Tanzania Safari Itenerary
Tanzania Safari Itenerary
When you picture that perfectly African first Safari Holiday…. you think of Tanzania. If you want turquoise blue water, if you want to climb the highest mountains in Africa, and if you want to see the most ferocious and colorful beasts of the continent, Tanzania is the place. This country really does have it all for adventurers who want a real taste of Africa. So don your safari hat and grab your binoculars!
The well known and common itinerary is known as the “Northern Circuit Itinerary” This itinerary focuses on what’s known as the ‘northern circuit’ with a few randoms that you enjoy thrown in. Most of the famous must-sees are in the northern part of the country, though the south has some fantastic national parks and areas that are also worth exploring. With that in mind, here’s ideal Tanzania itinerary which would take about two weeks, which is perfect for someone who has enough time to explore Tanzania!
This nice and small city is considered as a starting point of the Safari in the Northern part of Tanzania! Normally you would stay here before and after Safari, and if you can you can spend one full day before Safari to explore Arusha City. There are so many things that can be done in Arusha like: Cultural tours, Waterfalls, Town tour, Snake Park, Central Market tour and many others, and it so advised that you have one full day in this city before starting your Safari.
There are so many option of accommodation in Arusha, from Home Stay, Hostels, Guest House to 5 star Hotel, you just have to chose what kind of accommodation you want! In this decision I have two advice, make sure you are in a comfortable place, and if possible close to town, but avoid noise streets. It entirely depend with your budget, but I would’t advice to spend a lot of money and that extra luxury if you are just passing through the town.There are two airports near Arusha, once is International, and the second one is just small airport! The International airport is Kilimanjaro International Airport which is about: 52 Km to Arusha! If you land in Kilimanjaro Airport you can get transport to Arusha for about: $50 (Market price of a private Tax), and sometimes you might get one of the Shuttle from which you will only pay Tsh 10.000/- But in most cases if your tour is booked by a Travel Agent I advice that they include the transfer cost!
Arusha National Park:
This is the nearest National Park to Arusha City, Most of people would start with this Park and continue with other National Parks, this is a small National park with an area of: 132 square Km. Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.
Tarangire National Park:
I real like this National Park, it is one of the best and very beautiful landscape with high number of elephants! It is about 140 Km from Arusha, if you go to Tarangire for a day trip, I advice that you leave very early so that you can have a morning experience, animals act differently in different times!
If you are going for more than 1 day of Safari then you have chance to overnight there, if you have budget I would advice you to stay at Tarangire Safari lodge which has a fantastic view of Tarangire River!….if you do not have a budget to stay in this lodge, then I kindly advice you to even camp inside, and again you will be able to enjoy the evening around the Tarangire Safari lodge, and then go back to your camping site (Make sure this is done within the official time); it doesn’t matter where you are going to spend the next night as long as you do very early game drive on the second day, this will complete the cycle of game viewing in Tarangire!
Elephants in Tarangire
Another advantage of spending the night in Tarangire Safari lodge is that they are the only one with the permit to do night game drive in Tarangire, and so at a cost of: $50 – $70/person you can do the night game drive in Tarangire, by doing this you will be in a position to enjoy Tarangire in full!
The middle and end of the Dry season, from late June to October, is the best time for wildlife viewing in Tarangire National Park. Most of the animals migrate out of the park during the Wet season, and wildlife viewing is considerably less good. However, in recent years more elephants appear to be staying inside the park throughout the Wet season, possibly because of their knowledge of the increase in poaching outside.
All in all, the above says much in this National Park, and the best way to enjoy it, but just being there even for 5 hours, you will not be disappointed of this Park; you will surely appreciate this Park!
The best View of Tarangire River Inside the park
Lake Manyara National Park:
Lake Manyara National Park well known for the tree climbing lions, the soda ash lake and its flamingos, we are talking about breathtaking scenery! Lake Manyara has a big number of elephants, so many giraffes; zebras, wildebeest, impala, waterbuck, and warthog, small known shy Kik’s dik dik as well as Klipspringer along the ramps of the escarpment. Leopards are hosted within the broken forests and escarpment, healthy lions that are widely known for their tree climbing pranks. This used to be a special character of the park which is not the case today. Regarded as Africa’s largest, huge herds of baboons are expected by most of the travelers.
If you spend a full day in Lake Manyara, I believe that will be enough, unless you are very much into learning birds. As for my personal preference, I would like to stay outside Lake Manyara if I go for other parks, and that can be in Karatu, or even inside Ngorongoro depending with your itinerary! if you are going to Serengeti after Lake Manyara, then I advice that you stay in Karatu so that it can be easy to continue the next day!
Watching wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park is good all year, but at its best from late June to October, during the Dry season. However, this very scenic park is at its most beautiful during the Wet season, from November to May, when the vegetation is lush and waterfalls cascade down the escarpment.
Serengeti National Park:
The Serengeti is one of the most famous national parks in Africa and offers some of the best wildlife viewing in the world; however, there are a number of things to do in the Serengeti other than game drives. The Serengeti has earned the titles of one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Africa” and one of the “Ten Natural Travel Wonders of the World” for being the site of the largest terrestrial mammal migration in the world (about 2 million animals!).
Even without the Great Migration, the park sports the densest lion population in the world and is home to all members of the Big Five and almost 500 bird species. The Serengeti fits well into most people’s dream of an African safari with its abundant wildlife, vast golden plains dotted with thorny umbrella acacia trees, kopjes, and sausage trees, and its crocodile and hippo-filled rivers. When planning your time to this amazing place, you’ll want to take into account its large size and the timing of your visit to ensure the best viewing experience.
Two nights are the minimum number of nights in Serengeti, I discourage one night in Serengeti, and this is because of the size, landscape and high concentration of animals! Normally you would do game drive on the way to Serengeti, spend full day next day (I advice early morning game drive); overnight, and do half day game drive the next day as you move to Ngorongoro or other places, if you go to Ngorongoro I advice not doing any activities and just overnight in Ngorongoro, and do the crater next day!
There are so many choices of accommodation in Serengeti, from Luxury lodge, Luxury tents, budget tents, even basic tents, I highly recommend the two nights in Tented Camp either basic or Luxury, and if you are fit and adventure kind of person, even basic tent will be fun! if you chose basic camping, most operators will provide everything including of private chef and camping equipment for a reasonable prices!
Wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park is good throughout the year, but certain areas are better at specific times. The Dry season (from late June to October) offers the best wildlife viewing in general – with the wildebeest migration as its absolute highlight. The timing of the migration varies every year (the best chance of seeing it is during June and July) while the wildebeest calving is from late January to February.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority
A UNESCO protected World Heritage Site and an International Biosphere Reserve, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is situated some 190 km. west of Arusha, between Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Parks. Covering approximately 8,292 square km, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area consists of the Ngorongoro Crater itself, the Olduvai Gorge and Ndutu, the Empakai crater and the Oldonyo Lengai Mountain.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use where people (the Maasai), their livestock and wildlife coexist and share the same protected habitat. Wild animals are protected as in the National Parks. The craters of Ngorongoro and Empakai are reserved exclusively for wildlife, while the rest of the Conservation Area is shared by wildlife, people and livestock. The Maasai, the main residents of Ngorongoro, are pastoralists who move widely with their herds of cattle, sheep, goat and donkeys in search of pasture and water. In recent years the Maasai have been encouraged to work on the land and supplement their traditional diet of milk and meat.
This Crater is the central attraction in the area, is the largest Caldera in the world that has its walls intact. The Ngorongoro Crater floor, a sheer drop of 610 metres below the crater rim, has an area of 304 sq. km, with a diameter of 19 km. The sight of the Ngorongoro Crater is simply stunning. “It is impossible to give a fair description of the size and beauty of the Crater, for there is nothing with which one can compare it. It is one of the Wonders of the World…” once wrote Professor Bernhard Grzimek. The crater floor is home to tens of thousands of plains animals, including wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, elands, and a large predator population of lions, hyena and jackal which can all be viewed at close quarters. The rare black rhino can be viewed here, and if you are lucky you can see cheetah and leopard. The rainy season is between November and May. The altitude at the crater rim is about 2286 metres above sea level, and temperatures can get quite chilly in the evening, especially between May to September.
Ngorongoro – Ndutu
Ndutu is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, in the southeastern plains of the Serengeti ecosystem. The plains around Ndutu are the main holding ground for migratory animals where vast herds congregate and linger for more than four months, from December to April, before they start moving across the Serengeti in search of greener pastures and water. Ndutu area forms an important part of the Serengeti ecosystem, in particular the short grass plains which provide calving grounds for wildebeest and other migratory animals.
In most cases you will be coming into Ngorongoro from Serengeti, and I kindly advice that you spend a night before doing game drive inside Crater! It will be good to have a nice evening in Ngorongoro and if your budget allows the nice place to overnight with the best view of Crater is either: Ngorongoro Wildlife lodge or Ngorongoro Sopa lodge, and if you have super budget: Crater Lodge will be fantastic.
The best day you can do game drive in crater, I advice early morning game drive, and later you can decide to go back to Arusha, or overnight for the second night and this will allow you to stretch your legs by walking with the armed ranger around the crater rim.
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