Tarangire, Lake Natron, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Manyara and Arusha National Park
The Ultimate Birds and Beasts Safari
Join us on this eight day adventure into the heart of the Tanzanian safari lands on a quest to discover the hundreds of magnificent species of birds and animals that make this beautiful landscape their home. We’ll visit six of the most vibrant parks, including the UNESCO World Heritage site the Ngorongoro Crater and the majestic abundance of the Serengeti. You’ll have the opportunity to get up close to the widest array of mammals and birds you can imagine. We’re not just talking about the Big Five here; but the dozens of other mammals and hundreds of birds that make up the richness of this incredible biodiversity. This safari is a naturalist‘s paradise and a bird lover’s Eden.
Arusha to Arusha National Park
Your adventure begins at our base at Arusha, a chilled-out busy little town with a colorful market and choice of coffee houses and bars. You’ll head off to the Arusha National Park, a jewel of Tanzania where waterbucks and gazelle roam throughout the year, and where you’re sure to see giraffe, zebra and warthog. You’ll drive along the golden, baked shores of Lake Momella, whose waters glow teal, aquamarine and azure against the bold African sky. The elusive leopards and elephants tend to be shy at Arusha, but there is a good chance of getting lucky. You’ll also feel the pulse of Africa through the soles of your feet as we take a stroll; you’ll be accompanied by a knowledgeable and skilled ranger, who will help you find out more about the natural beauty all around you. You’ll explore lush, green forest alive with the antics of colobus monkeys and chance upon the bright, bubbling waters of a waterfall among the greenery. You’ll stop overnight at a camp near the park, where you can rest your legs and enjoy a delicious dinner served under the stars.
Arusha National Park to Tarangire National Park to Mto wa Mbu
After a good nights’ sleep you enjoy a healthy, tasty breakfast (we love our food at Viva Africa Tours!) and then set off for the Tarangire National Park, which is a haven for birdwatchers. Tarangire boasts over 550 species of bird and its marshes have the highest number of breeding species in one place in the whote world. If you’re a bird lover, you won’t want to leave. You’ll easily spot the flocks of dazzling yellow-collared lovebirds, the native rufous-tailed weaver and the northern pied babbler; the red-and-yellow-barbet (you’ll know him as soon as you see him!), the superior ostrich, as well as hundreds of migratory birds. Amongst the birds you can sit back and watch the parade of animals for which Tarangire is famous: these include the stately elephant, powerful lion, giraffe, graceful impala, cheetah, mongoose, buffalo and baboons. After feasting your eyes on this glorious park’s diversity, you’ll head off to Mto wa Mbu and reach the campsite in the late afternoon. You’ll probably want to stretch your legs and check out the photos you’ve taken so far while our cook prepares you a delicious dinner which you can enjoy watching the apricot and bronze of an African sunset.
Mto wa Mbu to Lake Natron
After a yummy breakfast you’ll set off for Lake Natron, a salt and soda lake cradled in part of the great East African Rift Valley. The lake is a patchwork of pink, russet and white because of the microorganisms that thrive on its salinity and the salt-crust rafts that pepper the lake. You’ll arrive at the campsite in time for a delicious lunch and then you’ll take an afternoon stroll to the lake, where you could be delighted by a pink cloud of flamingoes; the lake is the only regular breeding ground in East Africa of around 2.5 million lesser flamingoes, who depend utterly on the lake and are therefore categoried as near threatened, despite their numbers. You’ll wander past salt marshes and freshwater wetlands and on to a sparkling waterfall. You’ll also get a chance to marvel at Oldoinyo Lengai (Mountain of God in Maa in the language of Maasai people), an active volcano* and if you’d like to climb it, we can add an extra day to your adventure to get you to the top! (Tell us when you book if you’d like to be a volcano-conqueror!). Dinner and overnight at Lake Natron campsite.
Lake Natron to Serengeti National Park
After breakfast you‘ll leave the harsh and compelling landscape of Lake Natron to travel to the lush bounty of the Serengeti National Park. You’ll journey via Loliondo and Wasso, towns, where the Maasai, Chagga, Sonjo and Warusha peoples live and work together in harmony, and through to the Klein’s Gate, the northeast entrance to the Serengeti. On your drive don’t forget to look out for a wide variety of animals including antelope, wildebeest and zebra. You’ll rest up at a campsite in the centre of the Serengeti, and enjoy a lovely dinner while you anticipate what tomorrow will bring.
Serengeti National Park
You’ll wake up to pink and apricot African dawn, in the centre of the Serengeti, a paradise for wildlife and bird lovers, with a thrill wherever you turn your head. Make sure you fill up on breakfast, as there’s lots to see today, especially if you visit during migration season. The Serengeti is home to the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, an incredible and world-famous phenomenon. But even outside migration season, you’ll be up close and personal with a variety of animals, including over 70 species of large mammals. You’ll see lions, leopards, elephant, cheetah and water buffalo all within a few feet of your jeep. But these aren’t all. The Serengeti is home to many other animals that are equally fascinating and beautiful. This is a dizzyingly active ecosystem and you’ll also marvel at eland, antelope and Grant’s gazelle; hyenas and crocodiles; monkeys and baboons as well as hippos and rhinos. Birders will spot hundreds of bird species, both endemic and migrating from the Eurasia. After a heady day enjoying the wildlife, relax with a drink at our campsite at Seronera, while you watch the sunset and wait for your delicious dinner to be served. Eat up – you’ve another amazing day tomorrow so you’ll need your strength!
Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater
You’ll spend this morning revisiting the diverse landscapes of the Serengeti – riverine forest, swamps, kopjes and grasslands before your next part of the adventure. After a tasty lunch you’ll journeyoff to the Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO World Heritage site whose fertile volcanic plains and stunning highlands hold some of the richest density of animals in the whole of Africa. You’ll spend the night at Simba Camp, which is at the rim of the crater and while you watch the golden pink sunset melt over the savannah within the caldera, our friendly cook will be preparing a delectable dinner for you.
Ngorongoro Crater to Mto wa Mbu
You’ll be up with the African dawn because early morning is the best time to experience the Crater waking up. It’s a totally different feel and a filling breakfast, mug of hot coffee and crisp air will enliven you to enjoy it to the full. There’s plenty of time for photography and what a day for it! You’re likely to spot the Big Five – lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and water buffalo – in a landscape lush with greens, olives and gold topped with the intense blue of the Tanzanian sky. You’ll stop for a cheeky picnic lunch near a pondful of hippos: older ones patiently sunning or muddying themselves while the youngsters play and splash. The Ngorongoro Crater has a unique geology and this is why so many species live here and, apart from the Big Five, you’ll spot zebra, wildebeest and hyena and – for you bird lovers – the salmon pink mist of graceful flamingos at Soda Lake and vultures and hawks eagerly circling the sky in search of a discarded carcass. Storks, ibis, and cranes are also common to the Crater. You’ll begin your drive to the tranquility of Fanaka Camp after lunch and you’ll have worked up the appetite for a hot, fresh and tasty dinner under a sky packed full of stars.
On our last day of the tour (we know, we wish it was longer too!) we will experience the beauty of Lake Manyara National Park. Nestled at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is a picturesque tapestry of habitats: the golden savannah, lush forest, arid, baked scrubland and tumbling rivers. You’ll wake up to an early breakfast to start the day early enough to spot the wildlife of the park and to breathe in the beauty of the place. You’ll picnic in the heart of the park and then explore the shores of Soda Lake, with its pink shimmer of flamingo, one of over four hundred species of dazzling birds including the forest hornbill, pelican and cormorant. Lake Manyara is home to the legendary tree-climbing lion as well as powerful water buffalo, African elephant, giraffe, impala and hippo. In the late afternoon, you’ll say goodbye to Manyara and drive to Arusha, through Maasai bomas, baobab forest and rolling savannah. When you arrive back at Arusha, tired but rejuvenated, your adventure will end. We can take you to the airport or Arusha, if you are too awestruck with your safari experience to move.
- Park fees
- All activities (unless labeled as optional)
- All accommodation as stated in the itinerary
- A professional driver/guide
- All transportation (unless labeled as optional)
- All Taxes/VAT
- Roundtrip airport transfer
- All Meals (as specified in the day-by-day section)
- Drinking water on all days
- International flights (from/to home)
- Additional accommodation before and at the end of the tour
- Tips (tipping guideline US$20.00 pp per day)
- Personal items (souvenirs, travel insurance, visa fees, etc.)
- Government imposed increase of taxes and/or park fees
- Alcohol drinks