Duration: 7 Days and 6 Nights
Price: Please Contact us about the price of this Itinerary
Day 1: Pick up at Kilimanjaro International Airport, transfer to Kibo Palace Hotel for overnight stay.
Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater
Drive four hours to Ngorongoro Crater. If you had only one day in your life to see African wildlife, Ngorongoro Crater would be “the place.” This crater is truly one of the great natural wonders of the world: its vast caldera is surrounded by steep green walls and presents a spectacular setting for wildlife. The soda lake is often lined with flamingos, while the grasslands and scattered woodlands support a large year-round population of grazing animals, as well as their many predators: lion, hyena, and jackals. Ngorongoro is also one of the best places to see the critically endangered black rhino.
The crater floor is almost entirely open country, so wildlife is in full view, a wonderful opportunity for photography and simple observations of animal behavior. Hundreds of zebra and wildebeest are constantly on the move, winding their way to and from daily watering holes, herds of Cape buffalo exploit the long grass areas, bull elephants feed peacefully in the green marshes, and there are many lions and hyenas. After arrival at our camp in the Crater Highlands, we’ll enjoy a hike or visit with the local Masai. B,L,D…High Peaks Expeditions deluxe camp
Day 3: Ngorongoro Crater
After an early breakfast, we board our Land Cruisers for the
descent into the crater for a fabulous day of wildlife observation on the
Eden-like crater floor. The guides use their bush skills to locate many kinds
of fascinating wildlife, both large and small. You may be watching the elephant
browsing in the acacia forest, but look closer and you can see a jackal mother
teaching her pups how to catch grass mice, while behind you a martial eagle
swoops to carry off a helpless young gazelle fawn. Return to our camp for
dinner and overnight.*
B,L,D High Peaks Expeditions deluxe camp
*Please note—Up until now, we have always spent a full day down in the Crater but new park regulations may soon take effect limiting game drives to a maximum of six hours. If park policies still permit a full-day game drive, we will do it and enjoy a lunch on the Crater floor in a delightful picnic site. If we are not permitted a full-day game drive, we will spend the afternoon hiking in the Crater Highlands or visiting a local Masai boma (homestead or village).
Day 4: Oldupai Gorge – Serengeti
We descend from the Crater Highlands into the Serengeti Plains. En route we pass through Oldupai Gorge, where Louis and Mary Leakey made some of the most important discoveries in the search for early man. (The government has decreed that the official name is now Oldupai.) We’ll visit the simple Oldupai Museum, which documents the Rift Valley’s pale anthropological history.
We continue northwards into Serengeti’s kopje country.
Outcroppings of the earth’s original crust (2.7–4 billion years old), kopjes
are rounded piles of boulders formed into their distinctive shape by eons of
wind. They occur as archipelagos, artistic islands of stone punctuating the
Serengeti’s sea of grass, and each has a very different character. Also common
here is the beautiful chestnut-colored Topi antelope, with delicate reedbuck
often encountered in the vegetation that surrounds the rock outcrops. Lions
greatly favor kopjes as daytime resting places as well. Arrive at camp in time
for lunch and an afternoon game drive.
B,L,D… High Peaks Expeditions deluxe camp
DAYS 5-6 ~ In the Serengeti
Day 5: In the Serengeti
Our camps in the Serengeti will be situated in areas where there are good concentrations of animals; exact locations will depend on the time of year and on local weather conditions. Generally, from December to May the great herds of the Serengeti migration (mostly wildebeest, zebra, and gazelle) are on the grassy plains of the southern Serengeti. More than a million prehistoric looking wildebeest inhabit the plains—the largest herd of mammals on earth—and during this period, hundreds of thousands of young calves are born. (The wildebeest has adapted to the immediate threat of predation—labor can be retracted when there is a threat!) The co-mingling of wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelles, and zebra makes perfect ecological sense and acts as a huge organic lawnmower. The wildebeest munch the taller, tougher grasses, followed by the zebra that eat the shorter, more tender grasses. Bringing up the rear are the gazelles, who nibble on the new sprouts that spring up after the heavy fertilization of the migrating predecessors. We’ll probably spend some time around Lake Ndutu or Naabi Hill, which are at the center of migration during this period. From here we explore the vast treeless Serengeti Plain and the woodlands that encircle Lake Ndutu. We may see stupendous numbers of wild animals as the big herds wander back and forth over the plain. Lion, cheetah, hyena, and jackal are all very abundant here.
Depending on local game viewing conditions, we may move our explorations to Seronera, where the woodlands of the northern Serengeti meet the edge of the treeless plain, and Mbuzi Mawe, great cheetah country among the acacia shrub lands. The savanna woodlands of the Serengeti are a mosaic of habitats: small grassy plains mix with tree savannas and areas of dense bush. The variety of vegetation makes for a much greater diversity of animals: buffalo, giraffe, dik-dik, reedbuck, impala, waterbuck, baboons, and velvet monkeys are all common resident species, as are lion, cheetah, leopard, and hyena. The bird-life is also extremely varied and prolific, ranging from colorful weaver birds to imposing Martial eagles. Several permanent rivers drain the woodlands of the north, and these are the habitat of hippos and crocodiles.
In the Seronera area itself are the beautiful Masai kopjes and the Seronera River—one of the finest areas in Africa for encounters with the elusive leopard. Seronera always has resident game, including several resident prides of lion, and may well be thronged with zebra herds. Just to the north is the game-rich area around the Retima Hippo Pool. During these days we’ll search for small animals: aardwolf, African wildcat, bat-eared fox, dik-dik, rock-climbing klipspringer antelope, porcupine, and more. B,L,D each day. High Peaks Expeditions deluxe camp.
Day 6: In the Serengeti
Full day game drive in Serengeti National Park, Dinner and Overnight At High Peaks Expeditions Deluxe Camp.
Day 7: Arusha – Depart
Transfer to the Seronera airstrip and fly on a regularly scheduled flight to Arusha. Transfer to the Dik-Dik Hotel, where we have day-rooms and dinner before evening departure on homeward-bound flights. You can depart Arusha no earlier than 9:00 p.m. Note—Those passengers transferring to Nairobi will need an extra night at Dik-Dik Hotel, then transfer to Nairobi the next day.
level price (the smallest group size we can operate). If the price drops due to an increase in group size, you will be refunded the difference.
Details: What’s Included
- Long Experienced English speaking guide.
- camping arrangements including camp meals, guides, and safari camping equipment
- meals as noted (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Purified drinking water
- airport transfers on trip arrival and departure dates
- baggage porterage
- sightseeing arrangements as noted in the itinerary
- group ground transportation in Tanzania
- additional guides and porters where necessary
International airfare to Arusha and return; Tanzania park fees (see separate cost above); flight from the Serengeti to Arusha on Day 16 (see separate cost above); optional tips to safari and mountain guides (see below); visas; meals en route to Arusha and return (if needed); cost of medical immunizations; insurance other than basic medical and evacuation insurance noted above , which includes trip cancellation insurance); excess baggage charges; extra hotel and Nairobi transfers (if needed); airport taxes ($30US international departure tax, $6 domestic departure tax); alcoholic beverages at lodges; laundry charges; Tips and gratuities and items of a personal nature.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
The excitement of safari (the Swahili word for journey) conjures up the image of the old-style “Hemingway” tented camps in the heart of the bush. For many, the excitement has been dulled by packaging visitors consistently in hotels and mini-buses, safely segregating them from the very environment they came to experience—the African bush. We firmly believe in the old-style safari experience.
High Peaks Expeditions camps provide all the joys of sleeping out in the African night: the calm and quiet of relaxation in private and beautiful settings, the closeness of wildlife observed from camp, the romance of moon and stars, the evocative sounds of the African night personified in the deep grunting roars of distant lions. Our carefully chosen camps allow this close connection with the wildness of Africa without sacrificing comfort. Support vehicles go ahead to set up our private camps and our experienced safari staff takes care of all camp chores. We sleep in well-ventilated, fully netted and bug-proof walk-in tents that comfortably accommodate two persons. Comfortable cots and bedding are provided, our friendly staff provides us with hot water basins for washing, and special shower and toilet tents are set up for our use. Camp food is always abundant, fresh, wholesome, and delicious, and our guests say the food is even better than in the lodges. Where we do stay in hotels or lodges, we choose facilities that maintain a sense of charm and harmony with their surroundings.
We travel in rugged “go anywhere” vehicles (Land Rover 110s or Toyota Land Cruisers) that allow us to roam the countryside in total freedom, to get right into the thick of the bush where the action is. And our open roof hatches give our safari members great visibility for catching those unforgettable moments of close-up wildlife observation on film and memory.
High Peaks Expeditions provides the ultimate safaris—authentic experiences of the wilds of Africa in comfort and security.