Grand Tanzania (Dec-Jun)
12 days, 11 nights
Price Range: $17,503 – $38,586
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
For the safari-goer in search of a mix of landscapes and wildlife encounters, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than this immersion in the diversity of Tanzania. Begin with a journey into Ngorongoro Crater, famed for its dense concentration of varied animals in an ancient volcanic bowl. In the Serengeti, experience Africa’s endless savanna, with its massive herds and avid predators. Conclude with the chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains—few safaris offer a more well-rounded wildlife survey.
Our Expert Says
For those who want to experience the highlights of Tanzania with the luxury of settling into a few camps for several relaxed days, this is the ideal itinerary. While plenty wildlife-intensive, the pacing of this route offers the opportunity to spend unhurried time around camp and get to know some of the local people. I find that such relational encounters add richness and depth to the overall experience. Sometimes the less we move . . . the more we see!
– Melissa Scott
Day 1: Arusha
Arusha is the safari capital of the world, the jumping-off point for the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro. In the shadow of Mount Meru, where lush forest intersects grassy savanna, Arusha sits within an agricultural region famed for coffee and tea. Originally a German settlement, Arusha today is a lively city with an international flair. Arusha is noted for handcrafts, and the Cultural Heritage Center boasts an array of carvings, paintings, batiks and baskets.
Days 2-3: Ngorongoro Crater
Within the walls of the world’s largest unbroken volcanic caldera is the densest concentration of wildlife in Africa. The crater floor, 12 miles across, is a wonder of the natural world. More than 30,000 animals live in this primeval Eden, including huge herds of gazelle and the lion and hyena that prey upon them. Wildebeest, zebra, eland and giraffe are abundant, with leopard and cheetah in pursuit. The very fortunate may also spot the endangered black rhino.
Days 4-7: Serengeti Nat'l Park
The Serengeti is legendary. Here on Africa’s Great Plains, where the blue sky arcs over shimmering gold grasslands, the number of animals is staggering. Buffalo, elephant and giraffe roam the savanna. Leopards rest in acacia trees, pursuing prey with lion, cheetah, jackal and hyena. While the Serengeti is riveting year-round, nothing matches the phenomenon of the migration, when 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra traverse the plains in endless columns of thundering hoofbeats.
Day 8: Arusha
Return to Arusha to spend the night before continuing westward in the morning to Mahale Mountains National Park.
Days 9-11: Mahale Mountains
Deep in the African interior, accessible only by boat, lies a range of jungle-cloaked peaks overlooking Lake Tanganyika. These mountains shelter about 800 of Africa’s last remaining wild chimpanzees. Some have been habituated to human contact, providing one of Africa’s most magical wildlife adventures — tracking and watching chimps in their natural habitat. The rainforest is also home to easily observed troops of monkeys and a kaleidoscopic array of birds.
Day 12: Arusha/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Arusha, Tanzania.