TANZANIA LODGE & LUXURY TENTED SAFARI
* Experience spectacular game viewing in Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Arusha, and Tarangire National Parks, with expert driver-guides to point out the wildlife.
* Enjoy four nights at Classic Tented Camps in the Serengeti for a true safari experience in this world-renowned wildlife haven.
* Walk to a waterfall in Arusha National Park along a grassland trail frequented by buffalo, gazelle, baboon, and other wildlife.
* Visit the Olduvai Gorge, where the Leakeys discovered evidence of early humans his is an in-depth experience of Tanzania’s legendary wildlife parks.
* We visit Arusha and Tarangire National Parks and the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area. Above all, we fully explore the vast, wildlife-rich savanna of Serengeti National Park, where the essence of the African bush endures.
* We use top-class, specially adapted four-wheel-drive vehicles, with a maximum of only five passengers per vehicle. Your safari driver-guides are highly experienced at spotting wildlife. There will be some opportunities for guided walks.
* Throughout the tour, learn about the unique flora, fauna, natural history, geology, anthropology, and native cultures.
We stay in fine lodges and extraordinarily comfortable tented camps—you sleep in a bed each night, and enjoy fine food. We call it “luxury in the wilderness.” Imagine sitting in a canvas chair on the verandah of your tent, watching the sky turn pink above the vast plains spread out before you, listening to the sounds of distant animals. This is the classic East African safari experience!
Depart from the US
You depart from the U.S. in the evening. Overnight Flight
Short Stop in Amsterdam / Arrive in Tanzania (In-flight meals)
You arrive in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport in the morning. After a short stop, you depart on a non-stop flight for Arusha, Tanzania. You arrive late in the evening. An local representative will meet you at the airport to assist your transfer to tonight’s lodgings near Arusha National Park.
Note: You may also choose our optional overnight rest stop in Amsterdam. You’ll depart the U.S. and arrive in Amsterdam where you’ll spend the night at an airport hotel before departing to Nairobi the next day with your fellow travelers. No representative will meet you in Amsterdam, as the airport hotel provides a shuttle service from the airport. Dinner
Explore Arusha National Park (B, L, D)
We have breakfast, and your Trip Leader gives you a safari briefing. Then we head to nearby Arusha National Park for the day. This is the best place in northern Tanzania to spot the black and white Colobus monkey and shy bushbuck. In its 53 square miles, the park contains a wide range of wildlife habitats, from a string of crater lakes to high montane forest, and is inhabited by many forest animals. If the sky is clear, you'll have spectacular views of 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance and of 14,980-foot Mount Meru, which is located in the park.
We travel in four-wheel-drive vehicles designed for comfort and maximum visibility. An experienced, English-speaking safari guide drives each vehicle. In the park, we enjoy a one-to-two-hour guided walk through a flat, acacia-dotted plain to a secluded waterfall, perhaps seeing buffalo, antelope, and other wildlife along the way before feasting on a picnic lunch. We return to our lodge this afternoon for dinner and overnight.
Overland to Tarangire National Park (B, L, D)
Today, we have breakfast and then drive through the bustling town of Arusha and south toward Tarangire National Park. The scenery is outstanding, and we may see some wildlife as we enter the park and head to our lodge, arriving in time for lunch. We stay for two nights at the first of our classic Tanzanian safari lodges. Set on a bluff overlooking the Tarangire River, the lodge features a solar-heated shower, electricity during limited hours, and comfortable walk-in safari tents, each under a thatched makuti roof. The view from here is stunning. We have time for an afternoon game-viewing drive in Tarangire before dinner.
Wildlife Viewing in Tarangire National Park (B, L, D)
Tarangire is Tanzania's third largest national park. With nine distinct vegetation zones ranging from grassland to woodland, from deep gully vegetation to scattered rocky hilltops, Tarangire offers a diverse geological landscape as well as diverse wildlife including the largest recorded concentration of breeding bird species in the world. Bulbous baobab trees dot the landscape, and the valley of the Tarangire River dominates the entire scene.
We explore this park’s diversity on both morning and afternoon game viewing drives today. The variety of wildlife is excellent, from elephant, lion, cheetah, and buffalo to a wealth of bird life. Each of our driver-guides has extensive knowledge of the behavior of the great animals. Tarangire is off the beaten path, and not on most tourist routes. It’s often possible to spend most of the day without encountering another vehicle. Elephant are plentiful here, traveling in large herds that are not often seen elsewhere in East Africa.
Tarangire National Park/ Ngororngoro Farmhouse (B, L, D)
Enjoy an additional morning game walk in Tarangire national Park before departing mid morning for Ngorongoro Farmhouse, our unique accommodations for the next two nights. Located in the Ngorongoro Highlands, this 500-acre working farm is situated along the scenic slopes of Ngorongoro Crater and includes many gardens along with an on-site 15-acre coffee plantation. Thatched bungalows and authentic colonial touches will greatly enhance your stay while visiting the magnificent wildlife at the nearby caldera. We’ll arrive at the farm just in time for lunch and enjoy an afternoon tour of the grounds.
Explore Ngorongoro Crater (B, L, D)
Early this morning, we drive to Ngorongoro, arriving at the crater rim around 8 a.m. We descend to the floor of Ngorongoro for some game viewing. The caldera of Ngorongoro marks the ancient walls of a collapsed volcano, which was probably once the size of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The circular crater is some 12 miles across, with steep walls of over 2,000 feet. The crater’s rim is 7,500 feet above sea level, the highest altitude we reach on our trip.
Because of a permanent supply of water and a precise balance of predator and prey, most of the wildlife remains here year-round. The forest areas are home to herds of bull elephant, including some large, old “tuskers.” There are several prides of lion, and many packs of hyena and jackal. If lucky, you may spot a bat-eared fox or a pair of cheetah. These predators stalk the numerous wildebeest, gazelle, and zebra. Here thrives a stable population of rhino as well as herds of buffalo and groups of hippo. The birdlife is equally diverse, ranging from the scavenging vulture and bustard to magnificent eagle and crested crane.
Our experienced driver-guides, who are experts at locating the animals, determine our route. Bring plenty of film —you may never take better wildlife photos! We stop for a picnic lunch in the crater during today’s excursion. At the end of the day, we ascend from the crater and check into our lodge in time for dinner.
Enjoy exclusive game viewing in Serengeti National Park (B, L, D)
We all have breakfast at our lodge, we continue into the vast expanse of the Serengeti, where the wildlife sightings increase steadily throughout the day. Serengeti, i n fact, is the Maasai word that means “an extended place.” In this huge protected area, the multitude and diversity of wildlife species are unrivaled anywhere on the planet.
We arrive at our Serengeti camp with time to relax and freshen up before dinner. From our remote camp, we have morning and afternoon game-viewing drives for two of our three days here. You’ve probably never experienced this level of comfort while staying outdoors. The large walk-in sleeping tents are in place before you arrive. Each is outfitted with camp beds, complete with linens, blankets, pillows, and en-suite facilities (shower and toilet) with hot water. You have your own verandah with washbasin and two director’s chairs. There’s a dining tent with tables and chairs. Spend the night listening to the sounds of the animals in the distance.
Game Viewing in Serengeti National Park (Optional Dawn Balloon Ride) (B, L, D)
An optional balloon safari may be offered on this day at an additional cost. If you choose to take this excursion, plan on awakening before dawn for a 5:00 a.m. ascent. You will rejoin the group after breakfast for a morning game-viewing drive.
The Serengeti stretches over 5,700 square miles of plains, riverine bush, and acacia woodland, with a dominant environment of acacia grassland. Visitors who dash from lodge to lodge catch only a fleeting glimpse of the Serengeti’s rich diversity. But from the comfort of our bush camp, there is never a rush: we go where the animals are. We can return to a promising area, or range further afield.
In the afternoon game drive, our excellent guides again help us identify the more elusive animal species, such as bat-eared fox and golden jackal, as well as rare birds like the beautiful purple grenadier and the red-cheeked cordon bleu. See if you can spot the odd-looking secretary bird or an elegant crested crane. We then return to our lodge for dinner this evening.
Game Viewing in Serengeti National Park (B, L, D)
The infinite expanse of the Serengeti lies before us as we explore the masses of wildlife and the stunning landscapes of the region. We move at a relaxed pace that will allow us to truly focus on observing animal behavior and interactions. We don’t just stop to photograph the next animal on a list, but spend time really getting to know how different species behave. The isolated rock groups called kopjes provide shelter to the solitary leopard, pairs of cheetah, and prides of lion—you’ll learn the clues that tell you if one has recently hunted or is about to hunt. Their quarry is the lone gazelle or vulnerable calf spotted amongst the hundreds of thousands of hoofed herbivores: antelope, zebra, and the ever-present wildebeest. After a rewarding full day of game viewing, we return to our camp for the evening.
Game Viewing in Serengeti National Park (B, L, D)
Today we enjoy an all-day outing, bringing a picnic lunch with us and getting even deeper into the bush. As we venture out in our special safari vehicles, we keep an eye out for the region’s diversity of wildlife species including lion, cheetah, and giraffe. Roaming the grasslands calls to mind scenes straight from your fondest childhood images of Africa. We return to our camp for the night.
Depart for Kirurumu - Olduvai Gorge Visit (B, L, D)
Today we have breakfast together and then set off for Olduvai Gorge. It was here, in 1959, that Louis and Mary Leakey discovered fossil fragments, which led them to a new understanding of human evolution. They developed the theory that the Olduvai Gorge was home to Homo habilis, a race of early humans that survived other species to become the ancestors of all present-day humankind. We enjoy a picnic lunch and then visit the small museum here, which explains the methods and findings of the Leakeys. We have lunch at the lodge. In the afternoon you may elect to join us on an optional bird walk. Otherwise, the balance of the day is yours at leisure. We then meet up for dinner together at our new lodgings.
Drive to Arusha - Karatu School Visit (B, L)
Return to the U.S. or Begin Trip Extension to Cape Town & the Peninsula
After breakfast we drive to Arusha, stopping first for a school visit at Karatu (when in session.) You’ll be enchanted by the schoolchildren, and your visit here is an appropriate time to present a gift to their teacher. Pads of writing paper and writing utensils as well as books in English will be most welcome. We then descend the bumpy road down the Great Rift Valley’ Western Escarpment and continue to Arusha. This is one of our longer continuous overland drives, about five hours. We arrive in time for a home-hosted lunch.
After lunch, travelers continuing on the optional trip extension to Cape Town and the Peninsula will leave for Cape Town (via Nairobi and Johannesburg). If you are not taking the extension, you will have the use of a room here to relax for the rest of the day. The afternoon is free for last minute shopping or exploration of Arusha. In the evening, we depart from Kilimanjaro Airport on our overnight flight to Amsterdam. Overnight Flight
Stopover in Amsterdam /Arrive in the U.S. (In-flight Meals)
You arrive back at Schiphol Airport in the morning. In the mid-afternoon, you depart for the US, with arrival in the early evening.
A chronicler traveling with Sir Francis Drake described the Cape Peninsula as “the most stately thing, and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” You may say the same of Cape Town, arching along a sparkling bay on one side and the thundering Atlantic on the other, fringed with brilliant vegetation, and presided over by the immense flat top of Table Mountain. South Africa proclaims itself “ a world in one country,” and Cape Town most aptly symbolizes this cultural and natural diversity. Besides the diverse natural beauty here, you’ll relish the chance to observe how life is taking shape in South Africa’s new post-apartheid society. Come with open eyes and an open mind, and you will find much to celebrate, much to reflect on.
While here, you will explore the city and then branch out to encounter myriad attractions. There’s the lovely Wine Country, rugged headlands, lush farmlands, and scenic fishing communities. But you may be most impressed by the flora. The southern cape is known as the Cape Floral Kingdom, the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, and the most richly fecund. (South Africa boasts about 10% of the world’s flowering plant species.) Your included visit to the spectacular Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve puts you in the midst of this floral wonderland.
Drive to Nairobi - Begin Trip Extension to Cape Town (D)
After lunch, travelers continuing on the optional trip extension to Cape Town and the Peninsula will drive to Nairobi on the way to Johannesburg.
Fly from Nairobi to Cape Town (B, L, D)
We depart Nairobi this morning and fly to Cape Town, arriving in mid-afternoon.
We are met at the airport in Cape Town and transferred to our hotel. Your Trip Leader for this extension will meet you upon arrival. This evening, enjoy a memorable dinner at the home of a local resident.
Explore Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (B, L)
Departing after breakfast, we head along the coast, with majestic Table Mountain rising in the distance. We continue further onto the Cape Peninsula itself, along the spectacular coast road, the Atlantic Ocean’s crashing surf endlessly splashing the rocks below. Soon we reach the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, with its wild fynbos landscapes, beautiful flowers, elusive bontebok, baboons, and ocean views.
Contrary to popular belief, the Cape Peninsula is not consistently where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Because of shifting currents, that distinction is shared with lesser-known Cape Agulhas, several miles east of the Cape Peninsula. Nevertheless, when you get to the tip of the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve you’ll see Cape Point, the technical “Cape of Good Hope. ” Rapidly changing climactic conditions and the Indian Ocean currents coming from Cape Agulhas make this a particularly dangerous spot for ships. Your Trip Leader will tell you that more “sightings” of the legendary ghost ship, the Flying Dutchman, are reported here than anywhere else in the world. Who knows what you’ll spy on the distant horizons as you gaze from the Cape Point viewing platform? We explore some of the fascinating vegetation and more remote corners of this nature reserve. We stop for an included lunch at a well-known local seafood restaurant.
On our return trip to Cape Town, we stop at False Bay for a chance to see penguins. Passing Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek, we arrive back in town in the early evening. Dine on your own in the hotel this evening, or seek out a local restaurant.
Cape Town City Tour: Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront (B)
After an early breakfast, we depart for our tour of Cape Town’s many points of interest. Depending on wind conditions, we will travel by cable car up the dramatic face of Table Mountain, one of Cape Town’s most dramatic natural landmarks. From the top, you have mesmerizing views of the Atlantic Ocean, the bays, the city below, and the stunning peninsula that meanders south to the Cape of Good Hope. Some 1400 species of wild flowering plants grow on and around Table Mountain, which is also home of the unusual rock hyrax (often called Dassies), rodent-like creatures whose closest living relative is the elephant! Perhaps you’ll see some during your optional walk around the mountaintop.
We will also visit the lovely National Botanical Gardens of Kirstenbosch, a dazzling showcase of nearly 4,000 varieties of indigenous flowers and plants. The garden rests on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, with the forest interspersed with the broad lawns and cultivated pathways of the gardens.
You are on your own for lunch at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, where you can take your pick from an array of restaurants offering delicious fare. Afterwards, you have time to explore this lively shopping and entertainment area.
Explore the Wine Country around Stellenbosch (B)
Today we venture into the heart of South Africa’s beautiful wine country to explore the historic area around the town of Stellenbosch. We stop along the way to visit a South African township, and then continue to various wine estates, tasting and sampling their delicious offerings. The scenery includes rolling hills, graceful farms, and dramatic mountain vistas. This area is also the heart of Cape Dutch culture, and you will see fine examples of traditional architecture while learning about the history of early settlement here. We arrive in Stellenbosch in the late afternoon, with some time to shop and explore before you venture out for dinner on your own. You can choose to dine in at your hotel, or ask your Trip Leader for local restaurant suggestions — there is a wide variety in the area. Your guide will stay with you in Stellenbosch and can offer suggestions for restaurants, sightseeing, and shopping on your final evening in Africa.
Free Morning in Stellenbosch - Fly from Cape Town to Johannesburg- Return Flight to U.S. (B)
You have time in the morning for further exploration of Stellenbosch, and then return to the airport in Cape Town. From Cape Town, you fly to Johannesburg and connect to your overnight flight to the U.S., which leaves in the evening. (Meals in flight)
Arrive in U.S.
Dates: Dates are set by the group and are available throughout most of the year.
Price: The price is from $4395 per person based on
double occupancy (Single supplement add $295) and includes: International air from Denver (if departing from another city, price may change), transportation throughout trip, guiding services, meal as indicated, accommodations in safari lodges and classic tented camp, game drives and activities as described, and entry fees. (Not included are air taxes, travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, Visa fees)
*Price of the Cape Town extension is from $895 and includes the flight to Cape Town, accommodations, meals where indicated, guiding services. (Not included are air taxes, travel insurance, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, Visa fees)
Call Pam at 720-746-0748 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org