Day 1: Depart U.S. for Arusha, Tanzania
Day 2: Arrive Arusha Upon arrival we transfer directly to our hotel.
Day 3: Arusha At this morning’s briefing we learn about the journey ahead then set out on an afternoon game drive in Arusha National Park, where we may spot waterbuck, zebra, giraffe – and in the distance, possibly, snow-capped Mt. Kilimanjaro. Inside the park we’ll see Mt. Meru, Africa’s fifth highest peak at almost 15,000 feet. Tonight: a welcome dinner. B,L,D
Day 4: Arusha/Tarangire National Park We depart today for the two-hour drive to Tarangire, Tanzania’s 1,100-square-mile park known especially for its high concentration of elephants and for the many baobab trees dotting the savannah. We enjoy a game drive en route to our lodge, located within the park. After lunch and some time at leisure, late afternoon we enjoy another game drive in the park, where we may see zebra, wildebeest, Cape buffalo, giraffe, lion, leopard, cheetah, and of course, elephants. B,L,D
Day 5: Tarangire In store today: morning and afternoon game drives in this gem of a park slightly off the beaten path. Along with the abundant game, we’re sure to see some of Tarangire’s 550 species of birds, as well as the many termite mounds scattered amid the grass- and swampland here. B,L,D
Day 6: Tarangire/Ngorongoro Conservation Area This morning we depart for Ngorongoro, wildlife haven and homeland of the semi-nomadic Maasai people. We arrive in time for lunch at our safari lodge uniquely set on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, blending in so much with the landscape as to be invisible from the crater floor. This afternoon is at leisure; the views of the crater from our lodge, spectacular. B,L,D
Day 7: Ngorongoro Crater This morning we descend to the floor of magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, a UNESCO site and at 100 square miles the world’s largest intact and perfectly formed volcanic caldera. The unique biosphere here has remained unchanged for eons; towering walls encircle the crater’s floor which represents Africa in microcosm: grassland, swamps, lakes, forests, and some 25,000 mammals, including elephant, black rhinoceros, lion, hippo, and zebra. B,L,D
Day 8: Ngorongoro/Olduvai Gorge/Serengeti National Park En route today to the fabled Serengeti, we visit 31-mile Olduvai Gorge. It was here in 1959 that anthropologist Mary Leakey discovered the 1.8-million-year-old skull of Australopithecus boisei – and revolutionized the study of human evolution. Part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (which itself is part of the Serengeti region), Olduvai is considered the “cradle of humanity” and ranks as one of the world’s most important prehistoric sites. Then we visit a Maasai village before we continue on to Serengeti National Park, home to such plains dwellers as lion, cheetah, zebra, and wildebeest. The Serengeti, the Maasai’s “endless plain,” is considered Africa’s finest park, and we begin to see why on this afternoon’s game drive. B,L,D
Day 9: Serengeti In Tanzania’s northeast corner sits the vast Serengeti, 5,700 square miles (equal in size to Connecticut), one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges, and the Tanzanian portion of Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. Twice a year (Jan–Feb and Jun–Oct), some 1.3 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle migrate to new grazing lands, sparking one of nature’s most spectacular sights and the world’s largest migration. But the Serengeti’s plains teem with animal life year-round, and this is the best place to see lion and cheetah up close, perhaps on today’s game drives. B,L,D
Day 10: Central Serengeti/Western Corridor As we drive across the rolling Serengeti plain to the park’s famed Western Corridor, we’ll likely spot game along the way. We arrive at our well-appointed lodge in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive. B,L,D
Day 11: Serengeti/Lake Victoria We enjoy game viewing this morning en route to Lake Victoria – 210 miles long, 150 miles in breadth, and with 2,000 miles of coastline – Africa’s largest lake and the world’s second largest freshwater lake after Lake Superior. We take in the immensity of this storied waterway, enjoy lunch together, and visit a local fishing village, where we meet some of the residents and learn about their way of life. Then we return to our safari camp in time for dinner there tonight. B,L,D
Day 12: Serengeti/Zanzibar We fly this morning to tropical Zanzibar, Tanzania’s semiautonomous Indian Ocean archipelago with a colorful history. Upon arrival mid-afternoon, we set out to discover Stone Town, Zanzibar’s capital and East Africa’s only ancient town still functioning. A heady mix of Moorish, Middle Eastern, Indian, and African influences (though predominantly Muslim today), Stone Town boasts a labyrinth of narrow alleys lined with shops, homes, hidden courtyards, and extravagantly carved wooden doors, as we see on our tour. From here we travel to our beach resort on Zanzibar's eastern coast. B,L,D
Day 13: Zanzibar A morning tour of a spice plantation reveals why Zanzibar is known as the “Spice Island” – its bounty of cloves, nutmeg, ginger, chilies, black pepper, vanilla, coriander, and cinnamon have found their way around the world for centuries. We return to our hotel in time for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure. Then we celebrate our Tanzania adventure at tonight’s farewell dinner. B,D
Day 14: Zanzibar/Dar es Salaam/Depart for U.S. After a day at leisure at our resort hotel, we fly to German-influenced Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s largest city. We have an early dinner at a local restaurant, then depart for the airport and our overnight flight to the U.S. B,D
Day 15: Arrive U.S. We arrive in the U.S. today and connect with our flights home.
When To Go On Safari ...
• January to February: Summer – dry and warm; cooler at Ngorongoro because of elevation. Migration picks up, with plenty of game throughout central/southern Serengeti
• March: Rains become possible, bringing plains animals in search of fresh grass and food. Significant movement of antelope and other game to the plains for calving season, predators follow
• June to October: Dry season; can be cold on the rim of Ngorongoro. Wildebeest and plains game begin migrating in search of water. By late July, wildebeest migration is in full swing, with opportunities for excellent game viewing and predator kills
• November to December: Season of the “short” rains (brief daily thunderstorms); comfortable at Ngorongoro; warm in the Serengeti, with plentiful game
B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included