Secrets of the Serengeti | Tanzania Nature, Culture and Walking | Day by Day

 

Detailed Itinerary

The following is an example of the entire 17 day adventure. It can be broken into smaller components on a completely custom basis to fit the needs of your private party.

 
 

Day 1

Day 1

Arrive in Arusha, Tanzania

Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you will be met and transferred to the Arusha Coffee Lodge for a warm and relaxing welcome.

Accommodation: Arusha Coffee Lodge


Days 2-3

Days 2-3

Tarangire National Park

Start your day with a hearty breakfast before and get on the road to Tarangire National Park via the Great African Highway. In the heart of northern Tanzania, massive herds of elephants can be spotted roaming the park's corridors as zebras graze and giraffes pick the leaves off of trees. Your first day will be filled with game drives and short walking tours to get an up-close look at the abundant wildlife of the park, searching the land for lion, leopard, and cheetah. As the days wind down and the sun dips beyond the western horizon, you can take it all in around a crackling campfire before calling it a night and heading into your private tent for a good night's rest.

Accommodation: Tarangire Olsunyai Private Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 4

Day 4

Lake Manyara National Park

Wake up to the sunrise and head out right away to see the animals at their most active in the cool morning air. Afterwards you return for breakfast, then leave Tarangire and head to Lake Manyara National Park in the Northern part of Tanzania, home to tree-climbing lions and large elephant and giraffe populations. The freshwater stream that feeds into the soda waters of the lake provide an essential food source for pelicans, small pods of hippos, and hordes of pink flamingos. A game drive or two, plus a walking tour fill a day that may seem long, but will be rewarding will and ending with stories and a relaxing evening at The Plantation Lodge.

Accommodation: The Plantation Lodge, BLD


Day 5

Day 5

Meeting the Hadza

In the morning you will leave The Plantation Lodge on a dirt track that gradually descends into the bush on the edge of Lake Eyasi.  This is the territory of the nomadic, hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe. It is dry scrubland where small villages of thatched mud huts dot the grass covered countryside n route to the Hadza encampment to get acquainted with the unique culture of this ancient people. On these lands, not far from the Laetoli footprints where archeologists found the very first hominids, the Hadza may be the last link life was s it may have been at the dawn of human existence. Their primitive lifestyle and nomadic ways are much like paleontologists and archeologists envisioned the way of life before the development of agriculture.  You are welcome to join them as they go about the activities of their daily lives throughout the village.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp, BLD


Day 6

Day 6

Full Day of Activities with the Hadza

The more adventurous of you may start early on a morning hunting expedition. If a hunt is not for you, you may join in the traditional activities of collecting tubers and berries or making arrows, then trying your hand at archery. Most of us would starve if we were dependent on our archery skills. If the hunters don’t return empty handed, you can share the joy and pitch in on the cookout. The Hadza are a joyous people and many days often end with dance and song – you will be encouraged to join in.

Accommodation: Mobile Tented Camp, BLD


Day 7

Day 7

Hadza | Maasai | Ngorongoro

You may go on hunt he morning or spend it with the Hadza women and children learning about their daily routines and cultural priorities. You will be busy with activities which will give you a sense of the personality and history of this unique people. After a full morning, you bid farewell to the Hadza as we move into the Ngorongoro highlands, home to the fierce Maasai. Your luxurious camp is nestled among acacia trees that lie south of the Ngorongoro Crater in the secluded peace and quiet of the highlands. Here the Maasai lead traditional lives that they have proudly followed through many generations. The local Maasai chief, Ole Dorop, will show you what daily life is like in this unique land, lead you on walks, and share the spiritual meaning the this place.

Accommodation: Mysigio Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 8

Day 8

Ngorongoro Crater | Maasai

Today you motor down into the iconic African heartland, the wondrous Ngorongoro crater. It’s the largest unbroken and unflooded caldera in the world, 2000 ft. deep and 12 miles in diameter, and packed with wildlife, perhaps as many as 30,000 animals. You are likely to see lions, elephants, cheetah, wildebeests, elands, zebras, Thompson's gazelles, and with luck, the rare and endangered black rhino. It is an outstanding place for photography and especially for close-up wildlife shots. After a full day of exploration, you return camp for sundowners, good bitings, and to enjoy and even participate in a long-standing Maasai tradition. On most evenings the Maasai, like the Hadza, come together for dance and song. In one iconic dance, young men jump as high as they can and yell loudly to demonstrate their strength and stamina. It’s an exciting end to a riveting day.

Accommodation: Mysigio Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 9

Day 9

Maasai | Walking Safari

With Ole Dorop you spend the day exploring the Maasai lands on highlands hike to a magnificent view over the grassy peaks, or on a lower elevation walk to a Lake Eyasi Viewpoint. Along the way, you walk through a small village where the locals welcome you into their homes and give you a proud tour of their lifestyle. You may visit a primary school in the village where an ever-growing number of Maasai children are eager to learn. As your day ends, you return to camp for sundowners, good bitings, and to watch the sunset, a stunning array of soft colors silhouetting trees, hills, and perhaps animals on the horizon. An African sunset is pure joy.

Accommodation: Mysigio Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 10

Day 10

Classic Serengeti

After a heartfelt goodbye to the Maasai Warriors and the Ngorongoro highlands, you are on your way to the vast plains of the Serengeti. You cross the Olduvai gorge near the site where the first traces of mankind were unearthed.

In due time will reach Naabi Hill, the gateway to the Serengeti. It is great place to stretch your legs but especially to take in the view of the vast grass covered plains that stretch as far as the eye can see. It is likely you’ll see the plains covered with thousands of animals—zebras, wildebeests, Cape buffalo, and elephants. It is an inspiring, almost breathtaking sight.

The afternoon is spent en route to the luxury tented camp and with game viewing along the way. Once in camp, you can settle in, freshen up, have a short rest, and then off you go on the evening game drive. Later you’ll be ready for sundowners, a hearty meal, and another African sunset. The night sky will slowly fill with twinkling stars as the horizon goes dark.

Accommodations: Pembezoni Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 11

Day 11

Classic Serengeti

Balloon ride at dawn (only if you reserved before the trip.)

Wake up to the smell of hot coffee and the excitement of a morning among the wildlife. Day starts with a game drive keeping an eye out for lions, cheetah, leopard, Cape buffalo, and the migrant wildebeest and zebra herds that are making their way over the vast plains.  Depending on the game, the weather, and the group energy, you may have time to yourself in camp to work on your diary, edit photos, and the luxury of a nap.  The late afternoon game drive always brings the unexpected. And by now you know the drillsundowners, good bitings, sunset and a lovely dinner and a camp fire. It’s all you need for a good night’s sleep.

Accommodation: Pembezoni Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 12

Day 12

Classic Serengeti

Balloon ride at dawn (only if you reserved it before the trip.)

You are off on an early morning game drive, on the lookout for the usual suspects. Every day is photography day and today is no exception. The presence of the animals, the weather, and your energies will dictate the mid-day activities.  The late afternoon game drive is always rewarding. The pace is now leisurely, giving you the time to really get in touch with this land. And none too soon, it’s sundowner time–sunsets are magnificent, dinner is a delight, and bed will look really good.

Accommodation: Pembezoni Seasonal Camp, BLD


Day 13

Day 13

Serengeti Wilderness

To the wilderness beyond the reach of other visitors, it’s private, special, remote. You head off-road into untracked wilderness into the bush and to be with the game. You will be in areas rarely visited in the last fifty years and then mostly by an occasional ranger on patrol. You’ll experience the Serengeti as it was centuries ago, un-marred by game viewing tracks, lodges, and vehicles in a circle. The drive into the wilderness will be slow and a bit rough. After two or three hours, depending on the game and our progress, you break for a bush picnic. You will continue on, eyes peeled for game and suddenly, out of no where, you’ll come up on the mobile camp, set up just ahead of you. The mobile camp is just that–the camp the crew moves each day staying just ahead of you.

After you settle into your tent, rest a bit, and the day cools down, you’ll head out on foot into the bush with Richard Beatty and an armed guide. At first, it may be a bit breathtaking to realize that you are out there, counting on your own two feet, to get yourself back to camp all in one piece. The pace will be slow, it may dawn on you just how amazing it is to find yourself out here on equal (more or less) footing with the Big 5. Here, you are the intruder in the lion’s land walking where your ancestors walked tens of thousands of years ago. They learned to adapt, coexist, and enough of them survived–The proof is that you are walking where they walked and no doubt sometimes ran for their lives, but sundowners wait in camp and you no way are you going to miss them. Dinner around the campfire, a star filled sky, animal sounds coming from all directions, time to head for the tent. 

Accommodation: Mobile Safari Camp, BLD


Days 14-16

Days 14-16

Serengeti Wilderness

You will spend three full days wandering around the towering rock kopjes that dot the landscape of this magical area. You’ll follow animal tracks to a spring that never goes dry even in the hottest time of year. You make your way through small glades flush with sweet grass and come upon on cave that porcupines have littered with bones. The walks will be at a relaxed and inquisitive pace, with breaks under shade of a cool kopje overhang or the branches of a fig tree. You have time to get in touch with being a part of another world when you are immersed in such wilderness. There’ll be time to get to observe the Wee 5–see the tiny long nosed elephant shrew, watch rhino (dung) beetles ball up animal manure, roll it into a burrow, lay an egg in it, then cover it up. The purple and blue agama lizards and the guinea-pig like hyrax are endlessly entertaining and the hunting and trapping tactics of ant lions is quite amazing. You may even meet a leopard tortoise chugging along.

Today is the last sundowner cocktail and a time for reflection.  You are warmed by the campfire, enchanted by the sunset, and want to stop the clock here and now. After dinner, farewell toasts, you make your last dive into the tent.

Accommodation: Mobile Safari Camp, BLD


Day 17

Day 17

Returning Home

You must say goodbye to this incredible place as a private plane takes you back to the Kilimanjaro International Airport for departure. A day room is set for you at the Ashura Coffee Lodge to have one last drink and freshen up before your journeys onward.

Accommodation: Day room at the Ashura Coffee Lodge, BL

 

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