After clearing baggage claim and customs, meet your safari representative and transfer to your hotel in Moshi where you can rest before starting out on your exciting trip around Tanzania.
This morning, drive to the small village of Uru on the slopes of Kilimanjaro and visit the local coffee cooperative on an all-encompassing tour of the grounds. This guided tour displays how coffee is grown, harvested, and roasted and participants join in the entire process, including brewing their own cup of coffee! Meet with local farmers while the women prepare a delicious lunch while you enjoy the amazing scenery. Head back to Moshi in the afternoon and enjoy the hotel or explore the city’s traditional markets independently.
Tackle Mount Kilimanjaro on a day hike! This dominant fixture to the Tanzanian landscape rises an impressive 5895 meters at its highest peak. Transfer to the Marangu Gate where you will commence your day hike. Walk through the lush rainforest rising 800 meters to Mandara Hut where you stop for a well-deserved picnic lunch. After your respite you will continue on to Maundi Crater before returning to the Marangu Gate and transferring back to Moshi.
Hike Duration: 5-6 Hours
Elevation Gain : 800 Meters
Distance: 9 miles
The better part of today is spent on a game drive in the Tarangire National Park. The park is known for its enormous herds of elephants, ancient baobab trees, and having the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti. During the dry season (June-Sept), animals flock from hundreds of miles to drink from the Tarangire River. Arrive at the Tarangire Safari Lodge in time for dinner.
Take an early safari through Tarangire National Park before the heat of the day limits the movement of the animals. After lunch head to the Rhotia Valley, your home for the next two nights. This evening enjoy a guided village walk and learn about the local customs and traditions. You are also welcome to visit the Children’s Home, located adjacent to the lodge. The home is funded directly from the profits of the camp, and provide healthy food, clean water, clothing and education to the kids who stay there.
Rise early and meet your guide from the Mto Wa Mbu Cultural Tourism Program and walk to the shores of Lake Manyara, a shallow lake in the East Africa Rift. Flamingos flock to the lake in the wet season (August to October) for an impressive spectacle. Throughout the year travelers can expect to see leopards, lions, elephants, blue monkeys, dik-dik, gazelle, hippo, giraffe impala and more! Lake Manyara provides a rare opportunity for guests to see animals away from the confines of their vehicles.
Mto Wa Mbu is a small village where people of many different tribes, from every corner of the country, happily coexist. Here the Mbugwe, Iraqw, Gorowa, Irangi, Chagga and Maasai tribes’ area all represented. Tour a Chaaga family farm where banana beer is brewed or visit a Kigoma farmer who presses palm oil.
Alternately you can meet the Rangi people at Papyrus Lake and see them collect materials in order to make mats and baskets. En route, watch traditional rice farming and visit the Sandawe families who still make traditional bow and arrows for hunting.
Today, descend into the Ngorongoro Crater for a six hour tour. As the world’s largest caldera (nearly 100 square miles), Ngorongoro boasts over 20,000 large animals, including Tanzania’s remaining black rhino. Living along-side the abundance of wildlife you will find 40,000 Maasai pastoralists with their cattle, goats, and sheep. The conservation gives you a rare look into how people harmoniously lived with nature and wildlife in ancient times. You may also opt to visit Oldupai Gorge. This site provides evidence of the earliest signs of mankind, showcasing hominid footprints preserved in volcanic rock that date back 3.6 million years.
After breakfast, take a game drive en route to Serengeti National Park, a world heritage site, stopping along the way to watch any animals you may encounter. Renowned for its wealth of lions and leopards, the Serengeti is the quintessential safari destination. Derived from the Maasai word ‘sirinetu’ meaning ‘endless plains’, the Serengeti plays host to more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebra, and 300,000 Thomson’s gazelle during the annual migration.
Take an early morning game drive and return to camp in time for breakfast. Head back out for a full day of game drives, examining one of the oldest ecosystems on earth. Little has changed in the Serengeti over the past million or so years, you will still find the renowned plains intermingled with wooded hills, massive termite mounds, rocky kopjes, and acacia tree lined rivers. Depending on the time of year you will be able to witness the Wildebeest Migration (Dec-July), or an abundance of predators (June-Oct).
Head towards Lake Natron after breakfast, with a game drive en route. You never know what animals will reveal themselves when you are in the Serengeti. Lake Natron is a surreal soda lake below the Rift Valley escarpment, and millions of flamingos flock here, as it is their only breeding ground. Enjoy the views of Ol Dointo L’Engai, the only active carbonite Volcano in the world before heading to Lake Natron Halisi Camp for dinner.
This morning, you will have time to take in the beauty of the lake before embarking on an afternoon walk to waterfalls in the area. The lake's namesake is derived from the concentration of Sodium Carbonate (natron) remaining in the shallow lake during times of high evaporation. Due to high temperature and the high and varying salt content of the lake, this area is not able to support wildlife, making it a safe place for birds to nest.
Transfer to the Engaruka Village, one of the most significant archaeological sites in the Great Lakes region of Tanzania. Explore the abandoned 15th century system of ruins famed for its irrigation and cultivation structures. You will also participate in a Maasai culture tour, learning about the culture, traditions, and history of the area.
Say goodbye to Tanzania, but not before doing one last game drive. Lake Manyara National Park plays host to your final game experience and, with any luck, you will spot one of the famous tree-climbing lions while you traverse this unique habitat. End your trip with a drop off back in Moshi, or at the Kilimanjaro Airport in time for your flight home.