Northern Tanzania - Ultimate Ngorongoro & Serengeti 2019
November 2019 (11 days)
Dates1 Nov 2019 - 11 Nov 2019
Tour LeaderTo be announced
Tour Size6 Participants & 1 Rockjumper Wildlife guide.
Start LocationKilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha
Flight Cost (Approximate)Not Applicable
Spaces AvailableSpaces Available
End LocationKilimanjaro International Airport
Type of TourWildlife
Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, African Buffalo, African Elephant, Spotted Hyena, Maasai Giraffe, Serval, Hippopotamus, Black Rhinoceros, Bat-eared Fox, Kongoni, Topi, Bohor Reedbuck, Kirk’s Dik-dik, Plains Zebra, Greater Kudu, Roan Antelope, Eland, Oribi, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Kori Bustard, Grey Crowned Crane, Secretarybird, Bateleur, Southern Ground Hornbill, Verreaux’s Eagle-Owl, Fischer’s Lovebird, Views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Wildebeest migration, Maasai People, Great Rift Valley, Olduvai Gorge, African curios
Day 1: Kilimanjaro International Airport to Arusha
Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport, you will be met before your 45 minute transfer to your conveniently located lodge on the outskirts of Arusha. Here you can rest and recuperate after your long travels before beginning your action-packed African adventure! Tonight there will be a welcome dinner during which your Rockjumper guide will brief you on the upcoming tour.
Day 2: Arusha to Lake Manyara
Our 2.5 hour route today winds up the famous Great Rift Valley where we will visit Lake Manyara
One of Lake Manyara’s main attractions is the vast numbers of Greater and Lesser Flamingos and the lake holds some of the largest concentrations of these birds of any of the East African Rift Valley lakes. The park was originally set up to protect the Elephant herds that have given fame to the area. Lake Manyara is home to large herds of Buffalo; Cheetah, Maasai Giraffe, Hippo and Impala also make the area home.
Day 3: Lake Manyara to Ngorongoro Crater
Today we find ourselves at the entrance to the Ngorongoro reserve we find ourselves on the slopes of the world’s largest volcanic caldera; here we enter a lush, green forest as we make our way towards the crater rim. On arrival at the crater rim, 2 hours from Lake Manyara, we will be treated to one of the world’s most spectacular views as the floor of the vast caldera opens below us. Even from this distance we can easily see larger mammals such as Elephant and Buffalo as they move about on the crater floor. We then wind our way along the crater rim to our incredible lodge located on the edge of the crater.
Day 4: Ngorongoro Crater
At dawn we begin a thrilling day in one of the world’s most spectacular wildernesses as we descend 600m into the Ngorongoro Crater itself. This is deluxe big game territory and a photographer’s dream! Most of the animals here are extremely relaxed and habituated to the presence of human admirers, while the high crater walls – usually cloaked in a white frosting of clouds – make for dramatic views.
The crater floor is an ecological microcosm of sub Saharan Africa complete with forests, lakes, grasslands, swamps and rivers and supports a staggering 30,000 large animals!
Huge concentrations of Blue Wildebeest and Burchell’s Zebra are supplemented by smaller numbers of African Elephant (we can expect to find some of the crater’s famous Giant Tuskers), African Buffalo, Black Rhinoceros, Hippopotamus, Topi, and Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelles. Predators abound here and these include Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, Spotted Hyena, Bat-eared Fox, and both Golden and Black-backed Jackal.
For those of you who are interested in birds the crater will not disappoint and we may enjoy viewing vast rafts of Greater and Lesser Flamingos on Lake Magadi, giant Common Ostrich striding over the grasslands, regal Kori Bustard (the world’s heaviest flying bird), the supreme Grey Crowned Crane, Lilac-breasted Roller, and a whole plethora of raptors that include the unique Secretarybird and the majestic Verreaux’s Eagle. In the evening, we will ascend back to our scenic lodge on the crater rim.
Day 5: Ngorongoro to Serengeti National Park
We have a long drive today, approximately 4 hours, and will depart Ngorongoro early for the magical Serengeti. We will enjoy a packed lunch and plan to arrive at the gates of this famed park in the early afternoon. This area is home to the Maasai people: tall, proud, nomadic warriors famous for their legendary prowess in battle and single-handed acts of bravery when fighting wild animals. Once entering the Serengeti section we will embark on the incredibly scenic drive through to our lodge. With game abounding we are sure to enjoy some memorable sights on the way.
Days 6- 8: Serengeti
Extending for an incredible 15,000km², the Serengeti is one of the world’s largest natural sanctuaries and the number and diversity of animals we can expect to see during our time here is impressive. Most of the park consists of grasslands (the word “Serenget” means “Endless Plain” in Maasai), interspersed with Acacia woodlands and rocky outcrops. There is little permanent water here and this fact, combined with a fairly regular rainfall pattern, has resulted in the world-famous Wildebeest migration. Up to two million large ungulates move between the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara in Kenya.
The Serengeti is a veritable wildlife feast offering superb birds (over 550 species have been recorded in the park!), and a host of resident wildlife. We hope to see lazing prides of Lions, Leopard, Cheetah, skulking Spotted Hyena, Jackal and the endearing Bat-eared Fox. In addition, several species of smaller cats may also be seen including Caracal, Serval and African Wild Cat. Ungulates also abound and in addition to Wildebeest, huge numbers of Plains Zebra, African Buffalo, Giraffe, Warthog, Thomson’s and Grant’s Gazelle, Impala, Topi, Kongoni, Kirk’s Dik-diks, Klipspringer, Roan, Oribi, Defassa Waterbuck, Bohor Reedbuck and Eland may be enjoyed. No safari would be complete without encounters with African Elephant and Hippopotamus and we can expect good sightings of both of these iconic African mammals.
Star birds include three Tanzanian endemics; Grey-breasted Spurfowl, Fischer’s Lovebird and Rufous-tailed Weaver – all of which are common here. In addition we should see both Oxpecker species, the stunning Blue-capped Cordon-bleu, and the aptly named Beautiful Sunbird. For a more complete Serengeti experience we will stay at two different lodges in different regions of this vast park.
Day 9: Serengeti National Park to Gibb’s Farm
Today after a final morning in the Serengeti we depart for our 4 to 5 hour drive to a delightful colonial estate on the outer rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. We travel via the world-famous Olduvai Gorge, known as “the Cradle of Mankind”. As a result of massive geological activities over the eons, Olduvai provides a unique record of countless years of fossilized creatures and plants in a series of stratified rock-layers. Most famous of all discoveries, which revolutionized thinking on hominid evolution, have been those of Australopithecine hominid remains found by the Leakey family. We will visit the excellent museum at the site and beside replicas of the hominid fossils, we can marvel at genuine fossils of extinct animals that used to inhabit the region, from River Elephant and Giant Swine to Short-necked Giraffe! In the mid afternoon we will arrive at our accommodation where we can enjoy a relaxing afternoon
Day 10: Gibb’s Farm to Arusha
After some final game viewing at our ideally located lodge we head back to Arusha for a final night.
Day 11: Arusha and depart
This morning after breakfast we bid farewell to this wonderful country as we transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport for departure after this amazing wildlife tour!