Join us on the quest to see the legendary Big Five! Our six day Big Five safari is by far our most popular safari – giving you the best chance of spotting Africa’s most iconic animals.
In your pursuit of lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and cape buffalo you’ll travel through all five of the northern circuit’s national parks: Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Arusha, Ngorongoro, and the world-famous Serengeti National Park – where you’ll spend two unforgettable days and have the opportunity to witness your very own Serengeti sunrise.
Along the way, you’ll also see enormous herds of wildebeest and zebra, the majestic giraffe, wallowing hippopotamus, lean cheetahs, opportunistic hyenas, playful monkeys, and so much more.
- Herds of elephants, antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest as well as predators like lions, leopard, cheetehs and hyenas fill the Serengeti
- In the crater see The Big 5 as well as dense populations of predators, buffalo, zebras, black rhinos and many species of antelopes
- Tarangire National Park is diverse and picturesque, consisting of grasslands with baobab and acacia trees, forests, bush steppe and swamps. The park is known for its large elephant herds, which are among the largest in Tanzania
- Lake Manyara with thousands of flamingos, the largest baboon troops in Africa, elephants, hippos, giraffes, buffaloes, antelopes, over 400 species of birds and the world famous tree climbing lions.
After breakfast, you’ll depart from your Arusha or Moshi accommodations and drive to the park.
Your visit to Arusha National Park is a flexible one, as you’ll have three choices as to how you’d like to experience the park.
• Game Drive: You can embark on a half-day or full day game drive through the park. Your drive will pass you past park landmarks such as the Momella Lakes and Ngurdoto Crater – sometimes known as ‘Little Ngorongoro’.
• Canoe Safari: Available at extra cost, you’ll trade the car for a canoe as you take a guided canoe safari out on the Momella Lakes to see bushbuck, giraffes, hippos, and buffalo.
• Walking Safari: Stretch your legs with a guided walking safari through the park. While on your walking safari, you can expect to see endless acres of forest, home to black and white colobus monkeys, zebras, buffalos, and a variety of antelopes. You will also have a chance to observe more than 400 bird species including the Crowned Eagle, Lanner Falcon, and Levaillants Cuckoo.
You can combine the above three options as you please, although the canoe safari and walking safari both attract an additional cost.
You’ll return to Arusha in the late afternoon with a head full of memories and a camera full of unforgettable photos.
You’ll depart from Arusha after breakfast for the drive to Lake Manyara National Park. The journey takes approximately two hours, but we’ll pass through the market town of Mto Wa Mbu along the way. This agricultural and fresh produce market is a melting pot of local cultures and a souvenir hunter’s paradise.
After a brief stop at the village market, you’ll enter Lake Manyara National Park. The park is truly a photographer’s playground and offers some of the best game viewing in the world. You can expect to see many of Africa’s most well-known animals, with the tree-climbing lions a particular treat. These proud predators lounge in acacia trees practically begging to be photographed.
Bird-watchers will find Lake Manyara is an absolute delight, with a huge variety of birds on display in the park. Even the novice can expect to be amazed by large flamingo flocks, circling birds of prey, and the brightly coloured lilac breasted roller.
You’ll then retire to your chosen accommodation for dinner and a good night’s rest.
We’ll take an early breakfast, as we’ve got a big day of exploration and adventure ahead of us!
We’ll begin the day with the scenic drive towards the Serengeti. Along the way, we’ll pass through the mist-shrouded rainforests of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area where you might be lucky enough to glimpse cape buffalo, baboons, or even elephants and leopards in the dense undergrowth.
It’s a nearly four-hour drive to the Serengeti park gates, but you can choose to break up the drive with one or both of the below optional activities:
• Oldupai Gorge Museum: Sometimes known as the Cradle of Mankind, the Oldupai Gorge Museum commemorates some of the oldest evidence of human habitation ever found. Here you can see some of the oldest fossil evidence in the world of human habitation, visit the Oldupai Gorge Museum to learn more about the human journey, and take in the stunning views of this stark gorge country.
• Maasai boma visit: Pay a visit to one of the famous Maasai bomas, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness (and participate in) traditional Maasai dance, tour an authentic Maasai village, and even do a little souvenir shopping at the local market.
Both of the above activities attract an additional cost. Speak with your safari expert about adding them to your itinerary.
After a delicious lunch at the Serengeti National Park picnic area, it’s time to explore the Serengeti itself. Witness Africa’s iconic savannah landscape and be amazed by the sheer number of animals that roam these grassy plains.
Dinner and overnight in the heart of the Serengeti National Park according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
After breakfast, we get right on the road back towards the Ngorongoro Crater National Park.
Our drive takes us back through the Serengeti via a different route, offering plenty of opportunities to spot the animals that eluded you on day two. As far as the eye can see, you’ll spot thousands upon thousands of animals in herds; wildebeests and zebras migrating together, tall and graceful giraffes, jumping antelopes and gazelles, the powerful African elephant and the most respected group of animals: the predators.
You will have the chance to spot lean cheetahs and shy leopards, foraging hyenas, and last but not least, the king himself; the lion.
Dinner and overnight on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater or in nearby Karatu Town according to the standard and the type of accommodation requested from our options.
After breakfast, you’ll depart for Ngorongoro Crater; considered by some to be the Eighth Wonder of the World. When you get your first glimpse of this vast, verdant caldera from the panoramic viewpoint, you’ll soon understand why it has earned such a lofty reputation.
Home to over 120 species of mammal including the fabled Big Five, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is one of the most sought after safari destinations in the world. It’s a particularly good place to see the endangered black rhinoceros enjoying a lonely meal out on the grass plains, as well as a place to see large numbers of hippopotamus enjoying the cool water.
From the comfort of your open-top vehicle, you’ll be able to observe and photograph some of Africa’s most recognisable faces. The crater is home to a large number of predators including lions, leopards, cheetahs, jackals, and hyenas, as well as a large population of wildebeest, zebras, antelope, cape buffalo, and more. It is truly one of Africa’s premier safari destinations.
After the thrills and excitement of the day, you will have a picnic lunch by the park’s famous hippo pool.
You’ll return to your Karatu accommodations for the evening for dinner and rest.
You’ll depart your accommodations early for the drive south to Tarangire, where you’ll spend your day driving through Tanzania’s most underrated national park.
Once inside the park, you’ll see the eponymous Tarangire river lined with acacia and Baobab where game amble to and fro throughout the day. During the dry season, thousands of animals from the Masai steppe migrate to the Tarangire region looking for water so you can see dozens of different species in a small amount of time.
Exclusive to the park are endangered animals such as the Greater Kudu, Fringe-Eared Oryx, and the Ashy Starling.
Enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the park’s picnic areas and take in an unparalleled view of the Tarangire River. Keep an eye on your food though, as the local monkey population will be only too happy to make off with a tasty treat if given the opportunity!
You’ll return to Arusha late in the afternoon.
- Full board accommodation whilst on safari in the above mentioned en suite tented camps and lodges
- Private safari guide
- Private 4 x 4 safari jeep with pop up roof for game viewing
- Transfers in both directions between the International Airport
- Park fees
- Crater fees
- All meals whist on safari
- On safari – Vehicles equipped with ice chest with mineral water, wildlife guidebooks.
- Government taxes, VAT and service charges relating to accommodation and included meals
- International flights
- Tanzanian Visa
- All things of personal nature
- Tips for guides and cooks
- Items not specified in terms and conditions
- Extended tours not specified in the main package
Kindly take note of the following:
Rates are quoted based on two guests sharing and single supplement rates apply on single room occupancy
The rates quoted are subject to change without prior warning if there are any increases in bed levies, park fees, fuel, sales tax or VAT, third-party services or any other circumstances beyond our control in the countries featured in this itinerary
On occasion the itinerary may be in a different order or using alternative lodges according to road conditions and availability.
Other Safari Important Notes
All lodges and camps will have electricity although many work off generators with limited times.
The power supply in Tanzania is nominally 240VAC, 50hz. Variable voltage, spikes and sporadic, unexpected, unscheduled power cuts of varying duration can be expected.
- INTERNAL FLIGHTS/BAGGAGE
Please note each passenger is only allowed a total of 15kgs of checked and carry-on luggage combined, and must be in small soft-sided bags. This is strictly enforced by airlines and outside of our control. extra luggage can be left in storage in Arusha (by arrangement prior to travel
- YELLOW FEVER
It may be required to show a Yellow Fever certificate upon entering the country visited. Please check in with your local health expert for advice on Yellow Fever and other inoculations required for this area.
Please note all accommodation listed below is not guaranteed, but is indicative of the types of accommodation used.
- COMBO TRIP
Please note that this tour combines with other Mkama Tours to Tanzania. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with Mkama Tours to Tanzania, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another Mkama Tours to Tanzania, after your trip concludes.