viewing in Serengeti National Park with a picnic lunch. Serengeti is undoubtedly the best known wildlife reserve in the world. Within its boundaries are more than three million large animals living in total freedom on the “endless plains”. The savanna plains are broken up with small rock outcrops called “kopjes” and small rivers. The park comprises some 5,700 square miles. It is most famous for the annual migration that continually moves in a clockwise direction through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest wind their way around in search of life-sustaining permanent water.
On day 10, sadly it’s time to depart. After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airstrip for scheduled flight to Arusha. Met and transferred to Shanga for lunch.
Enjoy lunch at River House Shanga in Arusha which offers a healthy array of lunch options in open-air pagodas. Then visit the Shanga shangaa workshops, which help the disabled develop various skills.
Later you will be transferred to KIA Lodge whee you will have a day room and dinner before the 10 minute transfer to the Kilimanjaro Airport to meet your departing flights for home.