Upon arrival into the Kilimanjaro (JRO) airport you will be met and transferred to the Mt Meru Hotel for a restful night before beginning your safari.
Drive this morning to Tarangire National Park, the third largest national park in Tanzania noted for its primaeval landscape with majestic baobab trees that dwarf the animals feeding beneath them. The habitat supports a great diversity of wildlife including giraffe, buffalo, lesser kudu, eland, and zebra. Lion, leopard and cheetah are also present. Most notably, up to 6,000 elephants inhabit the park during the dry season from July to November and many frequently migrate through our camp.
Your permanent tented camp is strategically located just outside the boundary of Tarangire National Park in a 25,000-acre concession area provided by the local Maasai Community and where it’s possible to go on bush walks with native guides. Each large canvas tent is raised on stilts with hard wood floors, ensuite baths, hot and private verandas with stunning views of Rift Valley Escarpment. Overnight at Maramboi Tented Camp.
Visit a Maasai boma this morning to learn about their way of life. The Maasai are known for their elaborate beaded necklaces and you have the chance to try your hand beading under the tutelage of Maasai women from a local beading co-op.
Departing Tarangire the next stop is the vibrant market village of Mto Wa Mbu located near the shores of Lake Manyara and featuring a colourful mix of different Tanzanian cultures. Walk with your guide through the local market where farmers from all over the region gather to sell their produce. From here drive further into the bush to where the Hadzabe hunter gatherer tribe can be found arriving at a remote permanent tented camp set amidst a palm and acacia forest on the shores of Lake Eyasi.
Across this huge, seasonal soda lake that stretches away in front of the camp, the Alipi escarpment wall rises two thousand feet up into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area providing a stunning view. The seven permanent tents are constructed with local materials and feature hand-carved wooden beds, attached bathrooms with flushing toilet and hot water showers and spacious verandahs with a cosy chaise lounge. Cool off in the pool or enjoy sundowners by the lake-side fire pit. Overnight Kisima Ngeda.
Join a morning foray into the bush with Hadzabe hunters or spend time participating in the morning routine of the nomadic settlement. Your guide will interpret and discuss hunting techniques still used by the tribes.
The Hadzabe are one of the few remaining hunter-gather groups in Africa and genetically and linguistically isolated in their home range near the acacia and Baobab studded shores of Lake Eyasi, representing one of the oldest and true aboriginal peoples to inhabit East Africa. They live as their ancestors have for thousands of years, in nomadic family groups hunting with bow and arrow and gathering roots, tubers and wild fruits which inhabit this dry and rugged landscape. Be prepared for an extraordinary cross-cultural experience as you join these nomadic Bushmen in their daily life.
In the afternoon visit the Datoga, a tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists who migrated into this area looking for good grazing land many decades ago. They have so far resisted neighbouring tribes' cultural influence. The women, still wearing locally fat treated goatskin gowns, carve their faces and bodies in order to increase their attractiveness.
Depart Kisima Ngeda headed for the Ngorongoro Highlands, the region's breadbasket. Check in at your lodge and take a short guided walk through the gardens and the coffee farm, learning a bit about the vegetables grown here and farm life in Tanzania.
The following morning begin your exploration of the stunning Ngorongoro Crater where resident animals are found throughout the year due to the permanent availability of grass and water. Ngorongoro is one of the most spectacular game haunts in Africa and has been designated a World Heritage site. A nearly 100 square mile caldera basin, it contains an impressive variety of wildlife including black-maned lions, the highly endangered black rhino, herds of gnu, zebra, elephants, hippo and hyena, the most important predator within the crater. Bird life is also prolific with flocks of flamingoes on the soda lake plus other species of water and plains birds.
On the afternoon of Day 7, choose to trek with your guide in the Empakai Crater, the Olmoti Crater, or the Ngorongoro Highlands, visiting with local Maasai people who graze their cattle in these expansive highlands. Overnight at the Ngorongoro Farmhouse, located in the Ngorongoro Highlands on a 500-acre farm, only 5 km from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area entrance gate. Enjoy fresh roasted coffee from the 15-acre coffee plantation, as well as home-grown pigs, free range chickens, ducks, rabbit, lamb and milk cows. These fresh foods are combined with the fish imported from the coast enabling us to serve up abundant, fresh, organic cuisine. Accommodations are in spacious luxury bungalows (80 Sq. meters each) and facilities include a swimming pool and two dining areas.
Drive to the Serengeti plains, stopping en route at the Olduvai Gorge where Mary Leakey discovered remains of Australopithecus Homo habilis and Homo erectus. Spend the next three days exploring the vast plains of the Serengeti, one of the most productive habitats and impressive wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Upwards of 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra concentrate in vast herds and migrate through the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
In February-March they concentrate at the Ndutu and Salei plains to the south where the calving season takes place, attracting the attention of predators like lion, cheetah and hyena. In April-August the herds move northward, passing through the central Serengeti and heading towards the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Spend four nights in a classic Serengeti Tented Camp set in either the central or southern Serengeti, ideal locations to access many unique areas of the National Park.
Depart this morning across the Serengeti plains to the and back to the town of Arusha. An optional flight back to Arusha is available for $260 additional per person to avoid the long drive back. We also recommend a day use room at the KIA Lodge to freshen and have a tasty dinner prior to the normal scheduled evening international departures.