Grand Tanzania (Jul-Nov)
12 days, 11 nights
Price Range: $9,424 – $24,566
(all-inclusive price per person, depending on dates & camps selected)
Love elephants? This is your safari. Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks are among the best places in Africa to see large herds of elephant. Tarangire is also the ‘Baobab Capital of the World,’ boasting many gigantic, millennia-old trees, as well as 550 bird species that frequent its seasonal swamps. Lake Manyara’s most famous residents are its unique tree-climbing lions. Of course, no “Grand Tanzania” route would be complete without the fabled Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater—they’re here, too.
Our Expert Says
When I think about a safari in East Africa, this is the ideal route that comes to my mind. It hits all the highlights as well as some of the less-visited safari destinations in northern Tanzania. This itinerary offers surprises and delights each day, with a plethora of wildlife, beautiful vistas and wonderful safari camps where you can relax after a long day in bush.
– Court Whelan
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 2-4: Tarangire Nat'l Park
Tarangire, the “Baobab Capital of the World,” boasts Tanzania’s largest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti, including 550 bird species that frequent its seasonal swamps. The Tarangire River sustains wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and huge herds of elephant during the dry season. Impala, gazelle and eland crowd the lagoons, while wild dog roam the red-dust plains. Tarangire is also home to two rare antelope, the fringe-eared oryx and gerenuk.
Day 5: Lake Manyara Nat'l Park
Stretching along the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment in northern Tanzania, Lake Manyara is famous for its alkaline lakes, habitat for thousands of pink flamingos. Ernest Hemingway called its setting “the loveliest I had seen in Africa.” Troops of baboons and blue monkeys carouse in the forest while leopard, cheetah, elephant and plenty of hoofed animals roam the plains. You may even see the park’s famous tree-climbing lions!
Days 6-7: 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 8-11: 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 12: Arusha/Home
Your safari adventure ends today in Arusha, Tanzania.