Parks Express (7D - 6N)

Highlights: Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, Olduvai, the Masai, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park

Day 1: Arusha

We'll await you in Arusha (for those who arrive by shuttle or bus) or at Kilimanjaro Airport (for those who arrive by plane) and continue straight to Mto wa Mbu where we'll spend the night.

Overnight: Mto wa Mbu guesthouse - HB (lunch and dinner)

Day 2:  Lake Manyara National Park

After breakfast we head for a whole day of game driving in the nearby Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is maybe the most beautiful and certainly the most tropical park of the Northern circuit. Vegetation is lush as there's always plenty of water sipping down from the surrounding mountains. Here we'll have a good chance to have a really close encounter with elephants and giraffes as well as spotting many colourful birds and a variety of raptors. Blue monkeys, giant monitor lizards, bushbucks and klipspringers are often spotted as well. Lions, hyena's and leopards are present but generally well covered in the bushes. We'll have our picnic at the beautiful 'Endallah picnicsite' and also visit the beautiful hot water springs ('maji moto'), made famous by Ernest Hemingway who had a tented camp nearby. We'll spend the night in Karatu, some 30 km North of Manyara.

Overnight: Karatu guesthouse - FB

Day 3:  Ngorongoro Crater

After stocking up for the next three days in the bush, we'll continue to the gate of Ngorongoro Conservation Area and get down to the craterfloor for about 6 hours of game spotting. The garden of Eden hosts a surreal variety and quantity of animals and is considered as one of the best places in the world to spot the endangered black rhino in the wild. Buffaloes, elephants, lions, hyena's and many species of antelopes are common and can be sighted at close range. The more elusive leopard is also present but rather difficult to spot. The two picnic sites, inhabited by steeling monkeys and acrobatic black kites, provide a real spectacle. Take care of your belongings! Around 5 p.m. we'll climb the steep crater rim again and head for a fresh shower. We'll spend the night in the guestrooms of the Endulen Mission, a small but spectacularly located hospital served by the flying doctors and used for the treatment of the local Masai. Ready for a cool but quiet night.

Overnight: Endulen Mission (Simba campsite if Endulen Mission is fully booked) - FB

Day 4: Serengeti National Park

We wake up early again and depart for an exciting day in Serengeti National Park. If the condition of the road allows, we 'll take an idyllic and seldom used shortcut to Lake Ndutu that will offer you the real Out of Africa-feeling: the rising sun, endless plains and no one else around. From Ndutu we continue to Naabi Hill, the gate of Serengeti National Park. From there on we'll follow the routes that give us the best chances of tracking the big cats. These vary from season to season. We'll picnic on route. In the late afternoon, just before dusk, we'll stick to the river where the leopards will slowly wake up after a long day of sleeping. Of all national parks in Africa the Seronera region in Serengeti is the best option to spot a leopard. The night will be spent in a small tent at one of the Seronera campsites. Whooping hyena's, roaring lions and screaming prey will accompany us at night: few hours of sleep but excitement guaranteed! For those who prefer a comfortable and quiet night we'll book a nearby lodge (at own expense).

Overnight: Seronera campsite or Lodge - FB

Day 5: Serengeti National Park - Ngorongoro Conservation Area

We'll leave at sunrise for another day of gamedriving. The early hours are the best for spotting leopard or lions 'at work'. We'll follow the river and the Kopjes to Naabi Hill where we enter Ngorongoro Conservation Area again. We 'll continue our game drive to the Ndutu plains and make a stop at the mysterious Shifting Sand and Olduvai Gorge for a short visit to the famous archaeological museum (your choice). If the group decides to skip Shifting Sand and Olduvai, the alternative is another game-drive around Lake Ndutu. Since it's a private safari, the group can decide about the day's program. On or way back to the park exit we'll visit a Masai boma if there's still some time left.

Overnight: Karatu guesthouse - FB

Day 6: Tarangire National Park

After breakfast we'll drive straight to the gate of Tarangire National Park. Tarangire National Park has a very large concentration of elephants but is also famous for it's tree-hanging pythons and leopards. We hope we'll be lucky enough to see them during our full day game drive. Furthermore the park is known for its many baobabs and rolling hills. And on the right time all action is concentrated around the Tarangire River. While having lunch you might spot twenty elephants or more drinking from the river or just taking a shower. Dinner is used around the campfire before we prepare for another entertaining night, full of horrific sounds and uninvited visitors… Again, those who prefer a quiet night in bed can spend the night in a lodge at own expense. Hakuna matata!

Overnight: Tarangire campsite or Lodge - FB

Day 7: Tarangire National Park

We wake up very early and break up our camp before leaving on another game drive. Also here the cats are at their best at night and in the early morning. After breakfast we'll leave the thousands of giraffes, elephants and dikdiks for what they are and leave the park again. We'll drive straight to Arusha where we'll have our last lunch and drop you off at your place of destination.

Overnight: / - Breakfast and lunch


Prolongations

All of our tours can be extended  with one or more extra days. The cost of the prolongation is depending on the type of activity you wish to do that day. It’s clear that an extra park day will cost you more than an extra day in Endallah and climbing Kilimanjaro will cost you more than staying in Zanzibar for some more days.

Possible extra’s: climbing Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru, Zanzibar, Lake Victoria, extra park days in Serengeti, Ndutu or Tarangire, extra days in Endallah, Lake Babati and Lake Basotu,… Just tell us what you have in mind!

Lodging

In order to give you the chance to meet the local people and experience the daily life in a small Tanzanian village, all safaris will be based in Endallah. You will stay in the house of a local family in an authentic village on the border of Lake Manyara National Park. There are 4 double rooms and 3 single rooms. Mattresses, pillows, blankets and mosquito nets are provided. There's a (cold) shower and a toilet with flush. The house (and the village) is perfectly safe as there're always people around to take care of your belongings. If wanted, dirty clothes can be washed (free service).

Once on road, you will stay in guesthouses. In the national parks you can choose between sleeping in a tent at a public campsite (included in the total cost) or staying in one of the lodges (at own expense). The campsite is very basic (long drop toilet and an uncertain water supply) but definitely wild! Whooping hyena’s and roaring lions will entertain you at night so you’ll never forget that you’re camping in one of the most beautiful and wildest parks in the world.  

If you choose to stay one or more nights in a lodge, we can book them for you (no additional booking cost). The cost of a quite expensive stay in a lodge is not included in the fixed itineraries tour price though. In this way the guests can choose themselves if they go for the budget option, choose a luxurious safari or want to sample both.

Meals and drinks

The meals in Endallah are homemade and consist of fresh ingredients. Vegetarian meals can be provided. Traditional food (ugali) will be served on demand (no extra cost).

The meals on safari will be prepared by our safari-cooks or will be served in little restaurants. During the whole trip there will always be plenty of bottled water. Coffee and tea will be available at breakfast. Alcoholic and soft drinks are available too but they're at own expense (at democratic prices).

Transport

All transport will take place in a 4WD Toyota Landcruiser. The roof will be taken off during the game-drives, guaranteeing perfect views. Since you (and your group) are the only passengers, you can ask the guide to stop whenever you want. The car is in good shape but the roads are not. Occasional breakdowns may happen but will be dealt with by our guides who are, like all Tanzanians, very handy mechanicals.

Park fees and taxes

The park fees and taxes for the national parks are pretty high and have raised seriously in the past few years. All park fees and taxes are included in the total cost of the trip. If the park fees would rise after your booking, we’ll have to adjust your tour price.